Hadith taken from Riyad-us-Saliheen by Imam Nawawi (Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya, son of Sharaf An-Nawawi) First Edition : June 1999. Page 299 under chapter Treatment Towards Parents.
Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-’As reported : A man came to the prophet of Allah (PBUH) and said, “I swear allegiance to you for emigration and Jihad, seeking reward from god.” He (PBUH) said, “Is any of your parents alive?” He said, “Yes both of them are alive.” He (PBUH) then asked, “Do you want to seek reward from Allah?” He replied in the affirmative. Thereupon, Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Go back to your parents and keep good company with them.” [Al Bukhari and Muslim]
In another naration it is reported that a person came to messanger of Allah (PBUH) and sought his permission to participate in Jihad. The prophet (PBUH) asked, “Are your parents alive?” He replied in the affirmative. The prophet (PBUH) said, “(You should) consider their service as Jihad.”
commentary: Under normal circumstances, Jihad is Fard-ul Kifayyah (collective duty – which means that if some people observe it, the rest of Muslims will be exempted from this obligation. In such circumstances permission of parents to participate in Jihad is necessary because their service is fard-ul Ain (individual duty – an injunction or ordinance, the obligation of which extends to every muslims in person), and the former cannot be preffered to the latter. This hadtih explains such a situation.
Happy fathers day to all, especially to my father : Zainal Abdul Rahim.