Being Kind to Oppressive Parents

It is stated by sayyidina Ibn Abbas RA ,”If both parents of a muslim are alive and he begins the morning treating them both kindly then Allah swt opens for him 2 doors of paradise. But, if one of them is alive (and he nehaves kindly with the surving parent) the Allah swt opens for him one door of paradise. And, if he displeases them then Allah swt will not be pleased with him until he makes them happy.” Someone asked, “If they oopressive (then what)?” ibn Abbas said, “Even if they are oppressive.”

(bayhaqi shabal-iman)

Explanation:

This hadith emphatically relates the merits of service, obedience and kind treatment to parents. If both parents of a muslim are alive and he gives them respect,serves them obeys them then Allah swt opens 2 gates of paradise for him. However, if only one of the parents is alive and he is respectful, loving and caring to the surviving parent then, because of his pious deed, one gate will be opened for him. In some way the hadith is very explicit in describing the plight of one who is undutiful to his parents. It cautions very clearly that if anyone displeases his parents then he earns the displeasure of Allah swt and does not regain it until he makes amends and pleases his parents.

The concluding portion states that if the parents are oppressive and hard on their child even thendisobedience and hurting them will open the doors of hell for him. But, this does not imply that parents are permitted to be cruel to their offspring. If parents abuse their children then they will face punishment for that and they will be made to pay for their misconduct.

The offspring must realise their own responsibilities and if parents do not fulfil their obligations it is their lookout, not their offspring’s. In fact, this is great advice and useful instruction to live a collective life. Everyone must pay attention to his own responsibilities and not worry how other people treat them (although this is easier said then done). If everyone, young and old is mindful of this advice then inshallah life will be peaceful and allah swt alone enables.

Source: Manners in islam – Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin islamil Bukhari

Selecting Suitable Topics

In Surah Al-Hajj, Allah described the believer “And they have been guided to the purest of speeches; and guided to the path of Him who is worthy of all praise.” When you talk during your visit, don’t speak unless you are asked to, or unless you know that your speech and words will be well received and will please the host and other guests. Don’t prolong your speech. Use a proper tone of voice. Anas reported that “the Prophet’s S.A.W.S. talk was clear and concise. Not too much nor too little. He disliked loquacity and ranting.” Bukhari narrated a Hadith in which Aisha said “The Prophet’s S.A.W.S. talk (was so little) that you can count his words”.

If you hear the Azaan you must listen and respond to the call of Allah. Many people, even those with Islamic knowledge continue talking while the Azaan is being called. This is rude, since those hearing the Azaan should listen to it and quit speech, study and even Qur’an recitation. Solemnly they should repeat the words of the Azaan and reflect on the words of the highest call. We should listen to the Azaan, whether we are at home, office, shop, or attending a lesson, even if it’s a religious lesson. Imam al-Kasani in Badaiu Al-Sanaei’ said: “Those hearing the Azaan or Iqama should not talk. Even if reading Qur’an or doing other noble things, everything should be stopped to listen and respond to the Azaan.”

The Azaan is the food of the soul nourishing it with faith and elevation. Do not forgo your share of it. Teach this to your children and friends. Al Bukhari narrated a Hadith by Abu Saeed Al-Khudri that the Prophet S.A.W.S, said “If you heard the call say like what the Muezzin is saying.” In another Hadith reported by Jaber that the Prophet S.A.W.S. said “He serves my help on the day of judgment who said when hearing Azaan: O Allah, the Lord of this perfect call and imminent prayer, please award Muhammad S.A.W.S. the help, nobility, and the desired status you promised him.”

Imam Abdul Razaq narrated in his Musanaf that Ibn Juraig said: “I was told that people used to listen to Azaan like they would listen to recitation of Qur’an. They would repeat after the Muezzin. If he said: Come to prayer, they will say: With the help and power of Allah. If he said: Come to the good deed, they will say: With the will of Allah.”

Cleanliness and washing

The Sunnah is to keep perfume and to use it regularly on oneself. Al-Bukhari narrated that Salman Al-Farsi said: the Prophet S.A.W.S. said

“Allah will forgive the sins of the past week for he who on Friday will take a bath, cleanse himself, put on his (regular) pefrume or any perfume available in house. Then, he goes out (to Jumu’ah prayer) and does not try to separate two friends. The he prays wherever he could and listen to the Imam.”

If the body became odorous a day or two before Friday, one should not wait till Friday to cleanse the body. We should was our bodies as soon as it require washing to keep ourselves clean and fresh.

To take a bath on Friday is specifically required since a large number of people will be gathering at mosques. However, if our body became dirty or we sweat on a particular day, then we should take a bath at the end of day or next morning. This is indicated by a Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim that Abu Huraira said, the Prophet S.A.W.S. said:

“It is the duty of every Muslim to have a bath once every week to wash his head and body.”

Stay In Touch

If you cannot visit your relatives, friends or acquaintances, you should still keep in touch by calling them or sending them a letter. This will leave them with a deep amicable impression and will keep the relationship alive. Al-Fadhl ibn Marwan, the vizier of the Abbasid Khalifah al-Mu’tasim said, “Inquiring about friends is (like) meeting them.”

In this regard, I would like to quote two poems:

If dear friends missed meeting each other
Then, the best meeting is a letter

I will be grateful every day
To a friend sending greetings while far away

Eat Little, Be Cautious, and Constantly Remember Allah

Ibn Jama’ah said:
“From the best ways to help yourself understand the knowledge you are dealing with and to prevent boredom from it is to eat very little, and from what is halal.

ash-Shafi’i said: “For the past sixteen years, I never ate my fill.” The reason for this is that eating excessively leads to excessive drinking and sleeping, dulling of the senses, and laziness of the body. This is all in addition to the fact that doing so is disliked in the Shari’ah, and exposes the body to all types of dangerous disease, as it was said:

Indeed, most of the diseases you see * Are from eating and drinking…

And none of the famous scholars or awliya’ were ever described as having eaten much, or was ever praised for doing so. Rather, excessive eating is a trait of mindless animals. A person’s intellect is the source of his deeds, and it is too noble to be hampered and wasted by such a despicable thing as excess food. If there were no downside to eating too much other than that it forces one to use the bathroom, this would’ve been enough for the intelligent one to steer clear of such a practice. And whoever attempts to be successful in seeking knowledge while insisting upon excessive eating, drinking, and sleeping is attempting the impossible.”

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have Mercy on him) said:
“The desire of the stomach is the most destructive of them all, and it is what caused Adam (peace be upon him) to exit Paradise, and from the desire of the stomach comes the desire.”

[Excerpts taken from book ‘The Manners of the Knowledge Seeker’]

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Completely Free Your Heart for Knowledge and Remove All Obstacles

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy on him) said:
“Getting what you want depends on cutting off habits and attachment to anything else. Habits are when one leans towards what is more relaxing, such as the systems and traditions that people are accustomed to and place at the same level as the Shari’ah. In fact, they might even treat these habits with greater reverence than the Shari’ah, and reprimand those who do not abide by them – even declaring such a person to be a disbeliever, innovator, or misguided, and boycotting and punishing him for going against these traditions and habits. For the sake of these traditions, they kill off the traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and make their own traditions as partners with him (peace be upon him) – declaring alliance and enmity for them. So, the good in their eyes is what goes along with these traditions, and the bad is what contradicts them.

These habits and traditions have taken over various groups of the children of Adam – the kings, the leaders, the jurists, the Sufis, the impoverished, the authority figures, and the general populace. So, the young are taught them at an early age, and the old are raised upon them, and they are treated like sunan. Rather, they are more important in the eyes of those who abide by them than sunan. Whoever is restrained by such habits is imprisoned, cut off, afflicted with great misfortune, and end up abandoning the Qur’an and Sunnah for them. Whoever seeks any type of honor with them is a fool with Allah, and whoever follows them instead of the Qur’an and Sunnah will not be accepted by Allah. These are the greatest barriers and obstacles for the slave on his journey to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).
As for these obstacles, they are the many types of outer and inner contradictions to the Shari’ah that injure the heart upon its journey to Allah and render it immobile, and they cut it off on its path. They are three things: shirk, innovation, and sin. So, the obstacle of shirk is overcome by grasping onto Tawhid, and the obstacle of innovation is overcome by implementing the Sunnah, and the obstacle of sin is overcome by true repentance. These obstacles do not become evident to the slave until he actually begins his journey to Allah and the Hereafter. Only then are these obstacles noticed, and he will notice their handicapping effect in accordance with how intensely and attentively he is traversing this path. Otherwise, he will simply remain still, not feeling their hidden effects.

As for the connections to cut off, these are to anything that the heart can be attached and connected to in place of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) – of the pleasures and desires of this world, the fame it offers, and relationships with others. There is no way to cut off and push away these three things except with the strength of the connection and attachment to a higher goal. Otherwise, cutting these things off without attaching yourself to something else is impossible. The soul does not abandon the object it loves and desires except to attach itself to what is even more beloved and greater in importance to it than  what it has abandoned. The stronger its connection becomes to what it seeks, the weaker its connection becomes to anything else, and vice versa. The connection to the object that is sought is manifested in the intense desire for it, and this is in accordance with how much is known of this object, how noble that object is, and its virtue over everything else.”

[Excerpts taken from book ‘The Manners of the Knowledge Seeker’]

Download here