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The Exalted position of Parents in Islam (Part 1)


In the eyes of Islam the status of the father and the mother is very exalted. Allah, the Holy Prophet and the Infallible Imams have exhorted the people in this regard. There are a lot of verses in the Holy Book relevant to the subject. The exemplary behavior of children towards their parents is rated as one of the best invocations.

Allah says:

“Your God has decreed that thou shalt worship only Him and adopt good behavior with (thy) parents. 17:23”‌

Imam Jafar Sadiq observes:

“Three actions are the best: (1) Offer the five mandatory prayers with punctuality, (2) Maintain good behavior with your parents, and (3) Struggle in the cause of Allah.”‌[1]

Now the question arises why this exalted position has been bestowed on the parents of the Faithful! Is Allah giving this status for no specific reason? What big deed the parents perform for their progeny that they are deemed deserving of the august status.  Parents have the cause of their birth and The mother suckles it and gives it other nutrition. Sometimes she cleans it and sometimes changes its raiment. She cares of its wetness and dryness. During this time the father takes care of the expenses required for the upkeep of the child. Don’t the parents have any other responsibility besides these? Is it because of performing these duties that the parents have been endowed with the exalted status? Do the parents only have a right over their offspring and the children don’t have any rights over them? In my opinion no one will accept any such one sided privilege. The traditions of the Infallibles of the Holy Prophet’s Family are quoted in this regard:

1. The Holy Prophet of Islam has said:

“As your father has a right over you, so does your progeny have a similar right?”‌[2]

The Prophet also said:

“As are the children disinherited for their disobedience so also it is possible that the parents may be disowned by the children for not fulfilling their bonded duties. [3]

The Prophet said:

“Allah’s curse on such parents who become the cause of disinheriting their children.”‌[4]

Imam Sadjad said:

“Your children have a right that you consider if they are good or they are bad. You have been the cause of their birth and the world recognizes them as your offspring. It is your responsibility that you teach them good manners and guide them toward the recognition and obedience of Allah. Your behavior towards your children must be of a person who believes that a good deed shall get a suitable reward and ill treatment shall call for retribution.”‌[5]

Imam Ali says:

“Beware; your behavior might render your family and your relative’s part of the ill fated people.”‌[6]

The Prophet said:

“Whoever wishes that his children are safe from disinheritance, he should help them performing good deeds.”‌[7]

The Prophet also said:

“To whomsoever a daughter is born should strive to impart norms of good behavior to her and make efforts to educate her. Provide means of comfort to her that she becomes a cause of his deliverance from the Hell Fire.”‌[8]

Above all, Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“O, Believers! Save yourselves and your dependents from the fire whose fuel are humans and the stones. 66:6”‌


[1] Usool al-Kafi, Book 2, Page 158.

[2] Majma al-Zawaid, Vol. 8, page: 146.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, Volt 19, Page 93.

[4] Makarim al-Akhlaq. Page 518.

[5] Makarim al-Akhlaq, Page 484.

[6] Ghurar al-Hikam Page 802

[7] Majma al-Zawaid, Volt 8, Page 158

[8] Ibid.

Source: The Codes of Training by Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini

Other links:

 Methods of raising children

Direct Interference in the Adolescents’ Affairs Is a Mistake

How to Observe the World of Our Young Children

How to understand the World of Our Young Children

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