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A man once came to Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab [r], the second Khalif of Islam, complaining of his son’s disobedience to him.

Sayyiduna ‘Umar [r] summoned the boy and questioned him about his disobedience and neglect of his duties to his father. The boy replied, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, O Commander of the Faithful! Hasn’t a child rights over his father?”

“Certainly,” replied ‘Umar [r].

“What are they, O Amir alMu’minin?” the boy asked.

“That he should choose his mother well, given him a good name, and teach him the Sacred Book, the Qur’an,” Sayyiduna ‘Umar [r] replied.

“O Amir al-Mu’minin! My father did nothing of this. My mother was a Magian, a fire-worshipper. He gave me the name of Ju’alan (meaning dung beetle) and he did not teach me a single letter of the Holy Qur’an.”

Turning to the father, ‘Umar [r] said sternly, “You have come to me to complain about the disobedience of your son. You have failed in your duty to him before he has failed in his duty to you. You have done wrong to him before he has wronged you.”