How Do I Deal with Controlling Parents Who Want to Choose My Career?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


My parents are Muslim, but they’re kind of Islamophobic. They oppose my avoiding the haram, such as not listening to music and wearing a niqab & burqa, and they oppose anything that’s commonly not considered haram by others. They want me to study medicine which I hate.

I got admission into a subject of my preference, but now they are screaming & crying and blaming me for not fulfilling their dream. They even threatened to get me married to someone who doesn’t practice Islam which I don’t want.

But they said if I don’t listen to them, they’ll disown me. I know it’s haram to break ties of kinship & to get married without the dad’s permission, so what am I supposed to do?


Thank you for your question. May Allah grant you the patience that is required to deal with them and open the doors of communication between you, and facilitate your future for what is best for you.

Reliance and Patience

Allah Most High says, “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined. And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency. Allah’s affair will surely come to pass–and Allah has made a clear decree for everything.” [Quran, 65:2-3]

Also, keep this hadith in mind: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Ibn Maja]


I encourage you to be of those who show love and patience to their parents but still proceed with their decisions with firm politeness. Generally speaking, when a not-so-religious couple finds that their child is becoming more religious, it scares them.  Give them time to get over their fear,  show them that you still love them and be assured that they will come to accept your new lifestyle and probably follow suit.

Career and marriage

Your parents have no right to choose your career, and you may choose the subject that you desire. Their dreams are not to be fulfilled by you, as parents do not exert this amount of control over their children in Islam. They also cannot force you to marry anyone that you don’t approve of. 

Can I Pursue a Career That Goes Against My Parents’ Wishes?

Do My Parents Have a Right To Decide Everything About My Life After I’m 18?

Open up

So, instead of loud fights and ultimatums, I urge you to open the door of communication with them. Talk to them when they are calm and tell them how you feel about your subject and that you simply cannot study something you hate. Pray for a pious husband and continue to seek knowledge and take courses as a means to practice well and gain closeness to Allah. Always be polite but stay firm in your decisions.

Remember this through any trial that you go through: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, in this inspiring hadith,  “Wondrous are the ways of a believer for there is goodness in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer. If he has an occasion to feel delighted, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” [Muslim]

Please see these links as well: 

Do I Have to Obey My Parents If They Stop Me From Listening to Religious Talks?

How Do I Please My Parents When They Do Not Approve of My Islam?

Pressured by my Parents to Take Off my Hijab: How Should I Respond?

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, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied Fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.