One of those who will not be forgiven on this auspicious night is the one who disobeys his parents.
There are fourteen such verses of the Holy Qurân, which are related to the rights of parents. To begin with, these verses are translated together with a short commentary. This is followed up by Forty Ahadith.
Verse Number One
And when we took a covenant from the children of Israeel, “worship none but Allah and render good behavior to parents and kinsmen and to orphans and the needy and speak good to all people and establish prayer and pay zakât.” Then you turned away save a few of you and you are a people swerving. [Surah 2, Verse 83]
This verse points out that in ancient religions every Prophet’s nation was ordered to abstain from polytheism (shirk) and to do good unto parents, relatives, orphans and the indigent.
At whichever juncture the Qurân orders good behavior unto parents, Allah Ta’âla has laid it adjacent to those injunctions dealing with worshipping Him. From this we deduce the importance of this heavenly guidance. Following the Ibâdat of Allah and obedience to His commandments, rendering good behavior to parents is also Fardh (compulsory).
Good behavior includes obedience as well. i.e. the children should bear in mind obedience to their parents in every aspect of their social (and domestic) life.
However, they should not accede to their commands or anybody else’s, if they are in conflict with the ordinances of Allah Ta’âla and His Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam
In others words, the Almighty Allâh states, “Be obedient to me and render good behavior unto your parents and obey them as well.” For a servant or human being, the essence of Allah Ta’âla is that of an absolute and omnipotent creator. He indicates the solution to virtually every step of our social life and guidance lies in good conduct to parents, obedience to them and refraining from disobeying them. Obedience to Allâh Ta’âla is, in essence, subservience to Quranic injunctions. Since Allah Ta’âla has ordained good conduct to parents immediately after He decreed obedience unto Him, shows that he ordained obedience unto them as well. Hence, every son or daughter is constrained to act accordingly, or else obedience to Allah Ta’âla will not be complete. As categorically stated that shirk (polytheism) is an unpardonable sin, similarly, disobedience to parents will be considered an unforgivable sin.
Verse Number Two
Prescribed for you, when death approaches any one of you, if he leaves behind some property, is to bequeath for his parents and relatives with justice – this is obligatory on those who ward off evil. [Surah 2, Verse 180]
Firstly, a clear understanding of two sentences in this verse is imperative. The first is: “prescribed for you,” and the second is: “this is obligatory on those who ward off evil.” These two sentences will suffice in view of exposing the eminence of such ordinances. The laws of succession were, until then, not revealed but securing parental rights was imperative. Hence the need arose for a temporary regulation in this regard until a system of inheritance laws is revealed. This is the background to the revelation of this verse.
At every stage, Allâh Ta’âla has constrained the children to secure the rights of their parents, to such an extent that He reminds them of parental rights even at the time of death! From this we can gauge the emphasis Allah Ta’âla has laid upon the fulfillment of their rights. Nonetheless, a bequest (wasiyyat) in favor of parents is not legitimate any more, but the wasiyyat for serving them and rendering good behavior unto them remains intact.
Hence, one should always consider their rights for their entire lives and, Allah forbid, if he dies before them, he should make a testament and emphasise to his close relatives to bear in mind parental rights and also to refrain from such actions that would hurt them (physically and emotionally).
Another factor to be considered is that even though the parents receive their prescribed shares, they still have monetary rights over the children if they (the parents) are in need.
Verse Number Three
They ask thee what they should spend. Say! “Whatever wealth you spend is for parents and for kinsmen and for the needy and the traveler, and whatever good you do, so Allah is fully aware of it”. [Surah 2, Verse 215]
Following the decrees of obedience to parents in other verses, Allah Ta’âla informs the servants of how they should spend their wealth. In terms of spending wealth, the parents are placed at the forefront compared to the rest of mankind. Whatever and wherever one spends, parents should be awarded first preference. Their necessities and expenses should firstly be attended to and then he should spend upon relatives, orphans, needy and travelers. It shouldn’t be such that they lack the bare expenses whereas he goes on spending in the path of Allah upon other indigents and poor. This will be tantamount to a violation of the divine sequence. When one resolves to spend in the path of Allah, he must consider this divine religious sequence. For such reasons Allah Ta’âla has given first preference to parental rights compared to the rights of other human beings. Where acts of benevolence are cited, parents are mentioned first and foremost. Thereafter, mankind has been directed, that if he has more than necessary, then he should spend upon parents and other members of the community as stated in the aforementioned verse. On numerous occasions, Allah Ta’âla emphasizes this fact by drawing attention to parental rights in order to ensure sound nurturing of His servant.
Verse Number Four
And worship Allah and associate naught with Him and do good to parents and the kinsmen and the orphans and the indigent and the neighbor who is of kin and the neighbour who is a stranger and the companion at your side and the traveller and slaves in your possession. Allah loves not the proud and the boastful. [Surah 4, Verse 36]
Where Allah Ta’âla is giving the servants training in their character, He, at the same time ordains social rectitude. Apart from instructing the servants to worship Him and to abstain from associating partners with Him, which is a deplorable and unpardonable sin, He emphasizes the fact that amongst humans, after Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, parents are awarded first and foremost rights of obedience. Children who disobey their parents are not worthy of pardon. Just as this verse grants first preference to parental rights, it also draws attention to the neighbour who is of kin. If the neighbour is a relative, he has another right over you because of his relationship with you. However, the neighbour who is a stranger (non-relative) also has a right over you. As it ordains rights of the parents, relatives, poor and travellers, it prescribes rights to the neighbours as well. This is to ensure that inspite of him not observing the rights of parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, his neighbours and slaves, yet he becomes self-conceited and brags about his “achievements” in public or in his circle of friends.
Verse Number Five
Thou say! “You come, I will cite what Allah has forbidden for you. (That is):
a. That you don’t associate anything with him,
b. Do good unto parents and,
c. Slay not your children because of poverty. We provide for you and them,
d. And approach not any work of indecency what is apparent of it and what is concealed,
e. And slay not the soul Allah has forbidden but rightfully.
He has emphatically commanded you that you may understand. [Surah 6, Verse 152]
Note: Since the object here is to elucidate the parental rights in conformity with Quranic injunctions, all the afore-mentioned regulations are not explained. Apart from the five regulations mentioned above, there are five others cited in the forthcoming verse.
The essence of a “regulation” refers to an approach, the observation of which leads man to peace and tranquility in this world and to the delights and comforts of the hereafter. A human being is a slave of Allah Ta’âla and a slave will only be worthy of recompense and reward if he adheres to the commands. Abûndant Rizq (sustenance), peace and tranquility is his recompensation in this life and he will be rewarded in the hereafter after admission into paradise. Total adherence to the commandments is, hence, imperative.
Following the denunciation of polytheism (shirk) and the order to obey Him, Allâh Ta’âla immediately bids us to exercise good behaviour with parents. Amongst other things, good behaviour includes courtesy, respect, obedience, service and seeking their pleasure. At various junctures, Allâh Ta’âla ordains courtesy unto parents together with the commandments relating to worshipping Him, thereby manifesting the fact that the institution of a sound social system in this world originates from obedience to parents – after obedience to Allâh Ta’âla and His Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. In virtually all the Quranic ordinances dealing with Tauheed (monotheism) and Risâlat (Prophethood), obedience to parents follows up immediately afterwards.
In brief, children are compelled to exercise excellent conduct, obedience and seek their pleasure at all times. The importance of parental rights upon children can be gauged from these commandments.
Verse Number Six
O our Lord! forgive Thou me and my parents and all the believers on the day when the reckoning will be established. [Surah 14, Verse 41]
This was the Duâ made by Ibraheem alayhis-salâm. A prophet is absolute in observing the commandments of Allâh Ta’âla. When a Nabi is totally aware of the fact that Allâh Ta’âla has laid good conduct with parents adjacent to the commandments related to His worship, he rendered it compulsory upon himself to seek forgiveness on their behalf.
One point that needs to be cited here is that Ibraheem (Alayhi-salâm) promised his father that he would make Duâ for him as he set out from home. However, he ceased making duâ once he realized via divine inspiration that this father was a mushrik (polytheist) and shirk (polytheism) is an unpardonable sin.
Nonetheless, those children whose parents are Muslims or passed away as Muslims, are compelled to make Duâ for their parents – during their lifetime and after their demise as well. This is their right over children and an integral part of rendering good behaviour unto them.
Verse Number Seven
And thy Lord has ordered: “Worship none save Him and do good unto parents. If one or both of them attain old age before you, say not unto them: ‘Fie’, neither chide them and say unto them a word of respect. And lower to them shoulders of humility and meekness and say: “My Lord, have mercy on them both as they fostered me when I was little.” [Surah 17, Verse 23-24]
This verse depicts that following the Ibâdat (worship) of Allâh, the first and most important right relating to humans is good behaviour unto parents. Hence, it is imperative upon children to obey, serve and respect their parents. The observance of parental rights forms the first and most integral part of a sound system of social ethics. The Islamic society should not be such that it renders the children independent of their parents but it should make them grateful and obedient to their parents instead. They should be tutored to serve their parents in old age as they had fostered them and bore their whims.
This verse is not merely a recommendation of ethics but it is in fact a foundation supporting parental rights and privileges, details of which are cited in Ahadith and books of Fiqh (jurisprudence). Also, in view of nurturing society psychologically and ethically, obedience to parents and observance of their rights is considered to be an important element. Such factors have eternally established certain principles governing that Islamic governments should endeavour to strengthen and safeguard the family-unit with the aid of their constitutions, administrative laws and educational policies and not try to weaken the family-unit.
In these verses, Allâh Ta’âla gives various directives to children in favour of their parents. They are as follows:
a. Good conduct unto parents.
b. Don’t even say “Uff” unto them if you are inflicted with some difficulty or remorse on their part, but endure it with forbearance and patience. They are a source of infinite benevolent deeds conferred upon children. Owing to their act of kindness, even if they have to employ harsh words, endure it all.
c. Don’t ever converse with them in snappish tones. Naturally, this occurs when they speak irrationally. The verse ordains that even though their questions are absurd, they must be answered with due respect and honour. Don’t rebuke them as others are rebuked.
d. Always converse with them with reverence. Take careful note of their honour and dignity. Don’t speak to them in a disrespectful tone nor do anything that would tarnish their dignity and rank.
e. Approach them with humility and deal with them affectionately and tenderly.
f. Remember them in your Duâs with the words “O my Lord! Shower Thy mercy upon my parents as they affectionately fostered and nurtured me when I was small. You also deal with them with mercy and affection.”
Together with worshipping Him, Allâh Ta’âla has enumerated six parental rights. The children are compelled to observe each and every right of theirs. The fact that Allâh cited these rights together with His Ibâdat indicates that these rights are not only compulsory ethically but they occupy a rank of Ibâdat as well.
Verse Number Eight
And doing good, to his parents and he was neither arrogant nor rebellious. [Surah 19, Verse 14]
In regard to Hadhrat Yahya alayhis salâm, Allâh Ta’âla states that he was abstinent and gracious to his parents. He was neither arrogant nor rebellious. A prophet totally adheres to divine commandments but this observance of parental rights and politeness was exposed to manifest the fact that abstention from shirk is a pre-requisite for a pious servant but, at the same time, correct observance of parental rights is also a mandatory constituent. Only then do attributes of abstinence and obedience follow up.
Verse Number Nine
“And I am virtuous to my mother and He has not made me arrogant, unfortunate.” [Surah 19, Verse 32]
Allâh Ta’âla himself expressed the observance of parental rights by Hadhrat Yahya alayhis salâm. However in this verse, the first utterances of Hadhrat Eesa alayhis salâm were: “I am a servant who fulfils the rights of his mother.” The background to these utterances was that his mother Hadhrat Maryam (AS) was accused of fornication. When asked, she pointed to the child that they should enquire of him. They derogatively dismissed the suggestion saying, “How can an infant answer!” Nonetheless, he spoke up. Now when he commenced his discourse, he said: “I am virtuous unto my mother.” He mentions the words “mother” only because he was miraculously born without a father. A fact worthy of consideration is that words in observance of maternal rights are emanating from a child not reared in any society. This is the result of the intuitive nature bestowed upon Prophets. What more can we say in regard to the importance of parental rights?
Verse Number Ten
Then he smiled and laughed at it’s words and he said, “O my Lord! grant me the ability to be thankful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed upon me and my parents and that I may do righteous deeds which Thou are pleased with and do Thou admit me by Thy mercy amongst Thy righteous servants. [Surah 27, Verse 19]
Hadhrat Sulayman alayhis salâm didn’t only express gratitude for the favours bestowed upon him by Allah Ta’âla but he included those favours, which were bestowed upon his parents as well. The favours of Allâh Ta’âla upon parents and the piety of children stems from the benevolence of Allah Ta’âla but these favours upon parents are, in essence, favours upon the children as well because they will also benefit from these favours. In relation to parental rights, children are compelled to express gratitude for those favours bestowed upon parents as well. At the same time, Dua-e-Maghfirat (Duâ of forgiveness) on their behalf is also compulsory upon the children. The life styles of Prophets are models for the Ummah. Look at the conduct of Hadhrat Sulayman (Alahis-salâm) when he included his parents in his Dua as well. This act was liked by Allâh Ta’âla and therefore, he incorporated it into the Quranic verses and laws. In other words this is a lesson and an advice to Ummate – Muhammadiyyah that they should also include their parents in their Duâs.
Verse Number Eleven
And we have strictly directed man to live in goodness with his parents. And if they (parents) compel you to associate partners with Me that whereof you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Unto Me is your return, then I will inform you of what you were doing. [Surah 29, Verse 8]
The object of this verse is to show man that if anyone of the creation has preferential rights, it is his father and mother. However, if they compel him to associate partners with Allah, he should not adhere to their demands. Allâh Ta’âla abhors shirk (polytheism) and it is an unpardonable sin. Similarly, disobedience to parents is an unpardonable sin as well. However, he is not compelled to obey them if they order him to commit acts of shirk, nor does Allâh Ta’âla permit him to do so.
These verses were revealed in relation to Hadhrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqâs Radiallahu anhu when he accepted Islam around the age of twenty. His mother used to instruct him to turn away from Islam employing threats such as suicide and so forth. Hadhrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqâs sought the advice of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wassallam in regard to this problem. This verse was then revealed outlining that obedience to a mother in an un-Islamic issue is not permissible. Shirk is a sin that Allâh will never forgive.
In short, Allâh Ta’âla states that obedience to parents is centered around those issues devoid of shirk or disobedience to Allâh Ta’âla. This theme is emphatically repeated in Surah Luqmân – as mentioned ahead.
Verse Number Twelve
And we have inculcated upon man concerning his parents – his mother bore him with weariness upon weariness and his weaning is in two years – Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the returning. And if they compel you to associate partners with Me that whereof you have no knowledge, then do not obey them and support them in the world according to custom, and follow the path of he who turned towards Me, then unto Me shall you return, then I shall inform you of what you where doing. [Surah 31, Verse 14-15]
Following an emphatic order of good conduct unto parents in this verse, Allâh Ta’âla cites an exclusive difficulty the mother undergoes indicating that she is faced with numerous difficulties during her pregnancy and whilst breast-feeding. So take careful note of her rights.
The second order issued is: “Be grateful unto Me because I have bestowed countless favours upon you. Together with this, show gratitude unto your parents as well because, amongst the creation, you are not indebted to anyone as you are indebted to your parents”.
The third ordinance is that if any one of them compel you to associate partners with Allâh, don’t obey because the right of Allâh supersedes the rights of human beings. Even if they are polytheists (mushriks) and they force you to commit acts of shirk, be courteous unto them and serve them.
Such importance is attached to these rights that Allâh Ta’âla emphasises this point by ordaining us to be good unto them even though they are mushriks and compel you onto shirk. From this we can deduce the rights of those parents who tread the path of Allâh and make the children tread on the same path as well.
That you be grateful unto me and unto your parents. [Surah 31, Verse 14]
Sha’bân ibne Uyaynah states in the commentary of this verse: “Whomsoever performs his five daily prayers, has shown gratitude to Allâh and whomsoever makes Duâ for his parents after the salâh, has shown gratitude to his parents.”
Verse Number Thirteen
And we ordered man to do good unto his parents. His mother bore him with pain and delivered him with pain. His bearing and his weaning are in thirty months, until when he reached his power (youth) and reached forty years, he said: “O my Lord! dispose it to my fortune that I may thank Thee for Thy beneficence which Thou has bestowed upon me and my parents and that I do good work well-pleasing to Thee and render my children pious (and grant me tranquility); I repent unto Thee and I am of those who are obedient. [Surah 46, Verse 15]
The commentary of this verse is more or less the same as the verse in Surah Luqmân. This verse indicates that even though man is compelled to serve both his parents, his mother’s right is awarded importance simply because of the difficulties she faces in the wake of fostering her children. (a) she bore him with numerous difficulties, (b) she delivered him with excruciating pain, (c) she sacrifices thirty months in bearing and weaning him.
Verse Number Fourteen
My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whosoever enters my house as a believer and all believing men and believing women, and do Thou not increase the sinners but in ruin. [Surah 71, Verse 28]
As a prophet, Hadhrat Nuh alayhis salâm renowned as Adame-Thâni (the second Adam), prays for himself and his parents because a Prophet is totally aware of the rights his parents have over him. i.e. parental rights surpass all other forms of human rights. This comprehensive Duâ of Nuh alayhis salâm was revealed by Allâh Ta’âla in the form of a Quranic verse, which has been recited by the Ummat from the Prophetic era and will remain up to the final day. This verse bids this Ummat to make a comprehensive Duâ whenever they beseech Allâh Ta’âla. Parents should be particularly included in the Duâ since their favours and rights upon us are overwhelming.
Traditions of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam
1. Abû Bukrah Radiallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said; “Allâh forgives all sins of those whom He pleases except disobedience to parents. It (punishment) is swiftly meted out to him in this world prior to his death.” [Bayhaqi]
2. Abû Bukrah Radiallahu anhu reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Should I not inform you of the greatest of all major sins?” We said: “Surely! Why not? O Prophet of Allâh” Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Upon this He replied: “Associating partners with Allâh and disobedience to parents.” [Bukhari]
3. Abdullah ibne Masood Radiallahu anhu says: “I once asked Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam which deed is most dear to Allâh.” He said: “Salâh upon its prescribed time.” I then enquired which deed follows up. “Obedience to parents,” he replied. I finally asked: “Then which one?” He replied: “Jihâd in the path of Allâh.” [Bukhari]
4. Abû Hurairah Radiallahu anhu reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wassallam said: “Woe unto him! Woe unto him! Woe unto him!” “Who is he, O Prophet of Allâh?” the Sahabah enquired. He said: “He who finds both or any one of his parents in old age and he does not enter paradise (on account of not serving them).” [Muslim]
5. Abû Umamah Radiallahu anhu reports that a certain person enquired: “O Prophet of Allâh! What are the rights of the parents upon their children?” He replied: “They are your paradise or your hell.” [Ibne Majah].
6. ibne Abbas Radiallahu anhuma narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi was sallam said: “He who arises in the morning as obedient unto both parents for the pleasure of Allâh, then Allâh opens out two doors of paradise for him. If he has a single parent, a single door is opened for him. If he arises in the morning as a disobedient child unto his parents, two doors of hell are opened out to him and if there is one parent then one door is opened out.” A certain person asked: “Even though the parents are cruel unto him or oppress him?” He replied: “Even though they oppress him! Even though they oppress him! Even though they oppress him!” [Bayhaqi – Sha’bil Imân].
7. some elders have mentioned Whomsoever fulfils the permissible vows of his parents and pays their debts and is not a cause of them being Abûsed or insulted, he will be recorded as an obedient child even though he was disobedient in their life-time, and whomsoever does not honour their vows nor pays their debts and he is a cause of them being insulted, he will be recorded as disobedient even though he was obedient in his parents life-time. [Kanzul-Ummâl].
8. Hadhrat Abû Hurairah Radiallahu anhu reports that a person approached the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam saying: “Who is most entitled to my good conduct?” “Your mother,” he replied. “Then who?” he asked. He said: “Your mother.” “Then who?” he asked. “Your mother,” he replied. He finally enquired: “Then who?” He replied: “Your father.” [Bukhari Muslim].
9. Amr bin Shuaib narrates from his father and he in turn from his grandfather that a person approached Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam and said: “I have in my possession some wealth and my father is in need of my wealth.” He said: “Both You and your wealth are (permissible) for your father. Verily, your children are of the best of your earnings. So eat of your children’s earnings.” (Abû Daud and ibne Majah).
10. Anas Radiallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam states: “If a servant was disobedient to his parents and one or both of them die in this condition and he perpetually makes Duâ for them and seeks forgiveness on their behalf, Allâh will record him as an obedient child.” [Bayhaqi]
11. Abû Usaid Sâ’idee reports that we were once seated by the Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam when a person of the Banu Salmah clan approached him and enquired: “Is there any form of good behaviour unto parents by which I can be courteous unto them after their demise?” He said: “Yes, Namâz (Janâzah) upon them, Duâ of forgiveness on their behalf, fulfillment of their religious bequest, to maintain relationship with those relatives linked through them only and to honour their friends.” [Abû Daud and ibn Majah].
12. Abû Hurairah Radiallahu anhu narrates from Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam that he said: “Jurayj was an extremely devout person amongst the Bani Isrâeel. He built himself a church. Whilst reading namâz in this church, his mother approached him and called out: “O Jurayj!” He said: “O Allâh! My namâz or my mother?” He continued with his namâz whilst she returned. When she returned the following day, she once again called out: “O Jurayj!” He said: “O Allâh! my namâz or my mother?” He continued with his namâz and she retreated. When she returned on the third day, she called out once again: “O Jurayj!” He said: “O Allâh! my namâz or my mother?” He continued with his namâz. She finally retorted: “O Allâh! Don’t ever grant him death until he sees the face of an adulteress or prostitute.”
There was a great furore in regard to Jurayj and his excessive Ibâdat amongst the Bani Isrâeel.Amongst them was an evil women renowned for seducing men with her beauty. She said: “If you wish I will draw him to succumb to temptations.” Hence, she approached him but he took no heed of her whatsoever. She thereafter came to a shepherd who lived in the vicinity of the church. She seduced him and as a result of this intercourse, she fell pregnant and finally delivered a child. Following the delivery, she claimed Jurayj to be the father. The people came to him, brought him out and thereafter destroyed his church. As they started beating him, he enquired: “What wrong have I done?” They replied: “You fornicated with this adulteress and she gave birth to your child!” He asked: “Where is the child?” They brought the child before him. He said: “Leave me alone to perform my salâh.” He performed his salâh and when he approached the infant, he thrust his finger into the childs stomach and asked: “Who’s your father, little boy?” “So and so shepherd,” he replied. Thereafter, the people came to Jurayj kissing, touching and honouring him. They offered to rebuild his place of worship with gold but he declined the offer saying: “Restore it with mud as it was prior to this.” So they did as he requested. [Bukhari and Muslim.
From the apparent text of the Hadith, it seems as though it is compulsory to respond to parents even if they call out to their children occupied in Salâh. Refraining from answering them is tantamount to disobedience and can elicit their curses – as in the case of Jurayj when his mother’s curse fell upon him. This is the apparent meaning of the Hadith. However, there are a few details to this Masa’lah which are as follows:
If the children are busy with Nafl salâh and the parents summon them out of some need – if they don’t respond, the parents could be perplexed – in this case, the children are constrained to respond. Failing to comply with their call is a sin if this lands them into any difficulty. The children should break their salâh and firstly attend to their parents needs and thereafter repeat the salâh.
However, if it is a Fardh salâh, it should not be terminated until and unless there is a pressing need or emergency. If the parents call out due to some urgent need or emergency, it is Wajib to break his salâh and attend to their needs.
The same rule applies for all persons requiring immediate and urgent attention. For example, a person is burning in a fire, or drowning or afflicted with any other serious predicament, it is Wajib to attend firstly to such people. This case is not confined to Nafl Salâh alone but it applies to Fardh namâzes as well.
However, if the parents call unto him without any pressing need or whatever they are summoning him for can be attended to after the salâh without them landing into any sort of difficulty as such, then in this case he should not terminate his Nafl salâh as well.
Nonetheless, in the light of Hadith and Fiqh, it is compulsory to break the Nafl namâz if the parents are in difficulty and if there is a pressing need or emergency, it is compulsory to break the Fardh namâz as well or else he will be sinful.
13. Ka’b ibne Ujrah Radiallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam once said: “Come close to the pulpit.” We came close as he commanded. When he ascended the first step he said: “Aameen.” When he ascended the second stop he said: “Aameen.” When he ascended the third step he said: “Aameen.” When he descended we enquired: “O Prophet of Allâh! Today we witnessed something strange from you which we’ve never witnessed before.” He said: “Jibraeel came to me, when I ascended the first step, he said: “Woe unto him who attains the month of Ramadhân but he fails to be forgiven.” I said: “Aameen upon this.” When I ascended the second step he said: “Woe unto him before whom my name is mentioned and he does not send Durood (salutations) upon me.” I said: “Aameen.” When I ascended the third step he said: “Woe unto him who finds both or one of his parents in old age but they don’t admit him into paradise.” I said: “Aameen.” [Mustadrake Hakim and Tabrani]
14. Aa’ishah Radiallahu anha narrated that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “As I entered paradise, I heard a recitation of the Qurân in it. So I asked, Who is this?” They said: “This is Hârithah ibne Nu’mân. This is the compensation of those who do good unto parents. This is the reward of those who are courteous to parents.” He (Hârithah ibne Nu’mân) was the most courteous and well behaved unto his mother. [Mishkât]
15. Abdullah bin Amr Radiallahu anhu reports that a person came to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam seeking permission to go for Jihad. He asked: “Are your parents alive?” “Yes”, he replied. Upon this he declared: “In them both you should make Jihad.” (Meaning that you should wage Jihad by serving them since this entails the same reward as Jihad) [Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmizi]
16. Abdullah bin Amr Radiallahu anhu reports that a person approached the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam and said: “I make a pledge unto you in favour of Hijrat but I have left my parents crying.” He retorted: “Return to them and make them laugh as you have made them cry.” [Abû Daud]
17. Abû Sa’eed Khudri Radiallahu anhu narrated that a person migrated to Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam from Yemen. He enquired of him: “Do you have anyone in Yemen?” He replied: “Yes, my parents.” “Did they grant you permission?” he asked. He replied: “No”, upon this he said: “Return to them and seek their permission. If they agree, you may wage Jihad or else do good unto them.”[Abû Daud]
18. Abdullah bin Umar Radiallahu anhuma states that a person hailing from one of the nomadic tribes met him on the road to Makkah. Abdullah made salâm to him and seated him on the donkey he was riding and handed him the turban he was wearing. Upon this ibne Dinâr remarked to Abdullah bin Umar: “May Allâh have mercy upon you! These are nomads. They are satisfied with very little.” Abdullah said: “His father was a close associate of my father Umar ibne Khattab. I have heard the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam saying that the most commendable of all good deeds is that a person maintains good relationship with his fathers close friends.” [Muslim].
19. Abdullah bin Umar Radiallahu anhuma narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Amongst the major sins, one sin is to swear one’s own parents.” The sahâbah enquired: “How can somebody swear his own parents? O Prophet of Allâh!” He replied: “Yes, of course. If he swears somebody’s father, naturally he will swear his father and if he swears his mother, naturally he will swear his mother.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
20. Aa’ishah Radiallahu anha reports that a person came to the Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam saying: “O Rasulullah! My mother died a sudden death without a legacy (wasiyyat). In my opinion, she would have requested me to give charity on her behalf had she spoken. Will she reap any reward if I were to give charity on her behalf.” He replied; “Yes.” [Muslim]
21. Abdullah bin Amr bin A’as Radiallahu anhu narrated that a person approached the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam saying: “I make a pledge with you in favour of Hijrat and Jihâd and I seek recompense from Allâh.” The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam asked: “Are any of your parents alive?” “Yes,” he replied. “In fact both of them are living.” He asked: “So you seek reward from Allâh?” “Yes”, the person replied. Upon this the Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam declared: “Then return to your parents and maintain good behaviour and excellent relationship with them.” [Muslim]
22. Muâwiyah bin Jahimah Radiallahu anhuma reports that Jahimah once came to Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam and said: “O Rasulullah! I intend to go into Jihad. I’ve come to you seeking your good counsel.” He asked him: “Is your mother alive.” “Yes,” he replied. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam then said: “Hold fast onto (serving) her as paradise lies near her foot.” [Ahmad, Bayhaqi, Nasaie]
23. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said: “If a son casts a single glance unto his father (a glance of respect or love which pleases him), the son gets the reward equivalent to emancipating a slave.” Upon this he was asked: “Even though he casts three hundred and sixty glances? O Prophet of Allâh!” He replied: “Allâh Ta’âla is much more greater than this.” (Kanzul – Ummâl)
It means that even if he casts more than three hundred and sixty glances, he will be rewarded accordingly more than that since Allâh Ta’âla is a very great and magnificent being, inconceivable by normal human intellect.
24. Abû Hurairah Radiallahu anhu reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Maintain your chastity and refrain from other peoples wives, your wives will remain chaste. And observe good behaviour unto your fathers, your sons will observe good behaviour unto you. And whomsoever is approached by his brother seeking an apology, he should accept his apology whether he is right or wrong. If he does not do accordingly, he will not come to the Haudhe-Kauthar.” [Mustadrake-Hakim Vol. 4, Page 54]
25. Abdullah ibne Masood Radiallahu anhu narrates: “A glance by a son towards his father is an act of Ibâdat. A glance onto the Ka’bah is an act of Ibâdat. A glance onto the Qurân is an act of Ibâdat. A glance unto your brother out of love for him for the pleasure of Allâh is an act of Ibâdat.” [Ad-Durrul-Mansoor]
26. Muâz bin Jabal Radiallahu anhu states: “Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam had commanded me to observe ten injunctions. One of them is: “Don’t ever associate anything as a partner to Allâh, even if you are murdered or burnt.” Another is: “Don’t disobey nor torment your parents even if they order you to abandon your family and wealth and go out.” [Musnade – Ahmad Vol 5, Page 238]
27. Ibne Abbas Radiallahu anhuma narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Allâh Ta’âla will record an accepted Hajj in favour of a pious child that casts an affectionate glance upon his parents, for every glance he casts upon them.” The companions asked: “Even if he casts a hundred glances every day?” He said: “Yes. Allâh is much greater (than you imagine) and pure (Of all defects such as miserliness).” [Muslim]
28. Abdullah bin Amr Radiallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “The pleasure of the Lord lies in pleasing the father and the anger of the Lord lies in displeasing the father.” According to another narration: “The pleasure of Allâh is subject to the pleasure of the parents and his anger is subject to their anger.” [Tirmizi and Kanzul-Ummâl]
29. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said: “There are three types of people who will not enter paradise nor will Allâh look unto them with mercy on the day of judgement. Firstly, a person disobedient to his parents. Secondly, a woman who emulates men and thirdly, a Dayyooth (cuckold).”
a. It means that children who disobey their parents will be deprived of Allâh’s mercy and they will not be forgiven.
b. A woman who emulates men in dress, speech or appearance will also be deprived of Allâh’s mercy on the day of judgement.
c. A Dayyooth will also not be worthy of Allâh’s mercy on that day. A Dayyooth is referred to as a person who does not forbid his wife or daughters from mingling or conversing with Ghair Mahrams (strangers or men they can marry).
30. Anas Radiallahu anhu reports: “Whosoever aspires for a longer life-span and an increase in his sustenance should observe good behaviour with his parents and maintain good relationship with his close relatives.” [Kanzul-Ummâl
31. Ibne Umar Radiallahu anhuma narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “The most commendable of all good deeds is that a person maintains good relationship with his father’s close associates even after his death.” [Abû Daud]
He should not forget about them even after their demise. In fact he should make Duâs of repentance on their behalf and maintain Isâle-Thawâb (good deeds on their behalf)
32. Abû Tufail Radiallahu anhu reports: “I saw the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam distributing meat in a place called Ji’errânah when a woman approached him and came very close to him. The Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam spread his sheet out for her upon which she seated herself.” I enquired: “Who is this?” The people replied: “This is his foster mother.” [Abû Dawood]
33. Umar bin Sâib Radiallahu anhu was informed that Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam was once seated when his foster-father came forward. He spread out a part of his garment for him and he sat onto it. Then his foster- mother came forward towards him and he spread out the other side of the garment for her and she sat upon it. Again, his foster brother came forward. The Apostle of Allâh Sallallahu alayhi wasallam stood up for him and seated him before himself. [Abû Dawood]
34. Ibne Umar Radiallahu anhuma narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated: “As a measure of good behaviour unto your parents, by you relaxing on the bed making them laugh and they making you laugh is more superior than you waging Jihad with a sword in the path of Allâh azza wa Jalla.” [Kanzul – Ummâl]
Good behaviour and kindness to parents and serving them whilst relaxing and sleeping at home is more superior than abandoning serving them – if they are in desperate need of service – than going out in the path of Jihad.
35. Abû Dardâ Radiallahu anhu said: “I heard the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam saying: “The father is the main-gate leading into paradise. If you wish, you may safeguard it or you may destroy it.” [Tirmizi and ibne Majah]
36. Anas Radiallahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers.” [Kanzul- Ummâl]
In other words, those children who serve their mothers and keep them satisfied are entitled entry into paradise. On the contrary, those that disobey and do not serve their mothers will be deprived of paradise.
37. Muhammad bin Nu’mân attributes this Hadith to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam in which he says: “The one who visits the grave of both or any one of his parents every Friday, will be pardoned and recorded as an obedient child and kind unto his parents.” [Bayhaqi]
38. It has been reported on the authority of Hadhrat Abû Bakr Radiallahu anhu: “The person who visits the grave of one or both his parents every Friday and recites Surah Ya-seen by the grave, will be forgiven.” According to another narration: “Allâh Ta’âla will forgive a sin in lieu of every letter he recites.” [Kanzul-Ummâl]
39. ibne Abbas Radiallahu anhuma reports: “The one who performs Hajj on behalf of his parents or settles their debts, Allâh Ta’âla will resurrect him with the pious on the day of judgement.” [Kanzul-Ummâl]
40. Deeds are presented to Allah every Monday and Thursday. Similarly, they are presented to the Prophets, fathers and mothers every Friday. As a result they become delighted with their good deeds and their faces increase in brightness and refulgence. Hence, fear Allâh and don’t cause anxiety to your deceased. [Kanzul-Ummâl]
Aadâb (Respect) of Parents
(An extract from Aadâbul Muâsharat-Etiquettes of Social Life by Moulana Thanwi R.A)
Ahâdith pertaining to parents:
1. Service to parents results in increase in rizq (earning a livelihood) and in longer life.
2. A gaze of love and mercy cast at parents is the equivalent of an accepted Hajj.
3. Service to parents is superior to Jihad.
4. By rendering service to parents, one obtains the thawâb of a Hajj, Umrah and Jihad.
5. Jannat lies under the feet of your mother.
6. Gazing with anger at one’s parents is disobedience to parents.
7. Disobedience to parents is among the Kaba-ir (major) sins.
8. He who is disobedient to parents will be disgraced. (The curse of disgrace is repeated thrice in the hadith).
9. Abûsing parents is among the major sins, even the utterance of a harsh word or a word of disrespect.
10. Allâh curses the one who displeases his parents.
11. The one who troubles his parents will be punished here on earth (in addition to the punishment in the Aakhirah).
12. The one who disobeys his parents and displeases them, will not enter Jannat. (He will first have to suffer his punishment before being admitted into Jannat).
13. The Doors of Jahannum are open for the one who disobeys his parents.
14. A murderer of parents will be among the worst punished in the Aakhirah.
15. The pleasure of the parents is the pleasure of Allâh and the displeasure of the parents is the displeasure of Allâh.
16. Service to parents is among the noblest acts by Allâh Ta’âla.
17. Parents are either the Jannat or Jahannum of their children. The cultivation of their pleasure leads to Jannat while displeasing them paves the way to Jahannum.
18. A mother’s dua for her children is accepted with swiftness.
19. Jibraeel (alayhis salâm) cursed offspring who displease their parents in their old age.
20. The best Door to Jannat is one’s father. Either guard it or destroy it.
21. Whoever desires increase in earnings and long life should be kind and obedient to parents. Kindness to parents secures forgiveness for sins.
22. The calamity of disobeying parents will be experienced before death as well as after death.
23. Neither the Fardh nor the Nafl Ibâdat is accepted of a person who is disobedient to his parents.
24. Among the major sins, the worst is to commit shirk with Allâh Ta’âla. This is followed by the sin of disobedience to parents.
The Story of Alqamah radhiallahu anhu
Alqamah Radiallahu anhu was a very pious person. He spent his time in Salât and Saum. At the approach of death he was unable to proclaim the Kalimah Shahâdat inspite of repeated talqeen (instruction) by those present. Alqamah’s wife sent a messenger to Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam to inform him of Alqamah’s grave condition.
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam enquired whether the parents of Alqamah were alive. He was informed that Alqamah’s mother was alive. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam asked the aged mother about Alqamah. She replied:
“Alqamah is a very pious person. He passes his time in Salât and Saum. He performs Tahajjud, but he always disobeys me for the sake of his wife. I am, therefore, displeased with him.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “It will be best for him if you forgive him.”
However, she refused. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam ordered Bilâl radhiallahu anhu to gather firewood and to burn Alqamah in the fire. On hearing this order, Alqamah’s mother asked in consternation: “Will my child be burnt in the fire?”
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Yes! Compared to the punishment of Allâh, our punishment is light. I take oath by Allâh that as long as you remain displeased with him, neither his Salât nor his Sadqah is accepted.”
The old lady said: “I make you and all people present witness that I have forgiven Alqamah.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, addressing the gathering, said: “Go and see if the Kalimah is on the tongue of Alqamah or not.”
After returning from Alqamah the people informed him that he was reciting the Kalimah, Thus, he left this world with Kalimah on his lips. After burying Alqamah, Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “The curse of Allâh is on the one who causes difficulty to his mother. The curse of the angels and the curse of mankind be on him. Allâh Ta’âla neither accepts his Fardh nor his Nafl Ibâdat as long as he does not repent and obey his mother. He has to gain her pleasure as best as he can. Allâh’s Pleasure depends on the mother’s pleasure and His Wrath is concealed in her wrath.” [Ahmad, Tibrani]
Relationship with Parents
1. Never be disrespectful to parents. Do no say a harsh word to them.
2. Even if parents are unjust, it is not lawful for children to ill-treat, disobey or displease them.
3. Obey them in all lawful things. If they instruct you to do anything, which is unlawful in the Shariah, then politely and with respect and apology decline. Never refuse rudely nor argue with them.
4. When parents Abuse, scold or even beat their children, they should submit to such treatment with humility. Never should they utter a word of disrespect or complaint, nor should they display on their faces any indication of disgust or anger. Bear their treatment in silence and with patience. Make dua for them.
5. Assist them in all lawful ways even if they happen to be non-Muslim.
6. Whenever you see them, greet them.
7. If you are living with them take their permission before going anywhere. Inform them of your whereabouts.
8. If you are engaged in Nafl Salât and your parents call you, break you Salât and answer their call even if their is no urgency or importance in their call. If you are performing Fardh Salât and you detect urgency in their call, then break even the Fardh Salât to answer their call.
9. Do not call them by their names. Address them with a title of respect and honour.
10. After their death, make Due-e-Maghfirat for them. Pray for their forgiveness and within your means, practise virtuous deeds with the intention of the thawâb thereof being bestowed on them by Allâh Ta’âla.
11. Pay the debts of your parents.
12. If they had made any lawful wasiyyat (bequest), fulfil it if you are by the means to do so.
13. Be kind, respectful and helpful to the friends of your parents.
14. When entering the private room of parents, seek their permission before entering.
15. Always be cheerful in their presence.
16. Speak kindly and tenderly to them.
17. When speaking to parents, keep your gaze low. Do not stare them in the face.
18. Do not raise you voice above the voices of your parents.
19. Be humble in their presence.
20. When accompanying parents on a walk, do not walk in front of them nor on the right or left side. Walk slightly behind them.
21. Even in their absence speak highly and respectfully of them.
22. Do not give preference to the wife over them (this does not apply to the rights of the wife. Where parents instruct their son to violate or discard the obligatory rights of his wife, it will not be permissible to obey them in this case – Translators note).
23. Always endeavour to keep them happy.
24. Do not embark on a journey without their permission.
25. When they question you, do not inconvenience them by delaying your reply.
26. It is highly disrespectful to refrain from answering them.
27. If at any time you were disrespectful to your parents, regret your action and hasten to obtain their pardon.
May Allâh Ta’âla give us all the ability to respect our parents. aamîn.
The Rights of Parents
In Islam, there are fourteen rights of parents that one has to observe. These rights can be categorized into two parts:
a) Seven rights which are to be practiced while the parents are alive.
b) Seven rights which are to be observed when they have passed away.
(a) The seven rights which have to be practiced when they are alive are:
1. Having respect for them.
2. Displaying affection and love towards them.
3. Obedience to them.
4. Serving them.
5. Having concern for their comfort.
6. To assist in fulfilling their needs.
7. To visit them regularly.
Those rights which have to be observed when they have left this world:
1. To make Du’â (pray) for their forgiveness.
2. To perform virtuous deeds and pass on the rewards to the parents.
3. To respect and honour their friends, relatives and acquaintences.
4. To render help and assistance to their friends, relatives and acquaintences.
5. To pay off their debts and discharge their obligations.
6. To execute their will (according to the Shari’ah).
7. To visit their qabr (grave) occasionally.