According to a news story published in Ar-Riyadh newspaper, in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, a dispute between two brothers escalated to such an extent that it was brought before the high court. It was a peculiar case which was extensively covered by the Arabic press:
In the crowded court, an old man named Heezan, was crying so bitterly that tears were dripping from his beard. Some onlookers wondered why he was crying so much. Did his sons mistreat him? Was he going to lose a piece of land? Did his wife file for divorce at this late stage of his life? It was none of the above. In actual fact, he was extremely distressed because he had just lost a case, filed against his own brother, for custody of their mother, an old woman who owned nothing but a brass ring!
The elderly woman used to live with Heezan who treated her extremely kindly and tried to serve her to the best of his abilities. The old mother was happy to be with him. When Heezan grew old, his younger brother who lived in another city, visited him and proposed that their mother live with him. He told Heezan that he had come from the city to take his mother.
This news was very disturbing for Heezan, who said: “Brother! Although I’ve grown old, you should understand that I can still look after our mother as well as I used to. You’re mistaken in thinking that I’m unable to do the job. I won’t let my mother be taken away from me. I will not let it happen, over my dead body! If you do so, I will be restless for the rest of my life. So please do me a favor and don’t try to take our mother to your city.”
The younger brother said respectfully, “O my older brother! You’ve been serving our mother well for a long time. You did an excellent job. But now you’ve grown old and depend on your children to care for you. I therefore ask you to let me take our mother to the city. I’m still young. My children want their grandma with them and my wife wants to serve her mother-in-law. Please give us an opportunity to serve our mother.”
The two brothers argued but neither of them was prepared to lose their mother. When people in the neighborhood heard about the dispute, they tried to intervene to settle the issue. But they were amazed when neither of the brothers were prepared to back down and part with their mother. When the matter could not be settled and all efforts at reconciliation failed, the case was referred to the high court.
When the case was presented to the judge, he was very surprised. He studied it over and over, but did not know what to do. He then called the two brothers to his chamber but failed to persuade them to agree to share custody of their mother. The judge then asked that the mother be brought before the court to voice her opinion.
In compliance with the court order, the two brothers produced their mother in the court in a wheelchair. The old woman weighed a skeletal 20 kilograms because she was very old.
The court was crammed full of people who were anxiously waiting for a verdict in this strange case. The judge addressed the elderly woman, “O lady of honor! Both your sons are more than willing to keep you with them so that they may serve you to the best of their abilities. Neither of them is prepared to part with you. I’ve tried my hardest to persuade them to withdraw from their respective positions, but they’re sticking to their guns. I’m having a lot of trouble deciding this case. I’m not going to make a ruling, so now it’s in your hands to make a decision. My decision will be based on what you wish. My question to you is who do you want to live with?”
In truth, it was far more difficult for the mother than for the judge to decide the case. Both sons were the apples of her eye. She loved both of them. The two had proven very sincere in serving her. She was tongue-tied. With the judge impatiently waiting for a reply, the old woman finally opened her mouth after some time and said: “Dear judge! What can I say? I’m their mother. Both of them are my children. One of my eyes is on Heezan while the other is on his younger brother. It’s very difficult for me to decide what to do.”
Now the case was even more complicated for the judge but he knew he had to make a decision. After much thought, he announced the following: “Heezan has served his old mother for a long time and is old himself. In contrast, his brother is still young and has the capacity to look after her. Therefore the court announces that from now on the old mother will live with her younger son who has the capacity and means to serve her.”
When he heard the decision, Heezan cried out in agony and burst into tears. He sobbed uncontrollably in the packed court.
“I wish that I was young so that I could have the pleasure of serving my mother all over again!”
This true story reminds us of the genuine love that should spring from children towards their parents. The individualistic world we are engulfed in today has lured us away from our duties towards them and has widened the gap between our understanding of each other. With Blackberries and iPhones being our major time-consumers (or time-wasters more precisely), we often forget and ignore the beautiful concept of spending quality time with our parents. The amount of text messages we send in a day is far more than the number of times we sit with our parents for a friendly chat or cup of tea. It’s shameful, yet true. We fail to realize that our service and care for them is the secret to reaping baskets full of Hasanaat and a guaranteed way to gain Allah’s pleasure. Their company is a blessing for us, which no other luxury in the entire world could replace. They are the self-sacrificing candles that burn their wax day in and day out to light up our path throughout this life. Our debt to them is so great that we are incapable of repaying even a single dime of it. But let’s snatch the opportunity of earning their pleasure before it’s too late. It’s as simple as giving your mother a cup of tea and massaging your father’s feet. These small effortless tasks are what matter to them most- it shows you love, it shows you care. So the next time your iPhone beeps with a new message, pause and rush to serve your mother first. You’ll be amazed to see the changes in your life due to the blessed duas of your mother and father. May Allah make us of His righteous slaves who are dutiful and obedient to their parents and are a comfort to their eyes in this life and the Hereafter.
رب ارحمهما كما ربّياني صغيرا
My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small. Ameen [S. Israa:24]
Story taken from the book, “Loving our Parents: Our Duties and Obligations” By Abdul Malik Mujahid.
-The Sahara Bloggers (Niqabinja)
Dedicated to my mother (May Allah protect her)