FAITH: Being grateful to parents by lowering the wings of humility

by Zoha Fatima

Children imitate what they see. If we are good to our parents, we can hope—that our children will be good to us in future.

The Quran is the source of guidance, and if something comes next to Allah ﷻ – then it is without a doubt a very serious thing to ponder upon – an ayah of the Quran that emphasizes to show gratitude and obedience towards 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]

Honoring our parents means—obeying them, respecting them, lowering the wings of humility to them, restraining from showing displeasure to them, serving them, fulfilling their wishes, consulting them, listening to what they say, abstaining from stubbornness towards them, and showing sheer respect towards them in their life and after their death.

Allah ﷻ orders us in the Quran [17:24] – “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.”

A man came to the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet ﷺ said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet ﷺ said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet ﷺ said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet ﷺ said: Then your father. [Bukhari, Muslim]

Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) saw a Yemeni man going around the the Ka’bah in Makkah while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar ؓ , “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, oh Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar ؓ replied, “No, not even one contraction [during childbirth]!!” [Bukhari]

Muslims should not adopt the attitudes of the popular culture in which mothers are nothing more than serving-girls, and fathers are nothing more than errand-boys.

We must combat what television and society teach us about how parents should be treated, rather we must teach them what Allah ﷻ and His Messenger (ﷺ) have said about rights of parents. Most importantly, we must teach them by setting the best example, by treating our parents with love, respect, honor, and tenderness they deserve.

Children imitate what they see. If we are good to our parents, we can hope—that our children will be good to us in future.

Lastly, I say, may Allah ﷻ grant us guidance to be good to our parents, and have mercy upon our parents, and forgive their mistakes and admit them into paradise.

Zoha Fatima is a ninth grade student of Indian International School Riyadh, she has a flare for writing and she dreams to be a writer.