And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will).”
They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise, a promise of truth, which they have been promised.
Chapter 46 Al-‘Aĥqāf : Verses 15-16
Explanatory Notes :
Allah’s Advice about the Parents
(And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.) (46:15) meaning, `We have commanded him to treat them well and show compassion towards them.
Allah continues, (His mother bears him with hardship.) which means that the mother suffers hardship because of her child, such as fatigue, sickness, vomiting, heaviness, distress, and other forms of hardship that the pregnant women suffer. (And she delivers him with hardship.) meaning, she also delivers him with hardship, suffering the pains of labor and their severity. (And (the period of) his gestation and weaning is thirty months,) `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, used this Ayah along with the following two Ayat to prove that the minimum period of pregnancy (gestation) is six months: (And his weaning is in two years.) (31:14) and
(The mothers suckle their children two complete years — for those who desire to complete the term of suckling. ) (2:233) This is a strong and valid conclusion, and it was approved by `Uthman and a number of the Companions. Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When a woman delivers after nine months, the baby will only need twenty-one months of suckling. When she delivers after seven months, the baby will need twenty-three months of suckling. When she delivers after six months, the baby will need two full years of suckling, because Allah says,
(and his gestation and weaning is thirty months, till when he attains full strength).” meaning, he becomes strong, youthful, and attains full ability.
(and reaches forty years,) meaning, his complete intellect, understanding, and patience reach the level of maturity. It has also been said that usually one will not change his ways once he reaches the age of forty.
(he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability) meaning, `inspire me.’
(that I may be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You,) meaning, in the future. (and make my offspring good.) meaning, my offspring and descendants. (Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims.) This contains an instruction for anyone who reaches forty years of age to renew his repentance and turn to Allah with strong resolution. Allah then says,
(Those are the ones from whom We shall accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise.) meaning, those to whom applies the above description — those who repent to Allah, turn back to Him, and rectify their shortcomings through repentance and seeking forgiveness – those are the ones from whom We will accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. Many of their errors will be forgiven and Allah will accept from them a modest amount of deeds.
(among the dwellers of Paradise.) which means that they will be among the dwellers of Paradise. That is Allah’s ruling concerning them, as He has promised for those who repent and turn to Him. Thus, He says,
(That is the promise of truth that they had been promised.)