A good reminder. Source: www.islamfortoday.com
I only modified the old and British English used in the article.
Islamic teachings on the Importance of Parents
In Islam it is obligatory for us to show kindness, respect, and obedience to our parents. The position of parents, and the mutual obligations and responsibilities, have been addressed in Islam in great detail. In fact kindness and obedience is so strongly emphasized that God has linked showing gratitude to one's parents with showing gratitude to God -
And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to your parents: to Me is (your final) Goal. (31:14)
Sadly we are living in a time where children speaking disrespectfully to their parents and about their parents, is the norm rather than the exception. However Islam places great emphasis on respectful and considerate behavior to even our enemies, so to not uphold the obligations laid down by God to our parents is actually one of the major sins.
In the Quran
Let's see what the Quran says about Parents. This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God (2:02)
Treat parents with honor & speak to them graciously & with humility
Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood. (17:23)
Be grateful to parents but do not obey them if they strive to make you associate things with God
...Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, then will I inform you of what you did (31:15)
These verses make it clear that we must honor our parents, appreciate their sacrifices and efforts for us, and do our best for them. This is required regardless of whether they are Muslims or not.
Be good to parents and everyone else who you meet
Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and what your right hands possess: For God loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious;- (4:36)
If the Quran tells us to be good to a stranger how can we even think of disrespecting our parents?
Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet)
Disobedience to parents is a major sin
Anas narrated from Prophet Muhammad about the major sins. He (Mohammed) observed: Associating anyone with God, disobedience to parents, killing a person and false utterance. (Muslim)
One of the dearest deeds to God is being good & dutiful to parents
Narrated 'Abdullah: I asked the Prophet "Which deed is the dearest to God?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents"...(Bukhari)
Being dutiful to parents is one of the keys to enter Paradise
Abu Huraira reported Prophet Muhammad as saying: Let him be humbled into dust; let him be humbled into dust. It was said: God's Messenger, who is he? He said: He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (because he has been undutiful to them). (Muslim)
Acts of kindness we can do for our parents after their death
While we were with Prophet Muhammad of God . A man of Banu Salmah came to Him and said: Apostle of God is there any kindness left that I can do to my parents after their death? He replied: Yes, you can invoke blessings on them, forgiveness for them, carry out their final instructions after their death, join ties of relationship which are dependent on them, and honour their friends. (Abu Dawood)
The High Status given to Mothers
A man came to the Prophet and asked him for permission to join a military expedition. The Prophet asked him if he had a mother, and when he replied that he had, he said, "Stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet." (Ahmad)
Sometimes we may take our parents for granted and overlook their importance. As Muslims we should constantly be alert to guard ourselves from sins, however, are we guarding ourselves from one of the biggest major sins? Are we honoring and respecting our parents as per their right? Or are we neglecting one of the deeds most dearest to God? Right now the choice is ours!
We ask God the Most High, the All-Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn.
= Peace and Blessings of God be upon him.
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html