Does Sunnah/Voluntary Acts but Mother Is Telling Him to Avoid It
Fatwa No: 446383


I am performing an sunnah/voluntary act. But people in where I live don't do that. So, they look Strangely at me and maybe even talk bad about me. My mother is feeling really shameful and now she telling me to avoid that act. What should I do?


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

We advise you, dear brother, to continue with the acts of goodness that you are doing and to persist in performing the Sunnah acts and supererogatory deeds, for you are at a time of strangeness, and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Islam started strange and it will become strange as it started, so give glad tidings to the strangers (from my nation).” [Muslim] [What he meant here are those who separated themselves from the people of their time]

Reviving those acts of Sunnah will multiply your rewards, Allah willing, for obedience multiplies when the religion is strange and when ignorance of Islamic knowledge is widespread.

Ibn Abdul-Barr said in at-Tamheed when speaking about the Hadeeth ‘The best of the people is my generation’:

His generation are preferred because they were strangers in their belief due to the large number of disbelievers, and due to being patient over the harm caused to them, and their adherence to their religion (and the last of this nation if they establish the religion and hold fast to it, and persevere in obedience to their Lord while evil, dissoluteness and killing are widespread, as well as disobedience and grave major sins, then they will also be considered as strangers and their acts will be purified at that time, in the same manner that the acts of the earlier people were purified; the evidence for this is the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “Islam started strange and it will become strange as it started, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [End of quote]

Your mother should not be angry or sad because of your performing the Sunnan and supererogatory prayers; rather, she should help you in doing so. If she forbids you from performing the Sunnah prayers, then strive to teach her gently and wisely. If she does not accept, then we do not think that you have to obey her. Ibn Muflih, from the Hanbali School, said in Al-Furoo’: “Ahmad said that its [Hadeeth] meaning is that if they forbid him to pray a supererogatory prayer, then he should try to please them and pray; its apparent meaning it that there is no obedience in leaving what is desirable.” [End of quote]

We have highlighted in previous Fataawa that the command and prohibition of the parents if they do not have a valid purpose in it and it stems from ignorance or mere foolishness, then it is not considered and it is not obligatory to obey them in it.

Allah may make you a means to reviving those Sunnan and supererogatory acts which people have abandoned, and he will record for you the reward of reviving the Sunnah. The Hadeeth reads: “Whoever revives a Sunnah of mine, which people then act upon, will have a reward equivalent to that of those who act upon it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Ibn Maajah and at-Tirmithi who graded it as Hassan] [Al-Albaani: Saheeh Lighayrihi]

Allah knows best.

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