Parents are given a special status of respect in every culture and religion. And why shouldn’t it be that way? The mother carries the child in her womb and bears pain and sufferings for the child. Both the parents try their best to provide for emotional, physical, educational, material and psychological needs of the child. A wonderful fact is that their love for their children is unconditional.
However much we wish, we can never completely pay them back for all the sleepless nights and sufferings they bear for us. We cannot comprehend fully the things, big and small, they do for us.
Islam realizes the importance of parents and emphasizes their rights. It is obligatory for believers to be kind to their parents in every situation. There are numerous verses in Qur’an which stress the importance of being warm and caring towards parents.
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Quran 46:15)
The above verse from Qur’an acknowledges the sufferings of a mother and commands the children to be gentle towards their parents.
“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or more 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.” (Quran 17: 23-24)
The above-mentioned verses show the importance of kindness towards parents. This verse starts with Allah’s orders to acknowledge His Oneness and to not worship any false gods. Immediately after this extremely important command, comes the instruction to be affectionate to one’s parents. We should never be irritated and always be patient with them.
Here, a point to notice is that the verse mentions the old age of parents. It is easy to be patient when the parents are young, but with old age, they might get sick, repeatedly say same things, or become short-tempered. This is the time when a person’s patience is tested and this is why this verse especially mentions a person’s behavior in his parents’ old age. Moreover, this verse teaches a dua for our parents. We might never be able to repay them for their love but we ought to pray for Allah’s mercy upon them.
Hadith of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) also highlight the importance of parents and one’s good behavior toward them:
“Paradise lies under the feet of the mother.” (Ahmad, Nisai)
He who wishes to enter Paradise through its best door must please his parents.” (Bokhari)
Even if the parents are non-believers, one cannot be rude to them.
But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration). (Quran 31:15)
There is no justification for being disrespectful to parents when Allah forbids it even when they do not believe in Him! They are human beings and, if due to any circumstances, there has been any injustice done to you them by, learn to forgive. Be humble, patient, kind and affectionate towards them and always remember the innumerable sacrifices they did for you.