Parental Approval to Travel to Seek Knowledge
Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: If one is only interested in studying Islamic Law, but one’s parents would rather the child get a degree first, how should a child deal with this situation?
Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
This returns to the rulings of obedience to parents, which has been mentioned a few times.
1. In terms of permissibility, if going to seek Sacred Knowledge would somehow impinge on the fulfillment of parents’ rights, such as financial support if they are unable to support themselves or care if they are unable to take care, or cause them undue fear (such as going to an unsafe, war-torn country to seek knowledge), then it would not be permitted to go.
2. If traveling to seek Sacred Knowledge would not impinge on their immediate rights, and not cause undue fear, then it would be permitted to do so.
3. However, there is far greater blessing (baraka) and wisdom in convincing one’s parents and getting their permission and approval, when this is possible, because one of the greatest doors to Allah’s pleasure is pleasing one’s parents.
Often, it is hard to weigh the various considerations involved in one’s particular situation in delicate cases like this. We should follow the Qur’anic imperative and seek the guidance of the people of knowledge.
[cf: Shaybani/Sarakhsi, Sharh al-Siyar al-Kabir, 1.192-194; Nawawi, Majmu`, 8.315; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5.366; Haskafi/Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (K. al-Jihad) 4.125-126]
And Allah alone gives success.