Allah has ordered us not only to pray for our parents, but to treat them with ultimate compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves.
When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with even more kindness than they were ever. Mothers are particularly honored; Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said that 'Paradise lies at the feet of mothers'.
Allah says in the Qur'an says, in Surrah BaniIsra'il:
"Your Lord (The Creator) has ordained that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to the parents."
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said that the parents of a person are his Heaven or Hell. Which shows that if a person obeys his parents and fulfills their needs and comforts and keeps them happy, he will enter Paradise. But if he is rude and disobedient to them and offends them by ignoring their feelings or by causing them grief, his place shall be in Hell.
Pleasing the parents causes Allah's pleasure.
Even if one's parents are polytheists, and they want him to follow them, he should refuse, yet continue to be kind and respectful to them.
Asma' bint Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with her) relates that her mother had come to the Madinah to meet her. Her mother followed the Pagan customs and beliefs. So Asma' asked Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) how should she treat her mother, as she was a Pagan, and should she treat her like a daughter should treat her mother, and show kindness to her. The Prophet (PBUH) told her to be kind and considerate and to treat her with all kindness and respect.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said that serving one's parents well is an act of great virtue, he condemned disobeying them and harming them, and described such acts as the most serious and detestable sin.
When asked about the major sins, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) replied." To associate another god with Allah, to disobey the parents, to kill unlawfully and to give false testimony."
The above-mentioned acts have been condemned as 'Akbarul-Kabaair' i.e. the most serious of the major sins. The order, in which Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) mentioned them shows that the disregard of parents' rights is next, only, to Polytheism (Shirk) and it is even more serious than murder.
Anyone who seeks Allah's satisfaction has to make sure that his parents are happy with him, not angry with him. Keeping the parents well pleased is essential since their anger and displeasure will lead to Allah's anger and displeasure.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:
"In the good pleasure of the father lies the good pleasure of the Creator and in his displeasure, lies the displeasure of the Creator."
Although the mother was not mentioned in this (Hadith), or quote by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in many other Hadith's, the Prophet (PBUH) has highlighted the right of the mother and stressed the importance of treating her kindly and attaining her satisfaction.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be please with him) narrates that a person asked Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) "Who has the greatest claim on me with regard to service and kind treatment?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother, and again your mother, and once again your mother. After her, is your father, then that of your near relations and then of the relations next to them.
Allah says in the Qur'an:
"We have enjoined on man Kind, that he be kind to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years he says 'O my Lord! grant me that I may be grateful for Your Blessing which You have bestowed upon me and upon both my parents and that I may do righteousness as may please You; and make my offspring righteous. Truly I repent to You, and I am of the Muslims" (46.15)
Allah also says:
"Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say 'uff' to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, 'My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little." (17.23-4)
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:
"If anyone possesses these three characteristics Allah will give him an easy death and bring him into His Paradise: gentleness towards the weak, affection towards parents, and kindness to slaves.
A man once asked Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), "Shall I participate in war (Jihad)?" The Prophet asked, 'Are your parents alive?' The man said, "Yes." the Prophet (PBUH) said: 'Do Jihad for their benefit.' (Serving one's parents is equal in honor to fighting against an enemy of Islam.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) also said:
"He who casts up the favors he has done, he who is disobedient to parents and he who is addicted to wine will not enter Paradise."