Sunday, November 3, 2013

A series of advices for believing women: Parents

~**Dealing with parents**~


Our parents. We love them, they love us- at least this is the case for most people. We share a mutual relationship with our parents. When we say parents nowadays in the western context, it almost seems like a business partnership and in most cases we fail to realize who it is we are arguing with or yelling at.

The status of parents has almost become diminished in our societies and the media has a great portion to do with it. So, who are our parents? Why have we lost so much respect for the two who brought us into this world and why have we failed to please them?

My sister in Islam, have you forgotten the high status Allah azza wa jall has granted our parents over others? Why do we treat our friends and companions more graciously than our parents?
We must know that Allah azza wa jall has not mentioned the order of tawheed or to worship Him alone in the Quran except that He immediately followed it with being dutiful to one's parents. Allah azza wa jall says,

"Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship) and do good to parents.." [Surah Al Nisaa':36]

Thus, being dutiful to one's parents is of the greatest deeds in Islam and comes with great reward. The Messenger of Allah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) was asked, "Which of the deeds is loved most by Allah?" He replied, "Salah at its fixed time."and then he was asked, "What next?" He replied, "Kindness to parents..."[Al Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Mas'ud hadeeth]

On the contrary, being 'aaq or disobedient and rude to one's parents is the from the four greatest major sins in Islam. The four greatest major sins have been reported to us in the following hadeeth:

Abu Bakrah ibn al Haarith (ra) narrated, The Messenger of Allah (sws) said, "Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the major sins?"The Messenger of Allah asked this question thrice! We said, "Yes O Messenger of Allah!" He said, "Al Shirku billah (ascribing partners to Allah in His worship), to be undutiful to one's parents." The Messenger of Allah sat up from his reclining position and said, "And I warn you against giving forged statement and a false testimony; I warn you against giving forged statement and a false testimony." The Messenger of Allah kept repeating that warning till we wished he would stop." [Al Bukhari and Muslim]

Therefore my dear sisters the issue is certainly not a light one. Allah in His infinite mercy knows the pain and emotions of the mother and the hardwork and stress both parents go through to work for and raise righteous children. How then do we repay them by being selfish and rude children.
 Allah has even taught us how to talk to our parents in His noble book.

We should not say the word "uff" or anything close to that. In our times, many teens tend to say similar words like "ugh,pfff, sheesh.." This may seem like it means nothing but to a parent, especially the mother, this word carries a lot of hurtful images and meaning. Let's turn to Allah in forgiveness everyday after our five daily prayers and sunnah/nafl prayers and ask for His forgiveness for the shortcomings we fall into that we may or may not be aware of.

Remember, if you forget something , there is always one who has not forgotten. We can never pay our parents back for the suffering and trouble they went through to raise us especially in such environments as ours. The least we can do is make duaa for them in our sujood and ask Allah to have mercy on them and to give them jannah. This is a lot. In fact making dua for one's parents is from the qualities of the early righteous.

Look at Ibraahim (AS). His father was Aazaar, the idol-worshipper who made it his custom to make and design the village idols. Ibraahim knew his father was on the wrong path and he clearly understand that it was incumbent on him to advice his father. Why? Because Allah tells us to save ourselves and  families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones!

In Surat Maryam, we are shown the etiquettes of approaching one's parents when one or either of them are indulged in wrong actions. Ibraahim approached his father in the most respectful way, yet he was given back the most harsh and offending reply an obedient child could bear. And yet after all the advice and da'wah to his parent, Ibraahim (AS) for a long time continued to make duaa for Him that Allah forgives him and guides him until Allah azza wa jall finally forbade him from doing so.

What would he say? Our father, Al Khaleel would supplicate to His lord, "And forgive my father, He is indeed among those who are lost." [Surah Shuara:86]

Just pay attention to the wording of the dua! If Ibraahim wanted, he could have cursed his father for rejecting Allah and mocking him! He could have made dua to Allah that Allah gives him a miraculous guidance to Islam. Instead he chose such beautiful dua of forgiveness for a man who clearly disowned him for choosing the right path.

So whenever we fall into a confrontation with our parents knowing that they are actually wrong, we should still contain ourselves and put ourselves in Ibraahim's shoes. We should avoid raising our voice at our parents, we should stay silent and let them finish what they have to say, and only then do we say our take. We should also never forget the power of dua!

Allah tells us many times in the Quran to call onto Him and to supplicate. We are even told that those who do not supplicate to Allah often are stingy and have a kind of arrogance. This is because as a human being, we are weak and not enough for ourselves. The one who created us is the only one who can relieve us of our distress and pain. So, why not call to Him and make duaa?!

Have we forgotten that Allah is the changer of the hearts, the hearts are in his hands an He (azza wa jall) turns them as He pleases. We should follow in the footsteps of the best of creation (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam ) who would supplicate often, "Ya Muqallibal quloob thabbit qalbi 'ala deenik" meaning, "O turner of the hearts! Keep my heart firm on your religion." What an amazing, profounding dua. We should use this dua for ourselves and for our parents. If you are having a hard time convincing your parents of something, just make wudhu, pray 2 rak'ah salah and make dua to Allah in the middle of the night, when all are asleep and it is just you and Allah. Take that time to plead to Him and to ask Him for forgiveness and then for your needs. We should not be shy of Allah! This is what Allah wants from us. He wants us to cry and complain to Him as a child would to his mother.

We ask Allah to make us dutiful to our parents and to allow us to do that which pleases Him first and foremost. And peace and blessings upon the final Messenger.