My Father Emotionally Abuses Us and I Have Sinned With Someone of the Same Gender. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am an unmarried young woman who barely practises Islam.


My father emotionally abuses my mother, my siblings and me. He loves to humiliate my mother who has cancer. This makes me so sad. I have recently found out that my father is speaking to another woman. I haven’t told my mother because she is already so unwell.

Also, I have sinned with another young woman. I can’t stop thinking about what we did.

I feel so ashamed about the sins I’ve done. What do I do about all the prayers I missed?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, I am so sorry for all the heartache you have gone through. I pray that Allah lifts your tribulations, and grants you a complete healing.

Father

Narrated Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]

Yes, we are obligated to treat our parents with respect and kindness, but we are also obligated to protect ourselves and our loved ones from oppression. Your father is oppressing your mother. He is obligated to stop and ask for her forgiveness.

I am so sorry that you have all endured so many years of abuse. Your father sounds like a deeply troubled man with many unresolved issues. People like him often taken out their anger and disappointment at those under their care. This is not the way of our Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace), who was the best to his family.

Is there a community elder or family member he respects and listens to? I encourage you to ask them for help. Only approach them if you feel it will cause more benefit than harm. If confiding in others will cause more harm to your mother, then refrain and think of another strategy.

I encourage you, your siblings, and your mother to attend family counselling sessions. Ideally, it would be beneficial for your father to join too. Even if he does not want to go, please go on your own. Growing up with an abusive father who is so hostile to your mother damages on the way you view love and trust. It is possible to heal, so seek comfort in that.

Mother

Your mother is unwell, and part of her healing means that she needs to be in a loving and safe environment. Many women stay in abusive marriages out of financial dependence, fear of what others will say, and many other reasons. Alhamdulilah, your mother is educated and works at university, and I pray that she is not financially dependent on your father. I encourage you to speak to your mother about seeing a marriage counsellor with your father. If he resists, then say to her that divorce is permissible in Islam, especially if one’s spouse is actively causing harm. I am very concerned that your father is having an affair with another woman.This puts your mother’s health at even more risk. I pray that Allah facilitates your mother’s recovery by blessing her with a tranquil home.

Your father sounds like he has taken your mother completely for granted, and if divorce is the only way he can stop harming her, then it may be a tremendous mercy for both of them.

Friend

Acting upon same-sex attraction is sinful. Each time you have thoughts of repeating this sin, please seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan, make wudu, and occupy yourself with acts of good.

As you have sinned with this young woman and she is a source of temptation for you, I strongly suggest that you remove yourself from her life. Please do your best to limit your contact with her, for the sake of pleasing Allah. Work towards ending your friendship completely. If cutting off ties with her immediately will work better for you, then please do that instead.

Find friends who will remind you of Allah, and call you to good. Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to help you in this situation. It is natural to want love, sexual fulfilment and companionship, but it is important to gain that through permissible means. Please see a culturally-sensitive counsellor and work on healing. I pray that this turbulent phase in your life will pass and be a distant memory.

There is a great push in today’s society towards embracing an active homosexual lifestyle, but this is not the way of our Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). Even if you do not find yourself attracted to men and do not see marriage as a viable option for you, your spiritual struggle is to remain celibate. Please read this article written by a Muslim man who is doing just that: The Strange Elephant In The Room: Struggles, Passions and Hopes. I pray that Allah rewards you for refraining from sin, for His sake.

Repentance

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Verily, Allah when He created the creation, He wrote with His Hand concerning Himself, that: ‘My mercy prevails over My wrath.’” [Tirmidhi]

Alhamdulilah, it is not too late for you to make your repentance. The fact that you wrote to us is already a sign of Allah’s concern for you. No matter how numerous your sins, dear sister, Allah’s Mercy is far, far greater. I pray that this will be the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) stated, “None makes the religion difficult except that it overcomes him. So, aim for what is right, stick to the moderate way…” [Bukhari]

1) Make the intention to pay back your prayers, and come up with a reasonable plan to do so.
2) Learn the personally obligatory parts of your religion (purity, prayer, fasting, zakat) on SeekersHub, once registration reopens. Sign up for one course per term. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself. Start with either Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP) or Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Shafi’i Jurisprudence (STEP).

Please write back if you have any more questions. I pray that Allah grants you healing, tranquility, and the courage to draw nearer to Him.

Please see:

Estimating the Number of Makeup Prayers
Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents
Tackling Homosexual Feelings: Supplication, Repentance, and Going Cold Turkey
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
A Reader On Gender Interaction

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.