Whenever people would come from Yemen, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would ask them, “Is Uways Al-Qaranee amongst you?” until, one year, he met Uways.

He said, “Are you Uways Al-Qaranee?” He said, “Yes.”

Umar continued, “From Muraad, then Qaran?” He said, “Yes.”

Umar then asked, “Were you once afflicted with leprosy and your skin healed except for a dirham’s area?” Uways said, “Yes.”

Umar finally asked, “Do you have a mother (that is alive)?” He said, “Yes.”

Umar then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, ‘Uways ibn Aamir will come to you with the delegations from Yemen, from Muraad, then from Qaran. He was once afflicted with leprosy and his skin healed except for a dirham’s area. He has a mother, and he treats her kindly. If he was to ever swear by Allah (for something) Allah would fulfill his oath. If you can, request that he ask forgiveness for you.”

Umar then requested from Uways, “Ask forgiveness for me.” And Uways Al-Qaranee did. (Sahih Muslim)

Allah said:
And 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.” (Qur’an, 17:23-24)

If someone came to you today and offered you a free lunch, no doubt your response would be to smile and speak kindly to them. Why is it then that our parents receive only cold stares, harsh words and bitter treatment and they are who they are in our lives? For twenty or thirty years they fed us, clothed us, washed us, and showered their mercy on our soft skin. Their love for us never dies even if we do; it is a love that goes even beyond us, to our children and even our children’s children.

Birr Al-Walidayn is a characteristic of the believer. Al-Hasan Al-Basree defined it saying, “Al-Birr is to obey the parents in everything that they ask so long as it is not to disobey Allah. Uqooq is to disown your parents, denying them all of your goodness.”

By the Ijmaa’ of scholars, being respectful and obedient to one’s parents is Fard (obligatory).

To better understand what is meant by Birr Al-Walidayn (kindness to parents), the scholars set the following conditions for one to follow:

One: He should place the pleasure of his parents above the pleasure of anyone else, including himself and his wife and kids – everyone.

Two: He should obey them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with his desires or not, so long as they do not command the disobedience of Allah.

Three: He should present them with everything he feels they desire, whether they ask for it or not. He should present it with kindness and mercy, understanding that no matter what he does he will always have some shortcomings in fulfilling the true kindness that his parents deserve.

Allah’s love comes when our parents love us. And Allah’s anger comes when our parents are angry with us.

Haywah bin Shurayh, one of the Imam’s of our Ummah, used to give classes in front of his home. During the class, his mother would call him to feed the chickens. He would stand up, leave the Halaqah, and go feed the chickens.

We all want Allah to accept from us; we would all like to enter Paradise. Look down dear brothers and sisters, and you will find paradise at the feet of your mother (as  mentioned  in a Hadeeth in Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee).

On the other side, making our parents sad or even making them cry is one of the many ways to earn Allah’s anger.

A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to give him his pledge of allegiance. He said, “I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah and I have left both my parents behind crying.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded him, “Go back, and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.” (Ahmad)

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Making ones parents cry is amongst the Uqooq, a major sin!”

Sheikh Al-Qaasim once said, “Subhan Allah! How can we leave our parents sobbing, and then we claim that we want to go for Jihad so that Allah will be pleased with us? Go back and make them happy with your visit as you made them sad by your departure. If they laugh and are pleased with you, Allah will be pleased.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “May he perish! May he perish! May he perish!

It was asked, “Who, O Messenger of Allah?”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He whose parents attain old age in his life – one or both of them – and he does not enter Paradise (because of his goodness towards them).” (Sahih Muslim)