How to Deal With a Verbally Abusive Father?
Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam alaykum,
Throughout my childhood, I witnessed my father beat my mother. I have reach the point of hitting him. I regret this so much and have asked him for forgiveness, but he continues to verbally abuse me to the point where I want to commit suicide. What do I do?
Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well.
Dear questioner, please seek out professional help. You are in a lot of pain, and it sounds like you need a culturally-sensitive counselor and psychiatrist.
I am so sorry that your father hit your mother until she bled, and that you and your sister have resorted to self-harm. You have been through a tremendous about of pain.
You need to learn better ways of coping with your strong feelings. A healthy, sound mind does not contemplate suicide, and the fact that you are reveals your deep trauma. Please look into the trauma healing work of Hakim Archuletta and Peter Levine.
Your father sounds extremely volatile and unwell. I pray that Allah grants him shifa.
Please keep yourself safe from his harm, but please do not cut ties with him. If you are still living in his house, then please do your best to find a better living situation. Do you have any other family members you can stay with? Find a group of good housemates you can live with.
Limit interaction with your father to a point which you can handle. Your sanity and emotional health matter to Allah. I pray that over time, you can heal, and then slowly increase your exposure to him.
Never despair in the mercy of Allah. The door of repentance is wide open for you. I urge you to wake up in the last third of the night and perform The Prayer of Need as regularly as you can.
I pray that Allah helps you transform your trauma, heals you, and makes you a means of good in this world and the next.
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
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 SeekersHub 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.