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Should My Mother Leave My Abusive Father?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: My parents have always fought. My dad can be very religious, but he has always treated my mother badly. He gets really mad at my mom that he ends up insulting her, swearing at her, insulting her in public, and more. He gives her the silent treatment, while she cooks fresh meals for him three times a day. My mom has cut ties with her friends, limited interaction with her own family, and is treated like a maid by my dad and his family. Every dispute leaves my mom crying and he hardly tries to understand or talk it out. There is no communication. A few days back, my mom found my dad growing more invested in a group chat and she noticed changes in his behavior. She checked his phone and found that he had talked to a few women outside the group chat. She asked him and he made it a huge issue and said that it was disgusting for her to grow suspicious of him. She finally broke down and blames herself for even checking it. We are all dependent on my dad and she asks me if she should move out because she only stays because of the kids.

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and helplessness at watching your mother suffer abuse from your father. Islam does not permit this kind of behaviour and it is far from the Prophetic Sunnah.

The absolute best advice that I can give you is in this link:


One should try to stop abuse to the extent that one is able to. You could try speaking to him calmly and asking him not to yell at her so much because it affects and harms the whole family. You could explain to him that you hope to get a spouse that does not yell at you that way he does at his wife. This might get him thinking. When you get older, you may even tell him that you are encouraging your mother to move out so that you can live peacefully apart.

Offer loving support

Finding ways to spend time alone with your mother – like doing an activity at home together, going to lunch, or learning a skill or taking a class together – can give you the opportunity to talk safely and let her know you love her. You can remind her that you are concerned about her and that she doesn’t deserve to be treated badly. This can go a long way for boosting her self-confidence and renewing her strength.


People who experience abuse often don’t do self-care because they are made to feel like they don’t deserve love or care. It’s normal to lose sight of ourselves when we’re dealing with high stress. But self-care is one healthy way to cope. Remind your mother that self-care is important for everyone – and try to practice it yourself for your own well-being so you can enable yourself to continue being a source of support for her. Being able to create a safe mental space to help you stay grounded when things get tough not only helps you but also the people around you.

Turn to Allah

This is a tremendous opportunity for both you and your mother to get closer to your Lord through du`a, ultimate submission to His will, and contentment with His decree. Channel all of your pain into discourse with your Lord in the depths of the night and wait patiently for Allah to send your family what is best in the timing and manner which He deems fit, without rushing or being impatient. Be the best Muslim that you can be and strive to fulfill Allah’s commands. Remind your mother of the value of her dua.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while”[Tirmidhi].

May Allah bless you and give you and your family the very best in this world and the next and send you the best solution.

[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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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