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Parents' Rights in Islam

Article translated to : العربية Español

parents are the couple after they had been endowed with children and became responsible for children and offspring for whose sake they sacrifice, spend long nights for their comfort and fulfill their rights as we have mentioned in previous articles.  

parents' rights on children

in the form of reciprocation, showing gratitude to the good things parents have done and treating them as kindly and mercifully as they deserve, islam put duties on children toward their parents, particularly when parents grow old and become weaker. allah commands people to be compassionate toward their parents, treat them kindly and mercifully and obey them exactly the same way the parents used to treat their little kids.     

on top of parents’ rights is obeying the parents and being compassionate toward the parents. behind allah, nobody else except the parents seems to be more compassionate and kind. due to its importance, allah when enjoins the duty of being kind and compassionate to their parents in the quran, this injunction always appears soon after the injunction to worship only one god. allah exalted he is says in the quran what means: {thy lord hath decreed that ye worship none but him, and that ye be kind to parents. whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. and, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "my lord! bestow on them thy mercy even as they cherished me in childhood} [the night journey: 23,24]   

muslims are ordered to show kindness and compassion to their parents and banned from making even the smallest gesture or uttering even the smallest word of reproach to them. no impatience, disrespect, or contempt may be shown to parents. allah praised humility only when it comes from children to their parents, but never praises humility among people one another. allah exalted he is says in the quran what means: { and, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility}.  

however, filial obedience becomes greater when the parents grow old, either one of them, and when the parents become physically and mentally weaker, which may lead to disability. allah commands muslims to address their parents in terms of honor and use a highly respectful and soft language as a sign of showing mercy and compassion to the parents, in addition to praying for the parents when they grow old and become weaker and expressing thanksgiving to the parents again and again, which allah exalted he is connects to his thanksgiving in several quranic verses. allah exalted he is says in the quran what means: {and we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "show gratitude to me and to thy parents: to me is (thy final) goal} [luqman: 14]          

filial obedience is one of the greatest gates for good. this came in a hadith said by the prophet, peace be on him, when abdullah ibn masud asked the prophet: “which deed is loved most by allah?"?" the prophet replied, "to offer prayers at their early (very first) stated times”. abdullah asked, "what is the next (in goodness)?"the prophet said:“to be good and dutiful to one's parents”. abdullah asked, "what is the next (in goodness)?"the prophet said: “to participate in jihad for allah's cause”.[1]

abdullah ibn amr ibn al aas said: a man said to the prophet, "shall i participate in jihad?" the prophet said, "are your parents living?"the man said, "yes." the prophet said, "go back to your parents and give them good company"[2], and in another version, the prophet said: “do jihad for their benefit”[3]

one of the greatest duties set by islam in the context of its tackling of the parents’ rights that stated in a hadith narrated by jabir ibn abdullah: a man said: o, messenger of god, i have property and children and my father wants to take part of my property. the prophet said: “you and your property belong to your father.”[4]  

abu hatim ibn hibban[5]says:

“it means one should not treat his father the way he treats other people. one is commanded to show compassion to his father and be kind to him in what he is saying and what he is doing to the degree that the father becomes able to access his son’s money. the prophet said: “you and your property belong to your father”, but this does not mean that fathers own their sons’ property without sons’ consent.”[6].

hadiths and prophetic traditions on the importance of filial obedience, showing kindness and compassion to parents and warning against disobeying the parents are too many to be counted, and they show the islamic sharia’s super-high level of preserving the pristine values of the society and protecting them from being violated or destroyed.  




[1] al bukhari: kitab al adab (book of good manners and form), chapter compassion and relations (5625), and muslim: kitab al eman (book of faith), chapter believing in god is the best deed (137)     

[2] muslim: kitab al-birr was-salat-i-wa'l-adab (the book of virtue, good manners and joining of the ties of relationship) chapter birr al walidayn (filial obedience) (6), abu dawood (2528), an-nasai (4163), ahmed (6490) and ibn hibban (419)   

[3]al bukhari: kitab al jihad (book of fighting for the cause of allah), chapter fighting for the cause of allah with filial consent (2842), and mulsim: kitab al-birr was-salat-i-wa'l-adab (the book of virtue, good manners and joining of the ties of relationship) chapter filial obedience (2549), ibn hibbn (419) 

[4]ibn majah: kitab at-tijaraat (book of trade), chapter what a man owns from his son’s money (2291), ahmed (6902), ibn hibban (410), and al-albani said it is a (saheeh) right hadith, look: erwa’a al ghalil (1625)   

[5]abu hatim ibn hibban al-bosti: his full name is abu hatim mohamed ibn hibban ibn ahmed (dies 354 ah/965 ad), a historian, scholar and geographer. he was born and died in bost, sijistan (sand country). al musnad as-sahih is one of his books in hadith. look: as-subki: the shafiya classes 3/131        

[6]sahih ibn hibban (ibn hibban’s sound collection) 2/142

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