How Can I Convince My Abusive Dad That He Needs to Provide for Us?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My dad currently doesn’t provide for us, and never did, because he believes the government benefits suffice. He said my brother got £1000 a week, but he really gets £67. My dad doesn’t listen when I tell him we need him to provide, or that it is his obligation. Also, he did something really wrong and upon speaking to him about it, he doesn’t admit it is wrong, let alone apologize. He verbally abuses others and I’m the only one that talks to him. Every time I do talk to him, he does something horrible to a family member. He shows no sign of stopping. I don’t know if the cycle of abuse will ever end as long as I keep talking to him, and my family thinks I cause the abuse. What do I do?

Answer

Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this abuse from your father, and that communication is not easy with him. May Allah open his heart and mind to what the reality is.

Communication

You should continue to be the one who speaks to him, and you should continue to try explaining to him his mistakes, and you are not responsible for his abusing others. However, if you continuously tell him and it is to no avail, you should consider a different approach.

  • Try having someone else speak to him, like a scholar, friend, or relative to tell him that he is obliged to provide and that the best charity is to his family.
  • Try telling him that you and your siblings will need to get part-time jobs to fill in the gaps. Maybe that will be a wake-up call.
  • Please check to see if he is giving you enough money but your family is asking for too much. I don’t want to make any assumptions
  • Appeal to his ego. Offer him something he likes in return. Perhaps he wants praise, respect, more attention. Usually, when you treat someone very well, they will loosen their pockets for you.
  • Make a spreadsheet showing all the expenses of the month; grocery, utilities, gas, and miscellaneous expenses so that he understands the issue better.

Abuse

It is not right for him to abuse anyone, and I urge you to tell your family members to protect themselves. They don’t need to put up with being put down, and they should avoid his presence, and minimize confrontation if they can. You should also defend them.

Please see these links for dealing with his abuse, and for financial advice:
6 Ways To Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents
Fun, cheap, or free
How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children?
How Should I Handle Abusive Parents?
How Do I Deal With Parents Who Are Constantly in Debt and Drain My Savings?

Turn to Allah

In the meantime, turn to Allah in your distress and need. Pray tahajjud, pray the Prayer of Need, give regular charity, for that increases wealth, and ask Allah to help you through this until your family can be independent of him. Allah Most High has told us, “O believers! Seek comfort in patience and prayer. Allah is truly with those who are patient.” [Quran, 2:153] Be steadfast in guarding your prayer, establishing good deeds, and fearing Allah as much as you can.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “A dinar you spend in Allah’s way, or to free a slave, or as a charity, you give to a needy person, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family.” [Muslim]

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.