How Do I Deal With a Mother Who Interferes and Humiliates Me Always?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


From my early toddler years into my early 20s I have suffered a lot of physical abuse at the hands of my mum. As well as humiliation, insults. My mum takes great pride in thinking her children fear her. She interferes repeatedly in my relationships with my own daughters, especially my eldest who is 13. She still belittles me in front of them and other family members. I, alhamdulillah, have much patience with her. But I no longer want a relationship with her, I truly, genuinely don’t do anymore. I can’t anymore. What does Islam say on this matter?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your patience and having the strength to not talk back and fight with her. Truly you are honoring her and will be rewarded, by the grace of Allah.

Respecting Parents

Allah, Most High, said: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say, My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they raised me when I was small.” [Quran, 17:23-24] The rank of parents is great, and I suggest that you keep a minimal relationship with your mother where you can cope and still benefit from honoring her.


Needless to say, it is not permissible for your mother to disrespect you and abuse you emotionally, especially in front of your daughter. One who insults others is, in reality, insulting themselves, and one who puts others down is in reality putting oneself down. Thank Allah that you don’t have her qualities, in sha Allah, He will increase you in good character. Don’t let your mother interfere with your life decisions or with what you decide for your children. You and your husband decide what is right and wrong for them, and never let her affect your decisions unless you see benefit from her advice. Many times, a grandmother has had far too much control over their grandchildren’s lives and it is not right.


I think the answer in your situation is to try and control the environment when you are with her as much as you can. There is no need to cut her off, but reduce your visits and call less often. When you do see her with your children, make it short and sweet. Don’t hang around too long to talk, and suggest that you all pray Isha together, and after that, leave. Always come bearing a small gift or sweet, or coffee, or anything that she likes. Try to ask her questions about things that don’t upset you. Talk about recipes, write them down, and get her to talk about the things she loves so that she takes the focus off of you. Parents particularly love talking about their youth.

Be Open

Try speaking to her openly about it, as well. If she says something mean about you, you have the right to say something, but don’t be rude. You could say that you are sure that your daughter doesn’t want to hear old stories about you, or that this topic makes you uncomfortable. You can also cut it short and change the topic again, and always try to leave after washing the dishes or praying together. It is sunna to sleep early, and not many good things happen after Isha. Also, consider visiting her less often with your children, and go alone more often.

Turn to Allah

As with all problems, turn to Allah first, and ask Him to help you deal with your mother in the best way possible. Pray on time, read some Quran every day, and supplicate to Allah before dawn with the Prayer of Need that things improve. Seeking religious knowledge will give you some peace and will benefit her as well. Encourage her to take care of herself and learn her religion, so that she keeps busy. I know a number of older ladies who started studying the meaning of the Qur’an through telephone group classes, and now they are hooked. They are too busy to meddle in people’s lives.

Most importantly remember this valuable prophetic hadith, “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Ibn Majah]

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.