Friday, December 10, 2010

Excellence in Doing Good to the Friends of Parents and Other Relatives

Chpt. 42, Riyad-us-Saliheen
No. 341 Narrated "Abdullah bin 'Umar ra : Allah's messenger saw said, "The finest act of goodness is that a person should treat kindly the loved ones of his father." (Muslim)

Commentary : After the death of one's parents, one should maintain contact with their friends and threat them nicely. Besides being a great virtue it is warranted by the needs for showing compassion to relatives. To forget friends of one's parents and break contact with them has been greatly condemned by theh Shari'iah.

No.343 Narrated Abu Usaid Malik bin Rabi'ah As-sa'idi ra : We were sitting with Allah's Messenger saw when a man of Banu Salamah came to him and asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Is there any obedience to parents left that I can show to them after their demise?"
He saw replied, "Yes, to pray for them, to supplicate for their forgiveness, to fulfil their promises after their death, to maintain the ties of kinship which cannot be maintained except through them, and to honour their friends." (Abu Dawud)

Commentary : We learn from this Hadith that one should consider the life of one's parents a blessing because their life provides one with an opportunity to serve them wholeheartedly, which is ordained by Allah. If one wants to be nice to them after their death, one should adopt the methods mentioned in this Hadith. It needs to be noted that here it does not mention the ceremonies like recitation of the Noble Qur'an on the third, seventh and fortieth day after the death of a person, in vogue (popular) in our society.

All these methods of conveying the reward of virtuous deeds or rites are wrong for the reason that they are neither helpful for the dead nor the living. What really benefits the dead as well as living, is prayer and begging forgiveness from Allah.

In this Hadith, these have been regarded as acts of beneficence for the deceased parents. It clearly means that the children will be rewarded for the virtuous acts they do for their parents and the status of the deceased parents will also be elevated in the next world. The acceptance of the prayer in favour of the deceased parents is also confirmed from that Hadith also which tells that death brings to an end all the activities, except the following :

Firstly, an ongoing Sadaqah (Sadaqah Jariyah); like the digging of a well, the building of a masjid, etc.
Secondly, knowledge which benefits mankind.

Thirdly, prayers of virtuous offspring.

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