Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Cut ties with my abusive father, is it a sin?

Cutting tiesHello. I am a young man questioning the legitimacy of me practicing islam in proportion to my non existent family relations. The background to my family situation is long, but it did visibly become toxic when I was 12. My father and I used to fight constantly and all types of bad words were hurled from both me and him.

This on top of me switching  to another school made me severely depressed and anxious. My father was convinced that I had some type of issues and forced me to go to various shrinks to figure out if there were something wrong with me.

At this point I was 13 and my relationship to my father was practically dead. We never spoke to each other and if we ever did speak it usually spiraled to loud  incoherent verbal abuse. It even got so bad that my dad used to bully me in front of my siblings - with the intent to humiliate me.  One of these fights were so bizarre that my father resorted to slapping me so hard that I cried uncontrollably.

I was 13 at that point and from there I lost faith for both my father and younger brother for never having my back. So this "relationship" continued for two consecutive years before my father decided to repeat his going to shrinks without consulting the one hes forcing to pattern. With this shrink I through sheer anger spilled about the incident about when my dad hit me, as a result the shrink contacted social services. My father who has no shame decides to tell our family handlers over at the social services every bad thing I've ever done, he even told them a mischeif I comitted when I was literally a toddler.

During one of these meeting I made a remark to move to another home, and the social services said that this could be done. When I was 16 I moved out from my family home and into an apartment.

The only contact with my family that I have an ok relationship with is my mother, and even then we most of the time ignore each other for months on end. Ive tried numerous time through me discovering Islam when I was 19 to be kind to my siblings and father, but Ive had enough, and I cant tolerate them any further, no amount of convincing can tell me otherwise, they're not my kin.

I feel these emotions for my mother too through numerous fights and the fact that she doesn't seem to understand my situation have truly wounded me as a character.

Here's the Question:  I've read numerous sources that the Muslim who cut ties with siblings and parents will not receive neither ease or heaven, only humiliation. Is it with this in mind, that even now that I've cut ties with my family who I cannot stomach anymore continue with my faith? Should I continue to pray and practice Islam even if it means im committing this grave sin or should I just abstain from practicing all together? Thank you for reading.

- Someone22


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16 Responses »

  1. I have gone through the exact same thing except it was my mother who was the worst one. I have now been no contact with both them for 3 years And my mental and physical health has improved significantly.

    There is no excuse for being an abusive parent in Islam. Cutting ties is only wrong if there was no issue. But they have both been abusive to you from a young age when they should have been the ones to love and protect you.

    Let’s put it this way, if a father rapes his daughter - no she does not have to keep ties and obey him. There are more forms abuse than just sexual such as mental, emotional, but your parents don’t have some God given right to abuse you in any way and expect to be worshipped like good parents. Bad people come in many forms including parents.

    I also lost my faith when I was in contact with them as I couldn’t justify how this abuse was happen by my mother who is supposed to have heaven at her feet. But the truth is some people are never meant to be parents, and this too is a test of faith for you.

    My faith is now stronger because I realised through all the tough situations I have been in in my life, I got through them, not with the help of my parents, family, who were never really there for me, but because the only one who never left my side was Allah subhana watalah.

    Cut ties with them without feeling any guilt. You haven’t been put on this earth to be abused and Islam does not allow such abuse to happen to anyone.

    It’s a very controversial topic that imams and muftis refuse to discuss. There seems almost a cult like belief of parent worship / mother worship / and it’s a toxic belief that your parents are always right - when in fact they are far from perfect beings and more than capable of harming with their words and actions, all under the guise of “we are your parents we know best”

    Mufti menk did a 2 minute clip about abuse from parents and how you don’t have to accept it, honestly I was furious at the fact that normally his videos are 10/15 mins long but for this topic he could only dedicate two minutes. It just should how controversial the topic is, and yes literally no one will understand why you don’t talk to your parents or don’t have them in your life but that’s because most people have normal loving parents and can’t even imagine the torture you have endured growing up. Best to not even explain, it is what it is.

    Hope this helps, jakallah khair

    • Brother Saad,

      Masha Allah what a well-explained and heartfelt post. You are so right about the "taboo" nature of the topic and how everyone hushes and tip-toes around it. The reason they do that is usually selfish...either they can't empathize with you because they themselves had loving parents, or they fear the loss of "power" that acknowledging this abuse gives them in their own life as a parent or caregiver.

      Nor
      IslamicAnswers

    • Hello.
      Some people take the moral high ground because unlike you and I they havent experienced a flinch of what someone with a damaged family have. They say never to disrespect your parents whilst they themselves have never had their own father call the cops on you because of repeated fights or telling family handlers that hes not gonna allow you to ever set foot on his house again. I even read one post where someone was arguing that it was Haram for a daughter to cut ties from her father who sexually abused her and asked people to post sources of it being okay. They take everything at face value.

      I wouldnt say my mother abused me, she never wanted me to leave the house and even fought my stubborn father about this, sometimes we fought and she'd make ignorant remarks and we'd ignore because of this. It was extremely rare for us to fight that would lead to months of ignoring eachother.. But she always told me that I was competent thats why we could abstain from eachother for so long, and I must say that she always loved and cared for me when in those sad moments.

      My father and sibilings are the bane of it all, my mother and I are muslim whilst they're pseudo intellectuals who find Islam beneath them, as if they know everything about anything. They condescend me any chance they get, they intimidate me and compare their achivements to mine. But I only fulfill the wishes of my mom, after I left she mentioned to me after I sat foot in my old home again how my demented father abuses her now. I never knew it was so serious, she'd meake remarks over the years but she told me afterwards never to worry, but now I worry. Hes a vile man, who fights with her all the time.
      My mothers relationship with me is better, she only asks me of one thing, to try to talk to my siblings and father, im blessed of the fact that nowadays my father is very old and nowadays not very rational, I feel pity for him because he the man I had beef with isnt really there anymore. Dont get me wrong, I find him very condescending but because of my mom i try.

      My blessings go to you for having to endure parents who didnt even try to contact you for a three year period, thats rough, im very sorry.Im fortunate enough for having a mother that cared for me and at least contacted after the fights died down to apologize or vice versa.
      If its consolation, I didnt contact my father for 5 years, only a couple of times when I was 19 and 20. At 21, he practically sees me as a regular visitor and friend. IYou are tough, you fended for yourself, you should now as fully autonomus with your own schedule to give one phone call to them, if it dont work out, at least you tried. I apologize if this sounds over the top since i dont know your situation.

      Best blessings/regards

  2. I am glad to know that you found Allah to get through the trauma. When you feel that there is no one in your life, remember Allah is with you, closer than your jugular vein. Your father never gave you love, he will be responsive for breaking up the family and having your siblings and your mother go against you. Allah know your intention why you can’t bear to call them your family. I don’t have the deep Islamic qualification to say what is right...but I don’t think you are responsible for breaking ties with your family.

    • May whatever happens, a believer will always pray and ask guidance from allah. So yes you should continue praying & try not to miss namaz. Just stop thinking negative that you are committing a grave sin. See you know that you get mentally troubled around them so its okay if you stay away. Atleast you have a option to stay away but many don't and they are still suffering. You must Stay calm. You can call your mom, dad or siblings once in a week and ask them about their health, food etc... Even though they won't behave good with you, But it's not a big deal if you can just talk 1-5 min about their well being. Thats it. No worries. Allah swt is with you. Don't get so distracted with pain. Have patience and follow a good daily routine to stay happy. ☺

      • Salam, I count my blessings everyday. Im grateful that I l was born and raised Swedish having access to food and water and peace. Something many inhabitants dont have, im grateful for having a place to stay, I know this.
        Sometimes I feel isolated and sometimes im relieved over having access to something many people dream of. I just wanted to update that the relationship with my mother is better, I contact my father at least once a week, but i feel pity for him because of his fragile connection to everyone, hes also nowadays a very senior man and not really accountable anymore for what happened.I treat him with kindness.
        Thank you for reading and advice.

    • Hello, thank you for the advice.
      My father is very senior, I believe because of his state that he isnt really a rational individual anymore and therefore I treat him with kind. Ill never forget how he treated me but I feel like the anger I possess cant really be directed at someone who dont understand much.

      Thank you for reading, may Allah bless you

  3. I am sorry you are in this situation.
    You should continue being Muslim. Regardless of what you decide to do about your family, please continue to pray. Allah is aware of the hardships you have experienced throughout your life. A normal relationship with your family might be impossible now but in the future things might be different. I suggest that you contact your mother by email. Write a letter detailing your feeling about your relationships with your family and let her know that you are available if she needs you. Maybe email her once a year to give Salaams, that way you still maintain some contact without dealing with them directly.
    May Allah give you comfort and peace, and brings about a good resolution for you and your family.
    Salaam

    • Hello, thank you for your post, my relationship with my mother is better now, I shared resenmtent for her sometimes but unlike my father it isnt consistent. I have minimum contact with my father whilst sometimes speaking on the phone with my middle brother.
      Thank you for responding

  4. Assalaamualaykum Brother,

    I have two narcissistic and incredibly abusive parents and I live with them while I am saving money to leave. My stepmother, I have NO contact with, even though I live with her.

    Prayer and belief in Allah is the ONLY thing that has allowed me to survive. Please do not give up this direct link to Allah.

    On the same token, do not beat yourself up for "losing" faith or thinking unwell of Allah from time to time...if the only time you feel this way is when you are around your family and other abusive people you have collected in your life, then your faith is still in tact. Also, if you are too tired to pray because of the energy that these vampires take from you, then just make Dua and go to sleep. Make Dua and cry to Allah for assistance in all your affairs. Remember that Allah is on the side of the oppressed, not the oppressor. And a Dua made by the oppressed is the strongest weapon and will never go unanswered.

    Remember Allah knows EVERYTHING about you. You are judged according to the challenges and test YOU are given. And having abusive parents who are supposed to nurture and care for you is one of the hardest tests.

    Don't let ANYONE, not a single person, tell you that you are wrong to be feeling what you are feeling. They have not lived your life.

    Do whatever you have to do to survive, and don't judge yourself for it. Remember that you probably have some people-pleasing tendencies, but learn to sit with those feelings and not give in. Just because someone (who has no idea how you grew up or doesn't know your parents) thinks it's a sin, doesn't mean it is. Allah knows the battles you have fought...the average person does not.

    Be aware of the reality...most people WILL judge you for this, even when they know you and what kind of person you are. Don't let their opinions matter. That is in your power. Let their words roll off your back, and short of that, give them minimal importance.

    Focus on your own dreams and goals. Anytime you have a moment, make a tiny bit of progress. A bit of progress adds up fast! It will give you purpose and even joy.

    You are incredibly strong and loving, and deserve only the best treatment. From your post, it's apparent you know this already. And your merely knowing this is a huge gift...it means that your parent's abuse has not affected your self-esteem. Don't let it. Many people who are abused think that they are the problem. Allah has blessed you greatly by giving you the discernment to know otherwise. This is a huge first step...just KNOWING that it's not you.

    I wish the best for you brother. I hope you find comfort in the many wonderful responses here. Remember, sometimes we are left in the dark about something because it is best for us not to know about it. Perhaps Allah has not directly addressed this for that reason. But in His overall code of conduct, your father's behavior is completely unacceptable.

    Best Inshallah,

    Nor
    IslamicAnswers

    • Hi brother,your words of encouragement deeply sooths me and I am grateful you took the extended time to share your story and advice.
      My development with my family took a turn for the better. I dont enjoy speaking with one of them however, my Father despite being from Iraq feels more Swedish than me (I was born here). He mocks Islam whenever he can, hes unable to admit that he is wrong and is constantly volatile especially with my mother. Since we havent had any contact for years on end, hes become "kinder" to me but I feel like this attributes to the fact that he is very old (he was already old when he had us) and as such I feel isnt what he used to be anymore, but something hollow whos forgotten what he did to me or he still belives to be in the right. Regardless, I say hi to him and ask minimum questions. Still I pity him, his relationship with my mother is dead and has been for years (but they still live in the same house), he dosent have many friends and is angry in a way thats very illogical.
      Me and my mothers relationships is much better however. My mother was just as depressed me because of my fathers disgusting behaviour on top of her demanding work was the reason she sometimes ignored me for an extended time. Granted she, just like you, sees me being an individual who dont need anyone and therfore she did what she did. I know I shouldnt overshare but she also mentioned that social services told her to ignore me because I needed to become an adult (Scandinavian people are strange) but shes deeply remorseful and I feel like we have established a good connection. Same with my middle brother who speaks to me from time to time.
      Thank you for caring, deeply .

    • How are you actually giving islamic advise while in the same breath telling people to just not pray if they feel too tired? just make a dua and go to bed...

      I urge NOBODY to follow such advise and to pray in all circumstances, it is better to pray and the quality to have been poor due to tiredness then to not bother, how do you expect your dua to be accepted if you take lightly the most important pillar of Islam????

      Always pray people please, I have been brain dead for a couple of days now due to some upset, my prayers have not been the best to say the least, but i intend to seek forgiveness from Allah and ask him to help me in my sadness so it doesn't affect my salat...

      please don't stop praying ...

      • Brother Khalid,

        I should have said that if one is too tired due to parental abuse and PTSD, one should still try to pray, either sitting or lying down. If you truly cannot pray, Allah knows it and you needn't justify this to anyone else.

        Thank you for encouraging me to elaborate. May Allah reward you for your efforts, Ameen.

        Nor
        IslamicAnswers

  5. Thank you so much for posting this.

    SubhanAllah. I felt like you wrote my story here.

    It's definitely hard and I had to move out too, i just couldnt take it anymore. I felt suicidal.

    My other family members didn't understand my feelings either subhanAllah. I am only in contact with my brother but I dont speak with my mother anymore either.

    Even though it's been so long, I still feel so guilty for cutting ties because of all the hadith about being dutiful children and the quran ayah as well. I feel angry whenever this topic comes up as well, I feel like no one is willing to look at the other side. Abuse is such a horrible thing. I feel like I am in the wrong because of all the indoctrination even though I know that Allah has witnessed all the horrible things.

    I always ask Allah to look at my situation and judge me fairly but I feel so guilty after thinking that as well because I know that Allah is the Most Just and I can't believe I have to ASK for that.

    I dont want anything to do with my mother again for the rest of my life but at the same time I feel so guilty about the whole thing and dont know how to get over the guilt, like i am being ungratful to Allah 🙁

    • Hello, all these responses bring tears to my eyes and for you people to comment is further proof of how incredible the muslim community is. So, heres an update to my situation, may God grant you strenght for whichever path you choose but I sincerly hope you take inspiration in my story since you seem like a strrong individual judging from your post alone.
      I decided through a friend to contact my one sibling and parents through the phone (the youngest dont speak to me, and is extremely disrespectful, he even threatens with calling the police). The conversations are very awkward but my mother seem to have remorse for this entire situation (Im deeply sorry that from your post that your mother dont share this sentiment). Anyway, from phone calls we speak to minimum sentences but it slowly evolved to an okay enviroment for us all. I visit the house sometimes and shake my fathers hand and say hello whilst doing more or less the same with my mother. My middle brother is in university and hasnt lived with them for two years, still through the phone we talk.

      Ive learned since then that my father (may God have mercy of how I see and think of him) has been bullying my mother for years screaming at her for no reason. I realized my father switched from me to my mother. I witnessed one of these fights when my father told my mom to shut up numerous times, she cried in front of me and telling me this has been going on for years since I left and that she has developed trauma through his screaming and barbarism. I felt so incredibly guilty of this situation and had I known this was happening whilst I was gone, Id wish for him to bully me instead. My mothers relationship has increased substantially over my guilt and ignorance, She treated me badly because he treated her badly and still she keeps up with him. My father isnt normal, hes very well educated but he sees everyone else as an animal, including his kin, therfore he treats us as stupid while hes the smart one (except for the middle brother which is the golden child).
      My mother has friends and I thank Allah for that, for I wouldnt be able to live with myself if all connection she had was with two sons over the phone and the youngest never comes out of his room (seriously hes like a hotel guest) whilst my father yells at her over and over again. Still all she requieres of me is to talk to my father sometimes and thats it.
      I hope you give a final try on your family, but if it dosent work out, take a break and may God give you strenght again.

      • My apologies, If your attempt to fix your damged family bond dont work out, you shouldnt try again for it is them who didnt accept your attempt.

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