Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
It is obvious that exalting one’s parents, being dutiful to them, obeying them and being loving towards them is a great door among the doors to the Garden, however, it is not obligatory to obey any of them if they command something that contravenes the shariah.
So if the parents or one of them prevents their son from doing an obligatory religious act such as performing the prayer or if they make him commit a sin according to the shariah such as touching non-mahram women, it is not obligatory to obey them, actually, it is not even permissible, even if they get angry.
As for other than that, the default is that the child hastens to fulfilling their requests and that he intend seeking Allah’s countenance in doing so. Some scholars have made an exception where obeying them is not mandatory due to what is best in the child’s interests, such as travelling to attain knowledge, even if recommended.
We have taken from Shaykh Ibn Hajar in his Tuhfa from the beginning of the chapter of divorce that it is not obligatory to obey one’s parents if they request something that entails fitna to the child. However, the child must be soft in disobeying the parents so that he does not get harmed by them. Hence, he should tell them about the religious corruption that the action would involve if he were to obey them. A tried and tested fact is that the more the child increases in his piety and service to the parents and shows them the fruits of living a religious life, the more they will love him and their trust for him will increase to the point that they will leave him and his religious life alone. This will even leave an impression upon them and change them for the better, Allah willing.
(Translated by Shazia Ahamd)
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