A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S) — By Imam Zijad Delic

Respecting Parents

Reported by Abu Hurairah (r) who said that a man came to God’s Messenger and said:

“O God’s Messenger: Who of mankind is most entitled to the best of my companionship?” He said: Your mother. Then who? He said: Your mother. He said: Then who? He said: Your mother. He said: Then who (for the forth time)? He (Muhammad saws) said: Your father.”

Source: Bukhari & Muslim

Transliteration: “Qala Rajul: Ya Rasulallah! Man Ahaqqu bihusni Sahabati? Qala: Ummuka. Qalaa; Thumma Man? Qala: Ummuka. Qala: Thumma Man? Qala: Ummuka. Qala: Thumma Man: Qala Abuka.”

Note: Societies evolve from this foundation of a family institution.

Even though Allah has assigned very high status to both parents – father and mother, He has elevated the status of the mother to the pinnacle of all human relationships.

The womb of the mother is the connecting point between our journey from non-existence to the world of life.

Matching His two supreme attributes Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim, He has called the womb of the mother, rahm.

That is why since the entrance to this world is through the parents, so is the entrance to the Eternal abode of peace and happiness through fulfillment of responsibility toward our parents, especially mothers.

Almighty God says in the Qur’an:

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you show kindness to parents.

And if one of them or both of them attain old age with you, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.

And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” (Al Isra’ 23, 24)

As we can understand from this verse, God has asked human beings to recognize their parents after recognizing Almighty God, Himself.

Thus, the greatest right over humanity is that of Almighty God. Belief in Him and obedience to His rules are the first and foremost responsibilities that believers have towards Him.

After these are the responsibilities of domestic life and the first one is Ihsan to the parents.

God Almighty mentions parents in the Qur’an along with His name on eleven ocassions and in every instance, God reminds children to recognize and to appreciate the love and care they have received from their parents, especially when the parents reach the old age.

These rights of parents are from the category of greatest rights – ‘a’zami huquq’.

God (SWT) demands from human beings kindness and respect, which is Fard ‘Ayn on every Muslim to the parents.

It is impossible to estimate the depth of attachment and compassion parents feel for their children, nor is it possible to calculate the troubles and hardships they go through as parents while bringing up their children.

For this and many other reasons, respecting them is a debt of human gratitude (social duty) as well as a religious obligation.

It is for this reason, and because of the enormous debt that an individual owes to his/her parents, that the Qur’an and Hadith have made it compulsory, indicating with clear guidelines as how to provide Ihsan to both parents …and mothers in particular.

May Allah grant long, happy and healthy life to our parents, if they are alive and if any of them have passed away, may God Almighty, the Merciful and the Kind give them the Gardens of Bliss! Allahumma Amin!