الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد
With regard to the understanding of dutifulness to the parents, Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said:
“If it is said; what then is the dutifulness which Allaah and His Messenger have commanded with?
It is said; indeed Allaah and His Messenger have determined it with an establishment that is known, as well as an explanation that is understood by every person. So Allaah, The Most High, generalized the affair by way of showing fine treatment to them, and He mentioned some examples which form models of fine treatment. Therefore every manner of fine treatment – (whether) verbal or physical or bodily is in accordance to the circumstance of the parents and the children and the time as well as the location, indeed this – it is dutifulness.
So all that which is pleasing to the parents from all the types of customary mutual relations, as well as commencing upon every channel and expedient which pleases them, then it is incorporated into dutifulness. Just as disobedience (unruliness) is everything which displeases them by way of statement and action. However, that is restricted to obedience – not to sinfulness.”
He, The Most High, said:
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا
((And We have enjoined upon man goodness to his parents)) (Al-Ankaboot: 8)
Dutifulness to One’s Parents Whilst They are Alive
Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:
“The deeds which benefit the parents whilst they are alive are that of being dutiful to them, and showing fine treatment to them by way of statement as well as action, and to undertake that which they are in need of from expenditure and housing and other than that. Together with amiability and goodly speech and being of service to them, this is whilst in a state of life.
Likewise to show fine treatment to them in every statement or action, due to His saying, The Most High:
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا
((And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And [that you show] fine treatment to the parents.)) (Al-Israa: 23)
Particularly in the state of their old age, or the old age of one of them, then it is necessary upon the son that he shows gentleness to them, and is nice to them, and shows fine conduct to them, as He, The Most High, said:
إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
((Whether one of them or both of them attain old age [while] with you, do not say “uff” [a word of displeasure] to them, and do not chide them, but speak to them a noble word. And lower unto them the wing of humility out of mercy and say; “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up when I was small.”)) (Al-Israa: 23-24)
So it is obligatory upon the son that he is dutiful to his parents if they are living – with every form of dutifulness that he is able, especially upon their reaching old age, or upon one of them reaching old age or weakness, and so they are in need of the son, for his service and his aid.”
Dutifulness to One’s Parents After They Pass Away
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:
“Dutifulness to one’s parents means showing fine treatment to both of them by way of wealth and influential standing and physical benefit, and it is obligatory, and disobedience to the parents is from the major sins; and it is a prevention of their rights.
So showing fine treatment to them in their lifetime is known as we have just stated, it is done by way of wealth and influential standing, as well as physically. As for after their death, then dutifulness to them is by way of:
Supplicating for them.
Seeking forgiveness for them.
Carrying out their bequest after them.
Honouring their friends.
Maintaining the ties of kinship – which are such that there could be no kinship for you with them except due the both of them (i.e. the parents).
These five things are from dutifulness to one’s parents after death.
As for giving charity on their behalf, then it is permissible, however it is not said to the offspring to: give in charity, but rather it is said: if you give in charity then it is permissible, and if you do not give in charity – then making supplication for them both is better, due to the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):
إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلا مِنْ ثَلاثَةٍ : إِلا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ
((When a person dies, his deeds are cut off from him except for three: a continuous charity, or knowledge which is benefited from, or a righteous son who supplicates for him.))”
 Buhjatu Quloob al-Abraar p.197
 Majmu’ Fataawa p.589
 As occurs in: Mawsu’ah al-Ahkaam wal-Fataawa ash-Shar’iyyah p.1565
 Reported by Muslim (no.1631)