We all have parents, whether they are with us or not, and many have not understood the severity of their position in our lives and their right to be respected and revered. I want highlight the true position of our parents, may Allah have mercy on them all.
And Allah decreed that we should worship none but Him and that we be dutiful to our parents.
Birr al-waalidayn is a characteristic of the mu’min. Al-Hasan Al-Basree defined it saying, “Al-birr is to obey the parents in everything that they ask so long as it is not to disobey Allah. Uqooq is to disown your parents, denying them all of your goodness.”
To better understand what is meant by birr al-walidayn (kindness to parents), the scholars set the following conditions for one to follow:
One: He should place the pleasure of his parents above the pleasure of anyone else, including himself and his wife and kids – everyone. Two: He should obey them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with his desires or not, so long as they do not command the disobedience of Allah.
Three: He should present them with everything he feels they desire, whether they ask for it or not. He should present it with kindness and mercy, understanding that no matter what he does he will always have some shortcomings in fulfilling the true kindness that his parents deserve.
Allah’s love comes when our parents love us. And Allah’s anger comes when our parents are angry with us.
Let us think about how many of us treat our parents. We shy away from them when they may need something. We never visit if we are away from them. And when an argument ignites between our parents and us, many of us shout at them as if we were arguing with our evilest enemy. May Allah protect us all.
For many of us, our friends are more precious to us than our mother and father. Forgetful we are of the time a man came to the Prophet SAW and asked him who is more worthy of his dear companionship. Prophet SAW – said, “Your mother!” The man asked again and again, and Prophet SAW replied, “Your mother! Your mother!” Until on the fourth time Prophet SAW – said, “Your father.”
Today, when the common question is asked, “Who is your best friend?” How many people would say, “My mother!” But this is how the question should be answered and implemented.
What pleases our parents comes before everything, so long as it is not in disobedience of Allah. The scholars understood this and set the example for us. Haywah bin Shurayh radi Allahu anhu, one of the imam’s of our ummah, used to give classes in front of his home. During the class, his mother would call him to feed the chickens. He would stand up, leave the halaqa, and go feed the chickens. We all want Allah to accept from us; we would all like to enter Paradise. Look down dear umma , and you will find paradise at the feet of your mother.
On the other side, making our parents sad or even making them cry is one of the many ways to earn Allah’s anger. Imam Ahmad narrates, from Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-Aas radi Alllahu anhu: A man came to the Prophet SAW to give him his pledge of allegiance. He said, “I have come to pledge allegiance to you for hijrah and I have left both my parents behind crying.”
The Prophet SAW commanded him, “Go back, and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.”
Shaykh al-Qaasim once said, “Subhan Allah! How can we leave our parents sobbing, tears that the throne of Allah shakes for, tears that unsettle the angels in the heavens, and then we claim that we want to go for jihaad so that Allah will be pleased with us? Go back and make them happy with your visit as you made them sad by your departure. If they laugh and are pleased with you, Allah will be pleased.”
We reap what we plant. In a far away land, a long time ago, a boy was born blind. His widowed mother, the good Muslimah that she was, did not lose hope in her du’a and pray she did, continuously. A few years later, the boy’s sight returned, alhamdulillah. Soon after she realized that her village was not befitting for her son to excel in Islamic education, so with her son in hand they migrated to Makkah. There she saw that he was being instructed in Qur’an and Hadith, the latter becoming the young man’s focus. He went out far and wide collecting Hadith and compiled a Hadith book that sits next to the Qur’an in authenticity forgetting not his mother who had raised him well. His mother named him Muhammad ibn Isma’il, and many of us know him today as Al-Imam Al-Bukhari!
It is the harvest of what we planted. If we do not raise our children to be obedient, where do we expect them to learn? If we do not practice Islam ourselves, who will be our children’s example? How do you teach a child to wake up for Fajr, when he sees his own father and mother sleeping in, day after day? You may ask: how do I raise my children to be good Muslims, obedient to their parents? Consider the following:
Firstly: One should discipline their children throughout their youth.
Secondly: The piety of the father and mother reaches the children.
Let us reflect on the virtue of respecting our parents:
It is one of the greatest things that we can do. In Bukhari and Muslim, from Abdullah ibn Mas’ood radi Allahu anhu, a man asked the Prophet SAW, “What deed is most beloved by Allah?”
The Prophet SAW said, 1.”Salah on time”, 2. “Respecting and revering ones parents” & 3.”Jihaad for the sake of Allah.” – It is a means by which our sins are forgiven. Respecting our parents will lead us to Jannah!
The Prophet SAW said, ” Pray and ask forgiveness for parents.. Fulfill their pledges. Be kind to their friends. And maintain the ties of kinship that come from only their direction .”
Remember as you meet your parents today, the words of Rasulillah SAW, “Fa feehima fa jaahid!” – Do Jihad in (your kind treatment of) your parents.
In this Holy month of Ramadhan, let us all pray and seek forgiveness from Allah SWT and our beloved parents and say Doa for them before iftar.
Ya Allah, forgive us and our parents, and reward them with the finest reward. Ya Allah, elevate their position in the hereafter and this dunya; make that which befalls them an expiation for their sins. Ya Allah, grant them residence in Firdaus, the highest level of Jannah, with the Prophets, the Siddeeqeen, and the Martyrs.