Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My father has been abusive physically, verbally, and emotionally to us and our mother for years. He used to drink, cheat and kick us out of the house at night. I’m not going to deny the fact that financially we were doing well, but we always lived in constant fear due to him threatening us that he’d leave us to die of hunger. Because I and my second brother are still unemployed, he constantly degrades us. Since the house is ours, do we have the right to tell him to leave?
Thank you for your question. May Allah help you through this ordeal and abuse; it is prohibited in Islam for him to treat you and your family like this.
Degradation and abuse
Your father has no right to abuse you, and he will be responsible for this behavior on Judgment Day. I applaud you for being grateful for his providing for you, but you have a right and obligation to protect yourself and your mother. You have to balance carefully between not accepting the abuse and maintaining basic respect and minimal interaction.
You should not hesitate to call the police when he gets physical, and you have the right to stop him from hitting you and others. When he gets abusive, you should leave the room, especially when he is drunk, and if necessary, for your safety, you should leave the house.
It is unclear to me how the house is yours. Have you bought it from him? Has he put the house in your name? Did he finance this house while you were growing up? It doesn’t seem logical to me that you would kick him out; it seems much more logical to me that you stand up on your own two feet and move out. Try to get employed and rent a place to start off. You can live with your brother. With time, you can move your mother out with you and leave your father where he is now. Consider seeking therapy on the matter; it will help to sort out your emotions and start healing.
Turn to the Most Merciful
Really there is no easy way to do this, and you should ask Allah to help you every step of the way. Turn to Him through patience, prayer, and supplication before dawn. Conversing with Allah and placing all your trust in Him is something that your father cannot take away from you. Find solace in this hadith:
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]
Please see these links as well:
Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the specifics of the situation.
[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 master’s 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.