In Islam it is obligatory for us to show kindness, obedience and most importantly, respect to our parents. The position of parents, and the mutual obligations and responsibilities, have been addressed in Islam in great detail.
Abu Umama (radi Allahu anhu) narrates that a man enquired from the Prophet (saw): “O Rasul Allah (saw)! What are the rights of parents over their offspring?” The Prophet replied: “Your entry into Paradise or Hell depends on your good or bad conduct towards your parents.” [Ibn Majah]
This Hadith clearly shows the reward for treating parents with the respect they deserve. Sadly, we are living in an era where children speak disrespectfully to and about their parents. It is the norm rather than the exception. However Islam places great emphasis on respectful and considerate behaviour to even our enemies. So, not upholding the obligations laid down by Allah to our parents is one of the major sins. Therefore, if we treat our parents well, Allah will open the gates of Paradise for us. Fail to do so however, the gates of Hell will be opened we will be consigned to serve as fuel for it.
The following is the advice that Abdullah bin Umar R.A gave to Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) regarding how he should treat his parents: “If you talk to them in a polite manner and look after their needs and feed them well, you will certainly be admitted to Paradise provided you abstain from major sins.” [Al-Adab-ul Mufrad]
Another example can be taken from Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) who once saw two men. He asked one of them, “What is your relationship with the other man?” The man replied, “He is my father.” Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) thereupon advised him, “Look, never call him by his name, walk ahead of him, or sit before he takes his seat.” [Al-Adab-ul Mufrad]
It should be obvious from our demeanour who the parent is and who the child is. It is clear from this example that it is not just their material needs of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine that we need to be mindful of. We also need to show our parents respect and consideration in every deed. We should address them with titles of respect, and make sure that they are comfortable before we make ourselves comfortable.
At times we all fail to appreciate what we have. We can become easily angered or mistreat those we love. However, it is important for us to stop and think about the repercussions of this behaviour.
Something as simple as giving parents their due respect and love provides great reward, for Allah is all giving!
Ibn ‘Abbas said “If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him.” He was asked, “Even if they wrong him?” “Even if they wrong him” he replied.
So gain great blessings with the simple act of treating your loved ones with respect and shower them with love for the sake of Allah.