Islam builds a family in which prevails mutual respect and care. Parents and children in Islam are bound together by mutual obligations and reciprocal arrangements. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى Says (what means): “…No mother should be harmed through her child, and no father through his child…” [Quran 2: 233]
The Quran has made it compulsory for the child to treat his parents with all goodness and mercy.
Every Muslim must show goodness and mercy to his parents throughout their lives. There is only one exception to this, and that is, if the parents ask their children to associate anything with Allaah and to commit sins, then the children must not obey their parents. In all cases, the children must show love and gratitude to their parents. They must always speak to them gently and respectfully. They must try their best to make them happy, provided they do not disobey Allaah in the process.
Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says (what means): “But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with me others of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly…” [Quran 31:15]
Being patient and tolerant with parents:
The children must take great care not to react to what their parents have to say. If they say or do anything which is not liked or approved of by the children, then they must show patience and tolerance instead of giving vent to their anger. The children must scrupulously try to refrain from disobeying their parents since the Prophet regarded this as one of the grave sins.
Supplicating for them:
Far from showing signs of displeasure, the children must pray for them saying, as Allaah سبحانه وتعالى teaches us in the verse (which means): "…My Lord and Sustainer! Be kind and have mercy on them as they cherished, nurtured and sustained me in childhood.” [Quran 17: 24]
We must continue praying for them even after they die. Such prayer will be regarded as a continuous charity as the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa salllam, told us.
The greater right of the mother:
The children must be kinder and more grateful to their mothers since they took greater pains in their upbringing. That is why the Prophet emphasized that it is the mother who has the first claim on the child's care and attention.
Once a companion asked the Prophet as to whom he should show more kindness. The Prophet replied: "Your mother." He asked who comes next and the Prophet again replied: "Your mother." He asked the Prophet yet again who comes next. The Prophet replied: “Your mother." When the companion asked for the fourth time, only then did the Prophet reply: "Your father."
Recognizing their great status:
The Muslim should recognize the status of the parent and know his duties towards them. The status of parents in Islam is a status which mankind had not known before. Allaah Has placed the respect for the parents just one step below the belief in Allaah and true worship of Him.
Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says (what means): “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]
The Prophet placed kindness and respect towards parents just after the prayer offered on time as the prayer is the foundation of Islam.
‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood said: “I asked the Prophet which deed is most liked by Allaah? He said: ‘Prayer offered on time.’ I asked him: ‘Then what? He said: ‘Kindness and respect towards parents.’…” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Knowing the duties towards them:
It is also the duty of the child to provide for his parents, if he is able to do so. The Quran sums up the whole matter in a master concept called Ihsaan, which denotes what is right, good and beautiful (i.e. showing to them kindness, compassion, gratitude, reverence and respect, praying for them and supporting them financially if they are in need.)
Concluding, we mention a verse that shows the significance of obedience and gratitude due to parents: Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says (what means): “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]