Friday, June 14, 2024 AD / Dhul-Hijjah 7, 1445 AH
Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani
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Question & Answer

I want to ask the opinion of Allamah about obedience to parents. I know that it is obligatory to respect them, but is it obligatory to obey them in cases where they do not command something against religion or not? What about recommended works? For example, which is preferable between prayer at the beginning of its time and the command of parents?

The second question is, about something that I cannot inform them of, is it permissible to not tell them and upset them if they ask about it?

Doing good to parents is one of the most important obligations in Islam, which has been commanded after the Oneness of God; because they have the most natural rights after God over the human being, and obeying them in cases where they do not command something forbidden is one of the examples of doing good to them, although in cases where they command something forbidden, it is not an example of doing good to them, but rather an example of doing wrong to them; because obeying them in such cases will lead to their punishment in the Hereafter, and therefore, doing good to them in such cases is realized by inviting them to good, enjoining them to do right, and forbidding them from doing wrong in a suitable and respectful manner, even if it causes them to be offended.

Yes, it is obligatory to obey parents in cases where they command doing something detested or abandoning something recommended; because no detested work is more detested than offending them, and no recommended work is more recommended than appeasing them, provided that it would not be worthwhile trying to persuade them to abandon what is detested or to do what is recommended. Therefore, when they command doing something detested, such as divorcing the wife without any major fault in her or abandoning a recommended work such as performing prayer at the beginning of its time, it is better to persuade them to change their minds in a suitable and respectful manner, but if they are not persuaded by this manner, there is no choice but to obey them, and it is not possible to argue with them or ignore their opinion. It is hereby understood that obeying parents is more important than performing prayer at the beginning of its time, except that you can say to them in a suitable and respectful manner, for example: “Dear parents! Will you allow me to perform my prayer first and pray for you and then do what you commanded?” Then, if they give permission, you can perform prayer first, and if they do not give permission, you must do what they have commanded first.

As for hiding something from them that is religiously obligatory or in their interest to hide, there is nothing wrong with it; because it is considered doing good to them, and God Almighty has said: ﴿مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ[1]; “There is no way (to blame) against those who do good, and God is the All-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” However, it is wrong to hide something from them that is not religiously obligatory nor in their interest if they ask about it; because it is contrary to doing good to them, and whoever does good to them to please God will suffer no loss.

↑[1] . At-Tawbah/ 91
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