A widow has six sons and two daughters. All of her children are married and have their own families. How much responsibility lies on each child towards their mother? Please explain in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Also guide us about the blessings and benefits that the children may receive by caring for their widowed mother.
Sheikh Faysal al-Humayqânî, teacher at the Riyâd al-Sâlihîn School
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about the mother: “Stay close to her feet, for there is Paradise.” [Sunan Ibn Mâjah (2781)]
There are indeed the gladdest of tidings for anyone who has the opportunity in his life to show kindness to one or both of his parents and is kind to them and attains their satisfaction. And woe to anyone whose parents reached old age, but he neglects being kind to them and does not attain forgiveness.
Allah speaks about being kind to the parents while speaking about monotheism in the Qur’ân. He says: “Thy Lord hath decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 23]
There are numerous texts in Qur’ân and Sunnah confirming the immense virtue of showing kindness to parents and warning against being disobedient to them.
Regarding your question, I must say that each and every one of this woman’s sons and daughters are obligated to do as much as they possibly to help their poor mother. She has lost her husband and there is no one to support her – after Allah – but her children.
It is permissible for the children to divide the responsibility among themselves. Their objective in doing so should be to satisfy all of their mother’s lawful needs as much as possible. To the extent that a person exerts his efforts to be kind, his reward from Allah will be all the greater.
I would like to remind all the sons and daughters of this woman that the kindness a person shows to his parents and the bad treatment that a person shows to his parents are both debts that will be repaid. The person will receive similar treatment from his own children when it is his turn to be old. He will thus be reimbursed for his deeds in this worldly life as well as in the Hereafter.
I would like to draw the attention to a few of the ways that people can show kindness to their parents, but those ways are certainly not confined to this list:
1. Offering supplication for their favor during their lives and after they have passed away.
2. Facilitating their happiness in every permissible way.
3. Avoiding making them sad as much as possible.
4. Never to utter the least word of contempt for their requests.
5. Fulfill their needs as much as possible.
O Lord! Have mercy on our fathers and our mothers as they had cherished us in childhood.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital