Most of the religion and societies have given parents a very honourable position. We must always be thankful to our parents no matter what specially the mothers. Mothers are the one who nourished us in her womb, went through pain giving birth to us, spending sleepless nights caring for us and loves us unconditionally even before we were brought into this world. All in all our parents are the ones who take care of our needs, be it physical, educational, psychological and even religious and moral needs.
We will always be indebted to our parents no matter what we do and it is not possibly to payback our parents in any way possible. So it is our utmost responsibility and obligation towards our parents that we should respect them, treat them kindly, and be kind to them in every way possible. Islam also gives great honour to the parents and the obligations on the children towards their parents has been discussed in Islam in great detail. There are many Quranic verses and Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) that guide us on how we should act and behave towards our parents. The code of conduct between the parent and the child in Islam is quite unique.
There are almost 15 occasions in the Holy Quran that refers to parents. There are also many Hadith of our beloved Prophet and his traditions that define the obligation towards parents in a proper manner. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in two years was his weaning. Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is thy final goal.” (Quran 31:14)
According to the above mentioned verse we can understand that if want to show gratitude towards Allah (SWT), we must show utmost gratitude towards our parents and both go hand in hand and one without the other is incomplete. Since being grateful to Allah (SWT) is a form of worship that earns a Muslim great rewards. So it can be easily said that being grateful to our parents will also earns us great rewards. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or more 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.” (Quran 17: 23-24)
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Quran 46:15)
Allah (SWT) has made it obligatory upon us to show kindness, respect and humility towards our parents. We are commanded to continue to respect them even if they have injured or hurt us in any manner and should not even utter a word of disrespect towards them under any circumstances. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; but if they strive (to force) thee to join with Me anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not.” (Quran 29:8)
The prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) also emphasised to show humility, respect and kindness toward our parents. There are many Hadiths in regards to how we should treat our parents and few of them are quoted below.
“Paradise lies under the feet of the mother.”
“God’s pleasure is in the pleasure of the father, and God’s displeasure is in the displeasure of the father.”
“He who wishes to enter Paradise through its best door must please his parents.”
“It is a pity that some people may not attain Paradise, on account of not serving their old parents.”
“If a person looks with love at his parents, God writes in his favor the reward equal to the performance of one Hajj.”
[Someone asked, “will this promise be good if one looks at his parents one hundred times a day?” The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied, “even if one does so a hundred thousand times a day, God gives the reward accordingly.”]
“A man or woman is bound to be good to his or her parents, even though they may have injured him or her.”
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (r.a.), the great-great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have quoted Imam ‘Ali (ra) that
“disobedience to parents is a major sin.” He also stated that, “if a person looks at the face of his or her parents with wrathful eyes, despite the fact that injustice was done to him or her by the parents, his or her salah (prayer) will not be accepted by God.”
According to one of the Hadith-e-Qudsi, the following is reported about the status of parents:
“God has commanded that if anybody prays equal to the invocations performed by the prophets, such prayers will do no good if that person has been cursed by his or her parents.”
It has also been related that the very first words which have been written on the Lauh-e-Mahfuz (The Heavenly Preserved Tablet) are:
“I am God, and there is no deity except Me. I am pleased with those with whom their parents are pleased, and I am displeased with those with whom their parents are displeased.”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:
“On the Day of Judgment, my person will not be seen by those who drank liquor, those who on hearing my name did not invoke the blessings of God on me, or those who were cursed and disowned by their parents.”
‘Ali ibn al-Husain (ra) is reported to have said:
“The right of your mother on you is that you should know that nobody could endure the trouble and the conditions under which she protected you and nourished you with the juice of her life, and tried with her heart and soul to satisfy all your needs in relation to hunger, thirst, dress, etc. She passed sleepless nights, suffering anxieties. She provided you with shelter against heat and cold, and protected you from ailments. It is not possible for you to compensate her, or thank her enough for all the services, except that God may give you guidance for that. The right of your father on you is that you should know that it is he who brought you into existence, and you are a branch of the tree of his life.”
According to a reliable tradition, it is related that a man came to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked him to whom he should render kindness. The prophet told him to be kind to his mother. Three times he put the same question to the prophet, and three times he got the same answer. When he asked the question the fourth time, he was told to be kind to his father, indicating that the mother’s right took precedence over that of the father.
Islam is not a one way track and it has also assigned some duties towards parents that they must fulfill when it comes to taking care of their children. If the parents fail to complete the duties, they will be question in that regard on the day of judgement. It is obligatory on parents to provide their children with all the necessities of life along with that they should teach their children about the oneness of Allah (SWT), Quranic verses and their meaning and implications in our lives. Values, Sunnah and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad should be taught to the children.
Let us pray to God that He guide us to be respectful, kind, and obedient to our parents, and that we continue to show them humility regardless of the power, position, wealth, and influence we may possess. Let us also pray that we be patient, kind, thoughtful, and friendly with our children, as we guide them through their lives, and that we discharge our responsibilities towards them as required by our religion, so that God may be pleased with us, and may He Bless and reward us, both in this world and in the Hereafter. Ameen.