In Qur’an 17 verse 23-24, Allah the exalted says “Thy Lord hath decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in life and say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness lower to them the wing of humility and say ‘My lord Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood’”.
It is inherent on mankind to get angry and upset. When people attain old age they begin to become slower, weaker, forgetful and dependent on others. This tends to make the younger generation look down on them and sometimes speak harshly or act towards them violently. Allah has warned us against this especially to our parents. We need to be patient and take care of them as they did for us when we were younger.
In Qur’an 31(Surah Luqman) verse 14, Allah says “And We have enjoined upon man(care) for his parents. His mother carried him, increasing her in (weakness upon weakness), and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the (final) destination.”
We are to show care and respect for our parents in Islam. Anyone who disrespects any of his/her parents will answer to Allah on the Yaumul-Qiyamah( the Day of Judgement).
In Qur’an 29 verse 8, Allah says “We have enjoined on man kindness to parents but if they (either of them) strive (to force) you to join with me (in worship) anything of which you have knowledge, obey them not. You all have to return to Me and I will tell you the truth of all that you did.”
In Islam, there is no obedience to any being that enjoins you in disobedience of Allah. It should be noted that disobeying parents does not mean that they should be maltreated or denied of their rights. Be kind and respectful when refusing their invitation to worship another deity except Allah. Do not raise your voice instead, turn to Allah for He is the one that will judge our actions.
Kindness to parents is the second most beloved deed in the sight of Allah. The Prophet was reported to have said: “If anyone possesses these three characteristics; gentleness towards the weak, affection towards parents and kindness to slaves, Allah will grant him into paradise and give him an easy death ”(Tirmidhi 3364).
The key to paradise is under the feet of one’s mother. This is a figurative saying. It is said in the hadith that showing affections to our parents will grant Jannah(paradise). It is inevitable to wrong our parents but do not do so intentionally, but if by chance you have, show humility by asking for forgiveness because Allah is angry with those whose parents are angry with them.
Kindness can be extended to our dead parents. In an hadith it is narrated: While we were with the Apostle of Allah( SAW), a man of Banu Salma came to Him and said: Apostle of Allah is there any kindness left I can do to my parents after their death? He replied, “Yes, you can invoke blessings on them, ask forgiveness for them, carry out their final instructions before their death, join ties of a relationship which are independent on them, and honour their friends.” (Abu Dawud).
Actions that can invoke blessing on dead people are actions that the living benefit from. Some examples are building of a mosque, Sadaqah (foundation), giving out Qur’an in their honour etc. Kindness is equivalent to respect, obedience and honour. We should pay the debts of our dead parents and ask for forgiveness for them from Allah and from those people who they may have offended.