Reversal of Roles

It's funny to think back on how I used to view things when I was younger. I have always wanted to be independent. Leading my own life, chasing my own dreams. And I do dream a lot. Back then being a kid, there was always that nagging feeling that my parents are holding me back, and it sucks. But as life goes on, you witness new stuffs, experience new things  which builds on how one would view life. It gives you a whole new perspective.

Flashback back when we we’re kids, our lifes revolved mostly around our parents. One day you get a spank, the next, you end up sleeping in their bedroom. In the morning you had a row with mum, but by lunch, there's always food. You get something really lame for your birthday and complained, few months later your parents get you a new pair a uniform for school. On the day they sent you to boarding school they would nag so much, but in the end, they will always leave you with a hug.

Alhamdulillah that I'm blessed with so many life lessons that had helped me built my views. Growing up becoming an adult is not about being able to get your own house and get married. Independence, some might put it. Pfftt….

As our parents attain old age, don’t you realize that the role of which that was once your parent's are now yours. Your parents will sooner or later be weak, fragile, and emotionally unstable, just like a child. And who should take up the role of a 'parent' to them?

We may fool ourselves that our parents want us to grow up comfortably, with huge bungalows, sweet ride, awesome jobs,  yadayada. But old people have feelings and desires too, really touchy feelings, to a certain degree, they are selfish. Somewhere in those aged hearts of theirs, they do wish that we never grow old, they do want us to hang around as much as possible, they do want us to cling to them, seek their advice, listen to their wisdom.

As we grow old together with our parents, either we realize it or not, there's indeed a reversal of roles. We end up feeling more worried for our parents, concern for their well-being just like a parent fussing over their child. The urge to be there and support them! And the best gift that we can give them is not about 'successfully' leading our life with our own new family while them being on the side-line watching us, leaving them out of the circle.

The biggest duty of a child towards their parents is to become a good muslim lest we don't end up being a witness against them in the akhirah. Pause for awhile and ponder, what will your answer to Allah s.w.t be when you are questioned for your sins? On a day where every man is for himself, would we speak against our parents?

“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you” part of ayah 143, surah Al-Baqarah.

Won’t the ones who live under the same roof be a witness against/for each other? Wouldn’t our parents be called upon for the sins that we did under their noses?

Put yourself in these situations:

Your parents allow you to have a relationship out of wedlock. They say it’s ok, technically allowing you to ‘approach’ zina. Deep down inside you know it’s a sin, but you comfort your anxiety by saying that “my parents say it’s ok”. But they don’t know the places that you’ve been. Those hours spent on the phone with each other. In the day of judgement, what will we say to Allah?

"O Lord, my parents say it's ok for me to go out for movies with her, so I thought You are fine with that as well. Blame my parents and spare me!"

What about those fashionistas?

"O Lord, my parents didn't advise me to wear hijab, and they never told me my clothes were too tight or too thin, blame them!"

Will we be sure that we will not speak against them when the torment of hellfire is upon us? Will we be the reason that our beloved parents to be tormented alongside (may Allah forbid)?! Surely that they are indeed at fault for not advising us, but are we going to take this against them while we know it is wrong yet we persist?

I couldn't emphasize enough on how important it is to accept this role as a guardian of our parents upon reaching old age. To understand what it is like to wake up early in the morning having no one to talk to. Having nothing else to do apart from going out to those kedai kopi and  order some teh tarik and roti canai, spending hours reading newspaper, looking at people around them just to kill time. To let them be alone like that, is just sad and pathetic.

And the second point, to bear in mind that their true happiness is not only for this life, but for the akhirah as well! We may well be a reason for them to be admitted to Jannah, or we may be a reason for their torment (may Allah forbid).



Go Back