Rights of Parents in Islam According to Quran & Sunnah

To be obedient to parents and to show kindness to them has been enjoined along with the Oneness and Worship of Allah Almighty, in the Holy Quran, in such a manner that it appears that among human deeds, to obey parents and treat them with respect and kindness is next only to Worship Almighty Allah.

The status of parents in Islam is very high. We as a Muslim should give respect and love to our parents. Parents should be treated well at all times this is a virtuous kind of act in the sight of Almighty Allah. Parents and children in Islam are bonded together by mutual obligations. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “…No mother should be harmed through her child and no father through his child…” (Quran 2: 233). From the above-mentioned verse of Holy Quran, we can conclude that Quran has made it obligatory for the child to treat his parents with all grace and mercy.

Parents are the heaven & hell of the children; we can clearly understand the meaning of this sentence from the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Once someone asked the Holy Prophet (SAW): “What right does parents have over their children?” He answered: “They are your heaven and hell.” (Ibn Majah)

It is obligatory for Muslims to show the unconditional kindness, respect, and obedience to their parents. Just like it is beyond our means to fulfill the rights of Allah (SWT) and to thank Him for all His rewards in their integrity, similarly, we can never thank our parents adequately for their efforts which they have done for us. The only thing that we can do is to acknowledge our shortcomings and submit ourselves, in obedience and loyalty, before our parents. In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in two years was his weaning. Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is thy final goal.” (Quran, 31:14)

The children must pray for parents saying, as Allah Almighty teaches us in the verse:” …My Lord and Sustainer! Be kind and have mercy on them as they cherished, nurtured and sustained me in childhood.” (Quran 17:24). From this verse, we came to know that must continue praying for parents even after they die. Such prayer will be regarded as a continuous charity as the Prophet (SAW), told us. As being grateful to Allah Almighty is a form of worship which earns divine rewards, it can, therefore, be said that being grateful to one’s parents also earns divine rewards.

Our duties to our parents extend even after their death. One of the best ways to honor our parents when they are gone is by being kind to their friends. Holy Prophet (SAW) said about it: “The best act of righteousness is that a man should maintain good relations with his father’s loved ones.” (Sahih Muslim)

In Holy Quran respect of parents is mentioned around eleven times, Allah Almighty has mentioned in every instance to recognize and to appreciate love and care that your parents gave to you. Regarding this Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents…” (Quran 29:8 & 46:15)

The Prophet (SAW) placed kindness and respect towards parents just after the prayer offered on time as the prayer is the base of Islam. ‘Abdullah Ibn Masood, said: “I asked the Prophet (SAW) which deed is most liked by Allah. He (SAW) said: ‘Prayer offered on time. ‘I asked him: ‘Then what? He (SAW) said: ‘Kindness and respect towards parents.’…” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah mentions in the Holy Quran that human beings must recognize their parents and that this is second only to the recognition of Allah Himself. In Holy Quran Allah Almighty beautifully explained: “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as] ‘uff’ [i.e., an expression of irritation or disapproval] and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say: ‘My Lord! Have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.’” (Quran 17:23-24)

May Almighty Allah guide us to be respectful, loving and kind to our parents and so that we always stay humble and respectful regardless of the power, wealth, position and influence we may possess. Ameen!

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