Can I Defend My Mother From My Abusive Father?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Can I defend my mother when my father abuses her? My mother is sick with many illnesses because of old age. When she rests, he says she’s lying about being sick or just plain lazy. I try to help her clean and cook, but she doesn’t like it because of my father’s constant abusive language towards her.

My father calls her all sorts of names and threatens to kill her when all she does is stay at home, clean, and cook. He even throws my mother’s food at her or on the floor. He has cheated on her and forces her to please him sexually when my mother cannot due to her health.

I always defend my mother by insulting his actions and telling him that he is wrong, but it never works. Then he starts to threaten me and abuse me, too, for protecting her.


I empathize with your pain and difficulty with your abusive father. What he is doing is not right to his wife, and he is committing more than one unlawful deed in his treatment of her.

You are correct that it is not permissible to place your hands on him, but if your father does get physically violent with your mother, it is permissible for you to break them apart or insert yourself between them somehow to stop the madness or to shield your mother. You may also defend her when he verbally abuses her; this is akin to chivalry.

At saying this, it saddens me tremendously that a young woman has to endure this behavior at home, and I pray that you have an outlet or halal coping mechanism to deal with your emotions. Please talk to an imam, counselor, or elder who can help you channel your grief. Consider taking walks in nature, exercising, listening to Islamic odes, reading….etc.

Supplicate to Allah before dawn, pray the Prayer of Need, and use your free time for dhikr, Quran, gaining knowledge, and spending time with pious people. Despite the bad atmosphere at home, do something for yourself to help you grow spiritually.

This is how powerful your du’a is: 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]

Please see these excellent full answers on how to deal with an abusive father:
How Can I Help My Mother Despite My Abusive Father
How To Deal With a Verbally Abusive Father

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, 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.