شَرُّ الأوْلادِ اَلْعاقُّ۔

The worst of all children is the undutiful one.



The worst of all children is the undutiful one.

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

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. 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, "شَرُّ الأوْلادِ اَلْعاقُّ۔" This can be translated into English as,

The worst of all children is the undutiful one.

In this enlightening Hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the severity of being disobedient and ungrateful towards one's parents.

To understand the significance of this Hadith, let us delve into the meanings of some key words. The word (sharr) "شَرُّ" refers to something evil, harmful, or detrimental. It signifies the extreme negativity and harm caused by a particular action or characteristic. In this context, it emphasizes the severity of being an (awlad al-'aq) "أوْلادِ اَلْعاقُّ". The term (awlad) "أوْلادِ" refers to children, while (al-'aq) "اَلْعاقُّ" denotes disobedience or being undutiful.

The Quran provides us with numerous verses that emphasize the importance of being dutiful and respectful towards our parents. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Isra (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 treating our parents with kindness, respect, and patience, even in difficult situations.

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

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 emphasizes the importance of gratitude towards our parents, recognizing the sacrifices they have made for us, and acknowledging that our ultimate gratitude should be directed towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder to Muslims of the gravity of being undutiful towards their parents. It highlights the negative consequences that arise from neglecting the rights of one's parents. The undutiful child not only disrespects and hurts their parents emotionally, but they also sever the bond of love and compassion that should exist within the family unit. This disobedience can lead to a breakdown in family relationships, causing pain and suffering for all involved.

Moreover, being undutiful towards one's parents goes against the teachings of Islam and the principles of righteousness. It is a violation of the commandments of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and the example set by the Prophet Muhammad () and his Ahl al-Bayt. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), as the gate to the city of knowledge, possessed immense wisdom and knowledge. His statement serves as a reminder that true knowledge is not just intellectual, but also encompasses moral and ethical responsibilities towards others, especially our parents.

Reflecting on this Hadith, Muslims are urged to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude, love, and respect for their parents. They are encouraged to fulfill their duties towards their parents, not only through material support but also through emotional care, companionship, and compassion. By doing so, Muslims can strengthen the bonds of family, create a harmonious society, and ultimately seek the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in this life and the Hereafter.

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us all to be dutiful and respectful towards our parents, and may He grant us the ability to embody the teachings of Islam in our daily lives.

. : . (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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