Can I Move Out and Live with Family Friends to Attend University?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am a 19-year-old Muslim girl who lives with her parents and five brothers. I have a bad relationship with my father as he was abusive towards me as a child. My mother also leads me to negative thoughts. I have, on occasion, attempted suicide because of my family’s attitude toward me.

I want to move away from my home to a new city, not on negative terms but with mutual understanding and consent. I am planning on living with a family of girls whose father only appears once or twice a week. I also will be attending university there and not living on campus.

Is this permissible?

Answer

Thank you for your question. Yes, it is permissible for you to live in such a situation but you should leave in the way that you mentioned.

School

It is permissible for a young lady to move away to go to school, though there can be some dislike in it if she is not safe and is prone to harm. Please see the full details here:
Can I Live on My Own as a Woman?
Is It Permissible for Me to Leave My Family Home and Live on My Own as an Unmarried Woman?

Relationship

Although it is permissible to go, I encourage you to leave on happy terms, with their consent and continue to keep in touch with your parents. Regularly calling them, and trying to be an upright daughter from a distance, is still important. As for your father, I don’t know how he abused you, but if you fear abuse from him again, you should protect yourself from getting too close. Otherwise, seek to heal your relationship with him.

But absolutely, and most importantly, you must seek professional help, if you are having suicidal thoughts. You need this in order to focus on anything else that you are trying to accomplish. Seek out a therapist at university, or speak to your doctor.

Accommodation

As for your new accommodation, it seems that you will be comfortable and safe with this family, in sha Allah. Just be sure never to be in isolation with their father, cover properly in front of him, don’t touch him, and follow gender interaction rules. Show respect, keep your areas clean, do chores, and make it a pleasure for them to have you, and not a burden.

Religion

I encourage you, during this time, to actively seek Allah’s pleasure and to not forget your religious obligations. Pray on time, study hard, read some Qur’an every day, and take some free courses here to review your personally obligatory knowledge. Take courses for the youth with Imam Yama, or a course pertaining to spirituality or the seerah (biography of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)).

Be Mindful

And most of all, remember this prophetic advice: Ibn ‘Abbas، may Allah be pleased with him, narrated, “One day I was riding behind the Prophet when he said, ‘O lad, be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you shall find Him with you. When you ask (for anything), ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek help from Allah.’” [Tirmidhi]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[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, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.