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Ingratitude towards parents

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Ingratitude towards parents

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:35 pm

"Say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor." [Qur'an 17:23]

In Islam, it is obligatory for us to show kindness, respect, and obedience to our parents. The position of parents, and the mutual obligations and responsibilities, have been addressed in Islam in great detail. In fact, kindness and obedience is so strongly emphasized that Allah has linked showing gratitude to one's parents with showing gratitude to Allah. In the Noble Qur'an, Almighty Allah Says (which means):

"And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to your parents: to Me is (your final) return." [Qur'an 31:14]

Sadly, we are living in a time where children speaking disrespectfully to their parents and about their parents, is the norm rather than the exception. However, Islam places great emphasis on respectful and considerate behavior to even our enemies, so to not uphold the obligations laid down by Allah to our parents is actually one of the major sins.


In the Qur'an

Let's see what the Qur'an says about parents. "This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah." [Qur'an 2:02]

Treat parents with honor and speak to them graciously and with humility

Allah Says (which means):

"Your Lord hath 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, 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 Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." [Qur'an 17:23]

Be grateful to parents but do not obey them if they strive to make you associate anything with Allah

Allah also Says (which means):

"...Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. But if they strive to make thee 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), and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, then will I inform you of what you did." [Qur'an 31:15]

These verses make it clear that we must honor our parents, appreciate their sacrifices and efforts for us, and do our best for them. This is required regardless of whether they are Muslims or not.

Be good to parents and everyone whom you meet

The Qur'an states (which means):

"Worship Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious." [Qur'an 4:36]

If the Qur'an tells us to be good to a stranger, then how can we even think of disrespecting our parents?


Hadeeth

Let's see what Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said about parents in the authentic Hadeeth (narrations). Almighty Allah Says (which means): "Whatsoever the Prophet gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, refrain from it." [Qur'an 59:7]

Disobedience to parents is a major sin

Anas may Allah be pleased with him narrated from Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam about the major sins. He (the Prophet) observed: 'Associating anyone (or anything) with Allah, disobedience to parents, killing a person and false utterance.' [Muslim]

One of the dearest deeds to Allah is being good and dutiful to parents

'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood may Allah be pleased with him narrated: I asked the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam "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" [Al-Bukhaari]


Being dutiful to parents is one of the keys to enter Paradise

Abu Hurayrah may Allaah be pleased with him reported Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam as saying: Let him be humbled into dust; let him be humbled into dust; let him be humbled into dust. It was said: O Allah's Messenger, who is he? He said: He who accompanies either of his parents during their old age or one of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by being disobedient to them). [Muslim]


Acts of kindness we can do for our parents after their death

A man of the tribe of Salamah came to Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam and said: 'O Apostle of Allah! Is there any kindness left that I can do to my parents after their death?' He replied: 'Yes, you can invoke blessings on them, forgiveness for them, fulfill their promises and pledges (to do righteous deeds), maintain ties with kinfolk for the mere reason of being dutiful to them (i.e. parents), and honor their friends.' [Abu Daawood]


The High Status given to Mothers

A man came to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and asked him for permission to fight Jihaad. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam asked him if he had a mother, and when he replied affirmatively, he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said, "Stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet (i.e. she is the way leading to it)." [Ahmad]


Summary

Sometimes we may take our parents for granted and overlook their importance. As Muslims, we should constantly be alert to guard ourselves from sins; however, are we guarding ourselves from one of the biggest major sins? Are we honoring and respecting our parents as per their right? Or are we neglecting one of the dearest deeds to Allah?


Right now the choice is ours!

We ask Allah the Most High, the All-Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn.
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Ithar Ghada Faied
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