Disobedience to Parents: A Major Sin

It is the right of parents that their children should treat them with kindness, obedience, and honor. Devotion to parents is a natural  instinct which must be strengthened by deliberate actions. The rights of the  mother are stressed the more because of her suffering during pregnancy and childbirth, her suckling of the child, and her role in rearing it. In  the words of Allah Ta'ala: And We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents. His mother carries him in pain and she gives birth to him in pain, and (the period) of carrying him and weaning him is thirty months....(46:15) Once a man came to the Prophet (peace be on him) and asked, 'Who is  most deserving of my good companionship?' 'Your mother,' replied the  Prophet (peace be on him). 'Who next?' the man asked. 'Your mother,' replied  the Prophet (peace be on him). 'Who next?' he asked. 'Your mother,'  replied the Prophet (peace be on him). 'Who next?' asked the man. 'Your  father,' replied the Prophet.(Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

The Prophet (peace be on him) declared disobedience to parents to be  a major sin, second only to ascribing partners to Allah, as has been  stated in the Qur'an. Al-Bukhari and Muslim report his saying, 'Shall I not inform you about the three major sins?' Those who were present  replied, 'Yes, O Messenger of Allah.' He said 'Associating partners with Allah  and disobedience to parents,' and sitting up from the reclining position,  he continued, 'and telling lies and false testimony; beware of it.' He also said, "Three persons shall not enter the Garden: the one who  is disobedient to his parents, the pimp, and the woman who imitates  men.'' (Reported by al-Nisai, al-Bazzar on the authority of excellent transmitters, and al-Hakim) and, "Allah defers (the punishment of) all sins to the Day of  Resurrection excepting disobedience to parents, for which Allah punishes the  sinner in this life before his death."(Reported by al-Hakim, on the authority  of sound transmitters.)

Moreover, Islam emphasizes treating parents kindly, especially when  they grow old. As their strength fails, they require more attention and  care, and more consideration of their even more sensitive feelings.  Concerning this the Qur'an says, Thy Lord hath decreed that you worship none but  Him and that you be kind to parents. If one or both of them attain old  age with thee, do not say a word of annoyance (Literally, "Do not say  Uff! (an expression of annoyance) to them." (Trans.)) to them nor repulse  them, but speak to them in gracious words and in mercy lower to them the wing  of humility and say, My Lord, bestow Thy mercy othem, as they cherished  me when I was little....(17:23-24) In explaining this verse, a commentator says, "If a lesser thing than saying 'Uff!' tparents were known to Allah, He would have prohibited  (even that)."

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