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Physically Abused and Forced to Memorize Quran, Help!

22 September, 2023
Q As-salamoalikom. From 3rd grade, my parents have forced me to a go to a hifz school, which physically and mentally abused me. After a year my parents asked me if I wanted to stay, but they pressured me in a way so that if I said "No", I'd be wrong or a disgrace. Anyways the Hifz schools' academic system wasn't great. I wasn't properly learning. My father kept pressuring and occasionally physically and verbally abusing me to memorize faster when I didn't even want to in the first place. The hifz program wasn't working well so my parents decided to send me somewhere to memorize the Quran(During this time I missed out on 6 months of school).

After I came back I went to an Islamic School, and in the first term, I had a couple b-'s. So the day on new years, during the winter break, I told my father it wasn't easy for me to get A's. And without reasoning or letting me explain, he threw whatever he could at me and cursed and started chasing me.

When he caught me, he bashed my head against the wall, punched me everywhere and said that "I'm lazy" and that "I have no excuse to get bad grades" etc. Anyways it hurts me, makes me depressed and suicidal, and this is only one example of the numerous times it has happened. And I'm scared to say something because if I'm found out, things will be much worse for me.


In this counseling answer:

•Speak with one of your trusted relatives concerning the abuse you are going through.  If there is no one whom you trust, or if you feel it is risky for you, please do seek out someone you trust at your Masjid or Islamic Center.

•If there is no one there, please do look online for a counseling center near you or ask your family physician in private. But please, do tell someone.  I understand you are afraid and rightly so, but this must stop and you must be in a safe place.

•Once you have sought help and told someone, insha’Allah your family can begin counseling in order to learn how to stop abusive behaviors as well as how to heal as a family.

As salamu alaykum,

I am so sorry to hear of what you have been going through.  Memorization does not come easy for a lot of people and I admire you for trying to stay with it.  It took a lot of courage and while perhaps you were not given a choice, you did try to comply.  However, no child should be abused EVER.  It surprises me when “religious” parents abuse their children because if they truly were following Islam, they would not be abusive.

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It is haram and a sin.  According to a hadith, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,

“A (true) Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe; and a Muhajir (Emigrant) is he who leaves the deeds which Allah has prohibited.” (1), and “’Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.”  (2).

The abuse you have been going through is not mercy.

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As I do not know your age or location, I will kindly advise you to speak with one of your trusted relatives concerning the abuse you are going through.  If there is no one whom you trust, or if you feel it is risky for you, please do seek out someone you trust at your Masjid or Islamic Center.

Once you have sought help and told someone, insha’Allah your family can begin counseling in order to learn how to stop abusive behaviors as well as how to heal as a family.  Your parents would benefit from this because if they continue to abuse you and do not stop and repent to Allah, they must face the consequences when they stand before Allah on judgment day.  However, this is not your burden right now, you must focus on yourself insha’Allah and get to a safer space.

Please do tell someone about the abuse as soon as possible so there may be an intervention. Please do not tell your parents, especially your father for it may make him (them) more volatile and angry thus putting you at further risk.

Also, seek out counseling insha’Allah to assist with depression as well as to deal with your suicidal ideation.

Insha’Allah write a contract.  In this contract state you will not harm yourself nor attempt suicide. Choose someone you are close to and write in that person’s name as a contact that you will promise to get in touch with if you are feeling suicidal.  Please do call the suicide hotline as well (3) at 1-800-273-8255.  If this is not for your country, please do look up the phone number.

Allah loves you very much, and Allah see’s everything. Please do make duaa to Allah and ask for protection, as well as a resolve to this abuse.  Ask Allah swt to give you the strength and courage to tell someone and please do tell someone before more damage is done.

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I know you’re scared to tell but don’t be scared please, not only is Allah on your “side” but so are many, many people. You just need to reach out. Again, you did nothing wrong.  You do not deserve to be abused.  Abusing children (anyone) is a sin.  You are a wonderful person with a blessed future, please do tell someone so you can get help and begin to heal and live a happy life free from abuse.

You are in our prayers, please do let us know how you are.







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.

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.