Harassed By Parents, Help Me!

22 July, 2020
Q Since I was 14, my father had financial problems, so one of his assistants helped him financially.

Later, this assistant, who is a non-Muslim, started to harass men proposing to me and even tried to attack me physically.

When I told my parents about this, they said they were helpless, so I sought help from my friends to stop this assistant from abusing me.

Since then, my father keeps inflicting me with taunts and even scolds me.

I’m now 37 and my father asked me to leave the home and take responsibility of my life.

My parents now invite the assistant to our home and when I ask them why they invite him although what he did to me, they say because he gives them money.

They ask me to earn and give them money, so they can stop taking money from him. Since then, they have been harassing and abusing me. I don't know what to do?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

• I would kindly suggest dear sister that you look into the possibility of living with other relatives or friends.

• If this is not possible please do insha’Allah network at the Masjid to see if there are any rooms available in exchange for helping with children, housework etc.

• If there is a career center or employment agency where you live link up with these organizations for direction and help in getting a job, taking classes and/or upgrading skills.

• I highly recommend that you seek out the counseling of a therapist near you.

• Reach out to the sisters at your Masjid.  Go out and socialize.  Have lunch, join an Islamic group, go for coffee/tea with your sisters.

• Please do call the suicide hotline as well (1) at 1-800-273-8255.  If this is not for your country, please do look up the phone number.  It is a great resource sister.


As salamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am truly sorry to hear of all you have been going through with your parents, especially your father. Parents are supposed to be protectors.

Family abuse

As Muslims, we are to be protectors of one another against abuses, harassment and other harmful acts in life.

The fact that some of your younger siblings got married to escape this abusive behavior speaks volumes.

It is not your fault sister so please realize that this is their parenting style (as bad as it may be) and like your siblings, it would be advisable to try to change your living situation insha’Allah so you can have some peace and begin to heal.

I would kindly recommend insha’Allah that you try to resolve the issues with your parents but it seems it has been tried before to no avail. 

Additionally, as this PA continues to be allowed in the home after he has made inappropriate advances to you and even attacked you is deplorable.  Your parents say he gave them money and they must let him continue to come in the home.  This makes no sense.

Perhaps the PA has such influence over them that they are not thinking clearly and have not been for a very long time. 

At any rate, there is no way he should be left in the home after what he did to you and your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being must be protected.

Harassed By Parents, Help Me! - About Islam

You stated that your parents pray and recite Qur’an.  This is all well and fine and as Muslims, it is the minimum we should do.

However, if they are not applying Islamic foundations and ways of living to their lives, I am not sure if they fully understand the implications of what they have done and are doing to their children, specifically you right now.

Seek a safe place

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you look into the possibility of living with other relatives or friends.

If this is not possible please do insha’Allah network at the Masjid to see if there are any rooms available in exchange for helping with children, housework etc. 

As you are 37 seems as if you have put your life on hold to help your parents although I am not sure why as there is that terrible PA there. 

I would kindly suggest that you write down a list of your interests and abilities pertaining to work and career.

If there is a career center or employment agency where you live link up with these organizations for direction and help in getting a job, taking classes and/or upgrading skills. 

By trying to work and get your life together as an independent woman, it will insha’Allah make you feel much better. 

Just getting out of the house on a daily basis will give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose.  It will also serve to provide you with opportunities to be self-sufficient.

Don’t harm yourself

You stated that you have tried to commit suicide a few times and are still contemplating it.

Sister, you do know it is a sin, yes? I truly understand your reasons-you are in pain and you feel there is no way out. But there is.  Allah swt loves you and so do many people.

In the midst of our loneliness and pain, it is often to easy to get lost in depression.  I highly recommend that you seek out the counseling of a therapist near you.

This will insha’Allah provide you with a “start” in resolving your issues with your parents (from your therapists’ referrals and other connections), addressing and resolving your depression as well as giving you an opportunity to begin your healing journey and start your life anew.

Please do insha’Allah write out a contract stating you will not harm yourself nor attempt suicide.  Write in the contract, the person’s name whom you are close to and promise to contact that person if you are feeling suicidal. 

Please do call the suicide hotline as well (1) at 1-800-273-8255.  If this is not for your country, please do look up the phone number.  It is a great resource sister.

Find help

Reach out to the sisters at your Masjid.  Go out and socialize.  Have lunch, join an Islamic group, go for coffee/tea with your sisters as well as be open to trying new things that you may have been interested in but have put off such as studying a topic, taking up a hobby, etc. 

Most important sister, realize you do have choices, you can facilitate change in your life so that you will be able to live a happy life, serving Allah.


Check out this counseling video


Conclusion

Draw closer to Allah by making duaa for your situation, reading and reciting Qur’an as well as doing dhkir. 

Dhkir also has a relaxing effect on ones heart and mind-in the remembrance of Allah hearts do find rest. 

Trust Allah with all of your affairs and know that insha’Allah your blessings will come  Just take the first step towards change.  You are in our prayers, we wish you the best.

***

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.\

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.