مَنْ بَرَّ والِدَيْهِ بَرَّهُ وَلَدُهُ۔
Whoever is good to his parents, his child will be good to him.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Parents)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his righteous companions.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
مَنْ بَرَّ والِدَيْهِ بَرَّهُ وَلَدُهُ۔
This Hadith emphasizes the importance of being good and kind to one's parents, as it states that whoever is good to their parents, their child will also be good to them.
Let us delve into the meanings of some key words in this Hadith. The word (birr) "برّ" refers to goodness, righteousness, and kindness. It encompasses acts of obedience, respect, and care towards one's parents. The word (walidayhi) "وَالِدَيْهِ" refers to one's parents, both the mother and the father. And the word (waladuhu) "وَلَدُهُ" refers to one's child or children.
To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of being dutiful to one's parents. In Surah Al-Isra, Allah says, (Quran 17:23)
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], 'uff,' and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.
This verse highlights the obligation of showing kindness and respect to parents, even in the face of their old age and potential difficulties. It encourages us to speak to them with utmost respect and to avoid any form of disrespect or annoyance towards them. This is a clear indication of the importance of being good to one's parents.
Another verse that emphasizes the significance of this Hadith is found in Surah Luqman, where Allah says, (Quran 31:14)
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 immense sacrifice and effort that parents put into raising their children. It reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe to our parents for their love, care, and nurturing. It also serves as a reminder that our ultimate gratitude should be directed towards Allah, who has blessed us with such caring parents.
Now, let us reflect on the profound wisdom behind Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement. When a person is good to their parents, they are setting a positive example for their children to follow. Children are greatly influenced by the behavior and actions of their parents. If they witness their parents being respectful, loving, and caring towards their grandparents, they are more likely to adopt the same behavior towards their own parents when they grow up.
By being good to our parents, we are instilling in our children the values of kindness, respect, and gratitude. We are teaching them the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities towards their parents and recognizing the sacrifices made for their well-being. This virtuous cycle of goodness and righteousness is what Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights in this Hadith.
Moreover, being good to our parents not only benefits us in this world but also has profound spiritual consequences. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has promised great rewards for those who are dutiful to their parents. In Surah Al-Ahqaf, Allah says, (Quran 46:15)
And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, 'My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.'
This verse highlights the importance of expressing gratitude to Allah for the blessings bestowed upon us and our parents. It also emphasizes the need to seek forgiveness and repentance for any shortcomings. By being good to our parents, we are not only fulfilling a duty but also seeking the pleasure of Allah and striving for righteousness.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a reminder of the importance of being good to our parents. It highlights the profound impact our behavior has on our children and the spiritual rewards that come with fulfilling this duty. Let us strive to emulate the noble example set by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and be dutiful and kind to our parents, knowing that our children will follow in our footsteps. May Allah grant us the ability to fulfill this obligation and may He bless us with righteous offspring.
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