Answered by: Maulana Imran Mughal
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
I am an older woman who lives with her parents. They open my mail without my permission and enter my room without any regard to my privacy. I have spoken to them about this but they say that because they are my parents they are allowed to.
I recognize my parent’s status in Islam. Do they need to ask for my permission to do these things?
Also, can I put a lock on my room door so that my privacy is protected?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Instances like these often arise when the parents have grown up in their own cultural settings, and an effort in understanding the current way of life has not been made. Many parents today grew up like this whereby their own parents exercised similar actions on them and it was culturally allowed but in the last fifty years drastic changes have occurred throughout the world which has left parents in a difficult place.
Islam has always recognized the rights of parents to the highest degree, often advocating their rights right after that of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). This is clearly in many verses of the Quran and many ahadith, one such verse is as follows: “And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.”
Allah says in the Quran: “O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.
Imam Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) relates in his tafsir of the Quran that Abdullah bin Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “You are obliged to seek permission upon (entering the rooms of) your mothers and your sisters.”
He also quotes ‘Adiy bin Thabit (may Allah have mercy on him) who says “A woman from amongst the Ansar (people of Madinah) said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): O Prophet of Allah, Indeed I am in my house in a condition whereby I do not want anyone to see me in, not my father nor my son, and continuously men from my family enter upon me whilst I am in that condition. He (‘Adiy) said: Then the verse was revealed: “O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses”.
Therefore, it is not allowed for parents to invade the privacy of their children when they become adults.
It must be mentioned that explaining these matters to parents might seem difficult, one should do so in a kind and generous way, with patience, forbearance and good intentions.
Only Allah Ta’ala knows best
Written by Maulana Imran Mughal
Checked and approved by Ustadha Sabrina
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Quran 31:14.
 Quran 24:27.
 Ismail ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Atheem , 6:39.
This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.