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It is a duty on man to be kind to his parents

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Question:

Allah tells us in the Qur'an not to cut off our blood relations. What is the interpretation of the Ayah that commands us not to severe ties of kinship? Who does it refer to? Just parents and siblings? What if one maintains contact with one's parents only through telephone or letters although he is capable of visiting them. Yet, he feels that maintaining a certain distance is healthier to the relationship ?

Answer:

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

It is a duty on man to be kind to his parents, because Allah says:

{وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا}

'Trasnaltion' {be good and dutiful to your parents} [al-An'aam from the verse:151]; to show gratitude to them in all kinds of ways, as Allah says:

{أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ}

'Trasnaltion' {give thanks to Me and to your parents} [Luqmaan from the verse:14]; and to show them all kinds of good treatment, because of the command of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to treat them kindly. The ways in which one can show them kindness and respect are many, e.g., visiting them, speaking kindly to them, lowering to them the wing of humility, giving them gifts, and so on. When you go to visit them with the hope of earning reward from Allah, this is a great form of worship. A son should not neglect this type of worship, and he should appreciate the joy that his parents feel when they see their son and spend time with him. He should not let his work keep him away from seeing his parents, because it is very important and precious for them to see their son. If a person is aware of some negative things when he visits them, he can reduce these negative aspects, or cut the visit short and make up for it in other ways, such as sending letters, making telephone calls or others ways of keeping in touch and maintaining ties, like giving gifts, and so on.

We ask Allah to help us to honor our parents. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid.