Rights and duties are two inseparable entities. They go hand in hand. They are two sides of the same coin. Every person has certain duties that he/she is obliged to fulfill. However, for the effective fulfillment of these duties their knowledge is a prerequisite thing. It is only after a person has done his duties that he/she can talk about his/her rights. Performing duties effectively and enjoying rights with pride makes life meaningful and purposeful. Right from stepping out of the mother’s womb into this world, a person holds certain identities. Being son /daughter, brother/sister, friend, student to name a few. The number of identities continues to surge as one grows. However every identity associates itself with some rights and duties. For instance, as a student your rights are that you get good education, best teachers teach you and opportunities to play come your way in school, but it is your duty to work hard and excel in studies. You are also bound to abide by the rules and regulations of your school. Similarly, as a kid of your family, it is your right that you get a safe and secure environment at your home. You get a house to live in. You get love from your parents and siblings, and everyone else residing with you. You are not teased at and made fun of. But, at the same time you are obliged to respect your elders, listen to their advices and not to mock your family members. So, basically as a son or daughter, your rights constitute the duties of your parents. Likewise, as you grow and turn to youth, you owe your parents the love, affection and care that you are getting from them in your childhood. Parents top the list of blessings which the Almighty has bestowed upon the progeny of Adam ( AS ). They are the most selfless and altruistic creatures of Allah. It is only your parents who are most sincere to you, who love you unconditionally, who despite all worries and sorrows not only raise you but also want to see you at the highest level of achievement. Only an orphan can tell you how it feels to be without parents. To him, world is cruel and crazy. The world seems intimidating as hell. The world is a concoction of bitterness and indignation for him/her. So, value your parents while they are with you. Islam has made it obligatory for you to obey your parents and have mercy on them. Islam has told you to seek paradise under the feet of your mother and enter the paradise through the gate (your father). So, Almighty Allah has made it mandatory for us to take care of our parents and respect them beyond measures. Like Islam, every other religion has laid special emphasis on love and respect of the parents. For example, both Christianity and Hinduism teaches that children should treat their parents with respect and honour, but my dear readers, it pains me steer your attention and annoy your senses with the pathetic truths, but prior to that let me seek an apology from you in advance if you find me harsh in words .Let’s lift all the barriers and talk face to face.
Often while making important family decisions you completely sideline your aged parents. They are watching you as mute spectators, while you take decisions and you don’t bother to ask their view because you think that the old-age has taken a toll on their wit. Do you know how painful it is for them to see their exclusion from the very family matters of the same family which they had so carefully nurtured with their sweat and blood? You play with your spouse and kids. The parents are watching and you don’t have a word of love and kindness for them. You think it is fair? Your own kids are watching you. Remember, children are the best observers and imitators of things. What you do to your parents, will surely be ambulated by your children. You are digging a pit for yourself. It reminds me of a very short but meaningful story. “In the story, a man takes his aged father to a hilltop to kill him by pushing him down the hill. But, just when the son was about to push him, the father stopped him. Pointing to a nearby spot, he asks his son to take him there and push. On asking why the father wishes to be pushed from the spot, the old man replies that he too had pushed his father from that spot when his father was old.” So you reap what you sow”. Parents have undergone a long toil and difficulties to raise you up. They have not rested years together to make your future. They have ensured your good education and proper nutrition. They have had countless sleepless nights to ensure that you sleep comfortably. They have lost their youthful grace to build yours. They have cut their expenses to fulfill your desires. Now, it is your turn to show them the gratitude. Your parents are aged. Old age has consumed all their strength out of their every single bone. You are their strength. But, your fearful sidelong look make them old beyond their years. God has commanded you to be fair to them but you leave no stone unturned to hurt them. Believe me, you are inviting the wrath of His Holy Scheme. You have been mistreating your parents since long. Now, your presence is frightful to them. You are out and your parents are cracking jokes. You suddenly open the door and an awful stillness fells upon them. They have given words to your tongue when you were helpless in their lap and now the same tongue is silencing theirs. Aren’t you ashamed??? Medical concerns are common in old age. Chronic ailments attack the elderly people easily because of decreased immunity. Your parents are no exception .They need medication and care, and you deem them as parasites, sorry to be too harsh, who drain your money, time and mental peace. What if they had deemed you same way when you were draining their money, health and time?? Give it a thought, please. Still, your parents are not complaining about your negligence which has left them in a state of absolute pain and misery. They are a few moments away from their graves but they are still worried about your well-being and happiness. They won’t curse you but the owner of heavens is all watching. Hammer of God hits late but batters surely. The holy Quran says ” Indeed, the vengeance of your Lord is very severe ( Inna Batsha Rabbaka Lashadeed ). Don’t let God to make your parents a source of heavenly wrath for you but let God make them a source of tranquility, peace, pardon and paradise for you. Please, fulfill your duties towards your parents before it is too late.
(The author is a teacher by profession, working in Education Zone Vailoo of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Views are his own)