In a lecture delivered on June 5, 2014, Saudi Cleric Sheikh Sa'd bin Ateeq Al-Ateeq discussed the Islamic principle of respectful behavior towards one's parents. Sheikh Al-Ateeq said that children should be like shoes on their parents' feet, before moving on to recount a story about a devoted son who helped his suffering father.
Following is a transcript of the clip:
Sa'd bin Ateeq Al-Ateeq:
What could be more beautiful than teaching our children that the keys to Paradise are under their mothers' feet. Anyone who lets a child scream at his mother, throwing a tantrum at her, inflicting her with diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and all sorts of maladies, does not realize that his mother is his gate to Paradise.
I went on a preaching mission to the desert. The school I visited is over 80 kilometers from the nearest paved road. When I went in, I saw 40 high-school students. I asked them to define the (Islamic principle) of "being kind to one's parents." A boy who was a shepherd of camels and goats got up. His hair was tied in a scarf.
He said: "Sheikh, it means that you should turn into a shoe on the feet of your father and mother, so that they never step on a thorn as long as you live."
The place where they lived was 180 kilometers from Riyadh. His old father was ill. He suffered from his prostate, which is a gland that obstructs the urinary tract when it grows. Such an old man constantly needs to urinate. Sometimes he suffers from involuntary urination or dripping, and sometimes he suffers from urinary retention. Oh, the pain! May Allah cure all Muslims who are ill.
When the old man's sons came over with their own children, he slaughtered some goat for them and was very happy to see them. But after the noon prayer, his face darkened. The good son did not notice this, because he was too busy serving his brothers. During the prayer, the old man could not stand up. He was hit by urinary retention. He did not tell this to his sons, because he did not want to ruin their day.
The youngest son went to milk the camels. When he got back, he saw his brothers and nephews around his father.
"Your father is about to perish," they said. "He is dying before our eyes.
Not a drop of urine left his body since last night. He is about to die. It is three hours to Riyadh. There is no cellphone reception here. It is a certain death."
The (good son) walked in and took his father's hand.
"What is it, father?" he asked.
"I'm dying," said the old man.
The good son kicked his brothers and nephews out of the tent, and locked himself in with his father for half an hour. When he opened the tent again, the old man was dressed in white, and his beard was perfumed. The old man was praying, and his face was glowing.
"What did you do to him?" the brothers asked.
The old man said: "He got the urine out of me with his mouth. By God, he wasn't even scowling when he was doing it. He didn't loathe was he was doing, despite all the filth, urine, blood, and pus coming out of the corners of his mouth."
After he had emptied his father's bladder, he dressed him up. They both washed themselves.
Then the son said: "Let's go to the hospital."
What a beautiful story about children's kindness to their parents.