relationship should obtain between master and servant? And, so forth. Islam has provided us with a most precise and complete guidance on how are we to fulfill our social responsibilities and act in our dealings and relationships with all those individuals and groups with whom we come into contact, one way or the other, in the different walks of our daily life, and this is what we are going to discuss in the present chapter.

Rights of Parents

The most primary relationship in this world exists between man and his parents. In Islam the rights of parents have been described as next only to the rights of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa). To quote from the Quran:

The Lord has ordained that ye worship none but Him; and to show kindness to your parents whether one or both of them attain to old age with thee; and say not to them “Fie!” neither reproach them; but speak to them both with respectful speech; and defer humbly to them out of tenderness; and say, “Lord! Have compassion on them both, even as they reared me when I was little.”

Another verse of the holy Book goes on to tell that should the parents of a person be polytheists and want him also to follow their faith, he ought to decline to obey them, but even then he should continue to treat them well and to behave towards them with respect.

The exact words of the verse are:

“But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration).”

Besides the Quran and in the Traditions also, a very great stress has been laid on rendering full devotion and obedience to one’s parents. To disobey one’s parents, to ignore their feelings, or to disregard their comfort or happiness in any other way has been characterized by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as a grievous sin. Take these Traditions, for example:

“In the pleasure of parents lies the pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa), and in their displeasure, the displeasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa).”

Once a person enquired from the Prophet (Peace be upon him), What are the rights of parents? The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) replies, “Parents are the heaven and hell of their children (meaning that salvation and paradise could be gained by serving one’s parents well while disobedience to and ill-treatment of them could lead one to hell.)”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) once observed. “Every time a dutiful son or daughter looks with affection and respect towards his or her father or mother Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa) writes against his or her name the reward of an approved Hajj,” Upon this, some of the Companions enquired, “Our Master! Suppose a person does so a hundred times each day, while he, even then, be given the reward of an approved Hajj for every glance he casts? ” “Yes”, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied, “Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa) is Most Great, Most Holy (meaning that the bounty of the Lord is boundless).” “Heaven lies under the feet of the parents.”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) once said to the Companions that the most mortal sins in the world were three:

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