Honoring Parents

Children with their parent

All divine religions order honoring parents as an act of gratitude

In fact, all divine religions order honoring parents as an act of gratitude and promise great reward for kindness to parents both in this world and the Hereafter. Besides, they prescribe severe punishment for those who are undutiful to their parents or at least foretell their ensuing suffering and aberration.

In the Old Testament, we read the following verse: “Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

Also in the Old Testament, we come across another verse which states that the one who curses his father or his mother will go astray. We read the following verse: “If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.” (Proverbs 20:20)

Moreover, the Old Testament prescribes the death sentence for smiting one’s parents. We read the following verse: “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.” (Exodus 21:15)

The New Testament orders children to obey their parents in everything for this pleases God. In the New Testament, we read the following verse: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” (Colossians 3:20)

The New Testament promises those who honor their parents that they will have happy, long lives. We read the following verses: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

The Qur’an frequently orders kind treatment for parents. More than once, the Qur’an commands children to do good to their parents. For example, we read the following verses:

And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good…” (Al-Baqarah 2:83)

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good… (An-Nisaa’ 4:36)

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and give to parents good treatment…” (Al-An`am 6:151)

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and give 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. 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.” (Al-Israa’ 23-24)

Reflecting on the above verses from the Qur’an, we find out that the order to honor parents is placed second to that to worship Allah alone without associating anything with Him. This pinpoints how important dutifulness to parents is. In all of the above verses, the duty towards parents is considered the most important duty towards human beings.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) included kindness to parents in the deeds most liked by Allah. `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports: “I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘Which deed is most liked by Allah?’ He replied: ‘Prayer at its appointed time.’ I (again) said: ‘Then what?’ He replied: ‘Kindness to parents.’ I (again) said: ‘Then what?’ He replied: ‘Earnest endeavor (Jihad) in the cause of Allah.’” (Al-Bukhari)



1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

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