Listen to father or mother?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

What do I do if my mom wants me to do something and my dad has ordered me not too?


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

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

At the outset, it is important to understand that Allah Ta’ālā has ordered to us to respect both parents[1] at all times:

He the Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا (23) وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا 

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and do good to parents. If either of them or both reach old age, do not say to them ‘uff’ (a word of anger or contempt) and do not scold them. And address them with respectful words, and submit yourself before them in humility out of compassion and say, “My Lord, be merciful to them as they have brought me up in my childhood.” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Isrā, 23-24]


As such, in these situations it is best to first make an attempt to reconcile and find a middle path that would please both parents[2] instead of foregoing the request of one for the sake of the other. If you are unable to do so, then you must follow the decision of your father while maintaining the respect of your mother as well.[3] The Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) greatly stressed the importance of giving respect to one’s mother and maintaining good ties with her. Consider the following hadīth:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، مَنْ أَحَقُّ النَّاسِ بِحُسْنِ صَحَابَتِي؟ قَالَ: «أُمُّكَ» قَالَ: ثُمَّ مَنْ؟ قَالَ: «ثُمَّ أُمُّكَ» قَالَ: ثُمَّ مَنْ؟ قَالَ: «ثُمَّ أُمُّكَ» قَالَ: ثُمَّ مَنْ؟ قَالَ: «ثُمَّ أَبُوكَ»

Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates: A man came to Allah’s Messenger () and said, “O Allah’s Messenger ()! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet () said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet () said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet () said, “Your father. “[4]

If you are faced with a situation where your mother will be displeased by your decision to obey your father’s request, then you must kindly engage her and never retort to any comments she might make in the state of displeasure. If she shows her disapproval by directly approaching you then you should observe patience and listen to her intently.[5]

It is important to note that this is only the case in regards to situations where the requests made by your parents do not contradict the commands of Shari’ah. If either of them ask you to do something that will require you to break the laws of Shari’ah, then it is incumbent on you to deny such a request in a polite and respectful manner.

May Allah Ta’ālā keep you steadfast on this Deen and grant you and your parents success in this life and the hereafter.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1] Fatawa Haqqaniyyah, vol. 2, pg. 448, Jami’ah Darul ‘Uloom Haqqaniyyah

[2] Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, vol. 19, pg. 39, Darul Iftaa Jami’ah Faruqiyyah

[3] Imdadul Fatawa, vol. 4, pg. 370, Maktabah Darul ‘Uloom

[4] Sahih al-Bukhārī, 5971, The Book Of Manners

[5] Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, vol. 19, pg. 39, Darul Iftaa Jami’ah Faruqiyyah