What is the significance of a father’s prayers for his children?


Nazarat-e-Islah-o-Irshad Markaziyya Rabwah asked Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa about some ahadith regarding the acceptance of a father’s prayer for and against his children. 

Huzooraa, in a letter dated 10 November 2020, provided the following guidance on this issue:

“Both kinds of ahadith narrated in the books of hadith are correct in their own right and are serving as guides for us. In view of both types of ahadith, the consolidated view would be that a person whose prayers in favour of someone are potent with [God’s] acceptance, his prayers against someone can also be accepted. Allah the Exalted did not say that He would accept his prayers in favour of someone but not against a person.

“In view of the status that Allah the Exalted has bestowed on a father, He accepts his prayers in favour of others and also hears his supplications against someone. That is why Allah the Exalted has especially stated about parents in the Holy Quran: 

وَ قَضٰي رَبُّكَ اَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِيَّاهُ وَ بِالۡوَالِدَيۡنِ اِحۡسَانًا ؕ اِمَّا يَبۡلُغَنَّ عِنۡدَكَ الۡكِبَرَ اَحَدُهُمَاۤ اَوۡ كِلٰهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلۡ لَّهُمَاۤ اُفٍّ وَّ لَا تَنۡهَرۡهُمَا وَ قُلۡ لَّهُمَا قَوۡلًا كَرِيۡمًا ۔ وَ اخۡفِضۡ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحۡمَةِ وَ قُلۡ رَّبِّ ارۡحَمۡهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيٰنِيۡ صَغِيۡرًا

“‘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)

“Therefore, in these ahadith, the Holy Prophetsa advised us to take advantage of the prayers of the father and to safeguard ourselves from his supplications against us.”

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