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May
15
1999
Prophetic Hadith- Explanation of Prophetic Hadith- Explanation of Riyadh Al-Saliheen- Lesson (069-101): Devotion to Parents and Kinship Ties
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Focus on the meaning of this ayah:

 Dear brothers, we are still explaining ‘Riyadh Al-Saliheen’, the words of our Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Today we move on to the section "Devotion to Parents and Kinship Ties".
 Allah Most High says:

(( Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents…))

[An-Nisa’, 4:36]

 The meaning of this ayah is precise: To worship Allah and do good to one's parents. It does not imply, however, obeying them instead of Allah Most High, in case they order one to disobey Allah. You should never obey the creature if this obedience would make you disobey the Creator.
 Saad’s mother said to her son: “O son! Either you disbelieve Muhammad, or I will never eat, until I die.” Her son said: “O mother! Even if you had one hundred souls which were to depart (from you) one after another, I would never disbelieve Muhammad, so you are free to eat or not.”
 A distinction should be made here between worshipping and doing good. We must do good to our parents; we must prefer them to ourselves, and we must be at their service throughout all our life –this is doing good. However, when your mother orders you to divorce your wife –otherwise she will not be satisfied with you, or your father encourages you to earn money unlawfully –in such cases you must refuse to obey. You should never obey the creature if this obedience would make you disobey the Creator.
 This concept should be clear –and I am constantly being told of thousands of stories and affairs where the reason for the problem to exist is that the father forces his son to commit a sin, for example, he forces him to let his wife meet all the relatives, or else he will not give him anything. They are Muslim fathers, they pray in mosques. Yet, they force their children to mix with women who are unlawful to them, which is a condition for their being satisfied with their offspring. Some mothers, perhaps wearing hijab (scarf), force their children to do what dissatisfies Allah Most High because of ignorance or departure from the Deen. The naïve concept is that a son must obey his mother! Who said that? Man must obey Allah and do well to his parents.

Meaning of (wa bil-walidaini ihsana)?

 Dear brothers, the ayah is very clear. Allah Most High says:

(( Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents… ))

[An-Nisa’, 4:36]

 In the Arabic language letter ‘Bi’ has several functions, one of them being the function of agglutination, as in the above ayah.

 Another function is causative. Allah Most High says:

(( For the wrong-doing (fa bi dhulmi) of the Jews, We made unlawful to them certain good foods which has been lawful to them, ))

[An-Nisa’, 4:160]

 Because of their oppression certain good foods had been made illicit for them.

 Another example: Allah Most High says:

(( And by the Mercy of Allah (fa bi ma rahmah), you dealt with them gently. ))

[Aal-‘Imran, 3:159]

 Because of the Mercy of Allah the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, dealt with them gently.

 Yet another function of the letter ‘B’ in Arabic is adverbial. For example, "I went via Damascus (bi dimashq)". If we open any language dictionary, we find that the verb "do good" is transitive and takes ila, ahsanat ilaihi, but in the Qur'an we have bil walidaini:

((And that you be dutiful to your parents.))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 It means that man should be dutiful to his parents. Thus, the two ways of mentioning this verb, in grammar and in the Qur'an, are unlike:

((And that you be dutiful to your parents.))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 Scholars said: ((It implies that doing good to parents should be one's personal task, something one is supposed to stick to.))
 For example, if the father wants to go somewhere, his son should drive him by himself, even if he were busy or even if he had a driver; he must serve him personally, or entrust another person with this task; and he must provide his mother with what she needs by himself. Allah Most High says:

((And that you be dutiful to your parents.))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 Doing good to your parents must be done directly by yourself; you should stick to them if you really want to do good to them, and the reason is that, sometimes, parents' needs go beyond the matters of everyday life. They need your presence, your word of comfort, your being with them, not just providing for them. Father always wishes to see his son in front of him, and that is a thousand times better for him than being sent fruits by his son.

This is the civilization of this era!

 Dear brothers, the western world is now suffering severely. If a westerner falls ill, he is taken directly to the geriatric ward of a hospital. What they ignore is that he would be far better off among his children.
 There was once a very rich woman who had many children and who got paralyzed. Her sons were annoyed with her because of their wives' pressure. Since none of them wanted to take her in, they resolved for her to go to an old people's home. Thus, she was conveyed to an excellent establishment, which looked like a five-star hotel, provided with first-rate services, air-conditioned rooms, delicious food –in short, the height of cleanness, elegance and beauty.
 Naturally, a fortune had to be paid for all that –almost three hundred thousand pounds annually. Needless to say, all this luxury could not substitute for the presence of this disabled mother among her sons and grandchildren. Eventually, when this wealthy woman found herself in this sumptuous old people's home, she requested the notary and granted all of her wealth, without exception, to charities, thus taking revenge on her sons.

What makes parents feel happy?

 Dear brothers, there’s a new science nowadays, called "psychology of the old", implying that the old man has a specific psychology, one of their characteristics being that the old are very sensitive. What, then, makes them happy?
 The old man feels happiness when he is among his children. In fact, it is better for him to have a third-class service at his son’s than the first-class one at an old people's home. The son may be rich, but nothing can buy his presence at his parents’. Therefore, Allah Most High says:

((If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life… ))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 Somebody might say: "I have five children in my household, they live on what Allah bestows upon me, and I educate them." When he gets old, the matter will be reversed: he will stay at his son’s home to be taken care of and the son will praise Allah for being able to take care of his father. Allah Most High says:

((If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, ))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 When the father is young, he is discerning, forbearing, easily satisfied –just a phone call is enough for him. When he gets older and weaker, however, he needs much more attention. You have to take care of his cleanness; you may need to feed him. In time, he may become a burden, and here’s the chance to obey Allah by doing good to him. Allah Most High says:

((If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, ))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 He has become an old man living with you. And what does "old" mean?

Start work before one these happens to you:

 Dear brothers, here’s a very serious, eye opening hadith. Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((Take the initiative in doing righteous works before seven (things happen to you). I warn you of a poverty which will make you forget everything except seeking livelihood; of a wealth which will make you arrogant and tyrannical; of a disease which will make your life grievous and worrisome; of a senility which will make you a burden to yourself and to others; of a death which may come without warning; of Dajjal -the expected evil; and of the time of the Day of Resurrection -the Great Calamity.))

[Narrated by Tirmidi and Nisae’e, from Abu Huraira]

  There was once a bedouin who had a garden north of Jeddah, and when the city of Jeddah expanded and reached this garden, it was bought for a fourth of its value by a wicked real estate agency and a high-rise building was built there. The agency was run by three partners –and the story is indeed a slice of life– the first partner fell off the roof of the building and died and the second partner was killed in a car accident. The third partner realized that their deaths were due to their fraud with the owner of the garden, so he looked for the bedouin for about six months until he found him and gave him three times more what he had been given before. The bedouin said: “You have indeed exhorted yourself before it’s too late.” A very befitting speech indeed!

 I like to recall this story in order to remind that we should do what is right before it’s too late. As long as the heart is beating, as long as man is alive, he can become upright. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: ((Take the initiative in doing righteous works.))
 He meant that we should follow the Right Path. What can be expected from this worldly life?
 This life which lies ahead of you –and all of you are realistic– what are we to expect from it? Is it possible to wake up every day forever? It’s impossible. Some day you’ll find yourself in trouble, because man must inevitably leave this worldly life, for example, on account of a disease. At a conference of cardiologists held in Damascus it was proved that there is a gene which determines the way one dies. Somebody has died –how did it happen?
 The answer might be that it was due to cirrhosis, renal failure, heart attack, brain clot, or a malignant bone tumor. So, for everyone there is a way out of this worldly life, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called it "the disease of death". Therefore, he said: ((Take the initiative in doing righteous works.))
 What does each unaware man expect from this worldly life?

 This is what the Prophet has pointed to:

((Of a poverty which will make you forget everything except seeking livelihood))

 Our stores are very big now, but business is slow. Sixty years ago, construction was the most profitable trade. For the past two years, however, the profits have decreased. There is a house that could have been sold for fifteen million and a half. Five days ago it was sold for five million and a half. Thus, the losses of a constructor may be exorbitant. Sometimes, poverty comes suddenly; the world is full of difficult and strange situations, all funds are collected in the hands of powerful men, and I’m not exaggerating!

 Seven hundred and fifty milliard have moved from the East to the West during the Gulf War. At the same time America paid off the deficit which had been sustained for fifty years. Now, the American society is living a life of affluence which exceeds all imagination, and we are living a life of stagnation which exceeds all imagination.

((Of a poverty which will make you forget everything except seeking livelihood))

 Poverty may come like a bolt from the blue.

 One of our brothers told us once the following story: On one occasion I acted as the intermediary in a marriage proposal –the girl’s father owned factories and enterprises in the free-trade zone; an engineer with excellent social and religious background asked for his daughter's hand. The father was extremely arrogant when he met the young engineer; he asked him about his salary and the young man told him it was ten thousand. The father said it wouldn't last his daughter even one day and that he could not possibly consent to this marriage.
 Allah is Great! Suddenly, a new law abolishing the activity in free-trade zones was introduced and the girl’s father had commitments there worth millions of pounds. In brief, he became poor, exposed, and his situation worsened so much that he asked the intermediate about the young engineer, whether he had married or not, and when he was told that the young man was still single, he asked the intermediary to invite him to visit them once again. The young engineer agreed to marry the man's daughter and after their marriage the father worked as an accountant for his son-in-law. This story is an example of a sudden poverty which makes man forget everything except seeking livelihood, and there are countless other stories demonstrating that just as Allah gives in an amazing way, He may also take away in the same manner.

 I swear by Allah that a brother said to me: “I used to have hundreds of millions. Now, I don’t have anything, not even the price of a piece of bread!” Through a special arrangement Allah Most High deprived this man of everything; his phone included, and even made him beg for his food.

((I warn you of a poverty which will make you forget everything except seeking livelihood; of a wealth which will make you arrogant and tyrannical;))

 When man’s income was small, he was upright; he would go from one mosque to another. When he became rich, his situation changed; he started to go to nightclubs. The fortune which turns man into a tyrant and urges him to commit sins is one of the greatest calamities.

((I warn you of a poverty which will make you forget everything except seeking livelihood; of a wealth which will make you arrogant and tyrannical;))

 There are diseases which are particularly destructive, the person affected with one of them is unable to eat or walk and lives a life of disability.

((of a senility which will make you a burden for yourself and for others;))

 When the person becomes senile, he may repeat the same story over and over again; he might have eaten a short time before but says that they never feed him.

((of a death which may come without warning;))

 Somebody might have been sitting with you one day, and the following day the notice of this person's death is on the walls. What can you expect from the worldly life? What is the man who turns away from the remembrance of Allah and the righteous deed waiting for? What awaits him is one of the seven things mentioned in the hadith.

Exhort yourself to this good:

((Take the initiative in doing righteous works before seven (things happen to you). I warn you of a poverty which will make you forget everything except seeking livelihood; of a wealth which will make you arrogant and tyrannical; of a disease which will make your life grievous and worrisome; of a senility which will make you a burden to yourself and to others; of a death which may come without warning; of Dajjal -the expected evil; and of the time of the Day of Resurrection -the Great Calamity.))

[Narrated by Tirmidi and Nisae’e, from Abu Huraira]

 "Take the initiative" means "exhort yourselves", as the bedouin in the previous story said to the third partner: "You have exhorted yourself".
 Similarly, we should exhort ourselves to do a righteous deed, to give sadaqah, to seek the knowledge of the Deen, to straighten up our affairs, to implement Islam in our homes and work places, to read the Qur'an and to give right education to our children.

Meaning of the word ( uff) of disrespect in the next ayah?

 Allah Most High says:

((And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect…))

[Al-Israa, 17:23]

 What is ‘uff’? It’s an exhalation, a loud sound, or a grumble. A grumble and everything that is excessive is unlawful, such as slamming the door in parent's face, but actually this is the least evil. Some people – I seek refuge with Allah – say to their mothers: “You are responsible for all the wrongs; I ask Allah to deliver us from you!” Some people even hit their parents!
 If saying the word ‘uff’ to parents has been forbidden, what can be said about the acts that by far exceed doing so?
 Some scholars said: ((If there existed in the (Arabic) language a word less (offensive) than the word ‘uff’, Allah would have mentioned it.))

 Allah Most High says:

((Say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor * And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small." ))

[Al-Israa, 17:23-24]

 Clearly, any mother wishes all the best for her son, but when she becomes old, her son wishes that Allah might rid him of her burden, and it’s all right as long as he wishes this in secret.
Therefore, you will not find any Quranic ayah in which Allah recommends parents to take care of their children. It is so because the love for their children is in parents' fitrah (the primal condition of mankind in which it has been created). For example, it is impossible that a presidential decree should be issued compelling all citizens to eat their breakfast and threatening them with imprisonment if they don't. There is no need for something like that, because everybody feels pangs of hunger and must eat. Hence, everything that agrees with fitrah does not require law enforcement. Parents' fitrah contains the love for children; any mother –whether Muslim, adulterous, lewd, or perverted– loves her son, but not every son loves his mother. That is why the Divine Command orders us to do good to our parents, not to our children. Allah Most High says:

((And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination. ))

[Luqman, 31:14]

 Consider the fetus, Glory be to Allah! It needs calcium, and if the mother doesn't drink milk, it will take the necessary calcium from her bones. Therefore, most pregnant women who don't drink milk or eat cheese in reasonable quantities are exposed to caries and bone decay, because the fetus will have taken the calcium it needs from their bones. Allah Most High says:

((His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination. ))

[Luqman, 31:14]

 It was mentioned in some ahadith: ((The man who hasn't done good to his parents will not enter Paradise, whatever his righteous deeds (might have been).))
 I strongly recommend you not to associate with a person who has not done good to his parents. If he were good at all, he would have been good first to his mother and father. So, do not socialize or deal with him, he is useless.

This is Islam, our Deen:

 ‘Abdullah’ narrated:

((I asked the Prophet: “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied: “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” I asked: “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied: “To be good and dutiful to your parents” -O Allah, directly after the salah- I again asked: “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied: “To participate in jihad in Allah’s Cause.”))

[Narrated in Sahih Al-Boukhari and Muslim]

 Thus, the deeds dearest to Allah are to offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times, then to be good and dutiful to one's parents, and then to participate in jihad in Allah’s Cause.

 Abu Huraira narrated:

((A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said: “O Messenger of Allah! Who is most entitled to be (considered) the best company for me?” The Prophet said: “Your mother.” The man said: “Who next?” The prophet said: “Your mother.” The man further said: “Who next?” The Prophet said: “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time: “Who is next?” The Prophet said: “Your father.”))

[Narrated in Sahih Al-Boukhari and Muslim]

 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was also asked: ((Which woman is most entitled to receiving good –mother, sister, wife, daughter, or aunt? (He answered:) The woman most entitled to receiving good is your mother. When he was asked: Which man is most entitled to woman's obedience? He said: Her husband.))
 These are the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

 Abdullah Ibn A’mr Ibn Al-A’ass narrated:

((A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said: I pledge allegiance to you to participate in emigration and jihad, the purpose being the reward from Allah Most High. The Prophet said: Does any of your parents is still alive? The man said: Yes, both of them. The Prophet said: And you desire the reward from Allah Most High? He said: Yes. The Prophet said: Then, return to your parents, put yourself at their service and do good to them.))

[Narrated in Sahih Muslim]

 So, serving one's parents is equal to participating in jihad in Allah’s Cause.

Conclusion:

 Dear brothers, I hope that we transform this lecture on doing good to one's parents into reality, otherwise, it will be useless. To say: “I have one thousand million pounds” is just words; but to have in fact this amount is an entirely different matter.

Translation  : Iman Nashar
Edited by      : Najat Rozko