Parents have been given an honorable status in all societies and religions. We are indebted to our parents for everything they have done for us, especially our mother. She goes through awful pain and suffering to bring us in this world. She loves us immensely even before we have a physical existence. She is the one person who spends sleepless nights just for our comfort and care. Among parents, the mother has got a status three times higher than that of father. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother.”
Our parents have fulfilled all our needs, whether they are physical, psychological, educational or religious. Their love is unconditional and pure. In lieu of this, it is our moral duty to show extreme kindness, obedience and respect to our parents. Islam has addressed the obligations and position of parents in great detail. In the Holy Quran, Allah says: “Show gratitude to Me and to your parents. To Me is your return.” (31 :14)
The above verse tells us that gratitude and appreciation to Allah Almighty and to parents goes side by side. Showing gratitude to Allah Almighty is partial without showing gratitude to one’s parents. Thus, Allah Almighty has directed us to show love, kindness and humbleness to our parents no matter what. We must obey and honor our parents under all circumstances. It is not because they have “earned” this honor in our eyes, but it is a right granted to them by Allah Almighty even if they are non-Muslim. The only exception that can be made is mentioned in the following verse:
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; but if they strive (to force) thee to join with Me anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not.” (29:8)
We are commanded to obey our parents within the bounds of Shariah. In all cases, other than this exception, we must show appreciation and gratefulness to our parents. We should always speak to them politely and gently. We should do our best to keep them happy and serene, provided we do not disobey Allah in the process.
If someone is rude and disrespectful towards his parents, hurt them by saying insulting remarks or cause them grief or misery in any manner, then he shall find his place in Hell. Once someone asked the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H): “What right does parents have over their children?” He answered: “They are your heaven and hell.” [Ibn Majah].
May Almighty Allah guides us to be respectful, loving and kind to our parents and may we always stay humble and courteous regardless of the power, wealth, position and influence we may possess.