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Parental abuse and child now suffering as an adult

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.ca

Question:

I am a man in my early 30’s. I am from Pakistan and currently living in Canada with my parents and one brother. I came to Canada when I was twelve.

I have suffered physical, emotional, and verbal abuse from both my parents. The earliest memories of physical abuse I have are from when I was five years old. The physical abuse continued up until I was twelve when we came to Canada. They only stopped then because they knew that they could get in trouble with the law for hitting. The verbal and emotional abuse continues to this day.

The physical abuse (in Pakistan) included daily beatings from either or both parents. My dad’s beatings were far more traumatic, as he often beat me until I stopped breathing and started turning purple. This would leave bruises on my back as well. My mom’s beatings were much more frequent but not as traumatic. I grew up in fear. I was scared of everything: scared to talk to people, scared to engage in activities with my peers at school. By age nine to ten, I became really quiet and hardly talked. I have suffered all my life and continue to suffer today. I am now in my early 30s. I still suffer from anxiety, panic and intense fear, especially around people and in close spaces. This has resulted in me being unemployed most of the time. When I do get a job, I usually end up leaving or getting fired due to being anxious and not being socially engaging. I start to call in sick at work and with enough absences, they fire me.

I am not able to move out on my own due to these circumstances, as I don’t have money. I am now starting to work on my life, work on my anxiety, and fear so I can get a job and hopefully (inshallah) move out. I believe once I move out, I will start to feel better and make better progress in my life and in my mental health challenges.

The question I have is this. I have tried to love my parents, being a Muslim, trying to move past what happened. But, it doesn’t work. They still verbally and emotionally abuse, putting me down and blaming for things that I have nothing to do with. This brings back all my past memories of physical abuse. I start to relive them. It feels like they are beating me now. In psychology, they call it Complex PTSD.

They haven’t changed one bit in all these years. They still gossip about others and act like they are perfect or really good human beings. I don’t agree with this. In the recent months, I have started to hate them as they were causing me to suffer horribly mentally. I have stopped talking to them. I stay away from them. I don’t like to be in the same room with them, whether it is the kitchen or living room, etc. Since I have stopped talking to them, I am starting to feel better.

I am reading books on mental health. I am reading the Holy Quran. I am even starting to look into building a career. The question is Islam says to love your parents and even my parents tell me I should talk to them and show them respect as that’s what the Holy Quran says. I agree with that. But, my situation is different. I can’t seem to love them anymore.

What should I do? I am really confused. I believe they betrayed me and cause me to suffer for almost 30 years. I have thought about committing suicide because of them many times in my life. Please give me some suggestions. Thank you.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We received your question with great sadness. Not necessarily sadness for you, as we have hope in your future, but sadness over knowing people harm others in this way despite Allah saying:

وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Do good for Allah loves those who do good. (al-Baqarah 195)

إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا

If you do good, then it is for your own benefit. If you do evil, you do it to yourselves. (Al-Isrā 7)

وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ

Do good as Allah has done to you. (Al-Qaṣaṣ 77)

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

Is the reward for good [anything] but good? (al-Raḥmān 60)

And the Prophet ﷺ saying, “He is not from us who does not show mercy to our youth and does not recognize the position of our elders.”[1] Mercy is a softness in the heart which leads to favoring another and showing goodness to them. The Prophet ﷺ is commanding us to show kindness to our young and informing us that a Muslim’s imān is incomplete without this kindness. For the young are comparatively weak, forgetful, and have little means to protect themselves.

So, his Sunnah was to show kindness to children. Sayyiduna Anas (rai Allahu `anh) served the Prophet ﷺ as a child and he ﷺ even referred to him as a son. The Prophet ﷺ showed him great patience whenever he asked him to do something.[2] Public acts of love and kindness with children are reported from him regarding Sayyiduna Ḥasan, Ḥusayn, and Usāmah.[3] Further, this relationship of mercy continued into adulthood as is reported with his daughter Sayyidah Fāṭimah (rai Allahu `anhum).[4]

When Allah ta`āla has not allowed abuse of animals, how is it a Believer would consider abuse of another human being as acceptable? Allah ta`āla said:

وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا

Those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin. (al-Aḥzāb 58)

The abuse and injustice of children is a grave matter and if not delt with in this dunya, may be accountable on the day of Judgment. On the other hand, in certain situations and with significant conditions, Islam has allowed physical punishment for children. This is limited to situations in which there is clear benefit for the child in adopting necessary knowledge, practice, and decorum (adab). Among its conditions is that no physical harm occur to the child. Increasingly today, many children do not benefit from this type of discipline, and it should be left. Anyone who goes beyond the boundaries or causes harm should beware of the Day of Judgment. The Prophet ﷺ was reported to have warned that a child will take retaliation for any excess in discipline on the Day of Judgement.[5] Likewise, he ﷺ warned us about verbal abuse saying, “Cursing a Muslim is an evil act.”[6]

Just as parents have a responsibility to teach their children good and treat them well, the children have a responsibility to respect their parents and treat them well.

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا ۖ وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا ۚ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ إِنِّي تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

We have enjoined upon man to do good to his parents. His mother carried him with difficulty and delivered him with difficulty. And his carrying and his weaning is (in) thirty months, until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says, “My Lord, grant me that I offer gratitude for the favor You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I do righteous deeds that You like. And set righteousness, for my sake, in my progeny. Of course, I repent to you, and truly I am one of those who submit to You. (al-Aḥqāf 15)

If a parent fails in their responsibility, the child is still obligated to fulfill his or hers for the sake of Allah. Parents are human and once were children themselves. It is said that hurt people hurt others. Perhaps, one’s parents may out of their own trauma, inexperience, or psychological issues act in ways that are harmful to themselves and others. One should empathize with them and attempt to help them correct themselves with wisdom and kind words. Never leave mentioning them in one’s duas and seeking forgiveness for them. One is obligated to be obedient to them unless they command something forbidden.[7] Look after their needs and attempt to make them happy to the best of one’s abilities. If one is unable to do this, one should at the very least prevent harm from coming to them from oneself and fulfill their necessary rights.[8]

Now, you should continuously attempt to improve your relationship with them. Attempt to talk to them even if they are unkind to you. Recall Allah’s words:

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا

If they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness. (Luqmān 15)

Despite shirk being the greatest injustice, we are commanded to speak to them kindly. Even more so, you should speak to them kindly despite their treatment. You should not avoid their company entirely, but you are not obligated to sit with them for such a period that would worsen your relationship, nor are you obligated to live with them if their needs are taken care of otherwise. Recall the good they have done for you, seek their forgiveness, include them in your duas, give adaqah on their behalf, and purchase small gifts for them frequently. In shā Allāh, over time, this will rekindle and increase your love for one another.[9]

With your long-standing feelings, we recommend you seek help through `ibādah such as recitation of Qur’an, extra nawāfil prayers beyond the obligatory ones, and adhkār of Allah ta`āla. Attend the gatherings of pious and knowledgeable people in your area. Additionally, seek help from a specialist in psychology or counseling. They should be knowledgeable in this field and a practicing Muslim of taqwa with basic knowledge of deen.

Know the nature of this dunya is one of trial. Some of us are tried more than others but none are tried beyond their capability. Be patient with each of your trials and turn towards Allah. In shā Allāh, each one will be a means of forgiveness and elevation of rank in the Hereafter. Today, there is difficulty, but tomorrow there will be significant ease. Allah ta`āla said:

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

As for those who heard the call of Allah and His messenger after the harm befell them; for those among them who do good and feared Allah, there is a great reward. (Aal Imrān 172)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا

Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow the reward of any who did well in deeds to be lost. (al-Kahf 30)

The Prophet ﷺ said, “The dunya is the jail of a Muslim and the paradise of the kāfir.”[10]

We ask Allah ta`āla to forgive your sins and the sins of your parents, give you patience and ease in this dunya, and grant you Jannah al-Firdaws.

And Allah taʿāla knows best

Maulana Mateen Khan
New Jersey, USA

Checked and approved by:

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hamīd al-Mahmudi

www.fatwa.ca
www.fatwa.ca 

 

[1] رياض الصالحين لنووي، باب توقير العلماء والكبار وأهل الفضل وتقديمهم على غيرهم، ورفع مجالسهم، وإظهار مرتبتهم، حديث 355
وعن عمرو بن شعيب، عن أبيه ، عن جده رضي الله عنهم قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏ “‏ليس منا من لم يرحم صغيرنا، ويعرف شرف كبيرنا‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏حديث صحيح رواه أبو داود والترمذي، وقال الترمذي‏:‏ حديث حسن صحيح‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

[2] صحيح البخاري، باب حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ، وَالسَّخَاءِ، وَمَا يُكْرَهُ مِنَ الْبُخْلِ، حديث 6038
 يَقُولُ حَدَّثَنَا أَنَسٌ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ خَدَمْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَشْرَ سِنِينَ، فَمَا قَالَ لِي أُفٍّ‏.‏ وَلاَ لِمَ صَنَعْتَ وَلاَ أَلاَّ صَنَعْتَ‏.‏

[3] سنن النسائي، باب هَلْ يَجُوزُ أَنْ تَكُونَ سَجْدَةٌ أَطْوَلَ مِنْ سَجْدَةٍ
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ شَدَّادٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي إِحْدَى صَلاَتَىِ الْعِشَاءِ وَهُوَ حَامِلٌ حَسَنًا أَوْ حُسَيْنًا فَتَقَدَّمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَوَضَعَهُ ثُمَّ كَبَّرَ لِلصَّلاَةِ فَصَلَّى فَسَجَدَ بَيْنَ ظَهْرَانَىْ صَلاَتِهِ سَجْدَةً أَطَالَهَا ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبِي فَرَفَعْتُ رَأْسِي وَإِذَا الصَّبِيُّ عَلَى ظَهْرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى سُجُودِي فَلَمَّا قَضَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الصَّلاَةَ قَالَ النَّاسُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّكَ سَجَدْتَ بَيْنَ ظَهْرَانَىْ صَلاَتِكَ سَجْدَةً أَطَلْتَهَا حَتَّى ظَنَنَّا أَنَّهُ قَدْ حَدَثَ أَمْرٌ أَوْ أَنَّهُ يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ “‏ كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَمْ يَكُنْ وَلَكِنَّ ابْنِي ارْتَحَلَنِي فَكَرِهْتُ أَنْ أُعَجِّلَهُ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ حَاجَتَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

صحيح البخاري، كتاب فضائل أصحاب النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم، باب ذِكْرُ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، حديث 3735
عَنْ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ حَدَّثَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَأْخُذُهُ وَالْحَسَنَ فَيَقُولُ ‏ “‏ اللَّهُمَّ أَحِبَّهُمَا فَإِنِّي أُحِبُّهُمَا ‏”‏‏.

[4] صحيح البخاري، كتاب النفقات، باب عَمَلِ الْمَرْأَةِ فِي بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا، حديث 5361
حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيٌّ، أَنَّ فَاطِمَةَ ـ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ ـ أَتَتِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَشْكُو إِلَيْهِ مَا تَلْقَى فِي يَدِهَا مِنَ الرَّحَى، وَبَلَغَهَا أَنَّهُ جَاءَهُ رَقِيقٌ فَلَمْ تُصَادِفْهُ، فَذَكَرَتْ ذَلِكَ لِعَائِشَةَ، فَلَمَّا جَاءَ أَخْبَرَتْهُ عَائِشَةُ ـ قَالَ ـ فَجَاءَنَا وَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا مَضَاجِعَنَا، فَذَهَبْنَا نَقُومُ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ عَلَى مَكَانِكُمَا ‏”‏‏.‏ فَجَاءَ فَقَعَدَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهَا حَتَّى وَجَدْتُ بَرْدَ قَدَمَيْهِ عَلَى بَطْنِي فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَلاَ أَدُلُّكُمَا عَلَى خَيْرٍ مِمَّا سَأَلْتُمَا، إِذَا أَخَذْتُمَا مَضَاجِعَكُمَا ـ أَوْ أَوَيْتُمَا إِلَى فِرَاشِكُمَا ـ فَسَبِّحَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ، وَاحْمَدَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ، وَكَبِّرَا أَرْبَعًا وَثَلاَثِينَ، فَهْوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمَا مِنْ خَادِمٍ ‏”‏‏.‏

[5] رد المحتار على الدر المختار، ابن عابدين، دار الفكر (الشاملة)، ج 4 ص 78
(والأب يعزر الابن عليه) وقدمنا أن للولي ضرب ابن سبع على الصلاة، ويلحق به الزوج نهر. وفي القنية: له إكراه طفله على تعلم قرآن وأدب وعلم لفريضته على الوالدين، وله ضرب اليتيم فيما يضرب ولده.

(قوله وفي القنية إلخ) وفيها عن الروضة: ولو أمر غيره بضرب عبده حل للمأمور ضربه، بخلاف الحر.

قال: فهذا تنصيص على عدم جواز ضرب ولد الآمر بأمره، بخلاف المعلم؛ لأن المأمور يضربه نيابة عن الأب لمصلحة والمعلم يضربه بحكم الملك بتمليك أبيه لمصلحة الولد اهـ وهذا إذا لم يكن الضرب فاحشا كما يأتي في المتن قريبا

رد المحتار على الدر المختار، ابن عابدين، دار الفكر (الشاملة)، ج 1 ص 352
(وإن وجب ضرب ابن عشر عليها بيد لا بخشبة) لحديث «مروا أولادكم بالصلاة وهم أبناء سبع، واضربوهم عليها وهم أبناء عشر»

(قوله: بيد) أي ولا يجاوز الثلاث، وكذلك المعلم ليس له أن يجاوزها «قال – عليه الصلاة والسلام – لمرداس المعلم إياك أن تضرب فوق الثلاث، فإنك إذا ضربت فوق الثلاث اقتص الله منك» اهـ إسماعيل عن أحكام الصغار للأستروشني، وظاهره أنه لا يضرب بالعصا في غير الصلاة أيضا.

(قوله: لا بخشبة) أي عصا، ومقتضى قوله بيد أن يراد بالخشبة ما هو الأعم منها ومن السوط أفاده ط.

فتاوی محمودیہ، جامعہ فاروقیہ کراچی، 1۴: ۱۲۷

فتاوی محمودیہ، جامعہ فاروقیہ کراچی، 1۴: ۱۲۹
اب پیٹنے کا دور تقریبا ختم ہو گیا، اس کے اثرات اچھے نہیں ہو تے

[6] صحيح البخاري، كتاب الفتن، باب قَوْلِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لاَ تَرْجِعُوا بَعْدِي كُفَّارًا، يَضْرِبُ بَعْضُكُمْ رِقَابَ بَعْضٍ، حديث 7076
قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ”

[7] وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا (سورة العنكبوت 7)

صحيح البخاري، كتاب الأدب، باب عُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْنِ مِنَ الْكَبَائِرِ، حديث 5975
عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ عُقُوقَ الأُمَّهَاتِ”

صحيح البخاري، كتاب الأدب، باب لَيْسَ الْوَاصِلُ بِالْمُكَافِي، حديث 5991
عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ لَيْسَ الْوَاصِلُ بِالْمُكَافِئِ، وَلَكِنِ الْوَاصِلُ الَّذِي إِذَا قَطَعَتْ رَحِمُهُ وَصَلَهَا ‏”‏‏.‏

 رد المحتار على الدر المختار، ابن عابدين، دار الفكر (الشاملة)، ج 4 ص 78
[فرع] في فصول العلامي: إذا رأى منكرا من والديه يأمرهما مرة، فإن قبلا فبها، وإن كرها سكت عنهما واشتغل بالدعاء والاستغفار لهما فإن الله تعالى يكفيه ما أهمه من أمرهما.

فتاوی دار العلوم دیوبند، مکتبہ دار العلوم دیوبند، ج ۱۶ ص ۵۰۶
باپ بیٹے کو تکلیف پہنچاتا ہے تب بھی باپ کی اطاعت کرنا چاہیے

[8] لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا  (سورة البقرة 286)

[9] فتاوی دار العلوم دیوبند، فاسق باپ کے ساتھ اولاد کو کیا معاملہ کرنا چاہیے؟، مکتبہ دار العلوم دیوبند، ج ۱۶ ص ۵۱۲

[10] صحيح البخاري، كتاب الزهد والرقائق، حديث 2956
 عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الدُّنْيَا سِجْنُ الْمُؤْمِنِ وَجَنَّةُ الْكَافِرِ ‏”‏ ‏.

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