Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him and be good to parents.Surat An-Nisa 4:36

Honor your Parents in Islam

Islam recognises the family as a basic social unit. Along with the husband-wife relationship, the Parent-child relationship is the most important one. To maintain any social relationship both parties must have some clear-cut Rights as well as obligations. In the parent-child relationship, the Rights of parents are the obligations (duties) of the children. Allah says:

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

“Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has made sacred to you. He commands that you do not associate anything with Him and to be good to your parents.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:151)

The status of parents in Islam is very high. We as Muslims should give respect and love to our parents. Parents are to be treated well at all times this is a virtuous kind of action in the sight of Almighty Allah. Parents and children in Islam are bonded together by mutual obligations. Allah says:

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

“Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and the believers (on) the Day will (be) established the account.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:41 )

Islam clearly defines the Rights of Parents (which mean duties of children). It is clear that after Allah parents are the persons who give us innumerable favours. They provide protection, food and clothing to the newly born. Allah says:

وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا

“And as for the boy his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them (by) transgression and disbelief.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:80 )

The mother sacrifices her comforts and sleeps to provide comfort to her children. Islam taught us how to kindly treat our parents for more than one occasion. “Paradise is under mother’s feet” is one saying that turned timeless and proverbial. Mothers have been granted high status in Islam.

Islam stands out as the only religion that lays great emphasis on the respectful treatment of parents:

  1. Parents should have clear communication and consistency
  2. Parents should positive encouragement and empowerment
  3. Parents should provide guidance on all the areas of life
  4. Parents develop a sense of belonging and be a useful
  5. Parents teach the child to be reliable and productive
  6. Parents equally involved in raising the children
  7. Parents are kind and merciful to children
  8. Parents aim to children need boundaries
  9. Parents are guides and role models
  10. Parents should spend quality time together
  11. Parents play a vital role as their children’s first
  12. Parents have a responsibility to lead and guide
  13. Parents should provide children with constant love
  14. Parents should draw the line in children’s behaviour
  15. Parents should set boundaries to guide their behaviour
  16. Parents should make children aware of the consequences

وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّارًا عَ

“And dutiful to his parents, and not he was a tyrant disobedient.” (Surah Maryam 19:14)

The father works hard to provide for their physical, educational and psychological (and spiritual) needs. It is a matter of common courtesy that if a person does you some favour you feel obliged to him. Verbally you say ‘thank you to him. You try to repay and compensate him for his gifts and favours. Allah says:

فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ آوَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوا مِصْرَ إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ

“Then when they entered upon Yusuf, he took to himself his parents and said, “Enter Egypt if Allah wills, safe..” (Surah Yusuf 12:99)

Every Muslim must show kindness and mercy to his parents throughout their lives. It is obligatory for children to show love, respect, and gratitude to their parents. Always speaks to parents gently and respectfully. Our Parents as a team provided for all our needs: Physical, Educational, Psychological, and in many instances, Religious, Moral, and Spiritual. It becomes obligatory for us to show the utmost Kindness, Respect, and Obedience to our Parents.

There are some traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) about treatment with parents in the best way are mentioned below:

  • If someone is rude and disrespectful towards his parents, hurt them by saying insulting remarks or cause them grief or misery in any manner, then he shall find his place in Hell. Once someone asked the Holy Prophet (SAW): “What right do parents have over their children?” He answered: “They are your heaven and hell.” (Ibn Majah).
  • Our duties to our parents extend even after their death. One of the best ways to honour our parents when they are gone is by being kind to their friends. Holy Prophet (SAW) said about it: “The best act of righteousness is that a man should maintain good relations with his father’s loved ones.” (Sahih Muslim)
  • In another Hadith Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “No child can compensate his father unless he finds him as a slave, buys him, and sets him free.” (Sahih Muslim)
  • The Prophet (SAW) placed kindness and respect towards parents just after the prayer was offered on time as the prayer is the base of Islam. ‘Abdullah Ibn Masood, said: “I asked the Prophet (SAW) which deed is most liked by Allah. He said: ‘Prayer offered on time.’ I asked him: ‘Then what? He (SAW) said: ‘Kindness and respect towards parents.’…” (Al-Bukhari)

You feel a sense of gratitude towards him. So it is with Allah and with parents. Allah’s favours cannot be counted or repaid except by thanking Him and obeying His orders. After Allah, our parents deserve our thanks and obedience for the favours they had done us. That’s why the Quran lays stress on feeling grateful to parents and doing good to them. Allah says:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him and be good to parents.” (Surat An-Nisa 4:36)

A Muslim child should respect and appreciate his or her parents daily. 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:

لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالْأَقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَاءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالْأَقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيبًا مَّفْرُوضًا

“For the men a portion of what (is) left (by) the parents, and the near relatives and for the women a portion of what (is) left (by) parents and the near relatives of what (is) little of it or much – a portion obligatory.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:7)

Allah SWT will maintain good relations with those who are good to their families and he will cut off from those who cut off from their families. It also shows us that in Islam, honouring and respecting one’s parents is of utmost importance. Allah Says:

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“And We have enjoined (on) man goodness to his parents, but if they both strive against you to make you associate with Me what not you have of it any knowledge, then (do) not obey both of them. To Me (is) your return, and I will inform you about what you used (to) do.” (Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29:8)

Rights and duties of both parties in the Parent-child relationship. If the parents and children act according to these guidelines they can make the family environment most conducive to peace and satisfaction for the parents and healthy personality growth for children. Parents in Quran is a subject that is discussed in different verses and surahs. God has told us to be good and kind to our parents and to respect them and refrain from causing them trouble. May Allah bless us all. Ameen.