How to Find Solace and Peace with Unjust Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I read this hadith in a SeekersGuidance answer about angering parents: “If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him.” He was asked, ‘Even if they wrong him?’ ‘Even if they wrong him,’” he replied. [Bayhaqi]

This hadith doesn’t decrease my faith, but it’s still frustrating. I know Allah is All-Just, but this seems to contradict that. I know I must obey my parents, but if they are disrespectful, unjust, or extremely angry for no good reason, it’s hard to find solace in this behavior.

I know children have rights that parents must fulfill. But when the parents aren’t fulfilling their rights, there’s nothing a child can do but take the verbal abuse. Not just that, but Allah Most High is displeased with them even when the child didn’t do wrong or is reacting to what was done unjustly to them.

Answer

May Allah reward you for striving to be your best to your parents and may He facilitate this matter for you and grant you a loving and easy relationship with your parents.

Hadith

This hadith from Adab al-Mufrad has been deemed weak, but the meaning is sound. A weak hadith does not mean that it is fabricated or baseless, and according to the shari`ah, this hadith goes back to an established principle, which is the honor and respect of parents, as is clear from the Quran.

Please see this link for details:
Should I Act on a Weak Hadith?

Parents

That being said, it is not from the sunna and is, in fact, sinful for parents to treat their children harshly, take away their rights, belittle them, or abuse them. They will be accountable for this on the Day of Judgment, and the child who is patient with them will have reaped his reward with Allah. Additionally, a child is not expected to put up with this behavior; if he can, he must protect himself from them.

However, I encourage you to remember that your question applies to any person under the authority of a tyrant. This may be a woman subjected to an abusive husband or a citizen subjected to a tyrannical ruler. Similarly, a person can be abused by a peer, such as a friend or relative. Allah is with the patient and abused, and the victim should rely on Allah, exercise their rights, and take all the worldly means necessary to deal with the problems.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Beware. Every one of you is a shepherd, and everyone is answerable about his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducts their affairs). A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children). A slave is a guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware, every one of you is a guardian, and every one of you shall be questioned about his trust.” [Muslim]

Solace

In each case, the victim should remember this hadith for their solace:

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 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]

اللَّهُمَّ اقْسِمْ لَنَا مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ مَا تَحُولُ بِهِ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ مَعَاصِيكَ وَمِنْ طَاعَتِكَ مَا تُبَلِّغُنَا بِهِ جَنَّتَكَ وَمِنَ الْيَقِينِ مَا تُهَوِّنُ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا مُصِيْبَاتِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتِّعْنَا بِأَسْمَاعِنَا وَأَبْصَارِنَا وَقُوَّتِنَا مَا أَحْيَيْتَنَا وَاجْعَلْهُ الْوَارِثَ مِنَّا وَاجْعَلْ ثَأْرَنَا عَلَى مَنْ ظَلَمَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى مَنْ عَادَانَا وَلَا تَجْعَلْ مُصِيبَتَنَا فِي دِينِنَا وَلَا تَجْعَلِ الدُّنْيَا أَكْبَرَ هَمِّنَا وَلَا مَبْلَغَ عِلْمِنَا وَلَا تُسَلِّطْ عَلَيْنَا مَنْ لَا يَرْحَمُنَا

O God, apportion to us such fear of Thee as will come between us and acts of disobedience to Thee, such obedience to Thee as will bring us to Thy paradise, and such certainty that the calamities of this world will be made easy for us by Thee; let us enjoy our hearing, our sight and our power as long as Thou dost grant us life, and do the same for those who inherit from us; grant us revenge on those who have wronged us and help us against those who are hostile to us; let no calamity befall our religion, let not worldly affairs be our greatest care or all that we know about, and let not those who do not show mercy towards us rule over us.” [Tirmidhi]

Turn to Allah

I encourage all abuse victims to turn to Allah in their daily practice by fulfilling their obligations to him first. They should trust in Him, supplicate to him and empower themselves to do their best regarding their situation. Others who witness abuse should also speak up and defend the weak. Find solace in praying, dhikr, reading the Quran, and seeking answers. Take help and advice from those who can help. This world is a test, and all suffering, pain, and injustice will end and be accounted for by the grace of Allah.

Please see these links as well:
Rights of Parents
What Constitutes Disobeying One’s Parents (’Uquq al-Walidayn)?
When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

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 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.