His Name, glory be to Him
is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise.
the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Lord has decreed, that you worship none save Him, and to be
good to parents. If one of them or both of them attain to
old age with you, say not to them ‘Fie’, neither chide
them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto
them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord,
have mercy on them both, as they did care for me when I was
little.’ Your Lord is best aware of what is in your minds.
If you are righteous, verily He is All-Forgiving to those
who are patient.
who are unaware of the filial responsibility towards parents, in
whose house is one of his old parents, or helpless, invalid
relative or brother-in-religion unable to make his living! Heed
the verses quoted above and see how they insist in five
different ways on the affection to be shown to parents!
course, paternal affection for children is one of the sublime
realities of worldly life and, in turn, filial gratitude to them
is a most urgent and heavy duty to be performed. Parents
sacrifice their lives lovingly for their children, and if this
is so, what falls to a child who has not lost his humanity and
become transformed into a monster of ingratitude, is to show
sincere respect for them, to serve them willingly, and to try to
gain their approval. With regard to filial respect and service,
uncles and aunts are like parents.
who are neglectful of your duties to your parents, know how
terribly disgraceful and lacking in scruples it is to be bored
with the existence of old parents and to desire and expect their
death. Know this and come to your senses! You must understand
what an injustice it is that you desire the end of the lives of
those who have sacrificed their lives for you.
who are immersed in earning your livelihood! Know that your
disabled relative whom you regard as unbearable in your house
is, in fact, the means of blessing and abundance. Never complain
that you can scarcely make a living (that your means of
subsistence are strained), for were it not for the blessing and
abundance bestowed on you, you would have to face even more
difficulties in making your living. This is an undeniable
reality, which I could prove to you except that I would like to
keep this letter brief.
me, I swear by God that this is an established reality to which
even my satan and evil-commanding self have yielded. Indeed, as
is witnessed by the whole of the existence, when the Generous,
Majestic Creator, Who is infinitely merciful, compassionate,
gracious and munificent, sends children to the world, He sends
them together with their sustenance which He provides through
the breasts of mothers abundantly. In the same way, He sends in
the form of blessing and unseen, immaterial abundance, the
sustenance of the old, who are like children and even more
worthy and needy of compassion than children. He does not load
their sustenance onto mean, greedy people.
expressed in the verses, Surely God is He Who is the
All-Provider, the Possessor of Strength and the Steadfast (51:58)
and How many an animate creature that bears not its own
provision, but God provides for it and you, (29:60) is
openly proclaimed by living creatures of all kinds through the
tongue of their dispositions. So, not only the sustenance of old
relatives, but also that of pets, like cats, which are created
as friends to human beings and usually live on food from human
beings, is, again, sent in the form of blessing. I have
personally observed this:
years ago, my daily ration consisted of half a loaf of bread.
Since the loaf was very small, I barely managed with it, until
four cats became my everyday guests. No sooner did they begin
sharing my bread, than the same ration was always enough for all
witnessed this so often that it convinced me that I benefited
from the blessing coming through the cats. I openly declare that
they were not a burden upon me, and that I was rather indebted
to them, and not they to me.
for the old bent double, calamities would be pouring down upon
O man, a
human being is the most esteemed, noble and most
worthy-of-respect among creatures; among human beings, the
believers are the most perfect. Among the believers, the
helpless, old people are those who are the most worthy and needy
of respect and compassion. Among the old, the relatives deserve
affection, love and service more than the others, and among the
relatives, parents are the most truthful confidants and most
intimate companions. Now, O man, if an animal becomes the means
of blessing and abundance when it stays as a guest in a man’s
house, then you can conclude how invaluable a means of blessing
and mercy parents are in a house and, additionally, as stated in
the hadith - But for the old bent double, calamities would be
pouring down upon you- (Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, 2:163)
what an important means for the removal of calamities they are.
is so, O man, come to your senses! If you have been assigned a
long life, certainly, you too, will grow old, and if you do not
show due regard for your parents, then, according to the rule,
one is rewarded or punished in accordance with the kind of one’s
action, your children will not respect you either. Further, if
you consider your afterlife seriously, it is a precious
provision for your afterlife to gain the approval of your
parents by serving them. If you love the worldly life, again you
should please them so that you may lead a pleasant life. If, by
contrast, you regard them as unbearable, if you break their
easily-offended hearts, and if you desire their death, you will
be the object of the Qur’anic threat, he loses both the world
and the world to come. So, whoever wishes for the mercy of the
All-Merciful must show mercy to those entrusted to him by God in
I had a
brother-in-religion called Mustafa Cavus. I noticed that he
usually succeeded in both his worldly affairs and the matters
related to the Hereafter. I did not know how he could do so.
Then, I came to understand that he succeeded because he observed
the rights of his parents strictly. So, whoever desires to be
prosperous in both worlds should do as he did.
bestow blessings and peace on him who declared, ‘Paradise is
beneath the feet of mothers’, and on his family and Companions
no knowledge save what You have taught us; surely You are the
All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
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Last Updated on November 14, 2000