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A Bad Father is Better Than No Father?

Questioner

L (34-female-US)

Reply Date

Apr 15, 2018

Question

My husband is not a pious person and he has started teaching my children bad manners. I'm trying hard to do the opposite, but sometimes they imitate him especially our teenage daughter. I am thinking of divorce, but I always hear that a bad father is better than no father. Is this true? Can you advise me?

Counselor

Answer


Father

In this counseling answer:

  • Sit and talk with him in a gentle manner, one where you express your love for him and remind him of all the dreams he had for his children when he held them in his hands the first time.
  • Encourage him to remember that he will meet Allah and it will be a good thing to stand before Him knowing that he left pious children who prayed for him after his death and who did good in the world.
  • Try to balance correcting your children without nagging them and also by showing them love.

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullah dear sister,

This is, indeed, a difficult question to answer, especially because I am unaware of the character of your husband and what exactly he encourages your children to do.

The other thing to consider is that whatever he is calling them to, he can do that even if you are divorced, and maybe he may even try harder as a way of spiting you.

Is there any way you can sit and talk with him in a gentle manner, one where you express your love for him and remind him of all the dreams he had for his children when he held them in his hands the first time? Encourage him to remember that he will meet Allah and it will be a good thing to stand before Him knowing that he left pious children who prayed for him after his death and who did good in the world.

If this cannot be a possibility, then perhaps someone whom he respects can talk to him, in sha’ Allah.

In the meantime, try to balance correcting your children WITHOUT nagging them and also by showing them love. Sometimes try to pray together and to take them to Islamic events where they can participate. Furthermore, if there are Islamic groups which they can join, then that would be good for them.

***

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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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