My Son was Hafiz al-Quran but Has Gone Astray

03 December, 2016
Q As-Salamu Aleikom! Please help me solve the issue with my 23-year-old son. Although he is a Hafiz al-Quran for two years, he has literally gone astray. He has isolated himself from the outside world. He openly refuses to pray, talks openly against Islam and the Hereafter. He disrespects Allah (SWT) and says God and Akhirah don’t exist. He physically assaults us, he uses filthy language, and also sometimes spits at us. Most of the time, throughout the day, he is constantly listening to music and likes everything which is forbidden in Islam. He does not want to work. He has literally ruined himself. We continuously pray for him. I assume he is possessed by some evil creation. Kindly help how deal with him so that Allah brings him back to the straight path. JazakAllah so much.

Answer

Answer:

Wa ‘Alaykum As-Salam,

Whether a person is attacked by something evil outside himself or if a person becomes mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and physically distressed, it is only a result of having an opening in one’s life that allows the chaos to live within. The remedies are the same for both cases.

To help your son, first, do not judge him. This may be a very difficult thing to accomplish in and of itself, but your son is suffering, and he is in a lot of pain. His behaviors are expressions of fear, anger and shame. I am suspecting drug use as well.

Naturally, I can’t say that he is using drugs for sure as I am not there with you in the moment; however, the behaviors you are describing are common behaviors among people who are addicted to street drugs. When a person becomes addicted to drugs, they can become belligerent and express very bad behaviors because they do feel such a deep sense of helplessness and shame. They cannot think correctly and cannot make wise decisions. They often become depressed over time and lose faith in Allah. If a person is also exposed to hypocrisy and does not experience being with people who feel the genuine love that Allah develops in those who love him, this can make matters worse if the person does not have the intellectual capacity to sort this out.

If your son is not using street drugs, then he must be very hurt and angry and upset about something. It is also a possibility that both situations I have described are true. It would be wise to do some detective work and see if you can get to the heart of what is upsetting him. With that said, if there are drug counselors, please try to talk to one and learn about drug addiction and see if this scenario fits. Also, please see a family counselor with your wife as this will be a beginning of a journey in which you learn about the family dynamics that might be contributing to some of the dysfunction. You will also learn positive and healthy responses to your son’s behaviors.

Although you are not judging your son, you also must keep yourself and your wife safe.  There are some behaviors that cannot be tolerated in a home. You and your wife know if you are in danger. If you are, you will have to tell him how much you love him, but that you do not feel safe with him around and seek to make arrangements for him to live somewhere else.  This is a difficult decision. There is a way to help a drug addict find his way to recovery, but it is a long journey that take consistent persistence and strength. Whatever you do, keep the lines of communication open. Reach out even if he rejects you. He will know somewhere deep inside that you are there. That connection might be what will save him.

My heart truly feels with you as this must be very scary for you. You no doubt love your son very much and are likely feeling quite helpless to be able to help him. This is why the wisest thing to do is to reach out and get the support and help that you can get. If your son is, indeed, using drugs see if you can find support groups for families who have loved ones with drug problems. Here in the USA we have Alanon groups as well as other support groups where we can be with other people who have similar problems and talk about our problems in a confidential setting. You might ask your doctor if s/he knows of anything similar in the region where you are living. Do learn all that you can about drugs and drug addiction. There is a lot of information on the internet. Go to Narcotics Anonymous and read about what drug addiction is.

I have some USA links about drug addiction to share. Reading them might give you an idea of what drug addiction is and what it looks like. That might help you make a good guess as to whether or not this is what is happening with your son.

Drug Abuse & Addiction

Drugs: Signs & Symptoms

10 Signs Your Loved One Is Struggling with Drug Adduction

If you cannot find a support system in your region, consider finding an online support group. The USA and Canada will have a lot to choose from. Keep praying and understand that whether your son’s problem is drug addiction or some other mental illness, it is the illness and not the person that is causing the bad behaviors. When a person is in recovery, they usually find their way back to Allah.

I do have a blog on PsychCentral that addresses the mental health disorder of bipolar. My first suspicion is drug addiction, and drug addiction can sometimes look like bipolar. The anti-social behaviors that you are describing take me away from suspecting bipolar and closer to suspecting drug addiction.  However, if, after you have read all of the literature on drug addiction and you truly feel that your son does not meet the criteria or express the signs and symptoms of a loved one who is using drugs, then the next thing to look at would be bipolar. If you go to my site, scroll down to the first few posts and read about bipolar there. Most of my posts address interventions, but I have some information about bipolar itself in the beginning. There are other blogs on PyschCentral as well that cover both bipolar disorder and most other mental disorders so do take a look and see what might seem relevant for you.

I do pray that some of what I have offered you has been helpful today. Keep praying and do not give up your faith. You will begin a journey of building strong healthy boundaries for yourself while learning an “art/science” of helping your son, while not putting your own well being at risk.

Salaam,

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