How Can I Continue Living with a Father Who Doesn’t Treat Me Well?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I am not in a good state as I suffer from waswasa. I am currently awaiting therapy. My father has constantly mistreated me compared to my brother and other siblings. He never raised his voice much at my brother but always at me. My family has seen how hard it has been, but still, my father has been nitpicking about everything. He shouts at me for small things and for things he does himself. It has gotten worse during my condition.

I can’t deny the good things; he has not always been abusive. It’s challenging to handle, and I am not the best son. What advice can you give?  Have patience? I don’t answer back most of the time.


May Allah reward you for your patience and for seeking advice on balancing your Islamic obligations despite the difficulties.

Show Excellence

I empathize with your frustration, as it is not permissible for your father to treat you like this. The best of creation, our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), taught us: “None of you truly believes until you love for your fellow Muslim what you love for yourself.” [Bukhari; Muslim] This applies to father and son as well.

There are a few coping mechanisms that you can try while you are living at home.

  • Restrain yourself from a mean or disrespectful response, as your silence is considered excellence to your parents.
  • Do what he asks and make an effort to do it well. Don’t let his accusations be true.
  • Keep yourself busy with good things, such as praying in the mosque, getting a part-time job, studying with a group, or learning a new skill.
  • Walk away from conflict instead of getting pulled into engaging him unnecessarily.
  • Speak up for yourself politely, or write him a letter explaining your feelings
  • Try journaling; once you get your emotions onto paper, it will be easier to process them and understand what you need.
  • Spend time with good friends who are a positive and religious influence on you.
  • Exercise, take your supplements, and get very fresh air every day. Never let your physical health suffer.

Always keep this Quranic injunction in mind when you face him, “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and do good to parents. If any one of them or both of them reach old age, do not say to them: ‘Uff’ (a word or expression of anger or contempt) and do not scold them, and address them with respectful words.” [Quran, 17:23]

Move Out

Rest assured that you will move out one day and marry, perhaps sooner than you think, and things will get easier in Sha Allah. Plan to live on your own sooner than later. Many young people do not get along with their parents, only to become their best friends after they have their children. Just be sure not to repeat the cycle of emotional abuse when you have your children.

Turn to Allah

Turn to Allah, learn your obligatory knowledge, be the best Muslim you can be, and build your relationship with your Lord. There is no problem Allah sends you that He cannot solve, so ask for His mercy and guidance. He will surely come to your aid. If you ask Allah to change your father’s heart so that he treats you the best in the family, that is easy for Allah to bring about.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Tirmidhi]

Please read these excellent and relevant answers:
How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children?
How Should I Sort Out Dysfunctional Relationship With My Parents?
Dealing Problems With Abusive Father

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.