Rights Owed to Parents

Children must obey their parents as long as they do not command them with something sinful. Children must treat their parents well and must be kind to them, and strive to please them and provide for them. They must secure for them their necessities from food, drink, clothing and shelter. Children must speak to them softly and should not be harsh, and they must have patience in serving them and give consideration to their feelings. They should not speak ill to them, hurt their feelings, nor do anything which angers them. Allah (SWT) says:

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. [17:23]

Islam has regarded their disobedience to be one of the greatest sins. Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) narrated that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said:

O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), what are the gravest of sins?” He responded: “To worship or associate partners with Allah.” He said, “Then what?” He replied, “Disobedience to parents.” He said, “Then what?” He replied, “A submerging (ghamoos) oath.” He said, “And what is a submerging oath?” He replied, “A lie which is sworn to usurp the money of another Muslim.” [al-Bukhari]

To portray the status of parents in Islam, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The Pleasure of the Lord is attained through pleasing parents, and the Anger of the Lord is incurred through angering parents.” [at-Tirmidhi]

It is obligatory that these rights be given to parents, even if they are of a different Religion. Asmaa’ bin! Abi Bakr said:

“My mother came to me while she was a polytheist during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) so I sought permission of the Messenger of Allah (SWT). I said, ‘My mother came to me and she desires [to maintain relations with me].

Should I maintain ties with my mother?’ He said to her. “Yes, maintain relations with your mother. [al-Bukhari]

Mothers are given priority over fathers in matters of kind treatment and good companionship Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that a man said to the Prophet (ﷺ):

O  Messenger of Allah (SWT), who. has the most right for the best companionship?” He replied, “I our mother, then your mother, then your mother. then your father, and then those after him, and then those after him.” [Muslim]

The Prophet accorded the mother three rights and the father one right because the mother bears hardships and suffering that the father cannot .Mothers are as Allah (SWT) described:

And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship.[46:15]

She suffers from hardship when she bears him in her womb taking nutrition from her, during childbirth, and when she feeds him after delivery and staying awake at nights.

Rights Owed to the Husband

[1] His role of leadership. He has the right to be the leader of the house. He is not however, to be a petty tyrant. He has the right to implement what he sees as the best interest for the affairs of the family. Allah (SWT) says:

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women. because Allah has made one of them to excel the other. and because they spend (to support them) from their means. [4:34]

That is because men generally are more rational in dealing with affairs, in contrast to women who are more emotional. But the husbands should still consult their wives and accept their views in marital affairs.

[2] The wife must obey her husband as long as he does not command her to do something sinful.

[3] The wife must not refuse her husband when he calls her to bed. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and he spends the night angry with her, the angels will continuously curse her till the morning.” [Muslim] [4] The wife should not burden him with requests he cannot bear. She should be keen to please him and fulfil his wishes. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“If I would have ordered a person to prostrate to another, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate to her husband.” [al-Tirmidhi] [5] A woman should protect and guard her husband’s wealth, children and honour. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

The best of women are those that when you look at her you are pleased, when you order her she obeys, and when you are not present, she keeps your secrets and protects your wealth.” [Nasaa’i] [6] A woman should not leave the house except if her husband agrees, and not to permit into his house anyone whom he dislikes. The Prophet (ﷺ), said:

 “Indeed you have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. As for your rights over your wives, they should not permit those who you dislike to enter your houses. Indeed their right over you is to clothe and feed them in a good way.” [ibn Majaah]

The Early Muslims used to implement such instructions. ‘Awf. bint Muhlim ash-Shaybani gave this piece of advice to her daughter on her wedding night:

“My daughter, you have parted your home in which you were born and your nest in which you were raised, to a man you do not know and a companion you have not been familiar with. So be his maid and he will be your slave. Observe for him ten qualities, and he will be a treasure for you: contentment, obedience, taking care of your beauty and pleasant smell, taking heed of the time of his sleep and meals, taking care of his money and children, refraining from disobedience to him, and keeping his secrets. Don’t show pleasure to him when he is worried or grief when he is pleased.”

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