At Their Feet - Piety Towards ParentsDaar-Us-Sunnah (UK)
Allāh the Most High said:
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْكِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
“Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully” [Surah Al-Isra 17:23]
After Allāh Almighty, there is none who has realised a greater favour to any person than one’s own parents. His mother bore him in extreme difficulty and went through great hardship and trouble while carrying him. Both parents performing their best in raising him, providing love and compassion and working hard to spend on him; spending sleepless nights tending to him while ignoring their own wants and desires.
Islām has gone to great lengths in impressing piety towards parents and indicating reward and punishment associated to it. A person with basic common sense understands the rights of the one who renders favours to him; not recognising such rights is from the most deprived qualities one can assume. A person who is dutiful and good to his parents should know that no matter how diligent he is towards them, he can never repay or thank them for their rights and privileges granted to them by Allāh.
The renowned and eminent scholar, Ibn al-Jawzī penned this emotive book upon witnessing disregard and neglect some of the youth in his time had for their parents and kin, and not regarding it to be a necessary part of religion. He therefore felt the need to compile a short tract on these obligations so that the unaware may take heed and reassess the shortfalls in regards to their own obligations. He arranged it into seamless chapters touching on divine basis for being dutiful to parents and enjoining ties of kinship.
This English rendering of Ibn al-Jawzī’s ‘ بر الوالدين / Birr-ul-Wālidayn’ will assuredly lead to marked positive realignment of our own relationships with our parents and families. And Allāh grants the means and ability to whomsoever He Wills.
The author, Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597 AH) was a learned scholar possessing extensive knowledge. He was an erudite scholar of the Hanbali madhab. While still young, he became known as someone who was religious and given to learning. He would not waste his time in idle activities and would scrupulously avoid any food whose source was doubtful. He was a great preacher and his fame was widespread; many people repented and accepted Islam at his hands. He was a prolific writer and authored over one thousand works encompassing a multitude of Islamic disciplines and sciences.