I am torn between my husband and my son. My son is 21 years old. He went to college for 3 years in a university in our city. After high school, he was accepted at a prestigious university, but his dad forbade him to go so that he would live with us. He is a good person, a good student, and he did well here. The problem is that in the summer, he transferred to another university in another city and he lives in an apartment that he shares with three other students. He did that and defied his father, who threatened to disown him if he transferred and left our home. My husband and I begged him to stay and finish his degree here, then leave after he graduates, but he did not listen. Now my husband does not want him to enter our home ever again and he wants to disown him.
My son is not a bad person, but he rebelled because his dad is very strict, a perfectionist who is never happy with anything. His dad is also very controlling; he called my son names even when he was in college, and he forced my son to take the classes that he selected, although they were not required. My husband is not a bad person; he just thought he was being firm. My son prays and fasts; he has morals and works hard at school. I say that we should not cut relations with my son so that we can help him not to go astray and remind him of our beautiful religion. I also want to ensure that he succeeds in his study and in his life. I feel it is my duty as a parent. My husband thinks that my son disobeyed him and that he committed a great sin. My husband makes bad du`aa’ against my son, and says he will never talk to him again.
Is it haram for my husband to disown my son? What should I do myself? My husband fought with me when I sent my son food for Ramadan, and he forbids me to send him anything else. Please tell me, what is the Islamic solution to our problem? Is there a hadith that says to let go of your children when they are 21? Someone told me that. How can my son repent and make up with his father? I need your help badly. Thank you.
As salamu alaykum sister,
I am so sad to hear about what is going on with your husband and your son. You stated that because your son moved out, your husband is furious and wants to cut him off and demands that you do as well.
Trying to Please Parent
Your son was accepted into a prestigious school but was forbidden to leave home to attend. He did stay home and go to the college there, even though I can imagine he really would have rather go to the prestigious college as it was probably hard to get into. He took classes that he did not need to take, just because his father wanted him to and demanded it. It sounds like your son desperately tried to make your husband happy. Your husband calls him names and is harsh with him. That is not Islamic nor is it effective parenting. You have a very good son who prays and fast, has morals and works hard at school as you indicated. This result must be very hard on him.
Sister, your son did not disobey your husband because your son is 21 and an adult. It appears that your son did everything he could to please his father, and when he could no longer take his father’s controlling, emotionally abusive personality he did decide to move out. That is his right. It was not disrespectful. It was a choice. Often, we must make choices to save our religion or save our mental health. Your son seems very pious. It also seems he’s been putting up with emotional abuse from your husband for a while, and possibly he feared it would harm his faith or his emotional well-being if he stayed.
Be Pleased with your Pious Son
Your husband should be pleased and proud to have a son such as him. Why your husband does not want your son to leave the city to have a quality edication and just stay in the home, I do not know. However, as your son is an adult he is quite capable of making his own choices and decisions, he is his own person.
It does not seem that your son needs to repent and make up with his father. It seems that your husband needs to apologize to his son and repair the relationship. As your husband may be controlling and possibly stubborn and prideful, this may not happen any time soon.
As you stated, your husband is very angry that your son moved out. He states he has disowned his son and demands that you do so as well. You stated that your husband fought with you when you sent your son food for Ramadan, and he forbid you to send him anything else.
My question is this, when you have a child such as your son who is pious, who fast, who’s a good student, who loves Allah, and has good morals, is this his reward from his family? I’m not directing this question at you sister I know you are stuck in a very hard place right now. This question is more less directed at your husband. I know you love your son very much and I’m sure that your husband does too.
It may be that your husband is having a difficult time dealing with a child who is now an adult with his own life and choices. Perhaps it is an issue of power and control. Possibly your husband resents not having control over your son. Insha’Allah, your husband will come to an understanding of what a wonderful son he does have and begin to appreciate that.
The Wisdom of Islam
Sister, I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you speak with your husband. Pick a time when there is calm and approach him from an Islamic perspective. Insha’Allah, appeal to your husband’s accomplishment of raising such a fine, respectful, pious young man. Give him examples from hadiths about how the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) treated his family. Illustrate through the Qur’an how it is commanded that these ties (family) not be severed. You may wish to advise your husband that you will not go against what Allah swt has decreed, and that as a Muslim who loves Allah and seeks to please him, he should not either.
In the Qur’an it states “And those who break the Covenant of Allaah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allaah has commanded to be joined (i.e., they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e., they will be far away from Allaah’s Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e., Hell).” (al-Ra’d 13:25).
If your husband does not respond favorably, I would kindly suggest that you consult with the imam in your community. Perhaps he can intervene and advise your husband on the grave repercussions of cutting off your son. In the meantime, sister, please do continue to show love and support to your son. He is probably hurting very much over this situation. He needs you. Yes, he is 21, but you are his mother/family. You are in our prayer’s sister, we truly wish you the best. Please let us know how things are going.