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Duties Towards Parents.

"And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents, in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning, (hear the command) show gratitude to Me and to your parents, to Me is (your final) Goal". [Qur'an Luqman : 14]

 Alhamdulillahi Rabil A'la-meen Was-Salaatu Was-Salaamu 'Ala Sayyidna Muhammad Wa 'Ala Ahlihi Wa Sahabihi Ajma-een

Dear Brothers, as da'wa carriers, you are well aware of the duties and responsibilities that Islam has placed upon you. Allah (swt), through His Mercy has given you the resolve to carry the burdens of this deen and work to reap the rewards in the hereafter. Allah (swt) also has allowed you to grasp the truth of Islam and its rules, such that your mind is full of thoughts of the Ahkam Shari'ah and its applications in life.

One of the core and inevitable responsibilities that you have been charged with is your duty to your parents and the rights that your parents have over you. The importance of this matter should be as clear to you as the clarity you have regarding the purity of the Islamic Aqeedah and Tawheed.

Imam Qurtubi said in reference to the above ayat that the scholars have said, "…that the most deserving people with the most rights, to thank, to be good to and obedient to after the Creator is the parents. That is because Allah (swt) has linked thanking Him to thanking the parent, when in the ayat we read "Thank me and your parents”."

In addition it was narrated by Anas (ra) that Muhammad (saw) was asked about the most serious and detestable sins. He (saw) replied, "To associate anyone with Allah, to disobey the parents and cause them pain or injury; to kill unlawfully and to give false evidence”. [Bukhari]

Also, Abi Bakrah Nufay ibn Al-Harith (ra) said, "The Messenger of Allah asked us three times: Shall I tell you the greatest sin?” We said, "Yes O Messenger of Allah." He (saw) replied, "Associating partners with Allah and disobeying one's parents" [agreed upon].

Such is the weight of fulfilling or neglecting one's parents that Allah (swt) has mentioned it in connection to the prohibition and the grave sin of associating partners with Allah (swt). Therefore it could not be fitting nor characteristic for you, the da'wa carrier striving to gain Allah's (swt) pleasure, to take this matter lightly. Rather, you link this matter to the obedience and disobedience of Allah (swt) and to the reward and the punishment. Such understanding is clear for you and it is reported on the authority of Abu Umamah that a man approached Muhammad (saw) and asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what are the rights of the parents over their children?"

He (saw) replied, "They are your Paradise and your Hell".

You are all well aware the origins and influences of the non-Islamic atmosphere that pollutes the family life and seeks to twist and discard the rights that Shari'ah has placed upon you towards your parents. Therefore, how can we allow the decadence and immorality of western culture to be a standard for us in the way that we deal with our parents? Their neglect, unkindness, scorn and abuse of parents are grave crimes that have torn father from son and mother from daughter. It leaves the family structure discarded and in tatters as parental authority is undermined and ridiculed instead of being respected. It leaves parents agitated, resentful, heartbroken and detached from the love, kindness and support that their children should give them. Parents in their old age are placed in an old people's home because their children are too busy living life to look after them. This is the reality of the western society and may Allah (swt) protect you and your parents from this.

Dear Brothers, your devotion to Allah (swt) and the example of Muhammad (saw) compels you to obey your parents in the matters they have a right over you and Islam has condemned those who show disobedience to them or cause them pain.

Muhammad (saw) was asked about the most serious and detestable sins. He (saw) replied, "To associate anyone with Allah, to disobey the parents and cause them pain or injury; to kill unlawfully and to give false evidence". [Bukhari]

So observe the rights of your parents without neglect and without expressing a dislike of executing their right, whether it is to go shopping for them, taking or accompanying them on a journey, cleaning the house, spending on them or looking after them during illness.

He (saw) cursed the man, who did not attain his jannah through his parents. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, "May he be humiliated! May he be disgraced! May he be brought low!" The companions asked, "Who?" He (saw) replied, "The unfortunate person whose parents or any one of them attain old age in his lifetime and he does not earn Paradise". [Muslim]

He (saw) has linked the pleasure of the father to the Pleasure of Allah (swt). Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, "In the good pleasure of the father lies the good pleasure of Allah and in his displeasure, the displeasure of Allah". [Tirmidhi]

These rights that belong to your parents extend into the grave. It is narrated that whilst the Sahabah were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (saw) when a person from the tribe of Banu Salamah came and said to him (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, are there any rights of my parents on me which I have to fulfil even after they have died?" "Yes", replied Muhammad (saw),  "To pray for mercy and forgiveness on their behalf, to fulfil the promises they may have, to pay due regard to the bonds of relationship that are from their side and to be respectful to their friends". [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah]

The Shari'ah has obliged you to show love, kindness and warmth to your parents. In the Noble Book it is written, "We have enjoined upon mankind to be dutiful and kind to his parents…". [Qur'an Al-Ahqaf: 15]

As-Sabooni wrote in explanation of the above ayat, "Allah is pleased when the parents are pleased and displeased when the parents are displeased. This is why Allah (swt) entrusted and urges the slave and orders them a definite order ('amr jazim) to be kind to parents."

Abdullah ibn Masood (ra) said, "I asked the Prophet "Which deed is the dearest to Allah?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents" I again asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, "To participate in the Jihad for Allah's cause.”  'Abdullah added, "I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet would have told me more."

Allah (swt) has made even the slightest raising of voice to the parents a crime. He has ordered the man to refer to their parents with the best of words, to look after them when they are old, to serve them and to not deny them any of their rights.

And in the Qur'an we find, "And do good to your parents. Should one of them, or both attain old age in your care, never say 'oof' to them or scold them, but always speak to them with reverent speech and spread over them humbly the wings of your tenderness and say, 'O my Sustainer, bestow Your grace upon them, even as they cherished and raised me as a child'." [Qur'an Bani Israa'il: 23-24]

As-Sabooni, in reference to this ayat, said that, "Allah (swt) has ordered kindness to parents and that He (swt) linked worship to Him (swt) with kindness to parents and the rights that parents have over their children.

Allah (swt) has entrusted you to look after them especially when one or both of them become old. Here old age is specified because this is the time when they are in the greatest need for help, kindness, and support and to carry out their rights because they are weak. Likewise, do not say to your parents any word that shows you are either angry or annoyed, like the word 'oof'.

And do not say or make them hear bad talk from you or shout at them with harshness on that which you do not like of them."

Mujahid commented, "If the parents grow old and end up urinating and answering the call of nature on themselves, do not feel disgusted or say, 'Uff' to them. Rather remove the urine and faeces from them, just as they used to do when you were young without feeling disgust in doing that for you."

Clearly the Shari'ah has enjoined upon you to show kindness, respect and warmth to your parents and has placed the duty upon you to house and look after them when they are in the greatest need of help as they grow old.These needs are just as great as those you had when you were very young in your parent's arms and they cherished you.

It has been narrated that a man once asked Sa'id ibn Al-Musayyab (ra), "I understand all of the ayat about kindness and respect towards parents, apart from the phrase, "address them in terms of honour." Sa'id replied, "It means that you should address them as a servant addresses his master."

The Qur'an informs us, "And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy” [Qur'an Bani Israa'il : 24].

Urwa bin Az-Zubair commented by saying this ayat "means one should not deny his parents any request".

This is because a child can never repay his debt to his parents, The Messenger (saw) said, "No child can pay back his parents (favours), unless he finds that his father is a slave, so he buys him and sets him free". [Muslim]

Zur'ah bin Ibrahim said that a man came to 'Umar (ra) and said to him, "I have an old mother who is unable to go to answer the call of nature, so I carry her on my back. I also help her perform ablution while turning my face from her (out of respect). Have I fulfilled my duty towards her?" Umar (ra) said, "No." The man said, "Even though I carry her on my back and exert myself in her service?" 'Umar (ra) said, "She used to do the same for you (when you were young) while hoping that you will live. As for you, you await when she will go away (die)."

Muhammad (saw) expressed clearly the fruits of your kindness to your parents, indeed he has linked it to your child's kindness to you. Abdullah ibn Umar narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, "Obey your parents and treat them with kindness. Your children will be kind and obedient to you and live with purity. Your wives will stay pure".

Allah (swt) also linked the kindness to parents to the ease at the time of death, Jabir reported that Muhammad (saw) said, "Whosoever has got three things in him, Allah will make his death easy and will admit him in Paradise: mercy to the weak, kindness to parents and doing good to the slave" [Tirmidhi].

Also even the look of kindness towards parents has been linked to much reward. Ibn Abbas (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, "No obedient son looks to his parents with a look of kindness but Allah writes for him one accepted pilgrimage for every look." They enquired, "And if he looks a hundred times every day?" "Yes", said Muhammad (saw), "Allah is the most Great and most Beneficent".

Ibn Taimiyyah said, "Abu Bakr (ra) said in his book, Zad ul Musafir, "Whoever made his parents angry and brought tears to them, is required to go back and make them laugh."

The dutiful child would seek to scrutinise every detail such that he does not fall into disobedience ('uquq) of his parents. Hisham bin Hassan said, "I said to Al-Hasan 'I learn the Qur'an, and my mother keeps waiting for me with dinner until I come back.' Al-Hassan said, 'It is better for you that you eat dinner with your mother so that her heart is comforted, than to perform a voluntary Hajj.'"

It was the characters of the scholars of the past that they obeyed their parents and never showed signs of disrespect. Abu Bakr bin 'Ayyash said, "I used to sit with Mansur (a scholar) in his house and would hear his mother, who was loud and rude, shout at him, 'O Mansur! Ibn Hubairah (the wali of Iraq) appointed you to the post of judge, but you refused!' Mansur would not even look her in the eye out of respect".

The scholar, Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir said that one night his brother 'Umar spent the night praying while he spent it holding his mother's feet (to make her warm). Muhammad commented that he would have preferred that he spent the night like 'Umar.'

Allah (swt) raised the mother above all, "…His mother bears him with hardship and gives birth to him with hardship. His bearing and weaning is thirty months until he attains full strength…" [Qur,an Al-Ahqaf: 15].

As-Sabooni wrote that, "Allah then shows the difficulty and hardship experienced by the mother when she carried the child in the womb, then when she gave birth and then when she fed him and looked after him."

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that a man came to Muhammad (saw) and asked, "O RasulAllah, which of all people is best entitled to kind treatment and good companionship from me? He (saw) answered, "your mother". The man asked, "Then who?" He (saw) said, "Your mother." "And after her?" He (saw) replied, "Your mother." "And after her?" He (saw) replied, "Your father". [Bukhari, Muslim]

Ibn 'Umar (ra) saw a man carrying his mother and going around the Ka'bah in Tawaf. He then asked Ibn 'Umar (ra), "Have I nullified my duty towards her?"

Ibn Umar replied, "Not even by one contraction! However, you have done good and Allah will reward you tremendously for the little that you could do."

Abu Hurairah (ra) lived in a house next to his mother and would stand at the door whenever he went out and say, "Peace be unto you, my mother, and Allah's mercy and blessings." Abu Hurairah (ra) would say, "May Allah grant you His Mercy for raising me when I was young." And she would reply, "May Allah grant you His Mercy for being dutiful to me when you grew up" He would often repeat this statement when he went in or out. [Bukhari]

Ibn Abbas (ra) said "Allah opens two doors (to Paradise) for every Muslim who is dutiful to his (or her) two Muslim parents, awaiting the reward with Allah alone, and one door if he or she had one surviving parent (to whom he or she is dutiful). Furthermore, if one makes one of his parents angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until his parent forgives him." He was asked, "Even if they were unjust to their child?" He said, "Even if they were unjust". [Al Baihaqi]

Rifa'ah bin 'Iyas (ra) said, "I saw Al-Harith Al-Ukli walking in his mother's funeral crying. He was asked, 'Why do you cry?' He said, 'Why should I not cry, when a door to Jannah has been closed to me?"  Mu'adh narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered me, "Do not fall into 'Uquq (disrespect) towards your parents, even if they order you to forfeit your family and wealth."

Furthermore the son of Abdullah bin Umar narrated that his father Abdullah (ra) said, "I married a wife that Umar (ra) disliked and he ordered me to divorce her, but I refused. So Umar went to the Prophet (saw) and told him and the Prophet said, 'Obey your father…’". [Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

Islam has obliged the good relations with the parents, even if they were wrong on an issue. Islam sought to place the mother and father with the highest of respect such that they would feel the comfort and tranquility around their children. Islam has made it a duty upon the child to not cause misery to the parents when it come to issues concerning them, whether it would be denying them grandchildren or not assisting them when they require help. Also Islam has asked that no one else is favored above them and that their honor is not reduced when the child speaks. Furthermore Islam has asked of the dutiful child to be quick at responding to the parents and not drag their feet when asked to do something, as this is disobedience.

Anas Al-Juhani said that his father narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, "Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah has slaves to whom He will neither speak nor purify nor look at." He was asked, "Who are they, O Allah's Messenger?" He said, "He who disowns and abandons his parents, he who disowns his children, and he who was granted a favor by a people but he denied their favor and disowned them". [Ahmad]

Dear Brothers! Your awareness of the filth, corruption and influence of the non-Islamic atmosphere directed against the family only serve to agitate and motivate you further to work for the noble Khilafah. Likewise it impresses upon you even more to ensure the Islamic atmosphere is generated from the way you diligently discharge your duties to your parents. You should remember the words of Muhammad (saw), when he said, "How amazing is the affairs of a Muslim! His affairs are all good. If he experiences ease, he is grateful, and that is good for him. If he experiences hardship, he faces it with patience and perseverance and that is good for him". [Bukhari]

Dear Brothers, you embody this example and seek the description that Allah (swt) gave us in surah Al-Tawbah,

"Those who turn to Allah in repentance; who serve Him and praise Him; who wander in devotion to the cause of Allah; who bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; who enjoin good and forbid evil and who observe the limits set by Allah. So proclaim the glad tidings to the believers" [Qur'an At-Tawba: 112].

And, "Thy Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood. Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts: If you do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence)" [Qur'an Al-Isra: 23].

And, "…My Lord! Grant me the ability that I may be grateful for Your favor which you have bestowed upon me and my parents, and that I may do good deeds that will please You and make my children good. Truly I have turned to You in repentance and I am truly of those who submit to You". [Qur'an Al-Ahqaf: 15]