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Being a Dutiful Child

Vitruvian Man
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World and its Sphere

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) explains to us a higher standard of being a dutiful child. While everyone appreciates the first two of these four actions “..supplication for them, praying that they are forgiven, fulfillment of their wills ..” the Prophet, mentions that the last two are not so easily appreciated “…being kind to their friends and maintaining good relations with those of your relatives with whom your kinship is established only through them”
Someone may say: what claim can my father’s friends have on me when our ways hardly meet? I may have nothing to do with them. Their way of thinking may be very different from mine. The Prophet emphasizes this point as an evidence of good upbringing, good personality and dutifulness. We lose nothing by treating our parents’ friends with respect and kindness. Indeed we gain a great deal as our reputation in our society is greatly enhanced. Abdullah Ibn `Umar, who is highly renowned as one of the best scholars among the Prophet’s Companions, was traveling with a group of people when he met a Bedouin who had been a friend of his father. The Bedouin asked him: “Are you not `Umar’s son?” He answered in the affirmative. Ibn `Umar then gave the Bedouin his own donkey and took his turban off his head and gave it to the man. Some of his companions remarked that a couple of Dirhams (the silver coin of that time) would have been adequate, since Bedouins did not expect much. Ibn `Umar told them that the Prophet said,
“Maintain your father’s friendly ties. Do not sever them lest Allah should put out your light.” (Muslim)