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by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
January 16th, 2004

Benevolence towards parents

Having chosen the topic of benevolence towards parents for today’s Friday Sermon, Huzuraba began by reciting verses 24 and 25 of Surah Bani Israel (17:24, 25). The verses exhort the paramount significance of showing kindness to parents.

In a preamble to his customary elucidation of subject matter with reference to ahadith and various writings Huzuraba stressed the implication of the directive of un-conditional obedience and deference to parents to the selfless hard work they put in with young children, the sacrifices they endure and the physical hardship they, in particular the mother, bears in bringing up children. Huzuraba expressed dismay at suggestions made by some that the Jama’at should organise centres for the elderly owing to the fact that certain individuals feel unable to look after their elderly due to work commitments etc. Huzuraba enjoined to alter this thought process; he said no Ahmadi should entertain this concept.

Huzuraba related several ahadith illustrating the significance of benevolence towards parents. The Holy Prophet enjoined to show kindness and to maintain all ties of kinship with one’s mother even if she is involved in shirk (associate partners with Allah) and that the way to exercise benevolence towards parents even after they have passed away is by praying for them, by seeking forgiveness for them, by fulfilling their promises and by practicing benevolence towards their relations and friends. Huzuraba related the extraordinary esteem and goodwill the Holy Prophet showed to his foster parents. Huzuraba spoke of how he would stand up and lay out his cloak for them to sit on. By stark contrast Huzuraba mentioned the current regrettable practice of some young children remaining seated regardless of elders having no where to sit, Huzuraba commented that even their parents do not ask them to vacate the seats. Huzuraba said the beautiful teachings of the Holy Prophet are for implementation and we ought to put them in practice.

Reading from the writings of the Promised Messiah , Huzuraba reproved disregarding one’s parents in the pretence of attaining social status etc. and young men disregarding their mothers due to domestic discord between their mother and wife. Huzuraba stressed the obligation upon men in such situations to exercise patience and to bring order with love and affection.

The Promised Messiah taught us that the reference to the word miskeen (poor, needy) in 17:27 is also to be inferred to parents in that with old age they are infirm and therefore deserving of our benevolence. However, Huzuraba added that let there be no misinterpretation in that benevolence to parents is charity, he said it is an obligation.

Huzuraba mentioned the case in point of Owais Qerni, one of the only two individuals the Holy Prophet sent his salaam to, the other being the Messiah. Owais Qerni of course would be so engrossed and engaged in looking after his mother that he could not visit the Holy Prophet . Huzuraba cautioned against the error of citing Owais Qerni’s example to avoid service to the Jama’at and said that his was a unique instance in that he did not even care for his worldly matters and looked after his mother in a most devoted manner.

The Promised Messiah enjoined that if God had permitted any other being to be worshipped other than Himself it would have been parents, in that following Divine Rububiyyat (quality to create, nurture, sustain) parents have been granted a portion of rububiyyat by Allah the Exalted.

Next Huzuraba informed that the Bangladesh Jama’at is currently holding their Jalsa midst most adverse of circumstances; Huzuraba asked all to pray for them and that may this Jalsa be blessed.