A SON ONLY UNTIL...
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A SON ONLY UNTIL...

Times have become so evil that today parents especially mothers are shown scant respect and honour. This disrespect has even reached the frightening stage where mothers have become victims of physical abuse by their very own children.

You have probably already heard or read the story of Hadrat Alqamah Radiyallaahu and forgotten it too. We retell the story of this pious and devoted companion of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallaam who despite his piety was unable to recite the Kalimah at the time of his demise on account of his disrespect for his mother! A lesson for those of us who have forgotten!

At the time of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, there was a young man named Alqamah. He was very diligent in obeying Allah ta’ala by engaging in prayer and fasting and spending in charity. Then he fell ill and his illness became serious. His wife went to the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and said, "My husband, Alqamah, is on his deathbed. I therefore came to tell you, O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, about his condition." The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam then sent for Hadrat Ammar or Suhaib and Bilal Radiyallaahu Anhum, and told them to go to him (Alqamah) and have him repeat the Shahadah. Thereupon they went to him and found him in the agony of death. They asked him to say, "La illaha illa Allah," but his tongue was unable to utter even one syllable of the Kalimah. In shock at the inability of Alqamah to recite the Kalimah they came to the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and informed him of the perilous state that Alqamah was in.

The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam then asked, "Is either of his parents alive?" He was told, "O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, his mother is, but she is very frail and old." The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam then sent her a message requesting her, that if it was convenient to go out, she should come to him; otherwise she should stay in her house and he would come to her.

The Prophet's Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam’s messenger came to her and informed her of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salam’s message. She said, "May my life be a ransom for him, it is my pleasure to go to him!" She then stood up, leaning on her walking stick, and came to the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and greeted him. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam returned her greeting and said to her, " O Umm Alqamah, tell me the truth, for otherwise Allah Ta’ala will reveal the truth to me! What is the situation concerning your son, Alqamah?" She replied, "O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, he prays much, fasts a great deal, and spends a great amount in charity." The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam then asked her, "And what about yourself?" She said, "O Messenger of Allah, I am angry with him." He said, "Why?" She replied, " O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, he has preferred his wife to me and has disobeyed me." Upon hearing this from the mother of Alqamah, Allah's Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said, "O Umm Alqamah, surely your anger has prevented Alqamah's tongue from pronouncing the Shahadah."

He then turned to Hadrat Bilal Radiyallaahu anhu and instructed him saying, "O Bilal, go out and collect a quantity of firewood." Upon hearing this instruction of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam to Hadrat Bilal Radiyallaahu Anhu, the mother of Alqamah asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what do you plan to do with the firewood that you have asked Hadrat Bilal Radiyallaahu Anhu to gather?" He replied, "I will burn him in front of your eyes." In shock she said, "O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, he is my son! My heart cannot bear you burning him in front of me!" On hearing this objection from the mother of Alqamah, The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salam said, "O Umm Alqamah, Allah Ta’ala’s punishment is more severe and more lasting! Therefore, if you want Allah Ta’ala to forgive him you will need to forgive him for the disrespect and hurt he has caused you. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, the prayer, fasting, and spending in charity (which he has done) are of no benefit to him for as long as you are angry with him! Thereupon she said, "O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, I call upon Allah The Most High and His angels and the Muslims who are present to be my witnesses that I am pleased with my son Alqamah." Allah Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam then said to Hadrat Bilal Radiyallaahu anhu, " O Bilal, go to him and see whether he is now able to utter, "La illaha illa Allah" or not. It may be that Umm Alqamah is saying something for my sake which is not in her heart."

Thereupon Hadrat Bilal Radiyallaahu anhu went to where Alqamah was laying and as he entered the door he heard Alqamah reciting, "La illaha illa Allah." (Concerning this), Bilal remarked, "It is surely true that while Alqamah's mother was angry with him his tongue was tied, and now that she is pleased with him his tongue is freed." Alqamah died the same day. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam came to him and gave the order for his washing and shrouding, and then prayed the funeral prayer for him and buried him. He then stood by the side of his grave and said, "You company of Muhajireen and Helpers, if anyone favours his wife over his mother, Allah Ta’ala and His angels and all the people curse him! Allah Ta’ala does not accept his spending (in charity) and his uprightness unless he repents toward Allah Ta’ala, the Glorious and Majestic, and reconciles with her and attains her pleasure, because Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure exists in her pleasure and Allah Ta’ala’s anger exists in her anger." (Tabrani and Ahmad)

This is the story of Alqamah- a man who diligently and devotedly worshipped Allah Ta’ala but still at the time of his death was on the brink of doom. Today in terms of piety we cannot even come near the shadows of Alqamah. What will be our state if disobedience to our parents especially our mothers are added onto the list of sins at the time of death.

This should serve as a sever warning for all those who disrespect their mothers. And then for those who cause hurt and pain to their mothers on account of giving preference to their wives, this warning should take on a greater severity. How many a mother today is crying bitterly for a son whom she thought would be there for her throughout her life. Little did she know that in getting him married she would be deprived of the son she once doted and adored! This is not some assumption but a reality of the times!

To an extent it is true that a daughter is a daughter for life but a son is a son only until he gets a wife!

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