Money & Par­ents


Money what do we spend it on? Who has the most right over our earn­ings? Gen­er­ally in our teens the money is usu­ally spent on fash­ion­able clothes, eat­ing out with friends, go­ing to the movies etc. As we grow older it gets spent on get­ting a big house, mul­ti­ple cars, clothes, jew­elry, trips abroad and the list goes on. Any­thing left over is read­ily put into an in­vest­ment port­fo­lio. But the peo­ple who get ne­glected are of­ten the par­ents. Gen­er­ally there’s no money for the par­ents who are of­ten try­ing to make ends meet with their small pen­sion cheques or by work­ing at low-end jobs. Not all chil­dren do that but from what I have seen ma­jor­ity of them fall into this cat­e­gory when asked for money by the par­ents they cite house­hold ex­penses and nec­es­sary long over­due va­ca­tions. Taf­sir al-qur­tubi con­tains a beau­ti­ful nar­ra­tion about a fa­ther and son it is as fol­lows: Al-Qur­tubi has re­ported from Sayyidna Jabir ibn Ab­dul­lah (RA) that a man came to the Holy Prophet and com­plained that his fa­ther was tak­ing away what be­longed to him. He said,“Go and ask your fa­ther to come here.” Right then, came Sayyidna Ji­brail and told the Holy Prophet SAWS, “When his fa­ther comes, ask him about the words he has com­posed in his heart and which his own ears have not heard yet.” When this man re­turned with his fa­ther, he (SAWS) said to the fa­ther, “Why is it that your son com­plains against you? Do you wish to take away what be­longs to him?” The fa­ther said, “You bet­ter ask him on whom do I spend other than his pa­ter­nal or ma­ter­nal aunts or my­self” The Holy Prophet SAWS said: (an ex­pres- sion which de­noted that he had un­der­stood the re­al­ity and there was no need to say any­thing else). Af­ter that, he asked the fa­ther of the man, “What are those words that have not yet been heard by your own ears?” The fa­ther said, “O Ra­su­lal­lah, Al­lah Taala in­creases our faith in you through ev­ery­thing.” Thereby he meant that he (SAWS) got to know what was not heard by any­one, which was a mir­a­cle in­deed. Then, he sub­mit­ted, “It is true that I had com­posed some lines of po­etry within my heart, some­thing not heard even by my own ears.” The Holy Prophet SAWS said, “Let us hear them.” Then he re­cited the fol­low­ing lines of po­etry he had com­posed: I fed you in child­hood and took care of you when young. You lived on my earn­ings alone.When on some night, you be­came sick, I spent the whole night re­main­ing awake and rest­less be­cause of your sick­ness As if your sick­ness was my own and not yours and be­cause of which my eyes kept shed­ding tears through­out the night My heart kept trem­bling lest some­thing hap­pens to you, though I knew that the time of death is fixed, be­ing nei­ther early nor late So, when you reached the age and ma­tu­rity that I had al­ways been look­ing for­ward to Then you made hard-heart­ed­ness and harsh­ness my re­turn as if you were the one do­ing me fa­vors and giv­ing me re­wards Alas, if it was not pos­si­ble for you to ful­fill my right as a fa­ther, you could have at the least done what a good neigh­bor would have done So, you could have given me the least right of a neigh­bor and ab­stained from be­com­ing miserly in my case in my own prop­erty. Af­ter hav­ing heard th­ese verses of po- etry, the Holy Prophet SAWS held the son by his shirt and said: Go, You and your prop­erty, ev­ery­thing be­longs to your fa­ther. (Taf­sir al-Qur­tubi, p. 246, V. 10) Ac­cord­ing to an­other nar­ra­tion par­ents rights su­per­sede those of wife and chil­dren as il­lus­trated di in th the f fol­low­ing ll i nar­ra­tion. Imams Bukhari and Mus­lim re­ported that the Mes­sen­ger sal­lal­lahu Calayhi wa sal­lam said: “Three per­sons of a peo­ple be­fore you were on a jour­ney when they were over­taken by a storm and there­fore they took shel­ter in a cave. A rock slipped down from the moun­tain and blocked the exit from cave. One of them said: “The only way for de­liv­er­ance left is to be­seech Al­lah in the name of some vir­tu­ous deed.” There­upon one of them sup­pli­cated, “O Lord, my par­ents were very old, I used to of­fer them their nightly drink of milk be­fore my chil­dren and the other mem­bers of the fam­ily. One day I went astray far away in search of green trees and could re­turn only af­ter my par­ent had gone to sleep. When I had milked the an­i­mals and brought their nightly drink to them, They were fast asleep, but I did not like to dis­turb them, nor would give any part of the milk to my chil­dren and other mem­bers of the fam­ily till af­ter my par­ents had their drink. Thus, with the ves­sel in hand, I awaited their awak­en­ing till the flush of dawn, While the chil­dren cried out of hunger at my feet. When they woke up, they had their drink. O Lord, if I did this thing seek­ing only your then th do d re­lieve li us of f the th dis­tress di t wrought ht upon us by this rock.” There­upon, The rock moved a lit­tle…” Money should be spent not only on par­ents but also on rel­a­tives, or­phans, the help­less and trav­el­ers in need as il­lus­trated by the fol­low­ing verse of the Qur’an. “They ask you (O Muham­mad) what they should spend in char­ity. Say: ‘What­ever you spend with a good heart, give it to par­ents, rel­a­tives, or­phans, the help­less, and trav­ellers in need. What­ever good you do, God is aware of it.’” - The Holy Qu­ran, 2:215 But more than rel­a­tives and other peo­ple in need money should first and fore­most be spent on par­ents as they are more de­serv­ing of our good treat­ment than any­one else. The fol­low­ing fa­mous nar­ra­tion il­lus­trates this point. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Mes­sen­ger of God! Who among the peo­ple is the most wor­thy of my good com­pan­ion­ship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man fur­ther asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your fa­ther. (Bukhari, Mus­lim).

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