Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My father and I haven’t been speaking for a while. I have anxiety and he tends to shout and unnecessarily argue, which causes me to have panic attacks. Recently I had such a horrible panic attack that I was only half-conscious. I ended up hurting myself without meaning it. Instead of asking me what was the matter, my father yelled at me and is refusing to speak with me. I’m angry too.
This topic is very sensitive to me and I need support, especially from my parents. I don’t want to go on without speaking with him, because he is still my father. He wants me to apologize, though, but I did nothing wrong. How do I approach him about this without hurting my pride?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and I pray that you find a way to discuss issues with your parents without fighting and without having adverse effects on your health.
It is very dangerous to harm yourself, even mistakenly, and I urge you to take precautions so that doesn’t happen again. When you got yelled at by your father for getting hurt, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. It just means that he was worried and scared for you but has no idea how to express it. He does love you and often parents have had their own trauma that they never resolved in their hearts. Please follow up with a doctor on what to do when you experience a panic attack.
It’s very clear that you need support and you may have to look beyond your parents for this. Turning to Allah, and turning to dhikr and His book are the best ways to find peace, submission, and tranquility during the chaos. Friendships are very important as well. Look to motivating, positive sisters to spend time with. Exercise, get fresh air, eat healthily and use your free time to listen to motivational talks and lessons of sacred knowledge. Consider taking free courses with us. In sha Allah, you will never feel alone, again, by His grace.
Hurting Your Pride
Allah Most High has told us in the Quran, “Assuredly, Allah loves not those who hold aloof out of pride.” [Quran, 16:23] Pride is considered one of the inward enormities according to many scholars including Ibn Hajar [al-Zawajir ‘an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir] and it is your very pride that could be stopping your making progress with your dad. I don’t know the full scale of your argument, and I don’t know if you were not at fault. But what I do know is that an apology from you would be considered a great good deed, and the reward for reconciling a relationship would be yours, by His grace. I recommend that you be the bigger person and apologize for the sake of Allah. Allah knows the truth of the matter.
Turn to Allah
Generally speaking, when one’s family situation is not good at home, one should make a plan to move out when able, and keep oneself occupied with good things while one is at home. If one finds the environment at home abusive, one should move out sooner than later, if able. Turn to Allah during this difficult time, and supplicate for your needs before dawn when He is searching for those who are praying to Him. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When half of the night or two-thirds of it is over, Allah (the Blessed and the Exalted) descends to the lowest heaven and says, ‘Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues saying it) until it is daybreak.’” [Muslim]
Please remember this hadith the next time a disagreement occurs, “If one restrained his anger, Allah will keep His punishment from him (on the Day of Resurrection).” [Tabarani]
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 aqidah, 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.