HOW TO INTERACT WITH NON-MUSLIM PARENTS
By Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan
Shaykh Al-Fawzan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: [Q33]: I accepted Islaam three months ago, and I have two disbelieving parents. How do I interact with them? And am I supposed to hate them in an all-inclusive way?
He replied: [A33]: Interacting (with them) is to be done as Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has said: “You do not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day loving those who have opposed Allaah and His Messenger, even their own fathers.”
So you are to hate them for Allaah’s sake, the Mighty and Majestic. And as for kindness, being dutiful and kind to them, then Allaah the Exalted has said: “And if they strive to make you ascribe partners with Me, that which you have no knowledge of, then do not obey them, and accompany them in the worldly life with kindness.”
This is from the angle of repaying kindness. So the parent has the right to kindness and good treatment. However, as for loving them in one’s heart, then do not ever love the disbelievers. When it became clear to Ibraaheem that his father was an enemy to Allaah, he freed himself of him.
[Source: Duroos fee Nawaaqidh al-Islaam, p.202-203] (p.90-91 of the English translation)
And he said, may Allaah preserve him, in a discussion of the permissible ways of interaction with disbelievers: : It is permissible for us to respond kindly to any kindness that they have shown to us. Allaah, the Exalted One, has said: “Allaah does not forbid you from being kind and just with those who have not fought you over the Religion, nor have they expelled you from your homelands. Verily, Allaah loves those who are just.”
So if they have done something nice for the Muslims, then the Muslims may respond with something nice and compensate them. This is not from the angle of loving them, rather it is only from the angle of compensation.
Furthermore, it is obligatory to be kind to one’s disbelieving parents, without loving them. Allaah, the Exalted One, has said: “And We have admonished mankind regarding his parents. His mother carried him (in the womb) through hardships upon hardships, and then he was weaned after two years. (And We have admonished him) to be grateful to Me, and to his parents. To Me is the Return.”
“And if they strive to make you ascribe partners with Me, that which you have no knowledge of, then do not obey them, and accompany them in the worldly life with kindness. And follow the path of those who repent to Me.”
So it is obligatory to be kind to one’s parents, even if they are disbelievers, however one may not love them in his heart: “You do not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day loving those who have opposed Allaah and His Messenger, even their own fathers or children.”
Loving them is one thing, and good dealings with them is another.
Umm Salamah, the daughter of Aboo Bakr, who was a polytheist, came seeking some money. So Asmaa’ went to the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and said to him, “Verily my mother has come and she is inclined, meaning inclined to re-establish ties, so should I establish ties with her?” He replied, “Yes, keep ties with your mother.”
Thus, worldly affairs, business dealings, compensations, and exchanges (of good treatment) between Muslims and disbelievers in beneficial affairs that do not affect the Religion are permissible. Similarly, diplomatic representation between embassies is also not harmful. The polytheists used to send messengers to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) to negotiate with him. They would enter upon him while he was in the masjid and negotiate with him. These kinds of affairs are not things that show loyalty, rather they are merely permissible affairs of benefit between the Muslims and the disbelievers.
So it is binding that we make a distinction between this and that. Some people mix up the issues that are permissible with those that are impermissible. From them are those who say, “It is permissible to love the disbelievers, because Allaah has allowed us to interact with them and to marry the Kitaabiyyaat (Jewish and Christian women), so then it is permissible to love them and not make a distinction between us and them.” This person has fallen short in his understanding (of hating the disbelievers).
On the other hand, there are people who go overboard (in hating the disbelievers). They are those who say, “It is not permissible to keep any ties whatsoever with the disbelievers, not for the sake of business, not compensation, and not repaying their kindness, as all of these affairs are displays of allegiance.” So we say to them: These affairs are not displays of allegiance. One must make a distinction between the two, between the position of the extremist and that of the neglectful one. The Religion is a middle course, and there is no extremism and no negligence in it.
So it is obligatory on us to be acquainted with these different types of interactions with the disbelievers, and to know which of them are permissible and which are not, especially in this time when there are so many people who speak about affairs of the Religion without knowledge, or they speak about the Religion based on desires.
So it is obligatory on the student of knowledge to know the legislated rulings about these affairs, as it is an important affair, since it is directly related to the Muslim’s beliefs.
Taken from Duroos fee Nawaaqidh al-Islaam, p.89-91] (p.110-114 of the English translation)
EXPLANATION OF THE AYAH “BE KIND AND DUTIFUL TO THE PARENTS”
By Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ghudyaan (hafidhullaah)
Explanation of the Ayaah : “And When we took covenant from the Children of Israel that they must not worship anyone besides Allaah and be dutiful and kind towards the parents “
Shaykh Ghudyaan hafidhullaah greeted the brothers and sisters by giving the salaams, starting with bismillaah and salaah wa salaam on the Prophet, salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam and his brothers from amongst the Messengers and the sahaabah and the tabi’een. He began by saying that the entitlement of this lecture is: Being good and kind to par ents”. As was mentioned by our brother Zaahid in the verse, “ and when we took the pledge from the children of Israel that they should worship none other than Allaah and that they should be kind to their parents”. He said that this particular subject matter shall be dealt with under the following headings: The first one is the meaning of Birr, secondly who is intended by al-Walidayn (the parents), thirdly, explaining the regulations concerning being kind to parents and mentioning some of the ayaat that explain this issue and also some of the ahadeeth that point in this direction as well. Fourthly, explaining the regulations of obedience to the parents and fifthly, the difference between obedience to the father and obedience to the mother and then, what are some of the effects of bad obedience in our lives and then the Shaykh said after that perhaps we can answer some of the questions that are prese nted.
The Shaykh hafidhullaah started by explaining the word Birr and he said that this _expression is a very comprehensive word for all types of goodness, goodness pertaining to ones speech and actions. So it is something that a person does through his words and his deeds and even with his wealth. Also by keeping away harm from his parents. And any of these things are included in the concept or the word Birr, so the word Birr is something that is comprehensive for all good that maybe directed towards the parents whether we’re talking about words or deeds. As for who is intended by parents, this includes the father, mother, grandfathers and grandmothers even if they are distant, ones who are immediate then those further up. As for the regulations pertaining to being kind to parents, the regulation is that it is compulsory and there is no distinction between parents, father and mother whether their Muslims or their not Muslims. And so what is intended is that being kind and good to parents is of those things that are compulsory on the child.
And he mentions that the evidences for this particular regulation are abundant in the Qu’raan and in the Sunnah. Allaah, subhanna wa ta’alaa mentions in the Qur’aan and He says: And your Lord has commanded that you be good to your parents (both of them) and if either one of them attains old age or both of them then you should not say to any of them the word “eeuf” , anything that is displeasing and do not rebuke them. But rather say to them a word that is noble and lower to them the wings of mercy and humility and say My Lord have mercy on them and they bred me and brought me up as a child. Your Lord knows best what is in your souls and if you ar e righteous He is to those who turn to Him Oft-Forgiving(17:23-25)
There are other verses that the Shaykh mentioned for example, Allaah subhanna wa ta’laa says: And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty months…. (46:15)
A man once came to the Prophet, salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam asking about jihaad and the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam questioned him: ‘Are your parents alive?’. He said “Yes”. He said: “ Then struggle in their way”. Here the Messenger sallaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam preferred the parents, both parents over the aspect of jihaad fisabillilaah.
Another individual came asking the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam which deed is best. And the Prophet said believing in Allaah subhanna wa ta’alaa. He said what is after that. He said performing salaah on time. He said what is after that. He said being kind and good to parents. In this particular hadeeth, being kind and good to parents comes after eemaan and salaah and it is known that salaah is one of the pillars of Islaam. And the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alaihi wa salaam mentioned that here kindness to parents comes after that.
The other i ssue with which the Shaykh deals has to do with the difference between the kindness shown to the father and that of the mother. A man came to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alaihi wa salaam and he questioned: O Messenger of Allaah who deserves my good companionship more? He said: Your mother. The person again questioned, then who. He said your mother. He then questioned again .He said your mother. Then he questioned and the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam replied then your father and then those who are closer and then those who are closer.
The Shaykh mentions that the right of the mother was mentioned 3 times, and then after that the father and the rest of the relatives. They were only mentioned once. So the mother has a special place. She is the one who carried the child during the time of pregnancy and she delivered the baby and she nursed him for two complete years and then she is the one who is responsible for looking after him until he attains adulthood. Allaah subhanna wa ta’alaa mentions this in the Qu’raan when he says that she carries him in a state of difficulty and she gives birth in a similar state of difficulty and then after that she nurses him and this comes from her own strength. Also looking at the fact that she is the one who cleans him and takes care of him and she is the one who is responsible in looking after him in all these stages.
As for the father, he is the one responsible for the outside earning and providing for them so the right of the mother is one that is more emphasized. In respect to obedience, obedience should be shown to both parents in that which is good. As for that which is not correct, the Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam mentioned that there is no obedience to any creation if it involves disobedience to Allaah, subhanna wa ta’alaa. This includes for example then preventing a person who would like to acquire knowledge from doing so. We have to look at what type of knowledge is being acquired.
If it is individual compulsory acts that we’re looking at, fard ‘ayn, and it is something which is binding on each individual to know then no obedience is due to them in this particular case. If it something which is a collective responsibility, fard kifaayah then you look at the condition of the parents. If they have someone who is looking after them, who is taking care of their food, clothing, shelter and their well-being then it is not becoming of them to prevent their child from actually going and acquiring this type of knowledge. However, if they are in need of him under this circumstance then that is what takes precedence.
The Shaykh hafidhullaah started with some of the positive consequences of being kind to parents. The first thing is that being kind to them, both parents, is that it is one of the things, which causes an individual to enter paradise. The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam mentioned that Jibreel ‘alaihis salaam descended upon him. And he said that may a person be disgraced, the one in the presence of whom you are mentioned and he does not send his salaams on you. The Prophet responded by saying Aameen (Oh Allaah answer). May the person also be disgraced whose parents, both of them or one of them happen to be in his presence and because of his negligence to them, they do not allow him to go to paradise and the Prophet also said aameen, Oh Allaah answer.
This shows the importance of being kind and good to parents whether they are Muslims or whether they are disbelievers and that it is one of the causes, which lead an individual to paradise and save him from the Fire. The second thing from the positive consequences of being kind to parents is that it causes a person’s life to be extended and his sustenance to be increased. The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam mentioned that whoever would like to have an extension in his stay in this world or have an increase in his sustenance then let him join his family ties. Other important areas of the family ties is being good to your parents and this is one of the indications that being kind to parents is one of the reason for a person living long and having his sustenance increased. Thirdly, being kind to parents is one of the things that causes your own children to treat you kind to you as well – in the future -and for them to be kind to you, the same way you showed goodness and respect to your father and your mother. The Prophet salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam said: Show kindness to your parents and in turn your children shall show kindness to you.”
This, then, is one of the positive things that come as a result from you showing kindness to your parents and the same way you were kind to them, your children, in the future and in times when you need it, show kindness to you the same way you showed kindness and goodness to your mother and your father. Also, being kind to them causes them to be pleased with you. And we know that Allaah’s pleasure is tied up with the pleasure of the parents and His dislike is also tied up with the parents being displeased. The Shaykh mentioned, number five – this also then allows us to receive Allaah’s pleasure or Allaah being pleased with us – because when we discharge what Allaah commands us to do it causes Him to be pleased with us and He has commanded us to be kind to our parents. The opposite will cause Allaah to be angry with us because we’re doing something that He dislikes. So, being kind to parents is one of the things that causes Allaah to be pleased with us and the opposite invokes His anger. We have then effects, not only in this world but in the world to come that are consequences of being good and good to parents. I conclude this lecture by asking Allaah with all of His beautiful names and His qualities to make this a blessed gathering and the separation of…(unintelligible) and do not place amongst us anyone that is wretched or does not receive any benefit or is prevented from this and then the Shaykh sent salaam on the Prophet and his companions.
TAFSIR OF THE COMMAND TO BE GOOD AND DUTIFUL TO PARENTS
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Allah commands His servants to be dutiful to parents, after urging them to adhere to belief in His Tawhid, because a person’s parents are the cause of his existence. So he must treat them with the utmost kindness and respect, his father for spending on him and his mother because of her compassion for him.
Allah says: (And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. 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 as they did bring me up when I was young.”) (17:23-24)
Although Allah orders us to show kindness, mercy and respect towards them in return for their previous kindness, He says: (but if they strive to make associate with Me, which you have no knowledge of, then obey them not.) meaning, if they are idolators, and they try to make you follow them in their religion, then beware of them, and do not obey them in that, for you will be brought back to Me on the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will reward you for your kindness towards them and your patience in adhering to your religion. It is Allah Who will gather you with the group of the righteous, not with the group of your parents, even though you were the closest of people to them in the world. For a person will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection with those whom he loves, meaning, religious love.
Allah says: (And for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, surely, We shall make them enter with the righteous.) In his Tafsir of this Ayah, At-Tirmidhi recorded that Sa`d said: “Four Ayat were revealed concerning me — and he told his story. He said: “Umm Sa`d said: `Did Allah not command you to honor your parents By Allah, I will not eat or drink anything until I die or you renounce Islam.’ When they wanted to feed her, they would force her mouth open.
Then this Ayah was revealed: (And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful to his parents; but if they strive to make you associate with Me, of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not.)” This Hadith was also recorded by Imam Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i. At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.
HONORING ONE’S MOTHER AFTER HER DEATH
By Ash Shaykh Al ‘Allaamah ‘Abdul ‘Azeed ibn Baaz
Question: How can I honour and show righteousness towards my mother after her death?
Answer: All praise is due to Allaah.
It has been established from the Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that a questioner asked him: O Messenger of Allaah, is there anything left by way of honouring and showing righteousness towards my parents which I may honour them with and show righteousness towards them after their death? And the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘[sending] the prayers upon them, and seeking forgiveness for them, and the execution of their promise/ contract [that they may have] after them [i.e. their death] and showing respect and kindness towards their friends, and the ties of kinship which cannot be reached except by way of them [i.e. linked to them].’
All this is from honouring and showing righteousness towards the parents after their death.
And we advise you to make du’aa for your mother and seek forgiveness for her and to execute and carry out her legislated Will and to show righteousness and kindness towards her friends and (to maintain the) kinship with your maternal uncles and maternal aunts and the rest of your relatives from your mothers side.
May Allaah give you success and make your affair easy for you, and accept (the good actions) from us and from you and from all the muslims – and Allaah is the Successful.