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Parent’s wellbeing and children’s kindness

By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

The Holy Quran tackles how children should treat their parents, as a form of the relations man establishes in his life. Some open up to Allah and base their relations with them on righteousness and maintain this path throughout their lives, in childhood and youth, while others distant themselves from Allah and deafen their ears to Allah’s call to be kind to them.

Allah says: “We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents,” to treat them kindly and regard the sacrifices and efforts they made in bringing him up, in a way that no one else could have ever done, with profound appreciation, openness and humanity, especially with regard to the mother who bears so much physical strain in carrying him, giving birth to him and breastfeeding him, for Allah says: “In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.”  The mother faces much distress and suffering when carrying her child due to the difficult health condition she finds herself in, for her mood would fluctuate and all her body systems would be perturbed. She also has to go through a strenuous, painful and life-threatening process of delivery; however, despite the natural feeling of hatred towards all the distresses, pains and sufferings she goes through, she accepts all that with content and affection. She would embrace her child with pure warmth and kindliness; emotions that blossom throughout the process of carrying and breastfeeding him.

The process of taking care of the child lasts for a long time, for “the carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months,” i.e. until he acquires full strength and capability, so that “when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years,” the phase in which his body stiffens, his mind becomes fully mature, his lusts calm down, his impulsive reactions settle down and he starts to notice the graces Allah bestowed upon him in every big and small detail, “he says, ‘O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favor which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents,” as if invoking Allah to make him spiritually aware of these graces bestowed upon him, which demands him to express gratitude to Allah, both in his sayings and actions, by taking the paths at the end of which lies Allah’s satisfaction and pleasure and turning these graces into a vital element that makes one gain closer positions to Him and be worthy of His love and honesty. “And that I may work righteousness such as Thou may approve” (46:15); believing in Allah and recognizing His graces practically imposes on man who seeks attaining the satisfaction of Allah to devote his life for righteous deeds and to bring up his offspring and children on the virtues of faith and righteous work and on the spirituality that plants righteousness deep within their souls and establishes it as a course of action and code of conduct and a methodology in the thought and relations, so as to become active members within the righteous society and rebellious in corrupted societies.

This is the true faith that a believer experiences in the way he views his progeny that constitutes an extension to his existence in the future. It is not a mere personal need that man boasts about; but rather, it constitutes a sense of responsibility based on bequeathing the line of righteousness he adopted in his life to his children. Thus, man’s instinctive inclination to love his children would stand out as a personal need and combine with the missionary view towards the role they are meant to assume in life after him.

Source: [(Interpretations) inspired from the Holy Quran]

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