Praise be to Allaah.
Honouring one’s parents is one of the greatest means of
drawing close to Allaah and one of the best acts of obedience. It is an
important right that they are given in Islamic sharee’ah, so much so that
Allaah has mentioned obedience to parents alongside obedience to Him, and
their rights alongside His rights, in more than one place.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to
his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and
hardship, and his weaning is in two years __
give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination”
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him)said in his
Tafseer (5/171): The scholars said: Those who are most deserving of
gratitude, kindness, honour and obedience after the Creator are those whom
Allaah mentions kindness towards alongside worship, obedience and gratitude
to Him, namely one’s parents. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“give thanks to Me and to your parents” [Luqmaan 31:14].
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “The Lord is pleased when the parents are pleased and He is angry when
the parents are angry.” Al-Albaani said: It is hasan li ghayrihi (hasan
because of corroborating evidence).
Clearly expressing gratitude to the parents and acknowledging
their virtue is undoubtedly included in the meaning of the verse, but the
verse should not be understood as meaning this only, rather what is meant by
giving thanks here is more general than that: a person should fulfil the
rights that his Lord has over him in his heart and his words as well as his
physical actions, and he should fulfil his parents’ rights over him in like
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
Madaarij al-Saalikeen (2/244-246):
Gratitude is based on five foundations:
Humility of the thankful one towards the One Who is thanked,
his love for Him, his acknowledgement of His blessing, his praise of Him for
that and not using it for anything that He hates.
These five are the foundations of gratitude which is built on
them. If one of them is missing, then one of the foundations of gratitude is
missing. Whoever (of the scholars) speaks of gratitude as an independent
quality must be referring to all of these five foundations.
Gratitude is shown in the heart by humility, on the tongue by
praise and acknowledgement, and in one’s physical actions by obeying and
submitting. End quote.
In his commentary on this verse, Shaykh al-Sa’di (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said: When He enjoined fulfilling His rights by giving up
shirk, which means establishing Tawheed, He also enjoined fulfilling
parents’ rights, and said: “And We have enjoined on man” i.e., We
have commanded him and made it an obligation upon him, and We shall question
him about his fulfilment thereof, did he fulfil it or not? And We have
enjoined on him “(to be dutiful and good) to his parents” and have
said to him: “give thanks to Me” by worshipping Me and fulfilling
your duties towards Me, and not seeking the help of My blessings in
disobeying Me; “and to your parents” by treating them kindly,
speaking gently to them, treating them nicely, being humble towards them,
honouring them, respecting them, taking care of them and avoiding
mistreating them in any way, in word or deed.
We have enjoined this upon him and We have told him that “Unto
Me is the final destination” i.e., you will return, O man, to the One
Who enjoined this upon you and ordained these duties for you, and He will
ask you: Did you fulfil them? In which case He will reward you greatly, but
if you failed, He will punish you severely. End quote. Al-Tafseer,
There is nothing wrong with accompanying thanksgiving to
Allaah with thanksgiving to one’s parents, and combining the two, but he
should not do that all the time as if it were a dhikr narrated from the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because there is
no such report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
There are a number of questions on our site that discuss the
command to honour one’s parents. Please see:
And Allaah knows best.