EthicsSocial issues

Parents and their rights


According to the teachings of Islam, pleasing parents is highly recommended and displeasing them is strongly condemned:

The reward of looking at mercy on parents is equal to the reward of the accepted Hajj.

The pleasing parents is like pleasing God, as making them angry is like making our Lord angry.

Being Kind to our parents prolongs our lives and causes our children to be kind to us.

It is strongly advised:

Even if they hit you, do not say “uff” to them.

do not look at them with anger, do not raise your voice at them,

do not walk before them, do not call them by name,

do not anything which hurts for dignity and honor, do not Sit down while they are standing,  help them before they ask you for the help.

Keep your hands opened like you are begging when you want to give something to them.

A man was carrying his mother on his shoulders, circumambulating around the Ka’aba, seeing the Prophet in the same condition, he asked: Did I fulfill my mother’s right?

The prophet replied: no. even You did not fulfill the right of one of her cries of childbirth.

The Prophet was asked: Is there any way to do something good for the parents after death? He said: Yes, by praying for them and asking for forgiveness for them and fulfilling their obligations and paying their debts and respecting their friends.

A man complained against his father to the Prophet. The holy prophet asked his father to explain why his son is complaining against him?, the father said: One day I was strong and rich and I was helping my son, but today he is rich and he does not help me. The Messenger of God, has cried and said: There is no stone or sand that hears this story and not cry! Then he said to the son: “You and your property both are belong to your father”. (53)

The Holy Qur’an especially singles out our responsibilities towards parents in their old age. Our respect for them and our humility should increase. When parents get old, they are more in need of our support and patience. They can suffer from dementia, heart ailments and many other illnesses which can place added strain upon our relationships and care for them. For this reason, the teachings of Islam emphasise controlling our tempers in our relationships with them and being humble with them, and serving and caring for them as they cared for us when we were young and helpless.

The Holy Qur’an says:

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and do good to parents. If any one of them or both of them reach old age, do not say to them: uff (the slightest expression of anger or contempt) and do not scold them, and address them with respectful words.

Lower the wing of humility to them out of mercy, and say, ‘My Lord! Have mercy on them just as they reared me when I was a small child’” (Qur’an. 17:23-24)

There are many messages conveyed through this great verse of the holy Quran:

1- Monotheism is at the top of all divine commands.

2- Caring and doing good to parents is one of the real unifying attributes with monotheism.

3- The commandment of kindness to parents is as definite and inalienable just like the commandment of monotheism.

4- The new generation must have a strong bond with the previous generation by having strong faith in one God.

5- Parents must be honored regardless of their religion.

6- There is no difference between mother and father as both have the same status.

7- The parents must be cared by us directly and in person noy by hiring anyone else to care for them.

8- the word “Ehsan” is higher than charity which includes love, politeness, education, counseling, obedience, gratitude, care and being humble etc..

9- Being Kind to parents has no limits. It has to be done in all circumstances and conditions until our death.  (it is not like giving money to poor, as there is no need to give him further more once his needs are fulfilled. Or fasting, which is only until iftar time).

10- Do not take the elderly parents to the nursing homes, but keep them with you and care them.

11- You must not refuse the demands of the parents. You must act immediately If you can fulfil their demands otherwise say God willing I will try my best.

12- Always use the best words which represent kindness and humbleness in your conversation with you parents.

  1. If your parents make mistakes, you pray for their forgiveness, rather than arguing with them.

Finally,  14- you cannot apply ‘tit for tat’ formula to your parents. That means you have to be kind with them, even if they are unfair, harsh or unkind with you.

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