By Nageen Khan
Importance of Parents In Islam
When asked about the people who taught us the most, who were there for us through hardships, who laughed with us during the good times, who put up with us on our off days, most of us think immediately of our parents. And it is true: our parents are the ones who have been with us through almost everything in our lives. Our mothers carry us for nine grueling months before we are born, and for at least eighteen years afterwards, our parents, to list a few things, take care of us, teach us, help us, and provide for us financially and academically. Without them, most of us would not be in the places we are today.
Unfortunately, however, many people do not treat their parents in the manner they deserve. Teenagers fight relentlessly with their parents, often over extremely trivial topics. Other young people ignore their parents, rather spending time with their friends or online. As we get older, we tend to forget that our parents are growing older as well, and they are pushed aside to living on their own or in nursing homes while we start our own families. Not only is this disregard unfair to our parents, it is also strictly forbidden in Islam. God has commanded us to treat out parents with utmost respect, no matter the situation we are in.
Respecting parents is one of the most significant aspects of Islam. God says in the Quran:
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. (17:23)
The first decree in this verse is to worship none but God. This is the first and most important pillar of Islam, and enjoining partners with God is the only unforgivable sin. The order right after this is kindness to parents. There are other major sins in Islam that could have been mentioned here, but the one God has forbidden us against here is disrespect to parents. We are told not to speak contemptuously to them: the word given in Arabic is “oof,” and even this simple groan of scorn is forbidden. Instead, God has told us to address them with honor and deference.
The next verse tells us: “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’” (17:24). The phrase “lower to them the wing of humility” has been interpreted as an image of the way birds spread their wings out of protection and love for their young. Our treatment of our parents is shown in the same way: we should be humble, respectful, and loving towards them.
Moreover, the prayer in this verse (“My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood”) is extremely powerful, and many scholars say that Muslims should say this after every prayer. It is truly a beautiful prayer, as we are asking God to bestow mercy on our parents, as they were merciful to us when we were young.
Holding one’s parents in high esteem is so important that, even if they tell us not to obey God’s command, we are still to treat them kindly. God says in the Quran,
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). (31:15)
Even if our parents strive to make us commit the worst act in Islam, we must still treat them with justice. There is no concept of leaving our parents in Islam, even if they are disbelievers. To further elaborate this point, there is a saying from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (pbuh), narrated by Asma, the daughter of the Prophet’s good friend, Abu Bakr. Asma once asked the Prophet (pbuh) how she should treat her mother, who was a polytheist. The Prophet (pbuh) replied, “Treat your mother well.”
While we should obviously respect both our parents, our mothers are given special treatment in Islam. This is because our mothers carried us for nine months, and were our primary caregivers when we were children. In one saying of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), a companion asked him who deserves the most good treatment and respect. The Prophet (pbuh) replied, “Your mother.” The companion asked again, and again the reply was “Your mother.” The companion asked a third time, and once more the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Your mother.” When the companion asked for the last time, the Prophet (pbuh) then answered, “Your father.”
Our mothers deserve the utmost respect and good treatment, and there is no excuse otherwise. We are told this three times over. In another narration, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that paradise lies under the feet of the mother. This further reiterates the fact that our mothers are to be the most revered and cared for people in our lives. In yet another saying, we are told that a man did the entire pilgrimage, Hajj, with his elderly mother on his back. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told him that this did not even repay his mother for a single kick the man gave his mother while she was bearing him in the womb.
This is not to say that our fathers do not deserve respect. The story of Prophet Abraham (pbuh) in the Quran tells us that his father was ready to kill him for destroying religious idols and abandoning the pagan religion. Abraham, instead of losing control, merely prayed to God to have mercy on his father and to help him find the truth. Many youth today shout obscenities if their fathers give them a stern lecture. From our prophet we learn that this is never acceptable, no matter the situation.
Finally, there are many ways to fix our relationships with our parents. First and foremost, of course, we must recall the importance our parents have in our lives, and the various verses that remind us to be kind to them. There are also many sayings from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that teach us how to act with them. In one narration, he likened caring for parents to fighting for the cause of God, the best deed a Muslim can do in his life. In another, we are told that smiling kindly at our parents is as though we have done the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. We should make it a habit to do these small things in our daily lives. Talking to our parents on a day-to-day basis, no matter our age, is also a way to close any gaps we may have with them. Lastly, it is always important to remember to pray for our parents. We have been told that several people’s prayers will always be answered, and among these is the child’s prayer for their parents.
May God help us all to be more respectful to our parents.
You should always and forever respect your parents. There is no space for a “why” in this sentence. Why should you respect your parents? That is because they deserve it and because you will respect them if you have a simple brain and a heart. Your parents keep your happiness and needs above their own. You should respect them because they taught you how to walk and because you took your first steps by holding their fingers. There are countless things they did for you and you will never be able to pay back for their favors. If only you respect your parents, your kids will respect you. There are thousands of reasons for respecting your parents but a few very important are mentioned below.
10. Form of God:
Because the Lord himself cannot live on earth, he created parents. Parents are a form of god on this planet which we live in. it is even stated in some religions to worship your parents and treat them as your Gods. Because they take care of in the way the God does. Because if you want something you pray to God for that and that wish is fulfilled by your parents. Also, because they are the reason you breathe and that power of giving life is equivalent to that of a God. As your mother and father are comparable to God, you should respect and honor them.
To respect your parents is your duty. God commands you to respect your parents. Whichever religion you follow and whichever God you worship, they all teach you to respect your parents. In the Ten Commandments, the first one is to honor your parents. It says: “honor your mother and father for they gave birth to you and raised you.” In Muslim religion, the Allah asks you to respect your parents till the day you die. This is your moral responsibility to do so. In Hinduism, the god asks you to always remember your mother and father and never forget them in your entire life. Respect your parents for your religion demands you to do so.
8. Showing respect is being grateful:
If you understand the importance of having the parents and you are grateful to them, then it is the best way of showing the gratitude. They demand nothing from you. All you can give them is respect and love. Those who actually understand what is it to have parents and how they make your world better than you imagine they will know that your parents have no selfish motives and they love you selflessly. They want nothing from you just your love and respect. Respect them for this is the only way to thank them for everything.
7. You need them:
Do not live in the misconception that your parents need you and that is why they do everything you want. This is a mere misconception that many of you might have. When you are in your teens, the company you keep mostly influences you. You may, at some point in your life, think that your parents do this stuff for you because they will need you indeed. But this is not the reality. The reality of life is that you will need them indeed, that you will not be able to make it without them. You must respect them for your own sake. You must realize the importance of having them and respect them for, eventually, you need them.
6. They love you always:
Your parents are the only ones who will love you always. No one in this world will love you more than them. Other may claim to love you, you may think that your friends do, but they may fake may be not. But your mother and father love you from the bottom of their heart and that is never feigned. The love of you parents is the best thing in the world and there is nothing above their love. They always bless you and pray for your better future and never worry about themselves. They pray for their kids because they love you. Respect their love because you are lucky to have them. Think about those who do not have parents, and consider yourself as the luckiest person to have them in your life.
5. They will give you anything you want:
From your childhood to this very day, your parents will give all that you demand for. The toys that you cried for, the clothes you wanted and the shoes you wanted in whichever color. As you grow, the books you wanted, the school bag you desired, the matching water bottle, everything is provided to you the moment you ask for them. Later, in your teen-age, they will bring things for you even if those things make no sense to them. They will buy you a play-station even if they do not like it. They will give you a bike even if they think it is not safe for you yet. You should respect them for this. Respect them for demanding anything and having it sooner or later.
4. They taught you the right way:
The kids are always lovely for their parents. Whether a kid breaks a plate in anger, the mother will not ask him to leave the house. Understand that your parents will always teach you the right thing. Even if you are wrong at some place, all they will do is ask you to never repeat the same; or in the worst case, scold you. They do so, because know what is right and wrong, because they know the world more than you do. They are those you will teach you the difference between right and wrong. They will teach you that talking to strangers is wrong, but making friends is right. They teach you so much (about right and wrong) that, at some point of time, you can yourself decide about everything in your life. Respect them for they taught you this.
3. Always there for you:
Every parent in the world always will support his child, no matter what. In all good times and the bad, parents will always be at your side and provide with everything they could. They do everything they can, just for the sake of their children. Your friends may abandon you, but parents will never do this. They will always have their doors open for their children. If you fight with a friend, you are no longer his friend; but if you fight with your dad, he is still your dad. Your mom and dad will never leave your side until and unless you want them away. They will always protect you from all the possible dangers in every extent they are capable of. Respect your parents for being there for you while you learned to walk and not letting you fall down ever; while you learned to cross the busy road filled with vehicles; while you slept alone in your dark room; while you were growing up.
2. They raised you up:
From the day you came to this world till this day, they are the ones who have bought you up and made you what you are today. They fed you first, instead of eating themselves. They gave you the best and sufficient , even if they had to compromise on some. They paid for your toys, so that your childhood is colorful and memorable before they could care to buy stuff for themselves. They send you to school, so that you can make a place for yourself in this world even if this meant a lot of headache. They taught when you were a kid, even if this meant reducing their work hours at the office. They gave you everything you asked for. And whatever silly things they did not give, were because they were harmful for you or your health. They not only spend their money on you, but also spend a lot of years of their life in taking care of you. If you understand this, you must respect them.
1. You are because of them:
Parents are those people who brought you in this world. It is because of them that you exist. Your existence is a gift by your parents. More than a gift, your existence is a favor done by your parents. This favor is something that you will never be able to pay back. The least you can do is that respect them. It is their decision to bring you to life. If they would have decided to kill you even before you were born, you would not have come to this world ever. You should respect them for they chose you and did not run away from their responsibilities. You should respect the fact that your mother and father are those people who gave you a life. Life is so beautiful and a great experience. You must thank your parents for this lovely life and give them a lot of respect.
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