They devoted their life to us. Parents! They are a treasure from heaven, angels in the form of human beings who spread their wings of mercy over their children. God strongly demands that believers respect their parents and honor them. In this article, we will take a look at the following topics:
Pillars of the Quranic Teaching on How to Respect Parents.
Respect for parents is the pillar of humanity, so the Quran focuses on it and strongly recommends respecting them. Here on Qurankids.co, we try to classify and explain the teachings of the Quran on respect for parents.
１- Treat your parents well
God first commands that we must worship Him but immediately follows by commanding us to treat our parents well. This shows how essential proper behavior toward parents is that it is the first command after the command to worship God.
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ
And your Lord commanded that you should worship Him alone and be kind with your parents. (17:23)
Other verses of the Quran also emphasize the importance of parents in the Quran. For example, in verse 36 of surah An-Nisa, God commands us not to ascribe a partner to Him. He then commands us to worship Him and then commands us to show good behavior toward our parents. This demonstrates the importance of parents in the Quran.
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا
And worship God and ascribe no partner to Him. And behave kindly towards [your] parents, relatives, orphans, the needy, your near neighbors, colleagues, far neighbors [strangers], travelers, and your slaves. Indeed, God does not like an arrogant who boasts. (4:36)
2- Do not say the slightest annoying word to your parents
We’re not just commanded to treat our parents well, rather God commands us to be careful not to even annoy them — under any condition. And we must treat them very kindly.
We must address them with sensible words, not push them away, nor say even the slightest annoying words to them.
إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
If one of them or both of them reach old age, do not say them [even] the slightest annoying word and do not drive them away, and speak them with noble words. (17:23)
Respecting Parents Is a Universal Law
Respecting parents is a universal law among all the people of the world and in all divine religions. God commanded the children of Israel to treat their parents well. Surprisingly, similar to Islam, He commanded the children of Israel to avoid ascribing a partner to Him. He commanded them to treat their parents politely.
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مُّعْرِضُونَ
And when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, “Worship no one but God alone, behave kindly with [your] parents, relatives, orphans and the poor, and perform the prayer, and give the zakāt” then you turned away, but a few people, and you disregarded. (2:83)
The Mother Is More Important
The Quran exclusively emphasizes the role and significance of the mother in a child’s life, praising her for the difficulties she endures during her life. According to the Prophet of Islam (s), heaven is gained through respecting parents, including the mother. His holiness has said, “Heaven is under the feet of mothers.” A narration from the Prophet (s) in this regard reads:
وَ فِي اَلْحَدِيثِ: أَنَّ رَجُلاً سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ آلِهِ مَنْ أَحَقُّ اَلنَّاسِ بِبِرِّي يَا رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ فَقَالَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ أُمُّكَ فَقَالَ ثُمَّ مَنْ قَالَ أُمُّكَ قَالَ ثُمَّ مَنْ قَالَ أُمُّكَ قَالَ ثُمَّ مَنْ قَالَ أَبُوكَ
A man asked the Prophet (s) which one of his parents he must respect more? The Prophet (s) responded, “Your mother.” He asked, “Who after her?” The Prophet (s) said, “Then your mother.” Once again the man asked, “Who after her?” The Prophet (s) responded, “Then your mother.” The man asked again, “Who after her,” to which the Prophet (s) finally responded, “Your father.”
This shows that one’s mother holds a higher position to be respected. This is not surprising given all the trouble and difficulty she goes through for her children. God advises that people respect their parents, including their mother, who carried and bore them in a difficult situation, and greatly suffered thirty months after their birth.
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا ۖ وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا ۚ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ إِنِّي تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
And We provided mankind with a piece of advice to treat his parents with kindness and [to remember that] his mother carried and bore him in a difficult situation, and his gestation and weaning is thirty [difficult] months [for his mother]. Until he grows and reaches forty years and says, “O my Lord! Inspire me to give thanks for the blessings you bestowed on me and my parents and perform good deeds that you are pleased with. Make my progeny righteous for me. Indeed, I turn to you repentant, and I am of the submissive [servants].” (46:15)
Not Just Kind: Be Humbly Kind
Humility is a sign of respect and is vital in worshipping God. Through humility, we can attain God’s pleasure and obtain His mercy. Parents deserve our humility too. With humility, we demonstrate the respect we consider for them, delivering the satisfaction and calm they deserve for their endeavors in raising us the best they could. Humility indicates our acknowledgment of their position and honor. God gives two commands for the believers in Surah Isra:
First, He commands us to be humbly kind to our parents and that our mercy and kindness should embrace them. Second, He commands us to pray for them.
God is grateful and loves grateful people; He commands the believers to pray for their parents and ask God to “show them mercy, as they raised me [with mercy] when I was small.”
وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
Extend the wings of humility with mercy over them and say, “O God! Show mercy on both of them as they raised me when I was small.” (17:24)
The Quran Kids Course Teaches Respect for Parents
Respecting parents is not only one of the teachings of Islam but also an Islamic life skill that children must learn. Having kids watch educational videos and content that teach such a life skill is absolutely essential. The Quran Kids course that we have designed teaches this Quranic life skill to kids through an entertaining puppet show. Enroll your kids in this course now by downloading the Quran Kids app.
We discussed respect for parents according to the teachings of the Quran in this Qurankids.co article. To sum up, we should remember:
– God commands us in the Quran to worship Him and immediately orders us to treat our parents well. The important thing is that God commands the believers to honor and respect their parents right after commanding them to worship Him, emphasizing the importance of respecting parents.
– Furthermore, the Quran doesn’t stop at simply “respecting parents”; we are commanded to be careful not to annoy them under any condition, even in the slightest way.
– Respecting parents is not only a teaching in the Quran; it is universal among all people and all divine religions. For instance, God (SWT) commanded the Children of Israel to treat their parents well. Surprisingly, He commanded them to avoid ascribing a partner to Him and then immediately commanded them to treat their parents politely.
– We can learn two crucial teachings from verse 24 of Surah Isra: First, God commands us to be humbly kind to our parents — notice the word “humbly” here — and embrace them with our mercy and kindness. Second, He commands us to pray for them. God commands the believers to pray for their parents and ask God to “show them mercy, as they raised me [with mercy] when I was small.”