Traveling to Seek Knowledge & Parental Approval

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

If one is only interested in studying Shariah yet one’s parents are against it [and would rather have the child get a degree first, work in that field, and then (perhaps) go to study Shariah, which is normally unrealistic]; how should a child break out of this situation?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

This returns to the fiqh of obedience to parents, which has been mentioned a few times. (See below.)

1. In terms of permissibility, if going to seek Sacred Knowledge would somehow impinge on the fulfillment of the parents’ rights, such as financial support if they are unable to support themselves or care if they are unable to take care, or cause them undue fear (such as going to an unsafe, war-torn country to seek knowledge), then it would not be permitted to go.

2. If traveling to seek Sacred Knowledge would not impinge on their immediate rights, and not cause undue fear, then it would be permitted to do so.

3. However, there is far greater baraka and wisdom in convincing one’s parents and getting their permission and approval, when this is possible, because one of the greatest doors to Allah’s Pleasure is pleasing one’s parents.

Often, it is hard to weigh the various considerations involved in one’s particular situation in delicate cases like this. We should follow the Qur’anic imperative and seek the guidance of the people of knowledge.

[cf: Shaybani/Sarakhsi, Sharh al-Siyar al-Kabir, 1.192-194; Nawawi, Majmu` 8.315; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5.366; Haskafi/Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (K. al-Jihad) 4.125-126]  

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani

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