When you think about it, the parents and the child start off as strangers. But even before knowing our own children we already love them, and they love us. Then we grow and learn from each other.
Imagine walking into someone else’s home, but they share it with you. And they pay for your basic needs. They prioritize you over themselves for their whole life. You would feel so much debt to this person, and be amazed at how they could do such a thing. You would never think ill of them, or harm them no matter what they did after. The harm they do, could never erase all the good they did prior.
So what about our real parents who do the same? How can we be so arrogant and disrespectful. May Allah forgive us, and guide us to what is better.
Nobody chooses their own parents. Nobody chooses their own children. It is Allah who has chosen. We are a test for them, and they are a test for us. We must treat them with respect and obedience, and they are to be merciful and care for us. Sometimes we make mistakes and forget. So let us remind ourselves how great and amazing our parents are.
They pay for our needs. They spend hours cooking our food. They use their own money that they work hard for to buy us clothes. They give us a room to sleep in. They give us toys, games, books to enjoy. When we are upset they comfort us. When we are lost they guide us. They love us no matter what.
They taught us how to speak. How to eat. How to walk. To share. To love. To be kind and gentle. How to live our lives as proper human beings and as proper Muslims.
For all the good our parents showed us, there is much good we must give them in turn, such as: obeying them, respecting them, praying for them, speaking softly and gently with them, smiling at them, not showing displeasure towards them, striving to serve them, fulfilling their wishes, consulting them, listening to what they say, not being stubborn towards them and respecting their friends both during their lifetime and after they have died.
This is our duty towards them. Allah Has placed the respect for the parents just one step below the belief in Allah and true worship of Him. We are obliged to try to pay back the kindness they showed us, even though we can never do that. We might see them as being strong and capable, because that’s how we’ve seen them our whole lives, but a time will come when they become old and weak. At this time is when they are most in need of our kindness. Allaah says:
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا ﴿٢٣﴾ وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
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. (23) And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (17:23-24)
Sometimes our parents might say something that really bothers us from time to time. Whether it’s about our friends, or school, or spending too much time playing, about our spouses and so on. We as their children cannot react negatively to it. They will definitely say things that bother us, and we will do the same to them even though we might try not to. It is a test from Allah. At these times we have to hold our tongues, swallow our anger and be patient. Think of all the kindness they did for us, and the commands of Allah.
I ask Allah to accept our humble prayers and make us obedient slaves of Him. I ask Allah to help us to be respectful children to our parents. I ask Allah to give our parents mercy, because they gave us mercy when we were small.
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