Being respectful to parents is paramount and most importantly, it is an obligation upon children who dream making it to Jannah. Disobeying them is prohibited, disrespecting parents draws unstoppable curse on a child. After the worship of Allãh, the next most important obligation is dutifulness to parents irrespective of their faiths.
Believers seek the pleasure of Allãh by worshipping Him and being dutiful to the parents, this is the command of Allãh.
“Do not set up any other god with Allãh, or you will end up condemned, abandoned. For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them ‘even’‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully. And be humble with them out of mercy, and pray, ‘My Lord! Be merciful to them as they raised me when I was young.’” Sûratu l-‘Isrã’ (17:23-25).
Allãh enjoins upon humans to worship Him alone. Thus, a worshipper hopes for the reward of his Lord and fears His punishment, disbelieving in Allãh or negligence to His worship attracts a severe, unbearable torment. Another command after the worship is to honour one’s parents, obey and treat them kindly in words and deeds, do not mistreat them, even by saying “uff” (the mildest word of disrespect), kindness to them leads to receiving the pleasure of Allãh.
But, this kindness to them does not mean that they are to be obeyed in every matter, especially when their command is against the command of Allãh and His messenger.
If they are demanding for any form of prohibited act that’ll incur the wrath of Allãh – there should be no obedience to that respect even if that makes them angry, albeit avoid bullying them by all means. Believers are a slave to Allãh, he does what He commands and refrains from what He forbids. When it comes to obeying other people even parents at the expense of the command of Allãh, that is forbidden, it is restricted to what Allãh has prescribed and cannot be separated from the command of Allãh.
Allãh decrees sincerity of worship to Him alone alongside the kindness towards parents. The mention of honouring parents alongside worshipping Him, the Most Supreme alone is a divine respect to the parents, if those parents that Allãh honours disregard the command of Allãh, then, you need to be wise and chose what benefits you in both worlds.
Dutifulness to parents occurs further in some other chapters of the Glorious Qur’an, such as in Sûratu l-Baqarah (Qur’an 2:83), Allãh says: “And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allãh (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents” also in Sûratu Nnisã’ (Qur’an 4:36), Allãh says“Worship Allãh and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents.” Likewise in Sûratu Luqmãn (Qur’an 31:14) the Mighty God (Allãh) says:“…give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.”
Allãh affirmed that honouring parents is obligatory, even if they are disbelievers, but if they call their children to ascribe partners to Allãh as it is mentioned in Sûratu Luqmãn (Qur’an 31:15) when Allãh says, “But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly” and in Sûratu l-Ankabût (Qur’an 29:8), Allãh says; “And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents, but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.”
In all those verses Allãh, may He be glorified and exalted, reiterates honouring parents alongside worshipping Him alone (Tauheed). This is indicative of the emphasis placed on the command to honour parents, but when they transgress, be dutiful in the worldly dealings and be respectful to them, never allow them to show you the direction to the blazing inferno, know that, Allãh is far Superior to all His creatures and His wills are mandatory, pray for your parents to be guided and don’t rebuke them in the world for the worldly dealings.
Note that, this isn’t easy – it takes someone who is strong in faith to uphold that, chosing between Allãh and the disbelieving parents is a similitude of chosing between the Paradise and the Hell. Truths are always hard and bitter in nature but without a choice, you have to stand firm and serve your God (Allãh) openly until they accept the will of Allãh.
Remember, Allãh owns you and your parents, Allãh owns the Worlds and the Heavens, Allãh owns the Paradise and the Hell. Chose Allãh and pray fervently to Him to guide your parents Day and Night – that’s the only way by which you can meet again after death.
May Allãh strengthen us and hold us firm in Islãm till the last breath. May Allãh reunite us in the Paradise and may He guide the misled ones.
Abdulsalam Abdullahi Oladimeji