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Mother causing problems

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.org.au
_ I’m a Sri lankan residing in Qatar for the past 10 years..mashallah. I live here with my husband and 2 children. Alhamdullilah my husband is very pious, understanding and very kind. But my mother who is living in sri lanka is very mean to me….She is causing problems for me and my family… My husband suggests that I should not be in touch with my mother because of the problems she has been causing…What should I do?


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

You should continue to speak nicely to your mother. Do not speak in a harsh or rude way to her. Allah Ta’ala tells us not to even say “uff” to our parents. He commands us to be kind to our parents, even if they are not Muslims. As long as your mother is alive you must treat her nicely. If she needs any type of support, you must support her. If she says bad things, do not be affected and have patience for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. With wisdom and love, keep on advising her about the teachings of Islam. Since your husband is religious, you should explain to him that Islam does not allow one to abandon one’s mother, especially when her husband has passed away and she needs more support from her children.

Hereunder are some verses of the Holy Quran and ahaadith of the Prophet (sallaallahu alaihi wa sallam) about dealing with one’s parents.

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ (14) وَإِنْ جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَى أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (15)

And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents — his mother bears him with weakness upon weakness and his weaning takes two years — saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to Me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did (Quran 31:14-15)

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وََلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا (23) وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا (24)

Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but HIM, and that you show kindness to parents. If one or both of them attain old age with you, never say to them as much as ‘uff’ nor reproach them, but always address them with kind speech. And lower for them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, `My Lord, have mercy on them as they cherished me in childhood.’ (Quran 17:23-24)


وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا


We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. (Quran 46:15)


Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whenever a dutiful son looks towards his parents with mercy Allah Ta’ala writes for him (the reward of) an accepted Hajj.”  They (i.e. the sahabah [radiyallahu anhum]) said, “Even if he looks a hundred times everyday?” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Yes! Allah is the greatest and the noblest (i.e. His bounties have no limitations)” (Baihaqi; Mirqaatul Mafaatih: 8/678)


Abu Umamah (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that one man said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the right of the parents on a person?” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “They (i.e. the parents) are either your paradise or your hellfire. (i.e. by serving them you will attain paradise; and by being unkind and disobedient to them, you will attain hellfire.)”(Ibn Maajah; Mirqaatul Mafaatih: 8/677)


Mu’awiyah bin Jaahima (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Jaahimah (Radiyallahu Anhu) came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I made intention of going out in the path of Allah (ghazwa) and I came to consult you (in this regards).” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Do you have a mother?” He said, “Yes” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam then said, “Go stick with her (and serve her to the best of your ability); indeed paradise (jannat) is near her feet” (Musnad Ahmad, Nasaa’i, Baihaqi; Mirqaatul Mafatih: 8/676)

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Faizal Riza

This answer was collected from Fatwa.org.au, which is connected to Darul Ifta Australia, based in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by Mufti Faizal Riza, a student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.