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

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Disobeying parents is a sin, but can I disobey my parents’ decisions about my life after I’m 18? For instance, my university, my career, and so on.

Do they have the authority to make decisions about my life?

Answer

Thank you for your question. Your parents do not have the right to decide how you will live your life, but rather, have a right to be treated well and obeyed in general matters.

Parents

Parents have a great rank in Islam and disobeying them is an enormity. Allah has told us in His book, “Your Lord decrees that you shall worship none but Him and treat your parents well, and if one or both of them reach old age with you, say not ‘Uff!’ to them nor upbraid them, but speak noble words and lower the wing of humility to them out of mercy.” [Quran, 17:23-24]

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “Shall I not tell you of the worst of the enormities? (…)” and one of those he mentioned was undutiful behavior to one’s parents. [Bukhari; Muslim] [Keller, The Reliance of the Traveller]

Unconditional Obedience

In this regard, parents are to be treated well, but not obeyed unconditionally. Parents who command their children to follow a certain career path or to marry a certain someone, or how to practice their religion, potentially overstep their bound, with some exceptions.

Please see all the details here:
When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?
Limits of Obeying Parents

Patience

My advice to you is to be the best child that you can be. Treat them well, show patience, dutifulness, do little things to show them that you care, and communicate with them openly and honestly about things that are important to you. When you disagree, show politeness, while trying to make them understand. And always keep this prophetic hadith in mind, “Allah is kind and loves kindness, and He rewards for kindness in a way that He does not reward for harshness.“ [Ahmad]

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.