What exactly is the decree on the rights of parents?

The Details of the Question

- I do not get on well very well with my parents and my mother says related to any minor issue that if I do not do what she wants, she will not pray for me and that I will not prosper and be happy at all. What should I do in that case?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It will be more appropriate for you to say, “I try to fulfill their halal requests as much as I can and win their hearts” instead of saying “I do not get on well very well with my parents.”

First of all, focus on what you do, how you do it, and what you should do. Do not focus on what your parents do or should do and on their duties. Accordingly:

- Fulfill their halal requests.

- Try to win their hearts and please their hearts.

- Treat them with compassion, respect and mercy.

- Never be offensive in terms of attitude and words; be their shelter and win a place in their hearts.

- If they ask for something you cannot do, explain it to them kindly and softly.

- If your explanation is likely to hurt them, keep silent.

- Never obey if they ask for something bad, but do not respond; keep silent.

- Pray for them frequently.

- Pay great attention to the rights of Allah and the rights of the people.

- Do not complain about your parents except when asking questions, etc.

Remember the criteria above often and try to read and apply from time to time the other information we will give:

It is Fard to Fulfill the Halal Requests of the Parents

It is seen that the issue of respect for parents is most widely dealt with verses 23, 24 and 25 of the chapter of al-Isra in the Quran. It is stated in those verses that it is fard to do good to parents after worshipping Allah.

It is mentioned in tafsir books that goodness (ihsan) in those verses is unconditional, and it is concluded that it is necessary to obey the parents regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, virtuous or sinful (fasiq) people.

However, in the last verses and in verse 8 of the chapter of al-Ankabut and verse 15 verse of the chapter of Luqman, an exception is introduced in terms of obedience to parents: their effort and desire to turn their children away from Islam and to make them associate partners with Allah.

Acting upon both those verses and the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) “A person cannot be obeyed related to an issue that is considered as disobedience to Allah” (Bukhari, Ahkam, 4), moralists state that it is not permissible to fulfill the wishes of the parents that are clearly known to be haram but that it was necessary to fulfill their demands that are not religiously haram.

It is a sin to say even fie (uff) to parents

The following is stated in verse 23 of the chapter of al-Isra: “Do not say even ‘fie (uff)’ to them” as the simplest expression of disrespect toward parents. Scholars of tafsir and ethics state that this word, which expresses inner distress, covers all kinds of disrespect and disobedience.

In verse 24, parents are asked to be protected with an understanding of humility originating from the feeling of mercy and the following is stated: “Say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood’.”

It is significant that mercy is mentioned as the most fundamental reason for respect for parents, and hence the importance of the emotional bond between parents and children is emphasized. The feeling of mercy is the basis of the material and spiritual bond between children and their parents. Since Allah’s bounties and blessings depend on His mercy, asking Allah for mercy on parents means asking for all other divine favors.

The first topic that is dealt with in hadith collections related to ethics is the ethical duties toward parents. The issue is generally dealt with in two ways in those hadiths:

1) Doing Good to Parents and Obedience to them

In some hadiths, the importance of goodness and obedience to parents is emphasized with the concepts of “ihsan” and “birrul-walidayn”. As a matter of fact, in a hadith included in all hadith sources, the Prophet (pbuh) lists the most important deeds according to their value in the eye of Allah as “prayer (salah) performed on time, kindness to parents (birrul-walidayn) and jihad in the way of Allah“. ( see Bukhari, “Adab“, 1; Muslim, “Iman“, 137)

Besides, in a long hadith included by Bukhari and some other hadith scholars, it is seen that one of the primary good deeds that enable the prayers people to be accepted when they are in a difficult situation is respect and treats to parents. (see Bukhari, Adab, 5)

2) It is a sin to disobey parents

Some of the hadiths about moral duties toward parents are about the prohibition of disobedience to them and this disobedience is usually expressed with the concept “uquq”.

As a hadith and ethical term, uquq expresses negative feelings and behaviors such as disobedience, torture and insult that will hurt the heart of the parent, break the bond of love between the parent and the child, and is generally used as the opposite of “birr”. (see Ayni, XVIII, 121)

In one of his statements mentioned in all hadith sources, the Prophet (pbuh) lists the main religious-ethical evils known as “kabair” (major sins) as “associating partners with Allah, disobedience to parents and bearing false witness”. (Bukhari, Adab, 6; Muslim, Iman, 143, 144)

The Prophet (pbuh) also mentions the following:

- He states that Allah will postpone the penalty of many sins that He wills until the Day of Judgment, but that He will begin the punishment of those who disobey their parents in this world. (see Dhahabi, p. 44).
- and he also mentions the curses that parents make on their children among the requests that are not turned down by Allah. (see Bukhari, “Adab”, 5)

Rights of Parents

Islamic moralists state, as a rule, that the parents have the rights that all people and Muslims have mutually, related to the child, and they also list other special duties that must be fulfilled toward parents.

The main rights of parents are as follows:

- To try to meet the material and spiritual needs of the parents and to ensure that they lead a peaceful life,
- To give them things before they want,
- Not to expect excessive sacrifices from them,

- Not to complain about them,
- To hide their faults and to protect their reputation by talking about their kindness,
- To ignore their non-serious faults in terms of religion,
- To warn them without hurting them even in issues that are a religious necessity to warn,
- To pray for them when they are alive and after their death,
- To fulfill their desires that are not haram,
- To help them in their charity and worship,
and other ethical rules determined by the religion and ethics.

Another important issue included in the hadiths regarding the issue is the need to maintain the relationship with their friends after the death of the parents in order to keep their memories alive, which is a duty of loyalty and appreciation of the son and daughter.

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