Violating The Parents’ Rights

All religions and all societies have given parents an honorable status. From a purely material viewpoint, we find ourselves indebted to our parents. Our parents as a team provided for all our needs: physical, educational psychological, and in man; instances, religious, moral, and spiritual.

Our indebtedness to our parents is so immense that it is not possible to repay it fully. In lieu of this, it becomes obligatory for us to show the utmost kindness, respect, and obedience to our parents. The position of parents, and the mutual obligations and responsibilities, have been addressed in Islaam in great detail. The Qur'anic commandments , as well as the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) guide us in this matter. The parent-child code of behaviour in Islaam is unique, since the rules were laid down by Divine command.

The Protection of the Lineage

The child is an extension of his father and the bearer of his characteristics. During his lifetime he is the joy of his father's eyes, while after his death he represents a continuation of his existence and an embodiment of his immortality. Consequently, it is a denial of the right of one's father to bear someone else's name other than his. The Qur'an contains an emphatic instruction in this regard:

“Call them by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allaah." (Q33{Ahzab]:5)

Islaam forbids the child to claim a lineage other than his own, or to claim as father someone who is not his real father. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) listed this practice among the abominable evils deserving the curse of both the Creator and His creatures.

He said:

''The one who claims descent from someone other than his (real) father, and the slave who attaches himself to someone other than his (real) master, are cursed by Allaah. His angels and the people Allaah will accept neither repentance nor ransom from such a person on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari and Muslim)

He also said:

"If someone claims a person as his father with the knowledge that he is not his father the Garden will be forbidden to him." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Not to Be Disobeyed

It is the right of parents that their children should treat them with kindness, obedience, and honour. Devotion to parents is a natural instinct which must be strengthened by deliberate actions. The rights of the mother are stressed the more because of her suffering during pregnancy and childbirth, her suckling of the child, and her role in rearing it. In the words of Allaah:

“And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship." (Q46:15)

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) underscored the gravity of the anger of Allaah on the one who disobeys his parents:

"Allaah defers (the punishment of) all sins to the Day of Resurrection except disobedience to parents. for which Allah punishes the sinner in this life before his death. "(Hakim, on the authority of sound transmitters)

Not To Be Insulted

In addition to the foregoing, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) 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 (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) 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.' (Bukhari and Muslim.)

Right to scold and rebuke

It is instinctive obligation of parents to protect their children from physical and moral harm. If a small child puts its hand in fire, the natural urge is for you to push the child back, even if the child does not want. It is in child's interest. So it is with parents. They are duty bound to protect their children in every way, physical, intellectual, moral. Right to be looked after Parents have looked after the children for decades. So it is the duty of grown-up children to repay them by way of caring for them and looking to their physical and financial needs. As they grow old their energies also decline. So it is the duty of children to help their parents in any household chore in which they can help. With good children such help should come automatically, not when asked for. This is what Islam expects from children.

Right to kind words/good behaviour

Qur'an urges children to be soft-spoken towards parents and show respect and kindness in their behaviour towards parents.

As Muslims, we must adhere to Islamic values and show respect, obedience, kindness, leniency and care towards parents, especially in their old age. Children must not forget the favours and sacrifices of their parents. As good mannered persons they must feel and remain obliged towards parents and try to repay them by kind words and deeds, even with money and material needs.

Rights After Their Death

The following rights are due to parents after their death:

(a) Continue making duas of .forgiveness and mercy for them.

(b) Meet their friends and relatives in a friendly way and also assist them wherever possible.

(c) If you have the finances, fulfil their unpaid debts and the permissible bequests that they have made.

(d) When they pass away, abstain from crying and wailing aloud or else their souls will be troubled.

According to the Shariah, the rights of the paternal and maternal grandparents are similar to those of the parents and they should be regarded as such. Similarly, the rights of the maternal and paternal uncles and aunts are similar to those of the parents. This has been deduced from the hadeeth of Allaah's Messenger (sallallahualayhi wa sallam) that:

"The maternal aunt has the status of one's mother." (Tirmidhi)