Short Answer: Recognition and respect of parents is mentioned in the Quran eleven times; every time Allah reminds children to recognize and to appreciate the parental love and care they have received. The Prophet pbuh declared disobedience to parents to be a major sin, second only to ascribing partners to Allah. Whenever a dispute arises it should be viewed as an opportunity to bring the family closer together. Shaytan is doing his best to cause problems. Do not do the work for Shaytan and prolong the issue. Try to resolve it. Analyse it from all angles and see what is the best solution, then all agree to implement that solution. There should be no disrespect involved. Forgive and forget if there is no other resolution. Remember Allah has told us, Forgive others that you might be forgiven.
Thank you for this question. There are major issues involved. Today, children question everything, there seems to be no limits. Respect has all but disappeared. The question of disrespecting parents is very serious indeed. Muslims should respect their parents every single day throughout each year, even if they are senile, Allah tells us:.
Parents in the Quran
“Your Lord had decreed, that you worship none save Him, and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with you, say not “Fie” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both, as they did care for me when I was young.” [Quran 17:23-24]
Recognition and respect of parents is mentioned in the Quran eleven times; every time Allah reminds children to recognize and to appreciate the parental love and care they have received. Allah demands children recognize their parents:
“We have enjoined on humankind kindness to parents.” [Quran 29:8 and 46:15]
This is more emphatic when Allah says:
“And (remember) when We made a covenant with the children of Israel, (saying): worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents…” [Quran 2:83]
“And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) Kindness unto parents… “[Quran 4:36]
“Say: Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord has made a sacred duty for you; that you ascribe nothing as partner unto Him and that you do good to parents…”
The Prophet pbuh declared disobedience to parents to be a major sin, second only to ascribing partners to Allah.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim report his saying,
‘Shall I not inform you about the three major sins?’ Those who were present replied, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said ‘Associating partners with Allah and disobedience to parents,’ and sitting up from the reclining position, he continued, ‘and telling lies and false testimony; beware of it.’
Mothers are to be given even more respect than fathers. We can understand this by realising the pregnancy, birth and the weaning period of babies a mother endures.
Abu Hurairah r.a. narrates:
A man came to the Prophet pbuh and asked, ‘Who is to be close to my friendship?’ The Prophet pbuh answered: Your mother, your mother, your mother, then your father, then the one closest to your kinship, and the one after.
Only if parents coerce their children against Islam, can the children not obey them. but they are still to be good to them. In this regard, Allah says in Surah Luqman:
“And We have enjoined upon man concerning his parents, his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years–Give thanks unto Me and unto your parents. Unto Me is the journeying. But if they strive with you to make you ascribe unto Me as partner that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Consort with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who repents unto Me. Then unto Me will you return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.–“ [Quran 31:14-15]
Even the child and his wealth are considered to be the property of the parents. The Prophet pbuh said: Aisha raa narrated:
A person came to the Prophet pbuh to resolve his dispute with his father regarding a loan given to the father. The Prophet pbuh replied, “You and your wealth are to your father.”
Even in the best and most loving of families, there will be disputes. Handling the resolution makes the difference, If a family dispute arises and topic widens to include parents, the issue must be treated seriously, as explained previously.
There may be outstanding issues which are continually raised? Try to resolve them. One approach is to sit quietly with the people concerned and see if they are prepared to discuss the issue and reach a conclusion. If they are fine, do so. If not, are they willing to let it go and not refer to it again?
Also, the Prophet pbuh not only prohibited insulting or cursing one’s parents but declared it to be a major sin. He said,
‘Among the major sins is a man’s cursing his parents.’ The people who were present wondered how a sane and believing individual could curse his own parents, and enquired, ‘How is it possible for a man to curse his own parents?’ The Prophet pbuh replied, ‘He insults another man’s father, and then the other insults his father, and he insults the other’s mother, and the other returns the insult to his mother.’ (Agreed upon) [I pray this is never the situation.]
Conflict cannot be avoided. All we can do is to try to understand the issues and resolve them. Rather than seeing the situation from our own perspective only, we look at it from the other person’s view, and then we step outside the box and look at the problem as an outsider – a third view if you like. The deeper one looks into all aspects of the problem the greater the chance of resolution.
When an argument starts and voices are being raised it is opportune to say, Send Blessings on the Prophet pbuh. Remember Shaytan is present. If one person starts, others will join in and the participants calm down, only then can the discussion continue in a more convivial atmosphere.
Disputes will arise within the family etc. However, disrespect to parents is a major sin as the Prophet pbuh has told us. This must be avoided at all times.
Whenever a dispute arises it should be viewed as an opportunity to bring the family closer together. Shaytan is doing his best to cause problems. Do not do the work for Shaytan and prolong the issue. Try to resolve it. Analyse it from all angles and see what is the best solution, then all agree to implement that solution. There should be no disrespect involved. Forgive and forget if there is no other resolution. Remember Allah has told us, Forgive others that you might be forgiven.
“ Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” ~ [Quran 24:22]
Let us ask Allah to help us to be good to our parents at all times; and to keep us away from being disrespectful to them, and to all whom we love, for the sake of Allah.
O Allah! Help us to be the first among us to admit we are wrong, Amin.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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