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Respecting Parents Throughout Ramadhan, and Beyond

The Prophet (SAW) emphasized that Allah’s pleasure lies in pleasing our parents, and His displeasure is incurred when we anger them
12:00 AM Mar 24, 2024 IST | DR. ZUBAIR SALEEM
respecting parents throughout ramadhan  and beyond
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As we observe the holy month of Ramadan, it’s crucial to remember the importance of caring for our elderly parents. While some of my patients come with their caregivers, others come alone. However, sadly, there are instances where parents are ignored or neglected.

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During Ramadan, we focus on fasting, prayers and attending Tarawih prayers. These are indeed important acts of worship. But amidst these spiritual practices, let’s not overlook our duty towards our aging parents. The life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) serves as a guide for us in treating and respecting our parents.

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There’s a touching incident where the Prophet (SAW) was traveling with his companions near Abwa. He deliberately turned his camel towards the mountains, where his mother was laid to rest. Sitting beside her grave, he was overwhelmed with emotion, shedding tears and expressing a heartfelt longing for his mother and said, “I wish my mother was alive and I was leading an Isha prayer and started reciting Surah Fatiha and from my home, my mother called me, Muhammad. I would have left the prayer for my mother.”

The Prophet (SAW) emphasized that Allah’s pleasure lies in pleasing our parents, and His displeasure is incurred when we anger them. Therefore, if we seek Allah’s favor, we must treat our parents with kindness and respect. Conversely, if we fear Allah’s punishment, we should be equally concerned about displeasing our parents.

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Allah tells us in the Quran that we must never say even a small word of irritation like “Uff” to our parents. It means that even if our aging parents do things that seem illogical, unexpected, or irrational, we should still treat them with kindness and respect. We should always speak to them kindly and be generous to them.

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The Quran teaches us that after worshiping Allah, the most important thing is to show respect and kindness to our parents. This means we should do more for them than they expect and not expect too much in return. We should go out of our way to help them and not expect anything in return.

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Allah emphasizes that we should never show any sign of irritation, not even the smallest one, to our parents, especially when they are old. Even if we feel upset or angry, we should control our words and speak to them with love and kindness. No matter what they do to us, we should always treat them with respect and care.

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Then Allah emphasizes, “Lower unto them the wings of Mercy,” indicating that our actions, not just our words, should bring comfort to our parents. This metaphor highlights the responsibility to care for them, as birds protect and nurture their offspring with their wings.

Allah uses this imagery to remind us that just as our parents once cared for us, now it is our duty to provide them with humility, mercy, and compassion. It is our obligation to fulfill their needs and ensure their comfort to the best of our abilities. It’s essential to understand that no matter what we do, we can never fully repay our parents for all they have done for us.

As you get older, you might find that your biggest regret is the memories you made with your parents that weren’t so good. You can’t undo the hurtful words you said to them, and that can make you feel really sad. Even as time passes, those memories might still bother you. It’s normal to feel angry sometimes when you’re young, but the memories of hurting your parents might stay with you and cause you pain.

These teachings tell us that alongside our religious duties, fulfilling our responsibilities towards our parents is crucial. By honoring and caring for them, we earn Allah’s blessings and uphold the teachings of our beloved Prophet (SAW). Let’s strive to emulate his example by showing love, respect, and compassion towards our parents during this blessed month of Ramadan and beyond.

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