Home Quranet Chapter 6 What can we say to a girl who is ashamed of her father?
What can we say to a girl who is ashamed of her father?
Chapter 6

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيماً * وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيراً (سورۃ الاسراء, آية 23 -24)

Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood. (Surah 17, Verses 23-24)

Maryam is in the fifth grade and her father is the school janitor. Whenever she sees him at school, she is ashamed and says: "Ach....it bothers me that you're my father!" Her father feels humiliated because she is shaming him before the whole school and so he tries not to encounter her at school. One day her friend Yasmin was present when Maryam met her father. She was very surprised and said to Maryam: "Apparently you haven't heard what God commanded us in Surah 17, Verses 23-24: "Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."
"Maryam", her friend added, in this life "it is very important to be clever, but it is more important to respect one's parents. You know, I have only one parent, my mother and I envy you and the others who have two parents. Ask yourself, why does your father work all day from morning to night? For whose sake? You must do something for your father before it is too late".

Explanation: many children of various ages are ashamed of their parents. Sometimes they are the children of emigrants whose parents are unfamiliar with the country's culture while the children speak the language fluently; sometimes the parents are uneducated and their children have more education; sometimes the parents' occupations are not considered prestigious and so forth. There is no shortage of reasons why children feel ashamed of their parents. But a child must remember that he would not have reached his present status, a place where he feels superior to his parent, without that parent's help. Moreover, causing pain to a parent can be compared to cutting off the branch on which you are perched. Your parent is your connection with your own self and your family and without a past there can be no future. Thus, the command to respect parents exists in every culture and has profound psychological reasons. This does not mean that a parent is always right, or that a child must obey blindly at every age and on every matter. But the Quran exhorts him always to treat a parent with respect.