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How Do I Stop Feeling Guilty About My Deceased Father?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Mar 13, 2019

Question

Assalamalaikum wabarakatu wa rahmatulla

I am feeling hopeless. I wronged and I didn't even realise what I was doing. Now looking back I cannot understand how I could be so insensitive and so inconsiderate, I almost feel calling myself cruel when I knew I am a good person. And I wronged the most wonderful and dear person my own father. Sadly there is no way I can ask him forgiveness as he has been taken by Allah's will. May Allah SWT grant him Jannatul Fidaus In sha Allah.

I am a single working mother of three kids, two of them stay with me other in college in hostel. I stayed in my parents home for past five years since my mother fell sick and needs constant care. I am a doctor too. My mother needs round the clock care. I have nurses to help. But it needs monitoring and at times the are on leave. My siblings stay far but come off and on to help. I was so overwhelmed by my responsibilities that I did not pay attention to my father. I did take care of household and instructed servants to look into his needs. But personally I wasn't able to give love care attention and respect and time he needed. At times I feel I was almost rude by not attending to him. I always felt I need to change but kept on postponing. Giving my mother priority then children.

I am now so ashamed of myself. My beloved father left us feeling unloved and unwanted. I have nowhere to hide with my shame. I cannot ask him for forgiveness now that he has left. I look back into my years with him and I cannot believe I could be this horrible person. I am unable to carry on daily with all the guilt and shame. My father was most loving and humble human being. And I turned out to be a very bad daughter. I never wanted to be this bad person.

Why couldn't I see it though Allah SWT sent so many signs. Please tell me what to do. I am unable to my daily activities. Unable to take care of mummy and kids. My son has major exam in a month. It all seems useless and hopeless when I couldn't be the daughter that my father deserved and that I would have liked to be.

Consultant

Answer


guilty

Short Answer: Whenever you feel overwhelmed with guilt, sister, please remember one thing. There is still much you can do for your father, even though he is deceased. You can recite Quran, give charity, and even perform umrah on his behalf. Every act of worship that you perform in life, will send him a portion of the reward. It will elevate his ranks and enlighten his grave (Allah willing). For more details, please visit the links here and here.

………….

Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.May Allah reward you, sister, for being such a pillar of support for your family. Reading your question has been awe-inspiring. I can see that Allah has chosen you to do much noble work. I ask Him to make your trials easy for you, and reward you.

Demoralizing despondence and regret: ploys of Satan

Sister, it is praiseworthy that you feel guilty about supposedly “neglecting” your father before his death. However, to feel so guilty about it that you neglect your current responsibilities in life, is a red flag. It indicates that Satan is using this despair to demotivate and distract you from doing good deeds.

The door to repentance, expiation, and atonement remains open for a Muslim until their final breath. No sin or misdeed is too great for Allah to forgive. As long as we are alive, we can make up for whatever sin we committed in the past.

Please do no get despondent about your treatment of your father in the last part of his life. Recall the reason why you were unable to tend to him more. It was because you were caring for your mother, who needed round-the-clock care. So you did not neglect him deliberately, out of laziness. 

Furthermore, you are also a single parent to three children. Either you have gone through divorce, or have been widowed. These are indeed difficult trials for any woman. Not to mention, no other sibling was living with your parents, either (to share the task of care-taking).

The whole point of trials and tests in this world, is to see what we do. Are we patient and steadfast upon Islam, as we struggle? Do we keep turning to Allah? Or do we defy His commands without regret? 

Indeed, you have struggled much to fulfill all your duties towards family. While feeling regret for your shortfalls is good, guilt that debilitates and makes you lose hope, is not. So please turn to Allah and ask Him to forgive your past lapses. Pray supererogatory prayers and give in charity to seek His forgiveness every day.

You can still be do much for your father

Whenever you feel overwhelmed with guilt, sister, please remember one thing. There is still much you can do for your father, even though he is deceased. You can recite Quran, give charity, and even perform umrah on his behalf. Every act of worship that you perform in life, will send him a portion of the reward. It will elevate his ranks and enlighten his grave (Allah willing). For more details, please visit the links here and here.

Do not overlook the rights of your current dependents

In the end, sister, I want to emphasize one thing. Do not let the past destroy your present and future. What I found most disturbing about your question was not that you supposedly fell short in caring for your elderly father. Instead, it was the last part, in which you stated the effects of your guilt. That is, how your remorse is causing you to neglect the rights of your living relatives. That you feel so hopeless that you are unable to perform daily activities. Including taking care of your mother and children.

What you have to keep in mind is that what is past is past. The past can never return. It is Allah’s immense mercy that He allows us to repent. He then accepts our repentance if it is sincere and allows us to atone for what we did. Conclusion: Optimism under all circumstances.

Now, please be positive, and appreciate what you do have. Take pleasure in caring for your mother and children. Try to maintain a healthy balance i.e. do not forget your self-care as well.

Please do not let Satan make you neglect yourself, your ailing mother, or your children because of your guilt. Never lose hope in Allah’s mercy.

Whenever you feel remorse about your father, give some charity. Perform prayers, and make dua for him. Ask Allah to forgive you. Then move on. Try to start and end your day with optimism and gratitude for the family that Allah has blessed you with. And Allah knows best.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

What Happens After We Repent? 6 Things

Shaping My Future

What Is Kindness to Parents?




About Sadaf Farooqi

Sadaf Farooqi is an author, blogger and freelance writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. To date, Sadaf has authored over 300 original articles, most of which can be accessed on her blog, "Sadaf's Space" (sadaffarooqi.wordpress.com). She has recently started self-publishing her past articles as non-fiction Islamic books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle (www.amazon.com/author/sadaffarooqi)

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