Readers' Opinions is a new kind of post on Muslim Matters where an author puts up a topic that's important to them, or a question that's on their mind. You get to have your say, whatever comes to mind. The idea is to talk, and to keep talking! It's totally off-the-record and casual. Come on in and share what you think about today's question.
وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًا
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be excellent 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 honor. 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.” (Isra 17:23-24)
Of all the ayat in the Qur'an that speak of parents, these ayat melt my heart. As my parents get older, I see the wisdom behind being especially merciful and humble to them.
Until last year, I've never lived away from my parents. Although this has been hard for me, it's made me appreciate my parents more and I've grown closer to them alḥamdulillāh. The older I get, the more I see how much they have done for my siblings and I. As I run around with my one year old nephew, I think of my mom balancing life with six kids. As I juggle work and school, I think of my father who went from a wealthy businessman back home to starting from scratch as an immigrant, and then succeeding once again māshā'Allāh. We can all share similar stories of our parents, they are our heroes.
But, these aren't the things that I love most about my parents. It's those simple memories that come to my mind as I'm driving or in the supermarket that fill my heart with love for them.
So, this week's question is:
What are some of those small yet profound things your parents have done for you that you remember? What do you love most about them?
A few reminders:
1- Make duaa for your parents, all the time. You can raise their rank in Paradise.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah may Allāh be pleased with him who said, The Prophet may Allāh's Peace and Blessings be upon him and his family said: “Indeed A person's status will be raised in Paradise and he will ask, 'How is this for me?' He will be told, 'By your child's seeking forgiveness for you.” (Ibn Majah, Authentic according to al-Albani)
2- Many of us may not have the best relationship with our parents. Although our parents may be in the wrong sometimes, at the end of the day, it is a part of being Muslim to treat them with the best of manners and in the best way. This life is too short to give our parent's attitude. Don't wait until you see your parents carried out of the masjid in a box to realize how much better they deserved from you.
3- One of the salaf was seen crying after his mother died. Those around him asked him why he was crying because his mother was righteous. He responded that he is crying because the largest gate of Jannah just closed for him. Don't wait until that largest gate of Jannah is closed in your face to realize how easy it could have been to enter through it.
4- Make duaa for the guidance of the non-Muslim parents of our brothers and sisters. This reminder from Abu Taubah will give us – those with Muslim parents – a glimpse of what they may go through.
5- If your parents have passed away (may Allāh have mercy on all the deceased Muslims), you can still honor them. See reminder #1 :) Here are some ways to benefit them after they have died.
Finally, here is a nice lecture by shaykh Yasir Qadhi on parents “uncomparable love”: