Rights of Parents are Duties of Children
Parents give us innumerable (countless) favors. They provide protection, food and clothing to the newly born. The mother sacrifices her comforts and sleep to provide comfort to her children. The father works hard to provide for their physical, educational and psychological (and spiritual) needs. It is a matter of common courtesy that if a person does you some favor you feel obliged to him. Verbally you say ‘thank you’ to him. You try to repay and compensate him for his gifts and favors. You feel a sense of gratitude towards him.
Gratitude and gentleness
Allah, the Most High, says, “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 (disrespect), nor repel them but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Surah AI-lsra (17):23-24)
“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment.” (Surah AI-Ahqaf (46):15) “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at you,’ side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess, Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding (proudly) and boastful.” (Surah An-Nisa (4):36)
(i) Muslim is kind and respects his parents even if they are non-muslims
It is one of the beauties of Islam that, with respect to the treatment of parents, it forbids the Muslim to be disrespectful to them even if they should be non-Muslims who are fanatical to the point of arguing with him and putting pressure on him to renounce Islam. Says Allah Ta’ala: “…Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is (the final) goal.” (Surah Luqman (31):14)
(ii) What are the Best Deeds
Narrated ‘Abdullah in Masud may Allah be pleased with him: I asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” I asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents” I again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” ‘Abdullah added, “I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would have told me more.” (Reported by Bukhari 1/505 also 4/41 and Muslim 151)
(iii) Who is more entitled to be treated best – “Your Mother”
Prophet (Peace be upon him) emphasized 3 times that the mother is the one who deserves much concern. Read the following hadith. It is the mother indeed who bears a lot in pregnancy, giving birth, and suckling and constant care to the child night and day.
Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship (Service) by me?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your’ mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your father.”(Reported by Bukhari 8/2)
(iv) Every Muslim has an ambition to go to Paradise – but how?
Read this Hadith. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, “Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers.” (Reported by Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Nasa’i and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-lman)
“An aunt is treated as a mother i.e. honorable treatment.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari 5/553 and Abu Dawud)