Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Is it permissible for a muslim woman to move out of the house because of abuse?

domestic violence mental abuse abusive

I can not live in this house anymore, I am constantly being put down by my mother. On a daily basis it is constant bickering from her, yelling and screaming. It began with constant battles and turned into her emotionally abusing me and now physically abusing me. I can not handle this anymore, I cry day in and day out I can't focus on my school anymore.

I am trying to save up money so I can move out on my own but my father keeps saying no, even after explaining things to him he says he will cut me out. I don't know what to do, I just know that living in this household is effecting me emotionally, physically and mentally. I need to leave.

~ Reem


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33 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Not only is it permissible to leave an abusive household, it's encouraged. If your mother's anger and lack of control have gotten to the point where you are being physically hurt, you have more than enough reason to leave and stay with a relative who will provide a safe environment for you. If you don't have any relatives or same-sex friends who can help you out with a temporary place to stay, then a shelter may be an option.

    If you are under the age of 18, physical abuse by a parent is the same as child abuse and is criminal. Just the same, hurting an adult is considered assault and/or battery, depending on the severity. So what your mother is doing is criminal, when you get down to it. Some people don't like to be told to involve the authorities, but that's always an option if you feel the situation warrants it.

    -Amy
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. Islam does not require a woman to live with her parents after she becomes an adult. You are allowed to move out anytime. You will always have an obligation to take care of your parents, but only the circumstances will determine if you must be a live-in caregiver.

    • There is nothing in the Quran or sunnah that states a woman must live with her parents.
      Do you know of any such directive?

  3. Assalam alaikum sister,

    On this site: http://www.islamhelpline.com/node/7291 there is a reply to a father regarding his adult daughter.

    it says:

    As long as the woman fears Allah, strives her absolute utmost to live her life within the prescribed boundaries of her Lord….there is absolutely nothing in Shariah which declares that it is prohibited for a believing woman to live alone or away for her family, if indeed she wishes to do such a thing.

    Given your description of your current situation, I agree with sister Amy. Just be sure that you protect yourself. If it is possible, try to move in with a trusted relative in which your situation may not be worse. Make female Muslim friends who can be of support to you and good examples. Stay out of trouble and do not befriend males.

    May Allah guide and protect you and ease your difficulties, Ameen.

  4. Assalamu'alaikum sister,

    I have a slightly different advise than others.

    Without any doubt, parents should not be beating their children, but that does not mean you leave their house, except if living there is harmful for you. You must never consider leaving the secure environment of a home because the world outside is a hundred times worse.

    How old are you and why does your mother beat you? Some mothers are full of anger and do what they should not. This is very common in the sub-continent. If a child disobeys, the parent beats him or her in order to bring discipline. Yes, they do more than they should, but leaving your home is something I am afraid to ask you to do for this.

    If her beating is sever and it poses danger to you, you could consider moving out temporarily, perhaps. Beating is not advised in Islam, but to bring discipline, and lightly. For example, read the following hadith:

    “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are 10 years old, and separate them in their beds.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ (247).

    Some children may call even this physical abuse.

    So, if your mother beats you because you disobey her or are rude with her (I am not saying you are) then you must correct yourself and obey your mother because that is an obligation upon you. If her beating is severe, she must be told that it is unIslamic and she must not do it. Ask an elder to talk to her. But certainly, until I know that her beating is harmful for you, I would discourage you from moving out.

    Yes, if you are looking to concentrate on school and move out temporarily and will return later, you may do that.

    Note that this is my personal opinion, based on my little experience and my understanding. It may even be wrong.

    Abu Abdul Bari
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • salam,

      I agree with you brother!

      Sister, why does your mother beat you? I can understand where you are coming from. When I was younger, my mother used to always treat me different from all my other siblings. I always thought she hated me. But my thoughts controlled me and affected everything and caused a big illusion and just hurt myself and my family. I too wanted to run out and leave. I thank Allah I never did anything bad or even a step close to it because my mother is the best mother in the world! I was her oldest daughter and all she did was try to protect me and care for me, my mother is one of the most hard working mothers in the world... even when she was really sick, she never once gave up on doing EVERYTHING for us! Ok enough about how wonderful she is... it's just that I had a bad attitude 🙁 I got in trouble in school once because I was always with the boys... is this allowed in Islam for a Muslim girl? I was wrong, not my mom. I used to get mad at my mom, yell at her, stop talking to her, oh my god I was such a bad girl (just in terms of attitude, i never smoke, drank, hung out with guys [ the example i gave was when i was in elementary school], dated, those kind of things)... so imagine my mom trying to help me be a good muslim girl by encouraging me to pray (sometimes i was lazy but otherwise i tried to pray 5 times a day and make up for missed prayers due to school or work).. and then talk back to my mom and give attitude... it hurts more when i did it in front of my other siblings or my dad. She made me cry a lot.. but I hurt her so much and made her cry more. What if my little sisters turn like me? What if my dad loses respect for my mom for not being able to handle me? Thank god my parents relationship is VERY strong, married almost 30 years now and still happy as ever!!!

      I went through what you are going through and I've realized my part and my mistakes. It was just for awhile when I was younger, as I got older I learned to respect my mom and appreciate all she does for us. Today my mother has been my biggest support and I honestly would never be the woman I have become if it wasn't for her OR MY DAD!!!

      so... think about your situation a little bit more closely. what can you do to make your life better other than running away? follow your duties as a muslim, obey Allah, respect your parents including your mom, but maybe just try to avoid her as much as you can. think about it a little bit sister!

      • Salaams,

        I'm sorry but I could never imagine physically disciplining my child as an adolescent, even if they acted the way you described. There are other, more effective punishments for that age range. Corporal punishment is for grade school children (and even then should be used wisely), so I personally can't think of any valid reasons why a parent would beat their teenager.

        -Amy
        IslamicAnswers.com Editor

        • salam!
          I wasn't beat.. just slapped on the butt, and not as a teenager but when I was younger. As I got older it stopped. Even when my dad would hit me he never hit me hard, I just pretended it hurt so he would stop, lol. I think some people consider slapping as abuse.

          • Slapping on the butt is the same as a spanking. I don't personally think spanking is abuse if done correctly, but I don't think it is something that is appropriate, practical or effective after a child reaches pubesence.

            In this case the poster is saying she's being beat, which usually means more than a spanking and that's why I am concerned for her.

            -Amy
            IslamicAnswers.com Editor

          • I wrote: "Given your description of your current situation" - and really it depends on the situation.

            It is true that some parents spank their child and it is true that some parents don't. Some parents so severely emotionally abuse their children, that the outside world is better, unfortunately.

            We really do not know the reality of the OP - I would suggest again living with a relative if circumstances are very bad. Sometimes this time gives the parents and the child some to think.

            To the OP, it is a good sign that you have asked and it is a good sign that you are asking on an Islamic website. Please do not leave Islam and be very devout - hence why I said surround yourself with good Muslimas.

            It would help to know your age and situation a little better because the advice would really depend on it.

    • You know it is hilarious that you advise this woman to stay in an abusive household. "If your mother is beating you lightly then you should remain" absolutely not. Everyone handles abuse differently, what seems light to you can be a lot for another person to handle. And emotional abuse is just as real and just as bad as physical abuse. The fact that you, who are so very clearly not at risk of being harmed mentally or physically are advising her to remain in the house, Is so very wrong and unislamic

  5. Everyone is talking about disciplining a child.

    Read the title of this post. She is a WOMAN; a young woman, no doubt, but a woman nonetheless. Her obligation is to speak kind words to her parents and to take care of them....not live in a situation that causes her pain, emotional distress and humiliation.

    In Islam, family -- whether a family of origin or in the marital famiky in the case of a married woman -- is a source of Honour and protection for a woman. It is not a source of abuse or distress. A family elevates you and protects you. Women are not required to be martyrs in situations where the family no longer serves that purpose. This woman should do what is best in her situation without compromising her duties to her family and to Allah. She doesn't need to move to another continent. She can move to a relative's home, or move in with a Muslim girlfriend, and still visit her parents and respect them. When I moved out at the very tender age of 35 (and my dad was NOT happy but got used to it), in the beginning I used to visit my parents every single day (more to relieve my guilt than anything else). I have never abandoned them when they've been sick or tired or required my assistance for other reasons. If I don't see them every day I call every day and talk to my mom.

    Hitting someone, even yelling at your adult or young child, is a form of aggression. Aggression is not condoned in Islam. No, we are not permitted to raise out voices to our parents or fight with them, but that doesn't mean we are required to "take it". Sometimes, the most peaceful, loving solution is to step away, as long as we maintain our duties to our parents.

    • Good comments, thank you. I agree.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • I do agree with you sister.

      I understand these circumstances as I had no choice to but to leave an abusive home at the age of 20, and it wasn't easy at all. Any girl that does this needs to know that this is a choice, but also needs to know the challenges/difficulties awaiting her.

      Indeed it is most sad when you have to leave your home because safety is found outside rather than inside that home.

      The one thing I would add is that just because a person is not hit, emotional abuse can be just as detrimental to one's health-especially when it comes from a parent. Always reach out to Allah because when you carry that sort of emotional baggage, it is Allah alone that can be your source of peace.

  6. Notice how all the women on this thread are saying leave, and all the men who have no fear of getting abused by their families, are recommending she be a good muslim girl and stay in her abusive family.

  7. Wa alaykumussalam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

    It is recommended that you concentrate more on Ibadah,make lots of duaa for your parents and try ur best not to get them angry. If you get abused, physically or mentally, try remaining in your room and focus on other things. Make lots of duaa sister. It will help, in sha Allaah. Moving out only sounds good, but trust me, the hardships out there are too much fr any girl to endure, esp muslimahs like us. Also, it isnt correct for a muslimah to live without a mahram. Ur safety is more at home, no matter how hard it seems. Relax urself reading the Quraan, Allaah swt says it is a means of comfort for the hearts, find ur comfort in salah and remain patient in sha Allaah. Then one day, you too will get married and move out, in sha Allaah. Take care my dear sister.

    Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

  8. Asalaam alaykum.. I was in the same situtaion but it was mainly my father who used to abuse me I was the youngest of daughters my patents never loved me my relatives told me they dont care about you becoz u were dark as a kid compared to twin sister who was fair and pretty.i started practising islam at the age of 17i obeyed them everytime used to cook and clean jus so they would love me but they never did...he didnt like the way i learn islam he hated the people i learn from my father was alcoholic he didnt like us going out becoz ppl would say to him ur daughter is practising and look at what you do....

    I left home and so did my twin she hates seeing all this too and so i could learn islam but we came back my father promised he would change we went pakistan for holiday jus me my mother and my twin they promised they wouldnt get us married we were young we hardly knew what would happen but typical parents forced me in a marrige its been 5 yrs now nothing has changed my father still abusses me and my mother thinks its my fault even being married we still get abused..

    . If you could advice on what i should do im not living with my husband his still abroud i wanted to get divorce my father would not let me leave him i have told him he beats me but my father ignores it...he wants me to call him over i applied but it went on appeal..im libing with my family nothing changed

    • I knew a girl who this happened to aswell, she was just put into marriage. Obviously you were young and naive you didn't know what was happening - but being Asian parents they weren't going to let you have freedom.
      When the girl (who had the same situation happen to her) called her husband over things just got worser and worser- if I were you I would not call him over and destroy the rest of your life, you should divorce him, because Islam doesn't condemn forced marriages and this was a forced marriage. You should move out again and this time keep a good relationship with your parents but don't trust them too much. Don't take another holiday with them or meet them alone!!

      Good luck in whatever you do. But you have one life to live, why live it filled with sadness and sorrow. Some parents especially Asians will bring there daughters into this world and not allow any freedom.
      and maybe do istikhara aswell, ask Allah for guidance, because this is a big life decision. I'll keep you in my dua's

  9. assalmalaikum ,

    I am a 26 yr old woman, I work as a teacher at a school and I live with my family.. I don't go out much often , just to school for my job and back home.
    One evening I decided to go shopping with a few girl friends of mine, I had informed my mother that Im going out.
    After I went for shopping, I got a call from my father, he started to yell and abuse me on the phone, He asked me where I was and demanded to talk to my friends, it was so embarrassing.
    Later in an hour I reached home, My dad saw my lady friend who dropped me home.
    I went into my room and changed to house clothes, My father came in my room, asked me for my mobile phone and banged my phone against the floor, it broke, he started to beat me like an animal, he tore my house clothes in the process of beating me and even kicked me several times. I dont feel safe to live in my house. I need to know if me moving out of my house is the right thing to do. I feel suppressed and very hurt. I feel unsafe in my own house. I have blue black bruises on my body from the incident. I want to go away from my father. I need to feel safe.

    Pls do send me your opinions regarding this matter

    • Salam Sister

      My heart goes out to you sincerely.. No living being deserves to be treated in that matter or anything like it or worse... It is a common thing for anyone who is in a difficult situation to act on IMPULSE to just runaway, move out and hope for something better.... but in fact it is always Good to be patient and consult with ALLAH... "ALLAH said in hadith Qudsi....... "O My Servant! I have forbidden Oppression from Myself and Have made it Forbidden amongst you So DO NOT Oppress one another" ....... what your Father is doing and (Allah knows best) sounds to me like he is Oppressing you..... Women in Islam are allowed to go shopping there is nothing wrong with that...

      Here is proof......

      "The Prophet (SAW) permitted women to go out if there is an urgent need. He said, “It is permissible for you (women) to go out for your needs.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Tafseer al-Qur’aan, 4421).

  10. Dear sister,

    I'm honestly considering moving out as well. Although I'm not being physically abused (yet). My parents constantly mentally abuse me. And trust me when i say i don't deserve it. i have always done everything to please my parents and they always call me a disappointment and constantly make me feel like I'm worthless and I'm trash. i get yelled at a lot for no reason and they always threaten me. it gets to the point were i fear for my life and at this point i need it to stop. but I'm afraid if i move out those threats won't just be threats. i don't know what to do. They make me feel ashamed to be a girl because i can't move or feel or breathe without them saying I'm a girl so i can't do anything and i know its haram to be upset that I'm a girl but that just how i honestly feel. i really need some advise on what to do.

    • If you're being honest when you say you fear for your life, then move out and go to a shelter for women; or to a friend's house; and do not tell your parents your location. Also contact the authorities and tell them of your concerns. The police can talk to your parents and warn them not to harm you.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Hijabi sister: i have always done everything to please my parents and they always call me a disappointment and constantly make me feel like I'm worthless and I'm trash. i get yelled at a lot for no reason and they always threaten me

      Some time people overreact because they have emotional problems. Your parents may have some emotional problems. They should not expect you to behave like people of their age. Their behavior is destroying you psychologically.

  11. Asalam W'alaikum

    I come from a very long history of abuse, at a younger age it was mostly physical from parents per most childhoods, then in the last decade or so( I am now 26),for a few year it was actual sexual abuse from my father(my mother begged me to forgive my father and accept him), it's occasionally physical abuse and a lot of mental abuse from a condescending brother(the bread winner), continuous mental abuse from my mother(I am a failure and disappointment, others daughters are ready for marriage, I am obviously a mistake she made as I am so weird not wishing to marry just yet). I have had to put off school to help make ends meet, I know I have made many mistakes, but I also now know those may have been made because of these countless years of "never being enough". My parents came back into my everyday life again 2 yrs ago, when they were finally able to move to the US where my brother and I lived and supported them from. In the last two years, I have felt so much more depression, suicidal thoughts, anger/frustration. I've considered moving out for many years but always felt, I was being selfish, I need to be there emotionally and physically to hold this family together. But after many hours of crying during Salaah, in recent times my heart and mind really is set upon doing so. Am I wrong to consider this? Am I allowed to do this? I know my parents will not let it happen if I were to just say I am moving out in a week. I would have to do it suddenly, I am scared and nervous. My faith has always been the light in my darkness, but in the last 8-9 mos, the darkness has become darker making me question if I have weakened in faith, I have started to feel unnecessary and worthless again, I find myself apologizing to Allah(SWT) for feeling so worthless.

    • I found a loop hole with my parents after a long while of trying to come up with a way to move out! There is this seminary in canada and tennessee. I asked them if i could go to those seminaries because i heard from a really good friend of mine that they would help you finish the quran and also get a masters degree in islamic studies. The program is for a year so i think thats perfect time for me to clear my head and study islam. if you u want more info on the seminary reply to me.

    • I found a loop hole with my parents after a long while of trying to come up with a way to move out! There is this seminary in canada and tennessee. I asked them if i could go to those seminaries because i heard from a really good friend of mine that they would help you finish the quran and also get a masters degree in islamic studies. The program is for a year so i think thats perfect time for me to clear my head and study islam. if you u want more info on the seminary reply to my message.

    • @Hub: at a younger age it was mostly physical from parents per most childhoods, then in the last decade or so( I am now 26),for a few year it was actual sexual abuse from my father(my mother begged me to forgive my father and accept him), it's occasionally physical abuse and a lot of mental abuse from a condescending brother(the bread winner), continuous mental abuse from my mother.

      You need to find a way to get away from your dysfunctional family. Your family is not going to change. Your mother also failed to protect you from your father. If you are a US citizen you may be able to find a well qualified guy for a husband. Don't marry a cousin unless he has good qualities you want in a husband. Check out the following website to see if they can support you or refer you to another organization that can help you. http://www.sakhi.org/resources/sawos/

      • That is all I wish to do, is to be able to function. My academics have suffered, my mental state has suffered, I have tried being a good daughter, I can't say perfect because I'm human and we make mistakes and disappoint "family" so easily.
        I did do it, I left with what I thought was all my might, but my brother used videos of my mother wailing cries to pressure me to come back. I felt no guilt but rather this pain of causing my mother such pain. I came back and I laid everything down to my mother, how I'm not who I was, my soul is suffering, my wellness, my education is all at stake because the hostile conditions within our walls is suffocating and debilitating. I begged to let me see a therapist, she said no you don't need that, you need Allah to guide you and a man to marry, marriage will solve all these issues for you. I was weak, I agreed to see the man she wanted me to marry but the man only wanted citizenship and it was obvious, he also carried many of the same traits as my condescending brother, so I decided and said no.
        At the end of the experience, because in all the while the external family exposed me to the many truths within that my mother kept from me, while visiting Pakistan we stayed at my grandparents house where I found out, I was being given special treatment because my grandfather wished to indulge with his sickly intention(molestation), despite knowing this and my protest we stayed there an entire 3wks, after many long nights of prayers, and many istekharas performed in regards to marriage I've come to realize maybe Allah(SWT) would like me to detach from these horrendous things and find peace in solitude away from it all, so I plan to make another move in a month once I can afford it financially and this time not let any heart wrenching factors manipulate my decision. Am I wrong to feel so certain?

  12. I was in the same position as you. 6 years I was excited about finally being an adult and I was so excited to move out but both parents stood against me as well as my siblings, some said it was harram for a woman to live on her own ( which angered me very much) and some were honest that they don't want people talking about them. However, I moved out anyway but to my surprise my family really cut me out.

    All along I never thought of the possibility of my own father cutting me out. I thought he loved me and wanted me to be in his life in really didn't expect him to do that. It's been 6 years now and I have not spoken to any of my family. It's very unfair because I was always the perfect daughter and all I did is move out.

    Despite that sometimes when I think of them I feel sad, I have indeed built a life I've made many friends I did my masters and I work.

    It's very sad how our culture always belittles women and take away simple rights but I'm happy and sooner or later they will realise

    • I found a loop hole with my parents after a long while of trying to come up with a way to move out! There is this seminary in canada and tennessee. I asked them if i could go to those seminaries because i heard from a really good friend of mine that they would help you finish the quran and also get a masters degree in islamic studies. The program is for a year so i think thats perfect time for me to clear my head and study islam. if you u want more info on the seminary reply to me.

    • That is all I wish to do, is to be able to function. My academics have suffered, my mental state has suffered, I have tried being a good daughter, I can't say perfect because I'm human and we make mistakes and disappoint "family" so easily.
      I did do it, I left with what I thought was all my might, but my brother used videos of my mother wailing cries to pressure me to come back. I felt no guilt but rather this pain of causing my mother such pain. I came back and I laid everything down to my mother, how I'm not who I was, my soul is suffering, my wellness, my education is all at stake because the hostile conditions within our walls is suffocating and debilitating. I begged to let me see a therapist, she said no you don't need that, you need Allah to guide you and a man to marry, marriage will solve all these issues for you. I was weak, I agreed to see the man she wanted me to marry but the man only wanted citizenship and it was obvious, he also carried many of the same traits as my condescending brother, so I decided and said no.
      At the end of the experience, because in all the while the external family exposed me to the many truths within that my mother kept from me, while visiting Pakistan we stayed at my grandparents house where I found out, I was being given special treatment because my grandfather wished to indulge with his sickly intention(molestation), despite knowing this and my protest we stayed there an entire 3wks, after many long nights of prayers, and many istekharas performed in regards to marriage I've come to realize maybe Allah(SWT) would like me to detach from these horrendous things and find peace in solitude away from it all, so I plan to make another move in a month once I can afford it financially and this time not let any heart wrenching factors manipulate my decision. Am I wrong to feel so certain?

      • You're not wrong in the slightest. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Your parents' actions are horrendous and you must know that Allah would never condone any form of abuse nor would He forsake you for leaving an abusive household. You are extremely strong, which is apparent in your having left once already and in your determination to leave again. The emotional manipulation your brother used to force you back to them us absolutely unacceptable. You must not waver; if a member of your family attempts to contact you, ignore them completely. I know it will be painful and difficult, but it won't be as difficult as carrying out your decision to leave after they attempt to emotionally manipulate you or persuade you to return to the unstable, emotionally traumatizing environment. Make sure to get rid of anything they could use to figure out your location (cell phone, any Apple product), and change any passwords to any important account, so they won't be able to sign in to those and figure out where you are. Also, I strongly advise that you make sure that your parents do not go to the police, pretending you've gone missing or anything else that might motivate the authorities to bring you to them. Should you hear any news about yourself being a missing person, or having run away for no apparent reason, contact the authorities and assure them that you are alright and inform them as to why you left. Do it quickly, just to be sure they don't find you and/or try to connect you to your parents. Sometimes cops like to butt in where they don't need to and attempt to set up a mediation

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