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1. Worship Allah: Kindness to Parents.

30 Jun

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. [17:23]

  • The ayah begins with two commands: To enslave yourself to Allah alone, and to be the best to your parents.
  • Worship is exclusively for Allah; obedience can be for others, provided there is no disobedience to Allah. We are commanded to obey our parents, and obeying them is part of obeying Allah.
  • The word Rab is used as opposed to Allah, since the former has the connotation of upbringing, caretaking, providing, sustaining, maintaining, etc. After Allah, our parents are the closest beings who do all of these.
  • The root of the word is  ولد/يلد which means to give birth. Implication: As long as your parents have given you birth — and nothing else — then you are required to be the best to them.
  • Wisdom of this ayah: No matter how much the actions of our parents irritate us, the good that they have done by giving birth to us, providing for us, taking care of us, etc. surpasses the harm. What are few words compared to pregnancy?

Once a man came to ibn Umar RA (he was carrying his mom on his shoulder and doing tawaf of the kabah) and said, “we did not have enough money to purchase a mount, so I carried my mother from our home all the way to the Kaba. Have I done my duty to her?” ibn Umar replied, “you have not even done a fraction in return.”

2. Parents: Assulted by a river

30 Jun

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. [17:23]

  • Our obedience to our parents should increase as they age. Why?
  • Elderly are like children; they require help, support, supervision, etc. and can be annoying. As we become more independent they become more dependent (a time will come when the reverse will happen).
  • They nurtured us, provided us, helped us… when we were young, and without a doubt would do it again.
  • Used to show frustration. Implication: Regardless of how much they irritate us, even signs of frustrations should not be visible.
  • This word is used for water which is gushing with a force. This is how your parents feel when you speak to them impolitely or disrespectfully.
  • A river also flows right by; we should never ignore our parents and walk away from them.

The man said to ibn Umar RA, “I have come from such and such a place (implying what do you mean I have done nothing)”. ibn Umar RA replied, “when your mother gave everything for you, she did it out of joy and love for you, wanting to see you flourish. What you are doing is out of a sense of duty and guilt, while counting the number of days before she dies.”

3. Say to parents

30 Jun

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. [17:23]

  • Has been brought earlier and creates exclusivity. Especially and above everyone else, you should say to them… Unfortunately, we will be very courteous to our boss, friends, and extremely rude to our parents.
  • A crucial function of the repetition is to accentuate our obligations to both parents; some people respect only their father and others only their mother.
  • This ayah begins with a command of worshiping Allah and ends with a command of saying only noble things.
  • The ayah begins with the right of Allah, and the rest of the ayah is centerd on the rights of parents.
  • If you are having trouble respecting your parents, then it is because you are not a true worshipper of Allah.

Prophet SAW said, “May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents– one or both– attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah”. [Muslim]

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