For the past 23 years, i endured a lot of physical and mental abuse from my beloved mother. In all this time,
i have tried very hard to swallow my pain and tolerate it , purely because she is my mother, regardless. But, sadly, now, at the age of 23 I am finding it very difficult to Tolerate it anymore. Her constant physical and verbal abuse has made me so ill, that i have been hospitalised for stress and been recommended to seek professional help. But i don't want to see a psychologist who would feed me with information and advice that is hostile to the Islamic point of view.
I ma a very pious women,and know how highly regarded mothers are in Islam, and they have to be respected regardless. But what about me? Why have i done to deserve all this? Just recently, i have learnt, from my father, that she is mentally disturbed, and is a product of her hostile upbringing. But that still doesn't help me?
As i write to you now, she sits outside in the lounge, and refuses to talk to me and works very hard to make my four sisters and brothers not talk to me either. Sadly, they comply, so not to make her upset. What really upsets me is that she curses me a lot and makes very bad du'oas for me, like wish that i die soon from a horrible disease or go to hell.
My real concern is, how much of that would God listen to? What is God's opinion of me? What's His opinion of her? And what do i do now? Please help and and let me know what my rights and obligations are as a Muslim daughter. Can mothers do that just because they are mothers and paradise lay under their feet? What about the children?
Jazak allah khayra
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah has commanded us to treat our parents well, and He has linked this to the command to worship Him and the prohibition of associating anything in worship with Him. The rights of the mother in this regard have been emphasized more than those of the father.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Worship none but Allaah (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents…” [al-Baqarah 2:83]. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “This means treating them with respect and kindness, and lowering the wing of humility to them, not answering them harshly or glaring at them, not raising one's voice to them, but being as humble towards them as a slave towards his master.” Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, not shout at them, but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’” [al-Isra’ 17:23-24]. Al-Baghawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This means not saying anything that may contain the slightest hint of irritation. [The word ‘uff’ in the aayah, translated here as ‘a word of disrepect’] comes from the word ‘aff’, which is similar to the word ‘taff’; both words refer to the dirt that collects under fingernails, and [in Arabic] when one is annoyed and fed up with something, one says ‘uff!’ to it.”
Abu Baddaah al-Tajeebi said: “I said to Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyab: ‘I understood everything in the Qur’aan about respecting one’s parents, apart from the aayah (interpretation of the meaning) “But address them in terms of honour” [al-Isra’ 17:23]. What are these terms of honour [al-qawl al-kareem]?’ Ibn al-Musayyab said: ‘It is the way in which a slave who has done wrong approaches a harsh and strict master.’”
The obligation of treating one’s parents with kindness and respect is not confined only to Muslim parents; they should be honoured in this way even if they are kaafirs. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents, - unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.” [Luqmaan 31:14-15].
If Allaah has told us to treat even these parents with respect and kindness, in spite of the heinous sin which they are telling their child to commit, which is the crime of associating something in worship with Allaah, then what do you think is the case with Muslim parents, especially if they are righteous? By Allaah, their rights are among the most important and most certain rights, and fulfilling these rights in a proper manner is one of the most difficult and most important duties. The one who is guided to do this is truly guided, and the one who is not helped to do this is truly deprived. Innumerable ahaadeeth also confirm this. According to a hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): “A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, who among the people is most deserving of my good companionship?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then whom?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then whom?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then whom?’ He said, ‘Then your father.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4/13, and Muslim, 2548).
Makhool said: “Respecting one’s parents is an expiation for major sins.”
You have to be patient with your mother and put up with the harsh treatment on her part, which is upsetting you. By treating her with respect and dealing with her kindly, you will earn her good pleasure and love. Try to avoid things that will provoke her and make her angry, even if they are in your interests, without causing harm to yourself. Your mother, for her part, has to treat you well and stop harming you with her blows and insults.
With regard to what you mention about her praying against you, if these du’aa’s are said for no good reason, they will not be accepted. It is not permissible for her to pray against you for no good reason, because of the general applicability of the Prophet’s words: “[The prayers] of any of you will be answered, so long as he does not pray for sin or the breaking of family ties.” This hadeeth indicates that if a du’aa’ includes sin, it will definitely not be answered. There is no doubt that praying against one’s child for no good reason is a sin.
We ask Allaah to help you to treat her with respect and earn her pleasure, and to help us all to do that which He loves and will please Him. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid