Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My dead father is haunting me

Open Quran

'Verily in the remembrance of Allah, do hearts find rest...'

I am writing to you for help with one of life’s problems. I am a recent convert to Islam and I am ashamed to ask my local Imam for help. I was an only child and I lived with both my parents, while my mother wanted me and demonstrated this through love and attention, my father was a different story (he died nearly 20 years ago).

Now that I am caring for my very elderly mother, who has advanced dementia, she recently revealed to me that my father did not want to have children but, she did and I was born (what can I say?). While I already knew this on some level, this confirmed my suspicions.

When I was a child, I often thought I had been adopted or was found on my parent’s doorstep and that my life was a cruel joke. My father bothered very little with me (in a constructive fashion), he seldom had gainful employment (my mother supported us financially by working outside the house), the house we lived in was falling apart, he proved to be nasty, arrogant, bitter and had a sadistic passive-aggressive streak (Yes, I have a degree in psychology, not that it did ME much good).

Moreover, my father was a devout atheist and felt God (Allah) had no place in his life or anyone else’s life. He laughed and sneered at religious people and if he had his way, he probably would have destroyed all houses of worship and the people that populated them (sounds rather like what the Soviet’s did during their regime).

When I think of what my mother and I went through at the hands of this individual, I feel sick and I think it has made me sick in a number of ways. I have sold, destroyed, donated and thrown out nearly all of my father’s worldly possessions, the only thing I have left is his name and I am intending to change that to my maternal grandfather’s name (he was also the person I was named after).

My question to you is what can I do to overcome the hatred and ill will I bear my father? In the movie, Fanny and Alexander by Ingmar Bergman, a young boy is traumatized by his stepfather, whom later dies but comes back to haunt the boy. My father is dead but he still haunts me through his deeds and actions.

Please do not tell me to seek professional help, as I have been doing just that since I was 10 years old. In America we have an expression: It’s time to fish or cut bait. I need to move on with my life and stop running to a mental health professional, every time the going gets tough.

Thank you for your time and attention.

~ USA guy

Tagged as: , , , , ,

10 Responses »

  1. peace be upon you my brother in islam.

    it is part of the creed of a muslim to believe that once a human passes away, there is a barrier between him and this world, the dead person enters into the life of the hereafter.

    this creed is crusial that you believe in it.

    thus meaning your dead father cannot see you, or hear you, he cannot harm you, he cannot benifit you.

    wallaahi, the only way you can get rid of the figment of memories of your father is to remember Allaah ALOT

    make supplications in the morning and the evening.

  2. Salaam USA Guy brother.

    Wellcome to Islam 🙂 and I assure you this is the BEST decision you have made for the rest of your remaining life. And, every opportunity you get thank Allah (swt) sincerely for guiding you to His path.

    And, I am really sorry to hear that your father is haunting you. Brother, I do not have the answer to your question but this does not mean to say there is no answer to your situation in Islam. InshaAllah, one of the well-versed member in here will answer your question. However, the only advice I can give you is listen to Ayat-ul Kursi shareef and surah Yasin before going to bed. And always be in state of wudu, do your prayers, read the Quran with translation and recite the following four short surahs or listen: chapter 112, 113 and 114 as well as Chapter 1 of the Quran.

    Be amongst good Muslim crowd- socialise with them.

    I hope I was any help to you, iA.

    Takecare and make the most of Islam- your faith in this life as much as you can.

    Your Muslim sister,
    Parveen 🙂

    Please follow the path of prophet muhammad (s.a.w.). Firstly u need to look after your mother, your father was atheist thats why he died like that. He destroyed your family , now allah has given you the chance to return to the truth. Please forget your past as it has no meaning in your further life and be positive. Pray to allah , he is the creator of this world and definitely you will get a good life. Every one will have to die one day, please your life as directed by allah. You can recite this words any time and inshah allah your problem will be solved, YA ALLAHO YA REHMANO YA RAHEEM. On friday after the namaz of magrib please read the SURAH FATIHA three times , allah will give barakkat in your house.
    Khada hafiz

  4. You're angry. This is the root of everything and never having had a chance to confront your father, you will remain angry till you heed the words of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). When asked the way to paradise, he replied, "Don't get angry, don't get angry, don't get angry." Why do you think he repeated it three times? As you know, psychologically speaking, positive reinforcement and convincing arguments are most effective when they are told to people in threes. Social studies in the written word have confirmed this theory of the third repetition and so, the Holy Prophet knew beforehand, what took 1400 years for science to confirm: to convince someone, stress it to them thrice.

    Knowing this, we can see the wisdom of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and recognize how your hatred stirs from that anger. Yet, more importantly, how you need to quell and deal with your father's memory. So I'm going to ask you to do something difficult. I want you, right after Isha wajib prayer while you are still kneeling, to ask Allah (swt) to forgive your father. It's hard, but I want you to do it for you, mostly. Go into sajood and talk to Allah (swt) about your anger and hatred for your father and how you cannot deal with it any longer. Ask Him to forgive you for being so angry and then ask Him to forgive your father. With true sincerity and conviction, I assure you there will be relief.

    The next morning, 10 minutes before Fajr, I want you to pray a special 2 rakat prayer. This is a prayer for your mother. Afterwards, tell Allah (swt) how much you love her and how much you want her to enter Heaven. Ask Allah (swt) to accept her sacrifice for you and to ease her pain and suffering. Tell Him how much she means to you and how much having her all these years, was a blessing to you. For in fact, if it was not for her, you would not be Muslim. You see, there was something she did in her life and how she raised you that brought you to Islam, so be grateful to Allah (swt) in this moment. I stress the fact that you do this before Fajr, because according to narrations, all the prayers submitted at this time are considered of the highest caliber.

    If you have a son, then you know that to heal yourself, giving him a life unlike your youth is the best prescription for him and you. If you don't have a son, look into volunteering into a Big Brother program that will allow you to shift your anger into something positive. Becoming an asset to your community is the best way to make peace with yourself and your memories.

  5. As salamu alaykum, Brother USAguy,

    You have already received excellent advice, masha´Allah. I would like to add the following.

    Alhamdulillah, you have come here for help, Allah(swt) is easing your way to Forgiveness, Alhamdulillah.

    Your deep pain and your struggles touches my Heart and your words talks about an intense need of feeling loved, accepted, emotionally and psicologically nurtured... and beyond all of that you felt all the rage that your father had in himself towards everything and everyone and specially his wish that you weren´t born, Allah(swt) forgives him and us.

    You are conscious he was a bad person but you have the knowledge and the capability, insha´Allah to go beyond that, he was a sick person, he didn´t want to have you, subconsciously he knew he wasn´t able to raise a child, then to please your mum, he had you against his will, he couldn´t give you what he didn´t have, he lacked all that you needed, he was dry, he didn´t have the capability to nurture, he was getting ready to die, as you mentioned, he died when you were 10, all that you mention about him shows a person completely out of balance, an unhealthy human being, ....I understand that you were his son, and that being so young, you didn´t know how to deal with all that you had to face and you didn´t have anyone to explain to you that he was sick, I don´t think he even knew, people get used to see bad character and bad behaviour as normal and it is not, it is an unbalanced condition that it is showing where a sickness is developing, how our energetic bodies are creating signs to show us that something is going wrong, worst the character, worst the sickness, not to want to reproduce is a sign of being very sick. He didn´t have anything to share, just the darkness that was eating him and taking him to death.

    Makes me deeply sad to see you as a 10 years old boy, feeling the way you felt, not knowing what was going on, and carrying with that all your life, Alhamdulillah, you are a believer, Alhamdulillah and you have felt the need of solving once for all this situation.

    The chain of destruction that you began has to end, this is his darkness on you, he felt hate because he couldn´t feel love, but insha´Allah, you have the choice, the right and the consciousness to be able to love and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven, to have and give Peace, Alhamdulillah.

    He is your father, he was the one that shared life with your mother to give you life, Allah(swt) knows all, and all the struggles you had been through have taken where you are now, to have your father comes included in the pack, he will be the one that will help you to learn one of the most important lessons that we have in this world, Alhamdulillah, the path to Forgiveness, only Forgiveness will give you the Peace you need in your Heart to move on with your life, but to forgive it is not in your hands, to forgive is a blessing that Allah(swt). gives to us, the path to forgiveness is tough, we have to deal with a deep darkness and open our eyes to not just to the other darkest side, to ours too. When we begin to walk on it, we feel covered by a strong chain that doesn´t let us move, dark and destructive, we begin to realize we don´t have power and we cry exhausted, the fight doesn´t take us anywhere, we become darker, until Allah(swt) has Mercy on us and show us a little tiny light that doesn´t hurt us but gives us hope inside the darkness, shows where we should give the next step and the chain begins to loose, we feel we can move a little and we understand that we have a problem that needs to be solved, the next step we will realize that we cannot do it, even when we want, doesn´t come to us, we cannot forgive, then it seems that we are again conscious of the pressure of the chain and the darkness still there, once again, our Lord(swt) has Mercy on us and gives us a little bit more of light, enough to see that the next step is to go to Him, Alhamdulillah, He was there all the time, how was I so blind?, and our Heart claims, Oh my Lord, I need you, I cannot forgive, I cannot do it, I need you, only You, my Lord can sprout the seed of Forgiveness in me, please forgive me for not being able to forgive, forgive the ones that have hurt me and help me to forgive them, and help me to forgive myself for all the wrong I have done consciously or not, My Lord, You are the One and Only that can help me. When this prayer comes out of our Heart, it doesn´t comes because of us, it comes because He (swt) inspires us, He blessed us with it.

    The chains and the darkness will ease and you will feel Peace, insha´Allah. It will take time, you have been suffering during a long time, to heal will take you time, but you began your journey to forgiveness already, Alhamdulillah, Allah(swt) listened to your prayers.

    Be patience and keep on with your prayers and going deeper in your deen, Allah(swt) will ease all the hardness of your Heart and will heal you and the part of you that is your father, insha´Allah, your healing process will transmute the darkness that you carry from your father.

    Allah(swt) knows best.

    All my Unconditional Respect to you and all my Unconditional Love to your mother,

    María Editor

  6. Brother I may be able to help you. I also recommend you buy Refinement of the hearts by Hamza Yusuf. It works wonders. It worked for me.

    Patience and Gratitude by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah –

    Allah have given you the tools to solve you problems. You just need to work with some one who can guide you to use them to your benefit. Why would Allah give you a degree in psychology as well as Islam. Now you have to further develop in Islam and Islamic psychology. Islamic psychology is very powerful and I am willing to guide you to find the answers you need in your life.

  7. Salam Brother,
    I understand your pain from personal experience. I have an abusive father who abused my mother before she left him. After my mother left my father married again, and then the true horror started. He would physically and mentally abuse me and what i mean by that is he would beat me until i would be unconscious and when i came round i would see my blood sprayed all over the walls and ceilings and this was when i was 10 years old. It happened on a regular basis, I have blocked a lot of the trauma out, which I know it very dangerous. The abuse lasted for so long and I kept going back for more thinking my father knows best. I know now it is all about brainwashing to control the victim. At the age of 32 I left the city where my father lives and I have never seen him since. Nobody visited him except my youngest sister, he then began to abuse her and torment and threaten her.
    Unlike me she never experienced that kind of behavior when she was young as it was me who was on the frontline being the oldest, my father saw it as his right to make an example of me.
    My sister sadly committed suicide in 2010 at the age of 32 and her suicide note read "i am sick of this abusive family".

    My sadistic monster of a father is still alive. Just the thought of ever meeting him makes me feel physically sick. I truly believe there is a hell and i believe that men and stones are the fuel of hell, I truly believe that.
    I pray Allah show mercy on all those who have been victims of abuse, they truly will be the inhabitants of heaven.
    This world is but a passing phase, and when we die Allah is the best judge, not some demonic sadistic being.

  8. @budbud:

    After reading your comment it really touched my heart. May Allah reward you for being such a strong and patient person. I hve gone thru similar abide except from an ex husband and his mother. At times it still haunts me but I'm trying to get better. My father suffered from a mental illness as well which made him extremely emotionally abusive, and verbally. I dnt hve anything against him knowing that he's my father and is mentally unstable but at times I do think why ppl physically abuse others? Or say the things they do. I've gotten a lot better than wut I was with my supportive mother. Plz stat strong, Allah knows how ppl like us hve suffered and will take care of those.
    I really hope Allah helps those In a situation similar to the brothers mentioned above, or anyone that's had some sort of abuse. I would highly recommend some sort of therapy to address the trauma & abuse you've faced. May Allah help us all and heal those that hve sufferered ameen

  9. Salam my brothers and sisters.
    I am very happy while reading this that muslims really help each other that they spend few minutes just to leave a comment for their fellow brother or sister an advice. My father also died few weeks ago its to much difficult to stand without him. He was very close to me. he was a very good man please pray for him :-). I am worried about my father in the grave is he having a comfortable in the grave is he happy or he is being punished can you please tell me what kind of prayers should i recite for the forgiveness and mecy of Allah for him thanks 🙂

  10. I want to see my father in my dream. How can I see him???

Leave a Response