Daily we read and hear so many heart wrenching cases of children sending their parents to old age people homes, children misbehaving or ill-treating parents and throwing them out of their houses. There is a huge difference between a Muslim and a Non-Muslim. In the West, we see how people treat their parents. Not all of them of course but, generally speaking, they mistreat their parents. Once an individual hits the age of puberty, he becomes independent. He becomes rebellious. He no longer listens to instructions or obeys, let alone respects his parents. That is why, many of them move out of their parents’ houses. There is no respect, there is no obedience and if parents grow old, he throws them in a special place (old age homes) where people pay the management to take care of the elderly, the place that they call a caring home.

In Muslim society, an individual is considered as a winner if he gets the honour of hosting his father or mother or both of them. Unfortunately, Muslims are following and practicing the West. Yes! Muslims are sending our parents to live in old-age homes because we think our parents are burden, we are becoming so practical or busy in our lives that we don't have time for them. Busy, running behind money and creating better future for themselves but forgetting who provided a better one in the first place, and even parents at times think that they don't want to be a burden on their children and they themselves at times get registered to these old age homes.

Each year we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and approach old age homes in order to meet them. Is there should be a “special day” for meeting parents, to show love, to gift items or something else?. Why not every day should be spent with parents, sharing their problems, listening to them, and showing affection to them.

Islam has declared certain rights for the parents and has instructed us to fulfill these rights. Holy Quran and various Ahadees provide a number of teachings that emphasize the importance of rights of parents in Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) has laid stress on the rights of parents and duties of children, in the same way as he has stressed on the rights of children and the duties of parents. The Quraan says, in Surah Bani Israail: "Your Lord (The Creator) has ordained that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to the parents."

On another place Allah says in the Holy Quran: “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]

Parents are the Hell and Heaven of the Children In a hadeeth the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said, “The parents of a person are his Heaven or Hell.” This shows that if a person obeys his parents and attends to their needs and comforts and keeps them happy, he or she will win place in Paradise. On the other hand, if he is rude and disobedient to them and offends them by ignoring their feelings or by causing them grief in any other way, his place shall be in Hell.

Pleasing Parents Causes Allah's Pleasure

Anyone who seeks to please Allah should earn the good pleasure of his parents. To keep the parents well pleased is essential since their anger and displeasure will lead to Allah's anger and displeasure. The Prophet (PBUH) has said, "In the good pleasure of the father lies the good pleasure of the Creator and in his displeasure, lies the displeasure of the Creator."

Looking after the parents in their old-age, and to serve them devotedly in that state is most pleasing to Allah and it is an easy way to attain Paradise. Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "May he be disgraced, may,he be disgraced, may he be disgraced." "Who?" The Sahaaba enquired. "The person whose parents, or any one of them, attain old-age during his life-time and he does not earn Paradise (by being kind-hearted and dutiful to them)!"

Place of being a mother is unprecedentedly high in Islam. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that a person asked the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, "Who has the greatest claim on me with regard to service and kind treatment?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother, and again your mother, and once again your mother. After her, is the claim of your father, then that of your near relations, and then of the relations next to them." This, obviously, shows that where care and kind treatment are concerned, the claim of the mother is greater than that of the father.

In one Hadees the Prophet (PBUH) has clearly stated that “A person's Paradise lies at his mother's feet.” By serving her well and being obedient to her, one can attain Paradise.

Treatment towards polytheist parents is also discussed in Islam. If anyone's parents are polytheists, and they want him to follow their faith, he should refuse, but he should continue to be kind and respectful to them.

Asma bint Abu Bakr (RA) relates that her mother had come to Madinah, from Makkah, to meet her. Her mother followed the Pagan customs and beliefs, so Asma (RA) enquired from the Prophet (PBUH) as how she was to treat her whether she should have nothing to do with her, as she was a Pagan, or treat her like a daughter should, and show kindness to her. The Prophet told her to be kind and considerate and to behave towards her as was a mothers due, from a daughter.

The real reward for serving the parents is paradise and the pleasure of Allah. But the Almighty gives a special favor, in this world too, on the believer who fulfills the parents' rights devotedly.

Jabir (RA) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Allah prolongs the life of a person who obeys his parents and serves them devotedly."

In another hadeeth, the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Obey your parents and treat them with kindness, your children will be kind and obedient to you.”

Disobeying parents is considered a greatest sin in Islam. Just as the Prophet (PBUH) declared, that serving ones parents well is an act of great virtue, he condemned the showing of disobedience to them, or harming them, as a most serious sin.

When asked about the major sins, the Prophet (PBUH) replied, "To associate anyone with Allah, to disobey the parents, to kill unlawfully and to give false evidence."  He also said, "To abuse one's parents is also a major sin."

The rights of parents do not come to an end with their death. In fact, some of their rights take effect after their death, and it is a religious obligation for the children to fulfill them. After the death of one's parents among other duties, should be to pray for their forgiveness and treat their relatives and friends with due respect.

Abu Usaid Sa'idi (RA) relates that a person came to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked him, "O Prophet of Allah, are there some rights of my parents, on me, which I have to fulfill even after they have died?" "Yes" the Prophet replied, “These are to pray for mercy and forgiveness on their behalf, to fulfill the promises they have made to anyone, to pay due regard to the bonds of relationship from their side and to be respectful to their friends.”

The status of parents in Islam is very high. We, as a Muslim should give respect and love to our parents. Parents should be treated well at all times this is a virtuous kind of act in the sight of Almighty Allah. It is obligatory for us (Muslims) to show the unconditional kindness and obedience to our parents.

Always speak to parents gently and respectfully. Our Parents fulfill all of our needs either physical, educational, psychological, and in many instances, religious, moral and spiritual. It becomes obligatory for us to pay back them.