The most revered Prophet (SAW) has repeatedly urged believers to treat their parents well. In fact, treating parents well is one of the most important requirements of faith. A believer cannot achieve ultimate salvation if he misbehaves with his parents. As has been said, jannah (paradise) lies beneath the feet of the mother. “I pity a person who saw his parents in old age and could not win a place in paradise”….(Al Bukhari).
The Hajj pilgrimmage revolves around two parents and their revered son. This is how Allah the most exalted has laid down the importance of parents and their rights.
A pilgrim has to spend five days in Arafaat, Mina and Muzdalifah. It is during these days that the Hajj is performed. Muslims across the globe, each clad in two pieces of white cloth, throng these vast grounds and perform various obligations to commemorate an event which has no parallel in the history of human kind- a father takes his son to the altar and the son does not object. He submits to the will of Allah and encourages His esteemed Father (AS) to do what Allah the most exalted had directed Him to do. Never had it happened before. It was a day when the angels stood surprised. Today they did repent their opposition to the very creation of Ashraf-ul-Makhlookaat. Allah had told them man will not create bloodshed, he will obey and live peacefully, will lay down his life and that of the people very dear to him for Allah’s pleasure. And, today man had proved it. He had gone to the extent of sacrificing his son to defeat the evil.
A message was conveyed in clear terms. A parent has so many rights that he can ask for the life of his son and the son has to obey. He has no choice. He cannot refuse. But this event conveyed a message to the parents as well. Love your children, educate them well and teach them discipline so that they remain obedient to Allah the Almighty and to their parents. This can very rightly be called the day of the parents and the children. For their obedience, the revered father (AS) and the esteemed son (AS), were rewarded handsomely by Allah the Almighty. Even after five thousand years, every Muslim has to commemorate the event and the Muslims, irrespective of color, place of domain and economic status shall assemble at the place every year till the Day of Judgement to remember the great father (AS) and his revered son (AS).
So what lessons does this historic event teach? A father has to behave like Ibrahim (AS) and take pledge to sacrifice the dearest thing in the way of Allah even if it happens to be his beloved son. And, a son has to take pledge to obey like Ismail (AS). However, a son should not obey a father who wants him to perform an un-Islamic act. To put it in plain words, the will of Allah the Almighty is supreme and one has to obey Him, come what may.
This event stresses the need for the enforcement of the rights of parents. A person has to treat his parents decently, he has to take care of their needs in the same way as they took care of him when he was a child and totally dependent on them. A parent should not be scolded. The most revered Prophet (SAW) has said that the parents should not be addressed harshly. This is especially for those who manhandle their parents, humiliate them and turn them out of their houses in extreme old age. Allah the most exalted does not accept the ibadat of such persons and nobody can save them from the deadly flames of Hell.
But then parents too have to take care and ensure that children receive proper care and education. A child will become what a parent makes out of him or her. One cannot sow rice and expect to harvest maize. People who are at peace in their homes can live in peace with the outside world and create a peaceful society. And this is exactly what Allah the Almighty wants.