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Gratitude to Parents

Gratitude to Parents

“…Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.” (31:14)

After being grateful to Allah, Muslims are obliged to be grateful to their parents. They are one of the greatest blessings given to us by Allah. At the same time, they are a means of fulfillment of our daily needs. Imagine a day without mom; when you have to get up by yourself, get ready for school, make breakfast, you have to pack your lunch box, and when you return home you have to do the dishes, clothes, etc. Imagine a month without dad; where you have to get a job to sustain your family, provide shelter and food for them, where you have to do the shopping and the millions of other jobs on the list.

Over-protectiveness and the questioning of our parents is often viewed as a nuisance by us. However, we must realize that their limitless care for us is the cause of such behavior. They care for us more than we can imagine; they raise us, look after us and tend to our needs. Parents are the only one who will be there in times of both grief and happiness. No matter how upset or angry you are with your parents, when you look in the mirror you have your father’s mouth, and mother’s eyes, and on your face they are still together.

Think of the time when you’ve done something your parents want you to complete before they arrive home. Think of the smile that spread across their face, the love that was evident in their eyes, and the bonus they gave you when they saw it done. Parents’ happiness stems from the child’s obedience.

We all must be aware of the hadith of the Prophet (ﷺ), where the three men trapped in the cave made du’aa to Allah by means of their good deeds and Allah made the rock shift. One person’s deed was his respect and love towards his parents; narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar; I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "Three men from among those who were before you, set out together till they reached a cave at night and entered it. A big rock rolled down the mountain and closed the mouth of the cave. They said (to each other), Nothing can save you from this rock but to invoke Allah by giving referenda to a righteous deed which you have done (for Allah's sake only).' So, one of them said, 'O Allah! I had old parents and I never provided my family (wife, children etc.) with milk before them. One day, by chance I was delayed, and I came late (at night) while they had slept. I milked the sheep for them and took the milk to them, but I found them sleeping. I disliked to provide my family with the milk before them. I waited for them and the bowl of milk was in my hand and I kept on waiting for them to get up till the day dawned. Then they got up and drank the milk. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from our critical situation caused by this rock.' So, the rock shifted a little…” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2272)

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” (Surah al-Isra: 23)

Abu Hurayrah reported that a person asked, “Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He replied: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness).” (Sahih Muslim 2548)

We can only be thankful once we truly appreciate their efforts, and mothers top the list of round-the-clock work. Our mothers carried us for nine months, often enduring pain and hardship.

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years...” (Surah al-Luqman: 14)

Our mothers tended to us when we were sick, stayed up late at night to ensure we were well and healthy; they prepared our food, fed us and sacrificed their time and efforts in raising us as Muwahideen. Our fathers ensured we had a roof over our head, food to fill our bellies, they clothed us and protected us when we were most vulnerable. Our parents instilled in us the beauty of islam, they were our first teachers and educators, in all aspects of life. It is no wonder that it is our duty to respect them, to uphold their rights, and take care of them when they reach old age. The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzî (d. 1201CE) explained, “to be kind to one's parents is: to obey them when they order you to do something, unless it is something which Allah has forbidden; to give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship; to abstain from that which they forbid you to do; to provide for them; to serve them; to approach them with gentle humility and mercy; not to raise your voice in front of them; nor to fix your glance on them; nor to call them by their names; and to be patient with them.” (Birr al-Wâlidayn)

May Allah reward our parents abundantly and make us of those who are grateful to them and to Him (Azza wa jal).
  • July 16, 2014
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