Bani Israel, verse 23, Allah after exhorting mankind to worship Him alone,
“…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.”
positioning of these words in the verse, where Allah having ordained worship
only to Himself, chooses to instruct how parents are to be dealt with, is quite
significant; for in the scheme of Allah, anybody who worships Him alone, has to
necessarily be kind and grateful to one’s parents. It is indeed
incomprehensible that a true Muslim will ever even imagine being disrespectful
“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” (XVII 24).
observation of how a bird looks after or feeds its offspring, gives a deep
insight into the spiritual meaning of this verse. “Lowering of wings’’ has metaphorical
meaning keeping under shade, protection and safe custody.
upon arrival, is totally dependent, despite presence of all the blessed
faculties that in later years allows for growing strength and understanding but
at that moment, these faculties are of no use. Only a mother would sacrifice
her peace and mid-night sleep, to ensure that her offspring on the contrary
would sleep comfortably and calmly. As a child, we receive unadulterated love,
care and attention from our parents, that is when we are in a stage of complete
helplessness, therefore, when they grow old and infirm, the least a child can
do, is to reciprocate with equal love, warmth, respect, care and attention
towards them. Approaching parents with utmost humility is a cardinal principle
of Islam — no remonstration or words of ‘fie’ to any of their demands, barring
invitation to disbelief, is permissible. In acknowledgement and recognition to
the service of parents towards their children, this beautiful verse ends with a
supplication seeking Allah’s mercy on them just as they (Parents) cherished the
children in their childhood.
“We have enjoined on man, kindness to parents,
but if they (either of them) strive to force thee to join with me in worship.
Anything of which thou hast no knowledge obey them not” (XXIX: 8).
Obedience towards parents has been in very
clear terms made subservient, to the cause of worshipping none, but the True
One Allah. Abraham, who even Allah the most merciful, refers to as a kind
hearted man, was admonished, when he supplicated for his father Azar,
my father, for that he is among those astray” (XXVI-86).
In further reference to his father,
said; Peace be on thee: I will pray to my lord for thy forgiveness, for He is
to me most Gracious” (XIX:47).
love of his father, Azar, Abraham had promised to pray, but his prayers even
though he was Khalilullah, were not accepted, as is beautifully and lucidly
explained by the Quranic verse,
not fitting for the prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for
forgiveness for pagans, even though they be of kin…” (IX: 113)
prayed for his father’s forgiveness only because of a promise he had made to
him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he
disassociated himself from him, for Abraham was most tender hearted, forbearing
These verses clearly establish that anybody
including parents, if they ever beguilth their progeny from path of Allah they
are to be disobeyed and disassociated with.
the stature of parents is placed on the highest pedestal of good behaviour.
Besides respecting and showing kindness to one’s own parents, it is incumbent
for Muslims to show similar respect and kindness to parents of even our friends
and friends of our parents. Abdullah bin Umar, in consonance with Allah’s
apostle’s statement that the finest act of goodness on the part of a son is to
treat kindly the loved ones of his father, was always gracious towards the
friends of Hazrat Umar bin Khattab.
In verse 15 of Surah Ahqaf, the stature of the
mother is recognized.
We have enjoined on man, kindness to his
parents; in pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give birth to
him.” (XLVI: 15)
when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, “O
my lord, grant me that I may be grateful for thy favour, which thou hast
bestowed upon me and upon both my parents and that I may work righteousness”
(XLVI : 15).
Abu Huraira has reported that a person asked,
“Allah’s messenger, who amongst the people is the most deserving of my good
treatment? He said: your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then
your father, then your relatives according to the order of nearness.” In Sahih
Muslim, it is reported (6814), Abdullah Bin Amar said that a person came to
Allah’s apostle (Pbuh) and sought permission to participate in jihad, where
upon, the prophet said: you should put in your best efforts in their service”.
In Surah Luqman, verse 14, Allah says,
“show gratitude to me and thy parents; to me
thy final Goal.” (XXXI:14).
children, whose parents are living- Allah Subhanahu Taala offers them an
opportunity to be of gracious service to them. Allah exhorts in the same verse
to show gratitude to Him and parents, Oh! What stature parents have! Imagine a
society that respects, loves and shows gratitude to parents, it is inevitable
that such offsprings will usher peace, tolerance, equity and justice in their
system. O Muslims, never say ‘fie’ to parents, fear Allah. Gratitude to parents
must manifest itself in the quality of service, children need to perform.
Ingratitude as a trait of character, invokes the anger and displeasure of
Almighty Allah. Unfortunately human history is replete with tales of
ingratitude. “Blow, Blow thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind, as man’s
Aziz is a senior banker with interest in Religion.
Source; The Pak Observer