Who was there for you, in your good times and bad? Who taught you the most about life? Who stuck by you and looked after you when there was no one else around to help? Who gave Sadaqah Jariyah on your behalf so that the All-mighty will look over you and bless you?
Aren’t you thinking about your parents at this exact moment?
Well, it’s no surprise. After all, they selflessly put their children before them, cared and provided for them even though they had to suffer themselves. Didn’t they?
Hence, it is extremely saddening to see that today, parents are not being treated well by their children. From teenagers arguing with their parents on petty issues to adults completely ignoring their parents, parents are not being given the respect they deserve. As parents get older, they are considered a burden and hence, people tend to ignore them or put them in nursing homes. This is not only unfair to the parents who brought their children up, but it also is forbidden in Islam.
Islam teaches Muslims to respect their parents on a daily basis, wholeheartedly. Such is the importance of appreciating one’s parents that Allah has stated in the Quran that treating one’s parents well is necessary. This order comes exactly after the first as well as the most important pillar of Islam – Shahadah: Declaration of faith and unity of Allah.
Regardless of the age and condition of their parents, children should be humble in front of their parents and never get irritated or disapprove of them. There is absolutely no concept of abandoning one’s parents in Islam. Children have to treat their parents well and do them good. In fact, contrary to popular belief, the wealth and property of children are considered to be of their parents in Islam. This too refers to the fact that children owe their everything to their parents and hence, need to be extremely respectful of them.
In total, the concept of respecting and recognising parents has been mentioned eleven times in the Quran. This fact alone highlights that being kind to one’s parents and appreciating as well as reciprocating the love and care that they provide is vital.
Another important point to note is that even though both parents are highly regarded in Islam, mothers are to be respected and loved even more. They are the ones who carry their children for nine gruelling months and then on average another eighteen years during which time she selflessly devotes everything she has for her children. They are the ultimate caregivers and hence, have to be revered as well as respected. Both the Quran and Hadith commands Muslims to treat mothers well and appreciate everything they have done.
Respecting one’s parents is not only compulsory during the time one’s parents are alive but also after they have passed away. This can be done by various methods such as performing regular dua for them, giving charity on their behalf for instance by answering Syria Urgent Appeal, performing Hajj on their behalf or building a mosque, planting a tree to provide shade or a water fountain to provide water to people passing by.
In communities that are not Islamic, various days are set aside to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. However, in Islam, appreciating and respecting parents is not restricted to just one day. Children have to take care of their parents, respect as well as appreciate them throughout their lives.