The parents have great rights. After obedience to the Creator of the Universe, it is compulsory to obey the parents. Allah Ta'ala has commanded that parents should always be obeyed. If both or one of them becomes old in your lifetime, do not (regarding them as weak) even say "oof" to them nor reproach them. Always speak gently to them.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "Allah's pleasure lies in the pleasure of the parents and the displeasure of Allah lies in displeasing the parents." In another hadeeth Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said that kindness to parents is greater than optional salaah, charity, fasting, haj, umrah and jihaad in the path of Allah. He also said that the person who spends the morning in such a condition that his parents are pleased with him, then two doors of Jannat are opened for him, and if only one of them, the mother or the father is alive, then one door of heaven is opened.
If he spends the morning in such a condition that his parents are displeased with him, two doors of hell are opened and if only the mother or the father is displeased then one door of hell is opened. This command applies to all conditions, whether the parents are just and kind to him or they are unjust and oppressive. In the hadeeth Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam repeated this statement thrice: "Even if the parents oppress him."
The attention of the previous ummat was also drawn to the rights of the parents because it is related to the nature of man. Allah Ta'ala addressed Musa Alaihi Salaam saying: "O Musa! The Muslim who does good to his parents and disobeys Me, then repents, I will note him down as a thankful and good servant and whoever obeys Me and disobeys his parents and then repents I will still regard him as disobedient."
Always beware of the curse of the parents, because Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said : "A mother's dua for her children is very swiftly accepted". At another instance he said: "Serve the mother because heaven lies below her feet". In these type of ahadeeth great emphasis is laid on obedience and service to parents. The reason for this is that they bore great hardships for your sake. How many sleepless nights they spent for you. If you became slightly ill, how much attention they paid to you. When you were in any slight difficulty they were prepared to undergo a thousand difficulties to remove one difficulty of yours. Their condition is explained in this couplet:
"If you were roused a little they became afraid, when you had a little fear they were placed in difficulty".
For your comfort they did not for a moment regard day as day and night as night. How much of sorrow did they have to experience to keep you happy. A slight change in your face would change all their joy into grief. One falling tear from your eye would strike their hearts like lightning.
Just as the parents desire your physical comfort, similarly they desire your spiritual well-being as well. Besides giving you good clothing they also disciplined you with good character and a sound education. It is for this reason that you should read books which teach you nobility, discipline, sympathy and house-keeping etc. and you are prohibited from books containing false stories, legends and subject-matter that besmirches the character. They do all this so that your character is not affected because they realize that children are a trust from Allah who have not only been entrusted to them for up-bringing but also for education and discipline. If they are deficient in their training then it is as if they are disregarding an important compulsion of Allah Ta'ala and are breaching Allah's trust. On the day of Qiyamat they will have lowered heads in front of Allah due to regret. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said that every one is responsible for his subjects and the parents are guardians of their children. On the day of judgment they will be questioned as to how they educated their children. In view of this, they disregard their comfort to accommodate your comfort and peace. They have made arrangements for the tuition of a pious tutor from whose company you can benefit so that you can be called a well-mannered girl and be an example of nobility and character, thereby achieving the honour and respect of this world and the hereafter. Sisters, should we not appreciate all the efforts of the parents? Should we not obey them and serve them?
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said that the one who forgets the favour of a human being is also ungrateful to Allah. If we disobey our sympathetic and kind parents and do not appreciate them nor serve them, who can be more ungrateful than us. The worst sin is to disobey Allah Ta'ala. He has emphasized obedience to parents and thankfulness to them in several places in the Holy Quran. Here are some of the verses:
"Your creator has commanded you to worship none besides Him, and be helpful and favourable to your parents. If one of them becomes old in your presence, do not even say "oof" to them nor reproach them but say noble words to them. Be humble to them and continue making this dua for them: O my nourisher, have mercy on them just as they nurtured me in my childhood".
In this verse it has been clearly mentioned that the greatest right of Allah upon anyone is to worship none besides Him, that is, not to ascribe any partner to Him. Then the rights of the parents are explained. When a child is delivered from the mother's womb the parents nurture the child in all ways. Thus He has emphasized their obedience and gratitude. In another verse He states:
"We have commanded man to obey Me and be thankful to his parents as his mother bore burden upon burden and kept him in her womb and his weaning is after two years. Remember that you have to return to Me."
In this verse the rights of the mother are more than the father, because the difficulty of bearing the child has been predestined for the mother. Hence the favour of the mother and her gratitude is more than the father.
In another verse Allah Ta'ala has mentioned this in more detail:
"We have commanded man to be kind to his parents. His mother bore him with great difficulty and problems and the period of his stay in the womb and weaning is 30 months. O my Guardian, grant me the ability to thank You for this favour which You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and that I do such pious actions which please You and grant my children also this ability. I turn towards You in obedience".
In this verse also, the mother's rights have been mentioned as being greater. For so many months she carried him in her womb, walked about with him, underwent great difficulties, breast-fed him for 2 years and cared for him in every possible way. She sacrificed all her comforts for his peace and comfort. The father also shared in many of these difficulties and made all the requirements for up-bringing available. There is no doubt that these duties are done naturally but the requirement of nature is that the children perceive the love and compassion of the parents and be grateful for their efforts and sacrifices. This is a virtue in this world also and in the hereafter it has great merits.
On one occasion whilst climbing the pulpit, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, while placing his foot on the first step "Aameen". Then he placed his foot on the next step and said "Aameen" and then he placed his foot on the third step and said "Aameen" . On completion of the sermon he stepped down. The Sahaba Radhiallahu Anhum asked: "O Rasulullah, today we have witnessed something new which we did not experience before". Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam remarked "Jibraeel Alaihi Salaam appeared in front of me. When I put my foot on the first step he said "Woe to that person who witnesses the month of Ramadan and yet is not successful". I said Aameen. On the second step he said "Destruction to the person in whose presence your name is mentioned and he does not send salutations upon you. I said Aameen. When I placed my foot on the third step he said : "Destruction to the person in whose presence both his parents or one of them become old and they cannot make him enter jannat. I said Aameen."
Can there be any limit to the misfortune of a person whom Jibreel curses and Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam says Aameen?
It is mentioned in a hadith that from among the doors of jannat, the best door is the father. If you desire, safeguard it otherwise destroy it. A Sahabi asked what the rights of the parents are. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied: "They are your heaven or your hell i.e. earning their pleasure is a means of gaining jannah and earning their displeasure is a means of entry into hell."
My sisters! Whatever details have been mentioned regarding the parents will also guide you in your new home. Wherever you get married, there too you will have to practice according to these guidelines to be successful.