In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
There is no other god beside GOD

Honor your Parents, the Second Commandment


The commandment to honor our parents often is listed in the Quran after the commandment to worship God Alone (the first commandment in all the scriptures). Honoring one's parents is thus commonly referred to as the "second commandment" in the Quran.

The Bible, in the ten commandments, tells us: "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12). The commandment is reiterated in the New Testament (e.g., Matthew 19:19, Mark 10:19, etc.).

Chapter 31 verses 14-15 of the Quran remind us that our devotion to God must be above all else. There is no question of idolization of our parents or putting them on par with God. Instead, our respect for our parents honors the love and sacrifices they have made to nurture and raise us. Those of us who have children, see how much time and energy we invest for the well-being of our own children. This reminds us of what our own parents may have gone through for us. One of the important commandments in the Quran is to appreciate the blessings God bestows upon us and our parents (Quran 27:19). With God's help, our parents, like our children, are a reason to appreciate God more.

The Quran gives us many guidelines on family life, including laws of marriage and divorce, how to bring up our children, and how to treat our relatives. We see that shouting at a parent is not acceptable, nor is getting upset at them (Quran 17:23). Instead God tells us to treat them kindly and humbly (Quran 17:24). Other verses remind us to be appreciative of God and our parents (31:14-15). As we grow older and attain maturity in life, we are able to appreciate the blessings God bestows upon us and our parents (Quran 46:15).

The following compilation contains some Quranic verses that talk about how we should treat our parents (this is by no means an exhaustive list of verses).

The Commandments

[Quran 2:83] We made a covenant with the Children of Israel: "You shall not worship except GOD. You shall honor your parents and regard the relatives, the orphans, and the poor. You shall treat the people amicably. You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat)." But you turned away, except a few of you, and you became averse.

[Quran 4:1] ... You shall regard GOD, by whom you swear, and regard the parents. GOD is watching over you.

[Quran 6:151] Say, "Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty - we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill - GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand."

[Quran 17:23-24] Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship except Him, and your parents shall be honored. As long as one or both of them live, you shall never say to them, "Uff" (the slightest gesture of annoyance), nor shall you shout at them; you shall treat them amicably. And lower for them the wings of humility, and kindness, and say, "My Lord, have mercy on them, for they have raised me from infancy."

[Quran 29:8] We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. But if they try to force you to set up idols beside Me, do not obey them. To Me is your ultimate return, then I will inform you of everything you had done.

The Second Commandment

[Quran 31:14-15] We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. His mother bore him, and the load got heavier and heavier. It takes two years (of intensive care) until weaning. You shall be appreciative of Me, and of your parents. To Me is the ultimate destiny. If they try to force you to set up any idols beside Me, do not obey them. But continue to treat them amicably in this world. You shall follow only the path of those who have submitted to Me. Ultimately, you all return to Me, then I will inform you of everything you have done.

[Quran 4:36] You shall worship GOD alone - do not associate anything with Him. You shall regard the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, the related neighbor, the unrelated neighbor, the close associate, the traveling alien, and your servants. GOD does not like the arrogant show-offs.

[Quran 46:15] We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. His mother bore him arduously, gave birth to him arduously, and took intimate care of him for thirty months. When he reaches maturity, and reaches the age of forty,* he should say, "My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Let my children be righteous as well. I have repented to You; I am a submitter."

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International Community of Submitters / Masjid Tucson
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