After Allah, the Qur’ān has acknowledged the status
of parents as foremost, and so their right to your good behavior and obedience
is essential. Some of the verses that enjoin a Muslim to such behavior are as
And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents:
in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in two years was his
weaning: [hear the command]: ‘Show gratitude to Me and to your parents: To Me is
[your final] goal’. (31:14)
We are required to obey them except if they force us to
But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me,
things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. (31:15)
It is obvious that your parents are, God forbid, not
forcing you into this unpardonable sin, but in fact, they want you to adopt a
line of profession that runs averse to your own interests and aptitude.
In my opinion, it is best that we are allowed to proceed
with what we feel comfortable and derive maximum utility from – of course,
keeping in mind, Islamic morals and principles. My sincere suggestion to you
would be to sit down with a calm and composed mind, and have a solemn discussion
with both your parents. Of course, there is no denying that they wish you to
become a doctor because they perceive that to be in your best interests. What
you should ideally do is to tell them that as a son, you are conscious that you
are duty bound to them for respecting them and for seeing to it that they derive
happiness from whatever you do. Tell them that going into the field of medicine
is not what you feel confident about, and entering the extensive program with
such a mindset will do you no good, and thus, neither will it do them any good.
It would not be premature to think that adopting a profession that one is least
likely to appreciate and enjoy, can lead to greater problems in life, such as
personality conflicts, depression, et cetera. You should calmly request your
parents that if you take up engineering, you will be able to treat them and love
them better, for then, you will be happier with the route your life will be
taking and with the thought that your parents have backed you all the way.
As far as helping humanity is concerned, convey to them
sincerely the thought that you hope to excel as an engineer on the basis of hard
work, commitment and potential, and that can help humanity. How? If you progress
well, there can be no limit to the amount of social work you can do, on an
individual basis as well as on an organizational basis.
However, you must be careful that this should all be said
in a way that the respect of your parents is not sidelined or sacrificed in any
way. And to ensure that, I would advise you to keep a flexible mind, even after
saying what I have expressed above. In other words, your own interests should be
balanced with your parents’ in this matter. You should regularly offer the du‘ā
of istikhārā, which will inevitably help you in making the right decision. Once
you’ve spoken your heart out to your parents, tell them that you would still be
keeping a flexible mind while exploring whether going into the medical
profession can still manage to attract you. And for that, you can request any
doctors among family and friends to talk to you about all that the field of
medicine has to offer. If possible, visit hospitals with them and observe what
goes on in their daily lives as doctors. Also, try to research on it, as much as
possible, and allow your parents an active role in this process.
In the end, request your parents to support you in your
honest endeavors, and to back you at the time of decision. Inshā Allah, all will
happen for the best. In case it appears that you are destined to become a
doctor, then take it as a test from the Almighty, and pray to Him to instill in
you, the vigor and the determination to willingly accept this profession.
Remember, nothing is beyond His reach.