Salam,

Surah 31:15 “But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.”

It is claimed that the Quran is giving contradicting information as to what a believer should do when unbelieving parents and brothers insist on worshipping their gods. In Surah 31:15 quoted above asks believers were to keep company with unbelieving parents even if they insist on following their religion, but stated in conflict also that which asks believers not to take their fathers and brothers as protectors if they disbelieved as stated in Surah 9:23 O ye who believe! take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong. These verses of course appear in different contexts. Apologists can argue that verse 9:23 is applicable only in the context of hostilities and not otherwise. Then we have to define what is hostility. We must not forget that many passages in the Quran reflect a hostile environment of fluctuating fortunes between believers and unbelievers. Since neither the Surah nor all the verses within a Surah are arranged chronologically, the contexts of these `revelation’ become that much difficult to understand. Interestingly, verse 31:15 also seems to appear in the context of `Striving’ from the Unbelievers’ side. Note the word `Jahada’!

There is no inconsistency in the relationship between parents and siblings in the Quran. Muslims were asked not to take protector of parent only if they strive or force their siblings to make partners to Allah as stated in Surah 60:1-3 O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as protectors, offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as protectors), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path. If they were to get the better of you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you for evil: and they desire that ye should reject the Truth. Of no profit to you will be your relatives and your children on the Day of Judgment: He will judge between you: for Allah sees well all that ye do. In such a situation we are not to obey them if they used force as in Surah 29:8 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. The relationship therefore of being kindness to parents must be maintained as in Surah 31:14-15 And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is thy final Goal. “But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.”

In an example to show how the relationship is to be maintained even when the father showed his anger at the son in the story of Abraham, he still prayed for the welfare of his father as stated in Surah 19:46-48 (The father) replied: “Dost thou hate my gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will indeed stone thee: Now get away from me for a good long while!” Abraham said: “Peace be on thee: I will pray to my Lord for thy forgiveness: for He is to me Most Gracious. “And I will turn away from you (all) and from those whom ye invoke besides Allah. I will call on my Lord: perhaps, by my prayer to my Lord, I shall be not unblest.”

Thus, do not take them as protector if they strive to force out of one’s believe but one is supposed to maintain with kindness in the parent-siblings relationship. In Surah 17:23-24 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.”

 

Asar