An old man was sitting in the courtyard of his house along with his son who had received a high education. Suddenly a crow perched on a wall of the house. The father asked the son: What is this? The son replied: It is a crow. After a little while the father again asked the son: What is this? The son said: It is a crow.
After a few minutes the father asked his son the third time: What is this? The son said: Father, I have just now told you that this is a crow. After a little while the old father again asked his son the fourth time: what is this? By this time some statement of irritation was felt in the son’s tone when he rebuffed his father: Father! It is a crow, a crow. A little after the father again asked his son: What is this? This time the son replied to his father with a vein of temper. Father: You are always repeating the same question; although I have told you so many times that it is a crow. Are you not able to understand this?
The father went to his room and came back with an old diary. Opening a page he asked his son to read what was written. What the son read were the following words written in the diary:
‘Today my little son was sitting with me in the courtyard, when a crow came there. My son asked me twenty-five times what it was and I told him twenty-five times that it was a crow and I did not at all feel irritated. I rather felt affection for my innocent child.’
The father then explained to his son the difference between a father’s and a son’s attitude. While you were a little child you asked me this question twenty-five times and I felt no irritation in replying to the question twenty-five times and when today I asked you the same question only five times, you felt irritated, annoyed and impatient with me.
Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) mentions in Noble Qur’an:
“And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! Have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.” Noble Qur’an (17:23-24)
Imam Zainul Abideen (pbuh) says: “It is also said that once a man came to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked: “I feed my parents, carry them on my back and clean them, have I fulfilled my duty towards them? The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) answered: No, because, you are serving them in anticipation for their death while they served you wishing you a long life”.
The Iranian sheikh, Abdul Tahir Khorasani replied, after my death I got a message from Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) that the reward for all my good deeds is that on the day of judgement I would be raised with the prophets and my face would shine like the moon. However I have three sins which Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) will not forgive and that is why I am being punished. I was told that you loved the Holy Kaaba and doing worship (al-Ibada) so much that you migrated to Makkah, and you forgot your old parents who needed you? I replied that I used to send money every month for maintenance. But parents are those who want their children not their children’s money.