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Duty to Parents and Family
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Posted on: Friday, April 1, 2011 - Hits: 3549

My parents back in Pakistan, after the marriage of my sisters, are on their own now. I live in America with my wife and a son. Recently, I have decided to move back to Pakistan to better serve my parents. I also wish to raise my family in a country where I have a sense of religious and cultural belonging. All my Pakistani friends are discouraging me to move, but I have been ignoring them so far. The political situation in Pakistan is going from bad to worse. There is fear in the heart and logical reasoning in the mind. I feel that I am risking the lives of both my wife and my son for the duty towards my parents. Sometimes, I think of moving to a modern Islamic country such as Malaysia and bringing my parents there. But I know that my parents, at this stage of their lives, would not be able to assimilate to the norms of a new country and therefore, would mentally suffer. I am a man of justice. Please help me do justice to both my family and to parents simultaneously. Should I move to Pakistan or help my parents move to Malaysia where I could serve them while providing due care to both my wife and son?

Your predicament is shared by every second family in Pakistan whose children are living abroad. It is quite difficult to give a categorical opinion in this issue because of so many variable and, at times, uncontrollable factors. Additionally, each person and family is living in different circumstances.
However, the bottom line is the same as what you have felt and understood. Parents in old age need to be repaid even though very partially by giving them time and attention, by serving them and being near them as much as is possible. Their emotional needs must be addressed by the children.
Keeping this principle in mind you need to apply it in the best possible way – ideally the solution should serve the needs of your parents and also those of your wife and kids. But then, ideals are not always easy to come by and one may need to make a compromise.
Settling in Pakistan or in Malaysia – are both good options. You should weigh them by judging your overall situation and that of your parents as well as your job prospects.


Dr Shehzad Saleem

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