Can I Ask My Father To Stop Talking to Me Unless He Needs My Help?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am 27 years and still live with my parents because they wouldn’t let me take our old cat who, as they say, loves me the most. I don’t want my old cat to miss me in her last few years so I stay with my parents.

My father loves me and tries to be kind sometimes but more often than not, he is a pain to be around. He was verbally abusive to me and my mother always. Now, he doesn’t yell at us but he is very negative, always needs attention, is demanding, lies, manipulates, yet never listens. I just feel bad in his presence.

Can I ask him to not talk to me unless he needs something and assure him that I will always help him when he needs me?

Answer

Thank you for your question. No, you cannot tell him that because of the disrespect that it entails.

Getting Along

I am sorry that you feel this way about your father and I pray that you can come to an understanding with him. Telling him not to speak to you is the ultimate disrespect, and silence is far better than this. Telling him not to speak to you will also make him more upset with you and aggravate his bad behavior. All you need to do is minimize contact by keeping yourself busy, sticking to a routine, and socializing in your free time. Bring your friends over, go out after work, or study in your room. Take some free courses here at Seekers to fill up your time, and benefit greatly at the same time.

Moving Out

My first impression is that you should move out. Staying for a cat, when it’s worsening your relationship with your father is not a good reason to live with them. You should strive to improve your relationship with your father, and moving out might be the key. Then you could call when you wish, visit when you wish, and you’ll find it easier to be good to him. Please pray istikhara and consider the benefits. Most relationships between children and parents improve after the kids move out.

In the Meantime

In the meantime, how will you cope? Try to bond with your father in useful ways. Ask for him to pray with you, exercise with you, and do activities with him that he enjoys. Pick up a coffee for him, make him tea, or some other friendly extra service that he doesn’t expect.

Obey Allah first, by fulfilling your duties to Him, reading some Quran daily, and by living your life according to the halals and harams. Supplicate to Him before dawn, and pray the Prayer of Need.

Give charity in order to alleviate this problem, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” [Tabarani, Al-Mu‘jam al-Awsat]

By the grace of Allah, you will find blessings rain down and you and your father changed.

Please see these links as well:
Filial Piety: Being Dutiful Towards One’s Parents: A SeekersGuidance Reader
Can I Hate My Father?
How to Deal with an Abusive Father?
How Can I Deal With a Father Who Abuses Me and Slanders Me?

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.