In Surah Al-Isra’ (Children of Israel) there is a very beautiful description of how parents are to be treated. Allah says:
“Your Lord had decreed, that you worship none save Him, and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with you, say not ” Uff ” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both, as they did care for me when I was young.” [Quran 17:23-24]
“We have enjoined on humankind kindness to parents.” [Quran 29:8 and 46:15]
Throughout the Quran, we notice that parents are mentioned with appreciation and with respect, Parent’s right and care is mentioned soon after God’s right and duty. As God is our creator but the parents are the reason to bring their children into the world. Here kindness is translated as goodness. Kindness includes many things one of the most important thing is your attitude as being humble and rude in your attitude makes big difference, God remind us that when you were child and unable to express yourself your parents fulfilled your need with affection. Kindness and affection is the substance that build the relation in all spheres of life. God has ordered to be kind to parents even if they are not believers. So God gave command “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good…” (Quran 4 : 36)
“….. and man is created weak”. (Quran 4: 28) this verse completely portay human weakness and feebleness at the time of his birth small and delicate body. Unlike other creature or animal man is completely depend on his parents especially mother he couldn’t even turn himself. His parents not only look after him with kindness, care and affection but also make counless sacrifice for their children. Parents have unconditional love for kids. Just look at the life cycle, by the time child becomes strong and parents grow weak, the dependancy has reversed. And that moment, the child has to be concious about the maturity of this primary relationship. Whereby if a child were to be separated by his parents, he would have been far less privledged in his reality. If we lived for 1000 years, and spent every day serving my parents, we wouldn’t be able to repay an hour of their love. Thus, God has ordered us to care, protect, and to look after our parents immediately after His right of worship.
When parents become old that time they need our love and care (sometimes behave like kids). After all sacrifices if a parent doesn’t even get love and respect, imagine the trauma they’ll suffer. Just genuine love and being there when they need us is more than sufficient for them to feel proud of their upbringing. The key ingredient or spirit in kindness is love. “love is kindness ” Being dutiful to parents, obeying them and treating them with kindness is embedded in the teachings of Islam, however obedience to God is always the first and foremost duty in Islam.
We hope and we pray that all of us will respect our parents while they are alive and even after they pass-away. Because parent’s rights and dues never ends even after they leave this world. We may honor our parents after they die through the following methods (following are the acts of kindness, have to carry out these good deeds even after their death) :
- Make daily Du’a (prayer) for them
- Give a charity on their behalf
- Institute a perpetual charity on their behalf – such as a Masjid, an Islamic Center, an Islamic Library, an Islamic hospital, an orphanage, a senior citizen’s home, etc.
- Perform Hajj on their behalf or ask someone to do so.
- Read Quran on their behalf
- Distribute Islamic Literature on their behalf
Let us pray to God that we will do our best to respect our parents, to honor them, to be kind to them, to help them, and to cherish every moment with our aging parents not just on only Mother’s or Father’s Day..
“Our Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and all the believers, on the Day on which the Reckoning will be established.” (Quran 14 : 41)