Question and answer details
|I am a born Muslim from Jordan. My parents have been married for 30 years. For 14 years, my dad has been blaming my mom that she cheats on him and claims that some curses have on us, though he is wrong. My mother is an amazing person. He blames her for something she hasn’t done. She treats him with kindness and love while he treats her as a peace of trash. She has been patient with him. For example, she stays about an hour trying to wake him up to pray and he yells at her in return. My mom, my dad, my elder brother and I pray, but the rest of my four brothers don't. I try talking to them and wake them up to pray, but they just ignore me. I honestly just want my dad to wake up my mom and us for the Morning Prayer and pray all together and make a du`aa’. I ask Allah every day to have that. But what can I do about my parents’ problem? My mother doesn't deserve to be treated this way. No woman should be treated this way. Please help us.|
|Dr. Feryad Hussain|
As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
May Allah bless you dear sister. You are ma sha’ Allah such a wonderful inspiration to young people out there. Not only because of your love for prayer but your desire for others to fulfil their faith and your protection of your mother. What a fortunate mother she is, indeed, ma sha’ Allah to have a daughter with such a fine character.
About your problem:
I know it is really hard to see anyone you love being treated in a way you do not want or like, especially when it is your mum. But there are some things you could try and think about/remember that may help you understand things.
Being a mum or a dad is a very different thing to being a husband or wife. For example, you may behave differently with your mum than you do with your friends, because the different relationships mean that you may be expected to behave differently. This also means that how we behave towards each other is influenced by the other person.
In this case, the relationship is set up by your mum and dad – as husband and wife – so it is very hard for you as a child to suggest changes in this, not because you should not but more because you are a daughter and a young, unmarried woman.
I am not saying marriage means that you are allowed to and must accept being treated badly. But being married means that we must all choose what we will tolerate from our husband or wife because not tolerating it has serious implications.
Different people have the ability to tolerate different things. Sometimes those things we feel we would never allow if they were us are tolerated by others whom we love and want to protect – but that is the choice of the two people involved.
Remember, with marriage it is not like a friendship or an argument with a relative; we have to live with each other and there is no getting away from each other! It is hard to watch but if things were too much, your mother would know when she has had enough and would respond. Islam makes out clearly what behavior is unacceptable in marriage, and we are given clear rights of protection within marriage – both men and women. So do not feel there is no justice or protection from Allah (SWT) and His religion – there clearly is.
Also, sometimes when people treat us badly and they have a close connection to us, we become used to that behavior and accommodate it and over time that behavior becomes less offensive and easier to live with. You may have a friend with a bad habit. When you first experienced it, it might have shocked you, but over time the more you see it the less strange it becomes and you learn that it is simply a part of what they do and so you live with it even though you may not like it at all.
I am not in any way saying what your father does is right – it is not at all – but it is your mother’s choice to respond as she does. I think from the way you describe her, she just has a higher level of patience than most of us ma sha’ Allah and so shows a lot of patience. This is an excellent response in the face of such comments. Give her some credit to deal with it as she wishes and feels able.
Your mother ma sha’ Allah sounds like a good woman and shows beautiful character in being patient with your father. I would suggest that you let her deal with him but let her know that you are there to support her however she needs. Sometimes, when we see people we love suffering, we may find it harder than they do themselves but perhaps they feel any alternative is worse than their current situation.
Remember that Allah will protect your mother if she is ever accused of anything that she has not done and her good behavior, in return, will grant her great reward in sha’ Allah. With respect to your father, he will be accountable for his behavior before Allah (SMW) as we all will.
If you want, tell your mum that you are worried about her and that you feel unhappy that your father behaves this way so that she is aware what you see.
If you are close to your father and think that he will listen, tell him also how his behavior makes you feel. But I suggest you only say this if you are close enough for him to listen. If it means he will become angry and aggressive towards you, then it is best to remain silent and not create a difficulty for yourself! I know that doesn’t seem very fair, but sometimes we have to do things we do not want to keep the peace.
Try and do something nice for your mum to make her life easier. It is great to care about her but even greater to do something practical to make her life easy so she feels that you are able to be supportive when she is having a bad day. Do extra chores around the house, help her in the kitchen, or just make some fun with her together.
Make du`aa’ always for your mum and dad and pray that Allah (SWT) turns their hearts towards and not away from each other bi idh nillah and believe that Allah (SWT) will accept your du`aa’ for your parents.
The du`aa’s, which you make for your brothers to pray, are great ma sha’ Allah. Do not think they are not heard; Allah (SWT) will grant them at the best time in sha’ Allah. I think the best you can do practically is simply to keep waking everyone up and in sha’ Allah in doing this, you have done the right and best thing. In sha’ Allah, you will get your reward from Allah (SWT) and the rest is up to the person themselves.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) was told by Allah (SWT) to simply deliver the message of Islam and the outcome was not his responsibility if they declined. I know that is not easy to hear, because when we see something good we don’t understand why someone doesn’t just do it! But people do not see things in the same way; this is why people behave so differently!
I know that it does not make sense but that doesn’t stop people from doing it! It is one of the things about life that we learn over time and apart from disagreeing and not liking it, we have to accept this about each other.
In this case, you have a responsibility to your family to support them to pray, but you are not responsible for them not praying. Does that make sense? Think about this and try and understand what the difference is. It is a helpful distinction to know about for life in general bi idh nillah.
May Allah continue to protect you, to shower his blessings of good character on you, remove all your worries and grant you the happiest of futures with your family.
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About the Counselor:
Dr. Hussain holds a practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has worked as a clinical psychologist for a number of years in a range of clinical settings with differing populations in UK. She is author of numerous research articles on health psychology and cross cultural and religious therapy models. She is currently carrying out private research and consultancy in the discipline of Islam and Clinical Psychology/ Psychotherapy with a number of psychological organizations in order to develop an Islamically-centred therapy model.
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.