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Rights of Parents over Children In Islam

The favors that parents give to their children are uncountable and nothing else can be compared with. Parents look after their children for many years to make sure that they grow up well and good and succeed in both worlds. They provide love, food, protection, clothing, housing, education (both religious and worldly), and training with their children. The mother sacrifices her comforts and sleep to provide comfort to her children. The father works hard to provide for their physical, educational, and medical needs.

Hence, it is the Islamic duty of the children to repay their parents for their favors toward them when they grow up or become adults. They must repay their parents through helping, caring, and satisfying their physical and financial needs. The older children should also support their parents financially for raising the rest of the family specially the younger children who are still under the care of parents.

This obligation of adult children upon their parents is in effect while parents are still alive as well as after their death by supporting and taking care of parents while they are alive and praying for them after their death. The followings are the most important rights of parents over children:

 

  • The Right to Be Respectful and Kind to Parents: As rights of parents over them, the children must respect, honor, appreciate, and listen to their parents. They must speak to them kindly and softly avoiding all kinds of harsh words. They must treat their parents nicely and with kindness, give them company from loneliness, care and provide them with what they need, especially when they grow older and become dependent on their children for most of their needs, and pray Allah (S.W.T) to forgive them and have mercy upon them. Devotion to parents must be accompanied and strengthened with love and actions and not mere words.

          Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months…..” [Surat Al-Ahqaf, Verse: 15].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor reprimand them but address them in terms of honor.” “And lower onto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” [Surat Israa, Verses: 23 and 24].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) also says: “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years, give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is the final destination.” [.Surat Luqman, Verse 14].

Children are expected to be kind and respectful to their parents all the time to achieve the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah (S.W.T). Even if one of the child’s parents is non-Muslim, the same kindness and respect are due to that parent without affecting the child’s belief in Islam.

Abdullah Bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure, and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.” [Source of Hadith: Sunan At-Tirmidhi and Al-Adab Al-Mufrad].

Ka’ab Ibn Ujrah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us: “Come near to the Mimbar and we came near the Mimbar.” When The Prophet (P.B.U.H) climbed the first step of the Mimbar, he said: “Ameen.” When he climbed the second step, he said: “Ameen.” When he climbed the third step, he said: “Ameen.” When he came down, we asked: “O Messenger of Allah, we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.”

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “When I climbed the first step, Angel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) appeared before me and said:

“May Allah put him deeper in Hell who found the blessed Month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.” Upon that I said: “Ameen.”

“When I climbed the second step”, he said:

“May Allah put him deeper in Hell before whom your name is mentioned and then he does not make dua for Allah’s blessing on you (by saying: for example S.A.W).” Upon that I said: “Ameen.”

“When I climbed the third step”, he said:

“May Allah put him deeper into Hell whose lifetime his parents or either one of them reaches old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Paradise (Jannah).” Upon that I said: “Ameen too.” [Source of Hadith: Imam Hakeem and Imam Baihaqi].

 

  • Mother Is Entitled More RightsThan Father: In Islam, the mother is given priority in terms of love, kindness, attention, and support. Her rights are stressed more than the father’s rights because of the suffering and pain that mother goes through during pregnancy carrying the child in her womb for months, the painful days that mother goes through during labor (baby delivery) and in childbirth, the suckling of the child, and the role of looking after the child. Mother sacrifices her time, comforts, and sleep to provide comfort to her child worrying the well-being of the child, and to ensure that the child is all right. That is why mother deserves more good treatment than the father.

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she delivers him with hardship. And (the period of) his gestation and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months …..” [Surat Ahqaf, verse: 15].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) also says: “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years, give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is the final destination.” [.Surat Luqman, Verse 14].

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be be upon him) and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, who is the person who has the greatest right on me regarding to kindness and attention?” He (P.B.U.H) replied: “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied: “Your father.” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and others].

Mu’awiyah Bin Jahimah As-Sulami (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Jahimah came to the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad) and I have come to ask your advice.” The Prophet (P.B.U.H) asked: “Do you have a mother?” He said: “Yes.” He (P.B.U.H) said: “Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” [Source of Hadith: Sunan An-Nasa’i].

 

  • The Right to Be Obedient to parents: It is the duty of children to treat their parents with obedience and honor. It is an obligation on children to show humility and respect to their parents. Children must also show patience and perseverance when serving for parents and avoid arrogance toward them. The obedience of children to their parents must not confront or challenge the obedience to Allah (S.W.T) and the teachings of His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And We have enjoined upon man to be good to parents. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. To Me is your return, and I shall inform you about what you used to do.” [Surat Al-Ankabut, Verse: 8].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azara (Who was Mushrik): “Do you take idols as gods. Indeed, I see you and your people in manifest error.” “Thus, did we show Ibrahim the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty.” [Surat Al-An’Am, Verses: 74 and 75].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And mention in the Book, Ibrahim. Indeed, he was a man of truth, a Prophet.” “When he said to his father: ‘O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot benefit you in anything.” “O my father! Indeed, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not to you. So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.” “O my father! Worship not Satan. Indeed, Satan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.” “O my father! Indeed, I fear that a punishment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Satan.” (His father) said: “Have you no desire for my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist (stop from being hostile to our gods), I will surely stone you, so avoid me a prolonged time.” (Ibrahim) said: “Peace will be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me.” “And I will leave you and those you invoke other than Allah and will invoke my Lord. I expect that I will not be in invocation to my Lord unhappy.” [Surat Mariam, Verses: 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “And the request of forgiveness of Ibrahim for his father was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became apparent to
Ibrahim that his father was an enemy to Allah, he disassociated himself from him. Indeed was Ibrahim compassionate and patient.” [Surat At-Tawbah, Verse: 114].

Abu Bakrah Nufai Bin Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Should I inform you the greatest of the great sins?” They said: “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger! He (P.B.U.H) said: “To join others in worship with Allah and to be undutiful to one’s parents.” The Prophet (sat up after he had been reclining) and said: “And I warn you against giving a false witness, and he kept on saying that warning till we thought he would not stop.” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim].

Old age brings weaknesses and dependence to parents. At old age, parents are usually short tempered, forgetful, and quarrelsome due to deterioration of their health, illness, and side effects of medications etc. In this situation, it is the obligation of children to be compassionate and understanding to parents’ situation. Islam forbids that children show annoyance or anger or even raise their voice in front of their elderly parents.

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) Says: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be dutiful (good and kind) to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor reprimand them but address them in terms of honor.” “And lower onto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” [Surat Israa, Verses: 23 and 24].

Children should not say “Uff” to their parents, which is an expression that shows the greatest disrespect to parents. It is an expression of distaste to parents and Allah warns against it.

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “But he who says to his parents: ‘Uff to you! Do you promise me that I will be raised up (from the Earth) when generations before me have passed (into oblivion)’ while they invoke Allah for help (and to their son). “Woe to you! Believe! Indeed, the promise of Allah is true.’ But he says: ‘This is nothing but the legends of the ancient.’ They are those against whom the word (of torment) is justified among the previous generations of Jinn and mankind that have passed away. Indeed, they are ever the losers.” [Surat Al-Ahqaf, Verses: 17 and 18].

Some people, unfortunately, neglect their parents while they afford and capable of caring them well. They defy the rights that Allah (S.W.T) grants parents. They disobey and dislike their parents and even some of them cut off ties with them or throw them away into nursing homes, especially in the West. Such people face disastrous consequences in this world and in Hereafter for the negligence and mistreatment that they do to their parents.

On The Day of Judgment, Allah (S.W.T) will not be kind to those who throw away their parents into nursing homes because they believe they are nuisance to their life or they cannot have pleasures of life with the presence of the elderly parents. It is the dutiful obligation upon them to take care of their parents well in their hands until they depart from this world.

          Abdullah Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are three whom Allah will not look at on the Day of Resurrection: The one who disobeys his parents, the woman who imitates men in her outward appearance, and the cuckold (the man who allows his wife to engage in adultery or in prostitution (Ad-Dayooth).” [Source of Hadith: Sunan An-Nasa’i].

 

  • The Right to Support Parents Financially: As parents grow older, their physical strength decline, their energy fade, and finally they retire from work. In this situation, parents require unconditional support from their children for all necessary needs. Treating parents with honor requires providing them with all the living costs they need. So, it is the dutiful obligation of the children to help and provide their parents with what they need including food, clothes, home, medications etc. They also must help their parents with the housework such cleaning, arranging things, making beds, cooking and serving food, washing clothes. Children should give money or spend money on the welfare of their parents if they are capable of it.

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: “They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend. Say: “Whatever you spend of good must be for parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, and the wayfarer (traveler), and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well. [Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse: 215].

 

  • Parents Have Rights after Death: The rights that parents have upon their children are not limited to their life only but continue after their death as long as the children are alive. Many rights of parents come after the death of parents. Muslim parents have the right to have funeral prayers and decent burial. Children also ask Allah (S.W.T) for forgiveness and pardon for their deceased parents (as long as they are alive), pay the debts that parents owed, and fulfill the promises of their parents (expressed in their wills). Children also fast the non-fasted days of Ramadan for the deceased parents if they die in the middle of Ramadan, and even perform Hajj for aging parents and for deceased parents who vowed to perform Hajj before their death. The children also keep the bond of the kinship and friendship of their parents. The Prophets of Allah (Peace upon them) used to pray to Allah (S.W.T) for the forgiveness and pardon for their parents.

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says that Prophet Ibrahim said: “Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.” [Surat Ibrahim, Verse: 41].

Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says that Prophet Nuh said: “My Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and whoever enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And do not increase the wrongdoers except in destruction.” [Surat Nuh, Verse: 28]

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A woman came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “Allah’s obligation upon His slaves has become obligatory on my father in his old age. My father is very old and incapable of riding for the Hajj. May I perform Hajj on his behalf?” He (P.B.U.H) said: “Yes.” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim].

Al-Fadil Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he was riding behind the Messenger of Allah [Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when a man came and said: “O Messenger of Allah! My mother is an old woman (to go to the Hajj); if I put her on a mount (camel or horse), she cannot sit firmly, and if I tie her, I fear that I may kill her.” So, can I perform the Hajj for her? He (P.B.U.H) said: “Do you think that if your mother owed a debt, you would not pay it off for her?” He said: “Yes.” He (P.B.U.H) said: “Then perform Hajj on behalf of your mother.” [Source of Hadith: Sunan An-Nasa’i].

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: A woman from the tribe of Juhaina came to the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before performing it. May I perform Hajj on my mother’s behalf?” The Prophet (P.B.U.H) replied: “Perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? She said: “Yes”. So, pay Allah’s debt as He has more right to be paid.” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari].

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: A woman asked the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about her father who had died and he did not perform Hajj. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Perform Hajj on behalf of your father.” [Source of Hadith: Sunan An-Nasa’i].

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) narrated: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “Messenger of Allah! My mother has died before completing fasting in the Month of Ramadan that she had vowed to observe. Should I complete fasting on her behalf? There upon, The Holy Prophet said: Would you not pay the debt if your mother had died with debt? He said: “Yes.” He (P.B.U.H) said: The debt of Allah deserves more that it should be paid (that is to say: Complete the fasting for your mother).” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Muslim].

Abu Usayd Malik Bin Rabi’ah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were sitting with The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when a man of Banu Salamah came to him and asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Now that my parents are dead, is there any act of dutifulness left for me to do towards them? He (P.B.U.H) replied: “Yes, praying for their forgiveness, fulfilling their promises after their death, maintaining ties of kinship with those of your relatives with whom your kinship is established only through them, and honoring their friends.” [Source of Hadith: Sunan Abu Dawud and Sunan Ibn Majah].

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a person dies, his deeds are cut off except for three: Continuing charity, knowledge that others benefit from, and a righteous child who supplicates (prays) for the deceased parents.” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and other].

 

  • Children Give Charity for Deceased Parents: It is also the duty of children to give charity regularly (Sadaqah) on behalf of their deceased parents as one of the rights the parents have upon their children after their death. The purpose of charity from a child to his/her dead parents is to earn the deceased parent’s forgiveness and Paradise from Allah (S.W.T).

Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: A man came to Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “Allah’s Messenger, my mother died all of a sudden without making any will. I think if (she could have the opportunity) to speak, she would have made a sadaqa. Would there be any reward for her if I give charity on her behalf? He (P.B.U.H) said: Yes.” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim].

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man asked the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “My father has died leaving behind a wealth; but he did not bequeath anything (giving something as charity). Would it help him if I give charity (sadaqah) on his behalf?” He (P.B.U.H) replied, “Yes!” [Source of Hadith: Sahih Muslim, Imam Ahmad, and others].{END}

 

                               Piece taken from:

Islamic Golden book: Marriage, Family, And Sexual Ethics

Ibrahim G. Hassan [Author]

September 19, 2015

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