In this counseling answer:
• I feel that acceptance is the first step toward healing. You are already on the path to healing, having admitted and said all these things. To heal, we need to bring our pain into our conscious awareness, and then take small steps towards growth.
• It is time that you learn to stand up for yourself and your happiness. When something bothers you, speak about it with your family, and let people know your limits which they should not cross.
• Make istikhara and ask Allah (SWT) to guide your heart.
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
Sister, your post has touched me. I am sorry that you are going through so much at this point in life, and that you have always endured this pain since you were a little girl. It is apparent from what you have mentioned that your father has been abusing you and your family mentally, emotionally, and physically.
You have also mentioned that being continuously compared to your siblings, and being abused physically by your father, made you lose your confidence and made you a shy person, and were perceived as being rude. You have mentioned that you were sexually abused by your family members but were not able to tell anyone about it.
In addition, your father is very far from religion and mocks it, and that he has consistently had extra-marital affairs. You also expressed in your post that one of your brothers is an exact copy of your father – who is violent and abusive towards the parents as well. Lastly, you have stated that you want to marry your cousin; however, your father is creating problems for you and is threatening to leave your mother if you marry him.
Sister, I would like you to know that you are a strong and brave young lady, who is fighting life’s trials very patiently. May Allah (SWT) make things easy for you and give you an immense reward for what you have faced in life.
The Prophet Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi Wassalam said,
“No fatigue, nor disease, nor anxiety, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The magnitude of emotional pain you have experienced in life cannot be healed through my trivial efforts in this post, however, I would surely like to help you get a better understanding of your situation and therefore make the right decisions for yourself.
Accept Your Self and Your Environment
Sister, I know it is easier said than done, but I feel that acceptance is the first step towards healing. You are already on the path to healing, having admitted and said all these things. To heal, we need to bring our pain into our conscious awareness, and then take small steps towards growth.
The basic dilemma you and your family are facing is the mental, verbal, and psychological abuse by your father. While he may have different excuses to do it every time, he would have done it even if those excuses were not there. For instance, you have mentioned that you were disliked by your father because you were a girl and not a boy – from what I understand from your post; your father would have still found an excuse to harm you psychologically and emotionally even if you were a boy.
The environment you are living in is continuously depriving you of your peace and happiness. It makes you feel sad, threatened, overwhelmed, and depressed.
Learn to Be Assertive and Set Your Boundaries
You have already borne a lot of pain where you had no fault. It was not your mistake that you were not a boy, or the eldest child. Allah (SWT) has created each one of us unique and special in our own way. I am sure that you have lots of good qualities in you that neither your elder sister possesses, nor do any of your brothers.
It is time that you learn to stand up for yourself and your happiness. When something bothers you, speak about it with your family, and let people know your limits which they should not cross. For instance, if your father objects your marriage to a certain guy, let him know that Islam gives you the right to marry the person of your choice.
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If he threatens to leave your mother, let him threaten – because he is only saying that to manipulate you. If he had intended to leave your mother, he would have done it before when he was busy having affairs with other women.
Ask for Help from Allah SWT
Sister, I absolutely understand that it is not easy to go against your family, and especially parents; nor am I enticing you to. However, I just want you to realize your own rights and act accordingly. You cannot let a tyrant to keep ruling over you or your emotions; even if he is your own father. Ask Allah SWT for help and guidance. Ask Him to lead you to the Straight Path.
Marry for Religion
When it comes to marriage, a girl has the full right to choose who she marries. However, our religion guides certain things that we need to keep in mind when selecting our future spouse. The most important of this is marrying a person who is pious and God-fearing.
Sister, remember, a person who is pious and fears Allah (SWT) will never usurp your rights, he will be mindful of prayer and will know that he must answer for his actions on the Day of Judgment.
At times when we are emotionally focused, we may overlook whether our future spouse is a God-fearing person or not, and this may cause problems in our marital life later. So, when considering your cousin for marriage, do make sure that other than having a good heart, he is also a God-fearing person.
Do Istikhara (The prayer asking for guidance)
MashaAllah, you are connected with Allah (SWT). Before you decide to marry your cousin, do make istikhara and ask Allah (SWT) to guide your heart. If it seems like the right decision, do not fear your family’s influence on your decision to marry him.
May Allah (SWT) make life easy for you and Bless you with all the happiness.
Wa Aleikom Salam,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.