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Obeying One’s Parents and Maintaining Ties of Kinship

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My question is what if a mother is telling you to cut of ties with her as the daughter will not leave her husband on her say so. The daughter does by force sometimes go to see them but mother does not speak with her. Is the daughter at fault here? As she has no problem with her husband and also feels that a divorce is something displeasing to Allah.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, the daughter is not at fault. She appears to be doing her best given her circumstances and she will have her reward with her Lord.

The Narration (hadith)

A man came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! There is a young man who is approaching death. It is said to him, ‘Say: There is no god but Allah’, but he is not able to say it. So he said (Allah bless him and give him peace), ‘Didn’t he used to say it during his life?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘So what prevented him from doing so now?’ He subsequently mentioned the whole story.’’ [Musnad Ahmad]

The verifier, Shaykh Shu`ayb Arna`ut, notes that its chain of transmission is weak.

As for the remainder of the story, its chain is also very weak.

The Rights of Parents

Being good to one’s parents is an unconditional duty as per the Qur’anic command, ‘and do good to parents’ [17:23]

There are many manifestations of being ‘good’ to one’s parents and obedience is often one of them. There are some cases in which one would not obey one’s parents; such cases include obeying them in leaving obligations (fard), doing something unlawful (haram), non-fulfillment of rights and the like. However, even in cases where in one does not obey them, one is still duty-bound to be ‘good’ to them.

Moreover, parents don’t own their children. Therefore, she will not be expected to leave her husband on her mother’s say so. However, in such instances, one must respond with gentleness and wisdom.

Maintaining Ties of Kinship

It is obligatory to maintain ties of kinship and cutting ties is a grave sin.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the ties of kinship.’ [Bukhari]

`Abdullah ibn `Amr reported: “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘A person who maintains ties of kinship is not someone who only does so with those who maintain ties with him. A person who maintains ties of kinship is someone who restores them when they have been cut off.’” [ibid.]

What is emphasised is one’s maintaining the ties of kinship when others cut them off. So, she should keep visiting, give gifts and pray for her mother. And by her upholding righteous character, Allah may well turn her mother’s heart back towards her, insha’Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can I Pursue a Career That Goes Against My Parents’ Wishes?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: Assalaamu `alaykum

Is it ok to pursue a career that goes against my parents’ wishes? I REALLY don’t want to go into any medicinal line but my mom insists, “listen to your parents.” And when she says that, I sort of get scared.  However, if I do pursue medicine, then I’ll be forcing myself into a career path that would just be a drag for the rest of my life AND my plans for getting married would be postponed by too many years for me to handle.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Wa alaikum as-salam,

May Allah Most High reward you for your concern.  Unfortunately, being forced into a career path is a common cultural problem, mainly for the children of immigrants to the West.

You are bound to respect your parents in every situation, but you are not religiously bound to pursue a career path against your wishes, especially when it is disadvantageous for you to do so.

As an adult, what is sought of you is that you respect, serve and help your parents, and give them good company.  Parents can be advisers, but not the ultimate decision-makers in their adult child’s life.

If it was not a question of emotional and spiritual harm, there would be merit in obeying them.  This rare level of obedience is neither obligatory nor expected, but it can’t be totally discounted either.

However, if you feel that obeying them in this will bring about emotional or spiritual harm, usurious debt, resentment against your parents, sexual frustration or sin due to delayed marriage, or a wastage of money because you won’t try, then you don’t have to force yourself down a path you dislike.

My advice would be to pray the Prayer of Guidance, and settle on a career.  Share that respectfully with your parents, listing your reasons briefly, and refrain from argument and debate.

Then, be a responsible adult and be proactive with your career plan- don’t hesitate, or bicker, or rely on your parents too much or show immaturity or fear in your decision.  Let them respect you for choosing.

Study hard, work honestly, beautify your character, comportment and inner self, deal with them gently and humbly, and show them that you can still be someone who they can be proud of.  Insha Allah they will come around eventually, but how fast often depends on the good character you embody.

Wasalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani