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Apathy to parents - a most unkind act

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07th-Sep-2017       
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Siddiqur Rahman :
We are  profoundly shocked to have noticed the news under the headline 'Kotipati  Babar Mrittho, Dapna Asteo  Naraz Santanaera',  published  on 18 July 2017 in the dailies -The Kaler kanta, Dhaka  Bangladesh. It seems to be a fiction, even so,  it has literally  happened stunning  all  who have gone  through this sad  episode.  Being it heartrending,  invoked me  to be rhetorical  over  the subject   in order that we can stretch our knowledge and take  necessary precautions against our  likely  apprehension of  bad  days.  Figured out that father was millionaire and got their sons established with  higher education and  residential flats. Then, once  he realized that  he  was no more as important as he were to them  and got  displaced by them from  their homes  .  Having suffered from  perpetual  agony, one day he breathed his last  in a hospital, but his sons  showed  no intension to accept the dead body , and   respect   and observe  the funeral rites.
Thanks and gratitude to Mr. Mohammad Shahed, Chairman of  The Regent Hospital,   shared this true episode with us  through the virtual device- Face book.  The whole story is like:    A man named Hamid  Sarkar was a government  official . He hailed from a village in Jamalpur  district. Being  driven  out from the  flat , he was staying in proximity of a mosque  in a very deplorable and bad shape  that was  brought to the knowledge of  Mr. Mohammad Shahed  by  The Imam of the Mosque and  The then OC Of Uttara Thana. (west) Further, it was informed that  Imam Shaheb was sharing his food with this man  as  a service to   the cause of  humanity.  Suddenly  as the man fell to serious sickness,  they  sought  help from  Mr. Mohammad Shahed  .
Given the situation, Mr. Shahed  did take him to his hospital and arranged proper treatment  without least  negligence. He said, " Hamid Sarker was a  zonal settlement officer as he came to know,  he has three sons, all are wealthy having  respective houses in  Uttara, Sector # 3 that have been given in the  children's name. His eldest son is a doctor, living in his own flat along with spouse, mother -in-law and sister-in-law , whereas there was no room for his father. Second son  is a businessman , he has a flat of his own holding party  with his associates and guests in there,  while  Father is without food  and lying on the road.  The 3rd son  is  also a rich person, but  unable to keep his father to stay   with him for the sake of satisfaction of his wife. All his sons , despite being   wealthy and self-sufficient, father's shelter has been  fixed  at  the corridor of mosque  first, then  to my hospital.  With reference to the context,  I would like to say that  I try  to contribute  my  blood to my patient in case of need, whereas , no one came to see him on that day also. He had been under treatment in my hospital for 15 days, none of his sons enquired about him in this period even for 15 minutes.  He died of cardiac  attack after 15 days  in spite of our  best effort to keep him alive. I call his  eldest son immediate after his death,  in response, he said that the dead body be transferred to Anjumane  Mofidul Islam  as  I am awfully  busy with my company's important meeting.  Having received no response from any other relatives,  I myself took the initiative and performed  the funeral  rites."
Once again , let me convey our thanks and gratitude to Mr . Mohammad Shahed  for all his kind feelings and sincere services  extended to the ill-fated  father -Mr. Hamid Sarker and for having  got this   shocking  story  viral through  social net works and news media.  In this context I must say  -The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.  The verse of the holy Qur'an ,which  so comprehensively covers this concept of  service to the humanity, reads   O people of  Islam, You are the best people ever raised for the good of mankind  because you have been raised to serve others;  you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah. You will remain the best as long as  you are service-minded , promote good  and promote the welfare of the society. If you fail to do this,  you no longer have a right to boast  of the superiority of Islam  and the Muslim Ummah. A society which is insensitive to the suffering of other human beings and is not always inclined to serve the cause of humanity cannot be described as  an Islamic society, no matter how much it adhered to other aspects of Islamic teachings.
Allah says in the Holy Qur'an : " And do not forget to do good  to one another. The Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be on him ) emphasized  love, sympathy, and kindness towards all.  He also emphasized that we must show each other great appreciation. He said, "One who is not grateful to mankind is not grateful to Allah."(trimidhi)
Nevertheless,  if the sons of  late Hamid Sarker were respectful, obedient to  parents,  they would not have been subject  to criticism and disparagement  today.   To be unmindful and disobedient  to parents are clear violation of God's  commandments. He says in the Holy Qur'an,  Saura Al-Nisa,  Ayat no 36: " Worship God  and do not associate partners with Him. .Be good to your parents, to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, and the neighbor who is kinsman, and the neighbor who is  not related to you and your companions and the wayfarers and those whom you rightfully possess. God does not like arrogant, boastful  people."
Children have the duty of caring for father and mother in their old age. Children must learn first to show piety at home and to requite their parents :  for that is good and acceptable before God.  Children must seek counsel of his parents  on important matters, he can see his parents as valuable resources, the parents are to be spiritual resources. He is always in their prayer,  all that he  achieved in life is due to his parents.   
On the Face book , we are happy to see that   friends and relatives are  celebrating mother's day,  father's  day  cutting cakes and giving gifts to them.  In advanced society,   children are seen visiting their parents  with flowers  and gifts  and spend some time  with them  to their pleasure,   and it is part of their culture.  In our country  some children  are found to have been making pleasure trip to Cox's Bazaar  along with their old father and  mother and strolling on the beach  happily .This is indeed highly  appreciative plan for those who can afford to .Example are there that many old fathers and mothers have been staying with their sons or daughters in USA, Europe and Australia  enjoying all modern amenities of life.   Children, in consideration of parents  limitless contribution, can't pay off their dues  ever  by carrying out duties and giving service throughout their whole life.  keeping it in mind,  children must go on showing  pure love , devotion and respect to them,  be caring  about  their overall  peace and happiness  in life.  Having emphasized the importance of parents ' happiness and peace, Hazrat Muhammad (sm) said,   " Paradise of children lies under the feet of  mother,  further He said, satisfaction of father is the satisfaction of God ."
Now a days, a good number of old mother and father is found to be living in old homes.  There are complaints that  they had no other alternative but to go there  and spend desolated life. Children and loved ones have little time to visit them and keep them connected.  No  parents expect them to be so rude and inhuman.   It is fearful thing to see and hear how some ungodly children will talk contemptuously and rudely to their parents and wrangle and contend with them and contradict them and speak to them as if they were their  equals.  I feel obligation to proceed with  a few  fatwa  for them  as to their duties towards parents .  Being dutiful to parents  means  showing them kindness. It does not mean repelling them or saying to them any word of contempt even with a word of  "uff," to express annoyance or impatience. God the Almighty says : Your Lord has commanded that  you should worship none but Him, and show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age while with you, say not to them(so much as), "Uff", and do not rebuke them but always speak gently to them ( Qur'an(17:23)
Almighty says : We have enjoined on  man  kindness to his parents : his mother bore him, in pain and in pain she gave birth to him, and his bearing and weaning  takes thirty months…(Qur'an 46:15)
Abdullah Ibn Amr  said, " A man came to The  Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and asked his permission  to take part in Jihad. The Prophet asked him ,' Are your parents alive'? Yes, they are, he replied. The Prophet told him , ' Then  exert yourself in their service."(al-Bukhri)
Abdullah Ibn  Masud  asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) " What is next to piety ?" The Prophet  replied, ' To be good and dutiful to your parents. 'He then asked,' What is next '? The Prophet replied,  ' To participate in Jihad  in  God's cause'." (al-Bukhari)ss
Fatwa  are too many to accommodate in one write up, so  I am expected to cease here.  As we experience , parents have been  playing critical role in helping the  children  to  make progress  in life.   To  afflict them with  various sufferings by the children  not only  a social problem  but also a social vice .  
Our administration must focus on how to  extend  better   help to the destitute  and desolate  parents    and  restrain  trend  of  sending the parents to old home  without  valid reason.  Children  committing  inhuman  acts  like   displacing their parents from home and depriving  them of good living  should be brought under the  purview  of justice . We want  social scientists  would  come up with their expertise  and policies to curb  and bring the happenings to minimum in order to build a society based on  humanity, love, compassion, sympathy and justice.
In conclusion,  It is the parents ' right  to discipline the children . Discipline includes teaching them manners,  virtue,  and raising them according to Islamic teachings   and morals.  We want our children grow up  to be healthy,  happy and exceptional adults,   to make it happen,  our children  need to be properly cared for , guided , loved,  taught and encouraged  along the way.
May   Allah (swt)  have mercy upon our parents and children.

(The writer is ex-Country Manager of Biman, Bangladesh Airlines, in Frankfurt, Germany.  Now lives in New York)

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