Boundary of obeying/serving parents

Nov 11, 2021 | Uncategorized


Could you please shed some light in detail. How do i serve my parents to gain pleasure of ALLAH swt and in different circumstances , can I lessen my service.
And whether my parents are doing wrong in forcing their power on me to make them happy of all sorts a way too far disciplined and perfect person. They want to see in a short span of time. And my father tells me I can not succeed in any aspect of life and I am worthless. Why He tells me such? I am priortizing my health first as i have recently come out of very bad weakness. And am trying to recover. Are my parents too harsh or the world is truly that difficult to survive to not to compromise at the career perspective.
I mean i want all the possibilities to ever exist in case of service to parents.
Got bit informal to explain the situation.


In Islam we are instructed to respect and obey our parents. They play a very important role in our lives and no matter how hard we strive, we can never truly repay them. However, as with anything, there are boundaries and limits that must be kept in mind. Mufti Taqi Usmani has provided a simple overview of these boundaries which I have summarised below. As it is not clear to us exactly what your parents are asking of you, we suggest you read the summary below and try and apply that to your scenario.

When it comes to respecting or disrespecting one’s parents there are two extremes. On one side a person may be totally disrespectful to their parents, not listen to them at all and do not attempt to provide any care or support when they are in need. Such a person will be sinful. On the other side, a person may over respect their parents to the extent that they obey them even in matters that conflict the shari’ah. This person will also be sinful.

There are different types of rights a person will have over the other. Some of them are compulsory and the person must carry them out and others are optional. It is important to keep a good balance when trying to implement these different rights. Otherwise if a person makes non-compulsory rights compulsory, they may not be able to maintain them and become frustrated over time then blame shari’ah for being overly strict, when in reality it was the individual themselves who was being overly strict.

The first principle regarding respecting parents is that if an act is compulsory in shari’ah and the parents instruct their children (including adult children) to abstain from carrying out a compulsory act, the children are not permitted to obey the parents.

Similarly, if an act is prohibited in shari’ah and the parents instruct their children to carry out the prohibited act, it will not be permissible for them to obey to their parents.

This is based on the hadith of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) that states, “There is no obedience to any creation in which the disobedience of the Creator is involved”.

If the act is not compulsory nor prohibited in shari’ah, then one would have to look at the consequences of what their parents are telling them to do:

If obeying the parents will result in extreme hardship for the person then they do not have to listen to their parents. For example, if a person does not have a job and there are no job opportunities in the local area and they need to travel to another location to work, however, their parents say they cannot go, then in such a case the person does not have to obey their parents as they need to work to be able to provide for their family.

If the matter is not one that will result in severe hardship for the person, then they would look at the impact not obeying their parents would have on the person themselves as well as the parents. If it will cause harm to the person or the parents, then they must obey their parents. If it does not cause any harm to anyone, then it is better to listen to the parents though not compulsory.

For example, a person wants to travel for the purpose of studying Islam. If travelling is safe and the parents will be able to take care of themselves or there is someone to take care of the parents then it will be permissible for that person to travel to study even if the parents disapprove. It would however be better to obey the parents in this case.

Based on the above, if your parents are asking you to obey them in matters that either conflict with shari’ah or cause you harm then you are not obliged to listen to them. However, you must try and be as respectful as you can when speaking to them about these matters.

It is common for parents to advise their children regarding matters they think are best for their children. The child will have to take into consideration that the advice imparted by the parents is their perspective or may be something based on a particular cultural practice and the child might disagree with them. The child will have to make the a decision based on what they feel is correct. They should first try and understand their parent’s perspective and reflect over why their parents are instructing them in a certain way. It is always a good idea to consult other people such as an uncle or another family member. If at the end they still decide to go against their parents wishes (in those matters which it is permissible to go against parents in) then if possible they should explain to their parents why they are making that decision. The parents will undoubtedly be saddened by this, so the child should try and please them in other ways to maintain a good relationship. If they feel that talking about the issue will cause more hurt to the parents then they can just try to please them in other ways.

Dars Tirmidhi 3:503

مسند أحمد ط الرسالة (2/ 333)
عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: ” لَا طَاعَةَ لِمَخْلُوقٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (7/ 98)
وَكَذَا الْوَلَدُ لَا يَخْرُجُ إلَّا بِإِذْنِ وَالِدَيْهِ أَوْ أَحَدِهِمَا إذَا كَانَ الْآخَرُ مَيِّتًا؛ لِأَنَّ بِرَّ الْوَالِدَيْنِ فَرْضُ عَيْنٍ فَكَانَ مُقَدَّمًا عَلَى فَرْضِ الْكِفَايَةِ، وَالْأَصْلُ أَنَّ كُلَّ سَفَرٍ لَا يُؤْمَنُ فِيهِ الْهَلَاكُ، وَيَشْتَدُّ فِيهِ الْخَطَرُ لَا يَحِلُّ لَلْوَلَدِ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ إلَيْهِ بِغَيْرِ إذْنِ وَالِدِيهِ؛ لِأَنَّهُمَا يُشْفِقَانِ عَلَى وَلَدِهِمَا فَيَتَضَرَّرَانِ بِذَلِكَ، وَكُلُّ سَفَرٍ لَا يَشْتَدُّ فِيهِ الْخَطَرُ يَحِلُّ لَهُ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ إلَيْهِ بِغَيْرِ إذْنِهِمَا إذَا لَمْ يُضَيِّعْهُمَا؛ لِانْعِدَامِ الضَّرَرِ، وَمِنْ مَشَايِخِنَا مَنْ رَخَّصَ فِي سَفَرِ التَّعَلُّمِ بِغَيْرِ إذْنِهِمَا؛ لِأَنَّهُمَا لَا يَتَضَرَّرَانِ بِذَلِكَ بَلْ يَنْتَفِعَانِ بِهِ، فَلَا يَلْحَقُهُ سِمَةُ الْعُقُوقِ، هَذَا إذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ النَّفِيرُ عَامًّا، فَأَمَّا إذَا عَمَّ النَّفِيرُ بِأَنْ هَجَمَ الْعَدُوُّ عَلَى بَلَدٍ

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (4/ 125)
وفيه لا يحل سفر فيه خطر إلا بإذنهما. وما لا خطر فيه يحل بلا إذن ومنه السفر في طلب العلم

قوله وما لا خطر) كالسفر للتجارة والحج والعمرة يحل بلا إذن إلا إن خيف عليهما الضيعة سرخسي (قوله ومنه السفر في طلب العلم) ؛ لأنه أولى من التجارة إذا كان الطريق آمنا ولم يخف عليهما الضيعة سرخسي

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel