I live with an abusive and mentally ill mother. My siblings and I have always been beaten until we were bruised or bleeding. We grew up mentally ill and in horror our whole lives. We recently got into a heated argument where she beat me up and tried to suffocate me until I couldn’t breathe anymore and fought back and ended up slapping her as a defense mechanism. Allah knows I didn’t intend to harm her, I only did it to live. I felt great guilt and swore I would never do it again, no matter what. Now, she has told everyone in the family that I hit her for no reason, and she keeps guilt-tripping me. Is it haram to defend oneself against a physically abusive parent?
Thank you for your question. May Allah ease your burden and give you healing and peace from the trauma you have suffered from. You were not sinful.
What you did is permissible to prevent yourself from dying. It was not sinful. I urge you to speak to a doctor or therapist and find the means to move out when you can. Mentally ill people can be too dangerous to live with, and you deserve peace of mind and safety. If your life is in danger again, you should call the police.
Please rise before dawn and supplicate to Allah to help you out of your situation: The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When half of the night or two-thirds of it is over, Allah (the Blessed and the Exalted) descends to the lowest heaven and says, ‘Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues saying it) until it is daybreak.’” [Muslim]
Please see these links for tips and steps that you can take
- How Should I Deal With a Mentally Ill Mother?
- How Do I Deal with My Abusive, Toxic, and Mentally Ill Mother
- How Can I Go On With This Abusive Mother?
- Do I Have the Right to Move Out, Away from My Toxic Mother?
[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 and completed her Master’s 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.