18th day or Ramadhan
One of the tragedies of our times is the lost of respect towards parents. I was lucky to be raised in a time and place where from an early age, we were taught to respect our elders, especially parents. While nowadays, we see children being totally disrespectful towards their parents, and nothing seems to change no matter what the parents do about it.
One of the reasons that immediately popped into my mind is the TV. Let’s face it, TV has taken the responsibility of education at home. The average child in the US watches 4 hours of television per day (http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html), and more than 50 percent of them would prefer the TV than spending time with their parents.
And when we see the cartoons shown on TV, most of them teach disrespect towards parents. In cartoons like the Simpsons, Crayon Shin chan, etc., disrespect towards parents are viewed something comical and funny. While in truth, it can destroy the very foundations of the society i.e. the family.
In the Islamic tradition, respecting the parents is in the highest priorities that God has set for us. Parents are so sacred, that we’re not even allowed to say the slightest expression of disrespect towards them. In fact, we are obliged to always be kind to them, especially when they reach old age.
The words in Qur’an is to lower our wings of humility towards them. And when we see a mother bird protecting its chicks, it risks its own wings in order to keep her chicks safe. That is how we should be to our parents. After all, it is through them that God brought us to this world. They are the largest proof of God’s mercy towards us. They took care of us when we were small, had sleepless nights taking care of us when we were sick, cheered us up when we were down, showered us with love when we needed it the most, and other forms of mercy that we can’t enumerate.
May God forgive all of our sins and our parent’s sins. And may God shower mercy upon our parents as they showered mercy upon us when we were children.