Fatwa: # 32474
Category: Character, Morals (Akhlaaq)
Country: United Kingdom
Date: 5th May 2015


What are the rewards of serving one's parents and making them happy?


What are the rewards, according to Qur'an and Hadith, of serving and making one's parents happy?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Kindness to ones parents [birr al-walidayn] through fulfilling their rights, serving them and making them happy is among the dearest and most beloved deeds to Allah.

The greatness and obligation of kindness to parents can be ascertained from the following verse in which Allah has combined the command of being grateful to Him with the command to being grateful to one's parents:

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.” [Surah Luqman, 14]

In an authentic hadith that meets the conditions of both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim (may Allah have mercy on them), Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) saw a dream in which he was in Paradise and he (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) heard recitation of the Quran. Upon asking whose recitation it was, he (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was told that it was the recitation of Haritha bin Al-Nu'man (may Allah be pleased with him). Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Such is kindness (al-birr), such is kindness (al-birr)”[i] 

The commentators of this hadith have noted that this companion participated in Badr, Uhud and other battles, and was a high-ranking companion.

However, by repeating and emphasizing: “Such is kindness (al-birr), such is kindness (al-birr),” Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) wanted to draw the companions' (may Allah be pleased with them) attention to the fact that this rank of his in Paradise was attained through al-birr.

This companion, Haritha bin Al-Nu'man (may Allah be pleased with him) was particularly known for being amongst the most kindest and most dutiful to his mother (wa kana abarr al-nas bi ummihi).

→ Gaining the pleasure (rida') of Allah:

The greatest reward that can be gained from making one's parents happy (and fulfilling the other obligatory duties) is gaining the pleasure of Allah. He who gained the pleasure of Allah has succeeded in all his affairs, no matter how life turns out for him, where he ends up, what he earns and so on:

Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The pleasure of the Lord [lies in] the pleasure of the father [and in one narration: parents] and the anger of the Lord [lies in] the anger of the father [and in one narration: parents]” [ii]

Increase in sustenance (rizq) and life-span:

Amongst the worldly rewards that one gets for being kind to the parents and making them happy is two-fold: an increase in sustenance and the life-span:

Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever likes that his life-span be prolonged and sustenance should be increased, then he should be kind to his parents and keep good relations with his relatives.” [iii]

The scholars explain that the increase in sustenance means an increase in the blessings, (barakah) and that one lives his life in peace and serenity without being distressed about financial issues like others.

An increase in the life-span means that one gets divine assistance (tawfiq) and success from Allah in doing good deeds, or that one's children will pray for him. In this sense, his life is prolonged as he does many good deeds in his own life and his children continue to add to their parent's book of deeds by praying for them and doing good deeds on their behalf. [iv]

Paradise lies at their feet [i.e. in their service (khidmah)]:

Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to the Companion, Jahimah (may Allah be pleased with him), “Do you have a mother?” (i.e. Is your mother alive?) He said, “Yes.” The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Stick to her [his mother] for indeed Jannah lies at her foot.”

In another narration, Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Do you have parents?” (i.e. Are your parents alive?) He said, “Yes.” The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Stick to them [your parents] for indeed Paradise lies beneath their feet.” [v]

Acceptance of supplication [dua'] and relief from distress and difficult situations:

In the famous narration of the three men who were trapped in a cave, one of them made dua through the means (wasilah) of his kindness and devotion to his parents. Allah accepted this dua and brought them closer to being relieved of their distress and worry:

That person had said: “'O Allah! I had my parents who were very old and I had small children for whose sake I used to work as a shepherd. When I returned to them at night and milked (the sheep), I used to start giving the milk to my parents first before giving to my children.”

“One day I went far away in search of a grazing place (for my sheep), and didn't return home till late at night and found that my parents had slept. I milked (my livestock) as usual and brought the milk vessel and stood at their heads, and I disliked to wake them up from their sleep, and I also disliked to give the milk to my children before my parents, though my children were crying (from hunger) at my feet.”

“So this state of mine and theirs continued until the day dawned. (O Allah!) If you considered that I had done that only for seeking Your pleasure, then please let there be an opening through which we can see the sky. So Allah made for them an opening through which they could see the sky.” [vi]

→ Your children will be kind to you:

Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Be kind to your parents, your children will be kind to you, and be chaste, your wives will be chaste.” [vii]

→ Serving the mother equivalent to performing Hajj, Umrah and striving in Allah's path:

Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to a companion regarding his mother, “Show Allah how you serve her. If you do so, you will be like the one performing Hajj, the one performing Umrah, and the one striving in Allah’s path.” [viii]

→ Two Open Doors To Paradise:

Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “There is no Muslim that enters morning in such a state that his parents are pleased with him except that he has two [open] doors to Paradise, and if one (one parent is live) then one (open door). (Likewise) there is no Muslim that enters morning in such a state that his parents are displeased with him except that he has two [open] doors to the Fire, and if (one parent is live) then one (open door).” So a person asked, “What if they [parents] are unjust to him? Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Even if they are unjust to him,” and repeated it three times. [ix]

Note: While this is an overarching general principle, it is important to understand that there are additional details that clarify this principle further. These details have been explained by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (may Allah have mercy on him) in Ta'deel huquq al-walidayn in which he mentioned several ahadith (including the one above) and juridical texts and then derived the relevant details from those texts. What follows is a summarized and adapted version [x]:

1.) That which is obligatory upon him to do and the parents forbid from doing it, in this case it is not permissible to obey them.

2.) That thing which is impermissible, and the parents order him to do it, then it is not permissible to obey them.

3.) That which is permissible (mubah) or recommended (mustahab), and the parents order one to do it or not to do it, then there are a few details regarding this situation:

a.) If the situation is such that the person will encounter a lot of difficulty if he does not do it, then it is permissible for him to do so in spite of his parents refusal.

(For example: He is very poor and cannot find any work in his own city and wishes to travel abroad and his parents refuse to give him permission, then he can travel abroad in this case.)

b.) If the situation is not so dire or difficult for him, then one will look at both the work the person intends to perform and his parent's situation:

→ Whether in performing that work if there is any danger to the person.

(For example: The person wishes to become a coal-miner - often considered one of the most dangerous occupations).

→ Whether him being busy in that work or travel will lead to difficulty for his parents.

(For example: The parents are poor and there are no arrangements for their expenditure or they are weak or sick, and he will not be able to care for them and neither can he arrange for someone else to look after them).

In both of the above situations, whether there is danger in the work or travel he is undertaking, or proper arrangements for his parents' care cannot be made, it will not be permissible for him to perform that work if they do not permit him to do so.

c.) If the situation of the person is neither dire nor is there any danger in the work or travel he is undertaking and there is no apparent difficulty for the parents in what he is doing then in this situation it will be permissible for him to go against their wishes, yet mustahab to obey them even in this regard.

[From the above principle one understands that if the parents are displeased with the wife and ask the son to divorce her, he does not have to if there is no reason to do so and Insha-Allah he will not be written as disobedient for not doing so.]

However, at all times and in all situations, the son or daughter always has to address and treat the parents with respect and honor even if they are wrong or unjust.

→ “I know of no deed closer to Allah than...”

A person came to Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) and told him that he had asked a woman to marry her and she refused him. Another man proposed to her and she accepted his proposal. The former became jealous and killed her and had come to ask if there was any way he could make repentance for this sin.

So Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said, “Is your mother alive?” The man replied, “No.” Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said, “Repent to Allah, the Exalted and Majestic and and try to come near to Him as much as you can [by doing good deeds and refraining from bad deeds].”

When the man went away, Ata' (may Allah have mercy on him) asked  Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) why he had asked the man if his mother was alive.

He replied, “I don't know of a deed closer to Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, than dutifulness to the mother.” [xi]

→ “If looking at her is worship, then...”:

Some traditions report that looking at the face of the parents is worship. [xii]It is also reported from Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) that he said, “Looking at the face of the mother is worship, then how [enormous would the reward be] in being kind and dutiful to her!” [xiii]

It is apparent that when one looks at the face of the parents with kindness and mercy, the intention is to honor and respect them, and since deeds are based on intention, this action would Insha-Allah be a rewardable and commendable act.

There are also other traditions that specify the reward of looking at one's parents with mercy as equal to an accepted hajj, [xiv] [xv] [xvi] however, to the best of our knowledge this is not reported in any authentic narration. [xvii][xviii]     

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Sohail ibn Arif,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[i] وعن عائشة - رضي الله عنها - قالت : قال رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم : " دخلت الجنة فسمعت 

 فيها قراءة ، فقلت : من هذا ؟ قالوا : حارثة بن النعمان ، كذلكم البر ، كذلكم البر " . وكان أبر الناس بأمه . رواه في " شرح السنة " ، والبيهقي في " شعب الإيمان " . وفي روايتهما : قال : " نمت فرأيتني في الجنة " بدل : دخلت الجنة

 مشكاة المصابيح  الرقم: ٤٩٢٦

 قالوا : حارثة بن النعمان  ، بضم أوله شهد بدرا وأحدا والمشاهد كلها ، وكان من فضلاء الصحابة ، روي أنه قال : مررت على رسول الله ومعه جبريل جالس بالمقاعد ، فسلمت عليه وجزت ، فلما رجعت وانصرف النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - قال لي : هل رأيت الذي كان معي ؟ قلت : نعم قال : فإنه جبريل ، وقد رد عليك السلام ، وكان قد كف بصره ، هذا ولما قص عليهم الرؤيا كما ورد في رواية أخرى عن الزهري قال : نمت فرأيتني في الجنة إلخ ، خاطبهم بقوله : كذلكم البر ، جزاؤه أو أريد به المبالغة ; حيث جعل جزاء البر برا ( كذلكم البر ) . كرره للتقرير والتوكيد . قال الطيبي : المشار إليه ما سبق ، والمخاطبون الصحابة ، فإنه - صلى الله عليه وسلم - رأى هذه الرؤيا ، وقص على أصحابه ، فلما بلغ إلى قوله : حارثة بن النعمان نبههم على سبب نيل تلك الدرجة ، فقال : ( كذلكم البر ) أي : مثل تلك الدرجة تنال بسبب البر . اهـ . ولا يبعد أن يكون ( كذلكم البر ) من جملة مقول الملائكة ، والخطاب له - صلى الله عليه وسلم - وجمع تعظيما أو أريد هو وأصحابه تغليبا

وكان أبر الناس بأمه  هذا من كلام الراوي ، ويحتمل أن يكون من كلامه - صلى الله عليه وسلم - .  رواه في شرح السنة ، والبيهقي في شعب الإيمان ، وفي روايته  : أن رواية البيهقي  قال : " نمت فرأيتني في الجنة " بدل " دخلت الجنة "  : وقال الجزري في التصحيح بعد الرواية الأولى : رواه الحاكم في صحيحه ، وقال صحيح على شرط الشيخين ، وأقره الذهبي ، ورواه البيهقي في شعبه ، ورواه محيي السنة في شرح السنة من طريقين

 مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح


[ii] وعن عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رضا الله في رضا الوالد 

وسخط الله في سخط الوالد
رواه الترمذي ورجح وقفه وابن حبان في صحيحه والحاكم وقال صحيح على شرط مسلم ورواه الطبراني من حديث أبي هريرة إلا أنه قال طاعة الله طاعة الوالد ومعصية الله معصية الوالد ورواه البزار من حديث عبد الله بن عمر أو ابن عمرو ولا يحضرني أيهما
ولفظه قال رضا الرب تبارك وتعالى في رضا الوالدين وسخط الله تبارك وتعالى في سخط الوالدين

الترغيب والترهيب، الرقم٣٧٦٨

[iii] وعن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من سره أن يمد له في عمره ويزاد في 

 رزقه فليبر والديه وليصل رحمه
رواه أحمد ورواته محتج بهم في الصحيح وهو في الصحيح باختصار ذكر البر

المرجع السابق، الرقم: ٣٧٥٥ 

[iv] مظاهر حق، ٤/ ٤٧٠  

[v] وعن معاوية بن جاهمة أن جاهمة جاء إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله أردت أن أغزو وقد 

جئت أستشيرك فقال هل لك من أم قال نعم قال فالزمها فإن الجنة عند رجلها
رواه ابن ماجه والنسائي واللفظ له والحاكم وقال صحيح الإسناد ورواه الطبراني بإسناد جيد ولفظه قال أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أستشيره في الجهاد فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ألك والدان قلت نعم
قال الزمهما فإن الجنة تحت أرجلهما

المرجع السابق، الرقم: ٣٧٥٠ و ٣٧٥١

 [vi] فقالَ أحدُهم اللَّهمَّ إنَّهُ كانَ لي والدانِ شيخانِ كبيرانِ ولي صِبيةٌ صغارٌ كنتُ أرعى عليهم فإذا رُحتُ عليهم

 فحلبتُ بدأتُ بوالديَّ أسقيهما قبلَ ولدي وإنَّهُ نأى بيَ الشَّجرُ يومًا فما أتيتُ حتَّى أمسيتُ فوجدتُهُما قد ناما فحلبتُ كما كنتُ أحلِبُ فجئتُ بالحلابِ فقمتُ عندَ رؤوسِهما أكرهُ أن أوقظَهما من نومِهما وأكرهُ أن أبدأَ بالصِّبيةِ قبلَهما والصِّبيةُ يتضاغونَ عندَ قدميَّ فلم يزل ذلكَ دأبي ودأبَهم حتَّى طلعَ الفجرُ فإن كنتَ تعلَمُ أنِّي فعلتُ ذلكَ ابتغاءَ وجهِكَ فافرُج لنا فُرْجةً نرى منها السَّماءَ ففرَّجَ اللَّهُ لهم فُرجةً حتَّى يرونَ منها السَّماءَ

صحيح البخاري الرقم: ٥٩٧٤

[vii] وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بروا آباءكم تبركم أبناؤكم وعفوا تعف 


رواه الطبراني بإسناد حسن ورواه أيضا هو وغيره من حديث عائشة

المرجع السابق، الرقم ٣٧٥٩

[viii] وعن أنس رضي الله عنه قال أتى رجل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إني أشتهي الجهاد ولا أقدر عليه 
قال هل بقي من والديك أحد قال أمي قال قابل الله في برها فإذا فعلت ذلك فأنت حاج ومعتمر ومجاهد
رواه أبو يعلى والطبراني في الصغير والأوسط وإسنادهما جيد ميمون بن نجيح وثقه ابن حبان وبقية رواته ثقات مشهورون

الترغيب والترهيب، الرقم: ٣٧٤٧ 

[ix] وقال ابن أبي عمر: حدثنا الحكم بن القاسم، حدثنا عبد القدوس بن حبيب الدمشقي، عن عكرمة، عن 

 ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ما من مسلم يصبح ووالداه عنه راضيان إلا كان له بابان من الجنة، وإن كان واحدا فواحد وما من مسلم يصبح ووالداه عليه ساخطان إلا كان له بابان من النار، وإن كان واحدا فواحد
وقال أبو يعلى: حدثنا زهير، حدثنا شبابة، حدثنا المغيرة هو ابن مسلم، عن عطاء، عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فذكره وزاد في آخره: فقال أراه رجلا يا رسول الله! فإن ظلماه؟ قال صلى الله عليه وسلم وإن ظلماه، وإن ظلماه، وإن ظلماه ثلاث مرات

إسناد أبي يعلى حسن، وقد روي موقوفا 

المطالب العالية بزوائد المسانيد الثمانية، الرقم: ٢٥٣٧


[x] ينظر: (تعديل حقوق الوالدين) في امداد الفتاوى، ٤/ ٤٨٠ - ٤٨٥ 

[xi] عن عطاء عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه أتاه رجل فقال إني خطبت امرأة فأبت أن تنكحني وخطبها 

 غيري فأحبت أن تنكحه فغرت عليها فقتلتها فهل لي من توبة؟ قال أمك حية؟ قال لا، قال تب إلى الله عز وجل وتقرب إليه ما استطعت، فذهبت فسألت ابن عباس لم سألته عن حياة أمه؟ فقال: إني لا أعلم عملا أقرب إلى الله عز وجل من بر الوالدة

الأدب المفرد، الرقم: ٤

[xii] النظر إلى الكعبة عبادة، والنظر إلى وجه الوالدين عبادة، والنظر في كتاب الله عبادة  

  ابن أبي داود في المصاحف - عن عائشة، وفيه زافر، قال ابن عدي: لا يتابع على حديثه

  كنز العمال الرقم: ٣٤٧١٤

 [xiii] أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ ، وَالْفَضْلُ بْنُ مُوسَى ، قَالا : حَدَّثَنَا حَزْمٌ ، عَنْ عُمَارَةَ الْمِعْوَلِيِّ ، قَالَ : قُلْتُ لِلْحَسَنِ : مَا الْبِرُّ ؟ قَالَ : الْحُبُّ وَالْبَذْلُ , قَالَ : قُلْتُ : مَا الْعُقُوقُ ؟ قَالَ : أَنْ تَهْجُرَهُمَا وَتُحَرِّمَهُمَا , ثُمَّ قَالَ الْحَسَنُ : النَّظَرُ إِلَى وَجْهِ الأُمِّ عِبَادَةٌ ، فَكَيْفَ بِرُّهَا .

  البر والصلة للمروزي، الرقم: ١١١ 

 [xiv] وعنه ، أن رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - قال : " ما من ولد بار ينظر إلى والديه نظرة رحمة إلا كتب 

 الله له بكل نظرة حجة مبرورة " . قالوا : وإن نظر كل يوم مائة مرة ؟ قال : " نعم ، الله أكبر وأطيب "

مشكاة المصابيح الرقم: ٤٩٤٤

[xv]  عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ , قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : " مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ بَارٍّ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى وَالِدَيْهِ أَوْ وَالِدَتِهِ 

 نَظْرَةَ رَحْمَةٍ ، إِلا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ تِلْكَ النَّظْرَةَ حِجَّةً مُتَقَبَّلَةً مَبْرُورَةً " ، قَالُوا : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، وَإِنْ نَظَرَ فِي الْيَوْمِ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ ؟ قَالَ  اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ ذَلِك

مكارم الأخلاق لابن أبي الدنيا، الرقم: ٢٠٩

[xvi] عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : " مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى أُمِّهِ رَحْمَةً لَهَا ، إِلَّا 

كَانَتْ لَهُ بِهَا حَجَّةٌ مَقْبُولَةٌ مَبْرُورَةٌ . قِيلَ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، وَإِنْ نَظَرَ إِلَيْهَا فِي الْيَوْمِ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ ، قَالَ : وَإِنْ نَظَرَ فِي الْيَوْمِ مِائَةَ أَلْفِ مَرَّةٍ ، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَكْثَرُ وَأَطْيَبُ

البر والصلة لابن الجوزي، الرقم: ٤١

  [xvii]    قال الذهبي: هذا منكر 

سير أعلام النبلاء ١٩/ ٢٠٨

[xviii] رمز له السيوطي في (الجامع الصغير) بالضعف 

فيض القدير، الرقم: 

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