Khutbah Reflections: Treating Our Parents with Respect and Good Manners
The khutbah on 1st March 2013 was about a topic that is close to my heart: Parents. These are the people who fed us, clothed us, raised us, and taught us right from wrong. They gave so much of themselves for us without expecting reciprocation but most of all; they taught us the meaning of love not just through words but their actions as well.
Shouldn’t we be grateful? If it weren’t for them and Allah’s permission, we wouldn’t even be here. We wouldn’t have become the people we are today. They’ve done so much for us that we wouldn’t be able to repay them in this lifetime no matter how hard we try. This however, doesn’t mean we stop trying altogether.
While the khutbah felt like it was more geared towards people with elderly parents, I’ll share what I can from the viewpoint of a “twenty-something” year old person.
Two things that we should endeavour in:
Treat our parents with respect, humility and affection
Now this is something easier said than done but it isn’t impossible. If we can be polite with complete strangers, be respectful to the people we work with as well as show care and concern for our friends, shouldn’t it be more so for the people that brought us into this world? This needs conscientious effort on our part.
When dealing with our parents, we get emotional sometimes but we should realize that deep down, they have our best interests at heart. Perhaps we don’t agree with their methods or their way of thinking but they’re coming from an angle that we’re sorely lacking at: experience. We can’t beat that. We might have a better education than they did but who made that possible for us by the will of Allah?
With us being the way we are, we tend to act first before we think. Being so connected all the time sometimes makes it worse. At the incidence of a misunderstanding or a tiff with our parents and we put it up on the Internet for the whole world to see us making our parents “the bad guy”. Let’s try to stop that by pausing for a moment to calm down and think for a bit before we follow through.
Personally whenever I don’t see eye to eye with my parents, I leave the room for a while and come back later when I’ve collected myself so that we can have a healthy and mature discussion. I keep in mind of our differences; them being the parents and me being their child so that I don’t come off as being rude.
One way we can learn to be more affectionate with our parents is to talk to them before we leave for school or work and when we come back home. It seems simple enough but I feel that it helps. We could start with simple greetings then asking about their well-being and gradually build up from there.
Be there for them for support
Our parents are humans too. They have their limits and they too need to depend on other people at times. As their children, we should be the first people that are there for them physically, emotionally and financially if we are able to. They were there for us when we needed them and it is only right that we try to do the same for them. I know how we all groan when our parents want us to go with them to get groceries especially if it’s at a wet market on a weekend morning or when they need us to help out around the house but we’ll all be in their shoes one day. Getting some early practice wouldn’t hurt.
Sometimes what our parents need is a listening ear; someone for them to pour out what’s been weighing them down. Instead of them looking outside for this, we can always offer to listen even if we might not be able to help them find a solution. When we’re able to support ourselves financially, we should be helping our parents ease their financial burdens as well. It wasn’t easy for them to raise us and put us through school. They shouldn’t still have to support us when we’re already working.
It breaks my heart whenever I visit the elderly living alone or in nursing homes when their children are still around. They’d sometimes stare into the distance recalling stories of their families. The regrets that they have; being too hard-handed with their children, not being able to provide the best for them or didn’t teach them well enough which these elderly feel were the reason they ended up in their current situation. How would we feel if we were them?
Let’s cherish and honour our parents for all the sacrifices that they have made for us. Let’s care for and love them as they did for us when we were but infants.
It would be a shame if were to devote ourselves to seeking the pleasure of Allah but not realize that the key to attaining His pleasure lies in pleasing our parents.
For those of us whose parents have passed on, may Allah make them among the pious and grant them a place in Jannah. For those of us whose parents are still around, may Allah grant them health, accept their deeds and soften their hearts to forgive us for our wrongdoings towards them.[divider]
Fadhuli is an aspiring writer and believes in putting in the time and effort into meaningful causes. He strives to improve himself as a person and as a Muslim.