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An-Nisa Aya 4:36 resumes in short the major virtues:

وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُورًا

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.

They are entirely shared with Jewish, Christian, Parsic, Sikh, Baha'i teaching and even the religions that do not worship God share the other values.

We also find a specification of the most important commandments in Sahih Muslim 1:165 (similar in other ahadit)

حَدَّثَنِي عَمْرُو بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ بُكَيْرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ النَّاقِدُ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ ابْنُ عُلَيَّةَ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ الْجُرَيْرِيِّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ أَلاَ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ - ثَلاَثًا - الإِشْرَاكُ بِاللَّهِ وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَشَهَادَةُ الزُّورِ أَوْ قَوْلُ الزُّورِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مُتَّكِئًا فَجَلَسَ فَمَازَالَ يُكَرِّرُهَا حَتَّى قُلْنَا لَيْتَهُ سَكَتَ ‏.‏

... We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) 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. The Prophet was reclining, then he sat up, and he repeated it so many times that we wished that he should become silent.

I have been stubling about disobedience to parents being counted among the grave sins.

عُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْنِ is in a common context usualy understood as disobedience to parents. However, I am wondering whether the interpretation/translation of the word عُقُوقُ is accurate in this context. Apart from «disobedience» we also find «ingratitude», «ungratefulness», «lack of respect».

The meaning of those translations is however not equal.

Respect is an attitude we ought to have towards any person, animal, plant, even unanimate nature. Not respecting the parents is evidently a grave sin; in the positive sense, it is necessary but not sufficient to respect the parents.

Gratitude is the attitude to a person who has done something good to us. It is an appropriate attitude towards God and in almost all cases also to the parents (unless they have abandoned or deeply wronged their child). Ingratitude to God is evidently a major sin, and it is is also an appropriate to see ingratitude towards ones own parents as a grave sin. On the same level is the translation I found in the corresponding commandment of God directly received by Mose

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which YHWH your God gives you.

The other two grave sins are also part of those 10 commandments (Ex. 20:2-3 and 20:16).

Obedience is following the commands of a person or an institution, acknoleding that they have the right to tell us what to do. It is part of the education that parents tell the children what to do, expecting them to follow. It is however quite a common behaviour that a child of any age does not follow. Modern psycology sais that both, this behaviour of the child and the parents showing the limits is important for the development of the child. On this background I tend to say that this disobediance cannot be meant to be part of the tree most grievous of the grave sins.

I observe that Sharia law basically states that obediance to parents is a command, however with a lot of fatwas stating that it is not necessary to follow the parent's advice in the particular case.

A conflict about this is particularly frequent where I live because almost all Muslim here are immigrants; the parents having values and priorities from their home country, and the children trying to find their place in this society. As a parent who has grown up here, I am sometimes asked as a mediator (by the young ones), where in case that the youngers have valid reasons, in general, I give the following advice:

• To the parents to give an advice but to allow elder teenagers and grown-ups to finally make their own choice lest to prevent them from severe danger or sin.
• To the young to discuss frienly with their parents and consider their arguments.
• To both that only an agreement is a good solution.
• That Islam imposes to the children to be respectful and grateful to their parents and that it is a problem to have a conflict with the parents but that it is not compulsory and not a major sin not to follow their advice for good reasons.

Is this position shared by authorities in Sunnite Islam?

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