The Role of a Father in Islam

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


I wanted to know what is the role of a father in Islam? I mean what are his responsibilities towards his children? If he passes away, then who is the walī (guardian), the wife or son? and if the son, then what are his responsibilities as a walī? Is he responsible for his siblings, financially?


In general, from the numerous verses of the Noble Qurʾān and aādīth of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him), the role of a father is to cherish, sustain, educate and train the children up until puberty (and up-to marriage in the case of daughters).

If the father’s demise takes place, leaving behind his wife and children, the adult Muslimʿaṣabah(consanguine relatives), will be considered the guardians in order of closeness and blood relation.

Imām Abū Al-Ḥasan Al-Qudūrī (may God’s mercy be with him) writes, “The guardian is of the consanguine relatives.” (Mukhtaṣar Al-Qudūrī)

The closestʿaṣabah (consanguine relative) of the deceased is the son. (Mukhtaṣar Al Qudūrī)

The responsibility of the walī (guardian) is to undertake the role of the father in cherishing, sustaining, educating and training. This does include financially taking care of the basic necessities.

And Allāh Knows Best.

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