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Lesson Thirty: Indirect Obedience (Part III)
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Obedience To Our Parents

To obey our parents is to obey Allah (S.W.A). Allah (S.W.A) commands us to obey our parents next time himself. He speaks:

Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, and that you be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor (17:23).

We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: but if they strive (to force) you to join with Me (Allah) (in worship) anything of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. You have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that you did (29:8) .

And we enjoined on man to be good to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command)'Show gratitude to me and to your parents: to me is (your final) Goal (31:14).

Why is it so important to obey our parents? Our parents are the closest well-wishers for us after Allah (S.W.A). In normal circumstances, where mental problems do not exist, parents are ready to sacrifice all they have for the sake of their children. Some people may deny this statement arguing that their parents are very mean, and therefore, they just exist. Yes, I agree, and I understand; things can really get sour between parents and their children. The major cause of this bitter friction is disobedience. Any kind of independence that encourages us children to disobey our parents is not for us, Muslim children. We need our parental care and guidance. This little story from
Mr. Og Mandino's book, Secrets for Success & Happiness, explains the importance of our parents right to the point. Mr.Og explains that a friend was entertaining a visitor one day when their conversation got around to children. "I Believe" said the visitor, "that the children should be given a free rein to think and act, thus learn at an early age to make their own decisions. That is the only way they can grow to their full potential". The host, Mr. Og continues, interrupted the visitor and said, "I would like you to see my flower garden", and he led the visitor outside. The visitor took one look and exclaimed, "Why this is nothing but a yard full of weeds!" "Well, smiled the host, It was filled with roses, but this year I thought I would let the garden grow as it willed without my tending to it. And you can see the results". At least the visitor in our story had noble intentions; though they turned out to be faulty. Unfortunately, the aim of many advocates of Children's Independence is exploitative in nature. Sadly for us, if we listen to the call of these opportunists and ignore our dear parents for whatever reason- backwardness, uneducated, poor, low class etc- we may end up corrupted so badly that we lose our spiritual welbeing and consequently our souls. A life with a stunted soul is hollow, very unhappy and tragic. No parent can sit and witness anyone exploit and abuse his/her child. If it is to fight, parents would put up a good fight for the sake of their children. Have you not observed how parents are madly in love with their babies? This love never fades as babies grow into teenagers. So, what does one do to catch a prey that is heavily guarded by madly loving parents? If you said you isolate the prey, you are very right. How do you do that? Make children feel independent of their parents. The exploiters, by promising teenagers premature independence, manage to cut the cord that binds a child to his or her parents forever - the cord of obedience. A disobedient child is like a caboose that breaks off the main train; anything can happen to it. It can gently stop, if its speed is not too high, or if a foreign object gets in the way (law), or it can get derailed. When we disobey our parents, we are completely on our own. Only a few exceptional parents can keep their obligated duty to a disobedient, verbally and bodily disrespectful child. Love itself is not strong enough to bind the relationship. Besides, what is the use of talking to someone or counseling someone who chooses not to listen? My dear brothers and sisters, all those lectures about self-expression, self-determination, It's your life, no one should control you, etc are all a bunch of lies aimed at making us stray sheep instead of independent individuals. It is our parents who have the purest of love and intentions for us. Those who call us to premature independence and freedom are in fact seducing us into cages of servitude. You do not believe me? Ask any prostitute and she will confirm. Prostitutes do exactly as they are told. Then, where is independence? Even if the situation at home is not normal, still it is extremely important that we obey our parents provided the contention is not about making us disobey Allah (S.W.A). Even then, Allah (S.W.A) wants us to stay close to our parents.
To Be Continued.