Mother and child's rights over each other

Since 2014-05-08


I have a few questions concerning parents
1-What right does my Mother have over me?
2-What right do I have over my mother?



Praise be to Allaah.

1 – The mother’s rights over her child

The mother has many major rights over her child. These rights are innumerable, but we may mention the following:

(a) Love and respect, as much as possible, because she is the most deserving of people of her son’s good companionship.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said,

‘O Messenger of Allah, who among the people is most deserving of my good companionship?’ He said, «Your mother.» The man asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, «Your mother.» He asked, then who?’ He said, «Your mother.» He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, «Your father.»”

She is the one who made her womb a vessel for you and nourished you from her breast. You have no option but to love her. The fitrah (natural inclination of man) calls you to love her. Love between mothers and children and children and mothers is something that Allah has instilled even in animals, so it is even more befitting for the children of human beings, and for Muslims in particular.

(b) Taking care of her and looking after her affairs if she needs that; this is a debt that rests on the child’s shoulders. Did she not take care of him when he was a child and stay up with him at night and bear it all with patience?
Allah says :

{وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحسانا ۖ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمه كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا}

{And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she brings him forth with hardship…} [al-Ahqaaf:15]

This even take precedence over jihad if there is a conflict between the two.

‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and asked him for permission to participate in jihad. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him, «Are your parents alive?» He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, «Then your jihad is with them.» (al-Bukhaari: [2842]; Muslim: [2549]).

(c) Not offending them or saying or doing anything that they dislike.

Allah says :

{لاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ}

{say not to them a word of disrespect} [al-Israa’:23]

If Allah has forbidden us even to say “uff” [paraphrased as “a word of disrespect” in the translation of the meaning of the aayah] to our parents, then how about someone who hits them?!

(d) Spending on her if she is in need and does not have a husband who can spend on her or if her husband is poor; for the righteous, spending on one’s mother and feeding her is more precious than feeding their own children.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

«Three men went out walking and rain began to fall on them. They entered a cave in a mountain, then a rock fell (blocking the entrance to the cave). They said to one another, Pray to Allah by virtue of the best deeds that you have done. One of them said, O Allah, my parents were elderly and I used to go out and tend to my flocks, then I would milk them and bring the milk to my parents for them to drink from it, then I would give some to my children. One night I came home late and found them sleeping. I did not want to wake them, and the children were crying at my feet. I kept waiting and the children kept crying until dawn broke. O Allah, if You knew that I did that for Your sake, then open a way for us through which we can see the sky. So a way was opened for them…» (al-Bukhaari: [2102]; Muslim: [2743])

(e) Obeying her when she tells you to do something good. But if she tells you to do something bad, such as shirk, then there should be no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to the Creator.

Allah says:

{وإِنْ جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا}

{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} [Luqmaan:15]

(f) After one’s mother dies, it is Sunnah to fulfil any vows that she had made, and to give charity and perform Hajj and ‘Umrah on her behalf.

It was reported from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) that a woman from Juhaynah came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “My mother vowed to go for Hajj, but she died before she did so. Can I perform Hajj on her behalf?” He said, «Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Do you not think that if your mother owed a debt that you would pay it off for her? Fulfil her debt to Allah, for Allah is more deserving that what is owed to Him should be paid.» (al-Bukhaari: [1754]).

(g) After she dies, it is also Sunnah to honour her by maintaining ties with those whom she used to keep in touch with, such as her relatives and friends.

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: «The best of righteous [deeds is for a man to keep in touch with his father’s friends after he dies.» (Muslim: [2552).


2 – Your rights over your mother

(a) That she should take care of you when you are a child, breastfeeding and nurturing you. This is a well-known aspect of human nature that has been handed down from the beginning of creation.
Allah says:

{وَٱلْوَٰلِدَٰتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَٰدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ ۖ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ ٱلرَّضَاعَةَ}

{The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling} [al-Baqarah:233]

(b) She should bring you up in a righteous manner, for she will be responsible for that before Allah on the Day of Resurrection. You are part of her “flock” and she is your “shepherd”.

Abdullah bin Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, «Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.» (Sahih Bukhari: [6719], Sahih Muslim: [1829]).

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