Parents Matter More Than Peers

Marriage & Obedience to Parents

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: [1] If one’s parents have two children. They have allowed the son to marry and migrate and the girl receive offer to marriage inclusive with migration. Is the girl allowed to accept this offer, in view that if she does leave, no one will be able to be around to take care of the parents? [2] I am really caught in trying to retain my responsibilities towards my parents. I have always tried to be obedient; I have given up my right to marriage due to racial and economic reasons for them. I have, allowed marriage proposals to pass by so that they would not be angry. Simultaneously, I have initially rejected their attempt to marry someone I did not like; however, when I realized that my choices were also a cause for conflicts, I attempted to compromise on two occasions. The results were rather emotionally devastating. With regards to my offers of marriage in another country, my parents insist that if something bad was to occur that no one would be there to assist me. The truth is I prefer to risk it. Now, I have an offer in front of me (with a suggestion of support to study Islam). I really don’t want to reject this offer but I am also concerned that I might be punished for neglecting the rights of my parents over me.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are in good health and spirits. I apologize for the delay in writing back.

Obedience to one’s parents is not unconditional. Just as your parents are entitled to obedience, respect, and good treatment, you are entitled to marry a righteous spouse. By prolonging your single status and compelling you to reject good suitors, your parents are going against the Prophetic directive, “When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied, asks to marry your daughter, comply with his request. If you do not do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth.” (Tirmidhi)

There is a solution to this situation. You can consider the following:

* Asking your potential spouse to consider relocating to your country

* Asking your parents to relocate to your new home

* Spending half of your time in one place, and the other half in the other

* Visiting as often as you can

* Making sure your parents receive financial support, if needed

Finally, please confer, as a family, with a counselor, or a balanced, knowledgeable Imam or community elder.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

February 24, 2010

Rabi’ al-Awwal 11, 1431

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani