Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I want to make up my fasts from previous years however I am only allowed by my parents to do so once a week. It causes my mother mental and emotional distress every time it comes up. Should I push it? Is this shirk in any way?
Answer:Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in. May Allah reward you greatly for making up your missed fasts.
Making up obligatory acts of worship
The scholars state that worship missed for a valid excuse must be made up, but it is not obligatory to make them up immediately, though recommended. Worship missed without a valid excuse must be made up immediately. [Bushra al Karim]
‘Immediately’ means spending all one’s time and efforts to make them up, other than the necessary aspects of life such as eating, sleeping, working etc. In practical terms however, the most realistic way to make up worship is to estimate the amount that one can maintain and continue on it, increasing when possible.
The general rule in regards to obeying parents is that one does not have to obey them when they forbid one from performing obligatory acts or confirmed sunnas, in the same way one does not listen to them if they order one to do something prohibited.
What is obligatory however, irrespective of what they are asking one to do or not do, is that one treats their parents with kindness and patience. You can find more information about obeying/disobeying parents here.
Wisdom and Practicalities
Given the above, the basic ruling is that you are not obliged to comply to your parents’ wishes that you only make up one fast a week. However, how you practically go about this must be coupled with wisdom, especially given your living conditions.
You’ve mentioned that there is no valid reason they are forbidding you to make up more fasts. However, there may be some fear there that they haven’t expressed, even if it is irrational.
Perhaps the best approach would be talk to them again (or get someone else to talk to them that they will listen to). Explain to them that it is of the utmost importance that you make these fasts up, and that as an adult you are obliged to make them up as soon as possible.
If they get very upset or distressed, or life at home becomes unbearable, then perhaps try to reach a mutual agreement that will be more comfortable with them, such as increasing 2 days each week for example. If they are worried about your health, then assure them that you’ll take a rest if you show any signs being unwell.
Do your best to stick to your intentions as much as is possible, while showing your parents good character and an easy nature. Inshallah, over time they will accept your firmness and determination.
As for shirk, no, this doesn’t enter into your case.
May Allah make things easy for you, and grant you tawfiq in fulfilling your obligations to Him and your parents.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.