Praise be to Allah who created man from water, and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriage. He ordained the right of parents, treating them kindly, and made a great reward in that. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. He is the best of all people may Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, his Companions who maintained the truth, his followers and those who have followed them righteously.
We have talked in the previous lessons about the most important rights which are: the right of Allah (may He be Exalted) and the right of the Messenger (peace be upon him). In this lesson, we shall speak —by the will of Allah— about a great and important right which is the right of the parents.
Dear Muslim brother, one of the greatest rights on you is the right of the people who were the cause of your presence in this life, after the estimation of Allah Almighty: the parents. Therefore, Allah (Glory be to Him) mentioned their right after His Right in many Ayahs in the Glorious Qur'an. This is not surprising because a mother has endured the pain of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, the sleepless nights, and tiring days. She carries her baby, which is heavy, all along sitting and standing. She feels sick in the beginning of pregnancy with food and drink and her organs are weakened by the delivery. She starves to satisfy her child, wakes up at night so that her child could sleep, gets tired to rest her child, and leaves much of what she desires lest that her milk may affect her baby. Her heart dances joyfully when her baby laughs. She sees the entire life full of light and beauty while she is seeing her child playing with boys or going to school, however she feels deeply sad if it feels grief or worry, or suffered sickness. Thus, she lives with it, awaiting the crucial days in his life when it succeeds, works, gains his living, marries, and begets children.
The conditions of a father are known; you see him tired, toiled, and exerting efforts and time to get a living for his children. He follows up their growth, raises them up, and awaits the moment when they grow up to be men so that his eyes could rejoice.
Whatever people describe the conditions of the parents, they cannot express them or express what they deserve because of the magnitude of their rights and the highness of their feelings. The best speech I have ever heard about the parent's conditions is the following: The right of one's parents is great and their favors are countless. Ponder over their conditions when you were young and remember the weakness of your childhood. Your mother carried you for nine months in her womb, weakness after weakness. She became pregnant with you against her will and delivered you unwillingly. Your growth in her womb did not increase her but weakness and when she delivered you, she saw death with her own eyes, but when she saw you beside her, she forgot all about her pains and suspended her hopes with you. She saw in you the delight and adornments of life then she was occupied by serving you day and night. She feeds you against her health, your food is made by her, your sleeping place is her lap, your mount is her hands, her chest, and her back. She surrounds and cares for you. She starves to feed you, wakes up at night so that you can sleep; she is merciful and compassionate with you. When she is absent, you call on her, when she turns away from you, you beg her, and when any harm befalls on you, you seek her help. You think that she has all goodness and you think that evil cannot reach you when she holds you between her arms or watches over you.
As for your father, he fears and saves money for you. He tires, toils, and pushes away harms from you. He travels, crosses deserts and wastelands, and bears the risks in search for a livelihood so that he could spend on you and raise you up. When you enter upon him, he would be happy and when you approach him, he smiles. When he goes out, you get attached with him and when he comes back, you embrace him.
These are your parents, and that was your childhood and youth, so why you show ingratitude to them, and why you are rude and tough to them, as if you have an upper hand over them?! End of speech. May Allah bless him.
Dear Muslim brother, this a summary of the conditions of parents with their children, and the religion of Islam is the religion of rendering the trust to those who deserve it and the religion of gratitude and rewarding, and whatever we did to fulfill their rights and to be gratitude to them, we shall not fulfill it. Therefore, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be to Him) mentioned their right after His Right because of its magnitude and greatness. Allah (Glory be to Him) 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 a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Worship Allâh and join none with Him (in worship)." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is the final destination."
Dear Muslim brother, one of the greatest rights of parents is to treat them kindly by good words, actions, and money.
Benevolence by words is to speak to them softly and kindly, using every word that refers to honoring and respect.
Benevolence by actions is to serve them by yourself, by fulfilling their needs, helping them in their affair, facilitating things for them, and obeying them as long as they do not command you with a sin.
Benevolence by money is to give them from your money all they need out of good will. You should be happy when you do that and do not follow it by harm but to give it to them bearing in mind that their favors upon you are much bigger than what you afford. Allah (Glory be to Him) 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 a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. * And lower to 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." * Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance."
Al Bukhari and Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on their souls) reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) "Which action is dearest to Allah?'' He (peace be upon him) replied, "Performing As-Salat (the prayer) at its earliest fixed time.'' I asked, "What is next (in goodness)?'' He (peace be upon him) said, "Kindness towards parents.'' I asked, "What is next (in goodness)?'' He (peace be upon him) said, "To participate in Jihad in the Cause of Allah.''"
Dear Muslim brother, of their rights is to advise them with wisdom, good speech, nice style; invoke Allah to guide them, and being kind to them, no matter how tough they are to you. Let Abraham (peace be upon him) be your model example in treating your parents. Allah (Glory be to Him) says about him: "When he said to his father: "O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? * "O my father! Verily, there has come to me of the knowledge that which came not to you. So follow me, I will guide you to a Straight Path. * "O my father! Worship not Shaitân (Satan). Verily, Shaitân (Satan) has been a rebel against the Most Gracious (Allâh). * "O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious (Allâh) should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitân (Satan) (in the Hell-fire).""
Consider the beautiful style of discourse: (O my father) though he was advising and guiding.
Of their rights also is to seek the forgiveness of Allah to them, invoking Allah to bestow mercy and pardon upon them, admit them to Paradise, and protect them against the Hell of fire whether they are alive or after their death. Imam Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who supplicates for him (for the deceased)."
May Allah bestow mercy on you, try to combine your righteousness and giving in charity in their behalf. Moreover, invoking Allah for them because it is the most useful thing that a person can give to himself as well as to his parents. Furthermore, it is the greatest thing that a person can reward his parents with for the benevolence, education, rearing, care, spending, and good upbringing they have offered him. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: has pledged himself to answer the supplications of callers, He says: "Verily, those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islâmic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!" Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright."
So, do not be stingy with what you can offer and do not withhold what you can do, perhaps a good invocation you say day or night be the cause for your happiness, the happiness of your parents, and your children. Let it be known that Allah (Glory be to Him) is Generous, but rather He is the Most Generous. He is pleased with the invocations of people, with the calls of callers, and with the seeking for forgiveness of the repentant, and He likes that His Servants persist in their supplications.
So, the loser is the one who deprives himself of invocations, therefore, dear Muslim brother, you have to ask your Lord frequently, especially in the times where supplications are answered to ask for your worldly and religious needs.
May Allah make you and me of those who are guided to success, as I ask Him to grant us sincerity in words and actions, to forgive our sins and the sins of our parents, to surpass their faults, raise their grades and degrees, to reward them the best, cure their sick, and show mercy to their dead for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.
And we shall continue our talks in the next lesson in sha' Allah.