A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your father.”
“Paradise lies at the mother’s feet”
Your mother and father have taken care of you since you were born. It is because of them and the grace of Allah that you are who you are, and that you have what you do. You are a very lucky person! So as they take care of you, they are counting on you to behave, listen to what they say, and be the best son or daughter you can.
When your parents get older and can’t take care of themselves so well, you’ll get your chance to help them as much as you can.
Here are some ayahs from the Holy Qur’an that tell us about the importance of our parents!
Surah LUQMAN 031.014 (Yusuf Ali translation)
And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.
Surah AL-ISRA (THE NIGHT JOURNEY)17.023 (Yusuf Ali translation)
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
Surah AL-ANKABOOT (THE SPIDER) 029.008 (Yusuf Ali translation)
We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.
Surah AL-AHQAF (THE DUNES) 046.017 (Yusuf Ali translation)
But (there is one) who says to his parents, “Fie on you! Do ye hold out the promise to me that I shall be raised up, even though generations have passed before me (without rising again)?” And they two seek Allah’s aid, (and rebuke the son): “Woe to thee! Have faith! for the promise of Allah is true.” But he says, “This is nothing but tales of the ancients!”
Surah AL-ANAAM (CATTLE) 006.151 (Yusuf Ali translation)
Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from”: Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.
Kindness To Mothers
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty month, At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, “0 my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness. Such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam.”
(Surah Al-Ahqaf , Verse 15)
One of the most important obligations Allah has commanded man to obey, is respect for parents. This respect and kindness should especially be directed to mothers who have experienced greater difficulties in raising their children. Thus mothers, because of the hardships they endure in caring for their children, enjoy a higher position of respect compared to fathers. Allah has reflected the importance of mothers’ efforts in the Holy Qur’an and commands man to be kind and appreciate towards them. He mentions this in the Holy Qur’an:
“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: To Me is (thy final) goal.” (Holy Qur’an, Surah Luqman Verse 14)
Allah reminds us of the mother’s hardships twice during pregnancy and the weakness that she has in this period and also who- giving birth and feeding her baby. This is to remind man of the great right that his mother has over him. This is because man tends to forget people’s good deeds and becomes ungrateful.
It is for the sake of these whole hearted efforts on the part of mother that Allah considers kindness to mothers more important than kindness to fathers and other relations. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) also says in this regard:
“Do good deeds to your mother, then to your father, then to your sister and then to your brother and to other relations respectively.”
And he is also quoted as saying:
“Doing good deeds to mother has twice the value of good deeds towards father.”
Numerous narrations from the respected Imams and other religious leaders in Islam regarding the elevated status of mothers emphasize the necessity of fulfiling the rights of mothers.
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) says:
A man came to the Prophet of God and said, ‘0 dear Prophet who should I be kind to?’ He said: Your mother.’ ‘Who next?’ He said: ‘Your mother.’ The man asked again: ‘Who after that?’ He said again: ‘Your mother.’ He asked again: ‘Who next?’ He said this time: “Your father.’
The fact that the Prophet of Islam insists on kindness to mothers three times, and then fathers, shows the great importance he places on the role of mothers he considers for the position of motherhood. He has said many times that “Paradise lies under the feet of mothers” which means that if one gains the satisfaction of one’s mother, respects her to the point of not conflicting with Allah’s orders and pleases her heart and soul, Al-mighty Allah gives them the promise of Paradise.
This recommendation for respect and humility towards mothers and appreciation of their efforts is such that man becomes accustomed to being humble and appreciative towards others. Whoever is not thankful to others for what they have done for him, cannot be thankful to Allah.
Kindness to mothers and pleasing them causes their satisfaction and increases their love for their children. Close relations between the child and mother exists from the time that he is in her womb and his feeding period and this closeness causes mothers to expect more kindness and attention.
Mankind has been created in such a way that whoever he loves more he can take less disrespect and unkindness from. This is the reason why the prayer of a mother for her child is more acceptable than other prayers. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad says: “The prayer of a mother for her son is answered quickly.” He was asked for what reason is this so? He replied, “Because one’s mother is closer and kinder to one than one’s father and the prayer of the closest to one will not be refused.”
The necessity of being kind towards mothers and doing good deeds for them does not end even if she is a Mushrik (non believer of one God). There are also narrations from the Imams in this regard. One of them narrated from the daughter of Abu bakr who said: “One day when my mother came to see me, I said to the Prophet: ‘My mother who is a Mushrik has come to see me. Is it necessary for me to pay back her visit and be kind to her?'” He replied: “Yes. Obedience to mothers and the necessity of paying attention to her is above most worships.”
In the early days of Islam, a man came to the Prophet and asked his permission to take part in a war that was not obligatory. The Prophet asked, “Have you a mother (who needs you)?” He said: “Yes.” So the Prophet said: “Go and serve her because Paradise is under the feet of mothers.” As can be deduced from this narration, serving one’s mother and obeying her is even more valuable than JEHAD(struggle in the way of Allah).
Doing Good Deeds Towards Mothers
Malik lbn Rabia says: “I was with the Prophet of Allah one day when a man from Bani Salmeh tribe came to him and said: ‘Will there be anything I can do for my parents after their death?’ The Prophet said: ‘Yes, pray for them, ask for their forgiveness, fulfil their promises, respect their friends, and pay attention to their relatives.
Doing good deeds to fathers and mothers is not restricted to within their lifetimes. It is also necessary to do good towards them after their death, acts which may enlighten their souls. Apart from doing recommended forms of worships like prayer, fasting, Hajj and repentance for their sins and fulfilling their promises, the elder Son of each family must also do
all the obligatory worships that his father has not done during his lifetime. What is important to note is that to do good deeds on behalf of one’s parents is to do some good act on their behalf that is accepted by Allah. In this case the reward for any good deeds the child does will he given to his parents. The child, too, will be rewarded even more by doing such acts.
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said: What prevents any of you from doing good deeds to your parents, dead or alive, pray for them, give money to the poor, fast or go to Hajj on their behalf. So whoever does such things, these acts will be written to his own account too and because of his prayer and good deeds, Allah will give him reward.
Doing good deeds to late parents is of such high value that the wrath of Allah will descend upon children who forget their parents after death and Allah will even not consider their good deeds towards their parents when they were alive.
The worst relation that a child can have with his parents is to anger and displease them in such a way that they become hurt and therefore disown him. A child who drives his parents to such extremes will anger Allah and He will deny the child of His blessings.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) said: I heard from Prophet (S.A.W.) that: “Avoid being deserted by your parents. The sweet scent of Paradise can be smelled from a distance of a thousand years but whosoever becomes deserted by his parents and also cuts relations with his family will never smell it.”
Allah will deny a child His blessings and desert him, if he forgets his parents after death, does not pay their debts and does not pray for forgiveness for his parents. So if a Muslim believes in Allah and the Day of Resurrection he must not forget to do good deeds towards parents after death. The kindness of a child will open the gates of compassion to him and his parents, and will remove the sins of their parents and will give them both Divine rewards.