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Parents and your children

May 02, 2014

DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on Friday, 2 May 2014. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.

All praise is due to Allah, and Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His final Messenger, his pure family, his noble companions, and all those who follow them with righteousness until the Day of Judgement.

Our reminder last Friday was about kindness with parents as when the son is kind to his parents - as ordered by Allah (SWT) - then the effect of his kindness will be positively reflected in the dealing of his children with him. You might notice that the instructions of being kind to parents in the Quran and the tradition of the Prophet (SAAW) are many because the person usually tends to his children by nature and seeks to guide him/her to the best of lives, knowledge and morals. Unfortunately, many forget such roles of parents who gave, raised up, strived and reached the age when they are about to say farewell to this life and receive the Hereafter. Therefore, we need this reminder in order not to lose sight of the right of parents and to show our gratitude towards them.

Today, we will reflect upon another type of righteousness and kindness in form of the Islamic manners in regards to the kindness of the parents towards their children. The Prophet (SAAW) said: 

Be just with your children, be just with your children, be just with your children Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) - Ahmed & An-Nisaei

The story of this Hadith was that the wife of Bashir Ibn Sa'd asked him to favour her son An-Nu'man Ibn Bashir with a financial grant and asked him to seek the Prophet (SAAW) as witness to what was given as a gift to his son. Bashir went to the Prophet and said, "The mother of this son (of mine) insists that I should call you witness to what I confer as a gift to her son". The Prophet (SAAW) asked, “Does he have brothers?” He said, "Yes". He (SAAW) asked, “Have you given gifts to all of them like this?” He said, "No". Thereupon the Prophet (SAAW) said, “Then call me not as witness, for I cannot be witness to an injustice” and in another narration, “it is the right of your children upon you to be just with them like it is your right upon them to be kind with you”.

In this story, the Prophet (SAAW) guided us to the issue of the importance of being just with children so no hatred or envy takes place between them as the Prophet also said: 

Be just with your children in your gifts if you wish them to be just to you in their kindness. Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

So you must be just - O parents - in what you grant your children of gifts or money so they all show the same amount of kindness to you. It is forbidden to you to favour some of your children with something without a valid excuse or a need to do so (like if the son/daughter is unwell or in need of a special care). If there is no legal acceptable reason behind such favouring then it will cause enmity and hatred between children.

Unfortunately, some Muslim communities nowadays still practice traditions that are considered as acts of ignorance which Islam came to resist and remove their effects from souls and communities. One such tradition is to differentiate between males and females in treatment which is an act of the time of ignorance when the woman and the girl were considered a tool in the hands of brothers or husbands! This is a fact unfortunately and it is more amazing to see this fact in the Muslims communities that settled in European countries for decades yet they still practise those inherited customs and traditions which are unjust and unfair!

The Quran established equality between men and woman in regards of their basic religious and social duties as Allah (SWT) says:

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Quran - Tawbah (9:71)

This clarifies that - in the Islamic view - men and women are equal in the origin of their creation, equal in the general human characteristics, equal in duties and responsibility AND equal in their reward and destination. Allah (SWT) also says:

Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.

 The Prophet (SAAW) was keen to erase the effects of some customs and traditions of the time of ignorance with regards to preferring boys over girls when he (SAAW) favoured girls with a gesture from him and instructed to treat them kindly in his saying “No one from my nation properly raises three daughters or sisters and is kind to them, but they will be like a shield for him from the Hellfire”. So Islam with its teachings and rulings invalidated some practises of many Arab and non-Arab nations such as depriving women of possessing and inheritance, restricting their actions with regards to their properties, and for the husbands to abuse the wealth of their wives. Islam approved the right of women in all types possessing as well as their right to practise all legal conducts.