Words like kindness, affection, love, care, forgiveness etc. come into our minds when we think about our parents. They are the reason why one exists in this world. A mother`s love for starts even before being born: she keeps one in her womb, goes through stresses and pains, and after a baby is born, she looks after it selflessly. She understands a child`s language even when it cannot speak a single word properly. On the other hand, a father is like a genie figure, who grants all wishes of its kid, even when times are strict and tied economically. Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) has emphasized on treating parents with good manners repeatedly in His life.
“Goodness towards (one’s) parents is the greatest obligatory act.” (Mizanul Hikmah, Volume 10, Page 709)
Sadly, the new generations do not treat their progenitors the way they should. Some of them throw their parents away to old house orphanages because they consider them worthless and hard to go along with. They forget days when they were helpless themselves, and raised to present status only by their father and mother.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) has stressed on the importance of taking care of one`s parents justly, which can be observed in the following description:
Treating them with Kindness
Parents are the kindest hearted entities towards anyone in this world, who not only show affection and love, but also forgive mistakes of their offspring, so they expect that their kids would also do the same to them when they get older. The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah was narrated as saying:
“A man came to the Prophet asking his permission to take part in Jihad. The Prophet asked him, “Are your parents alive?” He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet said to him, “Then, exert yourself in their service.” (Bukhari, 4:248).”
Such is the great importance of showing gentleness to one`s parents that this deed is said to be even better than setting out on Jihad (fighting in the cause of Allah).
Praying for Them
As Muslims, we have a compact faith in Allah`s help as the ultimate source of assistance, and when parents get older, they start to carry different kinds of diseases, pains and mental worries, so it is our responsibility to ask The Most Merciful to give them strength and health to cope with such troubles. Narrated by Abu Hurrairah:
“When a man (or a woman) dies, all his/her good deeds come to an end, except three: a) Ongoing charity done by the deceased (Sadaqa-e-Jaariya)…b) Beneficial knowledge of the deceased that will keep on helping the others.…..and third….c) Righteous son/daughter who will pray for him/her (the deceased).” [Muslim, 4223 (1631)]
The above mentioned Hadith signifies the power of praying for parents in a way that one should ask for its parents` clemency from Allah Almighty, so their souls could be comforted with God`s mercy.
Repaying their Debts
No Muslim can enter paradise until or unless it does not leave behind any unfinished responsibility like paying off debts. The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah has called such person as a fraud, and we know that no hypocrite can be a true Muslim, so if one`s parents die without clearing off their liabilities, it’s the duty of that person to fulfill it.
“One who performs Hajj on behalf of his parents and repays their debts shall be raised by Allah on the Day of Judgment amongst the righteous ones.” [Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 468]
One can also conduct Hajj to add blessings to the deeds of its moth and father by doing it in their names. Therefore, it is one`s responsibility to keep serving its parents even after their death, for it is related to the one of the signs of honorable Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Honoring their Loved Ones
While it is the moral responsibility of everyone to treat others with honor and kindness, and avoid using any vulgar language, but its importance increases many folds when it comes to dealing one`s parents` beloved relatives and friends. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) is described as saying:
“While we were with the Apostle of Allah (Peace be upon him), a man of Banu Salmah came to Him and said: Apostle of Allah! Is there any kindness left that I can do to my parents after their death? He replied: Yes, you can invoke blessings on them, ask forgiveness for them, carry out their final instructions after their death, join ties of relationship which are dependent on them, and honor their friends.” (Abu-Dawood 5123)
This saying of Muhammad (PBUH) clearly directs us to remain in good relationships with other family members and acquaintances of our parents, and it is associated with sending blessings on their spirits. But is should not be taken only in context of behaving in good way after their death, instead it is an ongoing process.
Visiting their Graves
It is a common understanding that being a Muslim; one should say “Salam” and recite Surah Fatiha while crossing by a grave yard, which shows that dead ones wait and listen to our prayers. So, if well wishing for all the dead Muslims is ordered in islam, then one should always visit and ask for their parents` absolution from The Most Merciful.
“Whoever visits the graves of his parents or one of them every Friday; Allah shall forgive his sins and shall regard him to be one of those who had been kind to his parents.” (Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 16, Page 468)
So, if someone could not treat its parents fairly while they were alive, that person should visit its parents` graves frequently to not only praying for their mercy but also collect blessings of Allah Almighty for oneself.
In short, there are countless rights of the parents which one has to fulfill, which is evident from the fact that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has given great emphasis to fulfilling their rights not only when they are living, but also we they are gone from this world. May Allah grant us all strength to love our parents and please them while they are alive! Aameen!