Fulfilling the father's wish after his death
Fatwa No: 303685

Question

My father forced me into Med School in 2002. I agreed to do Med School although I had no inclination for it. I did not know of Ibn Taymiyyah's fatwa that states that one does not have to obey parents in regards to one's career. All I knew was that if parents want you to do something permissible, you have to do it. I was doing it as being dutiful (Birr Al-Walidayn). I fell ill in 2010 after completing the 4th year. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. My dad allowed me to quit as it is a disease that makes you incapable of doing anything. Then I recovered in 2015 and wanted to continue to obey by father, but he died in December 30, 2015. My question is the following: after his death will I still get the reward of obeying my father, as it was his greatest wish to see his son a doctor, if I complete Med School. Or, is such a reward no longer attainable after his death? I ask so that I do not waste my time on something for which I will not be rewarded and do something more practical as regards my life. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Firstly, we implore Allaah to forgive your father, raise his rank in Paradise, illuminate and expand his grave for him, generously reward him for his good deeds, and pardon his bad deeds. We also supplicate Him to bless you with dutifulness towards your father, help you earn his pleasure, and admit you both to Al-Firdaws, the best and highest part of Paradise.

You should know that if you choose to carry on with your study in medicine school with the intention of fulfilling the wish of your father, you hopefully will be rewarded for such a good intention. Verily, the intention has an impact on the good deed and earning rewards. This is why one of the righteous predecessors said, "Man's intention far reaching than his action."

You should also know that it might be recommended for you to quit medicine school if you absolutely dislike it, especially if it would bring the illness that you mentioned in the question upon you. You can still earn rewards through supplicating Allaah, The Exalted, for your father to a good effect, showing kindness to him through offering charity on his behalf (and dedicating the rewards to him), honoring his friends and showing hospitality to them, and upholding ties of kinship with his relatives. Verily, all these acts fall under the category of dutifulness towards the father that does not end by his death.

Abu Usayd Maalik ibn Rabeeʻah As-Saaʻidi  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said:

"While we were with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) a man from the Banu Salamah came to him and said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, is there any way of honoring my parents that I can still do for them after they die?' He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: 'Yes, to pray for them, to supplicate for their forgiveness, to fulfill their promises after their death, to maintain the ties of kinship which cannot be maintained except through them, and honour their friends.'" [Abu Daawood]

For further information, please refer to fataawa 83233 and 131695.

Allaah knows best.

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