I Don’t Like Being with My Parents

13 April, 2021
Q My father would like me to become a doctor and has this former aspiration of mine engraved in his mind. (I believe he is after this profession for its pride and wealth.) The truth is that I would like to become a teacher - someone who has Islamic knowledge that will bring her closer to Allah and who educates her community and people in general. I want to study in Makkah, but they require a mahram. I find going with my father would be a nightmare, and my brothers aren’t available. Because I am too young to marry, I don't know how to make my dreams a reality. My second issue is that I don't like my father because he is annoying, untrusting, and nosy. If I am talking to him, I reply in one syllable. We haven't developed a relationship, and I don't want one. When he drives me places, the car ride is quiet, and I smile inside because I find this sad, but humors because it is how I prefer it. My elder sisters will soon be moving out which means that I will have to talk to my parents more often, and I am not happy about it. I wish I could perish like the animals will. I fear that because I am distant, I do not like my parents, and I avoid them, I will go to hell. Help me, please.

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us with your concerns. It is impressive that you want to study to become a teacher of Islamic studies. May Allah (swt) bless you for your charitable desires and make your path easy.

While you stated your father wants you to become a doctor, surely there will be some resistance. It is understandable that your father wants what he thinks will be best for you in terms of financial stability. As parents, we are like that; we want a good life for our children.  We don’t want them to have to struggle. However, in being parents, we often lose sight of our children’s wishes that they have a say in their futures and careers as well as who they chose as spouses. So, most certainly, dear sister, you have a right to study what you wish.

In regards to the issue of needing a mahram, if you cannot find one by the time you are ready to begin studying, perhaps there are other schools you can study in which do not require a mahram. You may need to be flexible in your choices. Additionally, sister, perhaps there is a middle road. In addition to studying to be an Islamic teacher, in sha’ Allah, you can combine another degree (dual degree’s) of your choice. Please review the profile of sister Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed who is doing just that. She is very inspirational. Or you may want to consider studying at Islamic Online University.

While you say you would like to be “someone who has Islamic knowledge that will bring her closer to Allah (swt) and who educates her community and people in general”, I am curious how are you going to do this when you have such hostile feelings towards your father and state you do not like your parents? It is a contradiction.

In order to teach the Islamic community of sisters, you must begin learning now about compassion, tolerance, understanding, and kindness, starting with your family. While I understand you are 16, and these feelings about parents are sometimes a phase young adults go through, I would hope that you are working on changing your attitude to be in alignment of that which you seek.

While your father cannot make you become a doctor, he may soften his attitude about your preferred studies if he saw you were becoming more kind, more respectful, and more Islamic like in your treatment of your parents and family.

“And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.’”(Quran, 17: 24)

The phrase “lower to them the wing of humility” has been interpreted as an image of the way birds spread their wings out of protection and love for their young. Our treatment of our parents is shown in the same way – we should be humble, respectful, and loving towards them.

So, as you can see, your behavior and feelings towards your parents, especially your father, is un-Islamic and not befitting someone who desires to be an Islamic teacher. I kindly suggest that if you would like to have your father’s support in your desire to be a teacher, then you begin to conduct yourself as one now. Begin by displaying loving kindness to your family even if you don’t feel that way right now. Ask how their day went if they need help with anything, etc. When asked a question, respond with a full, genuine answer. You may be surprised at the changes you see in your home based on your own behavioral changes!

My dear sister, I can almost guarantee that in a few years when you are beyond your teenage years, you will look back wondering how could you have ever felt/behaved this way towards you father, especially as an Islamic teacher! As teenagers, we tend to treat our parents unkindly or not wanting to be around them. When we get a few years older, we realize how wrong we were, but we cannot get that time back. We fret and feel remorse. Yet, we met our parents’ open arms and forgiving hearts.

So, in sha’Allah, I am just giving you a little “heads up” that your feelings of animosity won’t last, and Allah (swt) is most forgiving. Wanting to “perish like the animals do” is not the answer. Would you suggest that to a sister who came to you, an Islamic teacher, for advice?

Pray to Allah (swt), make du’aa’ for forgiveness, ask Allah (swt) to take these negative feelings from you and replace them with the loving kindness that is deep inside of you. This is the beginning of your preparation for becoming an Islamic teacher!

You are in our prayers sister. Please let us know how you are doing.

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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.