Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I do not want to tell my mother that I was emotionally abused by a man she trusted. She is hurt because of my reticence. What do I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
You are in a delicate situation. On one hand, you do not want to worry her. On the other hand, you do not want to shut her out.
It sounds like your mother is in need of reassurance. It is sinful to hurt her feelings, and it is also sinful to backbite about your ex-partner without good reason. The key here, as always, is balance.
In certain situations, backbiting is permissible. This man has emotionally abused you, so if another woman enquires about him for marriage, then it is obligatory upon you to warn her. With this intention of warning others from harm, then it is permissible for you to divulge that to your mother.
It is not your responsibility to protect his image. Doing so will make it easier for him to abuse the next woman he gets involved with. I am not suggesting that you spread the truth far and wide, because that would be sinful. I am encouraging you to tell the truth to your mother, and to please ask her to keep it in confidence unless someone else enquires about him for marriage.
I suggest that you be start off by giving your mother as much information as you are comfortable with. You do not need to give her specific details.
Role play what you expect her to say, and prepare yourself for her probing questions, her upset feelings, her defensiveness – or whatever else you expect. Remember to keep calm.
Your mother loves you. Give her the opportunity to support you through your healing journey. Please lean on her during this time of loss and healing for you. The ending of one bad relationship can lead to the beginning of a far healthier one. I recommend that you read “Before You Tie The Knot: A Guide For Couples” by Salma Elkadi Abugideiri and Imam Mohamed Hag Magid.
Wake up in the last third of the night and perform the Prayer of Need. Pour out your sorrow to Allah. This is a precious time, between you and your Creator.
I pray that Allah grants you the gifts of a righteous and loving husband and children who will be the coolness of your eyes. Once you become a mother, then you will better understand the vast love and concern that your mother has for you.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & 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.