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Mubaarak Olayemi Ismail
 (Aboo Muhsinah)

Many of us had witnessed problems with our parents due to our growing beards and our flowing hijabs. They call us extremist because we have our trousers above our ankles and we've refused to follow them to lazimi, wasifa and mawlid nabiyy.

It is part of Allah's commandment for us to obey our parents, so when a brother or a sister is in a situation where they are being asked to shave off their beards or take off the hijab, what should they do? Should they obey their parents and disobey Allah? Or they should disobey their parents and obey Allah?

Although obeying Allah's command is our ultimate priority in this life, when confronted with such situation; we have heard about many brothers and sisters reacting very harshly to their parents, to the extent of breaking ties with them. Instead of them to explain to their parents gently and respectively, they made their parents to see them as being arrogant and stubborn.

These brothers made people to think that following the sunnah requires you to be undutiful to parents. I remembered a brother who was then a sufi adherent, when he saw me teaching people about bidiah, he exclaimed and said '' so, you are also among those people that taught children to be undutiful and useless to their parents? '', he made the statement because of what he had heard about the adherents of sunnah which is the opposite of what sunnah taught. A friend once told me that '' we have to be careful with you these that that your trousers are above the ankles, because people with such trousers are usually arrogant and stubborn'' this is the belief of most people due to the violent behaviour of some brothers . Subhannallah!

So, the million dollar question is : '' How do we find the balance between being dutiful to our parents without losing patience with their antagonism and being a true worshipper of Allah?''

All it requires is love and patience. Many of us take our parents for granted, we expect them to understand our slant on the deen when they had been practising this deen many years before we were born, and they learn to practise it that way which they thought it is the best. How can you come today, tell them that what they are doing is wrong, and you expect them to understand immediately? Just like that? Not even after they had been told that people that wear that kind of trousers are terrorists and extremist - how do you expect them to understand?. We need to learn patience and how to deal with them in most sensitive manner possible with a lot of respect.

When people hate or dislike something we do; it's mainly because they don't understand why we were doing it, because no one will ever wish to be astray. To make the situation worse, if we react badly to our parents' disapproval of our practising of Islam, it only made them to think badly about the sunnah we claimed to be practising. To avoid such a situation, I believe we should being by explaining our basis for changing our ways in a loving manner.

To explain to your parent that following the sunnah is the best thing you can do, you have to explain to them through your good characters, display to them the best of characters, let them realise that the rasool that taught you to shun bidiah also taught you to be kind and dutiful to your parents. Remember the prophet invited people to Islam through his good characters.

I heard a story of a brother who his father ordered the rest of his brothers to attend halqah with him, because the brother practising sunnah among his children is the most kind and dutiful to the father.

After showing them kindness and you see that they are happy with you, you can then explain the reason why you are practising your deen in that way and also invite them to it by making the realise that you love them and you want the best for them.

In many situations when we try to explain to them, parents might get annoyed at the fact that their child whom they brought up and taught everything he or she knows, is them how to live their lives which is contrary to what they had been doing. They will get upset or argue with you, but at such times, the best thing to do is to just step back and keep quiet. Don't say anything until they have calmed down a little. Most importantly, don't lose your temper. Remember that anything you do will be used against sunnah.

And lastly, we should make sincere dua for them. Allah only guide who he wishes and no one can guide who Allah led astray. Your eloquent explanation and good characters only can't guide them, pray for them. Remember Abu Talib.

May Allah ease our affairs

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