How important are a father’s prayers for the children?


With reference to ahadith books, nazarat islah-o-irshad, Rabwah asked Huzooraa about narrations regarding the acceptance of prayers of a father who supplicates in favour of his own children and supplicates against his children. The narrations and the explanation of their Arabic terms taken from various dictionaries were presented before Huzooraa with the request for guidance as to which of those narrations and translations should be adopted.

Huzooraa, in his letter dated 25 February 2015, gave the following reply:

“If we translate it as ‘a father’s supplication for his children’, then the meaning of the hadith becomes clear. Nonetheless, both the ahadith recorded in the books of hadith are correct in their own respect and are a means of guidance for us.

“If you ponder over both ahadith at the same time, it would mean that such a person’s prayer against someone can also be accepted, whose supplication holds the rank of acceptance. Allah the Exalted does not say that He will accept supplications in favour of someone and will reject supplications against someone.

“Considering the position which Allah has granted a father, He also accepts his prayers and hears his invocations against someone. Therefore, in the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted has specifically said about parents:

وَ قَضٰی رَبُّکَ اَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِیَّاہُ وَ بِالۡوَالِدَیۡنِ اِحۡسَانًا ؕ اِمَّا یَبۡلُغَنَّ عِنۡدَکَ الۡکِبَرَ اَحَدُہُمَاۤ اَوۡ کِلٰہُمَا فَلَا تَقُلۡ لَّہُمَاۤ اُفٍّ وَّ لَا تَنۡہَرۡہُمَا وَ قُلۡ لَّہُمَا قَوۡلًا کَرِیۡمًا۔ وَ اخۡفِضۡ لَہُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحۡمَۃِ وَ قُلۡ رَّبِّ ارۡحَمۡہُمَا کَمَا رَبَّیٰنِیۡ صَغِیۡرًا

‘Thy Lord has commanded, “Worship none but Him, and show kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of disgust nor reproach them, but address them with excellent speech. And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, “My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood.”’ (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.24-25)

“Hence, according to this hadith, the Holy Prophetsa has advised us to take advantage of the father’s prayers and to save ourselves from his curse.”

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