Q&A: Parents and Oppression


Question: I am the eldest of two brothers and three sisters. Some years back my father took ill and I was brought out of university to run the family business. Over the years my brothers and sisters have all completed their schooling. My sisters are married while my brother is completing his final year at medical school. Everybody was supported from the business while I was the only one working in the business. Over the past decade while I worked in the business it has grown from strength to strength. My father has now decided to share his assets equally among all his children in his lifetime. I strongly apposed this move as I feel that I am definetely entitled to much more then my brothers and sisters. My father has started the process of distributing his assets. How can I stop this oppression?

Answer:May Allah Ta’ala reward you abundantly for having served your parents and family. Kindness to one's parents is a means of great barakah. The doors of Jannah are also opened for the one who serves his parents.

While you have certainly performed a great service to your parents, you are greatly mistaken if you feel that you are entitled to something in return. It is clear from your question that there was no partnership arrangement with your father. You merely made his khidmat (served him) for which you will insha-Allah be greatly rewarded. However, your service to your parents, irrespective of how much it may be, cannot fulfil one fraction of the rights of your parents upon you. Your parents served you from birth when you could do nothing for yourself. Have you repaid that service?


Furthermore, you have mentioned that the business grew from strength to strength. Do not regard this to be any personal achievement. This barakah has come due to your ailing father. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: "Verily you are granted sustenance and assistance due to the weak among you." (Ibn majah) This means that due to some weak or sick person in the family, the entire family is granted sustenance. You should therefore realise that Allah Ta'ala has opened the doors of sustenance to you due to you taking care of your parents.

If your father wishes to distribute his assets in his lifetime, he is entitled to do so. In his lifetime he will give all his children equal shares. The rule of sons sharing double the shares of daughters pertains to inheritance which is only applicable after death.

As for stopping the "oppression", you should have already understood that they have not oppressed you at all. However, had they truly been guilty of oppression, in that case you should reflect on the following hadith: Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (R.A.) is reported to have said: "A person who both his parents are alive and he commences the morning in treating them kindly, Allah Ta’ala opens two doors of Jannah for him. If one is alive, one door of Jannah is opened for him. Further, if he displeases any one of them, Allah Ta’ala will not be pleased with him until he makes them happy." Someone asked: "Even if they are oppressive (must I still make them happy first to acquire the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala)?" Ibn Abbaas (R.A.) replied: "Even if they are oppressive!"

Therefore do not oppose your father. Rather please him and serve him. Allah Ta’ala will bless you abundantly in both worlds.
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