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In the Name of God بسم الله

Heaven lies under the feet of one's Mother

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20 hours ago, Aflower said:

Salam. The mother of my friend has created so much toxicity in their whole family towards my friend, that my friend's other siblings and father no longer speak to my friend. My friend has repeatedly apologised to her mother for 'whatever' it is she may have done wrong, but her mother refuses to forgive her. The mother claims that "heaven lies under the feet of the mother", and as such, she has the right to choose whether to converse with her daughter or not. Her mother also claims that Allah will not forgive my friend until she forgives her, so she claims that my friend is doomed to burn in hell for eternity. 

My friend's mother forced her into having an arranged marriage with a wealthy, educated and 'established' guy. Having been subjected to extreme controlling and coercive behaviour, and emotional and physical abuse in excess of a decade at the hands of her spouse, my friend told her mother that she could not bear the burden of her marriage anymore, and that she wanted to speak to a maulana about getting a divorce. My friend's husband would not divorce her islamically, so my friend wanted to request a Khulla. She told her mother that she would confide in a maulana that the marriage was against her free will anyway, and having been subjected to so much, she now wanted a Khulla. My friend's mother wanted my friend to keep up pretences for the sake of society. When my friend said that she would seek a divorce with or without her mother's approval, her mother blackmailed her and said that if my friend told the maulana what had happened in her household, then she would tell everyone that she (my friend's mother), only forced her to get married, because her daughter (my friend), was repeatedly running away with other men before marriage. This is a complete lie BTW. My friend NEVER even dated or held hands with a guy before marriage, let alone running away with numerous men. My friend was so shocked by this false statement that her mother attributed towards her that my friend turned round and told her mother that not even a step mother would say something so disgusting, and that her mother's words proved that her ongoing behaviour towards her was probably because she is not my friend's real mother. This of course was said in haste when my friend was extremely upset. My friend's mother is now only holding onto the statement that my friend called her mother a "stepmother", and she's disregarding everything that she herself had said to my friend. On this basis, my friend's mother has disowned my friend and won't speak to her.

Innumerable people have tried to act as mediators between my friend's family and my friend, but my friend's mother simply won't pay heed.

My friend has since applied for a civil divorce and is trying to piece her life back together day by day. 

What is the islamic ruling on this? Is my friend's mother correct in her position? Does anyone know of a Shia scholar in the UK whose guidance my friend could seek regarding this matter?

Thank you. 

    

Salaam Sister, 

That was terrible. May Allah save everyone from the guardianship of such parents who lie, cheat and blackmale her own daughter. 

Your friend is on the right in the entire matter. Just say her to stay respectful to her mother as much as possible. Because Islam commands to respect the parents at any cost and obedience only if it doesn't violate Allah's commandments. 

It's true that 'heavan lies under the feat of a woman' but their are countless hadith which denounce arrogance and pride even if it is equal to a grain salt. 

Satan was proud and arrogant and that was the reason he didn't bow to Adam and got expelled from Jannah.

Her mother is in an utterly wrong position from the start. 

Forced marriage is haraam. She imposed that on her daughter. 

Lying is a grave sin and that too in order to falsely accuse (tohmat)  someone is an even greater sin. Even not forgiving someone who asks for forgiveness and keeping him/her in trouble is a great sin. 

And saying that 'Allah will not forgive until I forgive' (May Allah protect us from such level of pride)

 

In UK, their are plenty of Shia scholars from whom help can be taken, though I can't help with it. 

Ayatullah Aqeel ul Gharavi (an Urdu scholar and orator is in UK): I don't know if he will be suitable. 

 

May Allah help your friend and Allah is the only helper. You are her friend, so you need to stay in touch with her in this situation. 

May Allah bless you and her. 

“Allah is the guardian of those who believe.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2: 257)

“That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe.” (Surah Muhammad 47: 11)

“and helping the believers is ever incumbent on Us.” (Surah ar-Rūm 30: 47)

Edited by Zainuu
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20 hours ago, Aflower said:

Salam. The mother of my friend has created so much toxicity in their whole family towards my friend, that my friend's other siblings and father no longer speak to my friend. My friend has repeatedly apologised to her mother for 'whatever' it is she may have done wrong, but her mother refuses to forgive her. The mother claims that "heaven lies under the feet of the mother", and as such, she has the right to choose whether to converse with her daughter or not. Her mother also claims that Allah will not forgive my friend until she forgives her, so she claims that my friend is doomed to burn in hell for eternity. 

My friend's mother forced her into having an arranged marriage with a wealthy, educated and 'established' guy. Having been subjected to extreme controlling and coercive behaviour, and emotional and physical abuse in excess of a decade at the hands of her spouse, my friend told her mother that she could not bear the burden of her marriage anymore, and that she wanted to speak to a maulana about getting a divorce. My friend's husband would not divorce her islamically, so my friend wanted to request a Khulla. She told her mother that she would confide in a maulana that the marriage was against her free will anyway, and having been subjected to so much, she now wanted a Khulla. My friend's mother wanted my friend to keep up pretences for the sake of society. When my friend said that she would seek a divorce with or without her mother's approval, her mother blackmailed her and said that if my friend told the maulana what had happened in her household, then she would tell everyone that she (my friend's mother), only forced her to get married, because her daughter (my friend), was repeatedly running away with other men before marriage. This is a complete lie BTW. My friend NEVER even dated or held hands with a guy before marriage, let alone running away with numerous men. My friend was so shocked by this false statement that her mother attributed towards her that my friend turned round and told her mother that not even a step mother would say something so disgusting, and that her mother's words proved that her ongoing behaviour towards her was probably because she is not my friend's real mother. This of course was said in haste when my friend was extremely upset. My friend's mother is now only holding onto the statement that my friend called her mother a "stepmother", and she's disregarding everything that she herself had said to my friend. On this basis, my friend's mother has disowned my friend and won't speak to her.

Innumerable people have tried to act as mediators between my friend's family and my friend, but my friend's mother simply won't pay heed.

My friend has since applied for a civil divorce and is trying to piece her life back together day by day. 

What is the islamic ruling on this? Is my friend's mother correct in her position? Does anyone know of a Shia scholar in the UK whose guidance my friend could seek regarding this matter?

Thank you. 

    

I'm going through something like this right now with my mother. 

This sort of overbearing devouring mother type is very common in the 1st generation of Pakistani (and others) immigrants.

This happens a whole lot less in the native country, because in those types of societies the mother in law prevents the newly wed woman becoming tyrannical.

In the immigrant situation, the newly wed wife is far far away from the mother in law, and so enjoys the freedom to become tyrannical, with no one whipping her into line, or calling her out on her behaviour.

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1 minute ago, Randle McMurphy said:

I'm going through something like this right now with my mother. 

This sort of overbearing devouring mother type is very common in the 1st generation of Pakistani (and others) immigrants.

This happens a whole lot less in the native country, because in those types of societies the mother in law prevents the newly wed woman becoming tyrannical.

In the immigrant situation, the newly wed wife is far far away from the mother in law, and so enjoys the freedom to become tyrannical, with no one whipping her into line, or calling her out on her behaviour.

@Randle McMurphyThank you for posting such a thoughtful, considered and perspicuous response. My friend's mother is also originally from Pakistan, and as her family and in-laws remained in Pakistan, my friend's mother is not accountable to anyone. I'd never previously considered matters from the perspective you presented, but upon reflection, this scenario is very much applicable to my friend. My heart goes out to you and I hope and pray that InshAllah the situation works out for you too. All my duas are with you. Stay strong. 

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@Randle McMurphy It's mind boggling how someone chooses not to select the 'my prayers' reaction for the post about my friend, yet can disagree with your response! Furthermore, unless someone has been bought up outside of Pakistan, and has had first hand experience of growing up in a household with non native parents with this kind of mentality, I believe it would be very difficult, (albeit not impossible), to relate to this kind of predicament. To each it's own. May Allah bless everyone. Ameen.

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Your friend's mother has some traits of a bully. It's a very difficult place to be in. It's actually a classic story - women gets pressured into marrying a decent, established guy who turns out to be an abuser. 

I know a very kind-hearted sheikh who I personally know, he comes to Australia quite often but resides in the UK. Sayed Ali Khalkali is the one, but not sure if he has dealt with such cases before, so be mindful of that. 

Perhaps you can talk to Sheikh Jawad Shomali? Him and his wife can be contacted on instagram, they seem good with social issues and are very empathetic. I've spoken with him before. 

My thought goes out to your friend, inshallah her situation gets better. 

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My heart breaks for you, friend of OP. What a terrible, awful, heart-wrenching situation to be in. 

My own husband has a mother who is a narc and abused him/blackmailed/threatened him and tried to force him to get married to whom she wanted him to. Allah saved my husband from this awful fate and he met me instead, Alhamdulilah. I have tried to help him heal from the years of abuse. 

My husband’s mom is also like a step-mother, has some controlling tendencies, uses Quran verses out of context to gaslight and manipulate. Honestly, the best thing your friend should do is to cut off contact for her own sanity. Or at least, reduce contact to only consist of sending holiday cards

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7 hours ago, Guest WhatinGod’searth said:

My heart breaks for you, friend of OP. What a terrible, awful, heart-wrenching situation to be in. 

My own husband has a mother who is a narc and abused him/blackmailed/threatened him and tried to force him to get married to whom she wanted him to. Allah saved my husband from this awful fate and he met me instead, Alhamdulilah. I have tried to help him heal from the years of abuse. 

My husband’s mom is also like a step-mother, has some controlling tendencies, uses Quran verses out of context to gaslight and manipulate. Honestly, the best thing your friend should do is to cut off contact for her own sanity. Or at least, reduce contact to only consist of sending holiday cards

JazakAllah for reaching out to me and for taking the time to respond with so much sensitivity, compassion and discernment. MashAllah your husband is blessed to have met a tender-hearted soul like you whom he can share this beautiful journey of life with.

Thanks for the advise about maintaining a healthy distance - which, may I add, many other people have also suggested to my friend. In theory, it makes perfect sense logically speaking. However, in practice, when one has been raised with Islamic values, has a strong moral compass, and when intrinsically one inherently aims to please Allah at all times, (and therefore acknowledges that cutting off family ties is forbidden), this becomes a very tricky/conflicting predicament for one to inwardly come to terms with. (Even though my friend knows that this is the only option for her own mental sanity, and as you quite rightly suggested, for her to have the required time to heal).

My friend has therefore chosen the middle path of not meeting or speaking to her mother, but she still sends her mother the occasional message saying that she's thinking of, and praying for her. That gives my friend mental peace that she is fulfilling her Islamic obligations whilst simultaneously protecting her own interests too.    

I'm glad that people like your self are speaking up about issues like this. Unfortunately, there are a great deal of Muslims, that like you specified, practice a distorted version of Islam, and regretfully, only quote/adhere to the Quran/hadeeth selectively when it suits their own personal motives. Furthermore, they intentionally only indoctrinate and teach their children an agenda fueled version of Islam. Think: Animal Farm. The ability of people to believe their own lies never fails to shock me! People like this often believe that they are upstanding pillars of society and that they are 'holier than thou'. My friend's mothers favourite quote is that a child can not even say "uff" to their parents. Obviously she uses this completely out of context in any/every possible situation!

I feel the crux of the issue is that Maulana's/Sheikhs/Imams that sit on the Pulpit always pontificate about what the responsibilities of the children are towards their parents. This is of course necessary, but it makes some parents wrongly believe that they, nawzubillah, have a God-like status. I wish that more Speakers would give a balanced perspective and discuss what the responsibilities of parents are towards their children too. Surely, if Allah says that heaven lies under the feet of one's mother, this must be because the mother's behaviour/conduct/sense of responsibility and fairness towards her children must be so lofty/just/correct, that it makes the mother worthy of that heavenly position.

This does not detract from the fact that children should always aim to be respectful towards their parents. But, likewise, with reference to parents/guardians responsibility towards children, as Spiderman says, (my son is a huge Marvel fan and so this quote sprang to mind :-)), "With great power comes great responsibility".

May Allah bless you and your family. Ameen. Please remember us all in your prayers.    

Edited by Aflower
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On 11/22/2020 at 5:32 PM, Aflower said:

@Randle McMurphy It's mind boggling how someone chooses not to select the 'my prayers' reaction for the post about my friend, yet can disagree with your response! Furthermore, unless someone has been bought up outside of Pakistan, and has had first hand experience of growing up in a household with non native parents with this kind of mentality, I believe it would be very difficult, (albeit not impossible), to relate to this kind of predicament. To each it's own. May Allah bless everyone. Ameen.

I disagreed because it's mind boggling how you and the other user can talk against one kind of oppression and justify another type of oppression. Few women are abused by their own mothers but millions of women are abused by their mothers-in-law and you are justifying that? Also, I don't know who is the newly-wed you are talking about who needs to be accountable to her mother-in-law? Your friend has been married for 10 years and her mother is not a newly wed, I don't think your friend's mother's mother-in-law is even alive. My reaction was about the comments that women need mothers-in-law to keep them in check or hold them accountable. What about men? Who is there to keep them in check and hold them accountable? 

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