To fulfil the duty to parents is divinely designed, an endeavour to be pleasingly undertaken, without even a trace of rancour. It is ordained that as they grow old, they need to be looked after, in word and deed:
''Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be good to your parents. If either of them or both of them reach old age with you, you do not say to them a word of disrespect, nor scold them, but say to them kind words'' (17:23)
As far as worship is concerned, the divine rule holds—there is no God but God, hence the command that you worship none but God. After fulfilling the fundamental obligation of worshipping none but God, what follows is significant in the order of preference—doing duty to parents, by being good to them. If either of them or both of them reach old age, care has to be exercised, not to reproach them, but they need to be spoken to respectfully.Old age is a state of deficiencies, and of dependence. It thus falls on the ones borne of parents to make good these deficiencies, and provide physical and mental comfort.
There is added emphasis in what follows:
''And lower to them the wings of humility, out of mercy, and say, My Lord have mercy on them, as they raised me when I was a child'' (17:24)
Humility is a virtue, more so when a person is humble to his parents. While showering them with affection,protection may be provided, with a prayer on lips asking the Lord to have mercy on them. It is a state of reversal of roles. While as a child is dependent on parents for raising him in infancy, in old age however, parents are dependent on the ones borne of them.