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Balancing between family and parents

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

 

Assalam alaikum, 

I live in the US with my wife and kids. My parents live in India by themselves. They are now quite old and have health issues also so me and my brothers and sisters feel that they should not be living alone anymore. 

My parents have the option of coming to live with me in the US. My other brothers also live close by me here and we can take care of my parents together. However, my parents have lived their entire life in India, they have extended family there among whom they are comfortable and they are generally used to the lifestyle there. Moving to the US would be a big change for them at their age. The place where we live has extreme winters and me/my siblings think that would be very hard on them. Therefore, we are confused whether one of us should move back to live with them instead of them relocating to the US. My parents are willing to move here though because they realize that we (their kids) have a better future here. 

None of my other brothers is able to/willing to move back to India to live with them and everyone is sort of pushing me to move back and live with them. I cannot take my wife and kids with me to India at the moment – they are well settled here and for them to go back would be very challenging. I will also have to look for a suitable job there which would not be easy. I will also probably not be able to financially support my family during this time. I also don’t think I will be able to find a job in India that pays as well as it does here. 

My travelling back alone to India would be especially tough for my children – they are small and this move would hurt their schooling. They are also very emotionally attached to me. My wife has a promising career here and is not happy to give that up and move to India where an uncertain future would await us. 

Please advise what I should do in this situation. Can you please answer the following questions:

[1] Whose rights take precedence, my family’s or my parents’? How do I balance my obligations to all of them. 

[2] Would it be right of me not to move back and instead ask my parents to wind up everything and move to the US despite the challenges I mentioned above? On the other hand, would it be right for me to leave my wife and kids alone to go and live with my parents? 

Jazakallah khair. 

 

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In our opinion a balanced approach will be for you to remain in the US and fulfil your obligations as a husband and father. It is not appropriate for you to leave your wife and children. Your parents could come over to the US. There would be challenges for them in India and as well in the US which could be addressed with a well-coordinated system among your siblings.  

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Huzaifah Deedat

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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