Question: My father verbally abuses me and my siblings and my mother. He used to beat me and my sister and has used a hanger to beat my sister when she was young. He also threatens to abandon us is as he is the only source of income in our family. He has verbally abused in a manner that I would not use for even my enemies. He recently left the house for two days after having a disagreement with my mother. He does not allow us to visit my mother’s home. He even slanders my cousins for inviting us to their homes behind their backs. He uses any type of leverage he has to hurt me. I am at the extent of my patience. I feel my life is a mistake.
Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that you are suffering from abuse at your father’s hands. He is doing something unlawful and extreme and is attaining Allah’s displeasure. Please don’t despair because of this pain but trust in Allah that something better will come. Your du`a and attitude are key and it will save you.
Turn to Allah and trust in Him
Trust in Allah, rely on Him, and ask him to help you out of this painful situation. At this time, devote yourself to Allah, fear Him as much as you can, and know that He is the one who sent this test, and He is watching for a correct reaction from you. Don’t let the Devil persuade you to do something haram in return and don’t leave off worshipping Him because He is worthy of worship no matter what is going on in your life.
Take this opportunity to draw closer to Allah, for there is no better and faster way to draw close to Him than through the shackles of pain and suffering.
Channel all of your pain into discourse with your Lord in the depths of the night and wait for Allah to send your family what is best in the timing and manner which He deems fit, without rushing or being impatient. Be the best Muslim that you can be and strive to fulfill Allah’s commands. Don’t forget the value of the dua of victims of abuse:
The Prophet, may 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].
I don’t know what the situation is in India, but I found this helpline that might be useful to you when your father gets violent:
Also, consider calling the police when your father abuses one of you, you have every right to do this, and you all deserve protection and safety. Is there a family member, elder, or trusted friend that can help you? Can you appeal to one of his family members about this violence?
Can you communicate with your father directly about his behavior? Can you tell him that it hurts all of you and breaks your confidence? Can you tell him that you feel scared and want to live in peace? Please see this link for excellent advice on what to do:
Eventually, you will need to talk to a counselor or therapist to deal with and work through your emotions and scars. Please seek out treatment as soon as you can. It is also helpful to speak to a local imam, elder, trusted friend, teacher, or a trusted relative. Don’t think that you have to face this alone. I pray that as soon as you are old enough, that you move out and then help your mother and siblings.
In the meantime, take care of yourself. You deserve comfort, support, and love. Take on any beneficial activity that makes you feel good, take a class, start a new hobby, learn a skill. Spend time with your friends when you can. Play a sport, eat healthily, and exercise. Do what you need to get your lively self back and gain your confidence and strength.
May Allah rectify this for you and may it make you a stronger person with even better character and fortitude.
[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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.