Hesham A Syed

April 25, 2009

Obedience to Parents – english article

Filed under: Islam,Social Issues — Hesham A Syed @ 2:59 am
Tags: ,

Obedience to Parents – an english article :




Allah ( swt ) has overly emphasized the family and social tie up in a human society and where else can it begin other than home itself. Parental love and care to the children is on one side but Parents respect and care by their children is of utmost importance.


Numerous verses in the Qur`an stress obedience to parents.


The Qur`an gives clear indications that this had also been a very important part of all the messages sent to the previous prophets (alaihimus-salam). The last prophet of Allah, may peace and blessing be upon him, left so many sayings about different aspects of child-parent relation, that it leaves no doubt about the seriousness of the matter.


This, along with the fact that the authority of the contemporary parents has been shaken seriously, makes this topic extremely relevant.


It is important for every Muslim to often remind himself/herself of the significance of obedience to and kind treatment of parents:


  • for those whose parents are alive: to make them aware of their duties and of a chance to benefit  from such an opportunity;
  • for those whose parents are dead: to encourage them to increase their supplications for them and thus perhaps make up for some of their failures.


The next few verses from Qur`an and sayings of the prophet sws. will help us, Insha-Allah, refresh our memory in terms of what we have learned about this and eventually give us a chance to get a better perspective of this issue.


In sura al-Baqarah verse 83, Allah swt. mentions a Covenant that He took from the children of Israel many thousands years ago. That covenant contained kind treatment of parents immediately after worshipping Allah.


Worshipping Allah swt and treating parents with kindness come together also in 36th verse of sura an-Nisa`:


“Worship Allah and join not any partners with Him, And do good to parents….”


Then again in the verse 151 of sura al-An’am we see how Allah swt. instructed His prophet to tell idol worshipers:


“Come, I will recite what limits your Lord has set for you.  (He has enjoined)


(1) that you should not set up anything as a partner with Him,

(2) and you should treat your parents kindly…”


“Kind treatment” includes respect and honor, obedience and the desire to please and serve them. In all the quoted verses this right of parents has been stated immediately after the rights of Allah swt. 


This is stated more clearly and strongly in two verses of sura Bani Isra`iil, namely verses 23-24:


“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 speak kindly to them and treat them with humility and tenderness and pray: Lord, be merciful to them just as they brought me up with kindness and affection.”


In sura Loqman, verse 14, after having been ordered again to treat parents with kindness, we are particularly reminded of the hardships through which our mothers go during the time of pregnancy and birth:


“We have enjoined on man  (to be good) to his parents: his mother bore him in her womb with weakness upon weakness…”


At the end of the same verse Allah swt.  has enjoined upon us to be thankful to Him and to our parents, reminding us that we will return to Him to give an account for our deeds.


The verse 15 of sura al-Ahqaf (#46) stresses the hardships of mothers in even stronger manner, after demanding from us kind treatment of both father and mother:


“…in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.”


Then, in the same verse we are taught how to do du’aa` as we mature and become aware of sacrifices they made for us:


“O my Lord, grant me that I may be grateful for Your favor which you have bestowed  upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may do such  righteous deeds  as may please you, and make my offspring good. Truly, I have turned to you and truly I submit (to You) in Islam.”


The two Sahihs record  that Ibn Mas’uud r.a. said: 


“I said: O messenger of Allah, what is the best deed? He said: ‘Performing the Salah on time.’

I said: Then what?  He said: ‘Being kind and obedient to one’s parents.’

I said: What after that?  He said: ‘Jihad in the cause of Allah”.


The prophet sws. also emphasized in particularly strong terms the need for our closeness and kind treatment of mother.


Once  a man came to him  and asked:

“Who is most deserving of my good companionship”

“Your mother” replied the prophet sws.

“Who next”? the man asked. 

“Your mother”, the prophet sws. replied.

“Who next”, the man asked again? 

“Your mother”  repeated the prophet sws. for the third time.

Only when that man asked the same question again, the prophet’s answer was: “Your father.”  


We live at the time when treatment of parents by their children is terrible. This is one of the major diseases of the contemporary civilization. In that treatment we recognize one of the signs of the Hour, so called al-‘alaamaat as-sughraa. When rasulullah sws. was asked by Jibril in the presence of some of the sahabis about the signs of the Hour (fa akhbirnii ‘an amaaraatihaa), the first sign he mentioned was:


An talidal-amatu rebbetehaa = that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress.


This is a phrase that may have more than one interpretation. One of them is “When a woman will give birth to her master”, which give a hint about a time when children will have so little respect for their mothers that they will treat them like servants.  I am sure we agree that this is the time predicted in the words of the prophet sws.


The prophet sws. clearly stated that even to say “uff” to parents is a big sin, from which children should abstain:


“If a lesser thing than saying “uff” to parents were known to Allah, He would have prohibited (even that).”


The prophet sws. also brought a bad news to three kinds of sinners, saying:


“Three persons  shall not enter al-Jannah:


1.the one who is disobedient to his parents;

2.the pimp; and

3.the woman who imitates men.”


From among the sayings of the prophet sws. on this subject, I want to mention one more, which adds to the seriousness of the sin stemming from disobedience to parents:



“Allah may defer (delay the punishment of) all sins to the Day of Judgment except the sin of disobedience to parents, for which Allah will punish the sinner in this life before his death.”


I tell you a short but very illustrative story about a man who wanted to get rid of his father, and then you draw your own conclusion:


That man apparently had a wife who got fed up with having her father-in-law in the house. She insisted that her husband should show him out. “You are to chose: me or him”, she said one day. The poor man took his weak father on his back and decided to carry him far away and leave him in some woods. As he was about to take him down and leave him in the middle of nowhere by himself, the father begged him to take him to a more distant hill. “Why” asked the son surprisingly?  And the father answered: “When I was of about your age, I brought my father, just you are doing now with me, and left him at precisely this hill. I deserved worse. Therefore, take me to that more distant hill.”

The man quickly thought this thing over, took his father back and told his wife: “My father stays with me, and you see what you should do.”


To this I want to add just one more thing. Allah swt. has revealed in the Qur`an a supplication which originates from the prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him:


Rabbanagh-fir lii wa li waalidayya wa lil-mu`miniina yawma yaquumul-hisab. (14:41)    


In my own life I have always seen those children or people prospering and leading a life of lesser worries who looked after their Parents well and made them feel respected  , important and  happy – this is a bounty or rahma from Allah ( swt ) for their noble conduct.



Hesham Syed














Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: