An Islamic State militant killed his own mother in front of a post office where she worked in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa this week, Syrian activists said on Friday, with one monitoring organisation adding that the episode began when she tried to persuade him to leave the extremist group.
The fighter, Ali Saqr, 21 [some say 20], killed his mother in front of several hundred people for what the Islamic State called apostasy, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, two groups that monitor the conflict through contacts in Syria.
The act was the latest in a chain of brutal and bizarre killings that the Islamic State uses, and often widely publicizes, in efforts to tamp down dissent and to attract recruits.
It would not be the first time that a member of the Islamic State has killed a parent on the group’s orders. Last year, a Lebanese father traveled to Raqqa to try to bring back his son, an Islamic State fighter, and three other children whom the son had persuaded to go there. The son reported the father, who was detained and killed, according to interviews with family members.
The events in Raqqa followed a similar trajectory, according to the Syrian Observatory. It said that the mother, whom it identified as Lena al-Qasem, had urged her son to leave the group and flee Raqqa, its de facto capital, and that he reported her comments to the Islamic State.
Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently said on Friday that her request was not the reason she was killed. But both monitoring groups say the Islamic State had declared the mother guilty of apostasy and had ordered her death.
We were curious about what the Quran has to say about honoring one’s parents and found the following:
A Muslim child should respect and appreciate his or her parents on a daily basis. Allah mentions that human beings must recognise their parents and that this is second only to the recognition of Allah Himself. Throughout the Quran, we notice that parents are mentioned with appreciation and respect, even if they are senile. In the Quran, there is a very beautiful description of how parents are to be treated; Allah Says (what means): And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as] ‘uff’ [i.e., an expression of irritation or disapproval] and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say: ‘My Lord! Have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.[Quran 17:23-24]
The recognition and respect of parents is mentioned in the Quran eleven times; in every instance, Allah reminds children to recognise and to appreciate the love and care that they have received from their parents. One such example is when Allah says what means: And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents…” [Quran 29:8 & 46:15]
Although Islam recognises both parents, mothers are given particular gratitude and respect. This can be appreciated if we reflect upon the hardships and suffering that mothers experience in their lives. In this regard, there is a Hadeeth of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam may Allah exalt his mention) : It was narrated by Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him that a man came to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) and asked him: ‘Who is most deserving of my close companionship?’ He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) replied: “Your mother; your mother; your mother; then your father; then the next closest to you in kinship; then the one next closest.”
Islam has endorsed respect for parents by their children, even if the parents are non-Muslims. If parents strive to convert their children to non-Islamic beliefs, the children should not obey them, but must still maintain goodness towards them. In this regard, Allah says what means: And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is two years. Be grateful to Me and your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavour to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.” [Quran 31:14-15]