Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be upon His final Messenger Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah, peace and blessings be upon him, the best in character and manners, to whom we are commanded to follow and emulate. And may Allah's mercy and forgiveness be upon the Prophet's beloved family and noble companions.
To proceed ...
Honouring One's Parents
Imam Al-Bukhari opened his book Al-Adab al-Mufrad with a chapter concerning the honouring of one's parents, indicating its importance over the other topics he later covers. He began by citing a verse from the Noble Qur'an:
"And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful to his parents."
Imam Ibn Kathir said regarding this verse:
"Allah commands His servants to be dutiful to parents ... because a person's parents are the cause of his existence (by His permission). So he must treat them with the utmost kindness and respect, his father for spending on him and his mother because of her compassion for him."
In several places in the Qur'an (including what has been cited), Allah mentions obedience to one's parents after commanding His slaves to worship Him alone. So worshipping Allah without committing shirk, which is the greatest sin of all, is connected to honouring one's parents [Tafsir ibn Kathir] - therefore this duty is not to be treated lightly. One can find much benefit from the following verses concerning the manner in which parents should be honoured. Allah says:
"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 reprimand 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."
Imam Ibn Kathir explains:
"[This] means, do not let them hear anything offensive from you, not even say uff which is the mildest word of disrespect. 'Nor reprimand them' means, do not do anything horrible to them. 'Ata' ibn Rabah said that it meant, 'Do not raise your hand against them.' When Allah forbids speaking and behaving in an obnoxious manner, He commands speaking and behaving in a good manner, so He says ' ... but address them in terms of honour,' meaning gently, kindly, politely, and with respect and appreciation. 'And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy' means, be humble towards them in your actions and say 'My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young' means, say this when they grow old and when they die."
Imam Al-Bukhari then related the first hadith indicating its high status over the others to come. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said:
"I asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, which action Allah loves best. He replied, 'Prayer at its proper time.' Then what? I asked. He said, 'Then kindness to parents.' I asked, Then what? He replied, 'Then jihad in the way of Allah.' " He [Ibn 'Umar] added, "He told me about these things. If I had asked him to tell me more, he would have told me more."
- He is the Imam of hadith, Abu 'Abdillah Muhammad ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari, born in the year 194H. He is famous for his amazing memory and extensive travels in pursuit of knowledge. He authored several works, the most famous being Al-Jami' as-Sahih (widely referred to as Sahih Al-Bukhari), which is considered the most authentic book after the Book of Allah. He died in 256H, may Allah have mercy upon him. ^back
- He is the famous historian and interpreter of the Qur'an who authored several books including the monumental Al-Bidayah wa'n-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End). He died in 774H, may Allah have mercy upon him. ^back
- Imam 'Ata' ibn Rabah was from the leading tabi'in (successors of the Companions) in tafsir (exegesis of the Qur'an) and student of the noble companion Abdullah ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him. He died 114H. ^back
- He is from the most famous and knowledgeable companions, the son of the Leader of the Believers, 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him. He died in 73H. ^back