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IslamQA: Should Muslims always obey their parents’wishes?

Assalamualaikum. I had a general question regarding what is required of us in terms of our duty to our parents. I am in a situation where I am in a certain career path basically only because my parents want me to be. I'm doing well enough in it, but I'm always stressed and tired from the work and lately I've really been feeling that this isn't the career I want for the rest of my life. If I quit though, I would definitely be upsetting my parents and going against their wishes. (1/2)

I know we should be as obedient, and kind, and dutiful to our parents as possible but in this situation, would it be a sin for me to disobey my parents by switching career paths? I’ve been feeling really lost lately. They’ve sacrificed a lot for me and I don’t want to let them down but I also don’t know if I am capable of continuing in this career. (2/2)

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Islam asks us to “humor” our parents the way our parents humored us when we were children, so that even if sometimes they are unreasonable or make unnecessary demands we should try to go along with it rather than asking them to be reasonable.

But we are not required to become slaves to their demands. You are a person just like they are, and the relationship should include compromises from both sides. So you have every right to switch career paths and good parents should empathize with your wishes and put your happiness first.

If you abide by their wishes, then it will be an act of charity toward them and God can always reward you amply for that. And if you do what you want, I’m sure God will not blame you. So Islamically the choice is entirely yours. You are not required to spoil your parents by always doing what they want, just as parents are not required to spoil their children.

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