Can I Move Out To Heal From the Trauma of My Abusive Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I used to dress immodestly and I made the mistake of rushing into intimacy. I’ve been praying and asking Allah for forgiveness and repenting as much as I can. My mother hasn’t trusted me since. I understand that, but she has been physically abusive and not willing to trust that I am trying to change. The mental trauma from even before was so strong it hurt my health. The anxiety from my parents gave me so much stress that I have ulcers. The mental stress has caused me panic attacks in my sleep, vomiting, and excessive hair loss.

I am trying to be a better Muslim, but living at home is slowly killing me. Would leaving home and hurting my mother more be betraying Islam?

Answer

Thank you for your question.  I am so sorry that you are dealing with this trauma from your parents and I pray that you can find a way to heal from your pain and get along with your parents as well.

Respect

Although it is very important to respect parents and be good to them, you must do your best to prevent abuse from them. Being physically abusive is prohibited in Islam and your parents will be accountable for this behavior. Can you talk to someone who can give you good advice? Can you speak to a local imam or other elder or a third party who can intervene? Can you take some other step, before the last resort of moving out, to mend this? Sometimes parents are open to change if they come to realize the harm they are causing.

Moving Out

Moving out and living alone is permissible for a single lady, especially if she is being abused physically. You could also consider calling the police if things get worse, and you don’t see any improvement in sight. However, if you take this very serious step, you must do it with counseling and support. You should pray istikhara first, do it within the shari`ah, and keep yourself safe, physically and spiritually. At the same time, do not abandon what is obligatory in your religion.

See these links: Living Alone

Turn to Allah

Turn to Allah during this difficult time and rest assured that Allah forgives all sins except associating partners with him. Don’t dwell on your past as you have already repented, but rather, look to your future and help yourself. Your supplication is a great tool right now and you should supplicate daily before dawn, which is a special time for supplication to be answered. Most importantly, the supplication of a victim is accepted.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Tirmidhi]

Steps

Try these resources to kick-start some kind of mutual understanding with your parents and do take care of your health by seeing your physician.

6 Ways To Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents

How Do I Deal with My Abusive, Toxic, and Mentally Ill Mother

My Mother Abuses Her Children. What Do I Do?

How Can I Cope with My Abusive and Condescending Mother?

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.