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Family Concern: Balancing Duty of Care with Personal Future

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I would appreciate your insight into a family concern we are having at the moment. My father (a widower) is getting old, he is 78 years of age and currently lives on his own in a house 80 miles from my 2 sisters and 200 miles from me (the only son). Allahamdollilah over the years he has been in good health and is fully autonomous. But a recent event (a minor heart attack) have made us all question what is the right thing to do. Right now as the son, I am with him for at least a month to ensure he gets his full energy back. Beyond that though we have to think about the future and what is the right thing to do. My own current situation is that only within the last 2 years has my job situation become better (since moving to London). I am 33 and live in London (still single) whereas my father lives in Manchester 200 miles away. My sisters (who are settled with families) on numerous occasions have asked him to move to Birmingham (80 miles from where he lives) but he does not want to move there. The question is, I understand that as the son I have a duty of care to my father, but does that have to be at the expense of my own future? My line of work is not common in Manchester (where my father lives) and any jobs that do exist there are not very well paid. I do not have my own property in London so it is not possible for him to move down and also rent prices are high and he would not be willing to live in London anyway. He wants to stay where he is, does that mean as children we have to adapt our lives to accommodate his wishes?


A: I will advise you that you please your father though it may be a little difficult for you.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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