My Father Teaches a Problematic Version of Islam in the Local Mosque. What Should I Do?
Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: My father has a deep aversion to the scholars of Islam. Despite this, he has persisted in teaching at the local Sunday School at the mosque. He spreads his strange ideas but his eloquence lends him an outward appearance of authority and people are swayed by him.
1) What are his rights over me should I call him to to an authentic understanding of Islam?
2) Is it obligatory for me to have the mosque prevent him from teaching?
3) Given my father’s state, if he asks me to forgo marriage to a less ‘cultured’ girl is it obligatory for me to do so?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for having such sincere concern for your father, and may Allah guide him to an authentic understanding of Islam.
Many parents do not like being advised by their children, especially in matters of religion. If the direct approach upsets him, then try a different strategy. Model good character in your day-to-day dealings with him. Be of service to him, enquire about his health, and offer to run errands for him.
Perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and ask Allah to guide him. Have hope in Allah, for He is the Turner of Hearts.
It is obligatory for you to warn the masjid that he is spreading false teachings about Islam. Tenets of Islamic belief must only be taught by someone who has a chain of authentic knowledge, stretching back to the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). It sounds like your father is a self-taught man who lacks a fundamental understanding about the basics of our religion. His eloquence and ignorance make him a danger to vulnerable children.
Please ask the masjid board to treat this situation with tact, wisdom, and confidentiality. Your father will be angry and deeply hurt if he finds out about your role in his potential dismissal. If the masjid board does not take action, then please ask for help from trustworthy scholars in your local area.
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [Qu’ran 17:23]
It is not obligatory for you to obey your father in his choice of bride for you. It is obligatory for you to treat him with respect and kindness.
Your father wants what is best for you, and in his mind, he feels that a ‘cultured’ bride will be better for you. If you choose someone who does not fit his criteria, then both of you must strive to win him over through patience and good character. I pray that Allah grants you tawfiq in this.
I strongly encourage you to complete this course – The Rights of Parents.
Please refer to the following links:
VIDEO: How To Develop Meaningful Relationships With Parents (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus & Shaykh Rami Nsour)
Do I Have to Marry Someone Within My Caste to Please My Family?
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani