Obedience to parents
Fatwa No: 84942

Question

Do we have to listen and act upon whatever our parents say eves if it is wrong to do?

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.

 

A child is obliged to be kind and dutiful to his parents, fulfill their rights and obey them within what is permissible. However, if one or both of them order him to commit a sin, then, in this case, he should not obey them as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:  "Obedience is required only in what is permissible" [Al-Bukhari] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: "There is no obedience to a creature in disobeying the Creator (i.e. Allaah).’’ [Ahmad]

Also, if one or both of the parents order the son to do something that is beyond his ability, then he is not obliged to fulfill their order because Allaah does not burden a person beyond his scope. However, he [the child] should apologize to them in a kind and polite manner.

Therefore, it is not permissible for you our brother, to disobey your parents and not fulfill their demands even if the matter is very simple, as long as you can do it and you would not be harmed by it.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that disobedience to parents is of different degrees and you should be keen on avoiding all of them.

Moreover, if it happens that you disobey them, then you should endeavour to please them and apologize to them so that they would not become angry with you. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said about the mother: “Stay with her (i.e. be dutiful to her and serve her) because Paradise is under her feet. [Ahmed]

Indeed, Allaah ordered us to be kind and dutiful to our parents and warned us against disobeying or harming them in words or actions whether this is regarding great matters or very simple matters. Allaah Says (what means): {And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” (a word of disrespect) and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.} [Quran 17: 23]

The word ‘decreed’ in the above-mentioned verse means commanded and ordered, and the expression –do not say to them ‘uff’ means that one should not say this word if he sees from one of them or from both of them something from which people are usually harmed. Therefore, you should be patient with them about this and you should seek the reward of Allaah for being patient with them in the same manner as they were patient with you when you were a child. This is the interpretation given by Ibn Jareer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him about this verse. And the expression {do not repel them} means do not shout at them or scold them.

Imaam Ar-Raazi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "the expression: {do not say to them ‘uff’} means the prohibition of showing any form of boredom towards them, and the meaning of the expression {do not repel them} means not to utter what contradicts their statements as a way of responding to it or denying it.

Therefore, you should know that when Allaah forbade a  person in the previous verse from saying harmful and cheerless words, He ordered him after that to say good words and good statements, as Allaah Says (what means): {…but speak to them a noble word.} [Quran 17: 23] This means that a child should address his parents with words of respect and honour.” (End quote)

Allah Knows best.

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