Father’s Day is celebrated around the globe and today is father’s day in Kenya. The purpose behind Father’s Day is a day to honour all the fathers for everything they do for their children. This is an occasion to express gratitude towards one’s father for all his love and support.
Showing gratitude to parents and treating them with kindness, love, compassion and care is considered as one of the most important acts of worship in Islam. In the Glorious Quran, kindness toward parents, in the Glorious Qur’ân, is mentioned next to the commandment to believe in One God. In other words, every day is Father’s Day and Mother’s Day in Islam and therefore should be celebrated as such.
The following verses of the Noble Qur’ân and the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) highlight the high status given to parents in Islam.
“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness lower to them the wing of humility and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Qur’an 17:23)
- Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrates that the Prophet said:
“The Pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The Anger of the Lord lies in the anger of the parent.”
- Bays ibn Hakim said that he heard from his grandfather, that he had asked the Prophet, ‘Who should I do a good too? The Prophet replied, Your mother. His grandfather once more asked the Prophet, ‘Who should I do a good too? The Prophet said, ‘Your mother’ His grandfather repeated the question a third time. The Prophet said, ‘Your mother’ After repeating the question for the fourth time, the Prophet replied, Then your father and then in order, your relatives.
- Abu Ja’far heard Abu Huraira say that the Prophet said, ‘There is no doubt that three kinds of prayers will be answered, the prayer of the oppressed, the prayer of the traveller, and the prayers of the parents for their children
- In addition to the foregoing, the Prophet (peace be on him) not only prohibited insulting or cursing one’s parents but declared it to be a major sin. He said, ‘Among the major sins is a man’s cursing his parents.’ The people who were present wondered how a sane and believing individual could curse his parents and inquire, ‘How is it possible for a man to curse his parents?’ The Prophet (peace be on him) replied, ‘He insults another man’s father, and then the other insults his father, and he insults the other’s mother, and the other returns the insult to his mother.’ (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
It is one of the beauties of Islam that, concerning the treatment of parents, it forbids the Muslim to be disrespectful to them even if they should be non-Muslims who are fanatical to the point of arguing with him and putting pressure on him to renounce Islam. Allah Ta’ala says:
“Be grateful to Me and thy parents; to Me is (the final) goal. But if they strive to compel thee to associate with Me that of which thou hast no knowledge, do not obey them; but keep company with them in this life in a kind manner and follow the way of those who turn to Me. Then to Me will be your return and I will inform you (of the meaning of) all that you did.” (Qur’an 31:14-15)
The importance of showing kindness to parents is:
- Obedience to Allah and His Messenger, (peace and blessings be upon him).
- Obeying and honouring one’s parents is a means of entering Paradise,
- Respecting and obeying them is a way of showing gratitude to them because they are the ones who brought you into this world, and
- If a person is good with his parents, this may cause his children to respect him and show kindness and compassion towards him.
Parents have a right to receive love, discipline and care from their children but they must give their children the same rights as well. If both parents and children submit to the will of God, there will be love and peace in the family.
The priorities of many parents for their children include wealth, material comforts, a good education, a good job, a happy marriage and living happily ever thereafter. In the materialistic world, when everyone is competing to get a higher, more comfortable and luxurious position in the world, this list of priorities is only natural. Accumulation of wealth and leading a comfortable lifestyle is not against the spirit of Islam. However, Islam requires Muslims to use these blessings from Allah with a sense of accountability. One must bear in mind that as with wealth, children are a treasure from Allah and the way we raise them and invest in them could mean the difference between them bringing the fruits of success or abysmal failure in this world and the hereafter.
Parenting is an enormously important, time-consuming task for which there is, justifiably, the promise of great reward.