“Ali, please come downstairs and eat”, calls Haleema, his mother, for the third time. “In a minute MUM, I’m busy, you’re so difficult.. gosh.. just leave me alone!” followed with a loud slam of the door.
How many of us are guilty of this? It may not be the exact same words, but in some way we have all disrespected our parents, which they certainly do not deserve. Today’s youth have lost respect for their parents who worked so hard to raise them. It has become the “norm” to scream at our mothers. We make derogatory remarks and sometimes pretend like we cannot hear what they’re saying.
Just take a second to step back and reflect: the one who taught you how to walk, eat, speak – you consciously CHOOSE to ignore her?
Yet a mother’s unconditional love is like no other. No matter what her daughter or son says, she will call again. Do you know why? Not because she’s your enemy and out to “get you” or because she’s purposely trying to annoy you. It’s because she genuinely cares. She cares a whole lot, more than anyone will ever care.
When you were younger, she went hungry so you could have a full stomach. She didn’t buy anything for herself so she could spend on your toys, just to see you smile. She nursed you when you were ill, she took every blame for you to hide your faults. So why do you suddenly act like YOU are doing HER a favour by just standing in her existence? Seriously, are you for real?
Paradise is at the Feet of Mothers
You should instead be treating her like a queen and “kiss the very ground she walks on” for all the favours she’s done for you.
Subhan Allah – I don’t want to sugarcoat the reality because I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes, so don’t take offence to what I say. Unfortunately the truth is more bitter than it’s ever been. I’ve witnessed it – the endless worry and care of mothers for their children and the children’s utter disrespect and disregard for their mothers because, “It’s different now!” and “Ugh, you’ll never understand me”.
Why? Because they were never young so they obviously won’t “get you”?
This injustice is done not only to mothers but fathers too. Sometimes children become so arrogant and enveloped in their selfishness that when their parents speak to them in their native language they cleverly reply with English slang terms in attempt to humiliate their parents. I ask you today to contemplate on this. With the high status Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has given to our parents, do we even pay them an ounce of the value they are worthy of?
Here’s What You Need to Stop Doing
- Stop raising your voice
“Say not to them [so much as], ‘uff,’” [Qur'an: Chapter 17, Verse 23]. What a profound statement from the Qur’an. We should not even sigh heavily, let alone raise our voices. When your parents raise their voice at you, 9 out of 10 times they have a very good reason to do so. Don’t let shaytan fuel your anger and ego, causing you to react totally inappropriately. Stop, listen, agree and apologise – thereafter rectify your mistake, even if you think you’re right and they’re being unjust.
- Stop ignoring them
So you’re out with your friends and suddenly you see a call from “Home”. Automatically you dismiss the call. Why? Don’t want to disturb the good time you’re having with your friends, or are you embarrassed to speak to your mum and dad?Remember when you were five years old, and you decided to throw a tantrum in the middle of a supermarket? Don’t you think you embarrassed your mum then? She didn’t decide to abandon you, did she? Because at the end of the day, you’re her child and no matter what you do, she will never ever be embarrassed of you. You owe a hell of a lot to your parents.So pick up that call, and politely answer their questions. Better yet, call them a few times while you’re out. It won’t kill you – you have countless minutes to spend on your friends. So spare a few minutes on your parents and spare them imagining all sorts of horrific scenarios in their minds when you don’t pick up!
- Stop thinking you’re always right
This, for me, is one of the most loathed characteristics. Think about it logically – how much worldly experience do your parents have compared to you? Making sense yet? When discussing things with parents, remember never to reject their opinions. Believe it or not, they were young once and also made mistakes, probably the same mistake you’re about to make now, which is why they are advising against it.As the Romanian proverb goes, “Only the foolish learn from experience; the wise learn from the experience of others.” So take advantage of their knowledge, experience and wisdom that you haven’t developed yet. So next time, instead of rolling your eyes and saying, “Yeah yeah, whatever”, listen – really listen. Take it in and act upon it. You can thank them in the process too.
Here’s What You Need to Start Doing
- Start showing some gratitude
This follows on from my last point. It won’t harm you to express a word of gratitude once in a while. After all, they did clean your nappies. Parents have “bad” days too, they’re human too. And they need someone to brighten up their day at times. So be that ray of light at the end of a long day. Say “thank you”, make them smile, hug them, buy them a gift.Do this randomly and they’ll be so pleasantly surprised that the smile you put on their face won’t disappear for a long time. It’s not easy being a parent, and sometimes you think you’ve done it all wrong. By expressing some love, they’ll be reassured that they must have done something right for you to behave in such a way.
- Start going out of your way to please them
If anyone on earth deserves this, it’s them. Not your friends or even your spouse, it’s your parents. Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has granted them such a high position; how can you treat them any less? Offer to help out in any way possible. Do extra tasks, massage their feet, drive them around whenever they need, help with the cooking, anything and everything which you would never do for anyone else and have to make an extra effort to do – DO IT.
- Start making sincere dua for them
Every child knows that their parents mention them in every dua. Your parents wish nothing but well for you. They pray for your success. It’s time for you to replicate the favour. Pray for their wellbeing, pray for their forgiveness, pray for Jannah for them, and most importantly thank Allah (glorified and exalted be He) for them. Make this a habit in every salah. Before you mention yourself, mention them.
Make Your Parents Proud
Evidently these points are general and there are loads more that could be mentioned, but I’ve just listed the things I have personally observed to be an issue. At the end of the day, pleasing your parents will please Allah (glorified and exalted be He), there is no one on earth who deserves your mercy and compassion more than your parents.
Do them proud. If they’re happy, you’ll also be happy, and by treating them well you increase your good deeds. Lastly, never ever disrespect them. On that note, I leave you with this verse from the Qur’an:
“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,’ [i.e., an expression of irritation or disapproval] and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. 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.’” [Qur'an: Chapter 17, Verses 23-24]
May Allah (glorified and exalted be He) allow us to be kind, compassionate and caring towards our parents and earn their love, not their anger.
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
About the Author:
A 23-year-old IT consultant by profession but a “Striving Muslimah” by heart. Currently undergoing a career change, Striving Muslimah is pursuing primary teaching with children who are less able. She is an avid baker, a self confessed geek, and a firm believer in the proverb “wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference”.