Who is responsible to take care of one’s old mother?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I have a question which relates to taking care of my old and aged mother.

My father passed away long ago. I am the only son with three sisters. All of us are married and living separately with our families in different places. Mother is living alone in our homeland in a separate house. I am living with my family and earning my livelihood in a different country. I am the only earner for my family and for my mother. One of my sisters is also living with her family in a different country. My two sisters with their husbands and children live in the same city where my mother lives.

My mother is alone and she is managing her mandatory works like going to toilet alone, taking bath, changing clothes etc. She expresses the desire that her children should come and help her in her hour of need. Also she does not want to shift in any daughter’s house who are living in the same city nearby. I have following question to ask,

1. Who is responsible to take care of mother, myself only or my sisters or all of us.

2. If in case I am responsible, then can I make a satisfactory arrangement for my mother by keeping a maid to help her in her household works like cooking food and taking care for her other works.

3. If in the case where I am responsible, is it obligatory for me as per sharia to leave my livelihood and return back and stay with my mother and take care for her. 


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1. All are responsible.

2. Yes.

3. As long as her requirements are taken care of correctly and respectfully, you may continue in the way you are practising. Endeavour to keep your mother happy all the time in some halaal permissible way.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)


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