The Sin of Hurting the Parents

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Praise be to God the Creator of the world, the One Who exists without beginning, without end, without location, without a "how" and Who does not depend on time. Nothing resembles Him in anyway and He hears and sees everything without organs. Whatever you imagine, God is different from that. May the elevation in degree and preservation of his community of what he fears for it, be granted to our master MuHammad Al-'Amin, the Honest One, who called for following Islam, the religion of truth, the religion of all the Prophets: of the first, Adam, to the last MuHammad.

Hurting one’s parents immensely (`uquq) is among the major sins. Allâh threatened the one who does it with severe torture in Hellfire. This means to harm either or both parents immensely (causing them a lot of pain). Hurting one’s parents is unlawful whether it is severe or light.

Among the examples of harming one’s parents is to: curse, or insult them both or either one.

Among what is also considered unlawful is if the son obeys his mother in doing injustice to his father or vice versa. It does not benefit him if he obeyed his mother in a matter that would harm his father, because there should be no obedience to a human by disobeying Allâh, the Creator. In summary, helping either parent in doing injustice to the other is sinful.

Allâh, ta`âlâ said in the Qur’ân:

﴿ وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا

فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا ﴾

Which means: « Allâh orders not to worship except Him and to treat one’s parents kindly. If one of them is alive and old or both are alive (and old), do not say “uff” to them and do not address them with harsh words. Be humble and compassionate and address them with nice and gentle words. »

Allâh, ta`âlâ, made it unlawful to say to one’s parents “uff”, which indicates one is bothered by them. Allâh ordered one to say to one’s parents a generous and gentle saying, more so when they are old. Also, Allâh orders to speak to one’s parents in a respectful manner.

The torture of the one who hurts one’s parents immensely is very great, to the extent that one will not be among the first people to enter Paradise. Rather, one will enter it after being tortured, if Allah did not forgive one ; this is because it is among the major sins.

The following are two ayahs from the Qur’ân that encourage treating one’s parents well:

Allâh, ta`âlâ, said in the Qur’ân:

﴿ وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا ﴾

Which means: « Allâh urges one to treat one’s parents nicely, for one’s mother carries one in her womb with all the weakness that she receives from that, and she nurses one up to two years. Hence, one needs to be thankful to God and thankful to one’s parents. » [Ayah 14 of Surat Luqman]

Allâh, ta`âlâ, also said:

﴿ وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ﴾

Which means: « Worship God without associating any partner to Him, and treat your parents in a good way. »

The following are two ayahs from the Qur’ân that encourage treating one’s parents well:

Allâh, ta`âlâ, said in the Qur’ân:

﴿ ووصينا الإنسان بوالديه حملته أمه وهنا على وهن وفصاله في عامين أن اشكر لي ولوالديك إلى المصير ﴾

(Wa wassayna l-insana biwalidayhi Hamalat-hu ummuhu wahnan `alâ wahn, wa fiSâluhu fî `amayni anishkur lî wa liwalidayka ilayyal-maSîr)

Which means: « Allâh urges one to treat one’s parents nicely, for one’s mother carries one in her womb with all the weakness that she receives from that, and she nurses one up to two years. Hence, one needs to be thankful to God and thankful to one’s parents. » [Surat Luqman, 'âyah 14]

The great companion Ibn `Abbas said: « Do not flick your clothes next to them because dust might come on them. »

The rights of the mother are stressed more than the rights of the father because of how much she suffers during pregnancy and childbirth and her role in nursing and raising the child. An ayah in the Qur’an means: « Allâh ordered one to show kindness to one’s parents for one’s mother carries one in pain and gives birth in pain. »

Once a man came to the Prophet and asked: ‘Who is most deserving of my good companionship?’ « Your mother » replied the Prophet. ‘Who next?’ the man asked. « Your mother » replied the Prophet. ‘Who next?’ he asked. « Your mother » replied the Prophet (peace be on him). ‘Who next?’ asked the man. « Your father » replied the Prophet. [Reported by Al-Bukhâriyy and Muslim]

The Prophet declared harming parents severely to be a major sin, Al-Bukhâriyy and Muslim reported his saying, « Shall I not inform you about the three most major sins? » Those who were present replied: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allâh.’ He said: « Associating partners with Allâh and harming parents severely », and as he sat up from the reclining position, he continued, « and giving a false testimony. » He also said:

« ثَلاثَةٌ لا يَدْخُلُونَ الجَنَّة »

Which means: « Three persons shall not be among the first to enter Paradise: the one who harms his parents severely, the pimp, and the woman who imitates men in what is specific to them. »

The Prophet also said:

« كُلُّ الذُّنُوبِ يُؤَخِّرُ اللهُ مِنْها مَا شَاءَ إِلى يَوْمِ القِيامَةِ إِلاَّ عُقُوقَ الوالِدَيْنِ فَإِنَّهُ يُعَجَّلُ لِصَاحِبِهِ »

Which means: « Allâh defers the punishment of the sins He wills to the Day of Resurrection excepting for the sin of harming parents severely, for which Allâh punishes the sinner in this life before his death. » [Reported by al-Hakim]

Know that no matter how much one was keen to perform the five prayers, to fast, and to perform similar acts of obedience, if one inflicts immense harm to one’s parents by words or deeds, one will not be among the pious Muslims. So be careful to treat your parents right and be keen to avoid harming them.

We humbly ask Allâh to enlighten us with the light of Knowledge, and keep us steadfast to the path of truth and righteousness.

الحمد لله رب العالمين

Sunni Islamic Reminders Private behavior parents behavior towards parents beneficence parents beneficence towards parents big sin big sins harm parents hurt parents immense hurting parents major sins parents' rights respect parents uquq parents `uquq parent