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Estranged relationship with parents

Fatwaa ID: 2067

A lot of young adults in this country have chosen to stop speaking with one or both parents. How would you advise parents and adult children who are on the verge of estrangement? When, if ever, do you think it’s acceptable for an adult child to cut contact with a parent?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

Shari’ah has emphasized and placed great importance on treating the parents well and being dutiful to them. This is an obligation that comes after tawheed. It is haraam and a major sin to treat them disrespectfully and/or harshly. Even if the parents are wrong, then too it is necessary to deal with them honorably and respectfully.

To cut off ties and/or stop speaking to them is impermissible. It is almost never permissible to stop maintaining contact with them. It is of paramount importance that both, the parents and the children, mutually work together to have a blissful and safe relationship. No one is perfect. Both sides have deficiencies. They have varying temperaments. They may have different cultures and outlooks. It is childish to cut ties. They need to work together and make the relationship work.

Rasulullaah ﷺ said regarding the father,

رِضَى الرَّبِّ فِي رِضَى الوَالِدِ، وَسَخَطُ الرَّبِّ فِي سَخَطِ الْوَالِدِ
“The pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of the parents, and the displeasure of the Lord is in the displeasure of the father.” [Tirmidhi 1899]

He ﷺ also said,

الوالد أوسط أبواب الجنة فأضع ذلك الباب أو احفظه
“The father is the middle door of Jannah. So (the choice is yours) either discard that door (by disrespecting your father) or protect it (by honoring and obeying him).” [Ibn Maajah 3663]

He ﷺ also said in regards to disobedience of the parents,

لعن الله العاق لوالديه
“May Allaah curse the one who is disobedient to his parents.” [Haakim 7254]

In regards to punishment, he ﷺ said,

كل الذنوب يؤخر الله ما شاء منها إلى يوم القيامة إلا عقوق الوالدين فإن الله تعالى يعجله لصاحبه في الحياة قبل الممات
“Allaah may delay the punishment of all sins as He wishes until the Day of Judgment except showing disrespect to one’s parents; for indeed Allaah will hasten the punishment of that sin to its perpetrator prior to his death.” [Haakim 7263]

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

07/15/1445 AH – 01/27/2024 CE | 788

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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