Islam always teaches children from a very early age to remain faithful and obedient to parents; this process enables the development of strong parent and child relationships through to adulthood. Should any situation arise when the behavior of one or both of the parents may become difficult, especially during old age, their children should never get offended and respond back rudely, nor express even the slightest bit of disgust or anger. Instead, the children should treat their parents with kindness and utmost respect; by doing so, not only will the children gain loving and affectionate prayers from their elderly parents, but they will also be reaping blessing by pleasing Allah for following his command. “And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood.” (Al-Quran) When my children reach adulthood, they become very aware that they can never fully repay the love and affection their parents gave them during childhood. The meaning of this verse is not that if someone cannot look after their parents, they can make it up by praying for them, it instead means that one must try their best to serve their parents to their utmost capacity and pray for them at the same time. This verse also indicates how elderly parents need to be looked after with such love and tender care, in the same way that young children are looked after when they are young. Regarding the status of mothers, the Prophet (SAW) said: “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother,” (Nasai). Regarding the status of fathers, the Prophet (SAW) said: “The father is the most central door of all doors of Paradise; it is up to you that you may lose it or protect it.” (Tirmizi) Hazrat Abu Huraira narrates: “Three times the Holy Prophet (SAW) declared, ‘May his nose bite the dust, may his nose bite the dust.’ (This is an Arabic phrase used to indicate that the person about whom one is talking has been disgraced and failed in his life).
Allah rewards parents by giving them a place with their families, not leaving them alone or abandoned in society. This is why Islam places great emphasis on the duties, rights and obligations not only on the relationship between a husband and wife and their relationship with their children as parents, but their relationship with their own parents too.
The companions enquired, ‘Messenger of Allah who is that person?’ The Prophet (SAW) indicated in response that he is the one who found his parents in old age and failed to earn paradise by treating them with utmost kindness.” (Sahi Muslim) Islam recognizes the innumerable favors, sacrifices and hard work by parents to provide for their children’s physical, emotional and financial needs in the best possible way. In return, Allah rewards parents by giving them a place with their families, not leaving them alone or abandoned in society. This is why Islam places great emphasis on the duties, rights and obligations not only on the relationship between a husband and wife and their relationship with their children as parents, but their relationship with their own parents too. In this way, life can be made blissful and rewarding for children, their parents, grandparents and grandchildren and future generations too. Islam also teaches that parents should treat their children with respect too. Hazrat Anas bin Malik narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Respect your children and cultivate in them the best of manners.” (Ibn Majah). Respect and love your parents. Treat them well, as our parents were patient when we were young. It is now our turn to be polite and patient during their old age.