Good treatment of Parents (Part 2: Status)

parents2

We have established in the previous article that children must respect and treat their parents with kindness. This article will discuss the status that Islam has honoured parents with, we will learn the relevant Narrations which the Prophet (SAW) has used to venerate the Mothers and the Fathers of this Ummah (community).

The Mother is the first teacher that a child will have, she is the person who carries the burden of birthing the child, she is illogical in her immeasurable love. Due to her kindness and her care the Prophet (SAW) has stated, to Muawiya ibn Jahima (RA) who related to us: “My father, Jahima, went to the Prophet (SAW) and said: ‘I intended to go on Jihad and have come to seek your advice.’ The Prophet (SAW) asked him, ‘Is your mother alive?’ ‘Yes’, he replied; ‘Then stay with her and look after her needs. Your Heaven lies under her feet.’ The Prophet (SAW) said.” (Ahmad) (Nasai) The Prophet (SAW) stopped this Companion (RA) from going in the path of Allah because he deemed the service to his mother to be more virtuous for him. He summed up the service to the mother very poignantly, that it is a means of Paradise. Who can deny the lofty status a Mother enjoys in Islam when Paradise lies under her feet?

In the above Narration the service of the Mother has been given preference over Jihad, a similar Narration has been related wherein service to the Parents has been preferred over Jihad. Many people seem to dismiss service to parents a negligible act, this is folly! We become complacent because our parents are constantly around us, ask a person who has lost a parent, or one who is an orphan; you will see how they yearn just see their parents, let alone serve them.

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-Aas (RA) related, “Once a person came to the Prophet (SAW) and said he wanted to participate in Jihad. ‘Are your parents alive?’ enquired the Prophet (SAW), ‘Yes’, he replied ‘They are alive.’ The Prophet (SAW) observed: ‘Then strive in their service and bring aid and succour to them.'” (Abu Dawud) We can understand from this Narration the importance serving the Parents has been given, this Companion (RA) was instructed not to go in Jihad and to serve his parents. A possible means of martyrdom was denied to him because the Prophet (SAW) deemed looking after his parents to be more beneficial for him. This illustrates the status that parents hold, thus we should endeavour to serve them whenever we get the opportunity.

Not only will serving our mothers let us enter Paradise but also serving our female relations will earn us copious reward. Abdullah ibn Umar narrated: “A person came to the Prophet (SAW) and said: ‘Messenger of Allah (SAW) I have committed a grave sin. Can my repentance be accepted?’.’Is your mother living?’ asked the Prophet (SAW), ‘No, she is dead,’ he replied, the Prophet enquired: ‘Is there a sister of your mother?’ ,’Yes’, replied the man. ‘A sister of hers is living.’ The Prophet advised; ‘Then treat her kindly and well.'” (Tirmidhi) Here we learn that service to your mother can atone for sins. The Prophet (SAW) first enquired the status of his mother, then he asked about the sister, showing that the mother has more right over her children than her siblings. This Narration shows that through helping our parents and their relations, we can wipe our accounts clean, there is truly no downside to fulfilling our parents’ rights.

It is very important that we keep a good relationship with our uncles and aunties, they are also liked to our parents and if we act kindly to them then our parents will be made happy. We should always assist our relatives as they have a greater right over us than strangers, we are extremely quick to help our friends but when it comes to our family we falter. This is not the Islamic way, we must fulfill the rights of our family and then we can focus helping others.

If our Parents ask us to go against the commandments of Allah then we refuse to do so, however, this does not mean we do not treat them kindly. Allah instructs us  in the Quran: “And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.” (31:14-15) This verse is explicitly stating that even if our parents are not Muslim, we should still act with kindness toward them.

Through treating our parents with the utmost care, and fulfilling their rights even if they are not Muslims, we will be rewarded. They may even accept Islam through witnessing our conduct with them.

Asmaa’ Bint Abi Bakr (RA) related that: “My mother came to visit me one day. At that time she was still a polytheist and there was a pledge between the Prophet (SAW) , and the Quraish (one of the great tribes in Arabia that lived in Mecca in the pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance who used to enjoy great political and financial powers). I requested the Prophet’s (SAW), religious verdict and said: Oh Prophet of Allah (SAW), my mother came to visit me, seeking my help; should I keep a good relationship with her? ‘Yes, keep a good relation with her,’ said the Prophet (SAW).” (Bukhari) (Muslim) Even though the mother of this Companion

It is due to the conduct the Companions (RA) showed to their relatives that so many accepted Islam. Yet, in this day and age, we see that people do not wish to accept Islam because they see the state of the Muslims. It should shame us that the greatest Ummah is in such a pitiful situation, we have left the way of the Prophet (SAW).

Allah give us the ability to fulfill the rights of our parents. Ameen.  

 

Time, Man is at a loss!

By the oath of time!
Verily man is at a loss…
 (103:1-2)

It is a distinguishable feature of the Quran and one of the linguistic features it employs is that Allah only takes oath upon those items which have a certain prominence in the sight of Allah, e.g. the Forenoon, the Night, the Day, the Sun, the Moon, the Olive, and the Sky etc. The word ‘time’ here could mean all the conditions of man, his growth and development, his actions and morality which all take place through the medium of time. Or another possible meaning of this here is the actual passage of time in the essence of the human experience i.e History. And the annals of history are replete with such individuals who were in a state of manifest loss and such individuals are mentioned in the Quran: Pharaoh, Nimrod, Qarun, Haman and the Nations of certain prophet’s such the Nation of Lot (Sodom), of Thamud etc. Who due to their actions, were indeed amongst the ‘losers’ in the afterlife.

The ‘loss’ here is in reference to the ultimate loss in the hereafter. As he says: “Verily the losers are those who put themselves and their families at a loss on the Day of Judgement. Behold! That is the evident loss.” (39:15) It is logical for a person who believes in an afterlife that the greatest loss will be eternal damnation in the fires of hell “Wherein they will dwell forever.” (2:81) This loss is intrinsic with time as the Quran explicitly states that this life is like a business: “be fearful of a day when you shall be returned to Allah, then every person shall be paid, in full, what he has earned, and they shall not be wronged” (2:281) and time is a very precious commodity and only through using it wisely will a person be “paid” In the correct manner.

It should make the reader draw a parallel between himself and businessman, who is constantly in thought as to how he can use time efficiently in order to maximise his profit and minimise his loss. And this theme of life simply being an investment is expounded continuously. He mentions that no “ransom” will be accepted on the Day of Judgement and that this world is only a place to derive “profit”. The people who spend in the path of Allah will be “compensated” in full. Those who have “purchased” this worldly life in exchange of the hereafter have made a foolish transaction. This use of language is to instill the reality into the heart of man, that this life is an opportunity; a business venture.

So why is it that we have involved ourselves in such worthless activities? We do things which give us no benefit and then we use the excuse “we’re killing time.” Know that every moment that you are supposedly killing is a source of regret on the Day of judgement: “Until, when death comes to one of them , he says: “My Lord! Send me back. “So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.” (23:99-100)

We waste countless hours upon social media, embroiling ourselves in matters which do not concern us. We waste precious moments on Youtube watching videos which neither increase our knowledge nor remind us of our Sustainer. We surf the net for items which we don’t need and we research those things which will never affect us. Many of us have fallen prey to procrastination even though the Prophet has said:

“O Allaah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.” (Bukhari 7:158)

If you find that you are indeed dedicating time to futile activities then stop those activities straight away! The sins you are involved in are not counted in this category, as you should not be doing those anyway. However if you are then repent as the Quran mentions Allah to be: “He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful” (2:54) 

timeMay Allah give us the ability to realise the value of time, may he forgive us for all the time we have wasted and may he give us the ability to guard our time so that we are successful on the Day of Reckoning. Ameen.