Sometimes, I get so impatient with my parents (astaghfirullah, impatience is my nature, and who better to take it out on than the ones who love you most?) and it’s such a struggle to hold my tongue. Sometimes, I’m successful, other times…not so much. Today, I was reading Juz 15, and it starts with Surah al-Isra, and as I was reading the translation, I got to these ayaat:
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. (23) And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” (24) Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves.
And, truly, it makes me feel ashamed. Yes, I’ve known it’s there in the Qur’aan and have read it many times, usually in random articles here and there about the importance of obedience to parents. But, suddenly, reading it in context just gives me one more goal to carry beyond Ramadaan.
In this month of giving, and reflecting how much we have in comparison to those who have so much less that they may have not even had a nourishing breakfast, these ayaat are encouraging us to give more:
And give to the kindsman his due and to the Miskîn (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift . (Tafsir. At-Tabarî) (26) Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatîn (devils), and the Shaitân (Devil Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (27) And if you (O Muhammad SAW) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft, kind word (i.e. Allâh will give me and I shall give you). (28) And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. (29) Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves. (30)
And we all know someone to whom we can give…sometimes it’s difficult to give to people, Muslims, thousands of miles away, for the hardships (technical, political, and otherwise) involved in such an endeavor. But, fear not…there are always Muslims close to home who need help too.