Who Should Take Care of the Old Mother?

21 March, 2021
Q Respected scholars, As-salamu `alaykum. If my mother is old and needs someone to look after her, would the son or the daughter be better to look after her? I mean that the mother would live with them in the same house. And if the son decides to take his mother with him, and his wife starts to give her hard time, what would he do in such case? Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, thank you for your question which reflects your care to have a clear view of the teachings of Islam.

Allah commands Muslims to refer to people of knowledge to get themselves well-acquainted with the teachings of Islam as regards to all aspects of life.

A person’s duty towards his parents comes second only to his duty towards Allah. Allah says: “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you shall render utmost kindness to your parents.” (Al-Israa’ 17:23) So, it is incumbent on both the son and the daughter to be dutiful to their mother and take care of her needs.

Since Islam is a religion of balance, the son and daughter are supposed to strike a balance between their duties towards their parents and towards their families.

In his response to your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:

It is the duty of both the son and daughter to take care of their parents when they are in need. They both should work out a schedule to take their turn to provide this service. The son has more responsibility in this matter, because the daughter, if she is married, would be taking care of her husband’s family.

The son should counsel his wife and remind her that it is his duty to take care of his mother. They both should remember that they also will be old or sick one day and that they may also need their children to help them. It is said that if we take care of our parents, our children will take care of us.”  This is the way things go in this world. We all need one another. May Allah bless you all and keep you on the right path.

Allah Almighty knows best.