There was a time when people would believe ‘Parents are next to God’. But, as the desire for materialism grew, most of us no longer hold this opinion. Time has changed our priorities. While on the one hand we celebrate days to honour parents, on the other hand parents are not valued much in most families. The sanctity of the parent-child relationship has been defiled in many households. Nowadays there exist disagreement of the worst kind between parents and their children. Some homes have broken due to parent-child discord. Especially old-aged people are being maltreated and have poignant tales to narrate. Ill-fated families prefer to get rid of them by consigning them to old-age homes which have increased in number worldwide. The fact that Muslims are no exception to these acts makes the situation more depressing.
Scholars, writers, clerics, and activists are making efforts to remove mistrust among youngsters and elders of the family and to safeguard the sanctity of this pious bond. However, the not-so-satisfying outcome of these efforts calls for more and more concrete efforts. The book, ‘Parents’ Rights in Islam: Social and Scientific Perspective’, authored by Dr Hassan Mohiuddin Qadri is one such endeavour in this regard.
Dr Hassan Mohiuddin Qadri, son of noted Islamic scholar Dr Tahir ul Qadri, is an intellectual of great depth. He is a prolific speaker and writer with a desire of creating a better and harmonious society. He enthusiastically campaigns for encouraging interfaith harmony, religious tolerance, and freedom. Educating youth and guiding them towards the path of Islam has been his prime objective. However, the target audience of the book under consideration is not only youth but others as well. It is a simple but significant work aimed to reach the common masses.
As is evident from the name, the book focuses on the rights of parents in the light of Islam. But, blending religious with socio-scientific perspective, is what makes this book remarkable. The book starts with Allah’s commandments about the status of parents. Different verses of the Holy Quran have been mentioned and discussed. The way the author has interpreted and simplified them shows his calibre as a scholar. Emphasis has been laid on each word of the verse to make things clearer to the reader.
Quranic commandments are followed by Hadith, Prophetic teachings, that deal with parents’ rights. The author explains the cardinal virtues of parents according to the traditions laid down by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Like Quranic verses, the traditions have also been elucidated so that readers can have a full and firm understanding.
The author does not restrict his point to Islam and Muslims. He writes about the status of non-Muslim parents as well and talks about rulings of Islamic scholars regarding the children who have non-Muslim parents. Dr Qadri presents the views of Torah (book revealed to Musa) and the Bible regarding the people who are discourteous to their parents.
This book is a guide not only for children but also for parents. The responsibilities of the parents in raising the child have been explained at length. The author attaches considerable importance to parental behaviour and its effect on a child’s social and moral aspects. How children should be treated and nurtured, the effect of family environment on the child, constitute some other topics of the book.
The role of the mother in the growth and development of a child finds separate mention in the book. The author acquaints the reader with the mother’s status in Quranic verses and traditions. Towards the end, the author tells us about Uwais-i-Qarni, his obedience to his mother, and the eminence he attained by serving his mother. All this opens the reader’s eyes to the reality that ‘parents are one of the greatest blessings of Allah’.
The book contains meaningful sayings, anecdotes, and parables relevant to the subject that help the reader to get a precise idea. Apart from this, the book gives us an idea of the psychological changes people go through with age and suggests us ways of tackling them.
Both the Quran and Hadith have been quoted in actual form, i.e., in Arabic, along with an English translation and this adds to the credibility of the book. A footnote referencing system has been used and there is a useful bibliography at the end. Hence, the book is complete in every sense.
This 88-page informative and reformative book deserves a read. Parents, youngsters, students, and even public speakers can benefit from it. Parents, youngsters, and students can illuminate their minds by knowing about their respective responsibilities. Public speakers would get everything in one place regarding this topic besides self-correction and reformation.
The writer is a columnist. He tweets @zeeshan_rk and can be mailed at [email protected]