Treatment of Parents according to the Noble Qur’an

Although our existence is from Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him), it is our parents who are the means of giving us life.  We are an ...


Although our existence is from Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him), it is our parents who are the means of giving us life.  We are an offshoot of their existence and a fruit of the garden of their unparalleled affection, training, love and sentiments.

When the forgetful human being grows up to become big and strong and comes to acquire a certain credibility (in life), he forgets the period wherein he was weak and lacking in strength.  He disregards the exhaustive efforts of his parents; what ingratitude could be worse than this?

Humanity and ethics demand that we safeguard these two jewels (our mother and father) - by exhibiting goodness towards them while they are alive, and by means of charity and goodly remembrance after their death.

Our lives are an extension of our parent’s lives while our children’s lives are a continuation of ours.  Our good behavior towards our parents and our exhibition of kindness towards them shall cause our children to grow up as grateful and righteous individuals.  They shall behave with us just as we have behaved with our own parents.

Just as it is beyond our means to fulfill the rights of Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) and to thank Him for all His bounties in their entirety, similarly we can never thank our parents sufficiently for their efforts.  The only thing that we can do is to acknowledge our inability and submit ourselves, in humility and reverence, before these two angels.  However, comprehension of their status in the eyes of Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) paves the way to fulfill some of their numerous rights.

The traditions that we shall read in this collection of forty traditions shall serve to make us aware of some of our responsibilities towards our parents.

May Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) grant us the Divine success that we may come be regarded amongst those who have been good towards their parents.

“O’ Allah!  Make us such that we may be grateful for the efforts of our parents.”

“O’ Allah!  Make us successful in bringing forth a generation of pure-hearted, believing, grateful and righteous individuals.”


Chapter 1
Treatment of Parents according to the Noble Qur’an

“And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and that you shall show goodness to your parents.  If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word.”

Noble Qur’an, Surat Bani Isra’il (17) Verse 23

The Ahadith





1 - The Greatest Obligatory Act




The Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) has said: “Goodness towards (one’s) parents is the greatest obligatory act.”



Mizanul Hikmah, Volume 10, Page 709





2 - The Best of Deeds

 

Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “The best deeds are: Salat in its stipulated hour, goodness towards parents and Jihad in the way of Allah.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 85



3 - Attachment to Parents

 

[A person once approached the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) and said: “I have an old father and mother, who due to their attachment towards me, are not keen for me to go to Jihad.”]



[Hearing this], the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) said: “(If such is the case then) Stay with your parents for, by the One in whose control lies my soul,  their attachment of one day and one night to you is better than one year of Jihad.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 82





4 - The Most Beloved Deed




[Ibne `Abbas states:] “I questioned the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family): Which deed is the most beloved in the eyes of Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious?”  He (peace be upon him and his family) replied: “(Offering) prayers at their stipulated times.” I then asked: “Which is the next most beloved deed?” He (peace be upon him and his family) answered: “Goodness towards (one’s) parents.”  I asked him again: “After this which is the most beloved act?”  He (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Jihad in the way of Allah.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 70





5 - Looking at Parents




The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Every righteous child who casts a look of mercy and affection upon his parents shall be granted, for every look of his, rewards equivalent to that of an accepted Hajj.”  Those around the Prophet questioned: “O’ Prophet of Allah!  Even if he were to look at them a hundred times a day?”  The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) replied: “Indeed!  Allah is the Greatest and Most Kind.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 73



6 - The Great Rank of Parents



Imam al-Ridha (peace be upon him) has said: “Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious, has commanded three things with which he has associated three other things. He associated payment of zakat along with prayers such that one who offers prayers, but desists from offering zakat, his prayers are rejected. He associated gratitude to Him with gratitude towards parents such that one who is grateful to Allah, but ungrateful to his parents, will be deemed as ungrateful to Allah.  He associated righteousness with bonds of kinship such that one who is righteous, but has severed relations with his kin, will be deemed as not being righteous.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 77



7 - Kindness to Parents




Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “Goodness towards the parents is an indication of a person’s excellent cognizance of Allah.  This is because there is no worship that can take a person towards the happiness of Allah faster than exhibiting respect towards his Muslim parents for the sake of Allah.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, pg.77





8 - Obedience Towards One’s Parents



 

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “One, who follows the orders of Allah with regards to obeying parents, shall have two doors of Paradise opened up for him.  And if there happens to be only one parent, one door of Paradise shall open up for him.”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 67





9 - The Most Exalted Station




The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has stated: “One who is obedient towards his parents and his Lord shall be accommodated in the most exalted of places on the Day of Judgment.”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 467



10 - Repayment Of Debts

 


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “One who performs Hajj on behalf of his parents and repays their debts shall be raised by Allah on the Day of Judgement amongst the righteous ones.”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 468



11 - Pleasing Parents




The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “One who pleases his parents has verily pleased Allah, and one who has angered his parents has verily angered Allah.”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 470





12 - Sheltered by the ‘Arsh (Throne) of Allah




Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) related: “Once when Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was engaged in a conversation with his Lord, The Mighty, The Glorious, he observed a person beneath the `Arsh (Throne) of Allah, whereupon he (peace be upon him) asked:  O’ My Lord!  Who is this person, who is being sheltered by Your `Arsh?”  Allah replied: “This person had been kind and good towards his parents and never indulged in slandering (them).”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 65

 

13 - Travel and be Good!

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Travel even for two years to do good to your parents.  Journey (even) for one year to establish bonds of kinship (with your relatives).”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 83

 

14 - Increase in Life and Livelihood

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “One who desires a long life and an increase in livelihood should exhibit goodness towards his parents and establish bonds of kinship (with his relatives).”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 475



15 - Benefits of Kindness to Parents

 

[Hanan Ibn Sudair narrates: “We were in the presence of Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) and amidst us was Muyassir.  During the discussion, the topic of silah rahim (establishing bonds of kinship with one’s relatives) came to the fore, whereupon] the Imam (peace be upon him), [addressing Muyassir], said: ‘O’ Muyassir!  On several occasions, your end had drawn near, but on each occasion, Allah delayed your death due to your acts of silah rahim with your relatives.  If you desire to have your life-span increased, exhibit goodness and kindness towards your parents.’”


Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 84


16 - First and Foremost - be Good to your Mother

 

Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) relates that once a person approached the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) and asked: “O’ Prophet of Allah!  Towards whom should I exhibit goodness and kindness?”  The Noble Prophet replied: “Towards your mother.”  The man then asked: “And after that towards whom?”  The Noble Prophet again said: “Your Mother.”  He asked again: “And then?”  Once again, he replied: “Your mother.”  For the fourth time the man asked: “And then?”  This time he said: “(Then towards) Your father.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 49


17 - As You Sow so Shall You Reap!

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “Be good towards your parents and your children will be good towards you.  (And) Look upon the womenfolk of others with purity (in conduct and intention) and your womenfolk will be looked upon with purity.”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 466



18 - The Rights of the Father



Imam ar-Ridha (peace be upon him) narrates that a person once asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family): “What are the rights of the father upon the son?”  The Noble Prophet replied: “He should not call his father by name, he should not walk ahead of him, he should not sit until his father has seated himself and he should not do such acts as a result of which people abuse his father.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 45



19 - Worship in Looking

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “The look of a child towards his parents out of love for them is an act of worship.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 80





20 - Meaning of Good Conduct





Abu Wallad al-Hannat narrates that he once asked Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) about the meaning of the words of Allah (in the Qur’an): (And be good to parents.”)[1]



The Imam (peace be upon him) replied: “Being good to them means to accompany them in a good manner and never to wait for them to ask you for what they need.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 79

 

21 - Responsibilities Towards One’s Parents





Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said (in regards to one’s parents): “Do not cast your gaze upon them except with love and compassion; do not raise your voice above theirs; do not raise your hands above theirs; do not walk ahead of them.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 79  





22 - On Behalf of Parents

 


Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) had said: “What prevents a person from doing good to his parents - whether alive or dead - by offering prayers, giving charity, performing Hajj on behalf of them, (knowing that) the rewards of these acts are also granted to him, in addition to his parents?  Besides, due to his good deeds and prayers (for them), Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious, shall grant him abundant good.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 46





23 - Evil Parents And Kindness




Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) has said: “There are three things which Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious has not permitted anyone to forsake: returning a trust to its owner, irrespective of whether he is a good person or an evil one; fulfilling one’s promises and covenants, irrespective of whether it has been made to a good person or an evil one; being good and kind towards one’s parents, irrespective of whether they are good or evil.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 56





24 - Polytheist Parents




In a letter to Ma`mun, Imam ar-Ridha (peace be upon him) wrote: “To do good to one’s parents is obligatory, even if they are of the polytheists, however, they should not be obeyed in acts that go against the commands of Allah.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 72





25 - Visiting the Graves of Parents




It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Whoever visits the graves of his parents or one of them every Friday, Allah shall forgive his sins and shall regard him to be of those who had been kind to his parents.”



Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 468





26 - Kindness to Parents and Paradise



Imam ar-Ridha (peace be upon him) relates that the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “Be good and kind to your parents so that your recompense is paradise, and if you have been disowned by them, your abode shall be the fire (of Hell).”



Al-Kafi, Volume 2, pg.348




27 - A Stern Look

 


Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “Had Allah known of a thing more trivial and insignificant than the word ‘ugh’, he would have forbidden it (to be spoken to the parents).  Uttering ‘ugh’ (to the parents) is the mildest form of ill conduct towards the parents.  One of the ways in which a person can be regarded as being disowned by the parents is that he casts a hard and stern look upon them.”



Al-Kafi, Volume 4, Page 50





28 - A Hateful Look

 


Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “Allah shall not accept the prayers of a person who looks at his parents with hatred, even if they have been unfair to him!”



Al-Kafi, Volume 4, Page 50





29 - Making the Parents Sad

 


The Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) has said: “One who causes his parents to become sad has indeed been disowned by them.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 64





30 - The Imam’s Displeasure

 



Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) relates: “Once my father saw a person and his son walking together.  As they walked, the son was leaning against the arm of his father.  (This act of the son was so abhorrent and infuriating to my father that) he (peace be upon him) never spoke to him throughout his life.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 64





31 - Quarrelling with One’s Father

 



Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: “There are three individuals that whoever argues with them shall suffer humiliation and disgrace: one’s father; a (just) ruler; and one in debt.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 71





32 - Fragrance of Paradise






The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “Beware of become disowned by your parents, for verily the fragrance of paradise which can be smelt from a distance of a thousand years, shall never reach the nostrils of one who has been disowned by his parents and one who has severed the bonds of kinship (with his relatives).”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 62

33 - No Entry into Paradise!





Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “The person who has been disowned by his parents, one who consumes intoxicants and one who does acts of goodness towards others but imposes obligations upon them shall never enter into Paradise.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 74







34 - Allah Shall Not Exhibit Mercy Upon Them!




The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has stated: “On the Day of Judgment there shall be four groups of people upon whom Allah shall not cast His look of mercy: those who have been disowned by their parents, those who place obligations upon others after doing good to them, those who reject the concept of fate and destiny and the one who consumes intoxicants.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 71



35 - Chastisement in This World





The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has stated: “There are three sins, the punishments of which are hastened and not deferred for the hereafter: disownment by one’s parents, committing oppression upon the people, and ingratitude with respect to kindness.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 74







36 - The Grave Sin




Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “A sin that darkens the skies is being disowned by one’s parents.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 74



37 – Wretchedness





Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has stated: “Becoming disowned by one’s parents is one of the Great Sins.  This is because Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious, has termed such a person disobedient and wretched.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 74





38 – Perdition




Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) relates: “Once, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) approached a youth who was on the verge of dying, and said to him:  “Say ‘There is no God except Allah.’ But the youth’s tongue appeared to be tied and he was unable utter the words. When this took place several times, the Prophet said to a lady standing near the youth’s head: “Does this youth have a mother?”  The lady replied: “Yes, I am his mother.”  The Prophet asked her: “Are you angry with him?”  She confessed: “Yes.  I have not spoken to him for the last six years.”  Hearing this, he said to her: “Be pleased with him.”  She agreed and said: “O’ Prophet of Allah!  For the sake of your pleasure, may Allah be pleased with him.”  (Then, turning to the youth) he said: “Say ‘There is no God, except Allah’).  (This time) the youth was able to recite the words and shortly afterwards, his soul departed his body.”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 75





39 - Acts without Benefits

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “One who has been disowned by his parents is told: ‘Act as you please, for I shall not forgive you.’  Whereas one who is good towards his parents is told, ‘Act as you please.  I will be forgiving towards you.’”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 80





40 - Forgiveness of Sins



Imam Zainul `Abidin (peace be upon him) relates: “Once a person approached the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) and said: ‘O’ Prophet of Allah!  I have committed every known evil act.  Is there a chance that I may be forgiven?’  The Messenger of Allah asked him: ‘Are any of your parents still alive?’  The man replied: ‘My father.’  He said to him: ‘Go and be good and kind to him.’ When he left, the Messenger of Allah muttered: ‘If only his mother had been alive.’”



Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 82


Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’an, Suratul Baqarah (2), Verse 83

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