Lesson 12 : If My Mother Is Terribly Upset…?
A young lad lay ailing in bed. He suffered from a sickness that had no cure except death. People, realising that no worldly medicine could help him, went to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) and asked him to come and pray for the young man's suffering to be eased.
When the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) arrived, he saw a frail youth, tossing, turning and all the while moaning in extreme pain. He constantly cried out in fear, screaming about wild and terrifying things that no one else seemed to see.
Our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) realised immediately that the man was fast approaching death and could see what awaited him in the hereafter. He sat down near the bed and asked gently, "Why are you in so much grief? What makes you cry so?"
The man slowly opened his eyes and saw the gentle face of the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) looking down at him. With great difficulty, he managed to say, "Oh Messenger of God! I am now conscious of my limited time in this world and feel the nearness of death.
Just a few minutes ago, I saw some extremely ugly and frightening faces and I felt that they wanted to imprison me and chain me in a world of severe punishment. I am scared of those faces and I fear for myself!"
Hearing this, the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) turned to those who were present and asked. "Is this young man's mother alive? If she is, please ask her to come right away." by the pain your son is in, are you angry with him for any reason?"
The people rushed out to find her and brought her to the Prophet (s.a.w.w.). She entered and stood a little way away from the dying youth's bed. Seeing this behaviour, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) asked her, "You do not seem to be affected At this, the woman replied, "O Prophet of Allah (S.W.T.)! I have endured great pain and difficulties in raising my child.
During his infancy, I spent sleepless nights to make sure that he slept peacefully and during the day, I struggled to earn money for our bread. Many days I remained hungry but fed him. Despite all this, when he became older, he forgot all that I had sacrificed for him. His attitude changed and he started disrespecting me.
Often, he was rude and angry. I was deeply hurt and in the end I could not bear his treatment anymore so I complained to my Lord Allah (S.W.T.)."
Having heard the mother express her bitter feelings, the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) advised her, "O Mother! Your son was young and naïve. You have every right to grieve and feel hurt but in the end you are a mother and a mother's compassion exceeds everything else. I beg you to forgive your son's ignorance. Do not be bitter about him. If you will be happy, Allah (S.W.T.) will forgive him and relieve him from the pain that he is presently suffering."
Hearing this and looking at her son crying out in pain, the mother felt her love rekindled and she quickly raised her hands pleading to her Lord, "O Allah (S.W.T.)! For the sake of Your Prophet, I forgive my son and request You to do the same."
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) then added his own dua asked for forgiveness for the man from Allah (S.W.T.). The Almighty accepted their prayers and excused the youth's sins.
In a few moments, the man stopped thrashing about and a peaceful look came over his face. He opened his eyes once again and this time smiled, looking at the Prophet (s.a.w.w.), he spoke with gratitude, "O Prophet of Allah (S.W.T.), I the Kalematu - Shahaadatayn and he left this temporary world to meet with His Lord, with a smile on his face.
In the Holy Qur'an, Allah (S.W.T.) has given great emphasis on the respect to our parents. He has advised children to treat their parents with kindness and be humble and obedient towards them. If a person fails in this important duty, he must seek forgiveness both from his parents as well as from the Almighty.
According to our 6th holy Imam, Jaffer Al-Sadiq (a.s.), sincerely thank you for your blessed visit. The two beastly figures who had approached me earlier have gone and instead two handsome angels with broad smiles on their faces are now coming towards me!"
With these words he recited "One who does good to his parents will indeed receive goodness and during the time of his death, his soul will leave his body very gently and easily. Such a person will never face poverty in this world."
A Holy Verse We are told in the Qur'an
"And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve any but Him, and do goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) 'uf' nor harass them, and speak to them a generous word." Sura Bani Israeel, Verse 23
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT …
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) of Islam highly recommended and encouraged believers to visit the sick and show kindness to them.
- Islam has laid great emphasis for children to respect and value their parents, especially the mother, for she has borne great pain in nurturing and looking after them. If one fails to show kindness to ones' parents, he will live in despair and a severe punishment awaits him in the hereafter.
- Allah (S.W.T.) in the Holy Qur'an has commanded all believers to show Mercy and Kindness towards parents. He has ordered children to lower their voice in front of their parents. Even the smallest word in reply i.e. 'UF!' is forbidden.
Think and Answer
- Why was the young lad in severe pain?
- What brought the changes in his severe condition?
- What do you understand from the warning in the Holy Qur'an to mankind on behaviour towards one's parents - verse 23 of Sura Bani Israel? Explain your answer fully.
- What lessons have you derived from the ailing man's experiences, hours before death?
Infacncy and Age One day, in the rashness of youth, I spoke harshly to my mother. She sat in a corner with tears in her eyes said:
"You forget the days of your infancy! Can you recall those days when you would cling to my bosom helplessly and would not dare to speak to me loudly? Now you are powerful as a tiger and formidable as an elephant only because I am an old woman …" Introduction to Chapter Five
In The Name Of Allah (S.W.T.), the Beneficent, the Merciful
ALL ARE EQUAL IN THE DIVINE SYSTEM OF LAW AND ORDER
Issues related to politics and well-being of the society are part of the fundamental Islamic laws. For a Muslim leader to govern a society he must practice justice and equity. In this chapter and the lessons that follow, we will look at the importance of "Equality and Justice" in accordance to the divine laws.
'JUSTICE' is one of the core elements in the establishment of an Islamic Government. It is noteworthy to mention that in order to spread and apply justice it is necessary for there be a sense of Islamic Brotherhood which allows a person to know another's problems.
The implementation of justice helps Muslims to attain a life of respect, honour, dignity and total commitment to Islam.
Lesson 13 : Srirtual Role Models
The Infallible Imams
At the time of the khilafat of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), he once lost his armour. Later, he happened to pass by the open market (bazaar) of Kufah and his eyes fell on a Christian selling the very same armour! Imam (a.s.) came a little closer to the Christian glancing at the armour and then took it in his hand and studied it closely while asking the seller about it. The man quickly replied, "That which is in your hand belongs to me," and using some force took it from the Imam (a.s.)'s hand.
His behaviour attracted the attention of the people around and they gathered around the two men. Imam Ali (a.s.) calmly told the Christian, "What are you saying? How can you claim this to be yours, when it does not belong to you?" He further added, "I am certain this armour is mine therefore return it to me…"
When the Christian continued to deny his claim, the Holy Imam (a.s.) decided to take him to the court and lodged a complaint against him. As they walked into the court, the Qaadhi saw them enter and quickly stood up in respect of the Imam (a.s.). He greeted him politely and then inquired, "What has brought you here?"
"This armour is mine. I neither sold it nor did I give it as a present to anyone; now I have found it with this man, and he refuses to give it back to me," explained the Imam (a.s.).
The Qaadhi turned and asked the Christian seller "What do you have to say about it?"
The man insisted stubbornly, "I will not give the armour to him, because it belongs to me. I am not calling him a liar, but it is mine."
Seeing that he could not make a clear decision based on the facts he had, the Qaadhi requested both the Imam (a.s.) and the seller to bring two witnesses who would give evidence on their behalf. Our Holy Imam (a.s.) began laughing and said, "The judge is right! Now I must present witnesses, but I have none."
Since the plaintiff had no witnesses, the judgement was passed in favour of the Christian who walked away with the armour. After a few steps, he stopped. He knew the armour belonged to Imam (a.s.) and his conscience struck him.
He thought to himself, "This manner of rule and conduct is not of ordinary human beings. Rather, it is the government of prophets. Islam advocates matters in absolute fairness, equality and justice. The law applies in the same way to all people - even the khalifa, himself! How wonderfully just!"
Retracing his steps, he entered the court again and with great shame admitted his mistake and addressed those were sitting, saying "O Muslims! The Islamic laws show perfect justice and this indeed has awakened me.
Your laws give importance to equality. I won in the case against your Holy leader, and this surprised me. Even though I a Christian, the laws didn't change but brought justice as they were meant to. I have witnessed that even a leader of the Muslims can be summoned in the court of justice. This shows that no one can misuse the divine laws!
"How was it possible for the judge not to favour the Imam, and to maintain the law as the final word? This court has brought truth - complete truth. I bear witness that there is no other deen except Islam that advocates divine laws, I now embrace Islam."
The man accepted Islam and pledged his loyalty to Allah (S.W.T.), the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w.) as the final Messenger from God and to Imam Ali (a.s.) as the guardian of Islam and the pure, truthful Imam. He then spoke to the Holy Imam (a.s.) and confessed his wrong-doings:
"I swear by God, truth is with you and this armour is yours. It was after the Battle of Siffeen, when you had left behind the armour on the battleground that I took it. I am really ashamed for having caused all this to you, I seek forgiveness from you."
Imam Ali (a.s.) was very happy and said to the man: "In respect of the love of truth you have shown and your accepting of this perfect deen, I give back the armour to you."
The man turned out to be a devout companion of the Holy Imam (a.s.). He was a great defender of Islam and its teachings. Later, he participated in the battle of Naharwan and fought with bravery becoming a symbol of martyrdom.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…
The laws of Islam establish social justice. This helps Muslim societies to promote equality, for the success of mankind.
When a society does not implement divine laws, there is no true peace, harmony or contentment. Theft and usurping of one's rights are common evils. This destroys the roots of families and societies at large.
Muslims should follow the laws of Islam, and take full responsibility in their duties as defenders of the divine regulations. We should try to avoid bribery and any sort of un-Islamic commands made by men.
When a society advocates equality and justice, there is room for love, friendship and truth. This is one of the greatest gifts of Allah (S.W.T.).
When such sublime laws are practised both by the Islamic judges and the common men, there is no place for corruption. The wealth and property of the public is safeguarded. One should seek solutions from the laws of Islam rather than turning to man-made laws.
Muslims should make it a policy to combat injustice and support the truth.
The Islamic courts should be flawlessly just and act as role models for others to emulate (copy).
There is no distinction in Islam. Whether rich or poor, status and recognition do not serve as conditions in performing justice.
The Muslim Qaadhi (judge) should always take into consideration the views of both parties and be completely impartial i.e. not take sides.
Think and Answer
Explain how the Christian man came to embrace Islam.
What were Imam Ali (a.s.)'s words when he heard the Christian turn to Islam?
How does equality and justice help build a healthy society? What are the positive effects?
What do you think justice actually mean in the eyes of the divine laws of Islam? Explain your answer.