The ups and downs of life often cause us to forget paying attention to certain matters. For example, looking back reminds us of all those who helped us in one way or another. Being unthankful to anyone is bad, but what’s worse is forgetting those who helped us in our times of hardship and problems and merely forgetting them as a result of daily matters. I am especially referring to our parents.

Imam Ali Ibn Musa al-Ridha (PBUH) has spoken in great lengths on the rights and respect of parents. In one instance he has said, “Be aware that the right of the mother is of the most obligatory and necessary rights, for she has carried you when she was pregnant of you in a condition that no one would bother to hold. She has protected you with her life, and heart, and eyes, and ears, and all her entity with full affection and willingness… She was prepared to stay hungry to keep you full, stay thirsty to keep you quenched, and remain without proper cloth to keep you covered. Therefore, thanking (your) mother and treating her with leniency should be like how she served you.

And in regards to respecting one’s father, Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) has said, “You must obey your father, and be humble towards him, and observe his dignity, praise and compliment him, and speak softly in his presence as the father is the root and origin of the child.

(O Children!) Be kind and beneficent to your fathers while they are alive, and remember and pray for them after their death. For as narrated from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP), ‘He who serves his father in his lifetime, but forgets to pray for him after his death, is considered rebellious and insubordinate by the Lord.”

(Taken from the book “Fiqh al-Ridha” attributed to Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (PBUH))