Question and answer details
|As-Salamu `Alaykum. I have a serious problem with my family. Two years ago, my family - apart from my father - immigrated to my home country to learn about our culture and to finish the Quran. At first, everything was great; I was learning more about Islam, and I felt I was growing closer to Allah. But then my mother started cheating on my father. My siblings and I have seen her messages on her phone which were very flirtatious and inappropriate. She also used to go out every night with this man she told us he was our uncle. I confronted her about it, but every time she would slap me and curse me. While all this was happening, my father was in England. Before we went to my country, my mother was very religious and a practicing Muslim. Now, she wears tight clothes and a very small hijab from which you can see her chest. Every time I tell her to stop doing this, she slaps me. When relatives come to my house, we have to pretend that we are a happy family and everything is OK. Two months ago, we came back to England and everything became worse. She kicked my dad out claiming he had hit her just so that he divorces her. We have tried everything for her to be a good mum. How can I escape this lie, and how can I get my life back as it used to be? Please give me your personal opinion on this matter and give me advice. Salams.|
|Dr. Maryam Bachmeier|
Wa ‘Alaykum As-Salam dear sister,
My heart is breaking as I read your story. Sometimes, we cannot know the hearts of others, even those who we are supposed to be the closest to. It seems your whole life feels shattered and that you feel betrayed by your mother. As difficult as it is to accept, we have to accept that we do not have all the facts, and we do not know why your mother behaves the way that she does. It is time for you to release both of your parents and to let their lives unfold.
You have been experiencing physical and emotional abuse from your mother, and this is not a healthy environment for you. You won’t be able to change her. It is time for you to focus on yourself and on your own relationship with ALLAH. I wonder, is it possible for you to live with your father? My prayer for you is that you are able to find an emotionally safe place where you can continue to grow spiritually while healing emotionally; a place where you can find the stability to support launching you into the next chapter of your life.
You are a bright young adult woman and your future is before you. Please do not get stuck in the issues of your parents. Pray for them. Ask ALLAH to guide them, and to forgive them. Let ALLAH be the judge and keep loving your mother while distancing yourself from the craziness of the dysfunction between her and your father. Then, let it all go; move forward in your life, explore what your goals for yourself are, and how you can best express your own ideals and faith in ALLAH. This is easier said than done.
It is very helpful to find a friend who you can confide in and trust that she will not disclose your family problems to others. You have experienced a lot of emotional pain and a safe place to process this pain would be helpful. Try to find a sister who has a strong faith in the goodness of ALLAH and who has time to listen. Make sure that you ask your friend to just listen and be clear when you just want to process, and when you really want advice. This will help you clear your mind so that you can have your own personal destiny as it would fulfill the purpose of ALLAH revealed to you. Remember, you have us here at Onislam.net as well.
You are grieving and this is normal. Your “old” life gave you a feeling that everything was going to make sense and that you have a strong supportive family system based on the faith of ALLAH. This illusion has been shattered. You ask, “How can I escape this lie and how can I get my life back to how it used to be?’ The answer is that you can’t.
But, there is hope. You can cry. And crying is healthy and cleansing and will clear your mind and your soul. You can cry for your own loss and for feeling alone if you have to. You can cry for the soul of your mother. You can cry for the heart of your father. And after you have cried a thousand tears, you can cry another ten thousand if you have to. You will not drown. ALLAH will be with you to hold every tear precious and cause it to water the seeds of life. This is how purification works. First, our own emotional self is cleansed, then our minds are washed clean, and we then see humanity (including our own family and friends) in a completely different light.
Once the illusions are shattered, we can be washed with tears and our perceptions of humanity and the people in our life will change. When that happens, we are able to enter into “true” relationship with them, because this process brings us so close to ALLAH and we become authentic before Him, the Lord of ALL CREATION; the LORD of our HEART and SOUL.
So, process and cry, and when you are in the mist of your tears, you will observe your tears turning into prayers. First, for your own healing, then these prayers for self-healing naturally evolve into prayers for the loved ones who you once felt betrayed by. You will find your love for them maturing, and you will care for them on a whole new level. You will be able to accept their darkness as their current condition, while praying for their healing. This will heal you also. Eventually, you will be able to let go of the hurt and confusion and the Light of ALLAH will fall onto your heart, mind, and soul with a completely new way of seeing.
If you are willing to try this approach, you can also continue to have a relationship with your mother. This is important. She is a human being. There is a bond between you. Perhaps she is lacking in understanding about what is real and where her focus should be right now, but the bond itself is sacred and may even be the force through which your mother is healed from what is hurting inside her and causing her to behave this way.
This is the natural way that the inner laws of ALLAH work with us. You are a precious being created by ALLAH. You are an adult woman now, and you are beginning the process of growing out of your dependency on your parents to complete dependency on ALLAH. Do not put your faith and trust in human beings.
We, human beings, are all on a path, struggling to find our way to ALLAH. This is the natural order of things. We will all be wrong. We will all make serious mistakes. We will all have regrets. The Mercy of ALLAH is great. And our purpose is to complete His will. This is a natural purpose. Suffering comes in proportion that we are not in alignment with this spiritual law. The completion of aligning our own will with the will of ALLAH is our perfection and it is this aim that is our true Jihad; our struggle ads human beings on this earth.
Do put your faith in the process of enfoldment that ALLAH has for you, even when it is painful. I promise you this; I do not know much, but I have certainty in the Love, the Mercy, and Perfection of ALLAH and that our Creator will never ever abandon you. Stay close to Him. Pray for guidance. You have some very important decisions to make, including where to live, how to approach your situation, and what your goals for your own life at this point in time should be, and what your next step is. Pray for Guidance and never let go of ALLAH.
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About the Counselor:
Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant in the areas of mental health, cultural, and relationship issues.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.