“But my Mom is the person who gets on my nerves the most”, says a sister in a religious gathering. The statement was made after she was reminded of the virtues of treating parents kindly.
It seems that sometimes when people become ‘religious’, ‘practicing’ or acquire more knowledge of the deen, they start looking down upon their parents, become arrogant or in disagreement with them.
Have you noticed that before?
For some reason, children feel superior or get fed up easily when they notice that they have become more practicing than their own parents.
The problem here is that, in Islam, we’re not really ‘practicing’ if we’re treating our parents in a manner that is less than excellent.
As a matter of fact, Allah informed us that anything less than an excellent treatment of parents is considered among the major prohibitions and major sins.
“Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, excellence, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” [Qur’an: Chapter 6: Verse 151]
You can listen to this interesting -and rather alarming- tafseer of this verse here below.
Now, there are several issues for us to be reminded of.
First, why do we practice the religion in the first place? To earn Allah’s pleasure and enter into Jannah. Right?
Well, the hadith says:
“The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The anger of the Lord lies in the anger of the parent.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]
Another hadith says:
“A parent is the best of the gates of Jannah; so if you wish, keep to the gate, or lose it.” [At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah ].
We may be memorizing the Qur’an, attending religious gatherings, giving lectures here and there… but if our relationship with our parents is not excellent, then we’re committing a major sin. Major sins result in lack of barakah, lack of inner peace and lack of productivity.
Some might think, “Well, I’m serving the deen and doing some major work for the ummah. But, I don’t have time for my parents.”
Well in this case, we remember the following hadith:
‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar narrated ‘A man came to the Messenger of Allah asking his permission to go out for Jihad. The Messenger of Allah asked him, “Are your parents alive?” He replied, ‘Yes.’ The Messenger of Allah then said to him, “Then your Jihad would be with them (i.e. in looking after them and being at their service.).” [Agreed upon]
But, some of our brothers and sisters might be dealing with parents who are not Muslims and/or forcing them to act disobediently towards Allah .
In this case, Allah still says:
“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. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.” [Qur’an: Chapter 31: Verses 14-15]
So, Allah still orders kindness towards them.
I remember listening to one of my favorite sheikhs saying that when he was unable to memorize the Qur’an, his teacher told him to go and show kindness towards his mother (even though she is not a Muslim). When he did that and he accompanied her graciously, he was then able to accomplish more of his studies and memorization.
We can see here how good treatment of parents leads to the pleasure of Allah and, accordingly, His barakah that results in our overall productivity.
So, what do you think: can parents really influence our productivity?
What do you think are the best ways to prioritize, show kindness and excellence towards parents?
Do you have productivity tips to maintain ties with your parents? Any creative ideas to keep them pleased and solve disputes/disagreements when they occur?
Share with us your experiences in the comments section.