The Noble Qur’an – Al-Isra 17:23-24
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 lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”
The Story of Alqamah RA
At the time of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, there was a young man named Alqamah. He was very diligent in obeying Allah by engaging in prayer and fasting and spending in charity. Then he fell ill and his illness became serious. His wife went to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and said, “My husband, Alqamah, is on his deathbed. I therefore came to tell you, Messenger of Allah, about his condition.” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam (then) sent for Ammar or Suhaib and Bilal, and told them to go to him (Alqamah) and have him repeat the Shahadah. Thereupon they went to him and found him in the agony of death. They asked him to say, “La illaha illa Allah,” but his tongue was unable to pronounce it. At that, they came and told the Messenger of Allah that he was unable to repeat the Shahadah.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam asked, “Is either of his parents alive?” He was told, “Messenger of Allah, his mother is, but she is very old.” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam sent her a message that if it was convenient for her (that is, is she was able to go out), she should come to him; otherwise she should stay in her house and the Prophet would come to her. The Prophet’s messenger came to her and informed her of the Prophet’s message. She said, “May my life be a ransom for him, it is my pleasure to go to him!” She then stood up, leaning on her walking stick, and came to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and greeted him. Rasulullah SAW returned her greeting and said to her, “Umm Alqamah, tell me the truth, for otherwise Allah Most High will reveal the truth to me! What is the situation concerning your son, Alqamah?” She replied, “Messenger of Allah, he prays much, fasts a great deal, and spends a great amount in charity.” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said, “And what about yourself?” She said, “Messenger of Allah, I am angry with him.” He said, “Why?” She replied, “Messenger of Allah, he has preferred his wife to me and has disobeyed me.” Then Allah’s Messenger said, “Umm Alqamah, surely your anger has prevented Alqamah’s tongue from pronouncing the Shahadah.”
He then turned to Bilal RA and said, “Bilal, go out and collect a quantity of firewood.” She said, “Messenger of Allah, what do you plan to do?” He replied, “I will burn him in front of your eyes.” She said, “Messenger of Allah, he is my son! My heart cannot bear your burning him in front of me!” He said, “Umm Alqamah, Allah’s punishment is more severe and more lasting! Therefore, if you want Allah to forgive him, be reconciled to him. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, the prayer, fasting, and spending in charity (which he has done) are of no benefit to Alqamah as long as you are angry with him! Thereupon she said, “Messenger of Allah, I call upon Allah Most High and His angels and the Muslims who are present to be my witnesses that I am pleased with my son Alqamah.” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said, “Bilal, go to him and see whether he is now able to say, “La illaha illa Allah” or not. It may be that Umm Alqamah is saying something for my sake which is not in her heart.”
Thereupon Bilal went, and while entering the door he heard Alqamah saying, “La illaha illa Allah.” (Concerning this), Bilal RA remarked, “It is surely true that while Alqamah’s mother was angry with him his tongue was tied, and now that she is pleased with him his tongue is freed.” Alqamah died the same day. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam came to him and gave the order for his washing and shrouding, and then prayed the funeral prayer for him and buried him. He then stood by the side of his grave and said,”You company of Muhajireen and Helpers, if anyone favours his wife over his mother, Allah and His angels and all the people curse him! Allah does not accept his spending (in charity) and his uprightness unless he repents toward Allah, the Glorious and Majestic, and reconciles with her and attains her pleasure, because Allah’s pleasure consists in her pleasure and Allah’s anger consists in her anger.”
We must always be respectful and obedient to our parents. However, we are not to obey them if they order us to disobey Allah and His Prophet. Other than this, they deserve our utmost attention and respect.
Duaa: Allahumma inni a’udhu bika (O Allah! I seek refuge in you) min adhabi jahanam (from the torment of the hellfire) wamin adhabil qabri (and from the torment of the grave) wamin sharri fitnatil mahya wal mamat (and from the trial and afflictions of life and death) wamin sharri fitnatil masihid dajjaal (and from the deception of the False Christ.) Rabbighfir li (O my Lord! Forgive me) waliwalidayya (and my parents) Rabbirhamhuma (O my Lord! Bestow your mercy upon them) kama rabbayani saghira (just as they cherished me when I was a child). Ameen