Is It Backbiting To Complain About an Abusive Father?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


My father is a narcissist. I try to have patience and be respectful, but it is hard. My mental health is in a bad state. I often talk to my friend about my father, what has happened, and how I feel. I fear that this falls under the category of backbiting. I need to get it off my chest.

My father has no interest in me whatsoever. He stopped the physical abuse a few years ago but still abuses himself mentally. When I laugh, he wants me to stop.

In our home, he terrorizes us, but in public, he is the most excellent person on Earth. He is also very arrogant and needs to control everyone. I need to talk to someone about it.


I empathize with your situation. Living with an oppressor and abuser is very difficult, and no one deserves to be treated as such. I recommend that you take the first opportunity that you can find to move out or get married. Leaving home is the first step to healing.

As for talking about your pain to a friend, it is not permissible to slander a specific person to express your frustration.

See this answer:
Backbiting (ghiba) and Seeking Counsel

However, it is permissible to seek counsel, so if your friend is offering you advice, it is no longer haram to speak to him about it. I still feel that you should not treat your friend as a journal. If you are chronicling everything your father does to you, you should write it down in a journal to get it off your chest. You don’t need to tell your friend about every misdeed because he will have no more advice to offer you at some point.

Don’t forget your most potent tool, the du’a of the oppressed. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant 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 see the following excellent answers about similar situations. May Allah take you out of this and guide you not to repeat the cycle of abuse.

Check these links:
How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children?|
How to Deal With a Verbally Abusive Father?
What Constitutes Slander, Backbiting and How to Avoid It?

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the situation’s specifics.

[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.