Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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> The Generation Gap [Part 3 of 5] by
Naseer Ahmad Faruqui Sahib
Articles Section > The Generation Gap [Part 3 of 5] by Naseer Ahmad Faruqui Sahib
Generation Gap -- Part 3 of 5:
2. This gap is nothing new. It was always there.
3. Then why has it become a baffling problem now? Divine guidance coming to our rescue in the Holy Quran, shows that the difference lies in mankind having lost faith in God which alone made parents better exemplars to their children, and made children obey their parents because God said so.
4. The polytheistic concept of God to be found in all religions, except Islam, cannot stand the test of reason which mankind has begun to apply to all matters in this age of scientific thought.
5. Monotheism stands that test as proved by science itself that the whole universe is governed by the same laws and must have One Creator.
6. Thus faith in God lost because of polytheism can be regained only through Islam.
7. Until mankind accepts Islam, let us see what solution Islam suggests to the burning problem of the generation gap.
In the one per cent possibility of the parents being wrong, my advice to the teenagers is, "Dont fly off the handle. If you put your point of view to your parents respectfully and pleasantly, the chances are that they would agree with you, out of affection and the spirit of sacrifice which govern all their relations with you, even if they are not really convinced. But if they still adhere to their point of view even after hearing your reasons, take a chance in obeying them, because all matters are finally decided by Allah as stated by the Holy Quran (31:22). If to please Him you obey your parents even if they happen to be wrong, He has the power to turn a wrong decision to your good. But even if you have to suffer occasionally, should you mind considering that your parents suffered for you all their lives. But did they ever resent or complain? So why should you?"
I can say from my own experience that as a child I used to resent all restrictions placed by my parents on me, all their "Dos and Donts", but now on growing up I have realised that they were right and I was wrong. But in the meanwhile I have suffered in all cases in which I did not obey them.
Who can tell us how to control our desires and passions, except our Creator Who created them when creating man? Hence the need for Divine guidance in the form of a revealed book, as the guidance placed in human nature and reason is overwhelmed by the strong urges of the human desires and passions. Witness what has happened in Europe and America (and most other countries which follow their way of life) after they rejected such Divine guidance as they had. The desires and passions thus let loose have played havoc with such societies socially and morally, and they have sunk below the animal level in certain respects as animals dont go against nature while unnatural sexual offences are either legalised in western society or committed unabashedly.
I have heard the younger generation justify its heated disagreements with its parents on the ground that due to the difference in age, temperament and habits, the parents dont understand their children. This is not correct. When the children were young, wasnt there the same difference in age, temperament and habits between them and their parents? But did the parents therefore ill-treat their children for that reason, or separate them from themselves (as the children do to them in later life)?
On the contrary, they put up with it with great patience, tolerance and love. And in the process they served their children as no servant can, the mother (and even the father if need be) performing the most obnoxious duties without any resentment.
And thy Lord has decreed that you serve none but Him, and do good to your parents, if either or both of them reach old age with thee, say not Fie to them, nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. (17:23)
I have already dealt with the first two commandments as to:
a. The absolute pertinence of obedience to Allah with the parent vs. children controversy, and
Now let us consider the rest of this verse. The next requirement is that the parents, or either one of them, if they grow old, must be kept by the children with themselves and not separately. This is the most difficult part of the Divine guidance to follow for the present-day children. The reason is that they did not like parental intervention even when they were children. But they put up with it as they had to live with their parents and draw upon them for all their needs and whims. But the moment a young man finds a job or a girl gets married, he or she wants to shed the parental shackles and lead a free life.
And thus, one by one, the children leave their parents, unfortunately, that is also the time when the parents grow old, weak and liable to fall sick frequently, if not continuously. And when they need most that they should be looked after they are left alone. I have seen many a widowed mother, or a widower father, suffer the hardships and sufferings of old age alone, while his or her children are enjoying life.
The justification for this desertion of the parents in their old age is said to be the difference in temperament, habits and way of life. But the unworthy children do not realise that when they were born and when they lived with their parents, there was the same -- in fact much more -- difference in temperament, habits, etc., between them and their parents. Did the latter for that reason throw them out of their homes? On the contrary, the parents held them close to their breasts and later put up with these difference with the greatest love, tenderness and affection -- although they suffered a lot in every way in bringing up their children with themselves. Why? Because the children needed looking after -- and when the parents need looking after, why should the children then refuse to have them with themselves?
The thing to remember is that the parents always mean well. They might occasionally make a mistake but they are the best well-wishers, after Allah, of their children. I have seen irritable or bad-tempered children cry endlessly or put their parents to great discomfort and suffering. Old age is after all called the "second childhood". The Holy Quran has also said: "He whom We cause to grow old. We (also) cause to deteriorate in creation." So the younger generation should not hesitate to look after their parents, who need care in old age the same way as the parents looked after them when they needed caring.
I have heard the daughter-in-law say to her husband, "I married you, not your parents." I ask such a woman: "Supposing your parents need looking after, and there is nobody except you to do it. If in that situation your husband were to say I married you, not your parents, how would you like that? Wouldnt your heart then bleed at this taunt? So why do you do to your husband what you would not like him to do to you in a similar situation?"
My earnest plea to the young of either sex is, "Have pity on your old parents (or parents-in-law) and look after them as they looked after you when you needed their care." I will show shortly that it creates unbearable problems and sufferings for the old people to be left alone to fend for themselves. In fact, it has become dangerous now.