According to Islamic teachings, to be obedient and to show kindness to parents has been enjoined in the Holy Quran in such a manner as to say that among the noble deeds, to obey parents, treat them respectfully and to show kindness to them is next to worshipping Almighty Allah. The Holy Quran says, "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor." - Surah Al Isra (17:23).
The mother has the right to receive the best treatment than accorded to any other person, in addition the mother has the right of custody of the child in general circumstances, at least until she remarries. Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to Allah's Apostle (Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him) and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father." (Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari). This shows that the claim of a mother is greater than a father over the care that you endow upon them in their old age. Serving and obeying parents is a matter of give and take. Those who treat and obey their parents can rest assured that their children will also show kindness and compassion to them. Respecting and caring the parents is a virtue of the highest order that continues to transcend generation after generation.
Asma bint Abu Bakr (RA) relates that her mother had come from Makkah to Madinah to meet her. Her mother was not a Muslim and followed pagan tribal customs and beliefs. Asma enquired from the holy Prophet how she was supposed to treat her. The holy Prophet told her to be kind and considerate and to behave towards her as was a mother's due from a daughter. Obeying one's parents and treating them with respect and affection is a great virtue and it serves as repentence for a person's sins. Similarly, to ask Almighty Allah to have mercy on them after death is an act that brings them comfort in their graves. It is the duty of sons and daughters to pray for the forgiveness of their parents after their death and treat their relatives and friends with due respect. In the Holy Quran, Muslims have been urged to pray for the salvation of their parents as shown in the following verse: "And say, My Lord, Have mercy on both of them as they cared for me when I was little".
According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the parents of a certain person are his Heaven or Hell. What this means is that if a person obeys his parents, attends to their needs and keeps them happy and comfortable, he will attain Paradise. On the other hand, if he is disrespectful and rude to them, offends them by ignoring their needs and feelings or causes them grief in any manner, his place shall be in Hell. In modern times, a trend has arisen whereby when parents come to be seen as a liability because of old age and physical weakness. They are then sent to 'old people's homes'. Abu Hurairah, a companion of the holy Prophet, has said that "a person is indeed disgraced, who does not earn Paradise by caring for his parents during the life time and old age of his/her parents".
In the light of the Holy Quran and holy Prophet's sayings, one can understand that the respect for parents occupies a special place in the moral and social teachings of Islam.