Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: Which parent has more right upon me when both my parents have differing requests upon me, with regards to matters of the house like cooking?
For example, earlier today my mother had requested that I cooked for breaking of the fast. She desired that I cook the food one way, whereas my dad wanted me to cook the food another way. At first, I thought my mother had more rights upon me due to the following hadith:
[Hadith Bukhari 8.2, Narrated Abu Huraira]
A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your father.
But, I felt uncomfortable because this is a matter of obedience and perhaps my dad has more rights upon me due to my father being the major provider in our home and it’s his money that was spent for the ingredients to cook.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
Scholars mention that the hadith you cite, where the mother is mentioned three times before the father, is with respect to love, tenderness and compassion, as understood from the wording of the original question posed by the Sahabi, “Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” [Ibn Battal, Sharh Bukhari]
With respect to obedience within the home though, the father has more right as he is the provider and maintainer of the family. [Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha]
Having said that, wisdom on the father’s part would entail not getting too involved with the mother’s maintenance of the home, but rather giving her space to manage things as she deems fit, and Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani