What Are the Rights of Parents in Islam? Part 2

Exclusive Rights of Mothers


Imam Sajjad (AS) enumerates the rights of parents in Islam, specifically the mother in ‘Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq)’, based on her efforts, such as how she withstood the difficulties during the pregnancy, the care and protection she provided after giving birth to the baby, the selfless sacrifices she made so that her child could grow up in the most comfortable condition and with the best education.



Then, Imam (AS) invites to show gratitude to the mother, but he adds in the end that one cannot reciprocate what she had done unless God helps him to succeed [12].



Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) admits that one can never (repeats this two times) pay back the rights of the mother; even if he attempts as many times as the number of the raindrops and the desert sands of the world to pay her back for only one of the days that she had carried him in her womb during the pregnancy, he will not succeed [13].


parents in Islam, family in Islam, Salam Islam


The rights of the mother among parents in Islam are even known to be superior to those of the father [14] since it is said that: “If you are performing a recommended (mustahab) prayer (which is a kind of talking with God and being in His presence requires certain reverence) and your father calls you, do not break your prayer but if your mother calls, break the prayer”[15].


In this regard, it is narrated that a man, who claimed that had committed every possible sin, asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) if he could still repent or not. Prophet (PBUH) questioned if either of his parents was alive. He answered, his father was. Then, Prophet (PBUH) advised him to go and treat him well. A while after the man left, Prophet (PBUH) said: “if his mother was alive [he would certainly have the opportunity to repent]” [4].


These, along with other Quranic verses and narrations (Hadiths) highlight the importance of parents in Islam and especially mothers’ rights; something that can never be returned unless with divine providence.


Exclusive Rights of Fathers


One of the rights of the father is to recognize him as the root that has given existence to his children. Whenever one is proud of him/herself for a blessing, he/she should remember that he/she has inherited it from his/her father. Hence, one should praise God and thank him for what He has granted him [12].


parents in Islam, family in Islam, Salam Islam


Imam Reza (AS) said: “offer your property, honor, and life to your father since you have received them from him. Do good to him and ask for the blessing and forgiveness for him after his death” [16]. It is good to know that the amount of the father’s right in his child’s property is as much as it is sufficient for daily meals, without any dissipation, and only in case of need [14].


What Does Parents’ Satisfaction in Islam Bring about?


Of the effects of satisfying parents in Islam on their children are:


  • Gaining God’s satisfaction: “whoever his parents are satisfied with, I am satisfied with him/her” [17].
  • Long-lasting life: “Whoever honors his parents, will live a long life” [20].
  • Receiving good deeds from their own children: “honor your parents, so your children will honor you” [19].
  • Easy death: “Whoever honors the parents, God will ease his death” [21].
  • Being rewarded the highest levels in Heaven: “one, who gives Infaq to his parents, tolerates them, is beneficent to them and does not upset nor harm them, will be placed in the best levels of Heaven” [18].


What does Mistreating Parents in Islam Lead to?


According to Islamic teachings, not only mistreating parents in Islam is insolence to them, but also includes ignoring their rights, disobeying them in what is permissible and disrespecting them [22]. It is known from Islamic teachings that:


  • Even if one’s parents have done something unfair to him, he is not allowed to look at them with a sharp, angry gaze. Otherwise, even a single prayer (Salat) of him will not be accepted [24].
  • Insolence to parents is one of the major sins and is Haram [23].
  • Prophet (PBUH) has warned about the consequences of  Insolence to the parents by saying that the sweet smell of heaven will be sensed from a thousand years of distance but does not reach those who have been insolent to their parents [25].


It is essential to know that one may gain the satisfaction of the parents when they are alive, but will be readily insolent to them after their death by ignoring their rights like not paying their debts, not praying for them, etc.; and the other way around [16].



[i] (2 :83), (17:23), (4:36), (6:151), (31:13-14).

[ii] Doing prayer (Salat) and fasting (Swam) in place of parents, especially after their death, is highly advised in Islamic teachings. This is due to the importance of having respect for parents and these two Islamic practices. This also helps to maintain the emotional links between children and parents, even after their death.

[iii] Praying for parents and asking mercy on them is a duty on children that is emphasized in the Quran and Islamic narrations. If parents have committed some sins or have sometimes been disobedient, praying for them might be beneficial to them.


[1].  M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar,” vol. 74, p. 85.

[2].  M. H. Tusi, "Tahdhib al-Ahkam," vol. 6, p. 350.

[3].  A. Q. Payande, “Nahj Al-Fasahah,” T. 2963.

[4].  www.al-islam.org

[5].  M. B. Majlesi, "Mir’at al-oqul fi sharh ikhbar al-rasoul (PBUH)", vol. 8, p. 390.

[6].  M. Muhammadi Rayshahri, “The scale of wisdom: a compendium of Shi'a Hadith”, T. 6762.

[7].  M. Muhammadi Rayshahri, “The scale of wisdom: a compendium of Shi'a Hadith”, T. 6761

[8].  “Mutual rights of parents and children”, vol. 36, p. 86.

[9].  Ibn Babawayh, “Al-Khisal”, p. 298.

[10]. H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wassail”, vol. 15, p. 198.

[11]. M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 86, p. 359.

[12]. Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (AS), “Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq)”.

[13]. H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wassail”, vol. 15, p. 203.

[14].  A. Javadi Amoli, “Mafatih al-hayat”, p. 224.

[15]. H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wassail”, vol. 15, p. 181.

[16]. Ibn Babawayh,,”Fiqh al-Ridha (AS)”, p. 334.

[17]. H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wasail”, vol. 15, p. 176.

[18]. Sheikh al-Mufid, “Al-Amali”, p.167.

[19]. F. H. Tabarsi, “Mishkat ul-Anwar Fi Ghurar il-Akhbar”, p. 280.

[20]. F. H. Tabarsi, “Mishkat ul-Anwar Fi Ghurar il-Akhbar”, p. 282.

[21]. F. H. Tabarsi, “Mishkat ul-Anwar Fi Ghurar il-Akhbar”, p. 281.

[22]. J. M. Khonsari, “A discription on Ghurar Al-Hikam Wa Durar Al-Kalim", vol. 1, p.548.

[23]. A. Javadi Amoli, http://maarefquran.org/.

[24]. H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wasail”, vol. 15, p. 204.

[25]. N. Makarim Shirazi, “Tafsir Nemouneh”, vol. 12, p.80.