(20:114) ربِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Children Too Have Rights Over Their Father

Abu’ul Layth as- Samarqandi (ra) in his book, Tambih al- Ghafilin, relates that a man brought his son to Umar (ra) during his Khilafah and said; “My son does not obey me, he is very disobedient to me.”


Hearing this, Umar (ra) said “Boy don’t you know what rights a father has over his son?”, thereafter he narrated the rights of the father that are duties upon his children.
The boy after listening asked, “Commander of the faithful, do children also have rights over their father?”

Umar (ra) said, “Yes! The children too have rights over their father.”
“What are those rights?” asked the boy.

Umar (ra) replied, “First of all he should search for a good mother for his son. He should marry a virtuous, religious woman, and not any woman of questionable nature and doubtful character.
The second right is to name a child with a good name.

The third right of the child is that he should impart religious knowledge to him and teach him the Qur’an.”

The boy replied, “Commander of the faithful, my father has not discharged any of these duties. Firstly, the woman who is my mother is a slave woman that he had bought for 400 dirhams. She is a woman who is ignorant of religious education, Islamic social manners and morals. It is in her lap that I have passed my infancy. She has not given me any religious education. Who then could I learn from?

Secondly they have not named me with a good name. he has named me Ju’al (meaning an ugly man). I should have been given a good name which was my right, but my father did not discharge his responsibility towards me.

The third is the right of religious education, which they did not give me at all. Now whatever decision you give me I will accept it.”

At this Umar (ra) said to the boy’s father; “You first of all, have been neglectful regarding the boys rights which you did not discharge and now you tell me that your son does not obey you. Get out! It is you who has been disobedient and oppressive.”