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)



Most of us have grown up listening to “Jack & the beanstalk”, ”Snow White and the 7 dwarfs” and “Hansel and Gretel”.

We tell these stories to our children before bedtime and feel we are such good parents. We are fulfilling our parental duties, spending quality time with the young ones and if in the telling of a fairy tale, it helps to transport us to a happier and more innocent place in our past, where stress, obligation, duty and depression are words never even heard of all the better. Fairy tales offer the greatest form of escapism.

We are transported to a world where the only limits are self imposed by your own imagination. To fly like “Peter Pan”, to be rescued from a hum-drum existence by a dashing prince. Beauty in distress is always a great draw card. Indulging in a little harmless day dreaming, where’s the harm?

Have we ever sat back and examined the morals behind these fairy tales? Do we really want our dear children to grow up with negative impressions of step-mothers? Do we really want them thinking that the best and most expedient way to defeat an enemy is a little poison in an apple or running away from home and living with strangers in a forest is an option when things become unbearable at home? Oh! Of course it has to be an enchanted forest! Is stealing is acceptable if it’s from a giant who demands of his servants to prepare large amounts of food to feed his enormous appetite?

We sit back and wonder where have we gone wrong when our children lie to us. We lament the fact that they steal. Woe be on little Nafeesa who innocently kissed a boy in school. To her, she was just skipping steps. Instead of going via the frog, she kissed her prince charming directly. Life is too short to go via the frog.This was much quicker. We sit in our Taleem groups, or musjid parking lots lamenting the plight of our children.

Is it not time to conduct a thorough examination of the value systems that we are inculcating with these “seemingly” innocent fairy tales? Ironically most of these tales are the work of the brothers “Grim”. This might be just the place to start our perusal. Their name says it all. We do admit that they possessed a macabre sense of humor. Add the penchant for the fanciful, and it sets the scene for a very unusual mix. Are we too blind to see it or have we been hoodwinked to such a great extent? The best place to hide something is in plain sight. Could this be their idea of a joke. We, in our ivory towers, have for centuries, fallen for it. Who is to rescue us and our innocent children from the big bad wolf of deception?

Is it not time for us to look for narratives of moral fibre to regale us and our children? Should we not begin looking at men and women who performed deeds that are more realistic,instead of supplying them with stories of deeds that are fictitious and far fetched? Stories exhibiting deeds of valour, loyalty, honor, honesty, justice and integrity is what we should be nourishing our children with. Men and woman whom Allah Ta’aala Himself has given the title of “Radiyal laahu anhum”i.e.-Allah is well pleased with them.

Only when we introduce these heroes into our lives and the lives of our children, we would definitely find a greater measure of peace in our lives, and only then would we be able to “live happily ever after”.

May Allah Ta’aala guide and assist us in raising our beloved children in a way that is pleasing to Him and His Rasool(sal lal laahu alay hi wa sal lam). Aameen.