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Who should you listen to from your parents if they contradict each other? For example if your father first ordered you to not be an engineer but to be a doctor, and then your mother order you to not be a doctor but to be an engineer. Should you listen to the father since he ordered you first? Or should you listen to the mother because she has a higher status?

Jazakum Allah khayran

  • In the example case obedience seem to me out of question. This is more a matter of advice as you should chose your own future based on your own abilities if your parents choice is based on the knowledge of your abilities it is better to follow it as they certainly have more life experience. So if your father or mother explains her choice and it fits your abilities that is the better choice. Note that one of my teachers was an electrical engineer and studied medicine later as he was among a team that created an artificial heart. So pleasing both is not impossible. – Medi1Saif Jun 16 at 17:34
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You should find a way to please both of them, e.g. in your case consider having a conversation with them and explain your situation.

In general, if obedience to both is mutually exclusive, then the mother has precedence over the father, provided obviously that obeying her will not involve disobedience to Allah. This is the view of the majority.

أما إن تعارض برهما في غير معصية , وحيث لا يمكن إيصال البر إليهما دفعة واحدة , فقد قال الجمهور : طاعة الأم مقدمة ; لأنها تفضل الأب في البر

But if there is a conflict in obeying the parents in other than sin, such that both can not be obeyed simultaneously, then the majority say: obedience to the mother takes precedence; because the mother has preference over the father in good treatment

الموسوعة الفقهية

That the mother's right is greater is apparent in the the verse of the Quran that has placed separate emphasizes on good treatment of her on account of her sacrifices:

ووصينا الإنسان بوالديه حملته أمه وهنا على وهن وفصاله في عامين أن اشكر لي ولوالديك إلي المصير

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

Quran 31:14

Hadith also evidence the greater right of the mother:

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال جاء رجل إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله من أحق الناس بحسن صحابتي قال أمك قال ثم من قال ثم أمك قال ثم من قال ثم أمك قال ثم من قال ثم أبوك

Narrated Abu Huraira:

A man came to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?"

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Your mother."

The man said. "Who is next?"

The Prophet said, "Your mother."

The man further said, "Who is next?"

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Your mother."

The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?"

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Your father. "

Bukhari and Muslim

إن الله يوصيكم بأمهاتكم، ثم يوصيكم بأمهاتكم، ثم يوصيكم بأمهاتكم، ثم يوصيكم بآبائكم، ثم يوصيكم بالأقرب فالأقرب

Allah enjoins you to be dutiful to your mothers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your mothers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your fathers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your next closest relative and then to your next closest relative.

Al-Adab Al-Mufrad

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You can obey none of them in this situation because what the verses that came to talk about how we should treat our parents don't indicate obeying them in everything such as in one's personal matters and decisions, like choosing your study major but indicate the Ihsan which means having deep faith for them and showing it in both deed and action such as respecting them, being kind to them, and having sympathy for them...etc

In Surah Al-Isra (17) - Verse 23:

In Arabic (the original text):

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

Its translation:

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment.

The verse states in other words that worshipping is only related to Allah. As for one's parents, it is good treatment.


Source

  • are you sure? You wouldn't be enjoining good treatment if you disobey them. I remember there was a narration of when Taabi'i wanted to travel to Mecca to see the Prophet (alaihi as-salat wa as-salam), the mother of the Taabi'i told him to only stay there for 1 or 2 days. But when the Taabi'i traveled, the Prophet (alaihi as-salat wa as-salam) was out on an expedition, so the Taabi'i stayed 1 or 2 days then he returned. Had he wanted, he could've disobeyed his mother and then saw the Prophet (alaihi as-salat wa as-salam) easiliy but he chose to obey his mother because that is obligatory. – Qatada Al-Mubarak Jun 16 at 13:37
  • This is a different case, not the same as yours here. And, yes, I'm sure of my answer. It is not enjoying good treatment, as you have concluded, but treating them in a good manner and obeying them; however, the latter doesn't fit your specific case since it is a personal decision that deserves to be decided upon by you. – Tasneem ZH Jun 16 at 13:51

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