Honouring Our Parents: Are We Diligent Enough?

Elderly Muslim Woman
Yaşlılarımıza saygıda kusur etmeyelim. Fotoğraf: © Roza Ivanova-Dreamstime.com

One of the things that we overlook very often is deference to our parents. The Holy Quran makes it very clear that honouring our parents is one of the chief virtues and dues of a Muslim. In fact, Allah holds kindness and obedience to parents in such high priority that He directly links gratitude to them with gratitude to Him: “And We have enjoined upon man care for his parents. His mother carried him, increasing her in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the final destination.” (31:14)

Most of us diligently abide by this rule and sincerely believe that we have ticked off the ‘respect of parents’ box. However are we sure that we are covering all the aspects which the Holy Quran and the Messenger of Allah have included in this notion? It might be worthwhile to do a short check-list.

1) Be obedient

2) Be kind

3) Do not raise your voice

4) Do not backbite them

5) Show humility

6) Do not forget them after their death

One will say, alright, this is fine but what if I am forced to raise my voice? Forced to disobey? Forced to be rude? Just because my parents are not getting it. Just because they are stubborn, they don’t what to step into my shoes, they don’t want to understand that life changes and so must our views of it. Well, you may have a point, but mind you, Allah thinks differently. He does not want to hear any of your reasoning. He simply forbids you to raise your voice. Go ahead and raise it to your parents if you want a sin on your list of felonies which will be very hard to eradicate. “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age while with you, say not to them so much as, “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” (17:23)

There is no excuse for disobedience and disrespect. None whatsoever. Accept it plainly and try to come to terms with it. You won’t find anything in the Holy Quran or Hadith that will make allowances to your circumstances. You are the one who must adjust, not your parents. This may seem unfair, but this is the Will of Allah and with Allah everything He does is fair.

Now let us ask ourselves the main question: are we diligent enough in showing our respect to our parents? Do we remember to talk to them often? To visit them? The give them gifts? To ask their advice? To be kind and obedient in their presence? To be dutiful and remembering upon their passing away? I am sure

we do. We do pay homage and respect to our parents out of the goodness of our hearts and out of remembrance that Allah ordains this to be one of the first and greatest duties of man to be respectful to his parents, a duty which your own children shall defer to as well, a duty upon which this world has its firm foundation.