I treat my family well, but they are not treating me in the same way. Sometimes they shame me because I still am unmarried and staying with them. From my simple salary, 200 LE, I try to help at home. I am a governmental clerk at education ministry. I wanted to study another field, actually I did not want to work for the government, but I listened to them. They were saying a lot of things about the advantages of working for the government; such as stability and pension, etc. I became a clerk. Now I cannot get married. I am 34 years old, I avoid being disobedient to my parents. But I have dignity and I want to protect it when they say such things to me, especially my mother when she says “you still are unmarried staying with us”. How shall I behave with them? I try to repress my anger a lot but until when?!.
Your parents have great rights over you and are entitled to respect and kind treatment, even if they mistreat you, and even if they try to make you leave Islam and join the caravan of shirk – Allaah forbid. This is a right that is guaranteed to them by Islam. 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, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour”
“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”
Remember this even though you think that your treating them kindly and honouring them is destroying your “dignity”. Remember this even though you are saying “how long can I suppress my anger?”
You have to carry on putting up with your family’s mistreatment of you and you have to carry on honouring them and treating them kindly, even if they mistreat you and hurt you.
What we advise you to do in practical terms is as follows:
1 – Be patient and seek reward with Allaah for the things you are suffering from your family. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And seek help in patience and As-Salaah (the prayer) and truly, it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khaashi‘oon [i.e. the true believers in Allaah — those who obey Allaah with full submission, fear much from His punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise) and in His Warnings (Hell)]”
2 – Honour them and treat them kindly, and show kindness to them by giving them gifts, taking care of them, and speaking nicely to them. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Give one another gifts, so that you will love one another.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (594); classed as hasan by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in al-Talkhees al-Habeer (3/70) and by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (1601).
3 – Advise them and urge them to adhere to the rulings of sharee’ah and good manners, with wisdom and beautiful preaching.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad صلىالله عليه وسلم) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided”
4 – Use a variety of da’wah methods, and do not stick to just one method. Audio and video tapes and booklets may have an effect in changing their behaviour.
5 – Seek the help of knowledgeable people and seeker of knowledge who are held in high esteem by them, and ask them to visit you and speak to them and advise them.
6 – Strive to seek a halaal income, which will enable you to get married. You can look for another job, or travel to a Muslim country to work there.
7 – Always pray that they will be guided.
We ask Allaah to enable you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him, and to make things easy for you, and to guide your family to righteousness and wisdom.
And Allaah is the source of strength.