Appreciating parents

Islam legislates that Muslims should appreciate the virtue and rights of creation who grant them favors, especially and foremost the mother Who endures hardships after hardships and strives hard in the service and rearing of her children. Also, the father strives hard to rear his children, filling their life with love and care, spending on them and supporting them financially and emotionally. Moreover, admitting to the favors one receives is made more perfect by striving hard to return the favor in kind. In contrast, one’s ignorance in and neglect of the rights of those who grant him favors, are some of the worst characteristics there are, especially the case if one adds to it returning the favor with evil.

Abu AI-Laith said:

“If the offspring becomes righteous and his or her parents teach him or her religious knowledge and the Qur’an, they will collect as much rewards as that the offspring collects, without decreasing from the rewards of the offspring. Consequently, if parents do not teach their offspring the Qur’an and instead teach him or her the way of sin, the parents will collect as much sin as that collected by the offspring without decreasing the offspring’s evil burden.”

Indeed, Allah has sternly warned against neglecting rearing the children righteously, when He said:

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones.” (Surah At-Tahreem, 66:6)

Furthermore, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) indicated that one’s children will dispute with him on the Day of Resurrection if the parent had neglected teaching and rearing them righteously. For instance, the Prophet said:

“All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care. The Imam (i.e. ruler) is the guardian of his subjects and is responsible for them and a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for them.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“He who reads the Qur’an and adheres by it, then his parents will be granted crowns to wear on the Day of Resurrection; the light of these crowns is brighter than the sun’s light in the houses of this world! What do you think then of those wearing the crowns?”

Further, and as we mentioned before, the parents should invoke Allah for their children and strive hard to be a good example for them:

“And those who say: ‘Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun (the pious).'” (Surah Al-Furqan, 25:74)

For instance, ‘Umar bin Abdul-Aziz has set a good example for his son and for all Muslims after him.

When he was told that a son of his bought a ring for a thousand dirhams, he wrote to him:

”I was told that you bought a ring that cost a thousand dirhams. So when you receive this letter, sell the ring and fill a thousand stomachs (with food bought) with that money. Then buy a ring for two dirhams that has a core of iron and have the following words in scripted on it, ‘May Allah grant His Mercy to he who knows the limits of his own self.’”

Another aspect of righteous parenting, is that Allah will protect one’s children after he or she dies, if they were brought up to be good Muslims and servants of Allah. Abu Hazim Salamah bin Dinar passed by Abu Ja’far AI-Madini, who was sad at the time, and asked him:

“Why are you sad? But if you wish; I would tell you why.” Abu Ja’far said, “Tell me why.” Abu Hazim said, “Have you thought about what would happen to your children after you?’; Abu Ja’far said, “Yes.”  Abu Hazim said, “Do not do that, for if they are Auliya’ (supporters, loyalists) of Allah, then do not even fear for their well-being. If they are enemies of Allah, then do not worry about what will happen to them after you.”

[1] Birru AI-Walidain, by Ibn AI-Jauzi, p. 27

[2] Tanbih-ul-Ghafilin, p. 99

[3] Jami’-ul-Usul, p. 82

[4] Madarij-us-Salikin, vol. 2, p. 345

[5] Hilyatul-Auliya’, vol. 3, p. 232