By Naairah Aftab – Campaigns Officer, FOSIS Scotland (as part of the #LifeHacks series)
A new year is a fresh start and without doubt, we have all pondered upon our resolutions for this year. Your goals will probably include steps that need to be taken in order to enhance your character and conduct, to excel academically and improve spiritually. Perhaps, you have also decided to develop a new skill or embark on experiences that will push you outside your comfort zone. Now, I have a question for you: do your New Year resolutions also include spending more time with your family? Or, what about becoming a better daughter/son to your parents?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to balance and prioritising the correct things. Sometimes we become so engrossed with our roles within different Islamic organisations and fixate our full attention into particular events and projects, with the hope of seeking Jannah, and forget that Jannah lies beneath the feet of our mothers.
In this blog, I will provide practical tips on how to truly fulfil the rights our parents have upon us, so continue reading!
TIP #1 – Be the reason behind their happiness
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth” [Qur’an – 46:15]
Begin showing some gratitude
- We can never fully repay our parents, our mothers in particular, for the sacrifices made whilst bringing us up. However, we can certainly make an active effort to express gratitude to them. It is important to keep in mind that our parents also have their fair share of bad days, just like we do, therefore, we should endeavour to be that breeze of fresh air for them at the end of a long day. Allah has granted such a high position to our parents, yet we fail to give them the treatment that they truly deserve.
- Say ‘thank you’ to them often and randomly tell them that you appreciate and love them. Remember that actions speak louder than words, so express gratitude for them through your actions too. Buy them a gift for no particular occasion. Complete the chores at home without being asked. Dedicate a time slot in your daily or even weekly routine that is solely for spending quality time with them. We continue to underestimate the rewards that can be accumulated simply by making our parents smile.
Make them proud
- It is truly beneficial for us to take advantage of our parents’ knowledge, experience and wisdom. When we choose to actually listen to them and learn from their advice (rather than assuming we know what is best), we will go a long way in life.
- Naturally, when parents catch a glimpse of good traits in their offspring or witness their achievements, it will make them immensely proud. We should, therefore, strive to make them proud. This can be done by working hard in all areas of our lives and taking initiative so that we can develop into well-rounded and refined individuals.
TIP #2 – Give them the respect that they deserve
“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood’ ” [Qur’an – 17:23-24]
Stop raising your voice
- In the Qur’an, Allah commands us to not say as much as “uff” to our parents. We are not allowed to even sigh heavily, let alone raise our voices at them.
- Even if our parents were to raise their voices at us, we must remind ourselves of their high status. There may be times when they are in the wrong, however, reacting inappropriately in the heat of the moment will only spark more problems. Rather, wait until they are calm, and then feel free to clarify your point or voice your opinions in a soft-spoken and respectful manner.
Do not ignore them
- Regardless of how busy your routine becomes, it is still a responsibility upon you to dedicate some time for your parents. It all comes down to time management and prioritising correctly.
- Perhaps make it a routine to eat a particular meal together as a family, or dedicate a specific day in the week solely for quality family time. If you don’t live close to your parents nor are able to meet them on a daily basis, then pick up your mobile and phone them every day to stay in touch. Perhaps you can even Skype or Face-time them. We have no excuse considering how advanced technology is in today’s day and age.
- Not ignoring your parents also means respecting what they have to say. Keep in mind that you are not always in the right! When discussing things with your parents, remember never to reject their opinions. Listen to them. Thank them too.
TIP #3 – Start making sincere Du’a for them
Pray for your parents in their lifetime
- Every child is aware of the fact that their parents mention them in every Du’a. They will pray for your happiness, health, and for your success. How often do we return the favour?
- Let’s start sincerely praying for our parents too! Make it a habit in every Salah to mention them and to also thank Allah for them.
- Bonus tip – Something that I have begun doing recently is writing out a Du’a list and going through it thoroughly before sleeping. This helps ensure that we maintain strong communication with our Creator, outside our five daily prayers, regardless of how hectic our routine becomes.
Pray for your parents when they are no longer alive
Abu Usaid Saidi said: We were once sitting with Rasulullah when a man from the tribe of Salmah came and said to him: O Messenger of Allah! do my parents have rights over me even after they have died? And Rasulullah said: Yes. You must pray to Allah to bless them with His Forgiveness and Mercy, fulfil the promises they made to anyone, and respect their relations and their friends. [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
“When a person dies, all their deeds end, except three: Sadaqa Jariya (a continuing charity), beneficial knowledge and a child who prays for them.” – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – Sahih Muslim
Whether we have lost one parent or both, it is still a responsibility upon us to pray for them and carry on their legacy. The rewards for our good deeds in our lifetime are also given to our parents, even if they are no longer alive – Subhan’Allah, how beautiful?
May Allah help us fulfil the rights of our parent(s) and may He envelop them in His Mercy – Ameen.
A Powerful Du’a For Parents