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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun’s article: “Should Muslims Show Kindness to Parents?”


You can find this article here.



Shamoun Wrote:

The Quran exhorts believers, in fact mankind in general, to be kind to parents:

Say: ‘Come, I will tell you what your Lord has made binding on you: that you shall serve no other gods besides Him; that you shall show kindness to your parents; that you shall not kill your children because you cannot support them (We provide for you and for them); that you shall not commit foul sins, whether openly or in secret; and that you shall not kill – for that is forbidden by God – except for a just cause. Thus God exhorts you, that you may grow in wisdom.’ S. 6:151; cf. 4:36

Your Lord has enjoined you to worship none but Him, and to show kindness to your parents. If either or both of them attain old age in your dwelling, show them no sign of impatience, nor rebuke them; but speak to them kind words. Treat them with humility and tenderness and say: ‘Lord, be merciful to them. They nursed me when I was an infant.’ S. 17:23-24

The fact that the command to be kind to one’s parents is repeatedly listed right after the central command of Islam, to worship none but Allah, gives special emphasis to it and can only mean that this command is to be taken very seriously. Furthermore, the Quran repeats this command in various ways in several other passages:

(We enjoined man to show kindness to his parents, for with much pain his mother bears him, and he is not weaned before he is two years of age. We said: ‘Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To me shall all things return. But if they press you to serve besides Me deities you know nothing of, do not obey them. Be kind to them in this world, and follow the path of those who turn to Me. To Me you shall return, and I will declare to you all that you have done.’) S. 31:14-15; cf. 29:8

We have enjoined man to show kindness to his parents. With much pain his mother bears him, and with much pain she brings him into the world. He is born and weaned in thirty months. When he grows to manhood and attains his fortieth year, let him say: ‘Inspire me, Lord, to give thanks for the favours You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and to do good works that will please You. Grant me good descendants. To You I turn and to You I surrender myself.’
Such are those for whom We will accept their noblest works and whose misdeeds We shall overlook. We shall admit them among the heirs of Paradise: true is the promise that has been given them.
But he that rebukes his parents and says to them: ‘For shame! Do you threaten me with a resurrection, whom generations have passed away before me?" – he that, when they pray for God’s help and say: ‘Woe to you! Have faith. The promise of God is true,’ replies: ‘This is but a fable of the ancients’ – S. 46:15-17


My Response:



Shamoun Wrote:

The interesting thing about this is that some of the above passages expressly mention the fact that some parents will be disbelievers who will even try to dissuade their children from following Islam. Yet Muslims must, nonetheless, still be kind to their parents.

Yet, the foregoing instructions directly conflict with the following verses which prohibit Muslims from loving and befriending unbelievers, even if they happen to be their own parents:

Let believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful – he that does this has nothing to hope for from God – except in self-defence. God admonishes you to fear Him: for to Him you shall all return. S. 3:28


My Response:

Let me clarify the meaning of the word “wali” in all these verses.

Wali” can be used in various contexts. It can be taken for “friend, allies, helper, protector, being close”

In the verse 3:28. It is talking about taking them as allies or going to them for moral and spiritual guidance. It is not talking about “friends” here.

Muhammad Asad explains

Footnote 154 of Surah Nisa ch.4

As regards the meaning of the "alliance" referred to here, see 3:28, and more particularly 4: 139 and the corresponding note, which explains the reference to a believer's loss of his moral identity if he imitates the way of life of, or-in Qur'anic terminology-"allies himself" with, non-Muslims. However, as has been made abundantly clear in 60: 7-9 (and implied in verse 57 of this Surah), this prohibition of a "moral alliance" with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wall has several shades of meaning: "ally", "friend", "helper", "protector", etc. The choice of the particular term - and sometimes a -combination of two terms-is always dependent on the context.

The Quran does not say that the Muslims cannot be friends with Non-Muslims or cannot be friendly towards them. The QUran clarifies the behaviour of a Muslim towards a non-Muslim. The Quran says

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.” (Quran 60:8)

The next verse says

Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.(Quran 60:9)

The above two verses clarify that Muslim can befriend non-Muslims as long as they are not against Islam.


Shamoun Wrote:

Believers, do not befriend your fathers or your brothers if they choose unbelief in preference to faith. Wrongdoers are those that befriend them.
Say: ‘If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your tribes, the property you have acquired, the merchandise you fear may not be sold, and the homes you love, are dearer to you than God, His apostle and the struggle for His cause, then wait until God shall fulfill His decree. God does not guide the evil-doers.’ S. 9:23-24

It will not help to claim that the term befriend (auliya) in Q. 3:28 and 9:23 actually means protectors, i.e. that Muslims are not to seek the protection of unbelievers even if they be their parents, since this word is used in specific contexts to denote friendship:

Behold! verily on the friends of God (auliya Allahi) there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; S. 10:62 Y. Ali

Unless Muslims want to argue that even Allah has people who protect him, this passage should make it clear that auliya refers to taking someone as a friend.


My Response:

Again verses of 9:23-24 are not talking about being friendly. It is talking about being allies with them (moral alliance). The Quran asks us not to even say a word of contempt to them. The Quran says

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Quran 17:23-24)

In this verse, it is not talking about Muslim parents or non-Muslim parents. We have to obey them as long as they do not ask us to go against Allah. The Quran says

“We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (Quran 29:8)

Regarding 10:62

Behold! verily on the friends of God (auliya Allahi) there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; S. 10:62 Y. Ali

Unless Muslims want to argue that even Allah has people who protect him, this passage should make it clear that auliya refers to taking someone as a friend.

Muhammad Asad gave the various meanings of the word “wali”. Here it can be used as “friend”. It cannot be used for “protector” but natural. Anyone who has little bit of common sense will realize that. Any Arab who knows his language well will not take this out as a mistake if he is honest.

The word used for protector in the Quran is “Hafiz”.

Consider this verse

There is no soul but has a protector (haafizun) over it.” (Quran 86:4)

So the meaning “protector” for “auliya” cannot be implied in 10:62


Shamoun Wrote:

And as if this weren’t enough to show that the obvious meaning of Q. 9:23 is that Muslims are not to take their unbelieving parents as friends, Q. 58:22 takes it a step further by saying that true believers do not love their own parents who reject Muhammad:

Thou wilt not find any people who believe in God and the Last Day, loving those who resist God and His Apostle, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). God will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of God. Truly it is the Party of God that will achieve Felicity. Y. Ali

With these points in mind, it is very hard to see how Muslims are able to show kindness to their parents when they cannot even befriend or love them! After all, what type of kindness is this, which actually prohibits Muslims from even loving, let alone befriending, their parents?

Note, as well, that Q. 58:22 says that "For such He has written Faith in their hearts" which implies that the Muslims not loving even their parents is "the mark of a true believer," being a sign that Allah has put faith in their hearts! Basically, this means that faith in Islam results in a believer receiving strength and determination to hate anyone who opposes Muhammad, even if they happen to be the closest of relatives! It forbids them to love them, to honor them, to treat them in friendship. And the Islamic source materials show how far this can go in extreme instances:


My Response:

Regarding 9:23. I clarified above. It is referring to “allies”.

Regarding 58:22

In this verse “Man haddais referring to those who have hostility against Allah and his messenger. For those who have no hostility against Allah and his messenger. The behaviour towards such people is also described in the Quran. Read the verse 60:8-9 (Quoted above).

Yes, not loving the parents who are hostile against Allah and his messengers is a sign of a Believer.

Then Shamoun goes onto quote some fabricated Hadith from these books. I’ll just mention the sources.

(The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1997], Volume VIII (8), p. 55)

(Ibn Sa’ad’s Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. [Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002 India], Volume II, p. 201)

I have never heard these books in my life. I wonder how many scholars have even read these books. They are not considered authentic and they contain fabricated Hadith. If I quote from some book written by some ordinary person to prove what Jesus said. Would that make sense? No! Now, someone may argue that why Muslims quote Barnabas and other records. The reason is that they are the writings of the early disciples. But in the case of these hadith. They are NOT the writings of any Sahabas (companions) of Muhammad (pbuh).

For more details on fabricated Hadith. Refer to


I’ll just mention how the behavior of a Muslim should be towards his parents in a nutshell.

He should be humble to his parents. He should love them and be obedient to them as long as the parents do not ask him to go against Allah and his messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). If they are unbelievers. Even then, a son should love them and be humble and obedient as long as the parents do not ask him to go against Allah and his messenger, but they should not take them as allies. They should only stop loving them if they are hostile against Allah and his messenger.


Shamoun Wrote:

Unless stated otherwise, all quotations taken from the N. J. Dawood version of the Quran.


My Response:

Why are you people behaving like losers? Why quote from the translation of N.J.Dawood who was an Iraqi Jew? Why not quote a fair Muslim translation. There are many available. Like Yusuf Ali, Shakir etc. Even these translations contain errors. I do not deny that. But why quote a non-Muslim translation? If suppose a Muslim translates the Bible and I use that translation for my quotations, would that make sense? Therefore, I recommend you people to at least grow up and stop behaving like losers.





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