Etiquette with One’s Parents


A Muslim believes in his parents’ rights upon him and his obligation to be good to them, obey them and to treat them in the best way. This is not just because they are the cause for his existence. It is also not just because they did a great deal of good to him that he must repay and respond to in a proper manner. But it is first and foremost because Allah the Almighty has made it obligatory upon him to obey them. He has decreed that the son must be dutiful to his parents and treat them well. In fact, Allah mentions their rights in conjunction with His own right of being worshipped alone without any partner. Allah the Almighty has said:

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  “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say, ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.'” (17:23-24)

Allah the Almighty also says:

  “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 .” (31:14)

A person asked the Prophet ﷺ,

 “ “Who has the most right to my good company?” He answered, “Your mother.” The man asked, “And then who?” He said. “Your mother” The man again asked, “And then who?” He again answered, “Your mother ” Then the man asked yet again, “And then who?” The Prophet ﷺ then said, “Your father.”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He also said:

 “ “Shall I not inform you of the greatest of great sins?”

They said “Certainly, O Allah’s Messenger” He said,

 “ “They are ascribing partners to Allah, and disobeying parents ”

At the time he ﷺ was reclining, but then he sat up and said,

 “ “And false testimony and false witness. Verily, false testimony and false witness.”

He continued to repeat that until (the narrator) Abu Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said (to himself), “If only he were to be silent.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ also said:

 “ “A child has not fulfilled all of his responsibilities toward his parent unless the father is a slave and the son buys him and sets him free.” (Muslim)

‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrated that he asked the Prophet ﷺ to tell him what deed is most beloved to Allah. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ answered:

 “ “Being dutiful to parents.” ‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him what deed was next, and he said,”Jihad in the way of Allah.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

A man came to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ to seek permission to take part in Jihad. The Prophet ﷺ asked him:

 “ “Are your parents alive?” He said, “Yes.” So the Prophet ﷺ told him, “Go and Strive on their behalf” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

A man asked him: “O Allah’s Messenger, is their any responsibility that I have to fulfill toward my parents after they have passed away?” Allah’s Messenger ﷺ replied:

 “ “Yes, there are four matters: Ask forgiveness for them, fulfill their promises, honor their close friends, keep ties with those concerning whom you have no relations except through (your parents). This is what is left upon you of good behavior toward them after they die.” (Abu Dawud)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ also said:

 “ “From the most dutiful acts is that a man keeps contact with the beloved friends of his father after the father had passed away.” (Muslim)

When a Muslim recognizes these rights of his parents, he fulfills them completely as an act of obedience to Allah and in fulfillment to His Words. Therefore, it is a must upon him to fulfill the following manners with respect to his parents:

1. One should obey them in everything they order him to do or prohibit him, as long as it is not in disobedience to Allah or in contradiction to the Shari’ah. There is no obedience to a created creature if it is an act of disobedience to the Creator. This is based on Allah’s statement:

 “ “But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly.” (31:15)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ also said:

 “ “Obedience is in what is good and proper.” (Agreed upon)


 “ “There is no obedience for created things in a matter of disobedience to Creator.” (Muslim)

2. One should respect them and honor them in all of their affairs. One should be very kind and gracious to them, and honor them in speech and action. One must not get mad at them or raise their voice above their voices, nor walk in front of them nor favor one’s spouse or child over them.

One must not call them by their names but, instead, say, “O my father” or “O my mother.” Also, one should not travel except with their permission and approval.

3. One should do one’s best to be as dutiful as possible to them and give them all kinds of obedience and goodness. One should feed them, cloth them, care for them, keep harm away from them and give them preference over one’s own life by being willing to sacrifice it for them.

4. One should do his best to keep the ties of kinship for which there are no ties except through the parents. One should also pray for them, ask forgiveness for them, fulfill their promises and honor their close friends.

Extracted from “Minhaj al Muslim” published by Dar us Salam

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at

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