By Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Allah the Almighty says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an what means,
“Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents,” (Al-Nisa’ 36), and
“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. 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’”. (Al-Isra’ 23-24)
These Qur’anic ayahs (verses), along with many others, show how Islam treats parents and how it enjoins Muslims to be kind to them in all circumstances except for when they or one of them is calling you to worship other than Allah the Almighty, The Creator of all.
Being kind to one’s parents can be manifested in so many ways; foremost among which are what follows:
He should be submissive, humble and merciful to them.
He should always kiss their hands as a sign of respect and constant gratitude.
He should exert himself to fulfill their needs and meet their requirements.
He should listen carefully to them as well as sit with them to provide them with good company.
He should make supplications to Allah for their interest while they are absent.
He should be kind to their friends and acquaintances.
He should obey them in everything except when they call him to commit a sinful deed or a bad thing in the sight of shari`ah.
He should address them in a kind and lenient way.
He should maintain their reputation and safeguard their honor.
He should honor them and give them all they want or need even without asking for it.
He should consult them in all possible actions and affairs.
He should not raise his voice in front of them.
He should not interrupt them while they are talking.
He should not disturb them while they are sleeping.
He should not give preference to his wife and/or children over them.
He should not stretch his hand toward the food before them when they eat together; he should let them eat first and take whatever they like and/or desire.
He should not lie down while they are sitting without their permission.
He should answer their call at once and never let them call for too long without answering their call properly.
He should honor their friends and acquaintances during their lives and after their demise.
These are only a few etiquettes and manners enjoined by Islam on one towards his parents. These etiquettes and manners can be observed by all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, as they represent human etiquettes and manners as can be understood from the above.
Finally, one should be kind to his parents be them alive or dead and should not try to disobey them at all nor to give preference to anyone else over them be it one’s wife or children.
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation, Kulliyyah of Languages and Management (KLM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was Assistant Professor and worked for a number of international universities in Malaysia and Egypt such as Al-Madinah International University, Shah Alam, Malaysia (Mediu) and Misr University for Science & Technology (MUST), Egypt; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC), Kuwait; Former Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Living Shari`ah Department, www.islamOnline.net; Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS); and member of the World Association of Arab Translators & Linguists (Wata). He is a published writer, translator and researcher. You can reach him at [email protected].