How to Deal with Emotionally Abusive Father?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My father has always been emotionally abusive. Our family always waited patiently for him to change, especially since he had a heart attack. We believed that it was a sign from Allah to make him realize he needs to change, but he isn’t seeing and listening to obvious signs. Please help, he is getting worse and worse day by day. We really can’t stand it anymore.
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your pain and frustration, and I’m sorry that you are suffering from his ill-treatment.
The way that your father is treating you is completely contrary to Islam and contrary to the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Your father must be deeply troubled by his past, and he is passing his trauma on to you because he doesn’t know how else to behave.
I highly encourage you to find a way to protect yourself from him. It is actually obligatory for you to remove yourself from an abusive situation in the nicest way possible. Everyone has the right to live with love, tranquility and honor. Try these steps to protect yourself when you are in a challenging moment with him.
- Take steps to move out, study, or work, and have your own family, and in sha Allah, you will find him much changed over time;
- Turn to Allah, learn your personally obligatory knowledge, read the Quran daily, be the best Muslim that you can be, and build your relationship with your Lord. There is no problem that Allah sends you that He cannot solve, so ask for His mercy, and a solution. He will surely come to your aid;
- Try journaling; once you get your emotions onto paper, it will be easier to process them and realize what you need to do. Plan to see a therapist;
- Spend time with good friends who are a positive and religious influence on you;
- Exercise, take your supplements and get very fresh air every day. Do not ever let your physical health suffer;
- If you ever feel that your physical safety is in danger, you have a right to call the police;
- Take the means to heal emotionally, and eventually, even if much later, forgive him. You should do this in hopes that Allah will forgive you your sins on the Day of Judgment.
Patience with Certitude
The Prophet, 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]
Make dua your greatest tool and solace.
Please see these links as well:
How Should I Handle Abusive Parents?
How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children?
How to Deal with the Emotional Abuse of My Father?
How Do I Deal With an Abusive Father?
My Parents Emotionally and Physically Abuse Me. Can You Help Me?
How to Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents
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.