بِرُّ الوالِدَيْنِ أكْبَرُ فَريضَة۔

Being good to parents is the greatest [and most important] duty.



Being good to parents is the greatest [and most important] duty.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Parents)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

بِرُّ الوالِدَيْنِ أكْبَرُ فَريضَة۔

This can be translated as,

Being good to parents is the greatest [and most important] duty.

Let us now delve into the deeper meaning of this profound statement by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and explore its significance in light of the Quran.

The word "bir" in Arabic, which is translated as "being good," encompasses a wide range of meanings. It includes acts of kindness, respect, obedience, and fulfilling the needs of one's parents. It also implies maintaining a good relationship with them, both emotionally and physically. This word emphasizes the importance of not only fulfilling the basic duties towards parents but also going above and beyond to treat them with utmost respect and care.

The term "wālidayn" refers specifically to one's parents. It encompasses both the mother and the father, highlighting the equal importance of both in Islam. This Hadith emphasizes the significance of honoring and respecting parents, regardless of their social status, age, or physical condition.

The phrase "akbaru farīdah" translates to "the greatest duty." This signifies that being good to parents is not just a recommended act, but rather an obligatory duty that holds the highest level of importance in Islam. It is a fundamental obligation that every Muslim must fulfill.

The Quran provides numerous verses that emphasize the importance of being good to parents. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Isra (17:23-24),

Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age while you are alive, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them but address them in terms of honor. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, 'My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.'

This verse highlights the importance of treating parents with kindness, respect, and honor. It emphasizes the significance of not uttering disrespectful words or showing any form of contempt towards them. Instead, Muslims are instructed to speak to their parents with utmost respect and humility, acknowledging the immense mercy and care they provided during their upbringing.

Furthermore, in Surah Luqman (31:14), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

This verse highlights the gratitude that Muslims should have towards their parents. It reminds us of the sacrifices made by our mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the care and nurturing provided during the early years of our lives. It emphasizes the importance of being grateful to both Allah and our parents for the blessings they have bestowed upon us.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder to Muslims of the paramount importance of being good to parents. It emphasizes that this duty is not to be taken lightly, but rather should be considered as the greatest obligation after the worship of Allah.

When we fulfill this duty, we not only please our parents but also gain the pleasure of Allah. Our relationship with our parents reflects our character and piety as Muslims. Being good to parents is a means of attaining spiritual growth, as it teaches us humility, patience, and selflessness. It also strengthens the family unit and contributes to a harmonious society.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the paramount importance of being good to parents. It reminds us of the duty we have towards our parents, urging us to treat them with kindness, respect, and honor. This duty is not only an obligation but also a means of attaining closeness to Allah and spiritual growth. May Allah guide us all to fulfill this duty and grant us the ability to be dutiful and loving towards our parents.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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