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Thesis Statement

What are the rights of parents in Islam is a very important question which can be
answered in the light of the verses of Quran and the Ahadith of Prophet (P.B.U.H).
This assignment throws light on the basic rights of the parents over their children as
mentioned in the Quran and as explained by the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

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
fulfil their rights. One of the most important aspects is that of respect of children towards parents.
There are many days set aside in non-Islamic societies to honour and appreciate special people;
examples of these are Father's Day, Mother's Day, Memorial Day and Labour Day. In Islam,
however, respecting, honouring and appreciating parents is not just for a single day of the year,
but rather for each and every day.
In Islam, each child has a duty towards his or her parents. One of the most basic
requirements in Islam is that each child should be obedient towards his or her parents and
participate in acts of kindness towards them. According to the Prophet (S.A.W), the parents are
the determinants of Heaven or Hell. This means that if a Muslim child is kind to them, obeys
them, respects the, tends to their needs and keeps them comfortable and happy, then that child
will go to Heaven. However, if a child is disrespectful, talks rudely, doesnt take care of their
needs and comfort and causes them to be hurt in any way, that child is preparing for Hell. So he
should know the duties of a Muslim towards his parents.
All religions and all societies have given parents an honorable status. From a purely
material viewpoint, we find ourselves indebted to our parents, particularly our mother. She not
only nourished us in her womb, but went through pain and suffering. She loved us even before
we were born. She toiled when we were totally helpless infants. She spent sleepless nights caring
for us. Our parents as a team provided for all our needs: physical, educational, psychological, and
in many instances, religious, moral, and spiritual.
Our indebtedness to our parents is so immense that it is not possible to repay it fully. In
lieu of this, it becomes obligatory for us to show the utmost kindness, respect, and obedience to
our parents. The position of parents, and the mutual obligations and responsibilities, have been
addressed in Islam in great detail. The Quranic commandments, as well as the sayings of
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) guide us in this matter. The parent-child code of behavior in Islam is

unique, since rules were laid down by divine command. References to parents have been made at
least 15 times in the Holy Quran.
The Quran sums up the rights of parents in the master concept of ihsan, which
denotes what is right, good, and beautiful. The practical implications of the concept of ihsan
to the parents entail active empathy and patience, gratitude and compassion, respect for
them and prayers for their souls, honoring their legitimate commitments and providing them
with sincere counsel.
One basic dimension of ihsan is deference. Parents have the right to expect
obedience from their children if only in partial return for what the parents have done for
But if parents demand the wrong or ask for the improper, disobedience becomes not
only justifiable, but also imperative. Obey or disobey, the childrens attitude toward parents
may not be categorical submissiveness or irresponsible defiance.
The last integral part of ihsan is that children are responsible for the support and
maintenance of parents. It is an absolute religious duty to provide for the parents in case of
need and help them to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
Rights of Parents in the light of Quranic Verses
Right to be obeyed
It is such a great honour for parents that Allah puts it as a duty of mankind to be obedient
and dutiful to his/her parents. And we see that the ruling is placed just after the ruling regarding
worshipping Allah alone. This itself signifies the elevated status of parents in Islam. We have to
be dutiful to our parents; obey them and respect them. It is not even allowed to say Uff, the
mildest word of disrespect, to the parents if they reach old age.
It is the right of parents that their children should treat them with kindness, obedience, and
honor. Devotion to parents is a natural instinct (feeling) which must be strengthened by deliberate
actions. Quran presents an excellent example of obedience of Prophet Ismail.
"And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, (the ability to work and be of
assistance) he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see
what you think. He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah
wills, of the steadfast. And when they had both submitted (to the command of Allah) and he put
him down upon his forehead, We called to him, "O Abraham. You have fulfilled the vision
(dream)." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We

ransomed him with a great sacrifice, And We left for him [favorable mention] among later
generations:" (Surah As-Saaffat, verse 102-107)
Do Good to your Parents
If God has afforded you the opportunity to serve your parents, it is in fact a favourable
opportunity for you to earn entitlement to Paradise and to win the Pleasure of God. Good service
to parents secures blessings and grace in both worlds and man obtains salvation from the
calamities of this world and the next.
And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon
them], "Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the
needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah." Then you turned
away, except a few of you, and you were refusing. (Surah baqarah verse 83)
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives,
orphans, the needy, the near neighbour, the neighbour farther away, the companion at your side,
the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are
self-deluding and boastful. (Surah An Nissa, Verse 36)

Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you
not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, 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." (Surah
AnAam, Verse 151)
Right to be Respected
Next to God, man owes the greatest obligation to his parents. The greatness and value of
this obligation towards ones parents may be realised from the fact that the Holy Quran at
several points mentions the rights of parents and the rights of God simultaneously at one place.

Furthermore, the Holy Quran has ordained the duty of offering thanks to the parents along with
thanksgiving to the Lord.
To offer humble obedience to parents implies to pay constant regard to their dignity. Do
not assume a haughty attitude towards them, nor treat them with insolence.
Respect and adore your parents and do not show disrespect to them by a single word or action.
Thy Lord has commanded, Worship none but Him, and show kindness to parents. If one
of them or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of
disgust nor reproach them, but address them with excellent speech. (Surah Bani Israel Verse23)
And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him
with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is
thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years,
he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me
and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous
for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." (Surah AlAhqaf Verse 15)

And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant. (19:14)

And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. (19:32)
Support and Maintenance
An integral part of childrens absolute religious duty is to provide for their parents in case
of need and help them to be as comfortable as possible. Jurists agree on the point that parents are
entitled to maintenance by their children when the former are in need and latter capable of
supporting them.
As parents grow old their energies also decline. Treating one's parents with honor also
requires sustaining them with the living costs when they are needy. So it is the duty of children to
help their parents in any way they can help.

They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, "Whatever you spend of
good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And
whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it." (Surah Baqarah, Verse 215)
Pray for your Parents
Offer prayers begging grace for your parents, Bring to mind their fervent appeals to the
Lord and beg His mercy for them with a zealous and sincere heart.
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." (Bani Israel Verse 24)
Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is
established." (Surah Ibrahim, Verse 41)
Be Grateful to your Parents
Thanksgiving and an acknowledgement of debt and gratitude are the first duties which a
beneficiary owes to the benefactor. It is a fact that the parents are the palpable cause for our
existence. Again, it is under their protection and upbringing that we grow up to an age of
maturity. The extraordinary self- sacrifice, unparalleled devotion and deep affection with which
they patronize us demand that our hearts should be filled with sentiments of reverence,
indebtedness, love and an acknowledgement of their magnanimity and every fibre of our heart
should pulsate with feelings of gratitude to them. It is for this reason that God has ordained
offering of gratitude to parents along with thanksgiving to Him.
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. (Surah luqman, Verse 14)
Explanation of the Rights in the Light of Ahadees

Verily the right of parents is great, Allah Glorified and Exalted has joined it to His right,
and the texts of the Quran and Sunnah have cooperated to encourage being dutiful to them,
shedding light on their right and warning against being undutiful to them. The rights of parents
over the child have been explained in a very beautiful hadith as:
Abu Umamah narrated that a man said that:

"O Allah's Messenger( ), what are the rights of parents over their child?" He

said:"They are your Paradise and your Hell." (Daif) (Ibn Majah)
Being dutiful to one's parents

Being dutiful to one's parents assumes priority even over Jihad (fight in the cause of
Allah) as is narrated in the tradition of Ibn Mas'ood when he asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h.):
"Which deed is most beloved by Allah?" He said, 'Observing prayer in time.' "And next to that?"
He said: 'Being dutiful to one's parents.' "And next to that?" He answered: 'Jihad (fight in the
cause of Allah)." (Bukhari and Muslim)
Right of Inheritance
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The custom (in old days) was that the property of the deceased
would be inherited by his offspring; as for the parents (of the deceased), they would inherit by the
will of the deceased. Then Allah cancelled from that custom whatever He wished and fixed for the

male double the amount inherited by the female, and for each parent a sixth (of the whole legacy)
and for the wife an eighth or a fourth and for the husband a half or a fourth. (Bukhari)
Kindness to Parents
It is reported on the authority of 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah observed:
The best of' the deeds or deed is the (observance of) prayer at its proper time and kindness to the
parents. (Muslim)
Rights of Parents when they are Old
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger ( )as saying: Let him be humbled, let him be
humbled. It was said: Allah's Messenger, who is he? He said. He who finds his parents in old
age, either one or both of them, and does not enter Paradise. (Muslim)
Disobedience of the Parents- One of the Major Sins
Anas narrated from the Apostle ( )about the major sins. He (the Holy Prophet)
observed: Associating anyone with Allah, disobedience to parents, killing a person and false
utterance. (Muslim)
Service to Parents preferred over Jihad

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr: A man came to the Prophet ( )asking his permission to

take part in Jihad. The Prophet ( )asked him, "Are your parents alive?" He replied in the
affirmative. The Prophet ( )said to him, "Then exert yourself in their service." (Bukhari)
To be Good and Dutiful to Ones Parenst- One of the Best Deeds

Narrated Ibn Mas`ud: A man asked the Prophet ( " )What deeds are the best?" The

Prophet ( )said: "(1) To perform the (daily compulsory) prayers at their (early) stated fixed
times, (2) to be good and dutiful to one's own parents, (3) and to participate in Jihad in Allah's
Cause." (Bukhari)
Supplication for Parents

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Rasool-Allah (PBUH) said, When a man
(or a woman) dies, all his/her good deeds come to an end, except three: a) Ongoing charity done
by the deceased (Sadaqa-e-Jaariya)b) Beneficial knowledge of the deceased that will keep on
helping the others.c) Righteous son/daughter who will pray for him/her (the deceased).
This narration tells us that the supplications (and righteousness) of a child benefits the
parents even after their death.
Pleasing Parents

And the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said: The happiness and dismay of Allah is from
the parents happiness and dismay with their child, and the unhappiness and dismay of Allah is
from the unhappiness and dismay of parents from their children. (Tirmidthi)
So we should keep in mind that their parents care for their children from cradle to grave,
we can surely never pay them back at any cost, but all we can do is to please them in any way
they prefer.
Rights of Father
Imam ar Ridha narrates that a person once asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon
him and his family): What are the rights of the father upon the son? The Noble Prophet
replied: He should not call his father by name, he should not walk ahead of him, he should not
sit until his father has seated himself and he should not do such acts as a result of which people
abuse his father ( Biharul Anwar)
To abuse parents is a grievous sin
As narrated by Abdullah Bin Umar () , the Holy Prophet ( ) said,
To abuse ones parents is an extremely grave sin. The fellows of the Holy Prophet questioned,
How can an individual abuse him/her own parents? The Holy Prophet (
)replied, If a person abuses the parents of another person, he is responded in return with
abuse to his parents by the other person (Bukhari)
What a great lesson given in this hadith is that one must not only be good and polite to his
own parent but also to others parents as well. It is said that abusing someone elses mother or
father is equivalent to abusing ones own mother or father. So one must take care before
misbehaving with ones own parents or someone elses parents.
Do not obey parents if they ask to do something against Allahs wish
It is true, the parents merit consideration, love, compassion and mercy. But if they step out
of their proper line to intrude upon the rights of God, a demarcation line must be drawn and
Surah Ankabut Verse 8 is very clear that one is not supposed to obey his/her parents if
they ask him to do anything which is prohibited in Islam. The verse is regarding not obeying

parents if they ask you to join partners (in worship) with Allah, as is evident by other verses too.
However, it does not apply only to associating partners with Allah; any wish of parents which is
against Allah or His Messenger (PBUH) is not to be obeyed.
And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents. But if they endeavor to make you
associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. To Me is your return,
and I will inform you about what you used to do. (Surah Ankabut Verse 8)
But if they endeavour 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. (Surah luqman Verse 15)
The Threat: Attacks on Parental Rights
Today in most Western countries parental rights are coming under assault from federal
judges who deny or refuse to recognize these rights. Adding further danger to the child-parent
relationship, international law seeking to undermine the parental role is advancing on the horizon.
Together, these threats are converging to create a "perfect storm" that looms over the child-parent
For Example, In the early 1980s, a landmark parental rights case reached the Washington
State Supreme Court. The case involved 13-year-old Sheila Marie Sumey, whose parents were
alarmed when they found evidence of their daughter's participation in illegal drug activity and
escalating sexual involvement. Their response was to act immediately to cut off the negative
influences in their daughter's life by grounding her. But Washington law at the time allowed the
Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to take a child out of her parents' care if there
was "conflict between parent and child." When police and DSHS became involved in an effort to
prevent Sheila from running away, she was subsequently removed from her home and placed in
foster care.
Her parents, desperate to get their daughter back, challenged the actions of the social
workers in court. They lost. Even though the judge found that Sheila's parents had enforced
reasonable rules in a proper manner, the state law nevertheless gave the court the authority to
split apart the Sumey family and take Sheila away.
Historically, philosophers have had relatively little to say about the family. This is
somewhat surprising, given the pervasive presence and influence of the family upon both
individuals and social life. Most philosophers who have addressed issues related to the parent-

child relationshipKant and Aristotle, for examplehave done so in a fairly terse manner. Islam
on the other hand being a complete and perfect religion has addressed the rights of parents in

We have known from Holy Quranic teachings and various Ahadees that:
(1) Disobedience to parents is a major sin.
(2) Being disobedient to parent the child cannot enter Paradise
(3) Allah has preferred obeying and honoring the parents to Jihad!
(4) The best and dearest deed to Allah after Salah (prayer) is "To be good and dutiful to your
After attaining a clear a knowledge of these rights we should hasten to be dutiful to them,
to compensate them for our default in the past, work hard, do our best to improve our relationship
with them, bring pleasure unto them, seek to gain their satisfaction, give priority to their wishes
before what our soul wishes and desires, hasten to meet their requirements, beware of annoying
them or hurting them by word or deed, lower unto them the wing of humility and invoke Allah
for them in submission to the words of Allah, the Creator and the Glorious:
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My
Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young. (Surat Al-Isr