Fatwa ID: 04559
Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
I am from Bangladesh (BD), I study Biomedical Engineering (BME) in Hong Kong (HK). I am 24 years old. I am writing to you with tears in my heart. I grew up in a house where my mother is religious but focuses on Aml (Salat, Hajj, Zikr, Recitation) which I believe mainly to ask Allah to fulfill her wishes. My father is a freedom fighter in the 1971 war and he has immense hatred towards Pakistan. He does offer salat, sawm, hajj, and is a typical secular person.
My parents never gave Islamic education more than reciting the Quran. They will try to make me as western as possible. I was obeying them faithfully in this Western Deen with some Aml. My father has always been abusive to me. He used to beat me regularly until class 9 (middle school). Still today, he tries to control me in my choices and uses abusive language and swearing. His treatment hurts my heart. Even during class 12, I was extremely studious, yet my father did not properly treat me nor respected me. My father was extremely abusive with my mother but only recently he asked her forgiveness (after I left for HK). From then on, my mother overlooks his bad deeds even ignoring his abusive behavior towards me. My parents always wanted me to be at the top and put pressure on me always and always pokes about my faults and tell me how weak I am, never satisfied. I wanted to study Medicine or Biology but they forced me to do Engineering, more specifically Computer Science for 1st year but Alhamdulillah changed to BME, but my parents were displeased. They always taunt me for that.
Before going to HK, my parents and other relatives told me to stay away from Muslims but I later found out there are many good Muslims. Thus I decided to change my life and strive for pleasing Allah and live the Deen of Islam while I was in MSA, in Year 2. I gave up many bad habits Alhamdulillah, but the journey is long. My parents were surprised and violently opposed me to revert to my old self. They prevented me from wearing non-western clothes. They violently tried to stop me to shave or even trim my beard. Their attitude towards me became more violent when my result dropped a bit. However, I got into Yale University, the USA for 1-year exchange (for Year 3). I easily got into the USA with a maximum beard. They were silenced but still kept on telling me to trim.
I got sick in the second semester at Yale due to the horrible environment at Yale and could not complete the second semester. I broke down physically and mentally. I reverted back to some old habits but Alhamdulillah now they are under control. My parents never supported me. Rather they demanded me why I could not complete the semester. They rarely appreciate any good I do. During my weak (broken) mental state, my father forced me to trim my beard. He also said that whatever Islamic deed I plan to do is evil. He even forbade me from praying Jamaat and in Masjid in the USA before I was going to Yale. I am emotionally and mentally tortured and having a very hard time.
After the traumatic experience at Yale, I decided I would no longer do higher education in secular universities. I am tired of the unfair education system, residential system, and immorality, and decadency. I want to pursue Islamic Education in Quran and Sunnah in Darul Uloom and maybe later do Masters in Economics or History, In Sha Allah. My mother, in response to the mistreatment of my father and from her relatives decided to raise me so that I would get a Masters Degree. I did very good results until university. When I told her I feel tired of secular education and want to pursue Islamic Education, she was shocked. I told her I want to strive in the Deen of Islam for Allah. I want to know more as I have a hunger for knowledge. I also asked her why does she want a Masters degree. She said her father wanted her to be a C.A. but she failed. I replied being a CA may lead you to do haram actions and even work for haram companies and Allah saved you. She unwillingly agreed and now tells me it's her desire and is there anything wrong to have a desire. I asked is it for Allah? She is reluctant to move from her desire. She also told me she wants to listen to me nor understand me. She also claims that whether she or my father is stopping me from Salat, Sawm, and ritual acts of Islam. They do because they never allowed me to pray in Masjid except for Jummah for the last 8 years only. They were always scared of me becoming a terrorist. My parents still think I can become a terrorist.
During the last year, my father made a mockery when I say Jazak Allah Khair instead of thanking you. He mocks me saying why are you quoting Sahaba. He demanded why did I give Azaan while I was in HK. He also told me why should you go to Heaven if your father goes to Hell. He also mocks me that I am too young to think about Akhirah. Out of anger, my father blamed my missing semester on Islam and said that he is a Christian. Unfortunately, my mother was more concerned that I do not want to do Masters's right now than the fact that my father said such words. I had to pursue her for two days to make my dad recite the Shahadah. Alhamdulillah, he did. The good side of my father is he always cooks a meal for me and gives me what I need. However, one day out of anger he accused me saying that I make him work as a laborer. My mother always turns a blind eye to his mistreatment.
My parents never respected the Ulama. When I was a child they used to threaten to send me to Madrasa or to a Garage if I did not study well. I told my mother Ilm is the inheritance of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), how could they say such things? Allah did not tell us to be Engineers or Professors where I would have to work against Islam for the enemies of Islam. The notion that they are successful is installed by the British, a new Deen from the West. I admire those from Deoband and Darul Uloom who stood up against the British.
My mother believes just doing basic 'Aml and Farz actions while being Doctor, Professor is the best way of life. While I believe an Ulama is harder on Shaitan than 1000 ibads. I also told her that her desire is from Shaitan preventing me from acquiring Ilm. She even told me if I don't want to do Masters then I will have to take charge of the family at home and not go anywhere. She told me that I can do whatever I want after a Master's degree if I do it. However, I feel too tired to go to university right now and I never want to do research for the non-Muslims. She is trying to get me to do Masters. All I want to do is to lead a simple life, earn by halal means and strive in the path of Allah.
1) Do my parents have the right to prevent me from Islamic education? Can I come without their permission to study in Darul Uloom, Deoband, or any other Islamic institution? (I feel extremely reluctant to go to secular uni for Masters)
2) Due to the mistreatment of my father and the immorality in cities, I want to leave him and reside in the countryside/village so that I can properly raise my next generation as well preserve my faith. My mother's grandfather and my father came from the village and were wealthier before. I want to take my mother with me but she does not want to come. Can I leave them and make Hijra for the sake of Allah? Jazak Allah Khair
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
“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," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” (17:23)
First, we begin with a reminder of the great status that parents have been given by Allah (SWT). They deserve our utmost kindness, honor, and respect at all times, and we have commanded with obedience to our parents. We should try our utmost to fulfill the great status given to parents.
At times, this can be very testing, and it is during these times that great patience is required on our behalf. It is through these tests and patience that we can gain the immense rewards of honoring the parents.
However, we must be aware that obedience to parents is not absolute.
Where parents ask you to do something which is in disobedience to Allah (SWT), we must disobey our parents and obey Allah (SWT).
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
لاَ طَاعَةَ فِي مَعْصِيَةٍ، إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوفِ "
"No obedience for evil deeds, obedience is required only in what is good." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Number 7257)
So, if your parents ask you to do something which is haram, or in a situation where you fear harm for yourself, or which may lead to sin or harm to yourself, then you would not be obliged to obey them.
However, if your parents ask you to do something which will be good or beneficial to you or them, then you must obey them, so long as it does not go against the obedience to Allah (SWT).
With regards to the first question which you asked, seeking knowledge in the basic obligations is fard on every single Muslim, so you are required to study Islam in your obligations and avoiding the haram, regardless of whether your parents give you permission to or not. Anything above this would not be obligatory. So, to attend a Darul Uloom, or any Islamic institute to further your knowledge would not be obligatory.
Your mother has indicated to you that she would be happy for you to further your Islamic education after completing your master's degree, therefore it would be advisable that you follow your parents' wishes first and then look to further your Islamic Education. It seems your parents are concerned about your future and welfare when they are asking you to complete the masters.
In the meantime, I would encourage you to make use of the vast amounts of knowledge that are available via online courses provided by Islamic Institutions. There are many courses, talks, and lectures which you can partake in, while also doing your masters with the intention of pleasing your mother.
With regards to your second question.
To move away to the village or elsewhere when your parents wish for you to reside close to them and to go without their permission and happiness, would not be allowed. You must first gain their permission and ensure that their needs are fulfilled and they are taken care of.
We see from the sunnah that the Prophet (PBUH) did not allow anyone to make hijrah when they did not have permission and the happiness of their parents.
A man-made hijrah to the Prophet (PBUH) from Yemen, and the Prophet (PBUH) asked the man if he had parents in Yemen and if they gave him permission for Hijrah. The man replied that they had not given him permission. Then the Prophet (PBUH) commanded the man to return to Yemen to his parents and ask permission, and if he was not given permission, then he must stay with them and take care of and honor them.
وعن أبي سعيد الخدري، قال: هاجر رجل إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من اليمن، فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: (هل باليمن أبواك) . قال: نعم. قال: (أأذنا لك) ؟ قال: لا. قال: (ارجع إلى أبويك فأستأذنهما فإن أذنا لك وإلا فبرهما) .
[Ref: Kitaab Birr Al-Waalidayn by Imam Al-Jawzi)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham