Question: My mother is making us suffer. She thinks she is always right. She brainwashed my sister and I from a young age to hate our father. Now as adults, we know it’s the opposite. She is toxic and has emotionally abused us and broken my father’s spirit many times. I can no longer bear this.
Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother,
I deeply empathize with your situation. It is terrible to live in a troublesome and restless home. I pray that Allah removes you from this situation soon.
I know someone who had a very similar experience. This person had a difficult mother who played the victim and blamed her husband, and she practically drove him mad. He responded by cheating on her, and all the children considered their home a “sad” home. However, when the children grew up, married, and moved out, things got better.
Everything in this world is a test and it won’t last forever. Allah will judge you according to your intentions and choices. Try to handle the situation for yourself first, before trying to help anyone else.
1) Mitigate the daily harms, by waking up each morning with an open and forgiving heart. Remember that most parents are far from perfect. Be cheerful, give your mom a hug, smile, and do something nice for her. It will be harder for her to always be negative when you are being positive. Encourage her to go out with you more, join religious circles, and be around positive, pious people.
2) Do not engage her when she argues, keep silent to her provocations, busy yourself with something or as a last resort, leave the room. She will soon figure out that her words fall on deaf ears. If being at home is unbearable, take up a new beneficial hobby, find a religious class to join or spend more time outside with pious friends.
3) Defend your dad, if it helps. If it doesn’t, you don’t need to involve yourself in their fight. Never get angry. Only involve yourself if you can help to resolve it peacefully or prevent a fight.
4) Fulfill all of your obligations to Allah. He is the one who sent you the problem and He can send you the solution. Pray five times a day on time, fast Ramadan and make up what you have missed, pay zakat on time, give charity regularly, read some Qur`an every day with the meaning, eat only from the halal, lower your gaze, and study hard. Once you fulfill all of your responsibilities to your Lord, trust in Him to take care of the rest. Hand all your problems over to Him.
As for your sister’s health, consider taking her to a naturopath, homeopath or conventional doctor. She should not allow her health to worsen through negligence. This ulcer can heal in sha Allah.
Also, try your best not to imitate this behavior when you have children. It seems obvious, now, that you would not, but people easily slip into what they saw growing up. Make an active intention now to be different. May Allah help you accomplish that.
Allah, Most High, says, “They grieve at any good that befalls you [believers] and rejoice at your misfortunes. But if you are patient and conscious of God, their scheming will not harm you in the least: God encircles everything they do” [Qur`an, 3:120].
May Allah give you and your family well-being, good health and tawfiq.
[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, tafseer 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.