I Cannot Get Along With My Mother. What Should I Do?

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Question:

My mother and I do not get along. She dislikes me to the extent where at this point (since I’m 21) she just wants to get married and leave the house. I dislike her to the point where if I weren’t Muslim, I would have left my parents to live on my own and visit them infrequently. My mother brings out the worst in me. I am not a cruel, hateful person, but with her I cannot control my anger though I have tried for over 7 years. She has also tried to get along with me, but our personalities are simply not suited for one another.

However, I am afraid that if I don’t love my mother, Allah (swt) will send me to hell. I have read hadiths that state looking at one’s parents with wrathful eyes causes your salat to not be accepted, so I have decided to avoid eye contact with her altogether. I still wish to please Allah (swt) and do my best, but I also know that keeping a distant relationship with my mother from now on will be the healthiest choice for us emotionally and mentally.

How can I act islamically towards her while still remaining distant? What are some specific actions I could do when interacting with her that would please Allah (swt) but not require much interaction with her? For instance, to clarify my meaning, I want to avoid interaction with her at all costs by staying in my room for the most part and not being in rooms as her if I can help it, but I know that’s not entirely islamic- so what is the islamic way to do that? What is the islamic way to speak to her when she is backbiting or sinning? Do I have to correct her from sinning if she does it in front of me or can I just not care?


Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Jazaki-Allah Khairan for writing and mentioning the issues you are facing with your mother.

We acknowledge that the situation as described in your letter is serious and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Your letter states that your mother has tried to get along with you and your conclusion is that it did not work out because of the different personalities you both have. For her to have tried to get along with you is evidence of her concern and love for you – otherwise if she disliked you so much why would she even try?

Secondly, it is not at all guaranteed that you and your mother will always see eye-to-eye on everything. Differences of opinion are common but how we deal and respond to these issues, especially when we are dealing with parents is necessary for us to understand.

You are her daughter no matter what, and you have continue to fulfill her rights and be kind to her even if she doesn’t agree with you. Don’t argue with her. You have mentioned that you cannot control your anger. This is a problem. You have to learn to control yourself in her presence.

When you are looking at her with scathing eyes or angrily you are being negligient in your rights. You have mentioned that you are 21 years old and you are facing these issues with your mother for the past 7 years. That means that for the first 14 years of your life things were more calmer and you did not seem to have such problems.

Why did she start disliking you then during these past years when you used to get along fine with her before? Look back and see what happened. Are you being over-assertive in making your own decisions? Are you ignoring her advice and disregarding her suggestions? These are issues you need to think long and hard about. You have to be sensitive to the feelings of your parents and this becomes more necessary as they get older.

Avoiding your mother is not a solution since you would just be running away from the problem. If your mother gets involved in backbiting or other sins you can advise her gently and kindly. If you believe that by correcting her you will not being able to control your tongue or will disrespect her, then you should consider the sin she is committing bad in your heart, remain silent and leave her presence respectfully.

You are aware of how wicked and evil the sin of shirk (ascribing partners to Allah) is. Yet, the rights of parents are emphasized so much that in the Quran, the children have been ordered to deal with kindness even when their parents ask them to commit shirk:

“But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.”  [Surah Luqman, 15]

The rewards that Allah gives to those who are kind to their parents are beyond imagination. You can read about the rewards of kindness towards parents at the following link: http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/32474

Continue to read the rewards mentioned at the above link regularly as this will remind you of the importance given to parents in Islam.

Finally, make it a regular habit to make dua for her and yourself. The power of dua should never be underestimated.

Sister, everyone faces difficulties in life. Some struggle financially, some face crippling health issues, and some have very difficult relationships, and so on.

We make dua that Allah give you the strength and courage to face this difficulty and get though it. Work with her. We are sure that your mother loves you. Follow the steps above and always remember there is no replacement for your mother. Insha-Allah in due time you and your mother will find common ground.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best 

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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