How to obey parents and the wisdom behind it -Abdur-Rahman as-Sa’dee

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

How to obey parents and the wisdom behind it
By Shaykh Abdur-Rahman bin Naasir al-Sa’dee may Allah have mercy on him

The Shaykh mentions this point of benefit in his summarized version of Tafsir called “Tayseer al-Lateef al-Mannaan” under the chapter “Encouragement in establishing the rights of Allah and of creation.” The Shaykh is explaining the verse in Surah al-Israa: 23-24.

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَـٰنًا‌ۚ إِمَّا يَبۡلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلۡڪِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوۡ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ۬ وَلَا تَنۡہَرۡهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوۡلاً۬ ڪَرِيمً۬ا (٢٣) وَٱخۡفِضۡ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحۡمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرۡحَمۡهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرً۬ا (٢٤

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents.”

Meaning: be dutiful to them with noble statements, kind speech, being obedient and avoid being disobedient towards them, beware of being ungrateful towards them, spending on them, honoring those who are connected to them, and joining the ties of kinship that you would have no relationship with if it was not for them.

“…if one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, 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…'”

The command of being dutiful to parents and its application includes everything mankind counts as being dutiful; this differs due to different times, situations, and people. This command also includes the prohibition of being undutiful towards the parents, and that is from two aspects:

1.By abusing and being ungrateful towards them through harmful statements and actions, and leaving off performing some of their obligatory rights.

2.To abandon being dutiful and also to abandon harming them. For surely (remaining upon this state of not doing anything) is a form of disobedience.

Also, a child cannot say: “If I establish the obligatory rights of my parents and I abandon disobeying them then I have established their rights.”

It is said (to this type of person), “(No,) rather you have to also exert yourself (by doing more than what is obligatory upon you) in being dutiful towards them, according to your ability, that will put you on the level of the righteous who are righteous to their parents.”

“…as they did bring me up when I was young.”

This is (one of) the reasons that necessitate being dutiful towards parents. That is because the parents had a share in cultivating a person’s well-being and spirit by providing nutrition, clothing, and raising them. They spent their provisions in teaching and guiding (their children) to the obedience of Allah and in having beautiful mannerisms and characteristics.

In this is a proof that every person who had the right of cultivating you by spending their provisions, clothing you, and so forth, then it is from their rights upon you to be dutiful and righteous towards them and to make supplication for them.

The highest level of those who deserve this are those who have cultivated your intellect and spirit through knowledge and discipline; they have the greatest rights over you. And this is from the virtues of the people of knowledge who teach and implement (what they know); these are their rights over the people. Perhaps, they may even exceed double fold in cultivating an individual more than one’s parents, and that is from Allah’s bounty that He gives to whomever He wills.

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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