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How Do I Deal With a Mother Who Only Shows Me Affection When She Wants Something From Me?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org


The only time my mother talks to me nicely is when I do housework. I do respect her and treat her well, and I help out around the house as the eldest daughter, caring for my siblings, and run errands for her, but never once have I felt that she was ever grateful or even cared about me. She would only touch me to get me to do chores. When I cry in front of her out of stress or anxiety, she scolds me and backs away from me. Please give me advice.


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that your mother is not affectionate and gives you the cold shoulder when you are upset.

A Person’s Experiences

Please understand that her life experiences made her into the person she is now. It may be that her parents were not loving, or it may be that they did not know how to show their love. She may have always been encouraged to suppress her emotions and show a tough shell. I am certain that your mother loves you, and I am certain that she is proud of the young lady that you have become.


The advice I am going to give you is what I learned from books on marital advice. As an adult, if you want affection, you must give it first. Start hugging your mother every morning when you wake up. Do it every day, and make it a habit without fail. She will be taken aback at first, but she will come to love it and expect it. If your mother is sitting down somewhere, do not hesitate to sit next to her or put your head in her lap. As the eldest, you will be averse to this, but these habits will change the course of your relationship, by the grace of Allah.


Generally speaking, mother-daughter relationships improve with time, especially if you start good habits. When you are older, married or not, you will start being an example for her, and you can communicate to her that it is OK to be more loving and open with her feelings. This will benefit your siblings as well. Your test, for now, is to treat her in the way that is best for both of you. Show patience, encourage emotions, and try to bond with her by going out alone with her, doing her favorite activities with her, praying with her, or listening to her stories.

Turn to Allah

In the meanwhile, turn to Allah with supplication, for He sees and appreciates everything that you do. Give in regular charity, even if only a little, be the best Muslimah that you can be, and build your relationship with your Lord. There is no problem that Allah sends down that He cannot solve, so ask for mercy and kindness to be put between your hearts. Make the intention to be a loving and affectionate parent yourself. See the extent of Allah’s mercy below. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, Allah created, on the same very day when He created the heavens and the earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the heavens and the earth, and He out of this mercy endowed one part to the earth. It is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another, and when there would be the Day of Resurrection, Allah would make full (use of Mercy).” [Muslim]

[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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