Once upon a time, there was a Muslim during the period of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) called Uwais. He loved his mother and served her to the extent that he could not afford to leave her and to be one of the Prophet’s companions. To our surprise, the Prophet himself praised this action and said to Omar, one of the greatest companions of the Prophet, “He (Uwais) has a mother to whom he is very dutiful. If he were to take an oath in the Name of Allah, Allah would fulfill his oath. And if it is possible for you, ask him to ask forgiveness for you.” Sunnah.com (Riyad as-Salihin [Muslim Narrated]). You and I also can reach similar esteems through FILIAL DEVOTION. But WHY & HOW? Just keep reading.
To begin with, Islam is the religion going with the human innate nature. One of the Islamic teachings that proves this concept is filial devotion. There is no doubt that God is Wise. Consequently, if you give a deep look at the matter, you will find that it deserves all the concern given to it by Islam. In the past, you and I were children. Some of our deeds during this period we can remember, but others we cannot. For our mothers (especially), the matter is different. They remember almost every single thing regarding us. They remember from the period in which we were settled in their wombs till this moment (if they are still alive). Both our mothers and fathers remember their pain, suffering, and sacrifice for us. But what is astonishing is that they do not like to show us these feelings; they can easily forget just when they see us happy and satisfied. They still do their duties towards their children even after they marry and have their own families. To summarize, you cannot understand these complex feelings except if you become a parent!
Islamic View + Significance
From an Islamic point of view, filial devotion is a very important act of worship; in many verses in The Holy Quran, God mentions the parents’ rights just after His right. He says:
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.com/17/23)
In Islam, filial devotion has many aspects:
* Awarding those who do good is an Islamic principle. As Allah stated in His Holy Book, Quran:
And we have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, ‘My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.’” (quran.com/46/15)
* Islam gives a special importance to the mother (especially in comparison to the father). It is a sort of honor to the mother in Islam (not a burden). Her pain during her pregnancy and what is following gives her a special rank in this life (by asking her sons to obey her), and in the Hereafter.
* Islam considers filial devotion one of the best acts of worship you can do to become close to God. When the Prophet was asked about the best deed, he replies: “Prayer at its appointed hour.” And when he was asked for the second time he replied: “Kindness to the parents.” Sunnah.com (Sahih Muslim)
* In contrast, filial disobedience is a major sin which its doer certainly will be punished in this life and the Hereafter as well: “Allah will defer whatever wrong actions He wills until the Day of Rising except for tyrannical behavior, disobeying parents or cutting off relatives. He will punish the one who commits those things in this world before he dies.” Sunnah.com (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)
* Islam encourages marriage and encourages the parents to bring their children well, as the parents’ salvation may come due to that.
In fact, filial devotion proves the Mercy of God upon His creatures. He brings us to this life and prepares the suitable circumstances for everyone. For you as a son, Allah gives you your parents who love you and take care of you. And for you as a parent, He grants you a son, asking him to obey you. Finally, Allah rewards both of you for doing his right.
After knowing the necessity of the issue, we should know how to apply, and see examples of Muslim good models. To illustrate, filial devotion means not only to obey and respect, but also to give and sacrifice in their life and after their death. Allah says in Quran:
And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.’” (quran.com/17/24)
Moreover, it means not to neglect them as much as possible even after being responsible for your own family. In Islamic society, there is no infirmary, as the parents are respected till their death. Even if there are some infirmaries in the modern Muslim society, they are limited to minor numbers in comparison to other societies. Filial devotion means also to give them money when they need and to buy them presents (not in one single day in the year). In fact, the prophets of God were pioneers in this field; for example, Jesus. In Quran, he says:
And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He [Allah] has not made me a wretched tyrant.” (Quran.com\19\32)
To conclude, Islam orders us to obey our parents even if they are not Muslims. You can be a super filial-devoted son also by inviting them to Islam in order to make them happy in this life and in the Hereafter, shall you?