Skip to main content

On Faith and Parental Bonds

THE STATUS OF THE FATHER

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the perfect model for the universe. He came in a time when people were barbarians and had little respect for family relationships. For today, I chose to speak to you about the importance he brought to the status of the father.

Good character, good behaviour and good advice are qualities that please the Creator. According to a Hadith, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said that he who pleases his father, pleases Allah. When the father (who follows the Shariah) is happy, it greatly pleases the Creator. On the other hand, if the father is not happy, it does not please the Almighty. This is the status granted to each father. If such a status has been granted to our father, (then imagine) what is (i.e. how grand is) the status granted to the father of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), Hazrat Abdullah (ra)?

The biological father of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), Hazrat Abdullah (ra), left this world before the birth of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The wish of Allah (twa) is that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) be a model for believers from all angles and on all aspects. Despite the fact that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not see his biological father, the Creator granted him an adoptive father who has the same right as the real father. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) loved him with great love and gave him a great welcome and honour, so much so that he removed him from darkness to guide him to the light and as a reward he will be in Paradise.

The adoptive father of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) Hazrat Haaris (ra) once met him in Mecca after the revelation of the Holy Quran. At the sight of Hazrat Haaris (ra), the Quraish who were unfaithful informed him that his son had said that after the earthly life, there will be another life and that following the last judgment, the actions of each individual will lead them either to heaven or to hell. Good believers will be in the Creator's realm, while the non-believers will be thrown into the fire. According to them, this (i.e. the mission of the prophet) was the very reason why their unity was broken.

Hazrat Haaris (ra) had not yet embraced Islam (at that time). He went to meet the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to serve him. The manner in which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had welcomed his adoptive father, so courteous, was exemplary. Hazrat Haaris (ra) related to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) what the Quraish had told him about the other life after death and the breakup of their unity. The response of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in one sentence had such a great effect on Hazrat Haaris (ra) that this (saying) penetrated his heart as a light that brought him unshakeable faith. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) assured him that his message is true and that on this great day, the Day of Judgement, he will take him (i.e. his adoptive father) by the hand, saying that what he said to him on earth was the truth. This phrase was considered heavier than earth and sky. After all, it was not the sentence of just anyone, but one which came from the sacred mouth of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The weight of this sentence made him become a believer.

This is an example that shows us the strong links between the holy prophet (pbuh) and his adoptive father. (Imagine then) What would have been his behaviour towards his biological father, if he had been alive? Although his adoptive father was in the wrong direction, he was not a believer, but the good behaviour of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) towards him led him in the right direction.

THE DUTY OF THE SON

This is a good example that must be applicable to today's society. The son's duty is to be able to guide and bring the father in the right direction if he indulges in 'Shirk' or other sins. A great reward awaits the son who succeeds in giving faith to a dad who is in the dark.

Having found the light, the reaction of Hazrat Haaris (ra) weighed a ton (his reaction was beyond measure). The Holy Prophet (pbuh) added that on the Day of Judgement, he will say that he will not let go of his hand as long as he does not enter heaven. Thus, this leads us to this saying: Iman (faith) is Aqeedah (dogma). The Holy Prophet (pbuh) gave him the means to enter heaven by holding his hand (firmly).

The current society must take the example of these parental bonds; in doing so, there will be no more darkness. There will be no room for 'Shirk' and it will be a healthy and peaceful society where it will be good to live. It is the son's (or even daughter's) duty to bring the father back in the right direction and vice versa, in case the son (or daughter) is in the wrong direction/ path.

This message was taken into consideration by the Sahabas, Taabe-in, Swaliheen, Arifeen, Muttaqeen, and other pious persons, without forgetting the Mujaddids (reformers) who came after him, and the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as). Among the Mujaddids before the coming of the Promised Messiah (as), there was Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani (as) who was the excellent master and guide of his time. He married four times and had 49 children (boys and girls) and the relationship between father and children was very close, cordial and exemplary. And as for the children of the Promised Messiah (as), they were all pious, and among them there is one - the promised son and reformer - who brought felicity and prosperity to his honour and mission; a biological and spiritual heritage.

So, it is the prerogative of the son to take good care of his father and vice versa. A good father, most of the time produce good children and good children amaze and give hope and reform to fathers, to the delight of Allah (twa).

May Allah send His many blessings and favours to our chief and master Muhammad (pbuh) and his beloved fathers (Abdullah and Haaris) and all the people who were dear to him and sincere believers in his Message. May Allah also count us among his sincere followers and may we always follow his perfect example throughout our life on earth. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

---Friday Sermon of 16 February 2018 (29 Jamad’ul Awwal 1439 AH) delivered by Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius