My life at home is unbearable. Because my family – my father and mother – do so many bad things, I hate myself, and I hate them. This has led to me disobeying them, and I cannot honour them under any circumstances. I hope that your answer will not be to try again. Their reputation is bad, it includes divorce but in a manner that I cannot mention. I have decided to go away from them and travel to a place where I can live and work far away from their reputation.
I wear niqaab because of the problems, but the place should be somewhere where niqaab is not obligatory, only hijab. I have decided to travel and live far away from all of this, and wearing hijab will be better than wearing niqaab but having reached a state of kufr – Allaah forbid.
I ask you by Allaah to advise me. I need to speak to someone. I ask you by Allaah to solve my problem. I have almost begun to despair of the mercy of our Lord. If I die I am worried that – Allaah forbid – I will be a kaafir, because you do not know what is in my heart.
This world is not free of worries and distress, and the Muslim knows that, indeed all people know that. All people suffer in this world, good and bad.
The difference between the believer and the kaafir with regard to that is that the believer has the hope of the reward of Allaah in good times and bad, which the kaafir is deprived of because of his kufr. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“if you are suffering (hardships) then surely, they (too) are suffering (hardships) as you are suffering, but you have a hope from Allaah (for the reward, i.e. Paradise) that for which they hope not; and Allaah is Ever All‑Knowing, All‑Wise”
The believer knows that whatever good he sees in this world is only partial, and that whatever evil he sees in this realm, no matter what this evil is, is only partial. True good is in Paradise and true evil is in Hell.
Shaddaad ibn Aws (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say: You do not see anything of good but its causes and you do not see anything of evil but its causes. All goodness is in Paradise and all evil is in Hell. This world is transient and passing, in which both the righteous and the immoral eat. But the Hereafter is a true promise in which a stern Sovereign will pass judgement. Each of them has its sons, so be among the sons of the Hereafter and do not be among the sons of this world.
Sifat al-Safwah (1/709).
Because of this truth, the one who is destined for Hell will forget all this goodness from the first time he is dipped in Hell, and the one who is destined for Paradise will forget all this hardship the first time he is dipped in Paradise.
This is the wisdom of Allaah, which the believer sees in that which Allaah has decreed for him. He tests His slaves with good and bad alike.
“Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned”
It is easy for anyone to speak the words of faith and claim to be sincere, but it is through tests and trials that those who are sincere are distinguished from those who are lying, and believers are distinguished from hypocrites. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.
3. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)”
So the believer is different from all other people when he is tested with good and bad. He is grateful for good things and he is patient when bad things happen, and there is no goodness in anything other than that.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all of it is good, and that applies to no one except the believer. If something good happens to him he gives thanks, and that is good for him, and if something bad befalls him he bears it with patience, and that is good for him.” Narrated by Muslim (2999).
One of the names by which Allaah has called Himself is al-Hakeem (the Wise), and one of His deeds is wisdom which the human mind cannot fully comprehend. That part of His wisdom which is known to us can help the believer to be steadfast and patient. In the answer to question no. 35914 we have stated some of the wisdom and benefits that result from calamities. Please refer to this question, as it is important.
There are some things which, if the one who is stricken with calamity thinks about them, his problem will seem less severe. Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in his book Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/189-195) a number of these things, which we have mentioned in the answer to question no. 71236. Please refer to this question, as it is important.
Honouring your parents is an Islamic duty, and it is haraam to disobey them even if their attitude or their treatment of you is bad, and no matter what has happened between them. Allaah has enjoined treating them kindly even if they try to force you to disbelieve. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that 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”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined maintaining ties with them and treating them kindly even if they are kaafirs, as he said to Asma’ (may Allaah be pleased with her) when her mother, who was a kaafir, came to visit her because she needed something: “Uphold ties of kinship with your mother.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2477) and Muslim (1003).
Moving far away from your family and travelling by yourself is not permissible because of the problem, rather it the wrong way to deal with it. It is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “No man should be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram present with her, and no woman should travel except with a mahram.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1763) and Muslim (1341).
This hadeeth indicates that for a woman to travel alone, without a husband or mahram, is haraam. The word “travel” in the hadeeth is general in meaning, and includes travelling for Hajj and ‘Umrah or to seek knowledge. What you are intending to do comes under the heading of travel that is forbidden in this hadeeth, and if the travel is to a kaafir country, then it is even more haraam.
It is not permissible for a woman to take off her hijab, the symbol of her chastity, religious commitment and modesty. Obedience to Allaah takes precedence over desires, pleasures and worldly matters.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is obligatory for a woman to observe hijab in front of non-mahram men, both at home and abroad, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts”
This verse includes the face as well as other parts, because the face is the greatest part of a woman’s beauty.
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the
women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies
(i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the
way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable
women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most
“…and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons …”
These verses indicate that it is obligatory to observe hijab at home and abroad, in front of Muslims and kaafirs.
It is not permissible for any woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to take these matter slightly because that is disobedience towards Allaah and His Messenger, and because that will cause fitnah at home and abroad.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (1/446, 447).
You should not despair of the mercy of Allaah. What you say in your question indicates that you have lost self confidence and have lost hope in your Lord. The Shaytaan would like this to continue. Beware of falling into the trap of the Shaytaan.
We can see from your letter that you are upset and grieved by the state of your family, and how their reputation is affecting you, which has made you think of moving away from them. But we want you to think long and hard lest you fall pray to evil people, especially if they know about your family’s situation and you are alone among them. So you have to plan to solve this problem without doing anything that is haraam.
We suggest that you should tell one of your relatives who is wise and is a mahram about your problem, such as a paternal uncle or maternal uncle, so that he may help you to solve the problem that results from your remaining with your family. Moving to the house of one of your mahrams is the best way to solve your problem, if living with them is as you describe and there is no hope of them mending their ways. Maybe after that Allaah will bless you with a righteous husband with whom you will have a happy life and Allaah may bless you with good children from him.
There is no reason why your relatives should not help you to get married to a righteous man. If they do that, they will be deserving of praise. There is no reason why you should not try to get someone whose intelligence and religious commitment you trust to look for a suitable husband for you, or mention you to a person who you think is righteous and good.
But whatever the case, we do not advise you to travel alone or to move to a house on your own, rather we advise you to live with one of your relatives who is a mahram, if that is possible, so long as you choose a righteous household that is suitable for you to live in. If that is not possible then we advise you to look for righteous sisters, such as students, and live with them. If that is not possible, then look for a righteous sister who is living with her sisters or mother, who you could live with. What matters is that you should avoid living alone and avoid travelling, especially to a kaafir country, and you should look for a good and suitable environment where you can protect your religious commitment.
It is not permissible for you to give in to the tricks of the shaytaan for you are one of those who are despairing and are close to kufr. All of that plays a role in worry and distress.
Think about the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allaah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allaah is near!”
You will realize that when calamity grows worse and reaches the point that it feels like an earthquake, then relief is close at hand by the mercy of the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
Think about the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things”
“and whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him”
“Verily, along with every hardship is relief,
6. Verily, along with every hardship is relief”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O young man, shall I not teach you some words by means of which Allaah may benefit you?” I said: Yes. He said: “Be mindful of Allaah, He will take care of you. Be mindful of Allaah and you will find Him before you. Remember Him at times of ease and He will remember you at times of hardship. If you ask, then ask of Allaah, if you seek help then seek help from Allaah. The Pen has dried and things are happening (as they have been decreed). If all of mankind were to gather together to benefit you in some way that Allaah has not decreed for you, they would never be able to do it, and if they wanted to harm you with something that Allaah has not decreed for you, they would never be able to do it. Remember that there is much good in bearing with patience that which you dislike, and that victory comes with patience, and that with hardship comes a way out and with difficulty comes ease.” Narrated by Ahmad, 2800 and classed as saheeh by Al-Albaani.
Finally: we advise you to make du’aa’ and seek out the best times such as the last third of the night, saying a lot of du’aa’ whilst prostrating, being sincere in your du’aa’ and humbly beseeching your Lord to guide your parents and set their affairs straight, and to help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
See also the book “Alhomoom – Dealing with Worries and Stress” in the Books section of this site.
And Allaah knows best.