Kindness to Parents: Handsome is That Handsome Does


By Ameenah Alansary

An 80-year-old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45-year-old highly educated son. Suddenly, a crow perched on their window. The father asked his son, “What’s that?” The son replied with, “It’s a crow”. After a few minutes, the father asked his son again, “What’s that?” The son replied, “Father, I just told you, it’s a crow”.

After a little while, the old father asked his son for a 3rd time, “What’s that?” This time, an expression of irritation was felt in the son’s tone when he scolded his father “It’s a crow, a crow!” A little after that, the father once again asked, “What’s that?” This time the son stood up and shouted down at his father, “Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again?! I told you, IT’S A CROW!! Are you unable to understand that!!?”

A little later, the father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his son was born. He asked his son to read the opening page. When the son read the following words: “Today, my little 3 year old son was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow came by our window. My son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 that it was a crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me same question again and again. I did not at all feel irritated, I rather felt affection for my innocent child.” While the little child asked him 23 times “What’s that”, the father felt no irritation in replying to the same question every time. While when the father asked his son the same question just 4 times, the son felt overburdened and reacted in an unacceptable manner.

Allah says: “Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them to attain old age with thee, say not “Fie” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little”(Surah Al Isra (17):Ayah # 23-24)

So, if your parents attain old age, do not repulse or look at them as a burden. Instead, speak to them a gracious word; be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them; be considerate to your parents. From today on, say this aloud. “I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was little child. They have always showered their selfless love on me. They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storms to make me a person presentable in society today”.

Say a prayer to God, ”I will serve my old parents in the BEST way. I will say all good and kind words to my dear parents, no matter how they behave.

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