Parents - Dealing with Abusive Parents & Obedience and Respect for Parents
  • Question:

    I have a question regarding parents. My parents are verbally and mentally abusive. They claim obedience and respect as parents but never give respect or consideration. When I try to talk to them, they lie about the issue we're differing on and claim they love and care about, so they are cruel to me. As a child I had a severely crushed self-esteem and I used to hate myself as a result of their insults and actions. I know it is said to honour your parents, as Allah is my witness I truly want to. But every time I try, they do things that bring such rage in my heart that I can't obey them. I keep praying that Allah takes me far from them. They cause such pain in my heart, that I honestly can't stand them.

    Please tell me what it takes to honour parents. It is important in Islam but I don't have that love and respect for them. I don't even know how to do so. I don't know where or how to start but I'll try.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    Jazākumullāhu Khayran for connecting with us regarding your difficulty. We pray to the Almighty that He provide love and understanding between you and your parents.

    You are absolutely correct in your understanding regarding the Islamic obligations relating to respecting and serving parents.

    Here below are some suggestions to improve your relationship with your parents:

    • Constantly pray to Allāh to create the love and harmony.
    • Practice all the obligatory actions of Islam.
    • Approach them respectfully and in a gentle way, let them know exactly how you feel. Inform them that you dislike disrespecting them. Make them aware that you are trying your best to respect and honour them.
    • Forget and forgive the past. Work on improving your present and future with your parents.
    • Realize that you may not be able to change their behaviour or attitude. Respect them anyways. You control your behaviour not theirs.
    • Improve your problem solving and communication skills.
    • Avoid bringing up or continuing any discussion that may lead to arguments.
    • Every once in a while, give them gifts and presents.
    • Seek professional help in anger management and family therapy.

    We pray Allāh facilitate complete success for you.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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