DISOBEYING THE PARENTS IS A GRAVE MATTER
After polytheism, the gravest sin is disobedience to parents. This is an evil that a true Muslim cannot even imagine without even imagine without repulsion. Thankfulness, gentleness and gratitude are the three basic qualities that made one be a good person. One who does not cultivate these basic attitudes within him can neither fulfill his duties towards Allah nor the people: Hence Muslims who are obedient to Almighty Allah can never be disobedient or even careless to their parents.
Abu Bakr narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) asked that should he not warn them against the three major sins? All of them said, "Certainly, O Prophet!" He then said, "To ascribe partners with Allah, to disobey the parents." Getting up. As he was reclining, he said, "To tell a lie or to give false evidence." He went on repeating his words for such a long time that we wished him to be silent. (Bukhari and Muslim) In this hadeeth the word "aqooq" has been used, for the disobedience to parents. It is an Arabic words which means carelessness, cruelty, painful attitude and disobedience.
It is narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Allah postpones the punishment for one's sins till the Day of Judgment if He so desires. But He award the punishment for disobeying the parents during this life, before his death."(Authentic, Al-Hakim) This means that the disobedient children will be punished twice; once in this world and secondly in the Hereafter.
In the hadeeth narrated by Thauban, the Prophet (PBUH) indicated that the following three major sins can nullify all other virtues: Ascribing partners with Allah, disobedience to parents and fleeing from Jihad.
DISOBEDIENCE TO MOTHERS
Mughairah bin Shu'bah relates that the Prophet, (PBUH) once said, "Be sure that Allah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to be miserly and greedy, and infanticide (burying the new born daughters alive.) And He dislikes you to be talkative and too inquisitive and to waste your belongings."
It also implies that we should take extreme care of the sentiments, habits, temperament and likes and dislikes of mothers. We should not even imagine being rude and disobedient to her. By serving and obeying our mothers we can be sure of earning the favor of Almighty Allah.
The extent of sufferings resulting from disobedience to mothers can be seen from the following hadeeth:
Once, when the Prophet(PBUH) was talking to his companions a man came and addressed him, "O Messenger of Allah ! A young man is breathing his last. (according to another source - the dying man is the Prophet's friend known as Alqamah - webmaster) People are asking him to recite Shahadah but he is unable to do so." The Prophet(PBUH) asked, "Did this man offer salah (during his life)?" The answer was yes. Then he accompanied the man to the house of the dying young man along with others present at the time. The man was at the end of his life's journey. The Messenger of Allah advised him to offer the Shahadah. The m an replied that he was unable to do so as the words would not come out of his mouth. He (PBUH) then called for the mother of the dying man whom he had disobeyed persistently. When his aged mother approached the scene, the Prophet (PBUH) asked, 'Respected lady, is he your son?" She replied yes. He then asked her a question, "O respected lady, if we threaten to throw your son into a raging fire, would you recommend him to be forgiven?" The lady replied that she would definitely do so at that time. The Prophet(PBUH) then said to her, "If so, declare, making Allah and me your witnesses, that you are mow pleased with him." The old woman readily declared, "O Allah, you and your Messenger be my witness that I am pleased with this beloved son of mine."
Just after that, the Prophet (PBUH) turned to the dying man and asked him to recite, "There is no god but Allah, He is the One and has no partners and I witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger." By the virtue of the forgiveness of his mother, he found the words flowing out of his mouth and he recited the Shahadah. Seeing this, the Prophet (PBUH) praised Almighty Allah and thanked Him saying, "Thanks to Almighty Allah that He saved this man from the fearful fire of Hell through me." (Tabarani and Ahmad). Acknowledging the great favor of the parents is central to our success in being right with them, as they are the cause of our existence. It will enable us to see ihsan towards the parents as a sign of a healthy, natural disposition.
1. "We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth" (46:15).
2. "Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, 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 Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood' "(17:23-24).
3. "We have enjoined on man and woman kindness to parents; but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not'" (29:8).
4. "We have enjoined on man and woman (to be good) to his/her parents; show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is (thy final) Goal. If they (parents) strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love)" (31:14-15).
1. The Prophet Muhammad said, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him: Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother (Ahmad, Nasai).
2. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).
3. Abu Usaid Saidi said: We were once sitting with Rasulullah when a man from the tribe of Salmah came and said to him: O Messenger of Allah! do my parents have rights over me even after they have died? And Rasulullah said: Yes. You must pray to Allah to bless them with His Forgiveness and Mercy, fulfill the promises they made to anyone, and respect their relations and their friends (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah).
4. Abdullah ibn Amr related that the Messenger of Allah said: The major sins are to believe that Allah has partners, to disobey one's parents, to commit murder, and to bear false witness (Bukhari, Muslim).
5. It is narrated by Asma bint Abu Bakr that during the treaty of Hudaibiyah, her mother, who was then pagan, came to see her from Makkah. Asma informed the Messenger of Allah of her arrival and also that she needed help. He said: Be good to your mother (Bukhari, Muslim).
Parent's Rights over Children
The Prophet (S.A.W.) has laid stress on the rights of parents and duties of children, in the same way as he has stressed the rights of children and the duties of parents.
To be obedient to parents and to show kindness to them has been enjoined along with the Oneness and Worship of Allah, in the Holy Qur抋n, in such a manner that it appears that among human deeds, to obey parents and treat them with respect and kindness is next only to Divine Worship.
The Quran says, in Sura Bani Israil:
"Your Lord (The Creator) has ordained that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to the parents.
Parents are the Heaven and Hell of the Children
In a hadith the Prophet (S.A.W.) has said that the parents of a person are his Heaven or Hell.
This shows that if a person obeys his parents and attends to their needs and comforts and keeps them happy, he will attain Paradise. On the other hand, if he is rude and disobedient to them and offends them by ignoring their feelings or by causing them grief in any other way, his place shall be in Hell.
Pleasing the parents causes Allah's pleasure
Anyone who seeks to please Allah should earn the good pleasure of his parents. To keep the parents well pleased is essential since their anger and displeasure will lead to Allah's anger and displeasure. The Prophet (S.A.W.) has said "in the good pleasure of the father lies the good pleasure of the Creator and in his displeasure, lies the displeasure of the Creator."
Here the mother has not been mentioned, but, according to many other Ahadith, the right of the mother with regard to service and kind treatment is even higher than that of the father. Therefore, her pleasure or displeasure will carry an equal significance.
Curse for not looking after aged parents
The time that the parents need to be looked after most carefully is in their old age, and to serve them devotedly in that state is most pleasing to Allah and it is an easy way to attain Paradise.
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) relates that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said "May he be disgraced, may he be disgraced, may he be disgraced." "Who?" The Sahaaba enquired. "The person whose parents, or any one of them, attain old-ape during his life-time and he does not earn Paradise (by being kind-hearted and dutiful to them)!"
Therefore, anyone who gets an opportunity to serve his parents in their old-age and does not avail himself to it (to attain Paradise), undoubtedly, he is a most wretched person.
Serving the parents is preferable to Jihad
When the parents of a person are in need of his help and attention, then it is preferable for him to serve them than to go to Jihad.
A person once came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and said that he wanted to participate in the Jihad. The Prophet asked him "Are your parents alive?" "Yes, they are alive" he replied. The Prophet said. "Then strive in their service and assist them at the time of their need. (This is your Jihad.)"
Commentary: Perhaps, there was reason for the Prophet (S.A.W.) to believe that the parents of the person concerned were in need for help and attention, that is why he told him to go and take care of them, because in these circumstances service to the parents was more important.
However, it must not be misunderstood that anyone whose parents are alive should not take part in Jihad, and that only those whose parents have died. should do so. In fact, the parents of many of the Sahaaba who took part in Jihad, were living.
The mother's claim is greater
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) narrates that a person asked the Prophet (S.A.W.) "Who has the greatest claim on me with regard to service and kind treatment?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother, and again your mother, and once again your mother. After her, is the claim of your father, then that of your near relations and then of the relations next to them.
This, obviously, shows that where care and kind treatment are concerned, the claim of the mother is greater than that of the father.
It appears to be the same in the Qur抋n too. In many instances, the pain and the suffering which the mother has to bear during pregnancy, at childbirth, and in the bringing-up of the children, has been mentioned along with the emphasis of expressing kindness to parents.
Paradise lies at the mother's feet
In one hadith the Prophet (S.A.W.) has clearly stated that a person's Paradise lies at his mother's feet. By serving her well and being obedient to her, one can attain Paradise.
In some other Ahadith the Prophet (S.A.W.) has explained that serving the mother, the maternal aunt and maternal grandmother, are among the acts by whose piousness, even the repentance of a great sinner and evil-doer is accepted and he is forgiven.
Treatment towards polytheist parents
If anyone's parents are polytheists, and they want him to follow their faith, he should refuse, but he should continue to be kind and respectful to them.
Asma bint Abu Bakr (R.A.) relates that her mother had come to Madina, from Makkah, to meet her. Her mother followed the Pagan customs and beliefs? so Asma (R.A.) enquired from the Prophet (S.A.W.) as how she was to treat her whether she should have nothing to do with her, as she was a Pagan, or treat her like a daughter should, and show kindness to her. The Prophet told her to be kind and considerate and to behave towards her as was a mother's due, from a daughter.
Parents' rights after their death
The rights of parents do not come to an end with their death. In fact, some of their rights take effect after their death, and it is a religious obligation for the children to fulfill them.
As explained before, obeying one's parents and treating them with respect and affection is great virtue - and atones for one's sins. Similarly, to ask Allah to have mercy on them after their death, is an act which brings comfort to them in their graves and serves to atone for one's sins.
After the death of one's parents among other duties, should be to pray for their forgiveness and treat their relatives and friends with due respect.
Abu Usaid Sa'idi (R.A.) relates that a person came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and asked him "0 Prophet of Allah, are there some rights of my parents, on me, which I have to fulfill even after they have died?" "Yes" the Prophet replied, "These are to pray for mercy and forgiveness on their behalf, to fulfill the promises they have made to anyone, to pay due regard to the bonds of relationship from their side and to be respectful to their friends.
In the Qur抋n, Muslims have been urged to pray for the salvation of their parents as shown in the verse.
And say, "My Lord. Have mercy on both of them, as they cared for me when I was little."
Advantages of obedience to parents
The real reward for serving the parents, with great attention, is Paradise and the pleasure of Allah. But the Almighty bestows a special flavour, in this world too, on the believer who fulfils the parents' rights devotedly.
Jabir (R.A.) reports that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said "Allah prolongs the life of a person who obeys his parents and serves them devotedly."
In another hadith, the Prophet (S.A.W.) is reported to have said, "Obey your parents and treat them with kindness, your children will be kind and obedient to you.
Great sin for disobeying the parents
Just as the Prophet (S.A.W.) declared, that serving ones parents well is an act of great virtue, he condemned the showing of disobedience to them, or harming them, as a most serious and detestable sin.
When asked about the major sins, the Prophet (S.A.W.) replied." To associate anyone with Allah, to disobey the parents, to kill unlawfully and to give false evidence."
The above-mentioned acts have been condemned as 'Akbarul-Kabaair' i.e. the most serious of the major sins. The order in which the Prophet said them, shows that the disregard of parents rights is next, only, to Polytheism (Shirk) and it is even more serious than murder.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) has said "To abuse one's parents is also a major sin." He was asked "Can anyone abuse his parents?" "Yes," the Prophet replied, "if a person abused someone else's parents and that person, in retaliation, abused his parents, - then it is as though he himself had abused his parents."
We can imagine, from this, what an important place respect for parents occupies in the moral and social teachings of Islam, and how careful one should be about it.
Source: THE ISLAMIC SCHOLAR