How Do I Respect an Aggressive Father?

22 September, 2020
Q Hello, we live with our parents. My dad never says good things about us. He calls my sister a witch and nitpicks about everything she does.

He fights with my mum and says all the curses on us as his kids, even though we help with chores and with financial issues. If we decide to tell him what he does is wrong he reigns insult. And people who come to resolve in turn beg him and ask us to be patient but it seems to get worse.

He uses Islam to justify his actions saying we are obliged to respect him even if he does us wrong. Is it right? and don't parents have consequences on how they treat their kids?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Ask for a family meeting to discuss this problem.

•Suggest counseling on the premise that you desire a happy and harmonious family life.

• Assure him of your love and respect for him while at the same time pointing out how the Prophet Mohammad (PHUH) treated his family.

•When he starts insulting you or your sister or mom, just ignore the insults. Do not respond.

•If your dad resists family counseling or does not make efforts to be more kind, please do consider speaking with a close (other) family member or your imam to intervene on your and your family’s behalf.


As salamu Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear about how your father is mistreating you, your family.

This is not an Islamic way to treat one’s family. His cursing of his children is haram.

Stress or Depression

Sister, you sound like a wonderful daughter. Furthermore, you not only help out around the home with chores but you also help financially.  It may be that your dad is depressed.

He may be angry over something that has nothing to do with you or your family.  It could be stress at work, an unfulfilled life goal or any other reason.

People who are always criticizing others, nitpicking, treating others poorly, are often not happy with themselves.

Family meeting

I would kindly suggest that you ask for a family meeting to discuss this problem. I understand you have tried to resolve this before with him. However, this time please do suggest family counseling.

Suggest counseling on the premise that you desire a happy and harmonious family life.  Doing that by seeking counseling. Perhaps it may help resolve any issues and increase happy relations.

You may want to tell your father that you all love him very much. And seek to make the family a happier unit.

Assure him of your love and respect for him. While at the same time pointing out how the Prophet Mohammad (PHUH) treated his family.

How Do I Respect an Aggressive Father? - About Islam

Parents’ Rights

As your father seeks to condone his behaviors using Islam, you may wish to bring forth Islamic proofs (in a loving way). Concerning the Islamic standpoints on how to treat one’s family and loved ones.

If your dad’s heart does not soften, you may want to try another method. When he starts insulting you or your sister or mom, just ignore the insults.


Check out this counseling video


Do not respond.  Certainly, I know this is hard but often times when we stop responding to negativity, it decreases over time and stops.  Insha’Allah this will be the case with your dad.

Be more kind

If your dad resists family counseling or does not make efforts to be more kind. Please do consider speaking with a close (other) family member or your imam to intervene on your and your family’s behalf.

I understand this is a hard situation for everyone sister.  Make duaa to Allah for mercy and ease as well as ask Allah to help your dad with his issues.

You’re in our prayers, please let us know how you are doing.

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.

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-counselor/the-family-home-ask-the-counselor-counseling/i-hit-my-abusive-father-i-feel-guilty/
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.