Home Quranet Chapter 9 Is it one’s duty to respect parents even when they anger us?
Is it one’s duty to respect parents even when they anger us?
Chapter 9

قُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلاَّ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلاَدَكُم مِّنْ إمْلاَقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ (سورۃ الانعام, آية 151)

Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. (Surah 6, Verse 151)

Yasmin, who is in the fifth grade in the Shalom school, is a mediocre student perhaps even less than mediocre, but is endowed with charisma and impressive powers of persuasion. One day her mother came to school to enquire about her daughter's behavior and achievements. She knocked on the door of the classroom and the teacher opened it. When Yasmin saw her mother, she said: "What are you doing here? You didn't tell me you were coming. How could you do that without telling me?" Her mother was taken aback but recovered and said: "I came to enquire about you and to ask if you need anything, my dear daughter". Yasmin replied: " "I don't need anything. Go home!" The teacher, stunned by Yasmin's tone, called her in for a talk later in the day.

She explained how important it is to respect parents even if they embarrass us in front of the entire class. To emphasize the message, she quoted to her from Verse 151 of Surah 6: "Be good to your parents". Yasmin realized how wrong her conduct had been and promised to ask her mother's pardon and to treat her with respect in the future.

Explanation: Yasmin wants to feel grownup and independent and doesn't want her mother to come to school without telling her in advance. It is likely that many children would feel the same if a parent suddenly appeared in school without their prior knowledge. But none of this justifies offending parents, and in front of the entire class. A child who behaves like that is undermining his own dignity as well as that of the parent. When we respect our parents we are respecting ourselves. If her mother's conduct embarrasses Yasmin, she can ask her politely at home not to do it again and explain how she feels. In any event, to insult her mother in front of witnesses is unacceptable. The teacher was right to quote the important Quran verse regarding respect towards parents.