The most haneous crime one can commit is to ascribe partners with Allahu subhanahu wa ta’ala. This is far worse than any murder one can commit, any theft, or even oppression to other human beings. I’m not down playing the evil nature of any of these crimes, but in comparison to committing shirk with Allah they are indeed futile.
Imagine two people: Person X and Person Y.
Person X commits many evil deeds such as adultery and theft but doesn’t associate partners with Allah and do shirk. Person Y does many good deeds such as charity and fasting but he associates partners with Allah and commits shirk. Which is better in the sight of Allah? Person X.
Why you may ask? Well there are many reasons but one is because Person X has committed major oppression by taking away the most important right of Allah and that is His right to be worshipped alone with no partners. This is found in the hadith of Mu’adh ibn Jabal radhiallah anhu collected in Sahih Bukhari in which the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam informed Mu’adh of this at a very young age as they were riding together.
This is also the only sin that Allah will not forgive if a person dies upon it thus showing the seriousness of the act and the danger Person Y is in.
Shirk is indeed a very dear matter to Allah that brings about great displeasure. Now this was all a precursor to the main point I wanted to make. But for us to understand the next point we all need to thoroughly understand the gravity of shirk.
Imagine now your father. He is a man that does so much for the family but one thing that is really dear to his heart is his dignity, as is the case with all human beings. He cannot accept anyone insulting him and when it occurs he is angered and deeply affected. Now imagine one day a guest is over at the house and your father is insulted. You being the son of your father, you being someone who loves your father very deeply, naturally get angry because someone is doing something that is upsetting to your father. In this anger though, your father tells you to maintain your kindness towards the guest. This is amazing no?
This is the extent to which Allah has ordered us to show kindness to our parents and to even refrain from saying anything harmful to them at any time. Allah hates that one commits shirk and this is His right and it’s a very dear matter to our Lord, yet Allah has commanded us that we show kindness and respect to our parents even if they are those who commit shirk. We are commanded to obey them and serve them in everything except if it is shirk. Subhanallah! Something so dear to Allah yet we are commanded to do good to them. So what about us then? If Allah is telling us to show kindness to them even when they commit shirk, something that is so heinous and it directly is targeting Allah, then what about in times our parents do something that is lesser in nature and it’s targeted towards us? Should we not be patient? Hold our tongues from saying wrong things? We should.
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye 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 honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”
Our parents have a very high status in the sight of Allah and they have many rights over us. Let’s make a promise to serve them, be kind to them even if they do things we don’t like, whether those things are right or wrong, and let’s refrain from raising our voices and tongues against them even in the slightest way. May Allah help us in this endeavor. Ameen!