In this counseling answer:
“You are right to continue to pray for your father. Allah Most High hears and responds to our prayers, often in ways that may not be immediately apparent. A crucial first step in resolving your anger toward your mother is to pray for him. It is completely natural that you have a certain amount of resentment. ”
As salamu `alaykum dear sister,
Thank you for writing to us. It is a difficult situation you are in, but in sha ‘Allah something can be done to help you, and your mother to improve your relations. It is very sad to hear that your mother has chosen to resort to making dua`aa’ against you. Perhaps she is just doing it to scare you into obeying her, but only Allah knows. Anyway, of course we need to take the prayers of our parents seriously and this should help us to look at ourselves and our actions.
According to Islam, it is our duty as children to be kind and respectful to our parents. It is always also best to put up with our parents even if we feel that what they are doing makes us uncomfortable. However, when our parents are Muslims they also must abide by the Shari’ah which strictly forbids oppression and injustice, even in regard to ones own children.
No parent has the right to abuse his or her child. This is echoed by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher, below. Her advice should provide a good example on how a child should approach one’s abusive parent, regardless as to whether the abuse is emotional, psychological or physical in nature:
“No parent has the right to abuse his or her child. Allah Most High has entrusted parents with a tremendous amana or trust: raising, nurturing, and loving a human being, and teaching that child about his or her religion.”
“When a parent violates this trust through abuse, be it physical, mental, or emotional, or neglects his or her child through abandonment or non-support, these actions constitute enormities, major sins in the sight of Allah Most High. The abusive and negligent parent will have much to answer for on the Day of Judgment, when Allah Most High knows what we have done, down to an atom’s weight of good or evil.”
“It is obligatory for that parent to repent to Allah Most High and beg His forgiveness for violating the responsibility with which he or she was entrusted”.
You are right to continue to pray for your mother. Allah Most High hears and responds to our prayers, often in ways that may not be immediately apparent. A crucial first step in resolving your anger toward your father is to pray for him. It is completely natural that you have a certain amount of resentment. The thing to remember is that:
- You are not at fault. A child does not ask to be abused.
- Your mother is answerable to Allah Most High for what he has done.
- Resentment and bitterness can tear a person’s heart. You don’t want to be weighed down by these feelings, so strive to put things in perspective and move on with your life. Alhamdulillah, you have a mother who seems to have looked out for you.
- Yes, you will feel pain, but you can channel these feelings in a different direction. Allah willing, when you start your own family, you will know what NOT to do in raising your children.
- As far as your relationship with your mother is concerned, you can still maintain family ties by praying for him and being good to him, but you MUST NOT subject yourself to any type of abuse. The Prophet, peace be upon him said, “A person should help his brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed. If he is the oppressor he should prevent him from doing it, for that is his help; and if he is the oppressed he should be helped (against oppression).” [Muslim 32 # 6254]
- Last but certainly not least, you may want to seek the help of a qualified counselor or therapist to help you work through these issues. The effects of child abuse can linger well into adulthood, and it may be of benefit to learn some strategies for coping with your pain, learning from it, and moving beyond.
Turn to Allah Most High in all your thoughts and prayers. Be constant in your obligatory prayers and perform voluntary worship. It is reported in a Hadith Qudsi: oOn the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said:
‘Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.'” -[Bukhari]
One approach you might want to try to get through to your mother about your feeling of difficulty complying with her demands is the third party/indirect approach, to help your mother understand what she is putting you through. Although YOU have made it clear to her how difficult things are for you, the message is not getting through.
Her desire to entertain people on the weekends and have you do the required work is more important than your pleas for rest. You said you have told her how you feel and it has made no difference. What you may want to try is getting somebody else, or some other people who are influential with your mother, i.e. maybe your sisters or if there is a father in the picture, for example, to advocate on your behalf. If they are sympathetic to your plight, in sha ‘Allah you can ask them to do it in a manner so that it does not appear to your mother that you asked them to do in for you.
Perhaps your mother will be more willing to listen and give in when enough influential people, make it clear to her that you are having a very difficult time and need a break.In sha ‘Allah, she will then come to her senses.
What you might find is that in this process, for example, if you confide in your sisters about it, they might also provide you with some hints and ideas on how else you can deal with the situation given their experiences. But try to choose those people first that you think will be sympathetic to you, who you think will be willing to ‘put in a good word for you’ as the saying goes. Using a group approach may, in sha ‘Allah, result in a more positive outcome. I pray for your success, in sha ‘Allah
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