Treasure Your Parents

1277138695Kf6LcU2It’s a classic movie scene, almost cliché: a grown child leaving home as his parents standby watching. The mother, usually weeping, is being consoled by her husband. I used to think that it was the parents who were losing in these situations. Typically the child is beaming, excited at the new prospects that await, while the parents are sad as their progeny heads forth to tackle the world alone. In reality, that is not the case; in fact, it is the child who loses the most.

As we grow up, especially here in America, it seems as if we develop a sense of independence and self-reliance. We like to do things for ourselves – we enjoy setting our own schedules and determining what the most appropriate thing to do is. We are often disenchanted with authority and restrictions; this can lead to tension during those hormone-driven teen years.

It hit me just now that it is not my parents who lose in our relationship when I leave, but me. It is simply amazing and unfortunate that we are often so blind as humans that we underestimate and overlook the blessings in our lives until we lose them or are about to lose them.

As I prepare to move out of my house for the last time, I cannot help but feel an empty void. My parents have always been there for me in the worst of times and best of times. Sure there might have been those communication mishaps where care and love leads to frustration and anger, but in reality those were only small bumps and potholes along the road. Compared to the many times my dad and I “fixed” things around the house together or chatted endlessly on world affairs, or the times my mom and I prepared meals together or discussed social affairs, those strained moments seem like simply nothing. In fact, looking back, one can really see that any difficult times were founded in deep care for one another.

“And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them ‘uff‘ (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them, rather address them in terms of honor. And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say, ‘My Lord! Grant them Your mercy as they brought me up when I was small.” (Qur’an, 17:23-24)

This is just a reminder to my fellow brethren (especially the younger ones) to kick it with your parents. Find all the small things that make your parents happy and just do them! Buy your mom flowers (even if it’s just once!) and do something for your dad that he really appreciates. Why? Simply to make your parents happy. When we go out of our way to make our parents happy we are obeying Allah in being dutiful to our parents and we get a glimpse at what their lives have been like; it allows us to appreciate all that they have done for us. Every stage in life has a sweetness to it, and without a doubt one of the sweetest things is being with and learning from your parents. Do not miss out!

To my parents: jazakum Allahu kulli khayran (may Allah reward you with good), may Allah `azza wa jal (the Mighty and Majestic) reward you both because I cannot come close to repaying you. I love you.

About the author

Omar Zarka

Omar Zarka

Omar Zarka was born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Irvine, where he was involved with the Muslim Student Union. Omar is married and received a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles.


  • May Allah forgive my parents and give them Jannatul Firdaus al ‘ala! And May Allah preserve all of our parents as they have raised us when we we’re young

  • Masha allah a great article. However my future wife (insha allah) and I are experiencing fitna as her father has rejected me as a suitor. I am a revert and she is Bangladeshi and her father has threatened her and has stopped talking to her now for 2 months because of my colour. I know how much she loves him and I make dua for him every day. However we have been advised by the imam that if we want we are able to marry without the father’s permission. Under shariah we are able to do this but I want to know SHOULD we do this? She is torn by a duty to her father but has been immensely hurt by his harsh and unjust treatment of her. Any advice would be very welcome.

  • Assalam Alaikom wr Brother,
    I am nothing in my religion to say anything to you, and I believe here is not the place to talk about this. But with the emotions after the article (as I lost both of them), I wanted to reply. Although I wonder if the Imam talked to her father because there might be solid reason behind what you guys see, of course what your Imam says is right as long as your religion is compatible with hers. If she disobeys her father then all family will be effected without a question. Dont let your emotions ruin the whole family if you guys have the ability to find another match. We are only here to be tested.
    And Allah knows best!

  • Assalamu Alaikum Dearest Son:

    Jazaka Allahu Khairan for this lovely tribute to us your parents. Allah the Great has Blessed our family with many blessings foremost among them our ability to connect and be there for each other. Alhamdu Lellah! That is a blessing indeed for not all families are blessed thus.

    At the onset of this new stage in your life “You shall surely travel from stage to stage” 84:19, you will be off-balance for a while as with any new change. But I want to assure you that we, your parents, are not lost to you. We will continue to be a source of love, grounding, and support insha Allah. As my parents have done for me, your father and myself pray we will be the source of strength and guidance in the years to come. Keep in mind that when you move out physically from our home, you never move out emotionally. You and your lovely wife are in our hearts whether you are near or far.

    I pray Allah will Be Your Companion in all the stages of your life. I pray Allah will Bless you and your new family dunya wa akherah.

    Love you,


  • wow, mashAllah at this heartwarming article. it really touched me and has helped me reflect on my own relationship with my parents. jazakAllah, may Allah reward you for this inshAllah. 🙂

    i misbehaved with my dad today and felt so gulity afterwards. cant get over the remorse of being so bad to him….
    plz pray for my forgivness….

  • Assalamu ‘alaikum.

    Great article. As stated above, we have to make our parents happy for that will amount to obedience to Allah. Does happiness come at the cost of even you being down for the rest of your life? I have a pal who told me of his friend who was pressured by his family to marry someone he wasn’t comfortable in order to please his parents…it lyk his parents also told him that if he won’t do what they wanted then they won’t be pleased with him he just had to do it….but until today, its lyk the 2 of them are living in a different world despite the fact that they are married…does such kind of obedience to parents sanctioned by our Lord?

  • Assalamu alaikum, everyone. My goodness, this article is dripping with sweetness, masha’Allah! And the response from the author’s mother is delightful and filled with wisdom.

    JazakAllah khairan. Islam truly shows the way.

  • My parents have been gone several years now. Although I miss them both very much, I have no regrets. Yes, I was sometimes a wild child and stressed them out sometimes but I was there for both of them when they needed me most. My advice is to cherish them while you can and let them know what they mean to you NOW. They owe you nothing! You however will never ever be able to repay them.

  • My oldest brother died last month@84. He,was so kind to our parents and quit his job, as a graphic artist, to care for his ill wife. Well, it all came back to him and I couldn’t be more proud of all his children, my niece and four nephews. They treated him with respect, kindness and love, right up to the end!

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