A Short Biography of the “Mothers of the Faithful”

The wives of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, hold a special place in Islamic piety.  The Quran calls them “Mothers of the Faithful” (Quran 33:6).  They were his wives in this life and shall be in the life to come.  They were young and old, widows and virgins, poor and wealthy, aristocrats and freed slaves.  Each one played their specific role in forming the history of Islam.


Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married her when he was twenty-five, while she had reached the age of forty.  She was a widow, twice married.  He was at the peak of his youth.  Impressed by Muhammad’s honesty and moral character, she send a relative to propose marriage.  They were married for twenty five years until her death.  Through every persecution, Khadeejah was his sole companion and helper.  Khadeejah, along with Aisha, played a major contribution in the establishment and spread of the Islamic civilization.  Khadeejah bore four daughters with the Prophet(pbuh): Zainab, Umm Kulthoom, Ruqayya, and Fatima.  All four grew to maturity and accepted Islam.  They all died in the lifetime of their father, except Fatima who died six months after the Prophet(pbuh).  Khadeejah also bore two sons, Qasim and Abdullah, both of whom died at an early age.


Months after the death of Khadeejah, the Prophet(pbuh) had returned from an unsuccessful mission in Taif, helpless and persecuted.  At this time he married Sawdah, another widow, who possessed neither beauty, nor social status, nor wealth.  She had been forced to escape to Abyssinia with her husband from the persecution of pagan Meccans to find some security.  Her husband died in exile, giving his life for the sake of his faith.  He had migrated with his wife from his home for the cause of his religion, and he left her in utter poverty.  Driven by a sense of generosity, the Prophet(pbuh) of Mercy married her, raising her to the spiritual level of “Mother of the Faithful.”  The Prophet(pbuh) did not marry another woman for the first three years of his Marriage to Sawdah.  She died a few years after the death of  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).


Aishah was the daughter of one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), Abu Bakr.  An old friend of the Prophet(pbuh), Abu Bakr was one of the earliest converts to the faith and was considered to be the most sincere, earnest, and devoted in faith.  Seeing the loss of the Prophet(pbuh), one of the woman companions proposed Abu Bakr’s daughter to him and approached Abu Bakr on behalf of the Prophet(pbuh).  But there were two problems.  One, Aishah was already betrothed to Jubair bin Mut’im, a pagan Meccan.  Jubair, it turned out, had lost interest because of the wide gulf between paganism and Islam.  In addition, Aishah had not yet reached puberty, and this also contributed to Jubair’s disinterest in pursuing the betrothal.  Thus, she was betrothed to the Prophet(pbuh) while still in Mecca, and three years later, when both were in Medina and she had reached puberty, he consummated his marriage.  She was the only virgin he married, though they did not have any children.  Aishah was a leading scholar of Islam and played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Islamic civilization.  She taught for forty years after the death of the Prophet(pbuh) until her death at the age of sixty-seven.


Hafsah was the daughter of Umar, the man closest to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) after Abu Bakr.  She migrated with her husband to Medina, but was left a widow after the Battle of Badr.  With a fiery temper like her father, she had remained without a husband ever since.  Umar first asked Abu Bakr, and then Uthman, to marry her, but each refused in turn, much to his ire.  This shows the unavailability of marriageable males at the time.  At last, Umar approached Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).  The marriage took place in the third year after migration.  The Prophet(pbuh) divorced her once, but was commanded by God to take her back.  She was charged with keeping the official copy of the Quran during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.  She passed away four years after the Prophet(pbuh).


In the same year, the third year after migration, the Prophet(pbuh) married Zainab, made a widow after the Battle of Uhud.  Her kindness to the poor had earned her the nickname of “mother of the destitute.”  She was past the prime of her life and when she was wed by him, and she died a few months after their marriage.  She is the only wife beside Khadeejah who passed away in the Prophet(pbuh)’s lifetime.

Umm Salama

A year later, the Prophet(pbuh) married another widow who had suffered persecution, at one time losing the custody of her children to her pagan in-laws.  After the Battle of Uhud, she was left a widow with four children.  Abu Bakr first proposed to her, but she refused because she did not think anyone could be patient with her children.  Finally, the Prophet(pbuh) proposed, assuring her the children would be taken care of; Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married Umm Salama because of this noble motivation.  The faithful loved their Prophet(pbuh) all the more and honored him as the Prophet(pbuh) of God.  They saw in him a father to the destitute, the deprived, the weak, and the poor as well as to everyone who had lost his father in the cause of God.  Umm Salama was the last wife of the Prophet(pbuh) to die.  She passed away forty nine years after his death at the age of eighty-four.

Umm Habeebah

Umm Habeebah was the Muslim daughter of Islam’s archenemy, Abu Sufyan.  Umm Habeebah was one of the early coverts to Islam in Mecca.  She had migrated with her husband to Abyssinia who converted to Christianity over there.  On his death, the Prophet(pbuh) sent a proposal to her while she was still in Abyssinia.  She returned to Medina three years before the death of the Prophet(pbuh).  She passed away thirty four years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Zainab, the Divorced Wife of Zaid

Zainab was the cousin of the Prophet(pbuh), who was married to Zaid, an orphan slave whom the Prophet(pbuh) liberated and then adopted.  The Prophet(pbuh) proposed the marriage of Zainab with Zaid to her brother, but he refused to let his sister, a noble girl of Hashimite and Quraishite ancestry and the first cousin of the Prophet(pbuh), become the wife of a former slave.  Such a union was regarded by the Arabs as a thing of great shame.  For the daughters of the aristocracy to marry their slaves, even freed slaves, was unthinkable.  The Prophet(pbuh) sought to wipe out racial and class distinctions between men.  He was to educate the world that no Arab is superior to any non-Arab unless it be in virtue and piety, as God had said,

“…Indeed, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most god-fearing…” (Quran 49:13)

The Prophet(pbuh) did not choose to force this principle on a woman outside his own tribe.  It was his cousin Zainab who, in complying with the Prophet(pbuh)’s wishes for Zaid, willingly opposed the Arabian custom.  And Zaid, a freed slave, was the person of too low a lineage for marriage into Meccan aristocracy in her family’s eyes.  Thus, the Prophet(pbuh) encouraged Zainab to agree to marry Zaid, and, when Zainab agreed, insisted that her brother accept the adopted orphan as a brother-in-law.

However, after the marriage, Zaid found it hard to live with her.  Zaid consulted the Prophet(pbuh) who advised him not to divorce her.  Never-the less, once all attempts to work out the marriage had failed, divorce was the only alternative left.  After the divorce, she and her relatives insisted that the Prophet(pbuh) marry her.  Feeling bound to meet their wishes after a failed marriage that he had arranged, the Prophet(pbuh) was hesitant.  The pagan custom allowed marrying step-mothers and mothers-in-law, but looked upon the marriage of the divorced wife of an adopted son as unacceptable.  To undo the custom and to set an example, God commanded the hesitant Prophet(pbuh) to marry Zainab.  Their marriage took place in 5 A.H.  She died ten years after the Prophet(pbuh).


In the same year, a large number of prisoners fell into the hands of Muslims at the Battle of Bani Mustaliq.  Among them was Juwairiyah, the daughter of an Arab chief, who approached the Prophet(pbuh) with a ransom for herself to which her captor readily agreed.  The Prophet(pbuh) then proposed marrying her, and she, in turn, accepted.  As soon as the Muslims heard the news of the marriage, they released their prisoners from the tribe of Banu Mustaliq. They felt they could not keep a tribe honored by the Prophet(pbuh) in captivity, so some one hundred families from the tribe of Banu Mustaliq were freed as a blessing of her marriage with the Prophet(pbuh).  Juwairiyah was one devoted to worship.  Once, the Prophet(pbuh) passed by her after the dawn prayer and found her busy in worship in her place of prayer.  The Prophet(pbuh) passed by her again during late morning and found her still in her place, whereupon he commented,

“You are still in your state (of worship)?”

She responded, “Yes.”

“Should I not teach you some words greater in reward!  Say, ‘How perfect is God, I praise Him by the number of His creation and His pleasure, and by the weight of His Throne, and the ink of His Words.’” [1]

She died some forty years after the Prophet(pbuh).


Safiyyah, daughter of a Jewish chief of Banu Nadheer, was taken as a prisoner in the Battle of Khaibar in the year 7 A.H.  The Prophet(pbuh) liberated and then married her.  Upon marriage, the Prophet(pbuh) found marks of abuse on her cheek about which he was curious.

She explained, “I saw a dream in which the full moon rose over Medina and fell in my lap.  I told the dream to my cousin who slapped me and said, ‘You want to marry the king of Medina!’  This mark is from his slap.”

When the Prophet(pbuh) was on his deathbed, she wept and said, ‘I wish I could be in your place, O Messenger of God,’ to which he replied, “By God, she is telling the truth.


Maimoomah, another widow, requested marriage to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, in Mecca in 7 A.H.  She was from his tribe and was already over fifty.  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married her in order to support her, a poor relative of his.  Her nephew, Ibn Abbas, who later became the greatest scholar of the Quran, learned much from her knowledge.

[1] Musnad, Abu Daud

Make this Earth a Paradise!


Quran (Photo credit: manitoon)

-Rayhaanah Omar, founder of Fee Qalbee


This post is a reminder of the many moral standards & values which al Qur’aan equips us with.

[The relevant Qur’aan chapter and verse(s) are given respectively in brackets at the end.]

  • 01 – Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, gender, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [17/70]
  • 02 – Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [33/70]
  • 03 – Choose the best of words to speak and say them in the best possible way [17/53, 2/83]
  • 04 – Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]
  • 05 – Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [22/30]
  • 06 – Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]
  • 07 – Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]
  • 08 – Speak in a civilised manner in a language that is recognised by the society and is commonly used [4/5]
  • 09 – When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative [6/152]
  • 10 – Do not be a bragging boaster [31/18]
  • 11 – Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]
  • 12 – Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a futile play, then pass by with dignity [25/72]
  • 13 – Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt [6/151].
  • 14 – If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously [3/134].
  • 15 – Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [31/18]
  • 16 – Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [17/37, 31/18]
  • 17 – Be moderate in thy pace [31/19]
  • 18 – Walk with humility and sedateness [25/63]
  • 19 – Keep your gazes lowered [24/30-31, 40/19].
  • 20 – If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, it is better to maintain silence. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences [24/15-16]
  • 21 – When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favourable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence [24/12-13]
  • 22 – Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterward repent of what you did [49/6]
  • 23 – Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord subhaanahu wa Ta’ala, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning [17/36].
  • 24 – Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the Prophet [sallalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] was asked to keep praying, “O My Sustainer! Advance me in knowledge.” [20:114]
  • 25 – The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [49/10].
  • 26 – Do not make a mockery of others or ridicule others [49/11]
  • 27 – Do not defame others [49/11]
  • 28 – Do not insult others by nicknames [49/11]
  • 29 – Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy [49/12]
  • 30 – Spy not upon one another [49/12]
  • 31 – Do not backbite one another [49/12]
  • 32 – When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security and also when a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [4/86]
  • 33 – When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment the inhabitants [24/61]
  • 34 – Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inhabitants and wish them a life of blessing, purity and pleasure [24/27]
  • 35 – Treat kindly” Your parents, Relatives, The orphans, And those who have been left alone in the society [4/36]
  • 36 – Take care of The needy, The disabled, Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs, And those whose businesses have stalled, And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]
  • 37 – Treat kindly ” Your related neighbours, and unrelated neighbours ” Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4/36]
  • 38 – Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [4/36]
  • 39 – Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]
  • 40 – Do not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them with reminders of your generosity [2/262].
  • 41 – Do not expect a return for your good behaviour, not even thanks [76/9]
  • 42 – Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters [5/2]
  • 43 – Do no try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues [53/32]
  • 44 – You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach [2/44]
  • 45 – Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others] [66/6]
  • 46 – Pardon gracefully if anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends[6/54, 3/134]
  • 47 – Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people [3/134]
  • 48 – Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently [16/125]
  • 49 – Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [6/70]
  • 50 – Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation[4/140]
  • 51 – Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [4/54]
  • 52 – In your collective life, make rooms for others [58/11]
  • 53 – When invited to dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host [33/53]
  • 54 – Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [7/31].
  • 55 – Do not squander your wealth senselessly [17/26]
  • 56 – Fulfil your promises and commitments [17/34]
  • 57 – Keep yourself clean, pure [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].
  • 58 – Dress-up in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character from inside out[7/26]
  • 59 – Seek your provision only by fair endeavour [29/17, 2/188]
  • 60 – Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions [2/188]

As bearers of al Qur’aan, may we continuously strive to perfect our manners & morals, following the best of all role models, Sayyidinaa Muhammad (sallalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – ameen.

Stay inspired!


Ten things that bring about the love of Allah.

 Ten things that bring about the love of Allah.

Ibn Qayyim said that there are ten things that bring about the love of Allah.

1) Recitation of the Qur’ an with reflection and with understanding of its meanings.

2) Seeking closeness to Allah by performing voluntary deeds after having performed obligatory ones, for that leads one to the highest levels of love.

3) Remembering Allah during every situation – with one’s time, heart and deeds, one’s share of that love is to the degree of one’s share in that remembrance.

4) Preferring what He loves to what you love when your desires are strong.

5) Allowing your heart to reflect on His Names and Attributes.

6) Reflecting on His many favors and blessings, both the apparent ones and hidden ones, for that leads to His love.

7) Having your heart softened as it is worshiping Allah.

8) Being alone with Him in worship when He descends during the last third of the night. And this means to invoke Him, to recite His Speech, to stand with all sincerity and with good manners and with good submission, and then to end that with repentance and with seeking His forgiveness.

9) Sitting with those who are truthful in their love of Allah.

10) Staying away from all that creates barriers between the heart and Allah.



Deen is sincerity

 The Deen is Sincerity

Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee’s Explanation of the Hadeeth:
“The Deen is Sincerity”
Translated by Aqeel Walker

On the authority of Tameem Ad-Daaree (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu-may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-may Allaah send blessing and peace upon him) said, “The religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity.” They said, “To whom O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “To Allaah, and His Book, and His Messenger, and the leaders of the Muslims, and their common folk.” (Reported by Muslim)

Be sincere to Allah

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-may Allaah send blessing and peace upon him) repeated this word (Naseehah – sincerity) showing the importance of the status (of it), and giving guidance to the Ummah (Muslim nation) that they should know with true knowledge that religion, all of it – its apparent aspects and its internal aspects – is contained in sincerity. And it (sincerity) is the complete establishment of these five rights.

So sincerity to Allaah is acknowledging the oneness of Allaah, and His uniqueness in His perfect attributes in a manner that no one shares with Him in them in any way whatsoever. It is also the establishment of His worship, both outwardly (with the actions) and inwardly (with the heart). And it is to turn to Him in every time with worship and servitude, and asking Him with hope and fear, along with repenting to Him and constantly asking His forgiveness. This is because the slave of Allaah will definitely have something of shortcomings regarding the obligations of Allaah, or commission of some of the forbidden things. Thus, with continuous repentance and constant seeking of forgiveness, the person’s deficiency is made up for, and his actions and speech are perfected.

In reference to sincerity to Allaah’s Book, then that is by memorizing it, and contemplating it, and learning its words and meanings, and striving to act according to it within oneself and with others.

Be sincere to Quran

In reference to sincerity to the Messenger, then it is by believing in him, loving him, and placing him in regards to love, before oneself, wealth and children. And it is following him in the fundamentals of the religion and its branches. And it is giving precedence to his speech over the speech of everyone else. It is also striving to follow his guidance and aiding his religion.

Be sincere to Messenger

In reference to sincerity to the leaders of the Muslims – and they are their authority figures, such as the Great Imaam (the Khaleefah), as well as the rulers (Umaraa’), and the judges, and all of those who have some form of authority, whether it be general or specific. Sincerity to them is in believing in their authority, and listening to them and obeying them, and encouraging the people to do so. It is also doing whatever one is able to do to give them proper direction (guidance) and alerting them to everything that would benefit them and benefit the people, and assist them to establish their obligation.

Be sincere to Leaders and common folk

In reference to sincerity to the common folk of the Muslims, then it is by loving for them what one would love for himself, and hating for them what one would hate for himself, and making effort in that regard according to one’s ability. For verily whoever loves something, he strives for it, and he makes effort in making it a reality and perfecting it.

So the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-may Allaah send blessing and peace upon him) explained sincerity with these five matters, which comprise the establishment of Allaah’s rights, the rights of His Book, the rights of His Messenger, and the rights of all of the Muslims with their different circumstances and statuses. And that contains the religion in its entirety. And nothing is left except that it is included within this comprehensive and all-inclusive statement. And Allaah knows best.

Explanation by Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee (may Allaah have mercy upon him)
Source: Bahjatu Quloob il-Abraar wa Qurratu ‘Uyoon il-Akhyaar fee Sharhi Jawaami’ il-Akhbaar, hadeeth number 3.
Translated by Aqeel Walker

Make way easy for others.

Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Belief has over sixty branches. The best of them is the words, ‘There is no god but Allah’ and the least of them is to remove an obstacle from the road.” (Riyad as-Salihin)

Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, also said, “The actions of my community, both good and bad, were displayed before me and I found among their good actions removing obstacles from the road and I found among their bad actions spittle in the mosque which is not buried.” (Sahih Muslim)

Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Sadaqa(charity) is owed by every limb people have. Every day on which the sun rises in which someone establishes justice between two people is sadaqa. To help a man with his animal and help him onto it is sadaqa. Or to lift his goods onto it is sadaqa. A good word is sadaqa. Every step you take to the prayer is sadaqa. Removing an obstacle from the road is sadaqa.” (Riyad as-Salihin)

How to remove an obstacle?

Obstacle on paths are a cause of inconvenience.

1. Identify obstacle to be removed. The ability to identify obstacles and understand why they are causing problems is only the first step in removing obstacles.

2. DIY (Do it yourself) — Deal with the obstacle directly. This can be as simple as getting up and moving an the obstacle from the road. e.g

picking up a brick or stone from the road,

picking up litter as you pass walking,

Cleaning up home , masjid etc

picking up a small branch that is obstructing traffic. (Be careful and assess if it is safe to do it yourself)

3. Delegate — Identify the obstacle and give precise instructions for its removal to a person who will directly perform the removal. This can sometimes work if removing an obstacle takes a great deal of time, effort or specialized skills that you yourself do not possess. E.g.

Calling the water company when there is a burst pipe,

Call the fire station if there is a huge tree in the middle of the road.

Call the traffic department if there is something on the highway/freeway.

Remove obstacles from the path for easy movement of people.

Peace, Peace, Peace!!!

“And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.” (Quran 4:86)

“But when you enter houses, give greetings of peace upon each other – a greeting from Allah , blessed and good. Thus does Allah make clear to you the verses [of ordinance] that you may understand.” (Quran 24:61)

Narrated Abu Umamah The Prophet(SAW) said: ” Those who are nearest to Allah are they who are first to give a salutation/greeting” (Abu Dawood 5178)

Benefits: Unifies the hearts and strengthens bonds between people.


The complete and best form for the greeting is “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” meaning “peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you from Allah ”.

Islam is a religion of peace so its greeting is also “Peace onto you!”

This is because Imam At-Tirmithi reported in a good hadith that a man came to the prophet (S.A.W.) and said, “Assalamu alaikum “. The prophet responded and the man sat down. The prophet said, “Ten rewards.”

Another man came and said, “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.” The prophet responded and the man sat down. The prophet said, “twenty rewards.”

Then another man came and said: ”Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.” The prophet responded and the man sat down. The prophet said, “thirty rewards.

Rights Due to Parents, No Old age Home in Islam!

None can deny the parents‘ favor upon their children. The parents are the underlying reason for the existence of the child. They have reared him in his babyhood and experienced painstaking efforts to provide full comfort and sound well-being. Your mother had you in her womb while you were a parasite there sharing her food and whole being for nine months. In this context, Allah says:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship…” (31:14)

It is a preliminary stage followed by incubation and breast feeding for two years marked by peculiar fatigue and hardships. The father, on his part, is meanwhile also fully engaged catering for his child and bringing him up, not sparing any sort of instructions or guidance he could provide his child with; the child, meanwhile, a helpless creature is neither harmful nor useful to himself.

Allah has always enjoined that children should be good and thankful to their parents

Allah has always enjoined that children should be good and thankful to their parents and He says:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents, – unto Me is the final destination.” (31:14)

“… 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 small.” (17:23, 24)

Lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy.

The right of parents upon you is to do good with them. You should be good to them physically as well as monetarily, and also with your words and your actions. You should be obedient to them unless in it there is disobedience to your Lord or there is some harm to you. Be kindhearted to them and serve them as they need your help. In their old age, in case of any ailment or weakness, never consider them a burden on you, neither speak to them harshly, because one day you will also become as old as they are. You will be a father as they are your parents and, if life permits, soon you will be an old man before your children just like your parents became old before you. So you need the help of your children as your parents need you today. If you are doing good to your parents then you must have the good news of a great reward and a better showing from your children, because whoever remained good to his parents, his children will also be good to him; and whoever annoyed his parents, will also be annoyed by his children. It is the process of recompense that deeds provide the results accordingly “as you sow, so will you reap. Allah has ranked the rights due to the parents high next only to His and the Prophet’s, Allah says:

“Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents…” (4:36)

And Allah also says:

“…give thanks to Me and to your parents… (31:14)

Being dutiful to one’s parents assumes priority even over Jihad (fight in the cause of Allah) as is narrated in the tradition of Ibn Mas’ood when he asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h.):

“Which deed is most beloved by Allah?” He said, ‘Observing prayer in time.’ “And next to that?” He said: ‘Being dutiful to one’s parents.’ “And next to that?” He answered: ‘Jihad (fight in the cause of Allah).'”

This Hadith (Prophetic saying) reported by Bukhari and Muslim points directly to the significance of the rights due to one’s parents.

Unfortunately, most people have forgotten these rights, instead disobedience and severance of ties have risen to harden the hearts, and even they contempt and detest their parents. Some people have even deemed themselves superior to those two old good creatures. A recompense is sure in store for those disobedient children, sooner or later.

Good Character

This includes suppressing one’s anger, and being gentle and humble. Allah Most High has said: Surely, you are of tremendous nature, (The Holy Quran: 68/4) and: Those who suppress their anger, and forgive other people – assuredly, Allah loves those who do good. (Quran: 3/134)

Bukhari and Muslim relate that Abdullah Ibn Amr (May Allah be pleased with you) said, “The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) was never immoderate or obscene. He used to say, ‘Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character.'”

They also narrate that Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) said, “Never was the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) given the choice between two things without choosing the easier of them, as long as it entailed no sin. If it did entail sin, he was of all people the most remote from it. Never did he seek revenge for something done against himself; but when the sanctity of Allah was challenged, he would take vengeance for His sake alone.”

The meaning of good character is the inclination of the soul towards gentle and praiseworthy acts. This may take place in one’s personal actions for Allah Most High, or in actions which involve other people. In the former case, the slave of Allah has an open and welcoming heart for His commandments and prohibitions, and does what He has imposed on him happily and easily, and abstains from the things which He has forbidden him with full contentment, and without the least dissatisfaction.

He likes to perform optional good acts, and abstains from many permitted things for the sake of Allah Most High whenever he decides that to abstain in that way would be closer to perfect slavehood to Him. This he does with a contented heart, and without feeling any resentment or hardship. When he deals with other people, he is tolerant when claiming what is his right, and does not ask for anything which is not; but he discharges all the duties which he has towards others. When he falls ill or returns from a trip, and no-one visits him, or when he gives a greeting which is not returned, or when he is a guest but is not honored, or intercedes but is not responded to, or does a good turn for which he is not thanked, or joins a group of people who do not make room for him to sit, or speaks and is not listened to, or asks permission of a friend to enter, and is not granted it, or proposes to a woman, and is not allowed to marry her, or ask for more time to repay a debt, but is not given more time, or asks for it to be reduced, but is not permitted this, and all similar cases, he does not grow angry, or seek to punish people, or feel within himself that he has been snubbed, or ignored; neither does he try to retaliate with the same treatment when able to do so, but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things, and responds to each one of them with something which is better, and closer to goodness and piety, and is more praiseworthy and pleasing.

He remembers to carry out his duties to others just as he remembers their duties towards himself, so that when one of his Muslim brethren falls ill he visits him, if he is asked to intercede, he does so, if he is asked for a respite in repaying a debt he agrees, and if someone needs assistance he gives it, and if someone asks for favorable terms in a sale, he consents, all without looking to see how the other person had dealt with him in the past, and to find out how other people behave. Instead, he makes “what is better” the imam of his soul, and obeys it completely.

Good character may be something which a man is born with, or it may be acquired. However, it may only be acquired from someone who has it more firmly rooted in his nature than his own.

Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character. – Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)

It is well known that a man of sensible opinion can become even more sensible by keeping the company of intelligent and sensible people, and that a learned or a righteous man can learn even more by sitting with other people of learning or righteousness; therefore it cannot be denied that a man of beautiful character may acquire an even more beautiful character by being with people whose characters are superior to his own.

And Allah gives success!