Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
1 March 2013 / 18 Rabiulakhir 1434
Treating Our Parents with Respect and Good Manners
Dear blessed Friday jemaah,
Throughout the last few weeks we have heard the inspiring stories of several Companions of the Prophet s.a.w. They were nurtured and guided by Rasulullah s.a.w to become among those whom Allah is pleased with. May we be able to continue to increase our taqwa, uphold Allah’s commandments and avoid all that He has forbidden upon us, so that Allah may be pleased with us too.
The Companions of Nabi s.a.w. have attained Allah’s pleasure and blessings. Indeed, wouldn’t everybeliever want to attain this nikmat as well? But what have we done to deserve Allah’s grace and blessings? Is there still a way for us to work toward receiving Allah’s nikmat even though the Prophet s.a.w is no longer living among us today? My brothers, there are definitely paths for us to follow to attain Allah’s pleasure. In fact, there are two people who can be the keys for us to achieve Allah’s love.
These two people are important in our lives. They cannot bear to see us suffer and will do anything to make us happy. They are none other than our dear parents, –our beloved mothers and fathers. These days, we have members of the community who worry because they read about the increasing life expectancy for the community –in other words, the elderly are living longer and this includes our own family members and relatives.
But my brothers, we should be happy because if we keep ourselves close to Allah s.w.t., we will see that this is an opportunity to earn a place in Allah’s paradise, instead of seeing it as a burden. In fact, Prophet s.a.w. said in a hadith which means:
“It is such a loss, such a loss, such a loss, a person who sees either one or both his parents in old age but does not enter Paradise [Muslim]
Subhanahallah! This is what Rasulullah s.a.w. had taught us. Our parents who are still with us today, are like jewels to be cherished and polished, to help us earn a place in Paradise in the Hereafter.
My brothers, remember, that the commandment to treat our parents with kindness and good manners is closely linked to our faith. Allah s.w.t. said in surah Al-Ankabut verse 8:
Which means: “ And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. To Me is your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.”
My dear brothers, it is unfortunate that we often hear of sad and heart-wrenching stories from our community, about elderly parents who are abandoned by their children. However, despite all that Alhamdulillah there are still many among us who look after andtreat our parents with gentleness and respect. In fact, we must continue to strongly uphold this value. No matter what happens to us, we should never abandon and neglect our parents. There will definitely be times when it is challenging and difficult to care for them. During those times, take a step back and remember their sacrifices for us. When they were young, healthy and energetic, they gave their all to ensure that they are able to provide us with the best.
As they live out their remaining years, they yearn for us to treat them with gentleness, compassion, good manners and affection. So let us treat them with utmost kindness for as long as they are with us.
In treating them with good manners, there are several matters that we need to be aware of.
First, speak to them with utmost respect, humility and affection.
It may sound so simple, but can at times, be difficult for us to maintain as such. Train ourselves to make it a habit to speak politely and gently. When our parents call out to us, respond quickly and with endearment. This will definitely please them and warm their hearts. Even when we are angry, think before we speak. Calm ourselves first, be patient and let the anger dissipate. Only when we are calm and composed, then we should start to speak. We must be aware and try our best to understand the emotional and pyschological changes that our elderly parents are experiencing. Remember, one day we ourselves will grow old, just like our parents.
If we are able to speak to our friends with compassion, and laugh happily with them, why are we not able to do the same with our dear parents? Don’t our parents deserve a more special treatment from us?
Remember my brothers, raising our voices, shouting at our parents, scolding them or even saying ‘oh’ or ‘ah’, is forbidden by Allah s.w.t. Allah says in surah Al-Israa’ verse 23:
Which means: “ And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and 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.”
Second, ensure that we are there for them and are supporting them physically, financially and emotionally.
There is no greater reward from Allah, other than caring for our parents when they are in need of our love and affection. Hence, would it not be a great loss and dishonourable in the sight of Allah, if we are to abandon and neglect our parents, such that they are left alone without any assistance during their times of need.
To those who are looking after their parents, be kind and gentle in taking care of their affairs, strive to make them feel comfortable in our homes, as they have ensured our comfort when we were growing up in their homes. Never, not even once, let them feel as if they are tenants or they are merely seeking shelter in our homes. Instead, make them feel that it is their home as well.
For those who are not given the opportunity of taking care of their parents, visit them even if it is just once a week. Teach our children the importance of visiting the elderly, and impress upon them that doing so leads to barakah or blessings in our lives.
May our good manners and respect toward our parents, which is nothing compared to their sacrifices in raising us, be accepted and blessed by Allah. May Allah shower His mercy upon both our parents in this world and the Hereafter. Amin.