Should a Mother Respect Her Child’s Wishes to Move In with a Relative?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

A child refuses to stay with the mother and instead chooses to stay with one of her relatives as he was misguided during adolescence. The relatives are not ready to have any discussion with the mother, nor is she able to explain to her child about his mother’s rights in Islam.

According to Islam, should the mother still stay with the relative hoping for a chance to explain things to her child, which will mean she will be humiliated by the relative? Or should she leave the place, and in this case, is she responsible for the outcome of the child, as he may be influenced by all types of the wrong aqida (bid`a and secularism)?

What, according to Islam, must the mother endure in such a situation?

Answer

Thank you for your question. Your situation is confusing, as I don’t know how old your child is, and I haven’t heard the child’s point of view.

Obligations toward Children

Please learn what your obligations are toward your child. You are responsible for teaching your child about the basics of Islam, correct aqida and Islamic etiquette. It is possible to appoint another to do it for you.

Please see the details here:
Rights of Children in Detail
What are my children’s rights upon me?
On Parents Showing Righteousness to Children – Muwasala

Staying with the Relative

You mention that one of your options is to stay with your relative, in order to be near your child. This sounds like a good option to me. You should try this first, and if you become a target of verbal abuse or insults, you can decide to leave or stay as long as you wish. You don’t need to put up with abuse. I recommend this option first because I don’t think that you should leave your child with a relative without any discussion at all.

Speak When the Child Is Ready

Another option is that you open the lines of communication with your child when he/she is good and ready. I’m not sure why the child is refusing to live with you, but if there was some abuse or mental health issue, it is better that you stay away until your child is healed and settled back to normalcy. For this, you should be very grateful to your relative, for taking the child in and helping you to raise him/her.

Influence

You can still guide your child from afar. You can pray for him/her, you can have your child introduced to good people, and you can ask your relative to enroll him/her in classes of authentic and correct knowledge with pious teachers. This way, you are contributing to your child’s overall edification without being directly involved. The supplication of the mother is always heard, make this your greatest tool.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Three supplications are answered without a doubt. The supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveller, and the supplication of the parent for his son.” [Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]

Please see these links as well:
Do I Have to Live with My Parents?
Moving To Live With Mother

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.