Is It Permissible to Cut Ties with a Violent Father?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My father is a violent man who beat me very badly when I was a child for small mistakes like being late to come home for lunch. One time he didn’t take me to a good hospital though he was financially able, and I lost part of an organ in surgery when I was 15.

I’m 21 years old, about to graduate from university, and I want to leave and never return. Because I am older, he no longer attacks me but insults me. He’s paying my fees to make me submissive, and my mother is the same. They don’t respect me but demand respect from me through Islam. I have become outraged over time, and sometimes I can’t endure the insults, so I talk back too. Is it OK to leave, and will Allah forgive me for talking back to them when I am angry?

Answer

I am so sorry that your parents are abusing you. It is unacceptable, inhumane, and cruel to treat one’s child like this.

You Have the Right to Leave

As a young man, you have the right to leave and do not need their permission. However, it is not easy to live independently, and it will be a great shock for you to take care of yourself. You would have to cook, clean, do laundry, pay your bills, rent, etc. You will have to deal with the loneliness and take yourself to the task of being productive, organized, responsible, and resisting temptation. Also, moving out might not remedy your anger.

Isitkhara

I would not be hasty in making such a decision. You must pray istikhara first, at least seven days, at tahajjud time, just before dawn, and ask Allah to guide you to what is suitable. Please see this link: Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance. Put Allah first in everything you do, and you will have blessings in your decision. You should follow the guidance and move out if it comes out positive. If it is negative, you should stay for now. It may be more suitable for you to carry later.

Cutting Ties

Now, cutting ties with parents is your last issue. This is not permissible in Islam and disrespecting them is a major sin. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the ties of kinship.” [Bukhari] The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” [Bukhari]

If you happen to move out, you will want to call them at least once a week, to the point that you can bear their harm. It is permissible to speak to them less frequently, as long as you are both comfortable and not holding grudges.

While you are still at home, although handling them is challenging, you should continue to try not to speak back and respond to them gently and honestly. Tell them you don’t want them to insult you and you would like more respect. Tell them that they hurt you and you want to live peacefully at home instead of being driven out. Tell your mother that if she is kinder to you, you would like to spend more time with her. This cycle of anger, insulting, anger, and insulting have to stop. It’s very unhealthy, and I fear that you might become a verbal abuser, yourself to your children.

Anger and Forgiveness

I know that this kind of treatment can cause one to be very angry. Please release your anger somehow to a counselor, religious friend, or imam. Channel your anger into something beneficial, like exercising, going out in nature, or learning a new skill. Also, tell all your rage to Allah, Most High, for He is there to listen. Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says, ‘I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him?’ He continues like this till the day breaks.” [Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said, ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. O son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.’” [Tirmidhi] Fear not, brother your Lord is ready to forgive you as long as you are prepared to repent.

Things Will Change

Trust in Allah Most High that things will change in sha Allah. Although it seems impossible, they won’t be treating you like this when you are in your 40s, and you cannot allow them to. In life, the tables always turn, and one then forgets the pain they went through or at least forgives the oppressor. May Allah keep you safe and sound and give you success in this world and the next.

Consider taking this course so that you can understand their rights and can choose your actions accordingly—excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents. Also, say these du’as daily after your five prayers to ask Allah Most High for His divine help. Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing

Check these links:
How Do I Deal With an Abusive Father?
How to Deal With a Verbally Abusive Father?
Am I Sinful for Not Answering the Phone Calls of My Abusive Father?
My Father Verbally Abuses My Mother and Siblings. Is It Sinful for Me to Move Out?
How Do I Deal With Anger?

[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.