A recent conversation with Mama reminiscing lead to her sharing the last moments she shared with my grandma. I broke down in tears as if I lived the moments and couldn’t stop praying for her.
The shahada being her last words made me smile but throughout the whole conversation, I couldn’t help but admire Mama for she has being a dutiful child and I pray her children are the same to her insha allah.
The dua of Prophet Ibraheem “my lord forgive my parents as they took care of me when I was young” is something I recite daily. And in another ayah in the Quran
“say not to them a word of disrespect” [al-Israa’ 17:23] serves as a daily reminder.
We have to obey our parents as long as that obedience does not breach the laws of Allah for Allah says: , “But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly” [Luqmaan 31:15]
The hadeeth of Rasoullulah صلي الله عليه وسلم narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, who among the people is most deserving of my good companionship?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ The man asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your father.’ dawned on me in the delivery room couple of weeks ago when my cousin gave birth Alhamdulliah. The hardship mothers go through during pregnancy and breast feeding deserves so much credit. As Allah says in the Qur’an: “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she brings him forth with hardship…” [al-Ahqaaf 46:15] .
However, we can’t discredit our fathers as well as they do also have a role to play towards their wives and in the upbringing of their children. The love a parent has for a child comes naturally. Their duty towards protecting us and making sacrifices for us would therefore also come naturally. On the contrary, as children we are often taught to first and foremost have mercy on them and show that same kind of love by providing for them when they reach old age. In addition, to continue praying for them, fulfill any vow that they had made in this life, give charity and perform hajj on their behalf, honour them by maintaining ties with those whom they used to keep in touch with when they return back to Allah as these remain deeds that will continue to get accepted.
I keep questioning myself on if I am actually doing what is obligatory or ways to improve in showing kindness and mercy to my parents now that they have reached old age.
For most, their health weakens and they go back to how they were when they were young. Unable to walk, need assistance to eat or drink, speak in different languages and even sometimes with bad temper. This could perhaps be the biggest test man faces but with the great rewards awaiting us in fulfilling such obligation, one should hasten to be at the service of their parents. Do not let anyone earn those rewards by taking care of your parents for you. Be around them and take care of them like how they took care of you when you were young which they bore with patience and pride.
I ask Allah to make us dutiful towards our parents and grant us righteous children who will also remain dutiful to us. Aameeen !
Barakallahu feekum and Asalamu ‘alaikum
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