The two of them were on the corridor of one of the quadrangles in my school; one older than the other. The older sat while the younger stood listening to the older speak. They were mother and daughter; the daughter newly admitted into the university and her mother; anxious that her daughter remains on the right path counselled her passionately.
She spoke Yoruba but for the purpose of this piece, I would give a rough translation of her pleas to her daughter which went thus: "Please my daughter, I beg you In the name of God and everything you hold dear, do not join bad company. When you see a group of people doing what is wrong, never join them. Remember all we went through to get you here; face your studies and please always remember the child of whom you are."
I was so touched by the mother's words that I got thinking of days when I was younger and how my own parents always made the same plea. The truth is that almost all parents say this to their children especially when they are leaving home to face the world on their own. The question however is 'how many of us always remember the child of whom we are?' When our parents admonish us this way, they simply mean that we should bear in mind all the training they have given us and not do anything that would earn their displeasure or bring our family into disgrace.
The reality of the matter is that when we find ourselves in a new environment without our parents or guardians to guide us, we are exposed to many risks. The average young person is very cautious in such a situation and tries to follow the advice of his or her parents. However, as we gradually find our feet, we depend on our sense of judgement to make decisions. We tend to look at things through more experienced eyes and sometimes think that we are capable of running our lives the way we like. This my dear sisters is where some of us go wrong.
As we adjust and blend into our environment, it really takes Allaah’s Mercy to keep a straight head. One way or the other, the advice of our parents may begin to take the back seat in our minds simply because we want to move with trends. It is at this point that you'll" find a girl who is not allowed to wear trousers at home doing so in school, a girl who was brought up not to keep the company of members of the opposite sex begins to enjoy the constant attention she receives from boys, a well brought up girl would begin to attend night parties and so on.
It is only a pity that when the repercussions of such action come up, the parents from whom she had kept her misdeeds a secret would be the ones burdened with finding solutions to the problems caused. '
A girl who decides to go against her parents' well meaning advice for her all in the name of some newfound freedom does not truly love or respect them. If she does, would she not think of the shame and heartache that they would suffer if they found out her actions?
In their own different ways, our parents train us to be virtuous and they demonstrate by example the way to live as good Muslims. It is only proper that we emulate them, My mother would say 'don't do what I would not do.' We need to ask ourselves when we join mischief makers if our parents would ever keep such company. A well-brought up Muslim girl should consider if her parents would tell lies, steal or mingle freely with the opposite sex.
A lot of us simply throw caution and common sense to the winds and do all sorts of things that our parents would never be proud of. It takes a lot for a parent to trust a child to put up good behaviour at all times. When we become parents ourselves, we would appreciate what it takes to train a child and trust him or her never to disappoint us.
We should always be mindful of the fact that our parents work so hard to make us happy and the only way we can pay them back now apart from making constant du'a for them is to be obedient and always earn their respect, trust and pleasure.
Whether we live with our parents or away from them, let us always have the fear of Allaah and love and respect for our parents at heart. With these, we would Insha Allaah never go astray. Remember our paradise lies at their feet!