Welcome to the alThaqalayn web site. Our goal is to propagate the precious words, and the rich culture, of the Noble Wilāyah for entire human race in the world.                                                                  One Lord (Allāh), One Dīn (Divinity), and One Wilāyah (World-Law).                                                                  Verily, I leave among you two invaluable things (ath-Thaqalyn): The Book of Allāh, and my household, my Ahl al-Bayt.

Imām al-Riḍā ▧:

May Allāh ◣ shower mercy upon an obedient who has revived our cause.  The Imām was asked “how could one revive your cause”?  He replied: by learning about our knowledge, and making it known to [other] people.  People would indeed follow us if they knew about the virtue of our words.

 Book No. 25, v.1, p.180

Imām al-Ḥusayn ▧:

Verily, the love of us, Ahl al- Bayt, sheds sins off an individual, just as a strong wind sheds leaves off the tree.

Book No. 3, v. 27, p. 77, h. 9, c. 4.

Imām al-Bāqir ▧:

A believer can escalate to highest degree of belief with prudent study of our narration.

Book No. 3, v. 1, p. 106, h. 2, c. 3.

Ḥaḍrat Fāṭimah Zahrā ▨:

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are the intermediaries in His Creation, we are His favourites, and the descending point of divinities, and we are His final Proof of His unseen world, and we are inheritors of His prophets.

The Fatimiyyeh Sahifah, p.174

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Section14

الوالِدَينِ وَ ٱلأ ولاد

پدر و مادر و فرزندان

PARENTS AND OFFSPRING

Part1,Introduction

The most important teaching by the Precious Qur’ān and the Wilāyah is to bring up (purify and educate) our children for their salvation in the next world, then for their tomorrow in this world, but not for yesterday when our generation has been raised.  It seems easy on paper, but this is a great responsibility parents have to take if they decide to have children.  The everlasting words of the noble 14 infallibles will follow in part 2 to throw more light.  ’Imām Sajjād (a.s.) has written the precious collection called  ‘The Treatise On Rights[i]’ an invaluable account of the rights of all individuals and groups, including the rights of children, as well as the rights of parents.  For convenience, related material are appended next to the ʼaḥādith at the end of part 2.


 

Parents should try to adapt themselves with the situation at the current time and in the future, as much as possible.  They have to honour their children and hold them dear, without any harshness and rudeness.  It is also important to behave justly.  Peace is the by-product of justice, and cannot be purchased or imposed by force, neither in the small unit of a family, nor in larger scale of nations.  Don’t forget that our behaviour, concerning the guidance and education of our children leads to the beautification and enhancement of the society.  The sincere love of our children causes Divine dispensation and favour.

 

As we shall see later, Allāh(J.J.)is satisfied with us if our parents are satisfied with us.  If our children are unable to please us, then The Lord is not pleased with them, which is a horrendous anguish for the parents.  Allāh (J.J.) curses[ii] a parent who causes his (or her) offspring to break off ties of relationship from the family.  On the other hand, we hear the Wilāyah saying that the “favour” and “blessing” of Allāh (J.J.) is upon a father, or a mother, who sincerely helps the child with his/her good deeds.


 

Throughout the world of Islām, people strongly believe in the Next World (al-’Ākhirahالاخِرة), and in its conveniences or difficulties.  This subject will be covered in this website later, inshallah.  Therefore, Muslims have a habit of doing the best they can to help comfort their deceased parents in particular, and others in general, to ease the difficulties of the ‘Next World’.  Their service include donation of Ṣalāt, Ṣawm[iii], Khayrāt[iv], recitation of the Blessing Qur’ān, and prayers, as well as giving food to the poor, for the beneit of the deceased.  There is plenty of evidence that the deceased receives the support, and appreciates the help sent by us.  We have the legs and the hands to perform and be of assistance, whereas they can no longer do any good for themselves.  Having drawn this scenario, then we can better understand the maxim:  One who performs well with his parents shall be blessed with beneficence through his own offspring.


 

 

Allāh has established well-doing to the parents as an obligatory duty for all.  Prophet Muḥammad(ph&hp) says:

 

Your elderly relatives among you are considered as blessings from Allāh (J.J.).  

 

And, Ḥaḍrat Fāṭimah Zahrā (a.s.) says: 

 

Doing well to your parents is a shield against the wrath of Allāh (J.J.).

 

Islām regards higher reverence to mothers, specifically.  Ḥaḍrat Fāṭimah Zahrā (a.s.) says: 

 

The paradise is under the feet of mothers! 

 

This means those who humble themselves to their mothers, and serve her well, may find a way to the paradise.  In Islām, it is one of the “rights” of children, that their mother is well respected by their father, as you shall see in Part 2, the Aḥādith.  According to Imām ʿAli (a.s.):  The greatest asset of parents is their good offspring.  Behold!  This greatest asset of the family is basically in the hands of mothers; whereas fathers are predominantly responsible to produce the ordinary income.

 

It is interesting to present a beautiful tradition from the Messenger of Allāh showing the value he (ph&hp) holds for having a high regard for, and attention to, our parents:

 “One day Prophet Muḥammad’s foster sister came to see him.  He became very happy, spread out his cloak, and offered her to sit down.  Then they had sweet conversation, while he kept smiling with pleasure.  After this pleasant visit, she got up and left.  Sometime later, her brother came to visit; but the prophet (ph&hp) had a different attitude towards him.  People asked him, O prophet, why did you not treat the brother as you treated the sister.  He replied: I treated the sister better because she treated her father much better than the brother did.”

Prophet Muḥammad (ph&hp):  Book No. 30, vol. 34, ch. 5, h. 88

It is obvious from The Glorious Qur’ān that Allāh (J.J.) considers polytheism as the greatest sin for all human beings.  It is very interesting to observe that Allāh (J.J.) enjoins to be good to parents, immediately after He enjoins monotheism in His Final Book of guidance.  So, good behaviour with parents seem to be the most important matter, next to the supreme command of monotheism, according to the following āyāt:

 

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be good to your parents.  Whether one or both of them attain old age in your lifetime, do not tell them ‘ugh’, nor annoy them.  However, talk to them kindly and respectfully .  And be humble to them out of compassion.  And pray:  O my Lord, Bestow mercy upon them, as they bore the toil of my upbringing when I was a child .”.

Sūrah Al-’Isrā’ (17), āyāt 23-24

 

“And We did enjoin humankind to be good to his parents.  His mother bore him with weakness upon weakness, and she bore weaning him for two years.  Express gratitude to Me and to your parents.  To Me will be your return!”

Sūrah Luqmān (31), āyah 14.

What if the parents are disbelievers?  Allāh (J.J.) says:

 

“We have enjoined humankind to be good to his parents.  However, if any of them try to make you share another god with Me about whom there is no knowledge for you, then do not obey them.  You shall all return to Me, and I will inform you about what you have been doing.”

Sūrah Al-ʿAnkabūt (29), āyah 8.

 “And if any of them try to make you share another god with Me, about whom there is no knowledge for you, then do not obey them.  Yet, keep them company in this worldly life, with care and nicety but follow the way of those who turn to Me.  Eventually, all of you will return to Me, and I will inform you about what you have been doing.”

Sūrah Luqmān (31), āyah 15.

So, if any of our parents share another god with Allāh (J.J.), we should stay free form their shirk[v].  However, we are recommended to keep them company, with care and compassion.  Our creation stems from them, and they should be well treated by us.


 

As we can observe in all the above āyāt, Allāh (J.J.) keeps reminding us that we all return to Him, and that He (J.J.) shall then remind us about our deeds regarding His command to stay away from shirk, and to be good with our parents.  It proves the importance of these two directives.

 

 “They ask you [O Messenger] what they shall spend as alimony.  Say: “whatever you spend, from good things, on your parents, close relatives, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer.  And Allāh is, indeed, aware of whatever good you do.”.”

Sūrah Al-Baqarah (2), āyah 215.

“[O People] Worship Allāh, and do not join partners with Him, and do good to both parents, close relatives, the orphans, and the needy, and …”

Sūrah An-Nisā’ (4), āyah 36.

 “Say [O Messenger] “Come!  I will recite to you what your Lord has forbidden on you:  That you do not join anything as partner to Him, and that do not but good to both parents, and …”

Sūrah Al-’Anʿām (6), āyah 151.

So far, we talked about Allāh’s high regards for the parents, and about His recommended care, compassion, and respect towards both of our parents, particularly towards our mothers.  Let us, now, review what Allāh (J.J.) says regarding the offspring:

 

“Wealth and offspring are the adornments of the life in this world.  But the everlasting good deeds are better in the sight of Allāh, in rewards, and expectations.”

Sūrah Al-kahf (18), āyah 46.

“Your wealth and offspring are not the means to upgrade your nearness to Us unless one who is a believer and performs good deeds …”

Sūrah Sabā (34), āyah 37.

“O you who believe!  Do not let your wealth and your offspring keep you away from remembering Allāh (J.J.).  And those who do that, they are indeed the losers.”

Sūrah Al-Munāfiqūn (63), āyah 9.

“O you who believe!  Verily, some of your spouses and your offspring are enemies of you.  So, beware of them![vi] However [it is better] if you pardon, forbear, and forgive their faults.  Certainly, Allāh is all-Forgiving, all-Merciful Verily, your wealth, and your offspring are means of trial (or worldly temptations)[vii].  But with Allāh remains the Great Reward.”

Sūrah At-Taqhābun (64), āyāt 14-15.


 

Normally, our wealth, and good offspring can greatly enhance our worldly affairs, particularly at our old age.  It would be nice if they could also enhance our affairs in the Next World.  Can they also save us from the punishment of kufr[viii]?  We shall find out in the next āyah:

 

 “Verily those who cover the Truth [the Words of Allāh], neither their wealth, nor their offspring avail them against Allāh’s punishment…”

Sūrah Āl-i ʿImrān (3), āyah 10.


 

What if we love our parents, spouses or children more than we love Allāh (J.J.)?  In other words, what if we spend more time, money, energy, and concern for their satisfaction than we spend for the satisfaction of Allāh (J.J.)?  Or, what if we obey them better than we obey Allāh (J.J.)?

 

“Say [O Messenger]: “If your fathers, sons, brothers, spouses, relatives, and the wealth which you have gathered, and the trade that its decline fears you, and the homes which you are satisfied with, are more lovable to you than Allāh, and His messenger, and jihād (struggling in His way), then wait until Allāh brings about His Order…”.”

Sūrah At-Tawbah (9), āyah 24.

But beware!  If one is a true mu’min, he shall not be a friend of his parents, offspring, brothers, ore relatives, who are enemies of Allāh:

 

“[O Messenger!]:  You will not find any population who believe in Allāh and the Day of Resurrection, yet establish friendship with those who oppose Allāh and His messenger, even if they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their relatives….”.

Sūrah Al-Mujādilah (58), āyah 22

The great men of Allāh have left striking examples for us to follow, if we can overcome our nafs (ego, selfish desires).  ’Abū Lahab who was the uncle of Prophet Muḥammad(ph&hp), was also the father-in-law of two of the prophet’s noble daughters.  ’Abū Lahab and his wife, turned out to become enemies of Allāh (J.J.), His dīn, and His chosen Seal of all prophets.  He openly fought against the Will of Allāh (J.J.).  Thus Prophet Muḥammad(ph&hp) had to disregard his family ties with him, even though they had very affectionate relationship in the past.  Similar situation developed with ’Abū Jahl and Abū Sufyān, another in-law of the Prophet (ph&hp).  ’Abu Lahab, ’Abū Jahl, and ’Abū Sufyān were among the noble and important personalities of the jahiliyyah era, and were initially dear to Prophet Muḥammad(ph&hp) before they started to fight against the dīn of Allāh (J.J.).

 

If one reads section 11 of these Words of Wisdom which is on Union with blood relatives, he shall observe the degree of importance Islām has placed on the family bond and its maintenance, particularly to the elderly and the children.  However, when it comes to the disobedience of Allāh (J.J.), Islām forbids even the inheritance to be given to the children who have joined the world of tāghūt [ix] .


 

In Islamic literature an offspring is considered as fruit of the heart of a parent.  Similar to the fruit which is the inseparable and delicious part of its tree; children are the most delicious part of parents heart.  They are inseparable forever.  It is the most difficult task to destroy this inborn love and affection that has existed with one who has been the fruit of the heart since babyhood.  But the bond to Allāh (J.J.), and his recommended way of life should be more important for a believer.  Islām has made it clear that we are not allowed to be a friend of such a blood relative.  But we are obliged to keep the contact with our blood relatives even with a simple salām as mentioned in a ḥadith of section 11.

 

The command of Allāh should always have priority over the normal family bond.  Another astonishing example is the willingness of the great prophet of Allāh(J.J.), Ḥaḍrat’Ibrāhīm, to sacrifice his beloved son, Ḥaḍrat ’Ismāʿīl(a.s.).  They both killed their own selfish desires and were happy and satisfied to perform Allāh’s Command.

 

Prophet ʼIbrāhīm informed his son, ʼ Ismāʿīl (a.s.), about the command of Allāh (J.J.) to sacrifice him!  They both proved their Taslīm [x] , and came out successful in this most difficult testḤaḍrat ’Ismāʿīl(a.s.) stated that he was ready to be sacrificed if this was Allāhs will.  They both recited prayers and then prophet Ibrāhim(a.s.) was about pressing the knife to cut his sons head that ḤaḍratJibriil (a.s.) came with a ram and offered it to be sacrificed instead.


 

Another Qur’ānic  story which is related to the relationship of a Muslim with his Tāghūti relatives is the repugnance of prophet ʼIbrāhīm towards his uncle, Āzar , when the prophet found him to be an enemy of Allāh .  Please refer to Sūrah Al-’Anʿām (6), āyah 74, and Sūrah At-Tawbah (9), āyāt 113-114.

 

There are plenty of great messages in these most educational events regarding the degree of Taslīm (submission) among all prophets of Islām .   The most significant message of these important holy episodes is the victory of the prophets of Islām over their nafs (ego, selfish desires).  Neither the love of their own children, fathers, uncles, or the rest of their relatives, nor their desire to stay alive entices them over and above the wish and the will of the Lord of all beings (J.J.).

 

These are great examples for theentire humankind.  Even though our fathers, mothers, offspring, sisters, and brothers are our fundamental points of love and affection, we should principally be able to sacrifice their “worldly” love for the “eternal” love of Allāh (J.J.).

  

Finally, it is quite interesting to hear Luqmān, the manifestation of wisdom, talking to his son, giving him the most precious advice.  The Glorious Qur’ān would not have reminded this father-to-son word of warning, if it were not valuable for the humankind:

 

“O my son!  If [your deed] be the weight of a mustard seed, and it be within a rock, or in the heavens, or within the earth, Allāh shall bring it forward [on the Day of Account].  Verily, Allāh is The [spirit of] Precision, The [source of] Information”.

Sūrah Luqmān (31), āyah 16.

We learn from the Glorious Qur’ān and prayer books to pray for our parents (either live or deceased) like this, which is only one example among many:

 

“Our Lord!  Please forgive me, and my parents, and radiate mercy upon them, as they raised me when I was little...”  

 

This Qur’ānic prayer is normally followed by the beautiful ḥadith:

 

“…And grant them good reward on my request.  O Allāh!  Please give them a good reward for their good deed, and forgive them for their shortcomings.  O Allāh! May you please enter them into the heavens out of your compassion.  And turn them away from Your punishment.  And make their resting place cool and comfortable.  And expand [their well being] in the burial place.  And please let me feel certain that they are settled in Your clemency, and near your friend, [prophet] Muḥammad (ph&hp).”

Sūrah Al-’Isrā’ (17), āyah 24, and Book No. 28, pp. 244-45.

This is the Islāmic culture, a prayer for the deceased parents.  This, or similar prayers, are normally repeated quite oftem among muslims.  One may wish to compare this with that of the Tāghuti culture in which their living parents are treated as undesirable individuals, deserving to be at distance, out of site, and consequently out of mind.

 


 

 

Appendix

An excerpt from "Rights of blood relatives" [xi]

 

[22]  The right of your mother is that you know: that she carried you where no one carries anyone, that she gave to you of the fruit of her heart which no one gives to anyone, and that she protected you with all her organs.  She did not care: if she went hungry as long as you ate, if she was thirsty as long as you drank, if she was naked as long as you were clothed, and if she was in the sun heat as long as you were in the shade.  She gave up sleep for your sake; she protected you from heat and cold, all in order that you might belong to her.  You will not be able to show her your gratitude, unless through Allāh’s help, to provide its accomplishment.[xii]


 

[23]  The right of your father is that you know that he is your root (seed).  Without him, you would not be.  Whenever you see anything in yourself which pleases you, know that your father is the root of its blessing upon you.  So praise Allāh (J.J.) and thank Him in that measure.  And there is no strength save in Allāh (J.J.).

 

[24]  The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world.  You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct (Ḥusn al-adab), pointing him in the direction of his Lord (J.J.), and helping him to obey Him.  So, act toward him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing.

 

Please continue to Part 2, the related Aḥādith .



[i] - Risālat al-Ḥuqūq, an Appendix to Al-Ṣaḥifat al-Sajjādiyyah.  Please refer to Book No. 29.

[ii] - Laʿnah (لعنة) means Allāh’s will to cut off His blessing (good thing, favour, provisions) rendered to someone, if it is misused or spoiled.  The closest word in English is to curse.

[iii] -Ṣalāt (obligatory prayer) and Ṣawm (fasting) will be covered later.  Please refer to the Glossary for summary information.

[iv] - Charity for the relief of a dead person.

[v] - Shirk is one of the categories of disbelief.  Please refer to shirk in the Glossary.

[vi] - Their love and affection may prevent you to participate in any act of jihād.  They may demand too much of your time and prevent you from performing your obligatory prayers and essential pilgrimages.  It is possible that they may cause inconvenience for your night prayers (from midnight to dawn), and their amusements may deviate you from remembrance of Allāh’s blessings.  They may also cause you anxiety by disobeying the rule of Allāh (J.J.), etc.

[vii] - The Arabic word fitnah (فتنه) means both “trial” and “temptation”.  This āyah, therefore, either means “Verily, your wealth, and your children are means of trial, and if you pass the test, your great reward is with Allāh,” or it means “Verily, your wealth, and your children are temptations of this world, but the great eternal reward is with Allāh.”  This āyah is repeated once more in Sūrah Al-’Anfāl (8), āyah 28.

[viii] - Kufr is one of the categories of disbelief.  Please refer to the Glossary.

[ix] - The world of tāghūt consists of three populations: those who place partners with Allāh (mushrikīn), those who cover the Truth of the Glorious Qur’ān, and the last prophet of Allāh (kuffār), and the hypocrites (munāfiqīn).  For more information please refer to the Glossary.

[x] - Taslīm means the act of surrendering to the Will of Allāh (J.J.).  All divine prophets of Allāh have been totally submissive to the Will of their Lord (J.J.).  This word is derived from the Arabic root (س-ل-م), which denotes, salām, Islām, healthiness, peace and tranquility.  As-Salām is one of the Beautiful Names (Attributes) of Allāh (J.J.).

[xi] - By ’Imām Sajjād in his famous Al-Ṣaḥifat al-Sajjādiyyah (The Psalms of Islam), translated by Willian C. Chittick .  Please refer to Book No. 29 in the Bibliography.

[xii] - Cf.  The well known ḥadīth in which the Prophet Muḥammad (ph&hp) replied to a companion who asked him toward whom he should show familial devotion (birr):  He answered:  "Your Mother."  He was asked "Then to whom?"  He replied:  "Your mother."  Again he was asked: "Then to whom?"  He replied:  "Your mother."  Once again he was asked:  "Then to whom?"  He replied "Then to your father, then to the next nearest, then to the next nearest."  (Tirmidhī, Birr I; Abū Dāwūd, Adab 120; Ibn Māja, Adab I; Aḥmad V, 3 and 5).

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