Family in Islam
By: Muhammad Baqir Qarashi
Islam has instituted the system of family on sound bases agreeing with the life necessities and the individuals’ exigencies and behavior. It has regarded the family talents that are afforded by God, as spontaneous. God says:
And one of his signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion.
This phenomenon on which mankind have been natured is one of God’s grand portents and graces. Islam also works for arranging the Muslim families to be good exemplars and have the elements of orthodox leadership. As God exposes the manners of the virtuous servants, He says:
O Our Lord! Grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us guides to those who guard against evil.
The availability of good exemplars and virtuous patterns is the most important rule in the educational processes.
In the previous surveys of genetics, we have referred to the Islamic rule that any matrimonial bond should be first founded on test so that the defects of any spouse would not move to the coming generations and societies. Islam has also given fathers the guardianship on their daughters for selecting the most appropriate husband and dismissing the disabled who may cause misfortunes and problems. Since women generally realize only the shells of life, they naturally show blemish in selecting for themselves. In most cases, women are deceived by their fiancés’ false promises and appearances. Most women lack enough acquaintance with the deceitful licentious individuals that may speak of the fascinating words of love and fondness and imaginary promises and pledges. They ignore that a satisfactory marriage occurs only when the other party enjoys noble ethics and high traits that encourage on caring for their affairs and rights, and producing virtuous offspring that bring pleasure and contentment in the final age. Islam stresses on this result.
The system of families that is instituted by Islam relies upon the deep cognizance of the elements of family contentment and bond in physiological, mental, and social fields. It calls for satisfying each individual with kindness, affection, moderation, and settlement.
Islam cares a lot for achieving amiability, understanding, and harmony between spouses since their bond represents the chief core of families. These qualities are available in the ideal spouses about whom Hammerlock Alice said, “Ideal marriage does not rest on accordant desires. It rests upon a chaste union that is based upon deep warmth that increases day by day to scope all of the fields. This is the union of flavors, feelings, and tendencies. It is the union of common life as it binds to paternity burdens.”
Islam wants the sexual bonds to be ideal and based firmly upon love and understanding so that the educational processes will fruit effectively and create sound societies.
Islam has legislated for attaining all of the objective courses aiming at conciliating, developing, and leading the families to prosperity. On that account, it paid a special attention to the role of home, and ordered the common ethics among families and delimited the private duties that bring about family association and have a positive influence on the educational composition.
Significance of Home
Home, through which the social environment achieves the children’s educational results, plays a considerable role in the educational processes. Children receive traditions, practices, beliefs, arts, traits, history, and triumphs of their nations through their homes. The social environment can attain its strong effects in education only when home accomplishes its missions successfully. Corruption of children is the natural and the inescapable consequence of home corruption. There is more than one role played by home in the educational processes since it is the natural source of affection and kindness. The way to tranquillity passes through home. Islam has devoted a specific attention to home. It has ordered that love and cordiality should prevail on homes. It also has regulated that any sorts of primness, forsaking, and reproach may retard the children’s adaptation. Serious deviations, such as the loss of security, self-confidence, and others, will affect the children whose homes are too short to fulfill their missions.
THE COMMON COURSES
Islam has constituted courses that are common among family members and called for applying them to their lives so that contentment will shade the all.
Love and Affiliation:
Islam has called for the predominance of love, affiliation, and cordiality among the family members who are required to avoid any concern that may confuse the purity of the living. Women should meet this liability in the first place since they can turn a home into a paradise -by fulfilling the duties, considering the morals, and being a unique believer- or into a hell. A man told the Prophet (s) of his wife’s customs, “She receives me as I enter the house, and sees me off as I leave, and alleviates my cares if she notices any. She used to say, ‘You should care about nothing. If you care for the livings, this is the mission of other than you. If you are caring for a paradisiacal matter, Allah, then, may increase your care.’” The Prophet declared his great admiration of that lady, “Tell your lady that she will be abiding in the Paradise. She is truly one of God’s veritable servants.”
When wives take care of their husbands by fulfilling their duties, affiliation will be prevalent. Furthermore, a tie of deep adoration will be established among the family members, and this will lead to the successful education.
Islam has called for the spouses’ collaboration in the living affairs and the management of the home affairs. It has called for living associatively in mutual affiliation and relationship. This is the task of the paterfamilias. Islam has bound the householders with attending to their wives and taking part in the home affairs. The Prophet (s) used to participate with his wives in the house affairs and say, “Partaking wives in the house affairs is a sort of alms.” Imam Ali (a) was wont to help Fatima az-Zahra (a), the veracious and the mistress of women of the worlds, in the housekeeping and the home management. These acts will surely establish a spirit of noble empathy -which is the most significant element of the sound education- in the sons’ essences.
Islam has urged on mutual respect and abidance by morals among the family members. The older must feel for the younger, and the younger should reverence the older. The Prophet (s) said, “The old should be sympathetic to the young, and the young should reverence the old.” Abidance by morals erects a sense of good virtues and values. It correspondingly enjoins the maturity of perfect behavior in the children’s minds, and incites to fling in the field of collaboration with the family and the society. Psychoanalysts have proven that the children’s religious and moral values mature only in the family surroundings.
The family members -chiefly the children- will suffer mental defects, nervous disorders, loss of sound behavior, and aberrance if the family is characterized by inharmony and disorder. Modern educational surveys show that family disorder and unsettlement is the biggest elements of aberrance. Crises that lead to deviation are the results of family clutter. Consequently, it is essentially incumbent, for protecting the juveniles from irregularity and deviation, to conserve the family settlement by removing all of the factors of distress and confusion.
Not only are fathers responsible for saving their dependants’ alimonies and fiscal necessities, but also they are required to provide education, discipline, morals, and guidance. They must ensure the high traits and warn against evil. Imam Zeinul-abidin (a) says, “Your sons’ right is that you should realize their being parts of you and attached to you in good and evil. You are responsible for providing the noble traits, conducting them to their Lord, and backing them in worshipping Him as a compliance with you. They entirely be rewarded or punished. You should act to your sons as seekers of the good remuneration in this world, and justified to the Lord through the acceptable supervision and training.”
Imam Zeinul-abidin (a) was used to supplicating to the Lord for his son by saying, “O Lord! Make them filial pious, godly, aware, listeners, and obedient for Thee, and adherents and advisers for Thy saints, and mutinous and antipathetic of Thy foes.”
Fathers are subject to bring forth the chaste education for the sons to guarantee their sincerity. The Imams of the Prophet’s progeny regarded this topic highly. Imam Ali (a), the first Islamic educationist, says to his son, Imam al-Hassan, “I consider you being a part of me, being me all in all. Anything that strikes you is actually striking me. Death when draws near to you is drawing to me. Your affairs are as same as mine.”
Yes indeed, sons are not only parts of their fathers. They are truly their fathers’ all in all. They expose their fathers’ existence and entity. From this cause, fathers should care for their sons’ education, edification, and perfection in order that they will take pride in them magnificently. On the other hand, sons may be evil and mischievous to their fathers if their education and affairs are neglected. The following are some of the fathers’ tasks:
1. Custody of Sons:
Fathers should take care of their sons by granting them with affection and tenderness, and conferring honor upon them. These matters form the most influential effects in structuring their educational entity and advancing their personalities and mental maturity.
The Prophet (s) had al-Hassan and al-Hussein -his grandsons- in the greatest custody. As he was having them on his shoulders, the Prophet (s) used to say, “These two are my single basil in this world. He whoever loves me should love them.” On another occasion, he said to Fatima az-Zahra (a), “Summon my two sons.” As she presented them, the Prophet (s) smelt and embraced them. It is also related that al-Aqra bin Habis, seeing the Prophet’s fondness and custody of his two grandchildren, said, “I do not remember I have ever kissed any of my ten sons.” This saying made the Prophet irate. “What can we do to a man that God has uprooted mercy from him!”
The Prophet (s) poured his ideal and guidance in the minds of his two grandsons. He also dwelled his merciful tendencies on them. Therefore, they became the excellent exemplars of perfection. Their liberal lifetime accumulated the total aspects of magnitude and divinity as well as whatsoever mankind boasts all over history. They achieved the elevation in ethics and essence, and delved into the fields of grandeur and right.
Fathers’ custody, affection, and charity to sons are the most consequential constituents of the educational entity that consummates the children’s personal affluence and spares the mental complexities that are the most serious diseases. Modern educational surveys have proved that good citizens and virtuous scientists are mostly the outcome of the careful families. Psychologists have asserted this fact, too. Conversely, the sons that are unwelcomed and disregarded by their families take aggressive paths and seem to be negative, quarreling, and rebellious, and invent skillful trickeries for disturbing the adults. Besides, they tend to criminal behavior.
- The aspects of the family negligence are as follows:
- Cruelty and excessive vulgarity in treating the children.
- The use of the fierce physical disciplining.
- The continuous criticizing, reproaching, and exposition of the children’s defects before others.
- Intemperance in neglecting and accusing the children.
- The negligence of praising the children.
- Disgracing the children before the other brothers and sisters.
- Showing astonishment when others praise the children.
Fathers should avoid the previous matters when they deal with their sons. This will save the children’s behaviors and guard them against irregularity and aberrance.
Fathers should cover their sons with equal amounts of love, affection, and custody. Many psychological complexities, jealousy, fury, and the arising of mental passive revolts may occur to the children who notice any distinction in the fathers’ conservation. These effects may lead to serious psychological ailments.
The holy Quran exposes the story of Joseph the prophet when his father favored him to the other brothers. Consequently, they plotted for an artifice by which they threw him in a well and came to their fathers weeping. The father –Jacob the prophet- was so regretful that his eyes turned into white. A calamitous crisis that he had to suffer was owing to favoring a definite son to the others. The Prophet (s) is reported to say, “Treat your sons equally as you like to be treated fairly in benevolence and kindness.” As he noticed a father of two sons kiss one and neglect the other, the Prophet (s) reproached, “You should have treated them equitably.”
Equality among sons is one of the components of the Islamic education. Fathers should never distinguish between brothers. Fathers who address charity and benevolence at certain sons exclusively, or give the heritage exclusively to the sons and neglect the daughters, are definitely out of the circle of Islam. Such procedures arouse hostility and hatred among the brothers and cause retardation in their educational entity, and mental disorder and slowdown in the social relations. It is proven that the sons that are deprived of paternal affection and benevolence are stroke by psychological complexities, social antagonism, and severe conduct. Fabrication, larceny, cruelty, evildoing, and assaulting deeds are the effects of the children that lack paternal affection.
“Children’s paternal hatred stops against the social conditioning. It cancels the feelings of security and self-confidence. Modern psychological surveys have confirmed that the most critical causes of disquietude are the nullity of the family emotional warmth, feelings of others’ negligence, deprivation of love, kindness, and affection, and feelings of weakness in the aggressive world. Secondly, inequality among brothers arises the feelings of disquietude in the children’s minds, and kills the spirits of keenness that help in pushing the way easily and tranquilly. Disordered men feel of depression and mental torment everywhere.”
Fathers should treat their sons equally, lest the sons will be affected by such serious ailments that smash the mental entities.
Fathers must cover their family members, especially spouses, with cordiality, affection, and benevolence, and meet their needs entirely. God has instituted this as one of the wives’ rights. It also contributes in the children’s prudent education and personal contentment that live in aspects that are filled with love, affection, peace, and settlement. Islam has urged on caring for wives. The Prophet (s) said, “The best of you are the best to their wife. I am the best to my wives.” He also said, “Wives are the husbands’ delight. Almighty God favors those who deal with their delight in the best way.” Imam al-Baqir (a) says, “May God’s mercy be upon those who enjoy good relations with their wives. Allah the Exalted gave men the wives in possession and made them their custodians.” Imam as-Sadiq (a) says, “Fear God while you deal with the two weak; women and slaves.”
Fathers ought not to displease or wrong their wives. The Prophet (s) says, “The best men of my nation are those who do not encroach or wrong their wives and those who treat them kindly.” He then recited God’s saying:
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others.
Fathers’ natures and manners to their family members leave the greatest influence on the children’s consonance in the society. The children’s personalities achieve prosperity only when their fathers’ treatments are well. Contrariwise, children’s behaviors and intellectual maturity are badly affected and ceased if fathers use rudeness.
4. Avoidance of Obscene Language:
Fathers, as paterfamiliases, are in charge of constituting the educational entity of their families. They should avoid obscene language, vulgarity, and any matter that injures the general manners. Chastity and homogeneity should find a considerable place in every house. It is obligatory upon fathers, whose words and deeds penetrate the hearts of their sons who are influenced by their manners and morals, to shield the family members from evil and obscene language. Children who notice their parents’ ill deeds can never have sound education and growth up. Similarly, children who notice their fathers say false things will never comply with their instructions of truth and sincerity. They pursue their fathers’ deeds and actions. On that account, fathers must apply the noble traits and manners to their lives to be good exemplars for their family members.
5. Supervising the Sons’ Behaviors:
In most cases of the ethical crimes that are committed by juveniles, the source is heeded to be the fathers’ negligence of superintending their sons and discounting the signals of aberrance they show. Naturally, children whose conscience and mind are imperfect cannot distinguish between good and evil. As children notice that no problem or reproach occurred owing to their doing a bad deed, they will certainly keep up doing it habitually.
Islam has urged fathers on associating and supervising the behaviors of their early children for saving them against the pollution of crimes that are arisen from aberrance. Nowadays, it is unfortunately noticeable that fathers disdain this condition on which the future of their children relies. This terrible negligence led to the young’s deviation and moral degradation. Violence and irregularity have become the nature of most young men’s behaviors and morals.
One of the ugliest sorts of negligence and deviation from the sound educational courses is the unsupervised mixing of the two sexes of the same age in schools and universities. In most cases, such mixing may induce young women to lose chastity and avert the behavioral criteria of probity.
Fathers are liable -before God- for supervising their sons’ behavior and turning them aside from all of the evil tendencies. Al-Ghezali says, “Opting for certain methods of educating is one of the most significant and considerable tasks. A child is his father’s trust. His stainless heart is a precious gem that is clear from any image or picture. It is becoming to receive any image and follow any way. If a child is inured to good, this will stick to his mind, and the pleasure of this world and the Hereafter will be amassed for him. Parents, tutors, and trainers of children have a share in his rewards. Inversely, if a child is inured to evil, and neglected like animals, nonsuccess and loss will be the result. The guardian will undergo the sin of misguidance. God the Exalted says:
O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones; over it are angels stern and strong, they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded.
Fathers should save their children against the hell-fire and that of this world. Fathers’ salvation is educating, disciplining, and leading their children to the noble traits and keeping them against associating with the evil. Fathers should avoid inuring their children to luxurious living, otherwise the sons will spend their lives looking for such things, and this will definitely cause damage. Fathers’ supervision should be initiated with the children’s early years. It is also essential for fathers to choose chaste and religious wet nurses and nursemaids. Women’s milk is unblessed unless it is produced from legal earnings. Children who are brought up on such illegitimate food will tend to evil and illegal matters.”
The previous opinion of Al-Ghazzali is, to great extent, exact. Modern educational surveys have accepted this opinion. Early supervision, encouragement on the noble traits, and the avoidance of the evil tendencies; all these are the matters that incite prosperity of this world and the Hereafter. In like fashion, negligence and non-supervision lead to nonsuccess and damage.
Fathers should take initiative in disciplining their children as soon as they notice a behavioral irregularity or any offense that contradicts the religious and social traditions as well as the general manners. Precipitation in disciplining the wrong children is a sufficient means for removing evil and rebellious spirits. Islam has confirmed this matter. The Prophet (s) said, “Discipline your children. This is better for you than a daily giving of a big sum of alms.” He also said, “If you honor and discipline your children aptly, God will forgive you.”
In most cases, irregularity that accompanies the children is the consequence of the fathers’ negligence and failure to discipline the children who deviate. Sheik Naraqi says, “Children that are neglected in the earliest stages of growth up will mostly opt for ill manners. They chiefly prefer fabrication, envy, and obstinacy, and become thieves, traitors, and impolite. In other cases, such children may be weakling, licentious, and profligate.”
7. Taking the children away from the sexual activities:
Islam has warned spouses against copulation near their children, since this may incite their lust and give them a motive to seek fields of harlotry and depravity. Imam al-Baqir (a) advised Jabir saying, “Avoid copulating in a place where a boy that is able to distinguish your doing, can see you.” Imam as-Sadiq says, “Men should never copulate with their ladies where there is a boy. This brings about fornication.” The Prophet (s) said, “I swear by the Prevailing of my soul, success will never approach boys who see or hear even the breath of the copulating spouses. Fornication is the result.”
Specialists in sexual education have affirmed the necessity of taking the children away from the sexual relations. Sir Pepsi says, “The sexual sense is existent to every human being including babies to whom this state begins to gush after maturity. So, it is very much important to avoid any activity arousing this state before its proper time. Some fathers undervalue the necessity of preventing the children from noticing them when they strip their clothes. Such fathers go to extremes in this regard, as they think of being intellectuals or progressists who should give us the opportunity to see them naked. As children frequently notice such manners, they will soon be paying great interest to the sexual characteristics in their minds.”
Children’s minds are quickly affected by what they notice. On that account, it is essential to take them away from whatever stirs up the lusts and corrupts the moralities, for guarding them against aberrance and irregularity. As the western education paid no attention to this regard, their sons had to encounter mental damage, many sorts of sexual troubles, and moral downfall as well as the absence of social bonds.
8. Taking the children away from the ill-gotten food:
Fathers should provide legal-gotten foods to their children, and protect them against any food that the Lord has forbidden. The forbidden foods are the usurped, the real filthy things -such as pork-, the external filthy things -such as foods affected by external impurities-, and the like things that are detailed in the theses of the jurists. Fathers should exert all efforts for habituating their children to have legal food only since, as it has been proven through modern clinical surveys, the sources of nutrition leave a great influence on the behavior and maturity.
Islam is terribly sensitive to any matter that may delay the children’s growth and personal prosperity. Ill-gotten foods have internal aftereffects on the mental constituents. They may cause the hindrance of the behavioral activities in a way permitting the composition of evil tendencies, such as severity and extreme assaults. As Islam has cared for these aspects, it issued the obligation of keeping the children clear of the ill-gotten foods. It is related that as the Prophet (s) noticed that Imam al-Hassan -when was a child- put a fruit of date palms in the mouth, he disciplined, “Throw it out! Have you not known that we –the Prophet and his household- do not have from foods given as alms?”
After the calamitous incident of Kerbala, Imam al-Hussein’s harems were taken to Kufa as captives. As some people noticed that the accompanying children were starving, they gave them some fruits of date palm as alms. Ummu-Kulthoum, the Prophet’s granddaughter, reproached the children and informed that it was forbidden for the Prophet’s household to receive alms. Immediately, the children took the fruits out of their mouths. As the Prophet’s household kept up this illuminative behavior in the educational fields, they produced those unprecedented and unparalleled young men and women who formed the greatest exemplars in veracity, chastity, and decency.
Mothers are the headmost schools of structuring the children’s personalities, and supplying them with the noble traits. Polite and courteous mothers produce virtuous generation. Decadence and lewdness are the outcome of the generations that are brought up by impolite mothers.
On mothers’ shoulders lie great social liabilities. They are responsible for the nations’ future, honesty, and progress. They are the origin brick in the building of the educational entity. They also bear the most momentous aspects of the education of children since they are the builders of the bases of the children’s tendencies and moralities through guiding to virtues, ambitions, progression, action, and self-reliance. It is very much difficult to change totally the matters that the children acquire before their eighth year of age. So, those matters influence greatly the society and peoples’ lives and maturity. It is so natural that a child --when brought up on ambition, progression, activity, and diligence- will positively add strong pillars to the nation for achieving the required deeds and structuring propitious civilization.
Mothers enjoy some motives for helping in the children’s custody and education:
1. Mothers are more tolerant than others are in the field of educating and keeping their children. This is because they enjoy natural instinctive motives. God has given deep love and affection to mothers exclusively so that they consider their children as their hearts and souls. Without this, children would not exist and live.
2. Mothers are more aware and conscious of their children’s morals and moods. They are also more enlightened with the soundest means of enjoining good and forbidding evil.
3. Naturally, children respond to their mothers according to the law of exigency. They exert all efforts for carrying out their mothers’ desires and obtaining their satisfactions.
Mothers, who desire to see their sons be their future pleasure and relic, should work hard for educating the sons and overseeing their behaviors by sticking in their minds the good biases and the noble idealities.
1. Mothers should endear and encourage on every good conduct by referring to the successful outcomes.
2. Mothers should warn their children against any criminal and evil way and custom, and should warn them against the behaviors of any party that is incongruent to the religious and social habits. They should refer to the consequences of such things that are injurious for families, societies, and the children themselves.
3. Mothers should choose chastity and morality as the courses of educating their daughters whom should be guided to the qualities of the female exemplars. They should be warned against recklessness and being affected by the fashions of those women who are unaware of their chastity and dignity. Careful tutelage should be focused on daughters and their affairs so that they will not be polluted by the libertine conventions that, unfortunately, found their way to our Islamic societies, and invaded our people’s intellective and doctrinal lives. Daughters are usually more obedient -to their mothers- than sons. They are always in need of their mothers. Hence, mothers should maintain, manage, and train them on housekeeping. They should also make them perceive the life’s liabilities so that they will fulfill their duties in the future and become the good mothers of other generations.
4. Mothers should not exceed in pampering their children in order to avoid the disadvantages that contribute in the retardation of education and the future unbecomingness.
5. Mothers should attract their sons’ attentions to the high standards of their fathers. They should insist on reverencing and respecting them. This will improve the fathers’ roles in disciplining the deviate and leading to the good behavior.
6. Mothers should never contend their husbands since this creates an aspect of mutual malice and hatred. Consequently, such matters may lead to the children’s disorder and anxiety as well as other mental complexes. Islam has urged women on pleasing the husbands and neglecting any matter that may enrage them. The Prophet (s) is reported to say, “Allah will not accept any dissuasion, remuneration or good deed of the wives unless they satisfy their husbands.” “Wives, who mistreat and burden their husbands with arduous and unbearable things, will not be rewarded for their good deeds, and God will come upon in ire.” “Wives will not fulfill God’s rights before they fulfill their husbands’.” Imam Abu Jafar says, “The deeds of wives, who address at their husbands that they did not see any good from them, will be come to nothing.”
Muslim wives are asked to satisfy, appease, and comply with their husbands in addition to avoid whatsoever may disturb them. This is the only way of saving good education for their children.
7. Mothers should inform the paterfamiliases of every aberrant deed they may notice on their sons’ behaviors. Fathers’ turn then is disciplining and guiding the sons to the correct path. Mothers should never cover up such deeds lest sons will have motives to keep up the incorrect manners. Mothers are also asked not to make objections to fathers’ disciplinary punishments lest sons’ rebel and corruption may increase.
8. Mothers should protect their sons from the streets that are full of seductive matters and motives of antisocial behaviors. Nowadays, streets are including, to excess, the aberrant ones and those who are morally affected and the source of children’s being polluted and dragged to junkyards of immoralities and serious offenses.
9. Mothers should deprive their sons of any cause or method that may injure chastity and purity, or collapse the morals and ethics, such as sexy books, novels and cinemas, nightclubs and the like. Such sources of seductive media draggle to the lowest levels of whoredom and insolence.
10. Mothers should conserve chastity and good behaviors. They should never display their charms and cast their screens. They should keep up the Islamic conducts so that they would be the good exemplars of their sons in fields of chastity and noble descent. Finally, they should elude any matter that may arouse the cravings and corrupt the moralities.
Honest matrimonial relation creates the precious emotions of the husband and incites him to believe perfectly that he should prefer his sons and wife to his own interests. Dishonest relations, on the other hand, eradicate the husbands’ jealousy to their wives and smash any cerebral motive to bring up their sons honestly or care for saving good life for them. This grand disaster affects mankind. Moral corruption of the young is one of the consequences of that disaster. Sons who lack familiarity with affectionate fathers who care for them will most surely opt for immorality. Indeed, death of emotions leads to death of humanity.
Islam has given a great attention to sons whom are required to respect and obey their fathers absolutely. Thus, impiety to parents is one of the grand sins for which God has threatened the hell-fire. God’s Book refers to the obligation of benefaction and obedience to parents in more than one position. God has attached the obedience of parents to worship and compliance with Him. He says:
And your Lord has commanded that you shall serve any but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them so much as ‘Ugh’ nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion and say: O my Lord! Have compassion on them, as they brought me up when I was little.
Muslims should treat their parents according to this straight course that represents Islam’s genuineness and constancy in education and teachings. Muslims should also meet their parents with thorough travails of service and charity, and dedicate all of the deeds to the parents’ use until they are emotionally satisfied. Besides, the spirits of contentment and acceptance should be dispersed in the parents’ mentalities. Any single word of boredom or annoyance should not be said to the old parents who lack the ability of managing their affairs. In such cases, it is insistently imperative to serve and superintend them. It is quite obligatory to use leniency with them and supplicate to God for their good and meet them with the best forms of dignifying and honoring since these acts leads to God’s forgiveness. Reports of confirmations of the Prophet and the Imams on the commitment to benevolence and piety in treating parents are uninterruptedly existence in the reference books of hadith and history.
Imam As-Sadiq (a) narrated: “O God’s messenger!” a man addressed at the Prophet, “I have the desire to participate in jihad.” “Yes,” said the Prophet, “You should strive for God’s sake. If you are killed, you will be divinely alive and rewarded with earnings. If you die, God will be rewarding you. If you come back safe, your sins will be totally condoned as same as the day on which your mother had given birth of you.” “O God’s messenger!” said the man, “I have aged parents who claim they feel at ease with me and disagree to my departure.” “Then,” said the Prophet; “You are to settle with your parents. By the Prevailing of my soul I swear, one day’s ease you provide to your parents is more preferable to a year participation in jihad.”
Hence, we notice that sons’ piety to their parents is more rewardful than jihad, which is one of the portals of the Paradise.
Zakaria Bin Ibrahim said: I had been Christian before I converted to Islam, performed the ritual pilgrimage and came to Abu Abdillah (Imam as-Sadiq) and told of my conversion to Islam. “What have you noticed in Islam distinctively?” asked the Imam. I referred to God’s saying:
You had not known what is the Book or the believing. But, We made it a light by which We raise whom We desire.
The Imam raised his hands upwardly supplicating to God for my good and guidance. “My father and mother, who is sightless, are Christians,” said I, “I usually accompany them and eat from the same saucer.” “Do they have the pork?” asked the Imam. “Never,” I answered, “They do not even touch it.” The Imam instructed, “Never mind. You should be pious to your mother. If she dies, none other than you should make her funeral ceremonies. You should manage her affairs.”
As I was back hometown, I began to implement the Imam’s instructions of piety of my mother that she wondered the reason beyond my extraordinary supervision. “O son!” she pondered, “When you were on my religion, you did not do this to me. As you converted to Islam after your immigration, I noticed this fantastic piety to me, what is this?” “A man, who is one of our Prophet’s descendants, instructed me,” I answered. “Is he a prophet?” asked she. “No,” I answered, “He is a prophet’s descendant.” “These are certainly the prophets’ instructions,” she expressed, “Your religion is really the best.” She then Islamized.
Islam is grounded on rewarding the well doers and piety to parents as much as possible.
Islam asserts on mothers’ piety specifically more than fathers’. This is because mothers’ rights upon sons are more abundant than fathers’ are. On the authority of Imam as-Sadiq, a man asked the Prophet which of his parents he should treat more benevolently. “Your mother is,” said the Prophet. “Who’s next?” asked the man. “Your mother is,” confirmed the Prophet. “Who’s next?” reasked the man. “Your mother is,” said the Prophet. “Who’s next?” reasked the man. “Then comes your father,” worded the Prophet.
Sons are responsible -before Allah- for supervising and honoring their mothers by saving whatever they need. It may be a part of rewarding the burdens and difficulties that they stood and exerted in educating their sons. As a man was shouldering his mother to perform the ritual circumambulating of the precept of pilgrimage, he asked the Prophet whether he had fulfilled her duty. “No at all,” asserted the Prophet, “You have not met even a single sigh.”
The filial piety and obeying the parents -by serving them- are fundamental constituents of the Islamic education that aims at establishing social ties that should be based upon true amiability and association.