How Can I Deal With My Difficult Mother in a Respectful Way?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil


My mother has never been good at expressing her love towards me.

Her behaviour has caused me a lot of pain. She forced me to marry a guy just because it would look good in the eyes of people and that marriage ruined my life.

She lies all the time. I have come to a point where I don’t even feel like talking to her. Things are tense with my brother also. What is the right thing to do?


I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for wanting to do things right by your mother.

The Rank of Your Mother

Mu’awiyah ibn Jahima reported: Jahima came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, I intend to join the expedition and I seek your advice.” The Prophet said, “Do you have a mother?” He said yes. The Prophet said, “Stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” [Nasa’i]

As difficult as it might be to hear this, your mother still has rights over you. Please commit to completing this course, The Rights of Parents, to give you a better idea about the rank your mother has, and your responsibilities towards her. Although she sounds like an extremely difficult person to be around, she still deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. You do not need to agree with or condone what she does, but you do need to fulfil your end of the deal. Allah will not question you on what she did, but He will question you on how you responded to her. May Allah helps us all be patient with our parents, as they have been patient with us.

Dealing with Her

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Give each other gifts and you will love each other.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Accept that your mother has a very bad habit of lying. If you don’t expect anything different from her, then you are less likely to be disappointed. If she chronically denies having lied to you, then pushing her to tell the truth will only aggravate both of you and worsen an already strained relationship. She is the way she is, and she is a test of your good character. You can apply this to your brother, too.

Focus on building bridges. Make happier memories with her, if at all possible. Make her tea or coffee. Buy her gifts. Help her with errands. Focus on her positive qualities, especially the fact that she gave birth to you and raised you into who you are today.


Please see a counsellor, psychologist or life coach to help you learn how to stay well despite your mother. It would help to learn coping strategies as well as better communication and conflict resolution methods. A good therapist will help you see your contribution to this problematic interaction with your mother, and help you change things from your end. You cannot change your mother’s behaviour, but you can learn how to better manage your own behaviour.


Never underestimate the power of dua. If you want lasting change, complain about creation to the Creator. Allah knows the contents of mother’s heart, and He alone can change it. Wake up before Fajr and make heartfelt dua for Allah to help you. Perform the Prayer of Need.


I pray that Allah blesses you with a righteous and loving spouse, and grants you the gift of children. Once you have a child of your own, you will be better able to forgive and appreciate your own mother, despite all the pain she has caused you. I pray that Allah grants you the chance to be a more loving mother to your own children.

Please refer to the following links:
Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents
I Can’t Stop Misbehaving With my Mother. What Can I Do?
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

[Ustadha] Raidah
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.