بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
The mother has a special status – distinguished even from the father’s status. A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked: “Who has the right of my best companionship?” the prophet answered: “Your mother”. The man said: “Then who?” The prophet answered: “Your mother”. The man said: “Then who?” the Prophet said: “Your mother”. The man said: ” Then who?” the Prophet said: “Then your father” [Al-Bukhari, trans. Khan vol 8:2].
In fact, the parents’ rights extend to their friends too; for the Prophet assured that doing favour to their friends is among the best deeds [Muslim, vol 4:1358 trans. Siddiqi].
Abdullah bin Umar (RA) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The finest act of goodness is that a person should treat kindly the loved ones of his father” [Muslim].
In another hadith, it was narrated that a man came to the Prophet and asked him: “Is there anything left from the favours that could be done to my parents after their death?” The prophet responded: “Yes, praying for them, asking forgiveness for them, fulfilling their oaths after their death, taking care of the kinship that cannot be taken care of except by them, and treating their friends well” [Ahmad vol 3:498].
Thus, we learn that one should consider the life of one’s parents a blessing because their life provides one with an opportunity to serve them, and their friends, wholeheartedly, which is ordained by Allah.
(Extract from the book, ‘The Relationship Between Muslims and Non-Muslims‘, by Dr. Saeed Ismaeel.)