Can I Move Out to Escape My Parents’ Abuse over My Weight?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am 17 years old, and my parents have been body-shaming and emotionally/physically abusing me for my obesity since I was a child. Obesity runs in our family, according to our doctor. But they refuse to recognize it. It’s gotten to the point where I’m thinking about going to the ER because I’m suicidal. I’m sure if I went to the hospital, they’d stop talking to me. Even if they didn’t, I know they’d torment me even more once I was released. They are not going to change.

In this case, would I be justified in leaving them and living on my own? If I tell anyone about them, I’m afraid they’ll be apprehended by the authorities. I’d rather leave on my own before that happens.

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your patience and bring you out of this situation very soon.

Leaving

According to what you have described, it is permissible for you to leave this abusive home, it may even be obligatory as Muslims must prevent themselves from being abused. They will be accountable for abusing you and I pray that they smarten up, soon. Moving out won’t be easy, so I pray that you deal with them with respect, politeness, and firmness.

Please see these links for the ruling on leaving home:
Can I Move Out To Heal From the Trauma of My Abusive Parents?
Can I, as a Woman, Live on My Own?

Mental Health

Please see your doctor, a professional or a therapist to discuss your suicidal thoughts. You have value and worth as a believer, no matter what your weight is and your parents are wrong to treat you like this. Moving out is the first step, but make sure that you find someone to open up with.

Please see these links:
How Can I Deal With Fears and Suicidal Thoughts?
How to Get Rid of Suicidal Thoughts and Depression?

Turn to Allah

Remember that Allah is your sufficiency and the best disposer of your affairs. (Hasbuna Allah wa ni’ma al-wakeel). Turn to Allah in your distress and need. Pray tahajjud, pray the Prayer of Need, supplicate for clarity, peace, and positivity, give regular charity as that eliminates problems, and ask Allah to change your parents’ thinking.

Allah Most High has told us, “O believers! Seek comfort in patience and prayer. Allah truly is with those who are patient.” [Quran, 2:153]

Be steadfast in guarding your prayer, establishing good deeds, and fearing Allah as much as you can. Take out some time for self-care, positive friends, taking up a beneficial hobby, fresh air and exercise. Be avid for what benefits you and stay on that path until the problems in your life dwindle, by the grace of Allah.

Related answer:
How Can I Deal with My Fat-Shaming Mom? 

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.