Disobedience to parents

Q: I often have attacks of anger and because I cannot control my temper, I sometimes swear at my parents and physically abuse them. After I calm down, I say sorry to them and ask them for forgiveness. I feel very guilty because my parents are old and due to my physical abuse, they suffer body pains. I am very scared that something dangerous might happen to me on account of my ill-treatment towards my parents. My question is, “Will I burn in hell for treating my parents in this manner?” How can I repent for this sin?


A: The Hadith explains that your parents are your paradise or your hell. If you are kind, compassionate and loving towards them, and in permissible matters, you obey and serve them as you ought to, you will be blessed with paradise. On the contrary, if you disobey them, and you are harsh, rude and mean towards them, then your evil treatment towards them will be the means of you entering the fire of hell. Refrain from such evil and sinful deeds and sincerely repent to Allah Ta’ala for your past. Similarly, beg their forgiveness and show them compassion and love. If you are sincere, Allah Ta’ala will forgive you. Otherwise, the consequences for ill-treating one’s parents and oppressing them are extremely disastrous and detrimental in this world and the next.

Below we will present verses of the Qur’an Majeed and a few Mubaarak Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) which relate to the rights of parents:

The Command of Showing Kindness to Parents:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا ﴿الإسراء: ٢٣﴾

Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor scold them, instead address them in a respectful manner.

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّـهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ﴿البقرة: ٨٣﴾

And remember when We took a covenant from the Bani Israa’eel that you worship none but Allah; and treat your parents with kindness.

Serving One’s Aged Parents is Equal to Nafl Jihaad:

حدثنا حبيب بن أبي ثابت قال سمعت أبا العباس الشاعر وكان لا يتهم في حديثه قال سمعت عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما يقول جاء رجل إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فاستأذنه في الجهاد فقال أحي والداك قال نعم قال ففيهما فجاهد (صحيح البخاري، الرقم: 3004)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr (radhiyallahu anhuma) narrates that on one occasion, a Sahaabi came to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) seeking permission to participate in jihaad. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) inquired,  “Are your parents alive?”  The Sahaabi replied, “Yes”. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) responded, “Your Jihaad is in serving them (as they are old and in need of your service).”

عن معاوية بن جاهمة أن جاهمة جاء إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله أردت أن أغزو وقد جئتك أستشيرك فقال هل لك من أم قال نعم  قال فالزمها فإن الجنة عند رجلها (شرح مشكل الآثار، الرقم: 2132)

Hazrat Muaawiyah ibn Jaahimah reports that Hazrat Jaahimah (radhiyallahu anhu) came to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked, “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), I intend going for jihaad, however I have come to consult you first.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) inquired, “Do you have a mother (who is in need of your service)?” Hazrat Jaahimah (radhiyallahu anhu) replied, “yes” Thereafter, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Hold firmly to her and serve her, for verily Jannah lies at her feet.”

Acquiring the Reward of Hajj, Umrah and Jihaad

عن أنس رضي الله عنه قال أتى رجل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إني أشتهي الجهاد ولا أقدر عليه قال هل بقي من والديك أحد قال أمي قال قابل الله في برها فإذا فعلت ذلك فأنت حاج ومعتمر ومجاهد (الترغيب والترهيب، الرقم: 3747)

Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that a man came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and said, “I wish to participate in jihaad, but I cannot afford it.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) enquired if any of his parents were alive, to which he said, “Yes, My mother is alive.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Show Allah Ta‘ala how you serve her. If you do so, you will be like a haaji, a mu’tamir (one doing Umrah) and a mujaahid (one striving in the path of Allah Ta‘ala).”

The Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala Lies in The Pleasure of The Parents:

عن عبد الله بن عمرو عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال رضى الرب في رضى الوالد وسخط الرب في سخط الوالد (سنن الترمذي، الرقم: 1899)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr (radhiyallahu anhuma) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The pleasure of Allah Ta’ala lies in the pleasure of the parents, and the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala lies in the displeasure of the parents.”

Your Parents are either Your Paradise or Your Hell:

عن أبي أمامة أن رجلا قال يا رسول الله ما حق الوالدين على ولدهما قال هما جنتك ونارك (سنن ابن ماجه، الرقم: 3662)

Hazrat Abu Umaamah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) relates that a certain Sahaabi asked, “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), what rights do parents have over their children?”  Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “They are either your (means of entering) Jannat or your (means of entering) Jahannum.”

عن ابن عباس قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من أصبح مطيعا لله في والديه أصبح له بابان مفتوحان من الجنة وإن كان واحدا فواحدا ومن أمسى عاصيا لله في والديه أصبح له بابان مفتوحان من النار وإن كان واحدا فواحدا قال رجل وإن ظلماه قال وإن ظلماه وإن ظلماه وإن ظلماه (شعب الإيمان، الرقم: 7538)

Hazrat Ibnu Abbaas (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) relates that Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whoever spends his day obeying Allah Ta’ala with regards to his parents, every morning two doors of Jannat will be open for him. If he only has one parent alive then only one door will be opened for him. Whoever spends his day disobeying Allah Ta’ala with regards to his parents then two doors of Jahannum will be open for him. If he only has one parent alive then only one door will be opened for him.”  The Sahaabi asked, “Even if they oppress you (i.e. should you still be kind to them)?”  Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Even if they oppress you! Even if they oppress you! Even if they oppress you!”

Pleasing One’s Parents and Looking at them with Mercy is equal in Reward to an Accepted Nafl Hajj:

عن ابن عباس أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ما من ولد بار ينظر نظرة رحمة إلا كتب الله بكل نظرة حجة مبرورة قالوا وإن نظر كل يوم مائة مرة قال نعم الله أكبر وأطيب (شعب الإيمان، الرقم: 7472 هذا الحديث وإن كان ضعيفا ولكن يقبل في فضائل الأعمال لأجل الشواهد)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “There is no obedient child who looks at his parents with mercy (and love) except that Allah Ta‘ala records for him the reward of an accepted Hajj for every time he looks (at his parents with mercy)” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) asked, “Even if he looks one hundred times every day?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes, Allah Ta‘ala is the greatest and He is much more bountiful (His reward is much more than you can imagine).”

The Evil Consequence for Ill-treating Parents:

وعن أبي بكرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلمكل الذنوب يغفر الله منها ما شاء إلا عقوق الوالدين فإنه يعجل لصاحبه في الحياة قبل الممات (شعب الإيمان، الرقم:7506)

Hazrat Abu Bakrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Allah Ta’ala will forgive whichever sin He so wishes besides the sin of showing disobedience to one’s parents (i.e.  Allah Ta’ala does not generally forgive this sin without one seeking forgiveness from one’s parents). Indeed Allah Ta’ala will (apart from the punishment in store in the hereafter for committing such a heinous crime), punish the person in this very world before he passes away.”

مالك بن الحسن بن مالك بن الحويرث عن أبيه عن جده قال صعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم المنبر فلما رقي عتبة قال آمين ثم رقي عتبة أخرى فقال آمين ثم رقي عتبة ​ثالثة فقال آمين ثم قال أتاني جبريل فقال يا محمد من أدرك رمضان فلم يغفر له فأبعده الله قلت آمين قال ومن أدرك والديه أو أحدهما فدخل النار فأبعده الله قلت آمين فقال ومن ذكرت عنده فلم يصل عليك فأبعده الله قل آمين فقلت آمين (صحيح ابن حبان، الرقم: 409)

Hazrat Maalik bin Huwairith narrates from his grandfather that on one occasion, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) ascended the first step of the mimbar, and thereafter he said Aameen. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then ascended the second step of the mimbar, and thereafter he said Aameen again. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then ascended the third step of the mimbar and said Aameen for the third time. Thereafter, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “(When I ascended the first step of the mimbar,) Jibreel (Alaihis Salaam) appeared before me and said, “Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhaan and let it pass without gaining forgiveness”. Upon that, I said, “Aameen.” Then Jibreel (alaihis salaam) said, “Woe to the person in whose presence both parents or one of them attain old age, and through failing to serve them, he is not allowed to enter Jannah.” Upon that, I said, “Aameen.” Then Jibreel (alaihis salaam) said, “Woe to him before whom your name is mentioned and he does not recite durood upon you”. Upon that, I said, “Aameen.””

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)


My Dear Child

You will be reading this after my death. Please read the following as though I am addressing you from my Qabr. I may now be lying within a space of approximately two meters by one meter. All around me is sand except for the pieces of wood above supporting the load of sand. That too is weakening and the entire load of sand may soon fall directly on me.
Be assured that I loved you. My heart and soul was concentrated on you from the time Allah Ta’āla granted you to me. Your beautiful and innocent smile reminded me of Allah Ta’āla’s beauty. Your cry caused me immense pain and I went out of my way to comfort you. As you grew and attended Madrasah to learn the name of Allah Ta’āla, the Qur’an and how to perform Salah, you represented an investment to me far greater than any other worldly investment I may have left behind. You would make duas and seek forgiveness on my behalf when I would be unable to do so.
My dear child, that day has come. You are on the face of the earth and I may be lying paralysed in its belly. How true is the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that a person in a grave is like a drowning person. He awaits the rewards from his beloved. Dear child, I cannot utter a single Subhanallah.
You are my flesh and blood. I love you and if you really love me, I implore you to do the following five things:
1.Be obedient to Allah Ta’āla, that is the greatest reward for you. I am informed of whatever you do; your good deeds please me and your bad deeds cause me pain.
2.Dear child, I know the pain of my death and my absence will gradually decrease and you will carry on with your life. Don’t let engagement of the world make you oblivious of death. Think of me regularly and know that your day will come soon. Do remember death and do prepare for it, send Surah Yaseen every day for me. I will look forward to receiving it.
3.If you can, give some Sadaqah and charity to the poor and needy on my behalf. Allah Ta’āla gave you wealth. If you really love me, give Sadaqah on my behalf.
4. I am lonely in the Qabr. Come and visit me and make Salaam to me. You may not see me or hear me, but Insha’Allah I may see you and hear you. Your standing beside me and making dua at my Qabr will invoke Allah Ta’āla’s mercy on both of us.
5.Remember, we are from Allah Ta’āla and to Allah Ta’āla is our return. We are merely travellers for a brief moment but our actions here will determine our future forever.
Dear child, exercise patience. We will meet in the Akhirah Insha’Allah. For that, guard yourself against Shaytaan and his tricks and ensure you live with Imaan and die with Imaan.

Mufti Ebrahim Desai ( Hafidhahullah)