PARENTS IN ISLAM I begin with the name of Allah the most merciful and the most kind, peace and blessing be upon beloved Prophet All praise is for Allah. In Surah Al Ahqaf Allah (the most High) has said: "And we have commanded man to do good to his parents. His mother bore him with great hardship and brought him forth in great pain. And the bearing and weaning are in thirty months until when he attains full strength and reached forty years, he said: O my lord! Inspire me that I may keep offering thanks for His favour which you bestowed on me and on my parents (and grant me strength) that I may do good deeds those of which you approve and make my offspring righteous for me. Truly I turn to you in repentance and surely I am of those who submits to your commandments in all humanity." (Quran 46:15) MUSLIM BELIEF ABOUT HIS PARENTS A Muslim must believe that his real originator or creator(Al-Khaliq) is Allah the most High but in this world, parents are the external cause of the existence of children. Allah, the most High, is the real sustainer and cherisher of all of us but parents are gifted by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), to sustain and cherish their children with love and care. In other words parents of a child represent the Lordship of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), the most High. OUR OBLIGATIONS TO PARENTS In this verse of Sura Al-Ahqaf human being is commanded to treat his parents in every possible good way and manner by which he can achieve their pleasure and nearness. One who has true faith in the teachings of Islam must prove his faith by his practical behaviour towards his parents. HONOUR OF OUR MOTHER It is the great blessing of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), on all mothers that Allah ((subhana wa ta'ala)) the most High has mentioned them in the Holy Quran to let us know and believe that we must not neglect our obligations towards her. In Hadith the order of serving the mother is given thrice. In the above mentioned verse too the mother is mentioned thrice first in the words (A) WALIDAIHI IHSANA (to do good to his parents and fathers both) (B) HAMALATHU UMMUHU (his mother bore him) (C) WADAATHU (delivered him) When a Sahabi(companion) enquired "O Apostle of Allah! (subhana wa ta'ala) who is the most (rightful) for my good association? He (Sall Allahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: "Your Mother." Then the person asked who is next, He (Sall Allahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: "Your Mother" the Sahabi said who is next, The prophet of Allah (Sall AllahuAlaihi Wassallam) said: "Your Mother" the sahabi enquired who is next? The messenger of Allah(Sall Allahu Alaihi Wassallam) said "your Father"(agreed upon). In another Hadith it is mentioned: "Then your mother, then your mother, then your mother and then your father and then the nearest relatives." SEEK YOUR SALVATION BY GOOD BEHAVIOUR TO YOUR PARENTS Being grateful to your parents makes you grateful to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and ungratefulness to them is ungratefulness to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). One who does not prove to be thankful to the parents, he is lacking thankfulness to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) said: "Be grateful to me and to both your parents (Sand the most unfortunate one is one who does not seek salvation by the true Khidmat shown by kindness in words and deeds."(SURA Luqman Verse 14) The (beloved) Messenger of Allah(SallAllahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: "May he be humbled(looses his honour) May he be humbled May he be humbled: It was said: who? O Messenger of Allah(Sall Allahu Alaihi Wassallam) the one who finds parents in their old age either one of them or both of them and yet does not enter paradise" (Sahih Muslim) JUDGE YOUR BEHAVIOUR TO YOUR PARENTS IN THE LIGHT OF DIVINE TEACHINGS Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) said: "Your Lord has commanded that you must not worship non but Him alone and do good to your(both) parents. If either of both of them reach old age in your life time say not even UFF(Fie) to them say not to them a word ofdisrespect nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour." (Sura Al_Isra Verse 23). LOWER YOURSELF TO OLD PARENTS Every human being having reached old age needs more service and care. The society must not ignore the rights of senior members of the community. Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) said: "And lower to them shoulders with humility and meekness and say my Lord have mercy upon them(both) as they brought me up when I was little." When we were weak and in need our parents did hard labour in nourishing and rearing us. They have performed numerous sacrifices for our comfort and welfare. They were the main source of our safety from a number of difficulties. As Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has mentioned we must sincerely ponder over the many hardships, which were taken by our parents for our comfort. CARING FOR EACH OTHERS PARENTS Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: "A mans rebuking his parents is of the major sins. They (Sahaba) enquired; 'O (beloved) messenger of Allah(SallAllahuAlaihi Wassallam) does any man rebuke his own parents. He(SallAllahu AlaihiWassallam) said Yes he who chides the father of a man who chides his father in return and he who chides the mother of a man who chides his mother(in return). DOOR OF PARADISE Our duties to parents are resembled with the gates of paradise by the beloved Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu Alaihi Wassallam). He (SallAllahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: "Father or a parent is the best of the gate of paradise. So if you like, guard the gate or destroy it." Narrated by Imam Tirmizi and Ibn Maja OUTLINE Doing good to parents in everyway Obeying them without demur in everything good Behaving respectfully towards them Maintaining attitude of thankfulness towards them Caring for them with mercy, with special regard for the mother Kindness to both parents is commanded by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) in the Holy Quran as mentioned in the following verse: "We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give birth. The carrying of the child to his weaning is a period of thirty months. At length when he reaches the age of full length and attains forty years, he says, 'O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for thy favour, which thou hast bestowed upon me and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as thou magest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to thee and truly do I bow (to thee) in Islam' such are they from who we shall accept the best of their deeds and pass by their ill deeds; (they shall) be among the companions of the Gardens a promise of truth, which was made to them (in this life)" (Quran 46:15-16) OUR PARENTS HAPPINESS AND PLEASURE IS THE GREAT SOURCE OF ALLAH'S MERCY FOR US The Prophet of Allah said: "The pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of the father, and the displeasure of the Lord is in the displeasure of the father" (Tirmidhi reported by Abdullah Ibn Amr). The prayers of our parents for us are also a great source of Allah's (S.W.T) blessing for us in this worldly life, as the Prophet of Allah said: "Nothing but supplication can annul predestination and nothing but obedience (kindness to them) to the parents can prolong life. A man is deprived of his provision for his sins he commits." (Ibn Maja reported by Thauban ). AN INTERESTING STORY IN THE HADITH. Ibn Omar reported that the (beloved) Prophet (S.A.W) said: "While three men were walking (travelling) the rain overtook them. Then they entered the cave of the mountain. While they were in the cave a huge rock of the mountain then fell down over the mouth of their cave and completely shut them in. In this difficult time there was no other obvious material source of rescue. They said to one another "let us recall the good deeds, which we did sincerely for Allah. Make dua (supplication) to Allah" by mentioning those good deeds as a source of acceptance that He may rescue us. So one of them mentioned one of his special deeds to Allah by saying: "O Allah I had old and weak parents and young children for whom I used to graze sheep. Whenever I went to them at night, I took milk and gave it first to my parents to drink before my children. One day I could not return home till it was evening. Then I found them (parents - mum and dad) had fallen asleep. I had came to them with milk as I used to do (and did not disturb their sleep) but I remained standing near their heads in the state of not liking to begin dinner with children before them (mum and dad), while the children were crying at my feet. This affair of theirs and mine continued till it was dawn. If my deed as you know was for to seek your pleasure then rescues us and make for us an opening from which we see the horizon according, Allah made an opening from them till they saw the horizon. The other two also remembered their good deeds by which they made dua to Allah in this difficult time and Allah helped them and the huge rock was removed from the opening of the cave." (See Sahih Al-Bukhari & Sahih Al-Muslim) It has become very easy for us to understand that doing good for our parents and being obedient sons and daughters to them, we can become good servants to Allah (S.W.T). The huge rocks of difficulties will be removed from our ways if we can prove to be the helpful and beneficial to our fellow human beings. ROLE OF MOTHERS - IN UPBRINGING OF THE SOCIETY Mother is the first and most important teacher of every human being in every society. If the mother plays her role and is dutiful to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) concerning her child in the light of Islamic teachings then the children adopt the way of Jannah (paradise), which is the way towards peace and tranquillity of our life in this world and in the world here after. Abu Umamah reported that a man asked: "Ya RasulAllah (O messenger of Allah!) (S.A.W) what are the rights of parents over their children?" He (S.A.W) replied: " They (mum and dad) are your paradise and your hell" (Ibn Maja) DOES YOUR MOTHER LEAD YOU TO PARADISE OR HELL? If a mother teaches her children the love, respect, obedience, and kindness to their father, she is leading them to paradise and if she creates hatred, disobedience of the father in the children's heart then she is definitely leading the children towards hell. Doesn't she know that it is her duty to protect her children from the fire of hell and enable them to be blessed with paradise? WHAT CAN WE DO FOR PARENTS WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY? The answer is there in the Hadith reported by Abu Osaid Ibn Assaaidi who said that we were near the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) when a man of Banu Salma came to Him (S.A.W) and asked: "Ya RasulAllah (S.A.W) , Is there any obedience to parents left that I can show to them after their demise?" He (S.A.W) said: " YES! (You can be obedient to them) by praying for them, to seek forgiveness for them by fulfilling their instructions after their death, by keeping affinity to those who are not connected with you but through them and to honour their friends" (Abu Dawud and Ibn Maja) GOOD PRACTICAL EXAMPLE Sayyiduna Saad (may Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) be pleased with him) came to the beloved Prophet (S.A.W) and mentioned that his mother has died suddenly and she could not instruct her son for anything to be done after her death, what should he do to be good to her now? The Prophet of Allah (S.W.T) instructed the companion to give water in charity. May Allah (SWT) grant us all the knowledge to understand Islam and its principals and the taufeeq to be well mannered towards our parents and all parents (Insha Allah). Please Allah accept out Zikr today and grant us your blessings and mercy.