Duty Bound


There are four generations of people currently living at home now. It never ceases to amaze me that despite having some shared genes, there are considerable generational differences. One of my grandmothers was born and raised in South Africa and left the country when she married sometime during the apartheid (if I have my history right). My other grandmother was born and raised in India, and experienced a completely different life. My parents, born and raised in a British colony, grew up with priceless joys and some tough times. My generation...well.. we're a different story all together. I think sometimes the only thing that keeps us grounded is knowing that were it not for the hard work of preceding generations and the blessings of God, our lives would be no different than the millions worldwide who are struggling on a daily basis to meet even the most basic of needs. All praises and thanks belong to God, the Most High, deserving of all praise.

My parents often share stories of their young days, and they always entertain my questions about their lives and their parents' lives. I try to absorb it all, but I know that I will never truly be able to understand how it was for them. In the least though, it teaches me to appreciate the life that I have.

North America, and the West in general, is an individualistic society. The idea being that if you can do everything alone, then you're successful. I think this is a load of bologna. Of course, people must handle themselves and take care of their own responsibilities, but in a humble way.

What does humility have to do with it? Well, when I think about how my parents described their early years after marriage, I find that they were responsible for themselves, yet they were loving and connected to their parents. Their independence was out of necessity, not out of arrogance nor out of an effort to prove their maturity. Thus, to some extent, they were able to honour their parents and all that they parents had done for the sake of making their children's lives easier.

It bothers me a lot to see the elderly alone. I often see them shopping alone, driving alone, and walking alone. This is not right. As a society, we cannot keep taking... we have to give something back. I know there are people who do take care of their elders, for which I don't doubt that their lives will be enriched.

When I watch my nephews and all that their parents go through for them, I can't help but wonder what my parents felt over the years when taking care of me.... SubhanAllah... I wish there was a way I could honour them and express my gratitude to them, but nothing I do will ever suffice. Instead, I pray for them, attempt to be a better daughter to them, and I promise myself that if I live to see them into their old age, I will do whatever I can to care for them, God willing.

May the Almighty take care of our parents, aunts, and uncles in their old age as they took care of us when we were young. May He bless them and bestow His infinite mercy upon them and us all. May He cause us all to lead lives that are pleasing to Him and make us all among those whom He is pleased with, ameen!


Yusuf said...

Very well written. The value Islam gives to parents is almost unfounded in other cultures/religions. May Allah give us the opportunity to take care of our parents when they need it the most.

Farzeen said...


So many values that we sure have to get a grip on, insha'Allah. Ameen to your du'a.

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]