a believer gives thanks to allah when he considers the creation of his parents who have spent so much time and labour looking after him over the years since he first opened his eyes to this world. a person who lives according to the qur'an will always strive to be aware that allah created his parents and gave them his mercy and compassion and endowed them with love for their children. allah created a bond of love between parents and the children whom they bring up from helpless infancy until they are self-sufficient adults. in this bond of love, parents never tire of the pleasure of nurturing their children and seeing them grow. allah stresses the importance of family in human life:
we have instructed man concerning his parents. bearing him caused his mother great debility and the period of his weaning was two years: "give thanks to me and to your parents. i am your final destination." (surah luqman: 14)
our lord says in the qur'an that we ought to behave well towards our parents:
say: "come and i will recite to you what your lord has made unlawful for you": that you do not associate anything with him; that you are good to your parents… (surat al-an'am: 151)
we have instructed man to be good to his parents … (surat al-ahqaf: 15)
so, according to these verses, a believer will show regard for his parents and treat them with respect, nurture deep love for them, treat them pleasantly and try to win over their hearts with kind and wise words. again in the qur'an, allah shows us how we ought to be sensitive towards our parents:
your lord has decreed that you should worship none but him, and that you should show kindness to your parents. whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say "ugh!" to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity. (surat al-isra': 23)
in this verse, allah gives us the measure of mercy to be shown to parents. with the words "do not say 'ugh!' to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness" , allah has forbidden believers from committing the least act of disrespect towards them or neglect of them. for this reason, believers always act attentively towards their parents and with great respect and tolerance.
they will do everything possible to make them comfortable and will try not to be wanting in respect and attention. they will keep in mind the difficulties and anxieties of old age and will make every effort to supply their every need even before they mention it with compassionate understanding. they will do everything in their power to make sure they are comfortable and not in want, either spiritually or materially. and, no matter what happens, they will not stop regarding them with deep respect.
there is another situation that believers may encounter in their relationships with their parents. a person of faith may have parents who have chosen the way of godlessness. in the case of such a difference in faith, a believer will invite them with the same polite and respectful attitude to follow the right path. ibrahim (as)'s words to his idol-worshipping father show us the kind of approach we should use in such circumstances:
father, knowledge which never reached you has come to me, so follow me and i will guide you to the right path. father, do not worship shaytan. shaytan was disobedient to the all-merciful. father, i am afraid that a punishment from the all-merciful will afflict you, and turn you into a comrade of shaytan. (surah maryam: 43-44)
again, when some individuals see their parents growing old and losing their strength, they turn their backs on them when they need help and attention. it is not hard to see that such an attitude is widespread these days. we frequently encounter old people, who are in a very bad situation materially and spiritually, left to live in their houses alone. if we think about this situation we will see that the reason for this problem lies in not living according to the teachings of the qur'an.
someone who accepts the qur'an as his guide acts towards his parents, other family members and everyone around him with mercy and compassion. he will invite his relatives, friends and other acquaintances to live according to the teachings of the qur'an, because allah commands those with faith to start telling those close to them about islam:
warn your near relatives. (surat ash-shu'ara': 214)
there is always happiness and joy in a family that lives according to the teachings of the qur'an as manifest in the sunnah of the messenger, may allah bless him and grant him peace. the kind of shouting, arguments and disrespect we see in some disintegrating families today could never happen in a community of believers. in such a community, everyone takes great pleasure in being with his family. children treat their parents with respect and love them with all their heart. families regard children as trusts from allah and look after them. when we say the word "family", warmth, love, security and mutual support come to mind. but it is useful to point out again that this excellent state can only be reached through living faithfully and completely in islam and through having fear of and love for allah.