Human Rights in Islam : The Rights of Parents

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The rights of parents include respect, love and obedience. This obedience is conditional in that it does not contradict obedience to the commands of God and His Messenger. It involves care and kindness to both parents, and provision of necessities for elder parents. Humility and respect to both parents equally is an obligation, and any arrogance or insolence is forbidden. Patience and perseverance are required when serving parents, no matter what the circumstances. God says in the Qur’an:

(And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them even the mildest word of disrespect, nor abuse them; and address them with kind words.) [17:23]

Patience and perseverance are required when serving parents, no matter what the circumstances.

The Messenger of God (pbuh) instructed us saying:

“God’s Pleasure (on someone) is based on the pleasure of his parents. The Wrath of God is based upon the anger of his parents.” (Tirmidthi, Hadith No. 1962)

Both parents are entitled to this right even if they are not Muslims, so long as they do not command their children to do any act of disobedience to God. Asmaa – the daughter of Abu Bakr – said: ‘My mother came to visit me while still not a Muslim. I asked God’s Prophet (pbuh) concerning her visit (and how to treat her while visiting me) and said, My mother is eager to visit with me. Should I (or should I not) extend my courtesy (as a host) to her? He (pbuh) said: “Yes, extend her your courtesy.” (Muslim, Hadith no. 1003)

The rights of parents include respect, love and obedience. This obedience is conditional in that it does not contradict obedience to the commands of Allah and His Messenger.

The mother must be given priority in terms of kindness, sympathy, good feelings, love and affection as mentioned by God’s Prophet (pbuh): “A man came to God’s Prophet (pbuh) and asked him, ‘O Prophet of God! Who is the most worthy and deserving person of my good treatment and companionship?

He (pbuh) replied, “Your mother.” The man asked, ‘who is next worthy person of my companionship?’ God’s Messenger replied, ‘your mother.’ The man asked ‘ who is next?’ God’s Messenger replied, ‘your mother’. The man asked ‘who is next?’ God’s Messenger replied, “your father.” And in another version there is the ending:“…your father, and then the next nearest and next nearest.” (Bukhari, Hadith no. 2227 and Muslim, Hadith no. 2584)

God’s Messenger (pbuh) assigned the mother with a three-fold portion of the right of companionship. The father, in comparison, receives only one share. This is due to the fact that mothers suffer more hardships during pregnancy and during the delivery and care of their children. God says in the Qur’an:

(And we have enjoined on man kindness to his parents. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship…) [46:15]

This in no way demeans the rights of the father, since the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“No son can repay (the right of his father) unless he finds him a slave, buys him and then emancipates him.” (Reported by Muslim no.1510)

Reference : Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sheha, Human Rights in Islam, Usool International Centre, Riyadh, ISBN: 978-603-90936-9-5

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