Sunday, February 28, 2010

He Wants Me to Neglect My Parents!

He Wants Me to Neglect My Parents!

 Question: What are the obligations of a wife's towards her family? If, say, a husband says she can't see her family, is he wrong? How far should she obey him? I know it's meant to be a son's obligation to take care of parents, but what if your brother is too young, or you don't have a brother? It becomes the daughter’s responsibility, then, right? [Laila – Norway]

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

As salamu ‘alaykum Dear sister.

Maintenance of family ties.

In Islām, marriage is not about two individuals joining together; it is about two families joining together. Whether one is a convert to Islām, or a born Muslim, the rights of the parents, whether the parents are Muslims or not remain the same. Islam stresses very much the maintenance of family ties, because through the maintenance of family ties we learn of compassion, forgiveness, understanding, sacrifice and unconditional love (love for the sake of Allāh), because Islam is very much a social religion.

However, we are human, and we are subject to weaknesses, some of which is heavily influenced by the social environ in which we have been raised and, or live in. If one is used to a secular life, whether one is Muslim or not, there is a greater sense of individualism, privacy and ownership with these factors shaping the nature of marital life. In the secular world, one is more likely to leave behind ones parents to begin life anew in marriage; however Allāh subhānahu wata’ala tells is as follows:

“And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents – his mother bears him with fainting upon fainting and his weaning takes two years – saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming”

[Al-Luqman, 31: 14].

There is no age limit on this guidance, so as you were in childhood grateful to your parents, so should you are in adulthood. If one ceases all communication with ones parents how can one show gratefulness?

“And your Lord has commanded that you should not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them should reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word”

[Al-Isrā’, 17: 23]

Then we are strongly advised:

Allah's Apostle (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind."

 [Al Bukhāri 9: 93 No: 473]

This includes all mankind, including one’s parents!

When a man asked of Prophet Muhammed (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) of the best deeds to perform, one of three deeds explained was to “…be good and dutiful to one's own parents…” [Al Bukhari 9: 93 No: 625]

The only times we are disobedient to our parents are if they ask of us to disobey Allah subhānahu wata’ala’s guidance.

“… and if they contend with you that you should associate (others) with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them…”

[Al-Ankabut, 29: 8]

If your husband has grievance against your parents on these grounds, then you need to moderate how much time you spend with your mother. However, if there is no one else who can take care of them, then mercy should be shown. Make regular duā’ (supplication) that your husband will increase in understanding of your need to take care of your parents, and speak with him in a gentle manner to ascertain his reasons and to explain your need (by his permission).


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