Channel: Jamal Badawi
The name of God the benevolent the merciful. I greet you with a greeting that is common among Muslims assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you. I'm your host Hummer Rashid. Today we have our 42nd program in our series dealing with the social system of Islam. We'll be discussing the topic of rights of parents. I'm your host, Hamlet Rashid, and I have joined me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University by the tamale. Assalamu Aleikum, Ronnie,
could I get you to quickly summarize and highlight the main points that we touched on on our program last week, okay. Last week, we talked mainly about two major areas. One was a continuation of the discussion of the rights of the husband as they are manifested in day to day life, that's the obligation of the wife towards the husband. And the major part of the program really dealt with the rights of children. And basically, we talked about three major areas of rights. One is the right to life. And we mentioned that that's why Islam prohibits abortion, and female or male infanticide or killing children, for whatever reason.
A second was the right of legitimacy that every person is entitled that there is an inalienable right to have a non lineage, that that Riot is not something that would be given or taken away or masked, or confused, that this is another basic right for any child assert the major one was the right for proper and adequate care, which includes everything from joy and happiness when the child is born.
The celebration, preferably in the seventh, or 14th, or 21st, day,
some acts of charity, the right of the child for suckling, or natural nursing,
the right for maintenance, right of proper education, including, of course, special education, a special guidance, and also that I have
just an equitable treatment, if one has more than one child, and the warning in Islam of not favoring male against female or the reverse that every child should be treated equitably.
Now, moving into a discussion of our topic today in terms of rights of parents,
what does the Koran say about one's relationship to his or her parents, when the kindness and good treatment of parents is mentioned in the Quran, second only to the Supreme value in Islam, and that is the worship of God. So immediately after the worship of God comes kindness to parents. You find that for example, in verse 36, in chapter four in the Quran, you find it in chapter six, verse 151, you find it in chapter two, verse 83, in all of these places in the Quran, it says worship god alone, and then immediately it says, and be kind or good to parents.
In fact, in one place in the Quran, kindness and good treatment of parents, comes as a decree or a command from God. This is a beautiful passage in the Quran, which says, and the Arabic wakaba book Allah tabula Yahoo, Dania, Santa, and on and the English translation says, Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him. See what kind of comes after. And that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life. say not to them our of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor, and out of kindness, lower to them the Wink of humility, notice the expression I'll comment on that the Wink of humility, and say, My Lord, bestow on them by
Mercy, even as they changed me in childhood. This two beautiful verses
that require some explanation or some commentary on them.
First, it says don't tell them any word of content. The original word in the Quran in Arabic says don't say to them often, which is not even just contempt and expression of what impatience, lack of respect even the word of
no one should not say to them.
Secondly, when it diversifies, lower to them the Wink of humility. This is a beautiful metaphor, because it reminds us with birds with lowering their wings for their youngsters, or their offsprings out of tenderness and gentleness.
A third remark, and these verses is that they remind us with what parents suffered for us,
in our own childhood, to bring us when we were all weak, totally dependent on them, and at times utterly helpless.
So the the question of, of kindness here in the Quran to parents, is placed as a very
praiseworthy act. In fact, in, for example, in chapter 19, in the Quran, which takes its name from Mary, the mother of Jesus peace be upon him, Chapter 19.
in more than one place, it described as one of the great characteristics of great prophets is kindness to mother. It mentioned that about Yeshua, or john the baptist in verse 14, and about Jesus peace be upon him in verse 32. In both cases, it says that one of their main,
good characters or traits was that they were kind and compassionate to their, to their parents. And they adults one point before you get to your next question, is that in addition to this broad commandments,
directive, to be kind to both parents. The Quran also singled out the mothers for extra kindness and affection. And particularly in chapter 46, in verse 15, where it says one should be kind to both parents, but it says also, his mother, brought him in difficulty, upon difficulty,
not to turn to
the person of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. What was his attitude on this, this matter of rights of parents, his attitude was the translation of the Quranic teachings, really, and molded by the Quran in what he said really, or did was simply an elaboration or
explanation in real terms of what the Quran is referring to.
Let me give you a few conditions. There are plenty of these but I'll give you a few of them. In one of his saying, as narrated in Bukhari Muslim at tirmidhi, and NSA that's in four different collections of prophetic tradition.
He was asked a question, and somebody said, what kind of deeds are best in the sight of God? He said, First, to keep your daily prayers on time. That's one.
Number two, to be good and kind to your parents. Number three, Jihad are struggled in the past of God. So he puts kindness to parents. In between prayer, which is the most important religious duty for the Muslim and self sacrifice, or struggle in the path of God.
In another beautiful thing also, which was narrated in a dilemma in his book, Muslim alpha dose.
The Prophet was quoted as saying that allowed him to try the day, that is the servant of God who is obedient to his parents, and also obedient to the Lord of the Universe, is in the highest of high that is in the highest of high in paradise.
In other saying of the Prophet, he equated kindness to parents with one of the great values in Islam, jihad or struggle in the path of God. And I had this for example, narrated in October, Ronnie, a man came to the prophet and he said, I really would like to struggle and sacrifice myself for the sake of truth, but I can't, I'm not able to.
So the Prophet asked him.
Is there any of your parents alive? He said, Yes, my mother. He said, All right. Go and be good, too harsh. And you will get the reward of those who do pilgrimage and fight in the face of God. So it's almost the same kind of novel, struggle to be kind to parents. And a similar, saying, also, a person came to him and said, I'd like to sacrifice myself I'd like to struggle and offer something he said, Is your mother
Life, said yes, he said, All right, keep close to her feet. That's, that's where Paradise is. Of course, that's a nice metaphor here, that of humility and humbleness that keep serving her as if you're just at her feet. Because this would lead you to paradise and this is consistent with the saying of the profit that you caught it in several programs in the past and beautiful one, Paradise is underneath the feets of of mothers.
In another saying of the Prophet, he showed that the obedience or pleasures that one can bring happiness to parents, is like pleasing God. For example, in
tirmidhi collection, the prophet said that the pleasure of God is derived or comes from the pleasures of parents. And the anger and wrath of God comes from the anger of parents that if you please them, you're pleasing God, if you displace them, you're actually displacing God. And not only this, we find in other saying of the Prophet T ties between kindness to parents, and deserving forgiveness of God, as the sayings narrated in utter mizzi and hakam and Eben have been in the collection by the prophet connected between kindness to parents and having some blessing in one's own life.
In another saying he indicated that among the people whose prayers is accepted by God is not rejected.
The among these categories are the prayers of parents, that when parents make earnest prayers, for or against the child, against the child, if he's really cruel to them, or for him, if he is nice to them, that God will accept the prayers we find this narrated in athamas, a Buddha would utter misery and if the magic collection
finally may have I just add one more point that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, draws our attention to the fact that the reward for being kind to parents may not even have to wait until the day of judgment that you could get the consequences in our own lives. In a saying narrated in October, Ronnie, he said,
be kind and good to your parents. So that God may make your own children good to you. That is good to you, when you grow old,
and be chaste, your women also will be chaste as well. So there is there's plenty of this and even with this extensive you know quotation from Hadith I'm not even cutting everything that the Prophet said, by way of goodness depends on our in these quotations that you've made the extensive quotations from the Quran, and from the prophetic traditions, repeated references made to being good parents. Could you perhaps explain for the benefit of our viewers that what this involves? What does what does the goodness translated into specific actions mean? Okay, I had some difficulty translating from Arabic to English here. Actually, the original word that appears in many of these
quotations, actually, is in Arabic better. If you transliterate that would be like bi RR.
We loosely use the term being good, which is one aspects really, of better. There is no single word really that
expressed the meaning of the Arabic term bearish in one word, but you can say that the word bearish means more than just even being good or kindness. It's a term which denotes righteousness or what is right what is good. It denotes kindness, compassion, reverence, respect, obedience. These are all patient patients. These are all aspects in various angles really, of the broader term, which is more inclusive term really better
than it includes them the question of mercy, or compassion. In fact, in one saying of the Prophet, as narrated in alibi, happy two sayings, and by hockey, the same reference, one of them it says that if you look compassionately to your parents, you will get the reward as if you went for pilgrimage.
And the opposite is true. And another thing it says that if you look at your parents a sharp look, or you know, bad look, that this is not
of the application of better or goodness, that's not part of goodness, you're deviating from goodness, if you do that, it includes then respect, veneration and
which includes not to raise your voice in that presence, as narrated by the prophet through the prophets.
Words, quoted in it no matter that you don't raise your voice in their presence.
includes also showing them compassion, love.
And the best example we find in this is what was narrated on the behavior of the Prophet and his daughter Fatima, as narrated in a Buddha would unnecessary and it's admitting that whenever Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet came, he stood up, to welcome her, to kiss her, and sit her in his place. But she was doing also are acting as a good daughters within the Islamic teachings, whenever the Prophet also came to her, she stood up, kissed him, and, you know, seated him in his place. This is again, not just being kindnesses of providing what they want, but also an actual love and treatment. It includes also as well, maintenance for parents if they are old or in need. Well, now,
on this question of maintenance, a number of questions are triggered, what is the circumstances under which one must provide for his parents? Is there a limit
to this obligation is the nature of the obligation immoral, or Lego are both one, to start with, the conditions for being responsible for the maintenance of one's own parent are basically, three, first, that the parents would be destitute that they would not have enough
for their basic needs. Secondly, that they are not able to earn a living because of age or disability or whatever other reason. And the third, that the son was obliged to provide for this maintenance is able to that is he's got enough to provide for himself and his family as well as for his parents. And what determines ability is not that he, he's got all the luxuries, and then whatever remains goes to his parents, actually, some tourist said that he would have enough if he had more than his basic needs for one day and one night that he has enough food for a day and night and there is some extra beyond that, and his parents are in need, then he is regarded as able to
look after them.
As well as your second question. The limits are what the this kind of maintenance really entail or includes what it includes everything that's needed, basic needs, at least food, lodging, clothing, General comfort for the parents, some jurist, the majority actually even add that you have to look after their own dependents. You know, if there are dependents, for example, like orphans, who are living with those parents, you're also responsible for their own dependents as well. Your last question was on what the it's a legal or moral obligation? Or both? what the answer is that it is both of them. In fact,
one person came to the Prophet peace be upon him. And that was narrated, if no magic, and he said my father wants to take from my money. And the prophets answer was betrayed. He says, Anton, I look at it. He said, You and your property belongs to your father. It didn't mean of course, that he doesn't have any property. But he meant that you shouldn't really be so stingy with your parents who sacrificed for you all of their lives, that you you and your property actually should be in the service
of your parents.
Some jurist, the majority of them, in fact, say that the same entitlement which is both moral and legal, that is, it could be enforced legally, under a standard law, if you're neglecting your duty to your parents. They said that this even applies to not only parents, but grandparents, if they are living, because they are in the same status also, as parents
are now if the parents are not Muslim, are they still entitled to the same display of support we just discussed what they are entitled both for good treatment as well as support. assignment is you know, similar problems actually has arisen during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Again, for some people embraced Islam, while
mothers or fathers or both remain non Muslims. And
there is a famous story about a companion of the Prophet by the name of Sadiq, nabee waqqas
that Pharaoh embraced Islam and he was very convinced
his mother's threatened him. Almost blackmailed him, she said, All right.
I'll fast I'll abstain from any food and drink until I die.
Unless you reject Islam, you know, and go back to the old ways.
And if I do If this happens, everybody would consider you as responsible for my death, which was regarded as something very bad among the Arabs, of course, you'd have guilt for the rest of his life.
That fellow sad was really, very,
very compliant with the truth. He didn't really accept that. And after almost a day and night when she stopped eating, and drinking altogether, he went on and said, Mom,
if you have 100 souls, and each one of them is going after the other in front of me, I will never reject God again, I will never deviate from the path of truth. Once she learned of his determination, she simply, you know, went back on her word, and she started accepting the new situation. And it is mentioned that by some jurors that as a result of this, the one verse was revealed in the Quran, in chapter 31, verse 15, which gives some kind of directive in this respect.
It says, That's verse 14, and 15, we have enjoined on men means mankind, generic term, to be good to his parents,
in difficulty, upon difficulty, did his mother bear him?
And in ears twin was his meaning.
He, here's the comment, show gratitude to me, that's to God and to your parents, to me, is your final goal. And then it goes on the question, pathetic, too sad.
But if they, that is your parents, strive to make you join in worship with me, things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not yet, bear them company in this life with justice and consideration, and follow the way of those who return to me in love. In the end, the return of you all is to me, and I will tell you the truth and meaning of what all you did. So in that particular
passage in the Quran, there are a couple of major points that one has to remember in an answer to that question. First of all, that obedience to parents in general, is required. But if that obedience comes into conflict with obedience to God, then obedience to God comes first. And this applies to all kinds of relationship whether rulers husbands, wives, you name it, bosses, that obedience of God supersede obedience to any human being.
In fact, the Quran in many places, blames those who keep following the footsteps of their parents and reject the truth simply because it sounds to them unfamiliar or uncustomary, that this is no excuse, you have to use your mind and spirit also that God has endowed you.
It is related to a basic principle in Islam, that that of individual responsibility before God in the Day of Judgment, in one conclusive passage in the Quran, in chapter 31, verse 33, when it said that, it stuck with a Baku Moksha woman, you should hear God's and be aware of a day where no father can avail of his son anything, nor can his son aware of his father. So ultimately, we have to stand our responsibility before God I could not reject the truth, simply because my parents do not approve of it, because I'd be
punished for that. The Quran also many times refers that the to blindly follow things that one has simply been customary following that does not necessarily mean that this is the right thing to do.
The other thing that this passage in the Quran seem to indicate is that even if parents try to divert the individual from the path of truth,
even though you're not required to obey them, you're required still to treat them in kindness as diversity. Well, Sadhu, Macedonian ALLAH forgive them good company, Justin compassionate company in this life, so long as of course, they're not trying by force to prevent you from obeying God. In fact, there's one interesting story that happened in the lifetime of the Prophet a snap, the daughter of Abu Bakr, a famous Companion of the Prophet, peace be upon him, came to the prophet and she and she said to me, my mother came to me hoping that I would be of some help to her to help her and support her, but she's still not a Muslim yet. What should they do? And the Prophet said,
you should be still
to heart, provide every head to heart. And then he recited a verse in the Quran, which say that God does not prohibit you to be kind, equitable and just and compassionate to those that is those non Muslims, who are not fighting you to suppress your faith, or driving you out of your homes or helping other people to drive you out of your hands, that those people should be treated in compassion and kindness, especially if they work.
Well, now what about the circumstance where perhaps the parents aren't very compassionate and don't treat you very well? Are you still entitled? Are they still entitled to receive the treatment from you? Are you expected to
be fair to them?
Well, again, really, it's the interesting thing that when you study the history of Islam, especially the period, the prophetic period, and the kinds of questions that were directed to him, you will find that, amazingly, the questions raised are very common questions, the same question that many of us raised today. That's why it's much better to go back to this and look for some guidance. Actually, there was a similar incident also to this. The Prophet was sitting with his companions. And then he said, Whoever
wakes up or whoever is
obeying God, by being compassionate to his parents, God will open two doors to paradise for him. And if had only one parent, God will open one door to paradise. Of course, you need only one door to get into paradise. But that's of course third besides the mean, and whoever
end his day, displeasing God because He displeases his parents, God will open doors for him to get into the hellfire. And if he has only one parent, God would open one door to the hellfire.
What that's understood. But the The interesting thing is that some person sitting there, he said, Oh, Prophet, even if his parents are unfair, and unjust to him, he said, even if they are unfair, even if they are unfinished, even if they are unfair, he repeated it three times what in the llama, even in that case, a person still should be kind to them. This thing was narrated in unhackme. And by happy one should add to this also that one has to keep in mind the what happened when people get a bit older. I'm not saying that the parents start becoming unfair when he's old. I mean, it could happen at any time. But when the parents are old,
they grow feeble, feeble in their health, in terms of physical health, mental capacity also, this may cause them to be a little bit impatient, over sensitive. He sometimes even having poor judgment and unacceptable behavior even. We're not saying here that one should listen to his parents, no matter how ridiculous thing they are asking. We have indicated already that anything that is obeys God should be disregarded. But what we're saying simply that one should keep in mind or be cognizant of this fact. And that to the best possible extent he should try his best or her best to be kind and to obey the parents and reasonable things. Because the opposite of that is called a coup or being
rebellion against parents which is very strongly condemned and various prophetic tradition. In one tradition in Bukhari and Muslim and tirmidhi. It says that, among the greatest sense, is rebellion against parents, and that put it in the same category like murder for example, and authority, it's regard disobedience and rebellion against parents without Of course good cause as something which may cause the person to be cursed, inanimate and and the say it could prevent the person from entering into paradise in October, Ronnie, it may be a cause for rejection of one's good deeds that is not accepted by God. But even the worst of all, as narrated in Albert hockey that the Prophet
indicated that if a person beats
his parents, he would be among those who would be among the first to enter into the hellfire. There is a very strong warning against this abuse or mistreatment of parents.
Well, I think we've given a signal that our time for today's program is, is gone. We want to invite you back. Next week, we'll continue our discussion on the social system of Islam. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you