The Status of Parents in Islam - Rights according to Quran and Sunnah

The status of parents in Islam is very high. We as a Muslim should give respect and love to our parents. Parents are to 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 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.

It is obligatory for us (Muslims) to show the unconditional kindness, respect, and obedience to our 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 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)

Every Muslim must show kindness and mercy to his parents throughout their lives. It is obligatory on children to show love, respect, and gratitude to their parents. Always speaks to parents gently and respectfully. Our Parents as a team provided for all our needs: Physical, Educational, Psychological, and in many instances, Religious, Moral, and Spiritual. It becomes obligatory for us to show the utmost Kindness, Respect, and Obedience to our Parents.

Rights of Parents according to Quran and Sunnah

The Quranic commandments and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) guide us in this matter of respecting parents with love, respect, and kindness.

Allah mentions 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)

In Holy Quran respect of parents is mentioned about 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 Holy Quran:

“And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents…” (Quran 29:8 & 46:15)

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.

There are some traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) about treatment with parents in the best way are mentioned below:
  • 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 (SAW): “What right does parents have over their children?” He answered: “They are your heaven and hell.” (Ibn Majah).
  • 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 another Hadith Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “No child can compensate his father unless he finds him as a slave, buys him, and sets him free.” (Sahih Muslim)
  • 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 said: ‘Prayer offered on time.’I asked him: ‘Then what? He (SAW) said: ‘Kindness and respect towards parents.’…” (Al-Bukhari)
Let us pray to Allah (SWT) that we do our best to respect our parents, honor them, be kind to them, and please them so that we may gain the love of Allah Almighty. May Allah (SWT) grant us the Divine success that we may come be regarded amongst those who have been good towards their parents. May also 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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