The Scholars have mentioned that if one is seeking knowledge which is obligatory, then he does not need their permission to go out and study. Likewise, if his parents are not in need of his help, then he can go out and study.

Shaikh Kamal ibn Thabit al-’Adani rahimahullah wrote:

“Statements of the Scholars when Seeking Knowledge Contradicts Dutifulness to Parents

Imam Ahmad rahimahullah said in Masaail Ibn Haani (2/164) when he was asked about a man who sought permission from his parents to go out to seek knowledge of Hadith which is beneficial. He answered rahimahullah saying: if it is good knowledge then there is no harm, even if he did not seek their permission in seeking knowledge and what will benefit him”

Shafi’ee rahimahullah said: “I went out from Makkah to seek knowledge without seeking permission. So do I return to Makkah or continue to travel to seek knowledge? Imam Malik rahimahullah [responded] saying: “Knowledge is a benefit and he will return from it to benefit. Do you not know that the Angels lower their wings for the student of knowledge out of approval/pleasure for what he seeks?”. Taken from Thamaraat al-Awraaq fi al-Muhaadaraat of Imam Ibn Hujjah al-Hamawi (pg. 177). It was taken and learned from the verification of the Diwaan of Shafi’ee by Muhammad ibn Abdul-Raheem (pg. 87)

Ibn Abdul Barr rahimahullah in Jami’ Bayaan al-’Ilm wa Fadli (1/52): “It was reported from Ishaaq with an authentic chain that he said: Seeking knowledge is obligatory and there is no authentic report regarding it. Its meaning is to hold fast to seeking knowledge of what he needs in terms of wudu, prayer, Zakat if he has wealth, Hajj and other than that. He said: what is obligatory upon him from that, then he does not have to seek permission from his parents to go out for it. Whatever is surplus/additional knowledge, then he does not go out to seek knowledge until he seeks his parent’s permission…”

“…at-Tartushi rahimahullah said in Birr al-Walidayn (pg. 143): “Know – may Allah guide us and you – that if a child wants to seek knowledge, then you should look at if he is seeking obligatory knowledge. [If that is the case] there is no obedience to them [i.e. the parents] regarding it and he should migrate because the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

لا طاعةَ لمخلوقٍ في معصيةِ الخالقِ

There is no obedience to the creation in the disobedience of the Creator

[Saheeh Jami no. 7520]

If he is seeking voluntary knowledge and expanding in it after gaining the obligatory knowledge which is a must on an individual, then being dutiful to them takes precedence over voluntary knowledge. Then is because seeking voluntary knowledge is a means to draw near to Allah, the Exalted. The Prophet (ﷺ) gave precedence to accompanying the parents over voluntary jihad as clarified.

As for if there is in his land a school for [learning] the issues and fiqh upon the way of taqleed, the statements of the Scholars, and then he wants to go to the another land to maximize his understanding in another land, then it is not allowed for him except with their permission because it is not for the purpose of obligation [knowledge].

If he wants to migrate to learn the Book and Sunnah and gain knowledge of the consensus and to learn the instances where there is a difference of opinion and the levels of analogy, then if they are present in his land, then it is not allowed to go out except with their permission. If he cannot find it in his land, then he can go out and he does not obey them in preventing him. This is because obtaining the levels of the Mujtahid is a communal obligation. So like this Sahnoon said: whoever is from the people who will obtain the sciences and hopes for leadership (i.e. become Imam), then it is upon him to seek knowledge as an obligation. He used as evidence the statement of the Exalted:

وَلْتَكُن مِّنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ

Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden)


‘Allamah Muhammad ibn Salih al-’Uthaymeen answered in the book “Kitab al-’Ilm” (pg. 155) a question about a student of knowledge who wants to go out with his brothers for the sake of Allah to seek knowledge, and the barrier between him and going with them is his family – his father and mother. So what is the ruling on this student to go out?

He rahimahullah said: “This student, if he has a necessity to remain with them, then that is better. Along with the possibility for him to remain with them and still seek knowledge. This is because dutifulness to parents takes precedence over striving in the path of Allah and knowledge is from striving in the path to Allah. Following this, dutifulness to parents takes precedence if there is a need for him. As for if they do not need him and it is possible for him to seek more knowledge if he leaves, then there is no blame upon him to leave to seek knowledge in this situation. However, with that he does not forget the right of the parents upon him in returning to them and satisfying them when he returns. However, if the parents dislike Legislated knowledge, then there is no obedience for these people. It is not necessary for him to seek their permission to go out because they carry dislike for Legislated knowledge”

Our Shaikh Muqbil ibn Hadi al-Wad’iee rahimahullah was asked the likes of this question again and again as far as what I have heard. He was asked about a man who desires to seek knowledge and his parents prevent him. Does he disobey them and go out to seek knowledge?

He answered rahimahullah as is in Ijaabtus-Saail ‘ala Ahamm al-Masaail (pg. 510) saying: “If you father needs you to earn and work for him, and he does not have anyone besides Allah and then you, then it is not allowed for you to leave your father. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

‏ كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ إِثْمًا أَنْ يُضَيِّعَ مَنْ يَقُوتُ

It is sufficient sin for a man that he neglects him whom he maintains [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 1692]

And he (ﷺ) said regarding a man who sought permission for jihad:

‏ أَحَىٌّ وَالِدَاكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَفِيهِمَا فَجَاهِدْ

Are your parents alive?” He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, “Then exert yourself in their service.”

[Bukhari no. 3004]

Allah said:

وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا

And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty


If you fear Allah, perhaps Allah will bring someone who can teach you or you can buy Knowledge-based tapes”

Our Shaikh Yahya ibn Ali al-Hajuri hafidhuhallah was asked in “Asilah Ahl Shabwah” and this question is always repeated to him. So he answered of which the conclusion was: “Dutifulness to parents is obligatory and seeking knowledge is obligatory. If one’s parents need him for a necessary need then obeying them takes precedence. If they do not need him, rather there are those who can assist them and suffice them from begging and asking, then seeking knowledge takes precedence over being obedient to them. The meaning which is that there is no obedience to them in that due to his statement (ﷺ):

لا طاعةَ لمخلوقٍ في معصيةِ الخالقِ

There is no obedience to the creation in the disobedience of the Creator

[Saheeh Jami no. 7520]”

[Talab al-’Ilm wa Birr al-Walidayn pg. 65-69]

And if you are prevented by your parents due to them needing you, then inshallah it will be a source of blessing for you and your knowledge. For some of the Salaf had the some difficulties, but when they obeyed their parents they were blessed.

Shaikh Kamal rahimahullah mentions:

“Muhammad ibn Bashaar rahimahullah said: “I wanted to go out – travel- for knowledge and my mother prevented me. So I obeyed her and I was blessed in regards to it” [Siyar (12/145)]

[Talab al-’Ilm wa Birr al-Walidayn pg.64]

So my advice is to consult your parents and review your situation. If you plan to seek knowledge, Allah will bless your studies and you will find a way to earn. Many people frighten others saying that the student of knowledge will not have a way to earn and his future will be bad. Allah will aid you and He will open opportunities for you. You can always teach the religion or learn a skill or trade afterwards. The concern shouldn’t be how you will earn a livelihood as Allah has already written our provisions for us and in fact, seeking knowledge is a means to provisions as comes in the Hadith from Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him):

كان أخوان على عهد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، وكان أحدهما يأتي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، والآخر يحترف، فشكا المحترف آخاه للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال ‏:‏ ‏ “‏لعلك ترزق به

There were two brothers in the days of the Prophet (ﷺ). One of them used to attend the Prophet’s circle (to acquire knowledge) and the other used to earn their living). Once the latter complained to the Prophet (ﷺ) against the former (for not earning his living). He (ﷺ) replied, “Perhaps you are being provided because of him”

[Saheeh Musnad no. 26]

May Allah make things easy

Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan