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STATUS OF FATHERS IN ISLAM

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Each particular parent has served us in a special way that only natural fathers and mothers can provide.

We should realize that our fathers have served us so much that we can never fully compensate them. It would only be possible to fully repay our fathers if we found them as a slave and set them free, which is practically impossible.

Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

لَا يَجْزِي وَلَدٌ وَالِدًا إِلَّا أَنْ يَجِدَهُ مَمْلُوكًا فَيَشْتَرِيَهُ فَيُعْتِقَهُ

“No child can compensate his father unless he finds him as a slave, buys him, and sets him free.”

[Source: Sahih Muslim 2787, Grade: Sahih]

Such is the great honor a father deserves.

Our duties to our parents extend even after their death. One of the best ways to honor our parents when they are gone is by being kind to their friends.

Abdullah ibn Umar, RadhiAllahu Anhu, reported: The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

أَبَرُّ الْبِرِّ أَنْ يَصِلَ الرَّجُلُ وُدَّ أَبِيهِ

“The best act of righteousness is that a man should maintain good relations with his father’s loved ones.”

[Source: Sahih Muslim 2552, Grade: Sahih]

Our supplications for Allah to forgive them and have mercy on them will benefit them even as they are existing in the grave.

Abu Huraira, RadhiAllahu Anhu, reported: The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَيَرْفَعُ الدَّرَجَةَ لِلْعَبْدِ الصَّالِحِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ يَا رَبِّ أَنَّى لِي هَذِهِ فَيَقُولُ بِاسْتِغْفَارِ وَلَدِكَ لَكَ

“Verily, Allah the Exalted will raise the status of his righteous servants in Paradise and they will say: O Lord, what is this? Allah will say: This is due to your child seeking forgiveness for you.”

[Source: Musnad Ahmad 10232, Grade: Hasan]

Abu Ad-Darda, RadhiAllahu Anhu, reported: The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“The father is the middle of the gates of Paradise, so keep this gate or lose it.”

[Source: Sunan Ibn Majah 3663.
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to At-Tirmidhi]

Islam often discusses the value and importance of Mothers. In fact, Rasulullah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has stated several Hadith in regards to the superiority of Mothers. Islam recognizes that Mothers bare the burden of pregnancy, undergo birth pains in delivering the baby, and sacrifices her own comforts to provide comfort to her children. However, it is important to note that the role of a father is also highly recognized in Islam. It is said that,

“Allah’s pleasure is in the pleasure of the father, and Allah’s displeasure is in the displeasure of the father.”

Fathers are significant because they are commanded by Allah (SWT) to work hard to provide the physical, educational, psychological, and spiritual needs of a child. ‘Ali ibn al-Husain (r.a.) is reported to have said,

“The right of your father on you is that you should know that it is he who brought you into existence, and you are a branch of the tree of his life.”

According to an article from Family and Consumer Sciences, “Fathers are essential to the healthy growth and development of their children. Dads bring a unique perspective to the family and lives of their children.”

Abu Hurairah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, always encouraged other people to be kind and good to their parents.

One day he saw two men walking together and enquired of the younger one, “Who is this man to you?” to which the young man replied, “He is my father.”

Abu Hurairah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, advised him by saying,

“Do not call him by his name, do not walk in front of him, and do not seat yourself before he does.”

It was narrated from Jabir bin ‘Abdullah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, that a man said:

“O Messenger of Allah, I have wealth and a son, and my father wants to take all my wealth.”

He, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“You and your wealth belong to your father.”

[Source: Ibn Maajah: Grade: Sahih: (Darussalam): Vol. 3, Book 12, Hadith 2291]

A’isha (RadhiAllahu Anha) commented, “I have not seen any one of Allah’s creation resemble the Messenger of Allah more in speech, conversation and manner of sitting than Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her. When the Prophet saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting.”

The entire Muslim Ummah has benefited directly from this unique father-daughter relationship. How many lessons have been derived from the Seerah, from incidents pertaining to this father and to this daughter?! How much knowledge, how much wisdom, was transmitted from father to daughter, and from that daughter to her own sons, al-Hassan and al-Hussein (radhiAllahu anhuma)?! Yaa SubhanAllah 6 Allah! How can we ever belittle, neglect, forget the importance of such a bond?

O Muslim fathers, will you follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu ‘alayi wa sallam)? Will you do what you can to help your daughter become the Faatimah az-Zahraa’ of today?