From the Minbar: Dutifulness of parents to their children and children to their parents

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Lecturer: Prof Abdulrahman Oloyede
Topic: Dutifulness of parents to their children and children to their parents
Venue: University of Ibadan Central Mosque
Date: Friday, Sha’ban 15, 1438.

Glory be to Allaah for the gift of life. More importantly, we exult Him for the benevolence of Islam. May He preserve our Islam from nullification all through our lifetime and to our last breath. We seek Allaah’s mercy, protection and grace away from shaytorn, the accursed. May His altruistic aid be bestowed upon the Prophet of the World, Muhammad, who brought the Global Message of Islam without any adulteration. May this flowing ocean of altruism not dry up; may it extend its tributaries to the souls of the Prophet’s glorious Companions, his Holy ménage, his admirers and everyone whose life is lived on his dictates.

Today’s sermon hovers around a pressing issue which the Imam stressed needs be arrested, and not be treated with kid gloves. The choice of today’s discourse, the Imam explained, came on the backlight of reports from parents about the undulating behaviours exhibited by children who are students of the University. In the bid to carefully uproot this tree of doom, and prevent it from developing an offshoot, therefore the day’s sermon.

“Youths of today are the light of today, hope of tomorrow” was the opening line of the Imam. On this basis, he drew out that parents are indebted to mould the lives of their wards into perfect shapes of eternal and societal relevance. A good Muslim parent does not deny his child the right to be trained, he stressed emphatically. To give the body of his claim a flesh of Divinity, he read from Suratut-Tahrim, Qur’an 66, Verse 6:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَّا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ
“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded.”

“Ward off” in this context establishes the essence of parenting. It paints, in clear graphics, what every parent must strive to uphold: enjoin good upon their children and forbid them from evil. Hell, which is the home to all transgressors, and the medium of greatest punishment of Allaah, is worthy of being weary of. The use of humans and stones as fuel is unfathomable; it is solely a stern miracle from our Creator. Considering all of these, upholding this responsibility and obeying this call by Allaah is of striking importance on all Muslim parents. And this explains why the Imam resonated his lecture here in addressing the parents.

Moving on, children too are not left out in balancing the equation of family building. The Imam could not overemphasize the fact that children must be dutiful to their parents. Children must hold their parents in high esteem, he preached. They must respect them. They must be dutiful to them. In fact, acting in contrast to this is no better than treading a path to hell. Professor Oloyede knotted his admonition here by reciting from Suratul-Israa, Qur’an 17, Verses 23 & 24, wherein Allaah decreed thus,

“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 small.’[24]”

Contrary to this, however, Oloyede bemoaned, rather than live in the light of this verse, some youths – cabals he called them – have continued to derail. These cabals tread the path of extremism and not that of the middle course Islam, which is what Allaah and His Prophet enjoin. He further described these group of individuals as extremists with hollow piety devoid of knowledge and reasoning. He therefore warned that Muslim students should steer clear of such individuals. He then went forward to remind the congregation of the words of Luqman  by quoting from Suratu Luqman, Qur’an 31, Verses 17-18:

“O my son! keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage; [17] And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster. [18]”

Imam did not end there. He continued by reiterating the essence of shunning pride and respecting one’s parents and elders generally. This he did by giving relevant and live examples of people who had adhered to warnings of this nature and those who had not. When you are arrogant and pompous, no one would give you credence were his powerful words that shook the listeners.

In closing, the Imam begged that youths – like everyone else – who would be calling people to Islam must understand the religion with every fibre of their being. He stressed that invitation to Islam must not be done by toughness but rather firmness and sincerity. He corroborated by saying that one’s society always determines one’s message and how one passes it. Unlike in climes like Saudi Arabia where everything seems, to a very large extent, perfect, the Nigerian society has many worries. You need psychology and diplomacy to convert and survive in the Nigerian society; because, here, we have competitors, we have enemies, we have counterpart, he submitted.

Islam is peace. Islam is for ease. Islam is not for hardship and difficulty. Dear students whatever preaching that makes you undutiful to your parents is evil. If anyone preaches against being educated, know that such person has been misled; do not heed to them. He concluded by supplicating to Allaah for every parent and every child, not leaving out every in loco parentis and every student. May Allaah accept those prayers. Ameen. Asalamualaykum warahmotulahi wabarakaatuuh. May Allaah keep you and me on this Path of Success till next week and even beyond.

Akinpelu Yusuf is schooled in the field of Statistics in the Premier University. Reach him via 09032788612 or

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