“He is only a child!”, “Be quiet, this is a grown-up issue”, “Go to your room and don’t disturb us while we are talking” … What do these sentences remind you of? Your own childhood? Your little son or daughter? you have probably heard these statements at least once or twice in your lifetime. Remember this, “ You are responsible for your flower ”. Now let’s read the following extract in this regard:
“It was the time of prayer (Salat). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) who was with his grandchild, Hassan Ibn Ali (AS), invited people to perform this holy task. While standing for Salat, Prophet put the child beside himself and started his prayer. People who were behind him wondered why he had lingered in prostration for a long time, but there was no way for them to find out the cause in the middle of Salat. After they had finished, they inquired the reason of the Prophet (PBUH&HP): ‘we had never seen such a prostration from you. We thought that you were receiving revelations from Allah that made you linger in your prostration for such a long time’. He answered: ‘No it was not a revelation. My child, Hassan (AS), was climbing over me when I was in prostration and I did not want to rush and put him down. So I waited for him long enough to come down himself’” .
“Once prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and other Muslims stand to perform Midday prayer (Salat al-Zuhr) in a congregational manner. However, after performing the second Rak’ah, Prophet (PBUH&HP) suddenly made haste in finishing the two remaining Rak’ahs. After the prayer was finished, the people around him asked: ‘Has something unpleasant happened that you made haste in completing your prayer?’ Prophet answered: ‘Haven’t you heard the voice of that baby who was moaning?’” 
These and many other examples from our kind Prophet shows the deep regard of our religion for the dignity and self-worth of children in Islam.
Through his speech and manner, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) constantly invited his followers to treat children in Islam with respect and to devote great attention to their behavior toward them; when his grandchildren entered a room, Prophet (PBUH&HP) would stand up and welcome them warmlyi, he was always the first one who greeted children and never refused children’s request for playing with them and participated in their games .
As a result of this kind of behavior, children in Islam will feel worthy of respect and will show more confidence in their actions. Consequently, when they grow up, they will be able to take risks and use their full capacity not being afraid of failure and humiliation.
On the contrary, the child whose dignity has been neglected by his/her parents will end up being shaky and not confident, not able to decide for his/her life and find his/her way to success. A beautiful analogy by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) will clarify this fact more: “my cloth will be cleaned by water, but what will cleanse my child’s heart from the dust of discomfiture and the pain of humiliation?” 
So, in raising our children in Islam, it is our responsibility to be highly observant not to say something or act in a way that would deny their self-worth and dignity and belittle them in any way. Children are sensitive creatures, like flowers, an action or a remark which may seem to us unimportant and natural, can wither their beautiful and innocent souls easily, and mark a permanent injury on their heart. Remember, “You are responsible for your flower”.
[i]. This behavior of Prophet (PBUH&HP) was probably because of the great personality and value of Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hossein (AS), however, when we consider it along with other Hadiths, we can easily distinguish the affectionate and compassionate manner of him toward children.
- Ibn Shahr Ashub, Muhammad. Manaqib Al Abi Talib. V.4, P.24.
- Ali Ibn Hassan Tabarsi. Meshat al-Anvar. P. 243.
- Abbas Qomi. Safinah al Bahar. V.2, P.676.
- Falsafi, Muhammad Taqi. Child in Hereditary and Upbringing View (Kudak Az Nazare Verasat va Tarbiat). P.259.
Mothers in Islam are held in very high esteem. How a Muslim should treat their parents, especially the mother, is underlined in the holy Quran and Hadiths [i]. Several verses in the Quran emphasize the difficulties that a mother goes through and the respect that should be accorded to her.
“We have enjoined man to be kind to his parents. His mother has carried him in travail and bore him in travail, and his gestation and weaning take thirty months. When he comes of age and reaches forty years, he says," My Lord! Inspire me to give thanks for Your blessing with which You have blessed me and my parents, and that I may do righteous deeds which may please You, and invest my descendants with righteousness. Indeed I have turned to you in penitence, and I am one of the Muslims” (46:15).
This verse mentions both parents in general but goes into detail in regards to the mothers in Islam because she faces challenges that a father does not. The command to treat parents with kindness means to shower love, affection, and piety on them, both in words and deeds.
One should treat them with respect under all circumstances, obey them unless it is something that God has forbidden, care for them in old age as they cared for you as a child, give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship.
And approach them with tender humility and mercy; not to raise your voice above theirs, nor to fix your glance on them, nor to call them by their names; to be patient with them, and never harm them verbally or physically.
But why should we be kind to our parents, especially our mothers? The Quran repeats the struggles a mother withstands in another passage to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents’ sacrifice for them:
“We have enjoined man concerning his parents: His mother carried him through weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years. Give thanks to Me and your parents. To Me is the return. But if they urge you to ascribe to Me as a partner that of which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Keep their company honorably in this world and follow the way of him who turns to Me penitently. Then to Me will be your return, whereat I will inform you concerning what you used to do” (31:14, 15).
There are also verses in the Quran that the mention of servitude to God is immediately followed by the command of being kind to parents. This is also repeated throughout the Quran:
“Worship Allah and do not ascribe any partners to Him, and be good to parents…” (4:36).
“Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship anyone except Him, and [He has enjoined] kindness to parents. Should they reach old age at your side one of them or both do not say to them," Fie!" And do not chide them, but speak to them noble words. Lower the wing of humility to them, out of mercy, and say," My Lord!” (17:23-24)
These verses indicate that after worshiping Allah alone, beautiful conduct to parents is the next most important duty for a Muslim. Mothers in Islam are due to this conduct even before fathers according to the command of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in the story below:
A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: ‘Your mother.’ The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: ‘Then your mother.’ The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet repeated: ‘Then your mother.’ The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: ‘Then your father’ .
The importance of the mother over the father is highlighted in this Hadith [i] by repeating “your mother” three times and then saying “your father” once in response to the man’s question.
All these Quranic verses and sayings (Hadiths) demonstrate the extraordinary worth of mothers in Islam. This religion considers the attainment of the last phase of perfection, namely paradise, dependent on the mother’s satisfaction, as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said: “Heaven lies beneath the feet of mothers ”.
[i]. sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Imams
When a child is born, he sees only two people by his side who are with him at all stages of life, are willing to help him until death takes them apart, want his success in everything, and are open to any harm for the sake of his success. They give him the basic teachings of life and try to prepare him in the best way to enter society. Their names are the first words a baby utters: mom and dad. In this topic, we are going to talk about the place has given to the father in Islam.
When we talk about an issue from an Islamic perspective, the best document we can come up with is the Holy Quran. Before going to the topic of parents’ status in Islam, we should mention that Allah also commanded the followers of previous divine religions to respect their parents and that this commandment of Allah was along with several other commandments, including monotheism; Because loving and caring about parents is a natural human trait and is restricted neither to time nor people or religion. We now turn to a number of Quranic guidelines on the status of parents in Islam:
"…Do not worship except Allah, and to parents do good…" (The Holy Quran 2:83)
"Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good …" (The Holy Quran 4:36)
"Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination" (The Holy Quran 31:14)
When you think carefully about these verses, you can see an epic image; Allah places parents in the Muslim’s life right after His high position and goodness to parents beside monotheism. Now that we know about Quran’s perspective, let us read more about this matter in the Islamic narrations. Another important matter before reading the narrations, however, is that Allah never singles out a parent but mentions both of them meaning that the mother’s placement is as high as the father’s in Islam.
-Undoubtedly, the dignity of the father is unique before Allah; To the extent that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) said: The father is in the middle of paradise, it is up to you to either keep it or waste it. (1) This means that achieving divine grace depends on the consent of the father. His position and respect are highly recommended in such a way that it cannot be easily overlooked, as far as the Islamic lifestyle is concerned. Of course, in today's world, parents are not valued as they should be, but in the school of Islam and in various verses that we read above, their placement is high. This position is so great that the Prophet (PBUH&HP) has introduced himself and Imam Ali (PBUH) to the people as the fathers of this nation (2) which means that everything the two do is only for the success and progress of this blessed religion, and they wish nothing in return; just like a father sacrifices his life for the betterment of his children.
-If a parent curses his child, he will not have a way to heaven. Not only will he not have a way, but he will be deprived of the smell of heaven from afar. As the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) said: The smell will reach the nostrils, but not the nostrils of such parents. (3)
- In this regard, Imam Reza (as) also says: "It is obligatory to do good to one's parents, even though they are polytheists, but in disobeying God, one should not be commanded by them." (4)
- A man named Ibrahim, one of the companions of Imam Sadigh (AS), said to him: “My father is very old and incapacitated so that when he wants to do the basics of his life, we take him on our shoulders and take him away”. Imam said: "If you can do such a thing yourself and make food for him with your own hands; because such a service is the shield of fire for the day after your resurrection". (5)
- One of the moral precepts of Islam is to keep the name and memory of parents alive. In a part of the prayer of Imam Sajjad (as) it is stated: “O my God! "I do not remember my parents at the end of the prayers, and I do not remember them at all moments of the evening and at all hours of the day." (6)
This was the indication on remembrance, in any form and in any way, of doing good to fathers and a kind of appreciation for their efforts and promoting the tradition of respect for elders. Also, Hafez, one of the famous Persian poets said on this topic: How to nurture the sweetness of your heart // When you do not remember your father, you stone-hearted. (7)
As we look at Islam and its Prophet through narrations, we see that the value and importance they place on human parents is very high and only a step lower than Allah, a place that if people seek redemption and heaven, they are given based on their goodness to parents. We hope that in this way we can be benevolent children for our parents and models for other Muslims.
- Gharar al-Hikam (21th volume – page 174)
- Bihar al-Anwar (16th volume – page 95)
- Tafsir Nemooneh (12th volume – page 97)
- Bihar al-Anwar (16th volume – page 100)
- Bihar al-Anwar (16th volume – page 101)
- Al-Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyya (24th Supplication)
- The Divan of Hafez – 298th sonnet