Thursday, 23 November 2017




TOPIC: Towards Children Responsibilities to Their Parents in Islam


Alhamdu lillah was salatu was salaam ala rasulihi al kareem


Children have responsibilities and duties toward their parents in return for the education, expenses, protection and care that their parents gave them from infancy until adolescence and even later.


Responsibility is the state of being legally or morally bound to carry out a duty of care for someone or something. Here, we are referring to our parents.


A Child is a young human being or a son or daughter. Note that this is not really restricted by age – the UN definition of ‘youth’ goes up to forty and we are all someone’s children.


Interestingly, we had no choice in the selection of our parents, nor the time and place of our birth. Everyone must accept these circumstances.


Duties to parents include:

* Showing love and gratitude to them

* Speaking to them with kindness and respect

* Striving to make them happy

* Offering good advice and guidance when needed

* Avoiding angry expression or reaction to what they may say or do

* Overlooking their faults and mistakes

* Refraining from denouncing them by denouncing parents of others

* Obeying and honouring them

* Caring for them in their old age

* Praying for them after their death

* Fulfilling any outstanding obligations of theirs

* Maintaining good relations with their friends


The importance of the status given to parents is shown in the following verse where Allah places kindness to parents directly after worship of Him:


 "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents….Say not to them ‘Oof!’, nor repel them, but address them in honourable terms…and say, ‘My Lord, be merciful to them as they cherished me when small.’" (Q17:23-24)


The significance of the mother and her crucial role in childrearing is attested to in the verse: "We have enjoined on mankind kindness to parents. His mother bore him in pain and gave birth to him in pain. His carrying and his weaning is thirty months….When he reaches forty years of age he says, ‘My Lord, make me grateful for the favour that You have bestowed upon me and upon both my parents, so that I may work righteousness that pleases You; and be gracious to me in my offspring. Truly I have turned to You and truly I am one of the Muslims.’" (Q46:15)


The mother’s hardship, patience and devotion during nine months of gestation, the ordeal of giving birth and breastfeeding her children for two years are the reasons behind the Prophet’s famous reply to the question: "Who has greater right to my good treatment?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother" three times, then "Your father."


A similar prayer for parents is recited by Prophet Solomon: "So he (Sulaiman) smiled, amused at her (ant’s) speech, and he said, ‘O my Lord, make me grateful for the favour that You have bestowed upon me and upon both my parents, so that I may work righteousness that pleases You; and admit me by Your mercy to the ranks of Your righteous servants.’" (Q27:19)


The basic rule of doing good unto others (parents) in order to receive good yourself is found in the hadeeth: "Be good and kind to your parents and your children will be good and kind to you." (Tabrani)


Abu Bakr relates: "Allah may pardon whom He will for his/her sins, except one who was disobedient to parents, for Allah punishes such persons before their death in the world itself." (Baihaqi)


Service to parents is better than jihad: "A man came to Muhammad (pbuh) and asked permission to go to Jihad. The Prophet asked him, ‘Are your parents alive?’ The man said, ‘Yes’. The Prophet responded, ‘Then strive to serve them.’" (Bukhari and Muslim)


It is part of the sadaqa jaria (continuous charity) that children can invoke istighfaar (forgiveness) for their deceased parents. Abu Hurairah relates: "Undoubtedly Allah the Most Glorious elevates the rank of a virtuous slave. The latter says, ‘O Lord, where did I get this rank from?’ Allah says, ‘It is due to the invocation of forgiveness that your children have made for you.’" (Ahmad)


Would you like to ‘prosper and live long’? Then take note of this saying transmitted by Abu Hurairah: "The man who likes there to be prosperity in his livelihood and increase in his age should maintain a good relationship with his relations." (Bukhari)


Anas relates something similar: "The man who likes augmentation in his livelihood and addition to his age should behave well with his parents and live on good terms with the relatives." (Ahmad)


Sahih Muslim records the story of the Christian Saint Jorej (George?) and transmitted by Abu Huraiarah. Jorej repeatedly ignored the calls of his mother while praying so she cursed him by saying: "O Allah! As long as my son does not see the face of a whore, an adulteress, he should not die." Later, a beautiful girl came forward and claimed Jorej had fathered her newborn child. He was assaulted by an angry mob but was redeemed by the infant itself who spoke and revealed the identity of the true father, a local shepherd. This incident was caused by Jorej’s neglect of his mother.


Children have their own share of responsibilities. Kindness to parents was one of the major clauses of the Covenant that Allah made with Bani Isra’eel: "And remember We took a Covenant from the Children of Israel: worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred…." (Q2:83)


There are many hadith from the Prophet (s) regarding children’s responsibility toward their parents. "Shall I not inform you of the biggest of major sins? To join partners with Allah, to be undutiful to one’s parents, and to give a false statement." (Bukhari)


From Surat Luqman (31:13-19) we see that thanking Allah and our parents is a part of wisdom. The son of Luqman, according to Tafseer Abu Sa’ud, was an unbeliever but he dutifully listened to his father’s advice and profited from it by becoming one of the faithful. "Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction, ‘O my dear son! Do not associate anything with Allah, for truly shirk is a great sin.’ And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents; his mother bore him in travail upon travail, and his weaning was in two years. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents. To Me is the goal." (Q31:13-14)


And Jesus himself, as an infant, defined his relationship with his mother (as well as defending her honour): "And He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing nor miserable." (19:32)


Yahya is also described in similar ways in the same surah: "And (he was) kind to his parents, and not overbearing nor rebellious." (Q19:14)