In these modern times, we are gripped with the idea of the nuclear family.
The family in which we have two parents with two children. The present generation with the past- the nurtured and the nurturers.
Once the nurtured have grown into responsible adults, the nurturers are discarded to homes and hospitals, seemingly out of
‘job’ and therefore worth. The job is done, the off spring is grown and the elderly thrown out like paper towels.
Am I being harsh? Maybe I am but for good reason.
Arguably the most heavily mentioned kindness that our Prophet (saw) stressed
was that towards our parents.
Abdullah b’Umar (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said “the pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of your parents and the anger of the Lord is in their anger”.
Lets take a moment to pause and reflect at these great words. The role
and value of parents does grow remote as old age beckons and it is this attitude that Islam wants to shield aging parents
away from. What a foresight!
Allah (swt) always wishes for the best of his servants giving them rights
which were unheard of , maybe to protect them from the harshness of at least their own offspring because no arrow will wound
deeper than the words of a crass child. Allah (swt) has made it clear that there is little forgiveness for the disobedient
child yet there is also a well established hadith that states that as the day of judgement draws near, man will listen more
to his wife than his mother. It is the sign of the times, that man is attaching more importance to his legal family than the
family in which he was born- his natural family. Of course, in an ideal world, there should be no competition between the
two, but the world in which we live is far from perfect.
Imran b. Husayn relates that the Prophet (saw) stated that ‘the gravest sins in the eyes of the Creator were putting other beings on par with Himself and disobeying ones’
How can we understand the magnitude of what has been said here?
Allah (swt) is our creator and it is the gravest of sins to associate anyone
with Him, yet it is made clear that disobeying ones’ parents is on par with that. The most committed Muslims quite rightly
dismiss the idea of disobeying Allah (swt) yet they may not hesitate to disobey their parents, sub-consciously thinking it
does not matter! This attitude must change as it is also stated that the parental curse is always accepted by Allah (swt).
Infact, responsibility towards ones parents does not end with their death- it is a duty upon us as Muslims to ask forgiveness
for parents after their demise, carry out their will, honour their friends and maintain the ties of family.
In a religion where family ties are deemed so important that it is considered
a sin to break them, the relation between child and parent should be considered as paramount. Furthermore, great emphasis
is placed upon maintaining other immediate family ties- not just these essential blood relations.
Anas b. Malik stated that the Prophet (saw) said that ‘anyone who wishes for his means of providing to be increased and for his life to be extended, he should maintain
the ties of relationships’.
Al- Miqdam b. Madikarib states that he heard the great Prophet (saw)
state that ‘we should be kindest to our mothers, then our fathers, then the next closest relative
, then the next and so forth’.
These two hadiths alone establish the importance of relations and maintaining
ones’ ties with them.
Respect and mercy shown to the young and old is of extreme importance
to Muslims. So important that the Messenger of Allah (saw) states that “anyone who neither shows
mercy to the young among us nor respects the old is not one of us”. Put another way, one can not be a true Muslim without sweetness of the tongue towards all.
So, let us take a glance at ourselves! Turn off your computer, walk out
the door and face your parents- do you give them the respect with your words and heart as ascribed by Allah (swt) Himself?
If the answer is ‘Yes’- well done! If the answer is ‘No’ however, it never is too late.
We speak of Allah (swt) in the highest of regards, treat the Quran with
the utmost respect and love our Prophet (saw) unconditionally- the respect and unconditional love is there but should not
just be reserved for the supernatural and the very special. This love should be showered on those heroes who rear, guide and
protect us - our parents who teach us the right path- the path of Allah (swt).
It is stated that paradise is to be found at the feet of our mothers- come
let us find that paradise together.