I am 25 years old my mother who has physically and mentally abused me all my life has not stopped! I am a married woman with children and she has made problems over and over again between me and my husband, the last situation she wanted to put him in jail because she asked him for a large amount of money that he didn’t have and she got mad. my problem is that I love my mother dearly even though my entire life even to this day has been nothing but abuse, but I cant take it anymore especially when its causing problems in my marriage, I cannot speak to her anymore which I think is the only way to handle the situation, but if she ever gets sick or is in desperate need of help I will be there for her but I need to keep my distance. I was wondering would it be wrong of me to do that?
I obviously do not know your exact situation but getting angry at each other is quite normal. Judging from your words however, your case appears quite grave. Nonetheless, it is important for you to fully understand that your mother holds a very high position merely on the grounds that she is your mother. She has the right to be cared for and treated with the utmost respect. According to the Qur’an, kindness to her is of paramount importance. Thus, Allah (swt) mentions kindness toward parents right beside the duty of worshipping none but Him:
Your Lord has decreed that you worship none save Him, and that you be kind to your parents… (Surah Al Israa 17:23)
Allah (swt) also declares:
And We have enjoined upon man to be good to his parents: his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness… (Surah Luqmaan 31:14)
There is also a well-known Hadith in which the Prophet (p) was narrated to have said that “paradise lies at the feet of your mothers” (Al’Nisa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad). This means that we should show our utmost respect to our mother and our treatment of her can help us earn a place in paradise. Such a thing should definitely be taken advantage of.
Keeping the foregoing in mind, I would not encourage you to cut all relations with her. I would advise you to remain patient and kind to her. Try to avoid anything that may lead toward an argument between you. Look for commonalities; things which bring you closer and increase the love and peace between you. Also, find someone who is respected in her sight to talk to her about this issue and to help the situation if at all possible, I think that could really help. If things get to their worst, you can always give each other space to relax and calm down. Then take it slowly and see her less frequently but still regularly. So if you normally see each other every day, you may want to make it once every week, if you normally see each other once every week, you may want to make it once every two weeks. Perhaps you can also bring someone along, someone who will be in the way of you two getting angry or upset with each other. But I would advise you not to cut ties with her completely.
It is evident from your words that you do indeed love her and this in itself shall be of a lot of help to you in your relationship with her. God willing, paths shall open up for you through all this. Remain close to God through prayers and other forms of worship. Ask Him for help. Indeed, His help should continuously be sought especially in difficult times.
I understand that the above may not be the sort of answer that you desire at this moment but God willing things will turn out for the better. We must keep in mind that there is a consequence to our actions – and I’m not just talking about the hereafter. Anyone who has lived life knows that our actions do have consequences. Sometimes we take decisions and actions in the moment of anger and frustration and later, perhaps much later, wish that we had acted differently. Unfortunately it may then be too late. Imagine how your mother will take the situation. Think also about how you will feel when a time comes in which she really does need your help. God knows how much time we have left to enjoy the presence of our parents. Let us hope and pray that it is very long. This in itself shall be a blessing, which is often taken for granted.
May God help us and make our relationship with our parents always a means of gaining His endless rewards and blessings.
November 14, 2004