The Generosity of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)


The critics of the blessed prophet Muhammad claim that he was a man who was after the riches, after the money, and that this was one of his main concerns. So let us quote an authentic hadith about the prophet Muhammad, read it with an open mind as well as with honesty, and after you have read it ask yourself the question, is this man really after money? Is this man really a greedy person after his own glory and riches? The authentic hadith is as follows:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 434:

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:

I went to the Prophet in the mosque, and he ordered me to pray two Rakat. He owed me some money and he repaid it to me and gave more than what was due to me.

So tell me, does this sound like a greedy man after glory and riches? According to this incident, the prophet Muhammad owed someone some money, the prophet paid the debt back, and not only did he pay the debt back, he gave more money than was due! For instance say you owe someone 20 dollars, and you pay the 20 dollars back, as well as giving an extra 20 dollars which you didn’t even have to!

This my friends is a characteristic of excellent generosity, this is not the characteristic of someone who is out for himself only, looking to make himself rich, rather this is somebody giving more than he has to simply because of his good generous character.

In fact in this same hadith collection we also find another interesting incident:

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 413:

Narrated Anas:

Some goods came to Allah’s Apostle from Bahrain. The Prophet ordered the people to spread them in the mosque –it was the biggest amount of goods Allah’s Apostle had ever received. He left for prayer and did not even look at it. After finishing the prayer, he sat by those goods and gave from those to everybody he saw. Al-’Abbas came to him and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! give me (something) too, because I gave ransom for myself and ‘Aqil” Allah’s Apostle told him to take. So he stuffed his garment with it and tried to carry it away but he failed to do so. He said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Order someone to help me in lifting it.” The Prophet refused. He then said to the Prophet: Will you please help me to lift it?” Allah’s Apostle refused. Then Al-’Abbas threw some of it and tried to lift it (but failed). He again said, “O Allah’s Apostle Order someone to help me to lift it.” He refused. Al-’Abbas then said to the Prophet: “Will you please help me to lift it?” He again refused. Then Al-’Abbas threw some of it, and lifted it on his shoulders and went away. Allah’s Apostle kept on watching him till he disappeared from his sight and was astonished at his greediness. Allah’s Apostle did not get up till the last coin was distributed.

So we see several things from this hadith, several important characteristics of the prophet Muhammad that allow us to know how he was, and what wonderful characteristics indeed!

According to the hadith the prophet Muhammad had received several goods from Bahrain, after receiving all the goods he ordered some of his companions to take the goods and start spreading them around the mosque for the distribution amongst the people, we find that the prophet did not leave till even one coin was not distributed for the people! On top of that the hadith does not state anything about the prophet taking any of these goods for himself, rather he was giving it all to the people! So this again indicates a man with an excellent attribute of generosity for his people, and a man who is not out for his own fortune and glory, had the prophet been a man who was simply looking for glory and riches, he would have simply taken all the goods for himself, or even better, he could have sold it all for more money! Yet he does no such thing, rather he freely distributes everything to the people at no cost!

Another interesting aspect to this hadith is the greedy man Al-Abbas, this man came and started taking so much goods that it became too heavy and too much for him to carry alone, so he started asking for help, but the prophet refused. However even with that, the man still did not stop, he continued to take and take, and the prophet simply watched in amazement and astonishment at the level of greediness in this man! So what does this tell us about the prophet? It tells us that he was a man who disliked greediness, put this on top of the fact that the prophet took none of these goods for himself, but distributed it for the people, and then you see the bigger picture and a very good portrait of the prophet’s characteristic.

What makes this even more interesting is that the prophet did not even stop the greedy man! The prophet Muhammad is so kind, gentle, and merciful that he even allowed this greedy man to indulge himself with his greed and take as much as he wanted to.

So in conclusion from these two hadiths alone we see how generous the prophet Muhammad was, and we also see from these two hadiths that it is simply nonsense to claim that this man who acted in such a way was after glory and fortune! My friends, these are TWO HADITHS only! There are literally hundreds of more hadiths that show the prophet’s generosity and charitable behavior, it would take a book to document it all.

And Allah Knows Best!

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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.

HOW TO GREET:

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.

The Creation of an Environmental Conscience (part 2 of 4): Man – God’s Steward on the Earth


By AbdurRahman Mahdi

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know. (Quran 2:30)

Our In habitat - Earth

Mankind, through the father, Adam, was sent to earth as its khalifah – a term which simultaneously means: successor, steward, trustee, viceroy, and guardian. That is, man was made responsible for utilizing the earth’s resources with due consideration; resources which God has subjected to his every need.

Man was made responsible for utilizing the earth’s resources with due consideration

“God is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down (rain) water from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; as (likewise) He has made rivers to be of service to you. And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you.” (Quran 14:32-33)

Fruits of all kind for provision

Ships to serve Mankind by God's command

“See you not (O humanity!) that God has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent and hidden? Yet of mankind is he who disputes about God without knowledge nor guidance nor an illuminating Book!” (Quran 31:20)

Thus, the earth has been created with a definite cause and affect: to facilitate humans in fulfilling the purpose with which they were themselves created: to worship and serve their Creator.

“And I (God) created not the jinn (spirit-like creatures) and humans except they should worship Me (alone).” (Quran 51:56)

Although the creation of the heavens and the earth is actually greater than the creation of humanity in the Sight of God [see Quran 40:57], humans bear a responsibility that the heavens and earth do not. In fact, God did offer to entrust to the heavens and the earth moral responsibility. However, they understood the weightiness of what was being asked and so respectfully declined. Adam, however, accepted to bear moral responsibility on behalf of humanity. Alas! unlike their father, many of Adam’s descendants were and are unfaithful, incompetent and unwilling to remain true to their obligations.

The creation of the heavens and the earth is actually greater than the creation of humanity in the Sight of God

“Truly, We did offer the trust and moral responsibility to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of (failing to discharge) it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of the results).” (Quran 33:72)

When man does faithfully discharge his trust by obeying and worshiping God in accordance with his primordial nature, he attains God’s Pleasure and reward; when he does not, he is in need of His Forgiveness. Incidentally, the only reason a person does succumb to false and oppressive desires is because that person is allowing himself to be misled from his nature; straying away from the straight path and onto the crooked road taken by the enemy of God and man alike: Satan.

The straight path is the path prescribed by God

“He (Satan) said: ‘See! This one (man, Adam) whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring – all but a few!” (Quran 17:62)

“And he (Satan) said: ‘I will take an appointed portion of your slaves; I will surely mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and I will surely order them to slit the ears of cattle, and surely, I will order them to change the nature created by God.’ And whoever takes Satan as a protector instead of God has surely suffered a manifest loss. He (Satan) makes promises to them and arouses in them false desires; and Satan’s promises are nothing but deceptions.” (Quran 4:118-120)

So, after learning a most important reality about the natural environment and our place in it, which is that, other than mankind (and the jinn), all the creation, animate and inanimate, is inherently obedient to God and in harmony with itself, we also learn how man can reclaim his innocent natural state: by serving and obeying God. And from the great many and praiseworthy acts of obedience is our behaving responsibly with the world around us. A world that, for the purpose of this discourse, can be divided into two principle realms or resources: the subjects of the animal kingdom and their natural habitats.

We learn how Man can reclaim his innocent natural state: by serving and obeying God

“God is the One Who has subjected to you the sea, that ships may sail through it by His Command, and that you may seek of His Bounty and be thankful. And (just like) He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.” (Quran 45:12-13)

Signs for a people who think deeply

Who is Allah?


Allah

Allah the personal name of God

Concept of God 

It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word “god,” which can be made plural, as in “gods,” or made feminine, as in “goddess.” It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur’an, which is considered to be the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112, which reads:“ In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad), He is God, the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone”.

Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully and is not loving and kind. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse ” In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”. In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we are told that “ God is more loving and kind than a mother to her dear child”.

On the other hand, God is also Just. Hence, evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment, and the virtuous must have God’s bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake should not receive similar treatment from their Lord as people who oppress and exploit others their whole lives. Expecting similar treatment for them would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negate all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Qur’anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect.

Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you?

Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

The concepts that God rested on the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, and that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.

The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam’s emphasis on the purity of the belief in God that is the essence of the message of all God’s messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin that God will never forgive, despite the fact that He may forgive all other sins.

The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created because if He is of the same nature as they are, He will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into existence, nothing outside Him causes Him to continue to exist, which means that he must be self-sufficient. And if He does not depend on anything for the continuance of His own existence, then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting: “He is the First and the Last”.

He is Self-sufficient or Self-subsistent, or, to use a Qur’anic term, Al-Qayyum The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He. also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.

“ God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth” (39:62-63).

“ No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God. He knows its lodging place and its repository” (11:16).

God’s Attributes

            If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then his attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible.

The Qur’an summarizes this argument in the following verses:“ God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: for then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others” (23:91).

“ And why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin” (21:22).


The Oneness of God

            The Qur’an reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects it asks:“ Do you worship what you have carved yourself” (37:95). “ Or have you taken unto yourself others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves” (13:16).

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:“ When night outspread over him, he saw a star and said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: I love not the setters. When he saw the moon rising, he said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: If my Lord does not guide me, I shall surely be of the people gone astray. When he saw the sun rising, he said: This is my Lord; this is greater. But when it set, he said: O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not one of the idolators” (6:76-79).

Source: WAMY

Is there life after death?


Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed and wrapped in a clean, white cloth (usually by a family member) and buried after a special prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this a final service that they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember that their own existence here on earth is brief.

The question of whether there is life after death does not fall under the jurisdiction of science, as science is concerned only with classification and analysis of sense data. Moreover, man has been busy with scientific inquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the concept of life after death since time immemorial.

All the Prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death. They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless.

The very fact that all the Prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly – the gap between their ages in some cases, being thousands of years – goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e. Divine revelation.

We also know that these Prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death, as their people thought it impossible. But in spite of opposition, the Prophets won many sincere followers.

The question arises: what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers, notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated from their own community? The simple answer is: they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth.

Did they realize the truth through perceptual consciousness? They couldn’t, as perceptual experience of life after death is impossible. God has given man besides perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory data. That is why all the Prophets of God while calling people to believe in God and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic, moral and rational consciousness of man.

For example, when the idolaters of Makkah denied even the possibility of life after death, the Quran exposed the weakness of their stand by advancing very logical and rational arguments in support of it:

 And he (i.e. man) presents for Us an example (i.e. attempting to establish the finality of death) and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?” Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.” [It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is so]; and He is the Knowing Creator.  (Quran, 36:78-81)

On another occasion, the Quran very clearly says that the disbelievers have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on pure conjecture:

 And they say, “There is not but our worldly life; we die and live (i.e. some people die and others live, replacing them) and nothing destroys us except time.” And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming. And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, their argument is only that they say, “Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful.” Say, “God causes you to live, then causes you to die; then He will assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt,” but most of the people do not know.  (Quran, 45:24-26)

Surely God will raise all the dead. But God has His own plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of a life that will never end, and on that day every person will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deeds.

The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity of life after death is what the moral consciousness of man demands. Actually, if there is no life after death, the very belief in God becomes meaningless or even if one believes in God, it would be n unjust and indifferent God, having once created man and now not being concerned with his fate.

Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants, whose crimes are beyond count – having tortured and killed hundreds or thousands of innocent people, created great corruption in society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc., because man has a very short life span in this world and because numerous individuals are affected by one’s actions, adequate punishments and rewards are not possible in this life.

The Quran very emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and that God will decide the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds:

 But those who disbelieve say, “The Hour (i.e. the Day of Judgment) will not come to us.” Say, “Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [God is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register – That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds. Those will have forgiveness and noble provision. But those who strive against Our verses [seeking] to cause failure (i.e. to undermine their credibility) – for them will be a painful punishment of foul nature.  (Quran, 34:3-5)

The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quran says:

 Then is he whom We have promised a good promise which he will meet [i.e. obtain] like he for whom We provided enjoyment of worldly life [but] then he is, on the Day of Resurrection, among those presented [for punishment in Hell]?  (Quran, 28:61)

The Quran also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, making fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons.

Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish to be given a further chance in the world but in vain. Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere believers are very clearly and beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Quran:

 [For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “My Lord, send me back that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind (i.e. in that which I neglected).” No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected. So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another. And those whose scales are heavy [with good deeds] – it is they who are the successful. But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls, [being] in Hell, abiding eternally. The Fire will sear their faces, and they therein will have taut smiles (i.e. their lips having been contracted by scorching until the teeth are exposed).  (Quran, 23:99-104)

The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities.

Think of the people ofArabiabefore the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad . Gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were their main traits when they had no belief in life after death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in the One God and life after death they became the most disciplined nation of the world.

They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality. Similarly the denial of life after death has its consequences not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of evils and corruption become rampant in that society and ultimately it is destroyed.

The Quran mentions the terrible end of Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:

 [The tribes of] Thamud and Aad denied the Striking Calamity [i.e. the Resurrection]. So as for Thamud, they were destroyed by the overpowering [blast]. And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind which He [i.e. God] imposed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees. Then do you see of them any remains? And there came Pharaoh and those before him and the overturned cities (i.e. those to whichLotwas sent) with sin. And they disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with a seizure exceeding [in severity]. Indeed, when the water overflowed, We carried you [i.e. your ancestors] in the sailing ship (i.e. which was constructed by Noah). That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a conscious ear would be conscious of it. (Quran, 69:4-12)

Events of the Day of Judgment

God states in the Quran about the events of the Day of Judgment:

 Then when the Horn is blown with one blast, and the earth and the mountains are lifted and leveled with one blow [i.e. stroke] – Then on that Day, the Occurrence [i.e. Resurrection] will occur, And the heaven will split [open], for that Day it is infirm (i.e. weak, enfeebled and unstable). And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them]. That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgment]; not hidden among you is anything concealed (i.e. any person or any secret you might attempt to conceal). So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, “Here, read my record! Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.” So he will be in a pleasant life – In an elevated Garden, Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near. [They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth (i.e. literally, advanced in anticipation of reward in the Hereafter) in the days past.” But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, “Oh, I wish I had not been given my record, and had not known what is my account. I wish it [i.e. my death] had been the decisive one (i.e. ending life rather than being the gateway to eternal life). My wealth has not availed me. Gone from me is my authority.” [God will say], “Seize him and shackle him. Then into Hellfire drive him. Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.” Indeed, he did not used to believe in God, the Most Great. (Quran, 69:13-33)

The Prophet Muhammad  taught that three things continue to benefit a [believing] person even after death – charity which he had given (which continues to benefit others), beneficial knowledge which he had left behind (i.e. authored or taught), and supplication on his behalf by a righteous child (Narrated by Saheeh Muslim).

Thus, there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death:

1)  All the Prophets of God have called their people to believe in it.

2)  Whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.

3)  History bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of the Prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by God even in this world.

4)  Moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of man endorse the possibility of the life after death.

5)  God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy have no meaning if there is no life after death.

Source:  WAMY


Islamic Family


One of the reasons that the Islamic family works is because of its clearly defined structure, where each member of the household knows his or her role.  The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“Each of you is a shepherd, and all of you are responsible for your flocks.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

The father is the shepherd over his family, protecting them, providing for them, and striving to be their role model and guide in his capacity as head of the household.  The mother is the shepherd over the house, guarding it and engendering in it the wholesome, loving environment that is necessary for a happy and healthy family life.  She is also the one who is primarily responsible for the children’s guidance and education.  Were it not for the fact that one of the parents assumed the leadership role, then inevitably there would be perpetual disputation and fighting, leading to family breakdown – just as there would be in any organization which lacked any single hierarchical authority.

“God puts forth a similitude: a (servant) man belonging to many partners, disputing with one another, and a man belonging entirely to one master.  Are those two equal in comparison?  All the praises and thanks be to God!  But most of them know not.” (Quran 39:29)

It is only logical that the one who is naturally the physically and emotionally stronger of the two parents is made head of the household: the male.

“…And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to the rights of their husbands) over them – according to what is equitable.  But men have a degree (of responsibility, etc.) over them…” (Quran 2:228)

As for the children, the fruits of their parents love, Islam lays down comprehensive morals enjoining parental responsibility and the child’s reciprocal dutifulness to its parents.

“And treat your parents with kindness.  If one or both of them attain old age in your care, never say to them a word (suggesting) disgust, nor reproach them, but address them with reverent speech.  And humble yourself out of mercy before them, and pray:  ‘My Lord!  Be merciful to them for having cared for me in my childhood.’” (Quran 17:23-4)

Obviously, if the parents fail to inculcate the fear of God within their children from an early age because they are themselves heedless, then they cannot expect to see righteous gratitude returned to them.  Hence, God’s severe warning in His Book:

“O you who believe!  Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones.” (Quran 66:6)

If the parents do indeed strive to raise their children upon righteousness, then, as the Prophet said:

“When the son of Adam dies, all his actions have ceased except [three, a continuing charity, beneficial knowledge and]  a righteous child who prays for their parent.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Regardless of how the parents raise their children, and irrespective of their own religion (or lack, thereof), the obedience and reverence that a Muslim son or daughter is required to show them is second only to the obedience due to the Creator Himself.  Thus His reminder:

“And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): ‘Worship none but God and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and to the poor, and speak good to people, and perform the prayer, and give the alms.’” (Quran 2:83)

In fact, it is quite common to hear of elderly non-Muslims converting to Islam as a result of the increased care and dutifulness their children gave them following their (i.e. the children’s) becoming Muslims.

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them…’” (Quran 6:151)

While the child is obliged to show obedience to both parents, Islam singles out the mother as being the one deserving the lion’s share of loving gratitude and kindness.  When the Prophet Muhammad was asked, “O Messenger of God!  Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me?”  he replied: “Your mother.”  The man asked: “Then who?”  The Prophet said: “Your mother.” The man asked: “Then who?”  The Prophet repeated: “Your mother.”  Again, the man asked: ‘Then who?’  The Prophet finally said: “(Then) your father.”(Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim.)

 “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.  His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: ‘My Lord!  Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good.  Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will).’” (Quran 46:15)

Conclusion

There exists in Islam a general principle that states that what is good for one is good for another.  Or, in the words of the Prophet:

“None of you truly believes until he loves for his (believing) brother what he loves for himself.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

As could be expected, this principle finds its greatest expression in a Muslim family, the nucleus of the Islamic society.  Nevertheless, the dutifulness of the child to its parents is, in truth, extended to all the elders of the community.  The mercy and concern that the parents have for their children is likewise extended to all the young ones.  Actually, it is not as if the Muslim has a choice in such matters.  After all, the Prophet did say:

“He who does not show compassion to our young, nor honor our elders, is not from us.” (Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi)

Is it any wonder, then, that so many people, raised as non-Muslims, find what they are looking for, what they have always believed to have been good and true, in the religion of Islam?  A religion where they are immediately and warmly welcomed as members of one loving family.

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces to the east and the west.  But righteous is the one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Scripture and the Prophets; who gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the wayfarer, to those who ask, and to set slaves free.  And (righteous are) those who pray, pay alms, honor their agreements, and are patient in (times of) poverty, ailment and during conflict.  Such are the people of truth.  And they are the God-Fearing.” (Quran 2:17)

The Importance of Kinship in Islam


Maintaining Silat ur-Rahm (Family Ties) is an Islamic Obligation

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah’s Announcement

A young man once went to attend the weekly hadith lecture of the Sahabi Sayyidna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu but Abu Hurairah’s routine opening announcement stopped him:

“If anyone sitting here has severed any ties of kinship (qata-ur-rahim), he should leave.” (and repair his relationship).

The young man recalled his aunt, who lived in the same town but with whom he had not been on speaking terms. The young man quietly left the gathering and went straight to his aunt’s home. He met his aunt and asked for forgiveness for his past behavior and sought rapprochement.

When the aunt inquired about the reason for this change of heart, the young man narrated how he had heard Abu Huraira’s announcement. His aunt accepted the apology but asked him to inquire from Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, the reason for this unusual announcement. Why, instead of mentioning the major sins, did Abu Hurairah focus only on this issue? What was so special about ties of kinship?

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah replied that he had heard from the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam that our deeds are presented to Allah every Thursday night and anyone who has severed family ties has all his good deeds rejected. Abu Hurairah did not want any such person sitting in his gathering, which was held on the same night, for fear that it could deprive the entire gathering of blessings.

Another hadith explains further the reason for this fear: “Allah’s mercy will not descend on people among whom there is one who severs ties of kinship.”[Baihaqi, Shuab Al-Iman]

Break relations with kin :

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Ar-Raad  verse 25:

As for those who break their covenant with Allah after confirming it, who cut asunder relationships which Allah has bidden to be joined, and spread chaos on the earth,  their’s shall be the curse, and they shall have a wretched abode in the Hereafter.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Bakarah verse 27:

And He leads astray only those who disobey Allah,  who break Allah’s covenant after ratifying it, who cut asunder relationships what Allah has ordered to be joined, and who produce chaos on the Earth.   These are indeed the people who are the losers.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.17 Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Prophet (saws) said, “The word ‘Ar-Rahm (womb) derives its name from Ar-Rahman (i.e., one of the names of Allah) and Allah said: ‘I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you (the womb, i.e. kith and kin), and sever the relation with him who will sever the relation with you (the womb, i.e. kith and kin).

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.15 Narrated by Anas bin Malik

Allah ‘s Messenger (saws) said, “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged, then he should keep good relations with his kith and kin.”

Regardless of the behavior of one’s blood-relatives, it is absolutely impermissible, forbidden, and an abomination of a sin in the Sight of Allah for one to break or sever ties or relationships of blood which the Lord Himself has created for them!

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.20 Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr

The Prophet (saws) said, “’Al-Wasil’ (the one who does good to his relatives) is not he who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but ‘Al-Wasil’ is he who keeps good relations with those relatives who had severed the bond of kinship with him.”