Answered by Shaykh
Question: I’m a woman who lives with both parents and siblings home. My dad has sexually abused me for 13 long years without my mom knowing. Do I have any right to leave my parents’ home and never speak to my dad again?
Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh
Dear sister, I pray Allah gives you a quick release from these difficulties you have endured. The difficulty of the situation and the burden of the secret must have been unbearable.
You have every right to leave your parents’ home; in fact, you must. You need to take all the steps to get yourself out of harm’s way, as living in such an environment is clearly very harmful to you.
Allah Hates Oppression
The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, quoted Allah Almighty Himself to have said, “Truly, I have made it forbidden on myself to wrong anyone; and I have made it severely forbidden for you! So do not oppress each other!“ (Muslim)
Allah hates oppression, and it is necessary for you to end this cycle by moving away to your new school. This will prevent the continuation of this problem.
When you are ready, you need to discuss this matter with your mother. Do not break ties with her due to your father’s actions. She must know, as there are legal ramifications to this situation too. Also, if he has been secretly doing this to you all these years, it is very likely that there have been other victims.
If he’s managed to keep it a secret from your mother, it’s possible that you could have kept other similarly vile acts a secret. Even if there aren’t any other females he has access to, it needs to be brought up: some younger males could be in danger too.
At this point, you need to get out of harm’s way and focus on healing. I don’t advise you to go near your father again for the foreseeable future. The scars you have will take a long time to heal. You will need a lot of therapy and a supportive company to move beyond this.
This is a safeguarding issue, and it should be reported to the authorities. Usually, it is the silence of the victims that emboldens people like this to prey on others. This may even be in his own interests to prevent him from further harm to others.
Keep supplicating to Allah for a way out, healing, and for you and your loved ones to stay safe. In the Qur’an, Allah commands us to be excellent to our parents (Qur’an, 17:23). The wording indicates that they deserve this just for being the means of entering this world.
Putting up with harm, and restraining yourself from a bad response are both forms of excellence. If things do get out don’t you yourself think that you are being bad, and don’t let anyone else convince you of that either. I’d say you’ve shown plenty of excellence through these all these years, to both of your parents.
Find someone who can support you through this and take the necessary steps. Don’t think about cutting ties or anything right now. The priority is to get away and heal. Things may get worse before they get better.
You don’t have to go near him, nor do you have to speak to him at this point. In fact, it’s better you don’t.
As a closing thought, I’d say that such tests are not given to everyone. They are very hard, and the pain may seem unbearable, but the gifts Allah has in store for you will be infinite and unimaginable great. Have a daily dose of reminders on patience and fortitude, and this seminar may be useful on your journey to healing. Get professional help.
May Allah take very special care of you. Amin.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.