The Pleasure of the Lord Lies in the Pleasure of the Father; The Rights of the Mother and the Duty to Children―The Harmonious Home and a Just Society Compared to a Broken Home and an Unjust Society (Al-Bukhāri’s Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

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In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. (Part 2)

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Let us continue with this tremendous work of Imām al-Bukhārī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) titled “al-Adab al-Mufrad” with the explanation of ash-Shaykh al-‘Allāmah Zayd bin Muhammad al-Madkhalī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) with additional comments from myself (Abu Khadeejah). We concluded the last lesson with the first hadīth regarding the three most beloved actions to Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) and you will all recall and remember them―and you will not forget them (by Allah’s permission). The first of them: the prayer at its proper time. Secondly, being dutiful and good to one’s parents and thirdly, Jihād in the cause of Allāh.

Father, Mother, Children, Rights and Society

From the hadīths of Imām al-Bukhārī in “al-Adab al-Mufrad” on the Prophetic manners of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) we have the next hadīth that he narrates with his chain of narration: Al-Bukhari said, “Adam narrated to us, and he said that Shu’bah narrated to us, who said that Ya’la bin ‘Atā’ narrated to us from his father from ‘Abdillāh bin ‘Umar (radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā) who stated:

“The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the father, and the displeasure of Lord comes with the displeasure of the father.”

So this narration is the statement of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā) but it is also a hadīth of Allāh’s Messenger (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that is authenticated by Shaykh al-Albānī and it is also collected by Imām at-Tirmidhī in his Sunan.

Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) stated that this hadīth explains that the displeasure of Allāh comes about by way of displeasing one’s father because of his bad and undutiful child, whether a son or a daughter. 

And this is due to the rights of the parent: that the parents are obligated their rights. The father is the cause of the existence of the son or the daughter, by the permission of Allāh. The children come about by way of the father due to him marrying a woman, the mother of the children. And it is the father who took care of the child, and it is he who attended to him and to his daughter. And he was responsible for him while he was still in his cradle as a baby. Then, as a young child, he remained responsible over him. Then as a youth and then after that right into manhood: the father took care of his son or his daughter. The father takes care of his children and he shepherds them, even after they have grown up and he never falls short in caring for them and he never falls short in taking the responsibility that Allāh has made an obligation upon him.

And for this reason, he has a right that he is dealt with in a goodly manner and that the son is dutiful to his father. And therein lies the pleasure of Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā). Meaning: that Allāh is pleased with the children when the children make their father happy. And by the ill-treatment of the father and denying his rights one earns the displeasure of Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā).

And that is because the recompense with Allāh is in accordance with one’s deeds. Meaning: that Allāh will reward you based upon your deeds. So if you do good, then Allāh will give you good. So when you please your father or please your mother, then you are pleasing Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā). Therefore, the recompense and your reward is in accordance with your deeds. The more good that you do, the greater the pleasure of Allāh.

This is something that is known to everyone and all of the people that are giving understanding and reason. Meaning: Caring for one’s children is known to everyone and all reasonable people―and a reasonable father will be pleased and happy with his son or his daughter due to goodness or kindness they show towards him, even if they do a small amount. 

So the sons and daughters must not hurt him, or to cause him distress in any way, or to deny him his rights. Rather, the children should always try to attain the pleasure of Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) and to avoid whatever leads to the displeasure and the anger of Allāh. And there is no doubt, my brothers and sisters, that the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never spoke from his desires. And that includes him mentioning this affair.

“Nor does he speak of (his own) desires.”
[Sūrat an-Najm: 3]

The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave everything its due rights by revelation from Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā). So He gave the rights to the children, the rights to the parents, the rights singularly to the father and singularly to the mother so that everyone in society is protected and everyone in society is shown their due respect, and honour, and their position.

So here we find from the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he has given the father his rights such that in the pleasing of the father is the pleasure of Allāh and in the displeasing of the father is the displeasure of Allāh.

Then Imām al-Bukhārī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) brings the next chapter heading which is “The Chapter: being dutiful to the mother”.

So after mentioning the father, now, we move on to the mother. So Imām al-Bukhārī mentions in this third hadīth that we are covering now: “Abu ‘āsim narrated to us from Bahz bin Hakīm, from his father, from his grandfather, who said: 

“O Messenger of Allāh, to whom should I be most dutiful?” 

The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said): “Your mother.”

I said (for the second time): “To whom should I be most dutiful?” 

The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) repeated again: “Your mother.” 

I said (for the third time): “To whom should I be most dutiful?” 

He (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Your mother.” 

Then I asked again: “To whom should I be most dutiful?” 

So then he (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Your father. Then to the nearest relative and then the next nearest relative.”

So this hadīth of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) establishes for us guidance from the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whom Allāh described as being kind and merciful to the believers:

“….with the believers most kind and merciful.”
[Sūrat at-Tawbah: 128]

That is our Prophet, may his Lord extol His praise in the highest company of angels and send upon him complete peace and security.

So in this hadīth, the mother is particularized, she is singled out. She has excellence and virtues. It is, of course, known that she faces pain and numerous hardships from the very beginning of her pregnancy ―and the women know what that entails. And throughout her pregnancy, which is usually nine months, she carries her child alongside the hardships that she suffers. Yet, she continues serving the needs of her child and she carries out the rest of the chores and duties that are upon her with respect to the home, and her husband, and maybe her parents, and the rest of the children. She doesn’t stop even when she is in that condition for nine months. And when it comes to the time of delivering the baby, she is exposed to immense hardship, and pain, and exhaustion, and even danger, until the birth is over.

Then comes the time to care for the newborn: breastfeeding, cleaning, bathing, and so on. And through all of this she has to be gentle and kind to the child because the child is helpless without the mother, by Allāh’s will. And in her heart, she fears, even as she is fulfilling all of these duties, for the welfare of her child at such a delicate age. 

So, for this reason, there are for her three grades of good treatment. And that is from the justice of Islām. Why was she given this status of three times greater than anybody else? The scholars say three times because the first is for her pregnancy and the hardships therein. The second is for the delivery and the birth and the hardships therein. And the third is for her weaning and caring for the child. So because of this, when the son or the daughter asked the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he would say: “Your mother, your mother, your mother.” Three times. And then the father. And then the rest of the relatives.

And the father, too, undergoes hardships. But he is mentioned at the end of this hadīth. Meaning: that the mother is mentioned three times and then the father is mentioned. So his rights are not to be taken lightly either. But the right of the mother is three times more than the father. 

The father is compassionate over his child and he spends time with him (or her) and he spends upon him financially: caring for him, sheltering him, feeding him, clothing him, and so on. And he takes the means of cultivation and education that will turn his son into a righteous man, and his daughter into a righteous woman, bringing them from childhood into adulthood. 

When we look at al-Islām we see the roles, and the duties, and the specific tasks that Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has assigned to individuals: to the mother her duties, to the father his duties, to the daughter her duties, to the son his duties, and so on. Each one has a level of responsibility and for each one Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has defined a role. So no one in society is left behind and no one in society is downtrodden if they follow the law and inherent justice of al-Islām. 

No one is oppressed and no one is transgressed against: the wife is looked after, the husband is shown obedience, the father is respected, the mother is loved, the children are cared for. Each one in the family unit has their duty and their role. And this is the beauty of al-Islām that you will not find anywhere else. All this whilst the unbelievers are wandering in the dark, stumbling over each other as they try to achieve justice or freedom or whatever else they are seeking. You’ve seen within them the amount of oppression and misguidance: domestic violence, abortions, disruption of children, broken homes, foster-care for abused children, killing babies whilst they are still in the womb of their mother to wipe out the “remnants” of a one-night stand, and many that are born are neglected after their birth. When parents reach old age they are abandoned to die on their own in their homes or in care homes with children that abandon them. 

This shows that they are wandering in the dark. But if they were to embrace Islām and if they were to look at the justice of Islām they would see how Islām gives everyone their rights, specific roles and duties. Everyone is cared for and no one is left behind. Even the weak ones amongst the people. This is why the Prophet (sallallāhu’alayhi wa sallam) said: 

“(Present to me and) bring to me your weak ones for indeed, you are provided for and you are aided due to these weak ones.” 
[Sunan an-Nasā’ī, Book 25, Hadīth 95] 

Meaning: that Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) looks at how you treat the weak and the vulnerable in your society and you are aided and you are given provision because of the way in which you treat the weak, and the downtrodden, those who are in need and those who are vulnerable.

You do not find this excellence anywhere else (bārakallāhu fīkum). It is not to say that some other societies don’t look after their poor―maybe they do to a small degree. However, the point here is holistically, Islām is the religion and the way of life that cares for everyone―so the rich give from the wealth to feed the poor in Zakāh. The poor are lifted out from poverty because of the charity of the wealthy. The mother has a role and duty in the home. The father has his role and duty outside of the home to provide for his family. Boys are turned into chaste and righteous men and not into confused individuals. Girls are raised as noble women, chaste and righteous. They are married at a young age so they may strengthen the Muslim Ummah and strengthen the communities. They enjoin the good and they forbid the evil and they don’t turn a blind eye and say that everyone is free to do as they wish. No, in Islām you’re not free to do as you wish. This is the beauty and justice of al-Islām that you do not find anywhere else. Amazing is the religion of Islām. And that’s why you should walk as a Muslim with your head held high―i.e. be happy and proud that you are a Muslim and that Allāh guided you. And Allāh guides whom He wills.

And the best a father can do for his son is to teach him knowledge of Islām and the Sharī’ah. And to connect his children to the learning of the religion. And this is alongside the duty of the father to safeguard and preserve the bodily well-being and the manners of his children. To teach them good manners and to cultivate them upon the excellent character and giving everything the complete attention that it deserves. And the father is rewarded on that basis. And how great is the reward with Allāh! And the daughter is given the same concern, and care, and attention from both parents. The mother, too, is rewarded in accordance to the good that she does for her sons and daughters. And we have seen that Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has given her three of the four portions. Meaning: that the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked four times and three of them he indicated the mother and then the fourth to the father and thereafter to the near relatives.

So, my brothers and sisters, don’t regard these to be just academic readings that you just read and you put them away in some compartment in your minds afterwards. The purpose of Imām al-Bukhārī compiling this tremendous work is that you act. And even though I’m reading and taking benefits from Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā), I am expanding upon that in light of our present times and our situation in the societies that we live in―because we can see what is happening around us and we can see the corruption in the society around us and how children are towards their parents and how parents are neglectful of their children. We can also see how much child abuse takes place, and how much neglect of the family, and how much domestic violence takes place, and how many homes are broken due to sin, and transgression, and oppression―without the guidance of Islam, the rights of the people are squandered.

Where do you find true encompassing justice except in Islām? You will not find a truly just and safe society or community except one that is built upon Islamic values―where Muslims truly practice their religion. You will not find justice and affection anywhere else except amongst those who follow the Quran and Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). And upon that, we’ll finish for today. 

Walhamdulillāhi Rabbil ‘ālamīn wa sallallāhu wa sallam ‘alā nabiyyinā Muhammad wa ‘alā ālihi wa sahbihi ajma’īn.

And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.

(Transcribed by Umm Hidaayah, may Allah reward her)

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