Do I Have to Endure Everything My Parents Do to Me?

28 July, 2019
Q As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

I hope you can provide me with advice. My parents have been emotionally and physically abusive towards both me and my siblings, even the youngest who is 2 years old. We get hit because of the smallest of things. As a result, I developed severe depression. When I tried to talk to my parents about it, they only told me to kill myself if I don't like the way I'm treated.

They have also beat me to the point of unconsciousness. I have already had two suicide attempts before, but I guess Allah decided that it wasn't my time yet. It even came to a point where I totally lost faith in Allah. Allhamdullilah, he gave me guidance through an elderly woman I secretly met in the mosque.

Sadly, she passed away last summer. Ever since I felt even more depressed than before. I dropped out of school because I couldn’t bear the bullying I received due to everyone knowing my household situation. Some of my teachers even laughed at me for not being able to stand up for myself.

I really hate life at the moment. I also have anemia, and when I go to the hospital for treatment, I get beaten when I arrive back home because I didn't do the housework. I can't help but wonder if Allah really doesn't care about me.

One time my aunt told my grandmother back home about the whole situation and my grandmother flew here the next week and tried to help us. However, it ended in a big fight and until this day my parents and my relatives back home don't talk to each other. I tried suggesting family counseling to my parents, but they don't want to do it.

I see how my younger siblings are affected by everything. One time my parents tried to burn my brother’s hand on the stove because he was sent home from school due to sickness, and I broke the TV to prevent that. I got beaten up till I started vomiting blood.

Nowadays, my brother avoids coming home by any given chance. He usually lies by saying he has something in school to do. My other brother has autism and he is scared to the point where he doesn't talk at all anymore. My little 2-year old sister backs away from the touch of our parents and starts crying when they call her name. She also has nightmares and wakes up screaming.

They think that because in Islam they have a high position as parents that we should just agree with everything they do. The Imam in our local mosque only told me to endure everything silently and that it's probably our fault anyway. I can't do that and watch my whole family fall apart.

My grandmother and other relatives would like to take us in, but my parents threatened to disown all of us if we dare to move out. I don't even fear what would happen to me because I stopped caring. However, I'm concerned about my siblings' future because they say Allah won't forgive the ones who upset their parents.

A neighbor once called child support on my parents and if they find out about anything, they'll probably give them away into a children's home. I tried everything I could think of. I feel suffocated, and to be honest, I think death is better than living like this.

So, my question is if we should stay at home and endure it all, or if we should move to one of our relatives’ house? Please advise me.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• They are violating your rights for protection. Do they not know that they will be accountable to Allah for the way that they treat you and your sibling?

• I kindly suggest that you speak with your grandmother and other relatives about moving. Please, do not wait. Your parents have caused so much damage that it is unbelievable.

• Please do call your local Child Abuse Hotline/Center and seek immediate help.


As salam Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for trusting us with your question concerning your very dire situation. Reading your question broke my heart. It was absolutely horrifying to hear what you and your siblings are going through. No child should be abused ever. What your parents are doing is a grave sin in Islam. Additionally, I am sure there are laws in your country which protect children from abusive parents. These laws could result in your parents going to jail.

A Dangerous Situation

Sister, you and your siblings are in a very dangerous situation. Not only are you suffering at the hands of your parents, but you have medical conditions, are depressed and have attempted suicide twice. At school, you have been bullied and even laughed at by teachers, which is unbelievable.

Do I Have to Endure Everything My Parents Do to Me? - About Islam

What sort of a detestable teacher laughs at a student who is being abused? As a result, you have dropped out of school as well. Alhamdulillah that an elderly woman at the Masjid has provided guidance, care, and support to you. Sadly, she has passed away. May Allah bless her and grant her Jannah.

Sister, I just can’t wrap my head around this situation. You are a very sweet, loving Muslim girl and you and your siblings do not deserve this treatment. What you’re going through is an abomination. Allah loves you, sister. Please, do not ever doubt Allah’s love for you. Allah has great things in store for you.

There are many blessings for your future insha’Allah. What you’re going through now, you will get through. You’ll survive this abuse and you will be fine. You will be a strong, happy, young Muslim lady very soon insha’Allah.

Children’s Rights in Islam

Sister, in Islam you have rights over your parents. Just as parents have rights over their children, you most certainly have rights over your parents. These rights include the right to be fed, clothed, receive an education, and be protected. This protection means protection against moral and physical harm.

These are some of the rights of children the parents must give their children. It is obvious that your parents are not protecting you from physical harm, in fact, they are causing you great physical harm to the point where you have attempted suicide. They have beat you unconscious and have done other horrible things to you and your siblings.

They are violating your rights for protection. Do they not know that they will be accountable to Allah for the way that they treat you and your sibling?

You mentioned that your parents think that because they are Muslim that they have a high position in Islam as parents. Well they do. However, they do not have a position which grants them the right to beat, abuse and traumatize you and your siblings. The imam at your local Masjid who told you to “endure everything silently, because it’s probably your fault anyway” is wrong.

He also will be held accountable to Allah. He may also be held accountable legally if there are laws in your country which state that he’s a mandated reporter for child abuse and he does not report it.

To Stay or Leave

Regarding your question about whether you should stay and endure this or leave, the answer is Islamic. This is an extremely violent and abusive household, which is not a home. Home is where you find love, comfort, safety, and protection. Your parents have become vile and display demonic behavior rather than Islamic behavior.

This is not the way anyone should treat their children, especially Muslims. We have one of the greatest examples to look up to, which is our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He never raised his hand to a woman or a child. He was the best with his family.

‘A’ishah said: “The Prophet of Allah never hit anyone with his hand, neither any woman nor any servant, except while fighting (jihad) in the path of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim)

I find it strange how your parents want to claim their status in Islam yet refuse to emulate or follow any of the Islamic principles relating to kindness, love, mercy, and compassion.

Seeking Help

Sister, I kindly suggest that you that you speak with your grandmother and other relatives about moving. Please, do not wait. Your parents have caused so much damage that it is unbelievable. You stated if you moved out, they would disown you, well at this point it doesn’t matter, your lives matter more. Leave that between them and Allah.


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The abuse must be stopped immediately. Insha’Allah, call your grandmother and ask to have a family meeting without your parents present. Discuss with them what has been going on in the household and explain that you would like for one of the relatives or your grandmother to take you and your siblings in.

Explain to them the dire situation in which you have been beaten so badly to the point of suicidal tendencies, how your brother who has autism is frightened and now does not talk, and how your two-year-old sibling has nightmares and wakes up screaming from the beatings.

Insha’Allah they will take a swift movement to remove you and your siblings from the home. If an arrangement is agreed upon, I would kindly suggest insha’Allah, that an intervention is done to get you and your siblings out of the house safely. This would include not telling your parents the plan, having assistance from the police or other family member while you and your siblings are packing to leave.

If your parents find out or if there is no security when you are leaving, they may become violent. Please do ensure that your relatives understand that you need a safe way to leave. If by chance they cannot take you and your siblings or they are scared, please do call your local Child Abuse Hotline/Center and seek immediate help.

Sister, you and your siblings can begin a new life with one of your relatives. There will be much pain and trauma to address due to the violence you all have been victims of. However, with a safe, loving place to call home and counseling, insha’Allah you and your siblings can begin to heal.

You are Not Alone

Sister, I just want you to know that you’re not alone concerning an abusive situation. Sadly, many women and children worldwide are abused unmercifully at the hands of parents. Some parents even kill their children. It is a worldwide epidemic which has left great devastation in the lives of children as well as adult survivors of child abuse. It must end.

In addition to moving out, please do get counseling. It will be a great benefit to you as you adjust to your new life and begin to heal. Seek out groups for Survivors of Child Abuse. These support groups can provide a healing dynamic as well as provide life stories of success which can be inspirational. Please ask a counselor or community center to direct you to one in your new area.

May Allah bless and reward you for taking these steps to seek help for you and your siblings. I also want you to be concerned about your future and your welfare as well as your siblings. You made a statement that “Allah won’t forgive the one who’s upset with her parents”.

Sister, your situation is very different from what this means. What your parents are doing is going against Islam, they’re going against Allah. They are oppressors. You don’t have to listen to your parents when they go against Allah. You are only accountable in front of Allah.

If your parents were kind and merciful and treated you and your siblings with love, mercy, and protection, then yes you should not be upset with them. However, this is not the case. Your case is one of severe abuse, which Allah SWT detests.

Conclusion

Sister, please do call your grandmother/other family members. Explain the horrific conditions and seek a home with one of your relatives for you and your siblings. Ensure they arrange for a safe exit. Once you are resettled, please do engage in counseling. Look forward to a better future dear sister, one filled with love, peace, and blessings.

Many young women and children have made this journey to escape abuse, you can do it too. You are worth it and so are your siblings. Allah does not want you living in these conditions. Allah loves you.

Please let us know how you are doing sister,

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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.

Read more:

Are Muslims Doing Enough to Combat Child Sexual Abuse?

Sexual Abuse: Be By Your Child’s Side

Abusive Parents: Enough is Enough!

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.