The Muslimah & Her Parents

Since 2012-12-08

Islam has raised the status of parents to a level that is unknown in any other religion. Following are the duties enjoined on us toward the most important people in a Muslim’s life - our parents. The duties of a son or a daughter are identical.

 

Islam has raised the status of parents to a level that is unknown in any other religion. Following are the duties enjoined on us toward the most important people in a Muslim’s life - our parents. The duties of a son or a daughter are identical.
 
 
Treating them with kindness & respect
 
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the true Muslim is her respectful and kind treatment of her parents, because to treat parents with kindness is one of the greatest commandments of Islam, as is clearly confirmed in the Quran
 
{... No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child or father on account of his child...} [Al-Baqara 2:233].
 
{لَا تُضَارَّ وَالِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ لَّهُ بِوَلَدِهِ} البقرة: 233
 
Transliteration: la tudarra walidatun biwaladiha wala mawloodun lahu biwaladihi 
 
The true Muslim spares no effort to show honor and respect toward them, providing them with the best food, clothing and housing - that she can afford- above all, she should speak kindly to them, present a pleasant and smiling face, and show love, tenderness and gratitude.
 
 
Recognizing Parents’ Status
 
The Quran paints a vivid picture of the high status of the parents and explains the excellent way in which the Muslim should treat them.
 
Allah says, {“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. (23) And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.”} [Al-Israa’ 17:23-24]
 
{وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا ﴿٢٣﴾ وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا} الإسراء: 23-24
 
Transliteration: Waqada rabbuka alla taAAbudoo illaiyyahu wabialwalidayni ihsanan imma yablughanna AAindaka alkibara ahaduhuma aw kilahuma fala taqul lahuma offin wala tanharhuma waqul lahuma qawlan kareeman (23) Waikhfid lahuma janaha alththulli mina alrrahmati waqul rabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayaneesagheeran
 
When our parents reach the age of senility and infirmity, they are under our care. Therefore, we must take time to choose the right words to say to them, words that will make them feel loved and wanted. Also, pray for them for the unforgettable favors they have done for us, as they took care of us when we were small and weak.
 
Further Allah says, {Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents,…} [An-Nisaa’ 4:36].
 
{وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا...} النساء: 36
 
Transliteration: WaoAAbudoo Allaha wala tushrikoo bihi shayan wabialwalidayni ihsanan 
 
{And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents,} [Al-Ankaboot 29:8].
 
{وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا} العنكبوت: 8
 
Transliteration: Wawassayna alinsana biwalidayhihusnan 
 
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said, ‘I asked the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), “Which deed is most liked by Allah?” He said, “Prayer offered on time.” I asked him, “Then what?” He said, “Kindness and respect towards parents.” I asked him, “Then what?” He said, “Jihad for the sake of Allah.”’ [Agreed upon].
 
«سألت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: أي العمل أحب إلى الله؟ قال: الصلاة على وقتها. قال: ثم أي؟ قال: ثم بر الوالدين. قال: ثم أي؟ قال: الجهاد في سبيل الله» متفق عليه
 
A man came and asked the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) for permission to participate in Jihad. He asked him, ‘Are your parents alive?’ He said, ‘yes,’ so the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) told him, ‘perform Jihad by taking care of them.’ [Muslim]
 
«جاء رجل إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يستأذنه في الجهاد. فقال: أحي والداك؟ قال: نعم. قال: ففيهما فجاهد» رواه مسلم
 
In the midst of preparing his army for Jihad, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) did not forget the weakness of parents and their claims on their children. He, in fact, asked this man to stay back and care for his parents despite the fact that at that time the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) needed all the manpower he could get for the forthcoming war. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) allowed the man to stay back from Jihad because there was no one else to care for his parents.
 
 
Obeying Them
 
Disobedience toward one’s parents is likened to shirk [associating partners with Allah].
 
Allah says, {But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly,} [Luqman 31:15]
 
{وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا} لقمان: 15
 
Transliteration: Wain jahadaka AAala an tushrika bee malaysa laka bihi AAilmun fala tutiAAhumawasahibhuma fee alddunya maAAroofan 
 
 
Being kind to them even if they are not Muslims
 
Islam reached new heights by enjoining this duty on its followers. This is clear from the Hadith of Asma bint Abi Bakr As-Siddiq, who said, “My mother came to me, and she was an unbeliever at the time of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him). I asked the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), ‘My mother has come to me and needs my help, so should I help her?’ He said, ‘Yes, keep in touch with her and help her.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 
«قدمت علي أمي وهي مشركة، في عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فاستفتيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قلت: إن أمي قدمت وهي راغبة، أفأصل أمي؟ قال: نعم، صلي أمك» رواه البخاري
 
However, if the parents are unbelievers and tell their child to join them in disbelief, she must not obey them in that, for the Muslim must not obey anyone in disobeying Allah. The demands of Faith take precedence over all human relations.
 
If parents are deviating from true Islam in some way, the dutiful Muslim should, in this case, approach them in a gentle and sensitive manner, so as to dissuade them from their error. She should not condemn them harshly, but should try to convince them with solid proof, sound logic and wise words, until they turn to the truth in which she believes.
 
 
Mother comes first
 
The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) gave precedence to kind treatment of one’s mother over kind treatment of one’s father.
 
It comes in a Hadith that Abu Hurairah reported that a person came to Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) and said, ‘who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand?’ The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Your mother’. He asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Your mother.’ He asked again, ‘Then who [is the next one]?’ The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Again it is your mother.’ He [again] asked, ‘Then who?’ Thereupon the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Then it is your father.’ [Agreed upon]
 
«جاء رجل إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: يا رسول الله، من أحق الناس بحسن صحابتي؟ قال: (أمك). قال: ثم من؟ قال: (ثم أمك). قال: ثم من؟ قال: (ثم أمك). قال: ثم من؟ قال: (ثم أبوك)» متفق عليه
 
The Quran too gives the mother precedence because of pregnancy and breast feeding, and the pains and trials that she suffers during these two stages.
 
{And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.} [Luqman 31:14]
 
{وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ} لقمان: 14
 
Transliteration: Wawassayna alinsana biwalidayhihamalathu ommuhu wahnan AAalawahnin wafisaluhu fee AAamayni ani oshkur lee waliwalidayka ilayya almaseeru
 
 
Treating Her Parent’s Friends Well
 
It comes in a Hadith that Abdullah ibn Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, ‘The finest act of goodness is that a person should treat kindly the loved ones of her father [even after her father has passed away]. [Muslim]
 
«أبر البر أن يصل الرجل ود أبيه» رواه مسلم
 
The highest form of love, faithfulness and respect that a daughter can show to her parents is to keep in touch with their friends. In this way she cares for her parents before and after death. The only two things help a person in the grave are: the ongoing effect of her charity and her righteous children praying for her forgiveness.
 
But are Muslims today following this teaching after being overtaken by materialism and blinded by the glare of modern civilization? Some parents do not even have the attention and care of their children, unless the children happen to be among those who have that sense of duty and deep god-consciousness [Taqwa]. Do you have Taqwa enough to never leave your parents when they need you the most?
 
 
Share Islam Team
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