Respect of Parents

Observe complete respect  and reverence to your father and mother for they are most worthy of your consideration. A man came to Rasulullah [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] and asked, “Who is most worthy of my cordial conduct?” He answered, “Your mother! Your mother! Your mother! Then your father, then the closest to you and then the closest to you.” [Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Sayyiduná Hisham Ibn ‘Urwah [Radiallahu anhu] recounted that his father related to him that Sayyiduná Abu Hurairah [Radiallahu anhu] saw a man walking ahead of another. He asked him, “How is this man related to you?” “He is my father,” answered the man. Sayyiduná Abu Hurairah [Radiallahu anhu] told him: “Do not walk ahead of him, do not sit until he sits and do not call him by his name.” [Al-Adabul Mufrad & Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzáq]

Imam Ibn Wahab [Rahimahullah] has related that a student of Imam Malik Ibn Anas [Rahimahullah], by the name of Imam Abdul Rahman Ibn Al-Qásim Al-Utaqí Al-Misrí [Rahimahullah] said, ” Imam Malik  [Rahimahullah] was once engaged in teaching the ‘Muwatta Imam Malik. He stood up for a long time and then sat again. When he was asked why he did so, he answered, “My mother came to ask me something. Since she was standing, I stood up out of respect. When she left, I sat down again.” [Tartíbul Madárik]

The revered Tábi’í Tawús Ibn Kaisán [Rahimahullah] said, “It is part of sunnah to respect four persons: an álim, a leader, an elder and a father. It is considered rude that a man calls his father by his name.” [Tárikh Madínatis San’á]

At the end of his book on Maliki law entitled, “Al-Káfi”, Imam Ibn ‘Abdul Barr [Rahimahullah] says, “Kindness to parents is an obligatory duty but it is only easy for the one for whom Allah makes it such. Kindness means, to be humble with them, to speak to them politely, to look at them with love and respect, to speak in a tone that does not surpass theirs unless they are hard of hearing, to give them complete access to your own wealth and to offer them the best of your food and drinks.”

One should not walk ahead of one’s parents, nor should one speak first to them when it is their right of doing so. One should try one’s utmost to avoid upsetting them, and should seek their pleasure as much as possible. Pleasing one’s parents is one of the most virtous acts.

One must hasten to the call of one’s parents. If one is engaged in nafl saláh, one should shorten it and respond to them immediately. One should only express kind words to them.

In return, the parents should assist the child in his endeavour of being kind to them. By the parents being more accomodating and understanding, they would be assisting their child in his endeavour to be obedient to them, for imdeed when it comes to fulfilling the command of Allah, it is only with assistance of Allah that people can obey Him and fulfill His commands. Therefore, it would be easier for the child to be obedient to the parent if the parent assists him to do so.


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