AHYA.ORG Authentic Islamic Resources and Information
Main Sections
Home
Articles
Books
Downloads
Lectures
Glossary
CONTACT US
Feedback
FEATURES

Urdu Books / Lectures
As-Sunnah Newsletter
A Critical Analysis of the Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis
COMMUNITY
Message Board
SUBSCRIBE
Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Click For Printer Friendly Page  Printer Friendly Page

And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents - [Al-Quraan] [Feature Article]

When they reach old age and depend upon you, it is your duty to attend to their needs and please and comfort them.

“And your Lord has decreed (commanded) that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents...” [Soorah al-Isra (17): 23]

“The Lord is pleased with the pleasing of the parents, and the Lord is angry with him who angers the parents.” [Saheeh al-Jamee (3500) ]

So, take advantage of the opportunity to serve your parents before it is too late when you look at the chair that your mother or father used to recline in or the bed they used to sleep on but do not see them nor hear their affectionate voices…


“And We have enjoined on man
to be good and dutiful to his parents”
[Soorah al-Ankaboot (29): 8]

From As-Sunnah Bi-Monthly Islamic Newsletter (Issue no: 22)

By Shawana Abdul Aziz and contributions by Br. Faizal Rakhangi

References: Audio lectures by Allama Ehsan Ilahi Zaheer (rahimahullah), Informative answers given by Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Riyaadh as-Saliheen by Imam An-Nawawi, Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Kindness to Parents by Abdul Malik al-Qasim and others.

"He who is pleased to have his provision increased and his lifetime extended, then let him keep relations with kith and kin." [Saheeh al-Bukharee] One who is benevolent and compassionate towards one's relatives, stands to gain at least two definite advantages in this world besides the reward in the next. These two advantages are the increase in his subsistence and longevity of life.
Increase in subsistence mean that Allah will increase the quantity of his worldly goods or his means of subsistence will be blessed by Him. Similar is the case of longevity of life. The life of such noble person is either actually increased (in terms of years) or his life is graced with the Blessings of Allah. Both interpretations are correct. [See, Riyad-us-Saliheen]

Parents are a blessing from Allah, the Exalted, but their presence is often taken for granted and their rights, neglected especially when they grow old and become dependant on their children. Talking harshly and rudely to parents and showing discomfort on their requests have become a norm. Whereas Islam teaches obedience and kindness to parents, fulfilling their right, preserving their honor and warns against neglecting the rights of parents. Allah says: "… fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (and do not cut of the relations of) the wombs (kinship)…" [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 1]

Narrated Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu), Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"Allah created all the creatures and when He finished the task of His creation, Ar-Raham (the womb ties of relationship) said: '(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of relationship).' Allah said: 'Yes. Are you satisfied that I should hold with him who holds you and sever connection with him who severs you.' It said: 'I am satisfied.' Allah said: 'This is yours.'" Then Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Recite the verse if you like, 'Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are whom Allah has cursed..." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abdullah Ibn Amr (radhi allahu anhu) that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"The womb will be placed on the Day of Resurrection, curved like a spinning wheel, speaking with an eloquent fluent tongue, calling to severing whoever had severed it, and joining whoever had joined it." [Musnad Ahmad (2: 189)]

These Ahadeeth stress the importance of proper treatment with relatives for this is a special means of attaining the nearness and the Mercy of Allah. A conduct contrary to it - neglecting the rights of the relatives is a cause of displeasure and Wrath of Allah. Thus, upholding family ties is obligatory and more so when it is a relation of the womb. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned against bad behavior towards parents, when he said:
"Three acts will render one's deeds useless; associating others with Allah, Uquq towards parents and fleeing from the battle." [At-Tabarani]

Al-Hasan al-Basri said: "Birr towards parents entails obeying their orders, except when what they order in disobedience of Allah. In contrast, Uquq entails neglecting parents and withholding one's kindness from them." [Ad-Durr al-Manthut, vol.5, p.259]

Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) 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 who he or she is dutiful). Furthermore, if one makes one of his parents angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until his parents forgive him." He was asked: "Even if they were unjust to their child?" He said: "Even if they were unjust." [Al-Baihaqee]

He, who fulfills the duties of his parents, has thus chosen a path to Paradise and he who neglects his duties towards his parents is truly deprived from a great opportunity to enter Paradise because obeying and honoring one's parents is a means of entering Paradise. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-salaam) said:
"May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced." It was said, "Who, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "The person whose parents, one or both of them, reach old age during his lifetime but he does not enter Paradise (by rendering due services to them)." [Saheeh Muslim (4627)] Service of parents is essential at every stage of their life; whether they are young or old. But this Hadeeth mentions their old age for the reason that in that period of their life they stand in greater need of care and service. It is a very callous offense to leave them at the mercy of circumstances when they are old, senile and depend on others for their needs. To neglect them at that stage is a major sin. Abu Bakrah Nufai Ibn al-Harith narrated, Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the major sins?" Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) asked this question thrice. We said: "Please, O Allah's Messenger.' He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "To join partners with Allah in worship and; to be undutiful to one's parents."…" [Agreed upon]

One can certainly find sufficient time to take care of his parents, attend to their needs, respect them, talk to them, support them financially and emotionally, and rear his children to love them and be around them. The time spent with the parents is pleasant, listening to their stories, conversing to them about family affairs, asking for their advice, loving them and showing them affection and pleasure. How can this be considered difficult or burdensome, when the parents are the dearest person to one's heart, the shelter that he resorts to when he is sad and depressed.

Islam does not command obedience only to the believing parents, but also encourages upholding the ties of kinship with disbelieving parents. Narrated Asma' bint Abi Bakr, "My mother came to visit me at the time of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and she was a mushrikah (disbeliever). I consulted the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying, 'My mother has come to visit me for some purpose, should I uphold ties of kinship with my mother?' He said,
'Yes, uphold ties of kinship with your mother.'" [Saheeh al-Bukharee (2477)]

Such is because no child can pay back the hardships borne by his parents in raising him. Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) saw a man carrying his mother going around the Kabah in Tawaf (circumambulation) and he asked Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu): "Have I fulfilled my duty towards her?" Ibn Umar replied: "Not even for one contraction! However, you have done good and Allah will reward you tremendously for the little that you could do." [Al-Kabair, p.42]

Also, Zurah Ibn Ibraheem said that a man came to Umar (radhi allahu anhu) 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 away from her (out of respect). Have I fulfilled my duty towards her?" Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "No." The man said: "Even though I carry her on my back and exert myself in her service." Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "She used to do the same for you (when you were young) while hoping that you will live, as for you - you wait when she will go away (die)." [Birr-ul-Walidain, by Ibn Jawzi]

Respecting and obeying the parents is a way of showing gratitude to them. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) said: "There are three verses that are tied to three things, and they are inseparable." He mentioned among them the verse,
"…give thanks to Me and to your parents." [Soorah Luqman (31): 14] And he commented: "Whoever thanked Allah, but did not appreciate his parents, then (his thanking Allah) would not be accepted from him. This is why the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: 'The Lord is pleased with the pleasing of the parents, and the Lord is angry with him who angers the parents.'" [Saheeh al-Jamee (3500) and Silsilah as-Saheehah (516)]

The importance of honoring and serving one's parents is also known from the verses of Soorah Luqman, where Allah mentions the advice of Luqman to his son. He advices his son with kindness and good behavior to the parents next to Tawheed (worshiping Allah alone), he said as Allah mentions in the Qur'aan:
"And (remember) when We took a covenant from the children of Israel, saying: 'Worship none but Allah (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents and to kindred, and to orphans and al-Masakin (the poor)." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 83]

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) commented on the meaning of this verse, "Allah has commanded the Children of Israel to worship Him Alone and shun associating anyone or anything in His worship. This He has commanded all His creation, as well, and this is why He created them. Verily, the highest and greatest right, is Allah's Right that none except Him is worshipped. After that comes the rights of creation, especially and most important, right of parents. For instance, Allah said:
"Give thanks to Me and to your parents." [Soorah Luqman (31): 14] [Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn Katheer (vol.1, p.30)]

In the Qur'aan, Allah usually mentions the rights of parents along with His Right and mentioning being dutiful to parents along with worshipping Allah Alone emphasizes the rights of parents and the significance of Birr (being dutiful) towards them.
"And your Lord has decreed (commanded) that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents..." [Soorah al-Isra (17): 23]

Allah has placed rewards and blessings for the parents in their tiresome efforts of striving hard to support and rear their offspring. Similarly, Allah has placed rewards and blessings for the children for helping, serving and bringing pleasure and comfort to their parents. Kab Ibn Ujrah narrated: "A man passed by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and the Companions were amazed at his eagerness and vigor (for seeking his means of livelihood). They said: 'O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! Might that this vitality be spend in Allah's Cause.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"If he went out to earn what he supports his young children with, then he is in the Cause of Allah. If he went out to support two elderly parents, then he is in the Cause of Allah. If he went out to support himself and preserve his honor (refrain from begging people, etc.), then he is in the Cause of Allah. If he went out for the purpose of showing-off and pride, then he is in the cause of Shaytaan." [At-Tabarani]

Allah has also praised the Prophets, especially Prophet Yahya (John) (alaihi as-salaam) because he was kind to his parents in their old age. Surely, kindness in time of need is greater than at other times, and there is a great need that occurs and arises in old age and a tremendous weakness that it brings:
"and (Prophet Yahya was) dutiful to his parents and he was neither arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah or to his parents)." [Soorah Maryam (19): 14]

Further, Allah praised Eesa (alaihi as-salaam) because he was dedicated to serving his mother, as well as, being merciful to her. He mentioned this fact himself, when he said:
"And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblessed." [Soorah Maryam (19): 32] So, being obedient and serving the parents is from the characteristics of the Prophets.

When children dedicate sufficient time to the service of their parents, obey them and fulfill their duty towards them, especially the mother, they will earn Allah's Pleasure and enter Paradise.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) climbed up on the Minbar and then said: 'Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.' It was said: "O Messenger of Allah, why did you say Ameen?" He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Jibreel came to me and said: 'O Muhammad, he is doomed who hears you mention and does not say, Peace upon you.' He said, 'Say, Ameen.' So I said Ameen. Then he said: 'He is doomed who sees the month of Ramadaan come and go, and he has not been forgiven.' He said: 'Say, Ameen.' So, I said Ameen. Then he said: 'He is doomed, who grows up and both his parents or one of them are still alive, and they do not cause him to enter Paradise." He said: 'Say, Ameen." So I said Ameen." [Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi (5: 550)]

The Mother is More Deserving of Honor and Respect Than the Father
The mother carries the child for nine months in weakness upon weakness, bears the difficulties of pregnancy, gives birth, feeds the child and dedicates herself to his service, protecting, clothing, cleaning, etc. It is for this reason that the mother is more deserving of honor and respect than the father and more deserving of kindness, service and obedience as small compensation for her care and efforts as being three time what the father deserves. Narrated Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu): "A man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, who among the people is most deserving of my good companionship?' He said, 'Your mother.' He asked, 'Then whom?' He said, 'Your mother.' He asked, 'Then whom?' He said, 'Your mother.' He asked, 'Then whom?' He said, 'Then your father.'" [Saheeh Bukharee (4/13) and Saheeh Muslim (2548)]

Al-Hafidh ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) said: "Ibn Battal said what this means is that the mother should be honored three times more than the father. He said that is because of the difficulties of pregnancy, then giving birth, then breast-feeding. These are hardships that are experienced only by the mother, then the father shares with her in raising the child. This is also referred to in the verse:
"And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years, give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination." [Soorah Luqmaan (31): 14] This Hadeeth also implies that in cases where her husband is poor and not able to spend on her, then the son has to spend on his mother and she will be given precedence over the father."

Kindness to parents also includes the way one walks along with them, as demonstrated by this story; Abu Ghassan Adh-Dhabbi went out walking in front of his father in al-Madinah and Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) caught up with him and asked him: "Who is that man walking behind you?" He said: "My father." Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) said: "You have missed correctness and contradicted the Sunnah. Do not walk in front of your father, only behind him or to his right and do not let any one separate between you and him (while walking). Do not take a bone that has meat on it, which your father looked at, for he might have wanted it. Do not look straight at you father, do not sit until he sits and do not sleep until he goes to sleep." [At-Tabaranee]

Different Kinds of Uquq towards Parents
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned against Uquq towards parents, when he said: "Three acts will render one's deeds useless; associating others with Allah, Uquq towards parents and fleeing from the battle." [At-Tabarani]

Al-Hasan al-Basri said: "Birr towards parents entails obeying their orders, except when what they order in disobedience of Allah. In contrast, Uquq entails neglecting parents and withholding one's kindness from them." [Ad-Durr al-Manthut, vol.5, p.259]

1. Causing grief and sadness to parents because of a statement or an action: Allah says: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them Uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: 'My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.'" [Soorah al-Isra (17): 23]

Ad-Daylami narrated that Al-Husain Ibn Ali (radhi allahi anhuma) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Has there been an act of Uquq, less than saying Uff (Fie), Allah would have disallowed it as well."

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-Aas (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that a man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to give him the pledge of allegiance, saying, 'I have come to give you my Bai'ah to perform Hijrah (migration to al-Medina). However, I left behind my parents while they were crying." The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"Then go back and make them laugh as you made them cry." [Musnad Ahmad] Furthermore, Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "Bringing tears to parents is a part of Uquq and a major sin." [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

2. Insulting or Cursing one's Parents or somebody else's Parents: Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has cursed him, who insults parents, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Curse be upon whoever reviles his father, curse be upon whoever reviles his mother, Curse be upon on whoever slaughters for other than Allah, Curse be on whoever misguides a blind person on the street, Curse be on whoever does what the nation of Loot did." [Saheeh al-Jamee (5767)]

And he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also reported to have said:
"From the major sins is a man reviling his parents." We (Sahabah) said, "O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and how does a man revile his parents?" He said: "Yes, reviling a man's father is reviling your father, and reviling his mother is reviling your mother." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

And in another narration, Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied:
"He abuses the father of somebody who, in return, abuses the former's; he then abuses the mother of somebody who, in return, abuses his mother." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] We learn from this Hadeeth that one should not abuse anyone's parents, because in the event, he is paid in the same coin and he will be responsible for disgracing his own parents.

3. Practicing Evil in front of Parents: One should not practice evil in front of parents, such as abandoning prayers, smoking, listening to music, watching indecent movies and other types of immoral acts. These acts anger the parents when Allah has even disallowed even saying Uff to them. If the parents agree with these acts of their child out of love for him, then the parents will earn evil deeds. The child will be committing evil for luring his parents to it, leading them to sin.

4. Disowning and Abandoning Parent: Anas al-Juhani said that his father narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah has slaves 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." [Musnad Ahmad]

Refraining from spending on poor parents, forcing them in some cases to resort to courts so that the judge compels the children to spend on them is also a form of Uquq. One should remember that he and all his wealth belong to his father, as in known from the following Hadeeth. A man said to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that he had wealth and children, but his father wanted to use some of his wealth. The Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied:
"You and your wealth are your father's." [Ibn Majah]

5. Preferring the wife over the parents is also part of Uquq and it has certainly become widespread in the present time. And this becomes even worse in the case where one prefers his undutiful wife who tries her best to turn her husband away from his father and mother.

6. Refraining from visiting the parents often and not keeping regular contacts with them are also a type of Uquq. Al-Bukharee and Muslim narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Allah created all the creatures and when he finished the task of His creation, Ar-Raham (the womb ties of relationship) said: '(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (sever the ties of relationship).' Allah said: 'Yes. Are you satisfied that I should hold with him who holds you and sever connection with him who severs you.' It said: 'I am satisfied.' Allah said: 'This is yours.' Then Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Recite the verse if you like, 'Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are whom Allah has cursed..." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

There is no obedience to anybody while disobeying Allah
A general rule of Islam implies that there is no obedience to any creature when it involves disobedience (or sinning) to Allah, the Exalted. Obedience to other than Allah is only allowed in matters of ones likes and dislikes. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "He who complies with the command of a master, a leader or a ruler in disobedience and defiance of Allah is an unbeliever and a Mushrik (he who associates partners with Allah). There shall be no obedience to a creature of Allah when it would involve disobeying or displeasing Allah." [Saheeh Muslim, Book Imarah, p.1469] He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said: "Obedience is only in what is good." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (Eng. trans. 9/193/259) and Saheeh Muslim (Eng. trans. 3 / 1022/no.4535)] And: "Hearing and obeying is (binding) upon the Muslim in what he likes or dislikes, so long as he is not ordered to sin. If he is ordered with sin, then there is no hearing and no obeying." [Agreed upon]

Similarly, obedience to parents is only obligatory in matters that are permitted by Allah, the Exalted and as Allah says:
"And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly." [Soorah Luqman (31):15] Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) writes in the Tafseer of the above verse: "means, if they try hard to make you follow them in their (false) religion, then do not accept that from them, but do not let that stop you from behaving towards them with respect."

Allah also said in Soorah Al-Ankabut,
"And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents, but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do." [Soorah Al-Ankabut (29): 8]

An excellent example of the above (first) verse is found in the narration of Sa'd Ibn Malik, who said: "This verse [(31):15] was revealed concerning me. I was a man who honored his mother, but when I became a Muslim, she said: 'O Sa'd! What is this new thing I see you doing? Leave this religion of yours, or I will not eat or drink until I die, and people will say: 'Shame on you, for what you have done to me and they will say that you have killed your mother.' I said, 'Do not do that, O mother, for I will not give up this religion of mine for anything.' She stayed without eating for one day and one night, and she became exhausted; then she stayed for another day and night without eating, and she became utterly exhausted. When I saw that, I said: 'O mother, by Allah, even if you had one hundred souls and they were to depart one by one, I would not give up this religion of mine for anything, so if you want to, eat, and if you want to, do not eat.' So she ate." [Mentioned by Ibn Al-Athir in Usd al-Ghabah 2: 216]

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: "Abu Bakr said in his book, Zad-ul-Musafir, 'Whosoever made his parents angry and brought tears to them is required to go back and make them laugh.' This indicates that it is necessary to obey parents with regards to permissible thing and whatever they command should be avoided, if all this brings their benefit and does not harm their child, including ending travel plans and staying with them if they wished that.'

What is Birr towards Parents after Death?
Death brings end to one's ability to perform good deeds and it is a long journey that requires enough provisions and only three qualities can make this journey easier. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "When a man dies all his good deeds end, except for three cases; the charity of continuous blessings, beneficial knowledge that he left behind and a righteous child who prays for him." [Saheeh Muslim (vol. 3, p.867, no. 4005)]

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) explained how a child can benefit his parents after their death. Narrated Abu Usayd Malik ibn Rabiah as-Saidi: "While we were with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), a man of Banu Salmah came to him and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, is there any kindness left that I can do to my parents after their death?' He replied:
"Yes, there are four qualities to perform, 1. Pray (to Allah to grant them mercy) and invoke (Him) for forgiveness for them, 2. Fulfill their promises (or will), 3. Be generous to their friends, 4. Keep relations with the kindred, which you are kindred through your parents. This is what remains of the kindness that you could perform towards them after they die." [Sunan of Abu-Dawood (5123)]

Note: The last wishes (wasiyah or will) expressed by the person should be fulfilled so long as they are in accordance with the Sharee'ah.

Innovative practices in the Religion will not benefit the Deceased
Islam has given us clear guidelines about all acts which benefit the dead. However, we do not find a mention of ceremonies like recitation of the Noble Qur'aan on the third, seventh, fortieth day after the person's death. It is important to understand that Allah alone knows what benefits the dead and He has explained those means to us through His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) did not perform Qur'aan ceremonies for the Muslims or even family members who died during his lifetime, such as his daughters who died during his lifetime, neither did the Sahabah perform it. Therefore, we should limit our actions within the limits defined by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Performing acts which are not legislated by Allah do not bring about reward; rather they can become a means of punishment!

Performing Hajj on behalf of the Dead: Another form of worship known from the Sunnah that can be performed on behalf of the dead is Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj can only be performed on behalf of the dead after completing one's obligation of performing Hajj. It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) heard a man saying "Labbayka 'an Shubrumah (At your service, O Allah, on behalf of Shubrumah)." The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) asked: "Who is Shubrumah?" He said, "A relative of mine." The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, "Have you ever done Hajj before?" He replied: "No." Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) ordered him, "Do this Hajj for yourself, then do Hajj on behalf of Shubrumah." [Abu Dawood (1811). The hadeeth is classed as Saheeh by Shaikh al-Albanee in Irwaa' al-Ghaleel (4/171)]

Charity on behalf of the Deceased Parents: Charity given on behalf of the deceased will benefit them and its reward will reach him, according to the consensus of the Muslims. Abu Hurayrah narrated that a man said to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): "My father has died and left behind wealth, and he did not make a will. Will it be expiation for him if I give in charity on his behalf?" He said, "Yes." [Saheeh Muslim (1630)]

Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anha) also narrated that a man said to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): "My mother died suddenly and I think that if she could have spoken she would have given in charity [i.e., left instructions that some of her estate be given in charity]. Will I have a reward if I spend in charity on her behalf?" He said,
"Yes." [Saheeh Muslim (1004)]

Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) said: "This Hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to give in charity on behalf of the deceased and that doing so is Mustahabb (recommended), and that the reward for that will reach the deceased and benefit him or her; it will also benefit the one who gives the charity. There is consensus on all of that among the Muslims."

Duties of the Child towards his dead Parents

1) Making up their obligatory fasts: Aa'isha (radhi allahu anha) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Whoever dies and had any fasts outstanding, his heir should observe those fasts on his behalf." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (1851) and Saheeh Muslim (1147)]

A woman came to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) asking: "My mother has died and she had one month's fasting outstanding." He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, "Do you not think that if she was in debt, you would pay it off for her?" She said, "Yes" He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "The debt owed to Allah is more deserving of being paid off." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (1817) and Saheeh Muslim (1148)]

2) Fulfilling their vows of worship and Paying off their debts: It was reported from Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) that a woman from Juhaynah came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: "My mother vowed to go for Hajj, but she did not go for Hajj before she died. Should I do Hajj on her behalf?" He said, "Yes, do Hajj on her behalf. Do you not think that if your mother was in debt you would pay it off for her? Pay off the debt that is owed to Allah, for Allah is more deserving that what is owed to Him should be paid off." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (1754)]

3) Maintaining ties with those whom they used to keep in touch with from relatives and friends. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "The best of righteous deeds is for a man to keep in touch with his father's friends after he dies." [Saheeh Muslim (2552)]

When Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) set out to Makkah, he kept a donkey with him to ride when he would get tired from riding of the camel, and had a turban which he tied around his head. One day, as he was riding the donkey, a bedouin happened to pass by him. He (Abdullah Ibn Umar) said: "Aren't you so and so?" The bedouin said: "Yes." He (Abdullah Ibn Umar) gave him the donkey and his turban and said: "Ride this donkey, and tie this turban around your head." Some of his companions said: "May Allah forgive you, you gave to this bedouin the donkey which you enjoyed to ride for change, and the turban which you tied around your head." Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying,
"The finest act of goodness is the kind treatment of a person to the loved ones of his father after his death," and the father of this person was a friend of Umar (radhi allahu anhu)." [Saheeh Muslim]

Duaa you can perform for your Parents

"My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small."
[Soorah al-Isra (17): 24]


"My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, and disbelievers, etc.) grant You no increase but destruction!" [Soorah al-Jinn (72): 28]

"And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them Uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: 'My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.'" [Soorah al-Isra (17): 23]

"In this verse, Allah specifically mentioned rearing or bringing up, so that children remember the tremendous kindness and care their parents had while rearing them, might that they feel pity and kindness towards their parents. We should mention that Allah has disallowed invoking Him for forgiveness for dead disbelievers. Therefore, if the parents of a Muslim were Christians or Jews, he or she must deal with them in the manner that Allah ordained except invoking Him for mercy for them if they died while still disbelievers." [Ahkam-ul-Quraan by al-Jassas, vol.2, p. 236]

Fatawa concerning the Parent-Child Relationship

To what extent do parents have the right to choose their child's life partner

Question: To what extent do parents have the right to choose their child's life partner? What if they force their children to get married to someone in the family… Does the child have the right to oppose to the choice that the parents make for him/her?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. The basic principle is that one of the conditions of marriage is the consent of both parties, because of the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) which says that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "A virgin cannot be married until her consent has been sought and a previously-married woman cannot be married until she has been consulted." They said, "O Messenger of Allah, what is her consent?" He said, "If she remains silent." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (5136)]

Consent is essential in the case of the husband, and also in the case of the wife. The parents have no right to force their son or their daughter to marry someone they do not want.

But if the person whom the parents have chosen is righteous, then the child, whether male or female, should obey the parents in that, because the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "If there comes to you one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry (your daughter) to him." [At-Tirmidhee (1084) Ibn Majah (1967). Classed as Hasan by al-Albanee in Saheeh al-Tirmidhee (865)]

But if obeying them will lead to divorce later on, then the child does not have to obey them in that, because consent is the foundation of the marital relationship, and this consent must be in accordance with Sharee'ah, which is approval of the one who is religiously committed and of good character. Shaikh Dr. Khaalid al-Mushayqih

A child is not considered to be disobedient or sinful if he does not obey his parents in this regard. Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: "The parents do not have the right to force their child to marry someone whom he does not want, and if he refuses he is not being disobedient towards them, as is the case when he does not eat what he does not want." [Al-Ikhtiyaraat (344)]

Parents' permission for Obligatory and Voluntary Acts of Worship

Question: Can a person go for Hajj without his parents' permission, and will his Hajj be valid? Can he go out to seek knowledge? Will they be sinners if they stop him?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. They can stop him from going for a voluntary Hajj, and they will not be sinners if they do that. But they do not have the right to stop him from going for the obligatory Hajj, and they will be sinners of they stop him. If he goes for (obligatory) Hajj without their permission, his Hajj will be valid regardless - even though he would be a sinner if he went for a voluntary Hajj without their permission. He also has the right to travel to seek knowledge without their permission.

From Fatawa al-Imaam al-Nawawi, p. 94.

Repentance from disobedience done to Parents after their death

Question: If a person was disobedient towards his parents, and they died angry with him, how can he put things right so that they will not ask him to put it right in the Hereafter?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. There is no way to stop them asking him to put things right in the Hereafter, but now that he has felt regret for what he did, he should make lots of Dua (supplication); for them and ask Allah to forgive them, give charity on their behalf if he can, honor their friends, etc, whom they loved, uphold their ties of kinship, pay off their debts and do whatever else he can.

From Fatawa al-Imaam al-Nawawi, p. 96.

Dealing with Non-Muslim Parents

Question: We are both reverts and have often felt that our acceptance of the religion has played some part in her (my wife's) mother's negative attitude. I would be grateful if you could advise us on what we might possibly do to rectify this situation.

Answer: Praise be to Allah. The reaction of non-muslim mothers towards their children's acceptance of Islam varies. Some mothers are peaceful and passive considering this as a personal matter which does not affect the relationship between the mother and her son or daughter. In such cases more piety by the child towards his or her mother will make the mother admire and respect Islam.

Other mothers adopts a more stubborn approach at the beginning but the mother finally gives in and accepts the new religion as a fact of life after she sees the child's determination and persistence which could lead the mother herself to embrace Islam.

In the third case, we find that some mothers are constantly stubborn to the extent that she might hurt and oppress her son or daughter. Usually, such mothers are blindly prejudice because they consider that her son or daughter has gone astray by leaving the faith of his fathers and ancestors and she must do something to help go back to the right path (according to the mother).

The following are three stories that took place at the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that involved three of the Sahabah which illustrates the reactions of their mothers after they embraced Islam:

Story no. 1: On the authority of Asma' Bint Abi Bakr she said "My mother came to visit me one day. At that time she was still a polytheist and there was a pledge between the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and Quraysh (one of the great tribes in Arabia that lived in al-Makkah in the pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance who used to enjoy great spiritual and financial powers). I requested the Prophet's (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) religious verdict and said: 'Oh Prophet of Allah! 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. [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim (1003)]

Story no. 2: On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, who said: I used to call my mother to Islam when she was still a polytheist. One day, while I was calling her she mentioned something about the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that I detested. So I went to see the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), while crying and told him: 'I used to call my mother to Islam and she would refuse. I called her today and she mentioned something about you that I detested. Please invoke the blessings and guidance of Allah on her. Then the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: 'O Great Allah guide the mother of Abu Hurayrah. So I left full of hope because of the Prophet's supplication for my mother. When I reached home, I found that the door was partially closed. My mother heard my footsteps and said: Stay still Abu Hurayrah, then I heard the water running." He added, 'My mother performed body ablution, put on her cloths and hurriedly opened the door without her head-cover and said: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is the Messenger of Allah". I went back to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) crying of joy and told him: 'I am bringing you good news. Allah answered your prayers and guided the mother of Abu Hurayrah. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) praised and glorified Allah and said: 'This is good.' I said: 'Oh Messenger of Allah, pray to Allah to make me and my mother beloved by Allah's believing slaves and make us love them.' The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: 'Oh Allah, make this little slave of Yours and his mother (meaning Abu Hurayrah and his mother) become beloved by your believing slaves and make the believers love them. Ever since, there was not a believer who heard of me, even without seeing me, that did not love me." [Saheeh Muslim (2491)]

Story no. 3: On the authority of Saa'd (Ibn Abi Waqas radhi allahu anhu) who said that verses of the Qur'aan revealed his story. He said Um Saa'd (his mother) swore not to talk to him ever nor eat or drink until he renounces Islam. She said: 'You claim that Allah commanded you to obey your parents. I am your mother and I order you to do this (to renounce Islam).' He said: 'She stayed with nothing to eat or drink for three days until she fainted because of strain. Then one of her other sons named Umarah gave her water to drink. And she started to imprecate against Saa'd, then Allah revealed this verse in the Qur'aan, which translates to the meaning of, "And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents; but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do." [Soorah al-Ankaboot] [Saheeh Muslim (1748)]

Also, Allah revealed another verse in the Qur'aan, which translates to:
"But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that if which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do."

Based on the above stories one can determine how to deal with a non believing mother and can draw the following significant conclusions:

1. The importance of good presentation of Islam to the non believing mother and to try to kindly persuade her and to strive to convince her as Abu Hurayrah did.

2. Continue to do good to the non believing mother and to remember that her disbelief does not justify disobedience by the son or daughter and that doing her good does not contradict with your innocence of her as a non believer, on the contrary as it is stated in verse 31:15 above, Allah has commanded us to treat the non believing parents kindly even if they strive to make their child a polytheist because of their rights as parents hoping that they will embrace Islam.

3. Continue to sincerely pray and supplicate for the non believing mother hoping that Allah may guide her, as evident in Abu Hurayrah's story.

4. The divine guidance of Allah may come after continuous strive by the child and strong objection of the mother as in Abu Hurayrah's story, therefore the son should never surrender or give up but should continue to pray and supplicate for the non believing mother.

5. Regardless of how hard does the non believing mother strive to make the son renounce Islam, and the pressure she will exercise against her son such as refusing to eat or invoking upon him , the son should never surrender or give in nor should he retrocede away from the righteous path as one of the Sahabah said to his non believing mother in a similar situation: "If you had one hundred souls and it all left your body one after the other I will never give up my religion (Islam)."
It seems that the mother in question deliberately oppresses her daughter through estrangement which makes her emotional torn but that should never weaken the Muslim or shake his faith and belief in his religion. There is no objection to make the non believing mother understand that you are not going to retrocede, however she (the mother) can kindly ask for anything and she will be immediately answered to it except for giving up this religion.

We ask Allah to quickly guide her to the righteous path and give you patience to call her to Islam and lead you to the righteous and correct way.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
www.islam-qa.com

Cultivating the Characteristic of Obedience to Parents in Your Children
The Mercy and affection that the parents have for their children does not need explanation; as soon as one becomes a parent, his or her mercy, affection, kindness, care, dedication, and love towards hischildren begins. However, one's loving and caring for his or her children should not direct him or her to disregard Allah's Right or to be lenient with children where they should be firm. Allah has warned parents against the trial that their offspring represent for them: "Your wealth and your children are only a trial." [Soorah at-Taghabun (64): 15]

Once Khalifah Hisham Ibn Abdul-Malik did not see his son among those attending the Friday prayer and questioned him about it, and his son replied that his mule could not carry him. Hisham said to him: "But you could have walked." Hisham forbade his son from riding a camel for a year, during which he had to walk to the Friday prayer." [Al-Bidaya wa-Nihayah, vol. 9, p. 396]

Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was told that his son bought a ring for a thousand dirhams, he wrote to him: "I was told that you bought a ring that costs a thousand dirhams. So when you receive this letter, sell the ring and fill a thousand stomachs (with food bought) with that money. Then buy a ring for two dirhams that has a core of iron and have the following words scripted on it, 'May Allah grant His Mercy to he who knows the limits of his own self.' [Madarij as-Salikin, vol.2, p.345]

This is how our ancestors trained their children to fulfill their Islamic duties and responsibilities. They used to follow their children and walk besides them, teaching, advising, directing and righteously rearing them. This is why their children were the comfort of their eyes, the relief of the hearts and the essence and core of the Muslim Ummah.

So, each of us is required to teach our children righteousness, teach them Allah's set limits, and warn them against the ways that lead to the displeasure of Allah. The parents should themselves also implement all what they desire to teach their children; for the child follows in the footsteps of the parents. When Malik Ibn Dinar saw a man pray improperly, he said: "I feel pity for his children!" He was asked: "He does not pray properly and you feel pity for his children?" Malik said: "He is their chief (or teacher) and they learn from him!" [Sifatus Safwah, vol.3, p.287]

This demonstrates the pivot role parents play in building the character of their children. If the parents are righteous and they teach righteousness and discipline to their children, this will influence the child's behavior to treat his parents with kindness in the future. So, if you are unkind and disobedient to your parents, you may receive the same treatment from your children in your old age. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"Allah defers (the punishment of) all sins to the Day of Resurrection except disobedience to parents, for which Allah punishes the sinner in this life before his death." [Reported by al-Hakim, on the authority of sound transmitters] Similarly, if a person honors his parents, this may bring him good in this world through his children honoring and serving him in his old age for Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is reported to have said: "If a young man honors an older person on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to show reverence to him in his old age." [At-Tirmidhee]


Conclusion - Important lessons:

1. Obedience to parents, serving and caring for them in their old age is obligatory on the child, just as the parents brought him up with love and care in his childhood, irrespective of whether the parents are believers or unbeliever

2. Disobeying and neglecting the right of parents is incurring the Wrath of Allah and uttering words of disrespect to them is a major sin.

3. The child should prefer the pleasure of his parents over his own pleasure and the pleasure of his wife, children and all people except the Prophet.

4. The child should obey his or her parents in all what they order him or her to do or not to do, even when what they demand is not suitable in their children's opinion, unless they command to disobey Allah, the Exalted.

5. The child should willingly and with a good heart grant his parents what he thinks they like or prefer even before they ask for it, all the while feeling and admitting that he has not reached perfection in fulfilling the tremendous rights on him.

We should remember that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"There are three types of supplications that will not be rejected (by Allah); the supplication of the parent with regard to his offspring, the supplication of a fasting person, and the supplication of a traveler." [Saheeh al-Jamee, no.3029] So, if obedience and kindness to our parents only brings their invoking Allah, it will be worthy and sufficient of directing us to eternal happiness, Insha'Allah.

The above is only a reminder and advice to all those who possess wisdom and sound comprehension to realize the blessing of having parents, people who for years attended to your needs, hunger, thirst, illness, happiness, comfort and pleaser. When they reach old age and depend upon you, it is your duty to attend to their needs and pleasure and comfort them.
"The Lord is pleased with the pleasing of the parents, and the Lord is angry with him who angers the parents." [Saheeh al-Jamee (3500) ] So, take advantage of the opportunity to serve your parents before it is too late when you look at the chair that your mother or father used to recline in or the bed they used to sleep on but do not see them nor hear their affectionate voices…

The Role of the Parent: "Parents should help their children in being kind to them, by refraining from requiring from their children what they cannot bear and not insist on things when their children are bored (or tired) for fear that they might disobey them and thus earn the Fire." [Tanbihul-Ghafilin, p.98]

  

[ Back to Family and Parenting | Sections Index ]




AHYA.ORG - Authentic Islamic Resources and Information
eXTReMe Tracker