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Helpless In Front of My Mother’s Ego

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Mar 26, 2019

Question

As-salamu `alaykum, I want to know what are the responsibilities of parents in Islam (or in other words the rights of children). What is the Islamic opinion about the parents who do not fulfill their responsibilities? I was not provided a home environment all my life, as my parents stayed mostly abroad and left us to stay with our uncle and grandmother. They did provide good food, shelter, and clothing but no real parent-daughter relationship.

I found backbiting, fighting between parents, and lack of understanding common in my family. It had a very negative effect on my personality. I looked for emotional support outside my "house". I finally got married (my choice). My husband is a religious and God-fearing man and we try to obtain guidance from our religion in every aspect of our lives. It has been six years, but my parents have not accepted my husband. His family is socially not compatible with my parent's family.

My father wants to reconcile, but he is helpless in front of my mother's ego. I have tried to ask their forgiveness always and try to be as nice to them as possible. But recently I had an emotional breakdown and I told my mother that she needs to find the reasons for not building a good family life instead of blaming everything on me, making me feel guilty and throwing me out of the family circle for so long. She got very angry with me. I am extremely disturbed.

My question is: Am I to be blamed solely for this whole situation and to be treated as a filthy sinner always by my parents? Is it wrong to speak out my heart and mind in front of my mother? I have even got wrong advice from my mother in respect of obeying my husband and observing purdah, as she herself doesn't follow the Islamic rules about these issues. Is it wrong to try to make her realize her mistakes somehow and convince her to move towards better?

Counselor

Answer


mother

In this counseling answer:

•Try and find a way to forgive your parents for this, as they may have made a big mistake, but it still is a mistake and people to commit them.

•Remember to always try and be kind to your mother. Even if you cannot go and see them regularly because it is hard on you when you do go, try to be patient. But you can also explain your points with both kindness and firmness.

•Rely on others whom your mother respects such as your father and aunt. Your father must take a stance and is not helpless. Maybe your mother will listen to someone else who will be able to reason with her.


As-salamu `alaykum  dear sister,

The relationship of parents and children is a two-way street. Both have rights and both have responsibilities. A parent was once corrected by the Caliph `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) and reminded of his responsibilities towards his child even though at first the parent had gone to complain to `Umar about the child.

So your parents were not present in your life, that is very difficult and sometimes parents may not understand the pain that some of their decisions may bring. Other times, parents may not want to burden children by giving them the full idea about why they may have needed to make certain arrangements for them.

I think the first thing I would encourage you to do is to try and find a way to forgive your parents for this, as they may have made a big mistake, but it still is a mistake and people to commit them. After that, it will ease the pain you obviously feel in your heart.

It is difficult for me to comment on your marriage since I do not know the specific circumstances around it, but try to be patient. If your mother is not giving you an easy time, remember to always try and be kind to her. Even if you cannot go and see them regularly because it is hard on you, when you do go, try to be patient. But you can also explain your points with both kindness and firmness.

I would also encourage you to rely on others whom your mother respects such as your father and aunt. Your father must take a stance and is not helpless. Maybe your mother will listen to someone else who will be able to reason with her. So the simple answer is no it is not wrong to try and convince her, but do so with patience and kindness.


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About Jeewan Chanicka

Jeewan Chanicka is from Toronto, Canada, and has been involved in working with youth, education, and social services issues since 1993. He graduated with a bachelor's degree with honors in individualized studies at York University with a focus on conflict resolution and culturally appropriate forms of mediation. He has done much work with both youth and adults, especially around parenting, teenage and youth issues, and bridging the gap between generations.

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