ʿAbdullāh Ibn ʿAmr Ibn A- ʿĀṣ (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhū) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allāh’s pleasure is in pleasing the parents, and Allāh’s displeasure is in displeasing the parents.” (At-Tirmidhī 1899, Ibn Hibbān 429, Al-Ḥākim 4/151, declared ṣaḥīḥ by Al-Albānī)
There occurs in another ḥadīth that Allāh made disobedience to, and treatment of one’s mother unlawful. The Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Verily, Allāh has made unlawful for you: disobedience to your mothers and to bury your daughters alive…” (Bukhārī 2408, Muslim 593)
So in the ḥadīth of ʿAbdullāh Ibn ʿAmr it states that the pleasure of Allāh lies in the pleasure of the parents. So if you desire the pleasure of Allāh, then you should please your parents. And if you desire the displeasure of Allāh, then displease your parents, for indeed the recompense is in accordance with the deeds. This ḥadīth shows the great right of the parents, even if they are unbelievers. Allāh (the Most High) has stated:
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ
وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا
“And We have enjoined upon man care for his parents. His mother carried him, increasing her in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the final destination. But if they endeavour to make you associate with Me others in worship, that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in this world with appropriate kindness…” (Luqmān: 14-15)
So, even non-Muslim parents are to accompanied in this world with goodness and in kindness. So one should spend on them, be kind, respectful and dutiful towards them but they are not to be obeyed if it entails disobedience to Allāh, the Most High. ʿAlī Ibn Abī Ṭālib (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhū) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “There is no obedience to the creation if it involves disobedience to the Creator.” (Aḥmad 1090 and it is ṣaḥīḥ). He (ﷺ) also said, “There is no obedience when it involves sin. Rather obedience is only in what is good.” (Bukhārī 7257, Muslim 1840). If your father commands you to abandon the prayers, then you are not to obey him. If he commands you to smoke, you are not to obey him. Likewise, if he commands you to buy cigarettes, you are not to obey him. These are sinful acts and are not considered disobedience or disrespectful. Indeed, if you were to obey them in sin, that is disobedience. Upon you is to obey your parents in what is permissible and good, and in that which does not involve sin.
“Allāh’s pleasure is in pleasing the parents, and Allāh’s displeasure is in displeasing the parents.” A man once came to the Prophet (ﷺ) seeking his permission to go and fight in battle (Jihād). So the Prophet (ﷺ) asked him, “Are your parents alive?” He replied, “Yes.” So the Prophet said, “Then go and strive in serving them.” (Bukhārī 3004, Muslim 2549)
In a narration of Abu Sa’īd al-Khudri, a man migrated from Yemen to Madinah, to Allāh’s Messenger (ﷺ) and sought his permission to remain and perform Jihād. So the Prophet (ﷺ) asked him, “Did you seek your parents’ permission?” He replied, “No.” Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, “Then return back to them and seek their permission. If they give you permission, you may return. Otherwise stay and serve them.” [Abu Dawūd, 2530] So he sent him back to his parents, in both cases. He (ﷺ) made dutifulness to one’s parents a condition for the one who wishes to perform Jihād in Allāh’s cause. These narrations prove that one requires permission from one’s parents before joining an army and performing Jihād. So one first seeks permission from the parents, then from the ruler of the country (or his appointees) — and only then is Jihād permitted for him. The scholars have stated that the parents’ permission is required for Jihād which is fard kifāyah wherein a group of Muslims join the army of a Muslim nation, and by doing so, they provide sufficiency and the rest of the Muslims are relinquished from the obligation to join. However, if the necessity is more immediate and the Muslims are called by their country’s leader to come out and fight, then, in that case, they do not require permission from their parents; or in a situation where their land is invaded, then in that case they have no choice but to defend — so parental permission is not necessary. [See Tas-hīl Al-Ilmām of Shaikh Al-Fawzān, 6/16. Chapter: Kindness and Family Ties]
‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I have come seeking to go out in Jihad with you, seeking by that the Face of Allah and the Hereafter. I have come even though my parents are weeping.’ He said: ‘Go back to them and make them laugh as you have made them cry.’” [Ibn Mājah, 2782]
O Muslims, keep your parents happy, and with that, you will achieve the Pleasure of Allah.