The old man and The Wooden Bowl

It the story of an old man.

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him; and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honor.”

(Aayah No. 23, Surah Al-Isra’, Chapter No. 17, Holy Qur’an).

Once there was a frail old man. He was very aged and week. He went to his son’s house to stay with his son, his daughter in law and with his four year old grandson. The eye sight of old man was blurred, his hands trembled and his steps faltered. At night his daughter in law prepared the dinner. The family ate together but due to blurred sight if was difficult for old man to eat anything. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he picked up the glass his hands trembled, glass slipped from his hands and milk spilled on the table cloth. The daughter in law and son became irritated with all this. They talked to each other that it is very difficult to survive like this. Both of them were irritated with the mess on the table.

Behavior of Son and Daughter in Law With Old Man:

They made a plan and set a separate table in the corner of the house. The old man ate alone in the corner and rest of the family ate together and enjoyed each other’s company. Since Grandfather had broken a bowl or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family looked in the old man’s direction, he had tears and sadness in his eyes as he sat alone. The son and daughter in law always used sharp words and angry admonition towards the old man when he dropped a fork or spilled the food.

A Five year Old Boy Thinking:

The five year old watched all this in silence. One day after the lunch his father noticed the boy playing with wooden scraps on the floor. He asked the little boy humbly that dear what are you making. Just as sweetly the boy said that I am making a bowl for mama and for you to eat food in when I grew up. The little boy smiled and went back to work.

The words so disturbed the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That night the husband went to his father took old man’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family and enjoyed their company. For some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) said:

“A parent is the best of the gates of Paradise; so if you wish, keep to the gate, or lose it.”
{Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4928}

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