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Search Fatawaa


Subject : The Limits of a Child`s Obedience to their Parents

Fatwa Number : 3824

Date : 02-11-2023

Classified : Things that rescue, good relations with relatives

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

Iam a young man and love to pray in the mosque. However, my parents don`t allow me to do so under the excuse of the spread of diseases and the like. Is it allowed for me to disobey them in this regard or not?



The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Congregational prayer is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim community, and its minimum requirement is two people. The virtue of congregational prayer is that even if a person prays alone at home with their spouse, child, or at their workplace with a colleague, they still attain the reward of praying in congregation.

The legitimacy of congregational prayer is well-established in the Quran, the Sunnah (teachings and practices of the Prophet Mohammad), and the consensus of the Muslim community. Allah says " When thou (O Apostle) art with them, and standest to lead them in prayer," {An-Nisaa`, 102}. The fact that Allah commands the establishment of prayers in times of fear, makes that more highly recommended in times of safety.

The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: "The prayer offered in congregation is twenty-seven degrees more rewardable than a prayer offered by a single person." {Transmitted by Bukhari & Muslim}.

Indeed, congregational prayer is a communal obligation (fard kifayah) for adult Muslim men who are residents and able to perform the obligatory prayers. The Messenger of Allah said: "There are not three in a town or in the desert among them, who do not establish the congregational prayer, except that Satan has overcome them. You should stick to the congregation, for the wolf eats only the straggling animal." {Transmitted by Abu Dawood and An-Nasai}.

Praying in congregation in the mosque, for men, is indeed superior to praying in other places like one's home. This is based on the hadith of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) where he said:

"Pray, O people, in your houses, for the best prayer a man can pray is in his house, except for the obligatory (congregational) prayers." {Bukhari and Muslim}.

The Prophet's statement "except for the obligatory prayers" indicates that praying in congregation in the mosque is preferred for the obligatory prayers.

As for women, it is better for them to pray in their homes rather than the mosque, as the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) also advised: "Do not prevent your women from going to the mosques, though their houses are better for them." {Transmitted by Abu Dawood}.

This shows that, while it's permissible for women to pray in the mosque, their homes are generally better for them in terms of prayer. Moreover, children are encouraged to attend the mosque and congregational prayers to become accustomed to the practice.

Indeed, there are valid excuses for leaving congregational prayer, both general and specific. General excuses include circumstances like heavy rain that would make going to the mosque a hardship, strong winds at night, excessive mud that poses a risk of impurity (najas), scorching heat, and extreme cold.

Specific excuses can include an individual's health condition that makes walking to the mosque as difficult as walking in the rain, extreme sleepiness, overt hunger or thirst, and situations that require immediate attention such as relieving oneself or fear for one's own life, a body part, personal belongings, honor, and other valid reasons.

If the parents request their child not to go to the mosque or leave the house based on apparent benefits and the child's safety from potential harm like an infectious disease, abduction, or violence during times of turmoil, then it is obligatory for the child to obey them.

However, if the child is an adult, of sound judgment, and responsible, and their intention to go to scholars to seek knowledge, borrow books, or engage in other religious or beneficial activities is genuine, then they have the right to make such decisions for themselves. In this case, if the parents' concerns about the child's safety are not substantiated and are based on unfounded fears, the child should be allowed to pursue their goals and activities.

"Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami's perspective reinforces the idea that, in such situations, the child's rights and personal interests should be respected, and the parents should not prevent them from engaging in beneficial and lawful activities, especially if the child is of sound judgment and capable of assessing the situation for themselves.

The answer provided in the context of a responsible and mature child holds that if the child is deemed to be of sound judgment and capable of managing both their religious and worldly affairs, the parent should not prevent them from pursuing what benefits them in terms of religion or the world. There should be no concern about hypothetical pitfalls, especially when the child is known to possess sound religious principles and full mental faculties.

However, if there are genuine safety concerns in the area, such as a crime-prone environment where people are targeted when leaving their homes, then it becomes incumbent upon the parent to instruct their child not to go out alone. This is in accordance with the Prophet's (peace be upon him) guidance against putting oneself in potentially dangerous situations. In this case, the parent's directive should be heeded, and the child should not disobey if it causes significant discomfort or harm to the parent. The child is not compelled to go out, and the parent's instruction is a lawful act without causing undue hardship to the child." {al-Fatwa al-Fiqhiyah al-Kubra, Vol.2, Page 229}.

In conclusion, if the parents' request for their child not to pray in the mosque is based on clear benefits and the desire to protect the child from potential harm, such as a contagious disease, kidnapping, violence during times of turmoil, or for the parents' own legitimate needs (e.g., if the parents are elderly, sick, or dependent on the child), then it is obligatory for the child to obey them.

However, if the parents' request is arbitrary, based on unfounded fears of harm, or for reasons that do not genuinely serve their interests, then the child is not obligated to obey in such a case. The key factor is whether the parents' request is based on a legitimate and obvious benefit for them, and if it is not, the child can exercise their own judgment and make decisions regarding their attendance at the mosque or other activities.

It is essential for children to show kindness and respect to their parents in all circumstances, even when they choose not to follow their parents' requests due to a legitimate reason. For more information, kindly check Fatwa No. (859). And Allah the Almighty knows best.






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