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To Parents Do Good, to God Be Grateful.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Islam is a religion that stresses the qualities of mercy, tolerance and respect. God has ordered good treatment of parents and warned us against treating them with disrespect.

There are several verses in the holy Quran where kindness to parents is even coupled with the most important aspect of Islam, worshipping God alone. This indicates that being kind to parents, honoring and respecting them, is extremely important in the way of life that is Islam.

No word of disrespect should be uttered toward a parent, nor even a look of resentment or contempt. Honoring parents can be considered a form of worship if the intention is to please Almighty God by respecting His commands.

"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," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word." (Quran 17:23)

God continues this verse by reminding us that parents deserve kindness because they raised their children with gentleness and often made great sacrifices for their wellbeing. His use of the word wing invokes the image of a mother bird tenderly shielding her young and calls to mind the gentleness that parents have for their children.

"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'." (Quran 17:24)

The love and mercy that emanates from the Most Merciful God is manifest in the kind treatment existing between parents and their children. God clearly prohibits the bad treatment of parents, and in another verse of the Holy Quran He enjoins on us the need to show gratitude to Him, our Creator, as well as our parents. Again, God clearly links the rights owed to Him to the rights owed to parents.

"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." (Quran 31:14)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) reinforced the duty to be kind to parents. A companion of the Prophet once asked him which of the many good deeds a man can do is the most loved by God. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) answered him by saying, "To offer the prayer in its proper time". The companion then asked, "And what is next?" to which Prophet (PBUH) replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents-". The responsibility to be kind and good to parents comes right after the greatest duty in Islam, the prayer.

A Muslim is obliged to show respect towards parents even if they are non-Muslim, and the greatest love he can show towards them is to supplicate to God in hope that they will be guided to Islam. At the time of the Prophet (PBUH), many of those who embraced Islam found that it conflicted with the beliefs and requests of their parents, but they were taught to be kind and to obey their parents, except if the parents demanded they disobey God.

"But if they endeavor 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." (Quran 31:15)

Being dutiful to parents, obeying them and treating them with kindness is embedded in the teachings of Islam, however obedience to God is always the first and foremost duty in Islam.

God reminds us that Prophet John (known as the Baptist) was dutiful towards his parents both loving them and obeying them.

"[ Allah ] said, "O John, take the Scripture with determination." And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy, And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah, And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant." (Quran 19:12-14)

Additionally, in the Holy Quran, we are able to hear the words of Jesus; he describes himself by coupling his obedience to God with his duties towards his mother Mary.

"[Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakat as long as I remain alive and [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant." (Quran 19:30-32)

God linked honoring parents to the command to believe in Him Alone.

"Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good-" (Quran 4:36)

Islam recognizes the importance of the family unit, and stresses the significance of a good and loving relationship between parents and children. After God, our parents deserve our gratitude and obedience. A Muslim is obligated to show goodness and mercy to his or her parents. There is only one exception to this, if parents expect their children to associate anything with God or to do something regarded impermissible in Islam, then the child must not obey, however nothing removes the obligation to be kind and respectful.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Date:Dec 15, 2014
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