2017 Competition Article

As a reciter of the Qur’an, you will have come across many verses with regards to the importance of one’s parents; the need to speak to them well, to treat them with dignity and respect and to show them mercy, just as they showed mercy to you when you were completely dependent on them in your infant years. We can never fully repay the debt we owe to our parents, reflected in the Hadith of Abdullah bin ‘Umar when he saw a Yemeni man performing Tawaaf whilst carrying his mother on his back. The man said to Abdullah bin ‘Umar, “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, Oh Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah bin Umar replied, “No, not even one contraction!”1 Our ultimate debt of gratitude and servitude is to the Creator of ourselves and the Creator of our parents; Allah, glorious and exalted is He. To affirm the existence and Oneness of Him is needed to bring one into the fold of Islam and to set up partnership with Him is the greatest sin. It is Allah’s wisdom that He has often paired the enjoinment of worshiping Him with that of doing good and being kind to one’s parents. Allah says, {Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him; and show kindness to your parents….} 4:36 وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

Our ultimate dependence is solely on Allah, but in terms of our dependence in this world, there is nothing that comes close to the fragility and vulnerability of when you were a suckling baby. It was only through the mercy of your mother that you survived those early experiences, being tended to night and day, without asking anything in return. This intense mercy is God-given and the anatomical difference the woman has to the man, i.e. of the womb (rahim), has been said by Allah to have been ‘derived’ from His name the most Merciful (Al-Rahmaan). The beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, used the example of the mother’s love and mercy for her child to illustrate Allah’s mercy towards His servant2 and it is for this reason, among many, that the mother has been given so many rights over her child. A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Your mother”. The man said, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your mother”. The man further asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your mother”. The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said,” Your father”3.

Of course, the children also have rights over their parents, and unfortunately shortcomings in good upbringing of children can have lasting effects, both on the individual as well as the society at whole. ‘Perfect parents’ are few and far between (if they exist at all), but Allah and His Messenger call upon us to ‘keep ties’, the most important being with your parents and your immediate family members. If one’s parents were present in our early lives, we should be thankful to Allah, and despite any shortcomings parents may have towards the child, the child is to struggle patiently with them and treat and respect them as they would want to be respected, possibly by their own children, in later life. {Your Lord has decreed you worship none but Him, and that you show kindness to your two parents. If either or both of them attain old age with you, (show no sign of impatience, and) do not (even) say “fie!” to them nor rebuke them, but speak kind words to them. And lower unto them of mercy the wing of humility and say “Lord, be merciful to them both, just as they cared for me when I was small”} 17:23.

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا . وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

In the UK and across the world, the elderly are often neglected and Islam has much to offer and teach mankind about the treatment of older people and parents and attendees at the Qur’an competition should strive to be at the forefront of good examples in this area.

We are all children. We should take this moment to reflect upon improving our support and kindness towards our parents and if our parents have passed to the next world, to be their perpetuating charity (sadaqah jaariya), by making dua’ for them. Abdullah bin Amr reported that a man came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, to give him allegiance during the time of the emigration and he had left his parents weeping. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said to him, “Go back to them and make them laugh as you have made them weep”4. The love from a parent to a child is unrivalled from the ‘worldly loves’ and we ask Allah that we are the cause of our parents’ happiness and that if we have made them weep, that we return to them to make them laugh.

Footnotes

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhari

In a Hadith narrated by Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to his companions upon seeing a mother embracing her child after having lost him, “Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?”, they replied “No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said, “Allah is more merciful to His servants than this woman is to her child”. Agreed upon.

Bukhari and Muslim

Bukhari

Q. In the Quranic verse included in the article, Allah says ‘do not (even) say “fie!” To them…. How would you respond to someone who says that as long as you don’t say ‘fie!’ (Uff in Arabic) to your parents, you can say whatever you want as Allah only specified that one word?

Q. The Yemeni man in the hadith of Abdullah bin Umar in the article carried his mum on his back when doing tawaaf. If you were to take your mum on hajj, what kind of things could you do to support her through this difficult journey?

Q. In a hadith not mentioned in the article, the Prophet (peace be upon him) tells us that ‘heaven (janna) lies at the feet of the mother’…. What do you think this means?

Q. With regards to the hadith in which the Prophet mentions the mother’s right 3 times before mentioning the father; what are your thoughts on the reasons for such an honour to the mother above the father?

Q. Often, Islam is portrayed wrongly as being oppressive to women. How would you use the hadiths in the article to communicate Islam’s position on the lofty station of the mother to someone who is of this wrong opinion?

Entering a Qur'an Competition is a big step and you should feel happy that you have memorised some of the Qur'an and In Shaa Allah you will receive blessings for this. The Qur'an also teaches us many important things and one of these is how we should treat our parent's.

Whether you are 1 or 100 years old, Allah will be very pleased if you are good to your parents. Being good to your mum and dad is one of the best good deeds that makes Allah happy. Remember that angels write down everything we do, including all our good and bad deeds. So, if you help tidy the house, smile at your mum when she comes in from work or get your dad a cold drink on a hot day - these will all be written down as good deeds by the angels!

If you think about ALL the things that our parents have done for us, such as clothe and feed us, teach and help us, and give us lots of love and hugs. Especially our mothers, they looked after us when we were babies! To show we are thankful for all these things we should be kind and caring to them in return.

A person came to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and asked, "Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?" He (ﷺ) said, "Your mother". He again asked, ''Who next?" "Your mother", the Prophet (ﷺ) replied again. He asked, "Who next?" He (the Prophet (ﷺ)) said again, "Your mother." He again asked, "Then who?" Thereupon he (ﷺ) said," Then your father.". This shows how important our mothers are to us!

Q. Why should we be good to parents?
Q. Can you tell me 3 ways you can be good to your parents today?