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Disobeying the Parents is a Grave Matter

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

By Sumayyah bint Joan

After polytheism, the gravest sin is disobedience to parents.  This is an evil that a true Muslim cannot even imagine without even imagine without repulsion. Thankfulness, gentleness and gratitude are the three basic qualities that made one be a good person. One who does not cultivate these basic attitudes within him can neither fulfill his duties towards Allah nor the people: Hence Muslims who are obedient to Almighty Allah can never be disobedient or even careless to their parents.

Abu Bakr narrated that the Prophet(PBUH) asked that should he not warn them against the three major sins? All of them said, “Certainly, O Prophet!” He then said, “To ascribe partners with Allah, to disobey the parents.” Getting up. As he was reclining, he said, “To tell a lie or to give false evidence.” He went on repeating his words for such a long time that we wished him to be silent. (Bukhari and Muslim) In this hadeeth the word “aqooq” has been used, for the disobedience to parents. It is an Arabic words which means carelessness, cruelty, painful attitude and disobedience.

It is narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah postpones the punishment for one’s sins till the Day of Judgment if He so desires. But He award the punishment for disobeying the parents during this life, before his death."(Authentic, Al-Hakim) This means that the disobedient children will be punished twice; once in this world and secondly in the Hereafter.

In the hadeeth narrated by Thauban, the Prophet (PBUH) indicated that the following three major sins can nullify all other virtues: Ascribing partners with Allah, disobedience to parents and fleeing from Jihad.

Disobedience to Mothers

Mughairah bin Shu’bah relates that the Prophet, (PBUH) once said, “Be sure that Allah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to be miserly and greedy, and infanticide (burying the new born daughters alive.) And He dislikes you to be talkative and too inquisitive and to waste your belongings.”

It also implies that we should take extreme care of the sentiments, habits, temperament and likes and dislikes of mothers. We should not even imagine being rude and disobedient to her. By serving and obeying our mothers we can be sure of earning the favor of Almighty Allah.

The extent of sufferings resulting from disobedience to mothers can be seen from the following hadeeth:

Once, when the Prophet(PBUH) was talking to his companions a man came and addressed him, “O Messenger of Allah ! A young man is breathing his last. People are asking him to recite Shahadah but he is unable to do so.” The Prophet(PBUH) asked, “Did this man offer salah (during his life)?” The answer was yes. Then he accompanied the man to the house of the dying young man along with others present at the time. The man was at the end of his life’s journey. The Messenger of Allah advised him to offer the Shahadah. The m an replied that he was unable to do so as the words would not come out of his mouth. He (PBUH) then called for the mother of the dying man whom he had disobeyed persistently. When his aged mother approached the scene, the Prophet (PBUH) asked, ‘Respected lady, is he your son?” She replied yes. He then asked her a question, “O respected lady, if we threaten to throw your son into a raging fire, would you recommend him to be forgiven?” The lady replied that she would definitely do so at that time. The Prophet(PBUH) then said to her, “If so, declare, making Allah and me your witnesses, that you are mow pleased with him.” The old woman readily declared, “O Allah, you and your Messenger be my witness that I am pleased with this beloved son of mine.”

Just after that, the Prophet (PBUH) turned to the dying man and asked him to recite, “There is no god but Allah, He is the One and has no partners and I witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.” By the virtue of the forgiveness of his mother, he found the words flowing out of his mouth and he recited the Shahadah. Seeing this, the Prophet (PBUH) praised Almighty Allah and thanked Him saying, “Thanks to Almighty Allah that He saved this man from the fearful fire of Hell through me.” (Tabarani and Ahmad). Acknowledging the great favor of the parents is central to our success in being right with them, as they are the cause of our existence. It will enable us to see ihsan towards the parents as a sign of a healthy, natural disposition.

Unfortunately, sometimes this disposition gets distorted and people start viewing their own existence with resentment. Consequently, they blame their parents for bringing them into this world or that they may not be living at the ease and joy they think they deserve. Human beings existence is due to Allah and to Him alone, for He wills who will be one’s parents, where one will be born, the time of birth and what sustenance will he receive. Our parents have done us a great favor, our Creator has told us not to even show them signs of discontent if they did something we did not like or were wrong about anything. But to pay back their favor by being loving, kind and dutiful to them is the absolute minimum that all us have to do.

So let us Muslims not adapt the attitudes of the popular culture in which we find ourselves, where mothers are nothing more than serving girls and fathers nothing more than errand boys. We must combat what the television and society say about how parents should be treated, by sharing with our children what Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, have said about the rights of parents. and most importantly, we must teach them by setting the best example; by treating our parents with the love, respect, honor and tenderness they deserve. Children imitate what they see, by us being good to our parents, we can hope that our children imitate what they see, by us being good to our parents, we can hope that our children will in turn be good to us.

From Islamic-Paths.org

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