يسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين
In the name of God, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
All praise and thanks be to God, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of Prophets and Messenger
One of the virtues of Islam is that Allah made the right of our parents the greatest right after the right of Allah. Allah will only be pleased with us on the Day of Judgment and allow us entry into Jannah insha Allah if we have honored our parents.
When Allah talks about His rights in the Quran, Allah also talks about the rights of our parents upon us as though the worship of Allah cannot be complete until the gratitude towards our parents has been met. This is because if we can recognize our parents’ unconditional love and giving even though these are things we take for granted, it will make it easier to recognize Allah’s blessings which are too numerous to count, and that parents are a gift of Allah out of His mercy.
A man came to the Prophet pbuh and said “Oh Messenger of Allah pbuh, I bear witness that there is no God worthy of being worshiped except Allah and that you are the Messeger of Allah. I pray my five prayers, pay the Zakat on my wealth, fast in the month of Ramadan, and perform the Hajj to the house of Allah.” The Prophet pbuh replied to that “Whoever dies on these aspects will be gathered on the Day of Judgment with the Prophets and the siddiqin and the martyrs of Islam like these two fingers (i.e. close to them) as long as that person does not dishonor his/her parents.” (Ahmed, at-Tabarani)
We can see here the true importance of respecting our parents. We will only attain a high status in this world and in the akhirah if we are kind to our parents. This is why the Prophet pbuh said “Whoever pleases his parents has pleased God, whoever angers his parents has angered God” (Ibn An-Najjar)
Ibn ‘Abbas r.a. explains how obeying Allah is indivisible from obeying our parents: “Three verses (of the Qur’an) were revealed, joining three (pairs), and one (part) of any (of these) pairs is not acceptable without the other. Allah Most High says: ‘Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger (5:92)) (Therefore,) If someone obeys Allah but not the Prophet (SAW), it will not be accepted from him. Then, Allah Most High says: “Establish the prayer and pay the Zakat.'(2:42) (Therefore,) if someone performs prayer but does not pay Zakat, it will not be accepted from him. Next Allah Most High says: “Be thankful to Me and to your parents”(31:14). Therefore if someone is thankful to Allah but not to his parents, it will not be accepted from him.”
Ka’b Ibne ‘Ujrah r.a. relates that the Messenger of Allah pbuh said, ‘Come near the pulpit,’ and we came near the pulpit. When he ascended the first step of the pulpit, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he ascended the second step, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he ascended the third step, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he descended, we said, ‘O Prophet of Allah pbuh, we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.’ He said, ‘When I ascended the first step, Jibrail appeared before me and said, ‘Woe to him who found the blessed Month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.’ Upon that I said: Ameen. When I ascended the second step, he said, ‘Woe to him before whom your name is mentioned and he does not read send blessings on you. ‘I replied: Ameen. When I ascended the third step he said, ‘Woe to him in whose presence his parents or either one of them attains old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Paradise .’ I said: Ameen.” (Ahmed)
Allah says in the Quran:
“Your Lord hath decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your 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 Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” [17:23]
Without the obedience and kindness to our parents the worship of Allah means nothing. No matter how angry we get with our parents, under any circumstances whatsoever we shall use the word “uff” (as illustrated in the Quran), which is the most inconspicuous way to express contempt to them.
Ali r.a. says that if there was any other word that was less than the word “uff”, Allah would have mentioned in the Quran. The word is almost like an irritated sigh, which is to say that we should not even do that to our parents. So saying these words is not only disobedience to our parents but disobedience to Allah.
The example of how the Sahabah used to be if they upset their parents is like that of a servant who has committed a bad act towards his master. The servant stands in front of his master with his head low in humility. The so-called modern “enlightened” society tells us that we should move out of our homes, acquire our “independence” and see our parents once a year. Astagfirullah, what a great injustice we are causing to them and to ourselves, but this sort of thinking is penetrating more and more our minds.
A man came to the Prophet pbuh and said “Oh Messenger of Allah pbuh, my father takes my money and he oppresses me in this way.” The Prophet pubh asked him to call his father. Before his father came Jibrail a.s. came to the Prophet pbuh and said “When the father comes, ask him what was he saying in secret in his heart which his son could not hear”. When the old man, walking in his stick with white hair came, the Prophet pbuh asked him “why are you taking your son’s wealth?”. The man replied “Oh Prophet of Allah pbuh I only spend it with his mother and brothers and sisters” The Prophet pbuh said “tell me what’s really inside you.” The father started crying, looked at the Prophet pbuh and said “I was reciting the following poem inside me: I nurtured you when you were a child, I supported you when you became an adolescent. When a night would pass with you in sickness, I would wake up in distress fearing that death would come to you. When I looked at you crying in agony of your sickness, it was as if I felt the same pain, so I put you in front of myself. And then as soon as you grew up, reaching that age which all my life I have been waiting for you to reach, you rewarded me with agony, harshness, distress and pain. And so you were selfish with your wealth”
The Prophet pbuh looked up to the man and saw his beard soaked with tears. He took hold of the chest of the young boy and said “have you heard what he said, you and your wealth are all for your father”, meaning he should be at the service of his father. (Tabarani)
At the time of the Prophet pbuh people saw a man in the market mistreating his father, pushing him around and humiliating him. They tried separating both from each other, but the father said “no leave him to do what he wants, this is exactly the place where I used to mistreat my own father”. If we treat our parents bad today, Allah will give us children that will mistreat us in the same way. At that moment we will have no one to blame except ourselves.
The Prophet pbuh explained in a long a hadith about the signs of the Last Hour, one of the points is in reference to respecting our parents:
“There shall come a time when the man will obey and serve his wife and disobey his mother, be generous to his friend and rejects his father.” (Tirmidhi)
This is our state today. We see the sons abandoning their parents, or looking at them with shame, refusing to acknowledge them in public. This is a telling story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEkbP3_QHfU
Allah says in the Quran: “But if they strive with you to associate with Me that which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life in a recognized manner. And follow the way of those who turn to Me. In the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth of all you did.” (31:15)
So even if parents are disbelievers or ask us to disobey Allah, they deserve the respect and kindness. Advise them in kindness not to do haram.
Even if they do things that might irritate us or we feel is unfair, we should do our best to see things from their perspective, and realize also the wrongs we commit that they forgive us for. If we still feel that our parents are being really unjust, our duty to them is to be respectful, like the aya about respecting them even when they tell us to disbelieve. This could be a test for us. Allah will reward us even more for our patience inshAllah.
May Allah make us of the obedient and may we attain the pleasure of our parents. Ameen.