Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
Assalamu Alaikum war Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
I recently watched a Sohbet on http://islamicsupremecouncil.org in which I saw you were answering questions by email and I hope you can help me with my problem. I am a recently married woman in my twenties who accepted Islam one and a half years ago and joined Tariqat half a year ago. I was raised by a single mother and ever since I can remember our relationship has not been a typical mother-child relationship. As a child I did not like my mother to touch me and was not very attached to her and often had bad feelings toward her (I have been told this was the case since my birth). Likewise she has let me known on several occasions throughout my life that she also did not have such good feelings towards me as a mother would towards her child. I moved away from her at 15 years old, and since then have been trying to improve my relationship with her by trying to talk kindly to her and keeping in touch. I have forgiven her a thousand times with my mind for not showing me typical motherly care, but my heart seems not to be able to do the same. I usually get ill and often very depressed when I visit her (though on the surface our relationship is now quite polite and of mutual goodwill) and especially since I have accepted Islam and Tariqat, seeing her is followed by several months of ill-feeling, anger, depression, and often nightmares about her and me. With my mind, I pray for her and wish the best for her and she does the same, but it is now even more difficult for me to talk to her on the phone and I get scared of the idea that she should come to visit me and my husband. I feel guilt I cannot be a good caring daughter to her or show her any love, as Islam tells you to give your most care and thanks to your mother. I have been praying for months for this feeling to go away as I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with this dark feeling of anger and ungratefulness towards my mother. But I’m not sure it is getting better. ElHamduliLlah I am now expecting and hope very much that I will be able to give all the motherly love to my child that it should grow up in a happy and loving muslim home and hope this issue won’t affect my child… I would be extremely grateful for your advice.
Thank you very much wa Salam
wa `alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakutuh,
Islam teaches that duty to parents and affection and obedience to parents is among the highest forms of obedience to Allah and His Prophet (s). Allah said in the Holy Qur’an:
And We have enjoined upon man concerning his parents. His mother bears him in strain upon strain, and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks unto Me and unto your parents. Unto Me is the journeying. (Luqman, 31:14)
Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none save Him, and that you should show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘Uff’ to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: “Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small.” (al-Isra, 17:21)
On the authority of ibn Mas`ud (r) that he asked the Prophet of Allah (s), “Which deeds are best?” He replied, “Prayer at its times.” He asked,”Then which?” He replied, “Good treatment to parents.” He asked, “Then which?” He replied, “Jihad in the Way of Allah.” (Muslim)
The Prophet (s) said, “Any Muslim whose father and mother are Muslims and he awakes every morning with the intention of doing good to them, Allah will open two doors [of Paradise] for him. If only one parent is alive, only one door will be opened. If he angers one of them, Allah will not be pleased with that person until his parent is pleased with him, even if they are unjust to him.” (Bukhari’s Adab al-Mufrad)
On the authority of Mu`awiyah bin Jahima that the Messenger of Allah (s) said, “Serve your mother for Paradise lies under her feet.” (an-Nasa’iyy)
and there are many others along the same lines.
Therefore our advice is to try your best to reset your thinking with regard to your mother, and do not be like modern people who like to cut their familial ties and create new social ties based on work or leisure relationships, which have no reality. It is famously said, “blood is thicker than water” and in the long run you will find that those who stick by you are your family. The dislike you feel maybe something generated by Shaytan, who desires nothing less than to sow discord between the Children of Adam, so ignore it and repel his whispers by reciting A`udhu Billahi min ash-Shaytaani ‘r-rajeem Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem when you get this feeling.
You may try to reach out to her little-by-little to rebuild the broken relationship. Begin with simple things like birthday cards and gifts, monthly or weekly calls to ask about her health and state and then increase to longer conversations and visits. By this you will fulfill your duties and you will find that ill-feeling dissolve, Insha-Allah.
reviewed and approved by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani