بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
وَ قَضَى رَبُّكَ ألاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إلاَّ إيَّاهُ
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud that he observed: I asked the Messenger of Allah [may peace be upon him] which deed was best. He [the Holy Prophet] replied: Prayer at its appointed hour. I [again] said: Then what? He [the Holy Prophet] replied: Kindness to the parents.* I [again] said: Then what? He replied: Earnest endeavor [Jihad] in the cause of Allah. And I would have not ceased asking more questions but out of regard [for his feelings].
* Obedience to parents is one of the main duties of a Muslim. It has been placed next to duty towards Allah, for among fellow beings, none has a greater claim upon a person than his parents. This duty has been stressed in the Quran in the following verse:
وَ قَضَى رَبُّكَ ألاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إلاَّ إيَّاهُ وَ بِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إحْسَنًا إمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أحَدُهُمَآ أوكِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ اُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَ قُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيْمًا
“And 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 your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour,” (Quran 17:23); Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, # 151.
“And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow upon them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood,”(Quran 17:24).
Major Sins and the Gravest among them
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahman b. Abu Bakra that his father said: We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah [may peace be upon him] that he observed: Should I not inform you about the most grievous of the grave sins? [The Holy Prophet] repeated it three times, and then said: Associating anyone with Allah, disobedience to parents, false testimony or false utterance; [Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, # 158].
Anas narrated from the Apostle [may peace be upon him] about the major sins. He [the Holy Prophet] observed: Associating anyone with Allah, disobedience to parents, killing a person and false utterance; [Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, # 159].