Should I Pray To Get Into an Ivy League University Even Though My Parents Don’t Want Me To Go?
Question: I would love to go to Cambridge University as I have a chance to get in. It would be a dream, but my parents don’t want that. When I first broached the subject, they got emotional, and I don’t want to displease them. My parents would prefer that I helped them by being in a nearby university. If I go to Cambridge, I can make better money and help out because we are a working-class family. Can I make dua to change their mind, or is that disrespectful to my parents’ wish? Is there anything I can do?
Thank you for your question. Truly it isn’t easy coming to a respectful balance between your wishes and your parents’ wishes. I pray that you make the best decision together and that you achieve your goal or even better.
To live away from home and attend the university you want, you would need your father’s permission. Although it might seem impossible, I think that you should openly talk to your father about it, alone, and see how he feels. I know many students are pleasantly surprised when they sit down with their parents and end up with a positive reaction. You could also ask him to pray istikhara and talk to other parents whose daughters went away to school. Consulting with others is a sunnah in our religion, and there is much good to be found from it. If he ends up being convinced, you could then both talk to your mother.
Your supplications are a personal and intimate conversation between you and Allah, Most High. You can and should pour your heart out to Him and ask Him what you wish. Asking for something that goes against your parents’ desires is not disrespectful, but rather, you are putting the decision in Allah’s hands, irrespective of what you or your parents want. You are showing complete submission to what He decides for you, and you are putting your trust in Him. Supplicating to your Lord will only make your servanthood grow and increase your faith and trust in Him, so never hesitate to supplicate for what you want. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told us, “Supplication is the essence of worship.” [Tirmidhi]
Please see this link for more information on the etiquette of du`a.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.