Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I have never been close to my mother.I always thought she is not good. She hurts my feelings and if she hits me I would hit her back.But now I have come to realize how bad it is to misbehave with my mother.
I want to be a good muslim. Please tell me how can I change myself to stop disliking her?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that this finds you well. I am truly sorry that you have suffered abuse at the hands of your mother and that it has pushed you to hurt her back. This is a deep wound which requires healing. Although there are deep cultural and faith taboos surrounding child and parent abuse, you are not alone in your suffering.
No, this is not a sin for which you should be stoned or whipped. However, you do need to apologise to your mother and make a sincere effort to not hit her again. Although it is sinful for her to oppress you, it is also sinful for you to oppress her.
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,”If a young man honors an elderly on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to honor him in his old age.” [Tirmidhi]
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [Quran, 17:23]
Seek professional help
It would be ideal if both you and your mother could see a family therapist. Family therapists or counsellors are trained to help family members identify and then change problematic patterns of behaviour. Both you and your mother must be willing to change for this to be successful. Unfortunately, it is common for many parents to refuse any attempts at counselling.
If that is the case, I would suggest that you still see a therapist, counsellor or psychologist on your own. Finding a good therapist is a hit-and-miss experience, but pick one who respects your belief and value system, and helps you manage your anger.
Look into self-hypnosis or hypnosis by a trained professional. Hypnosis is one of the fastest and most effective ways to change automatic and ingrained behaviour.
If you fear that your mother will hit you and that you will hit her back, is it possible for you to consider living elsewhere? Perhaps you can live separately until you can get your anger under control. Your mother wrongs you by abusing you, but that does not give you the right to strike out at her. It may be better for both of you if you limit contact while you heal.
To help soothe your heart, please make daily istighfar and read salawat upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Lean on your loved ones and trusted friends while you heal. Look after yourself during this time. Remember to eat a healthy diet and exercise to help you manage your moods.
Please see: Will Allah forgive someone who I forgive for wronging me?
and: A little fiqh on controlling one’s anger and: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani