Question

I have a lot of resentment towards Allah for the horrible childhood and parents that he gave me (domestic violence, adultery). I still have a lot of anger, how can I move on from this? I always wonder why Allah gave me the worst parents.

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Response

Assalaamu ‘alaikum – peace be with you,

Thank you for reaching out to us, we know that it isn’t easy and we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us. The feelings of anger and resentment can feel overwhelming, but you have taken the first step to healing in recognising these emotions. In fact, you’ve also started to express them and reach out to us rather than suppressing them – another positive sign. It sounds like these emotions are carried over from difficult life events in the past that may be damaging your present self. However, the difference is that you are now an adult, with free will and control. The same free will and control that Allah has bestowed upon us all, including your parents. Yes they were given to you by Allah but they were also given a choice in the way they treated you, like the rest of us, we are all answerable to Allah for our choices. So try not to be angry with Him, perhaps it is precisely because in such situations, we know deep down that Allah is our only friend that we channel our emotions and express our anger towards Him, because we know He is the One who will listen.

Of course it takes time to understand this, but if you look at yourself now you may realise that you’re stronger and that Allah actually taught you really early on that you can only depend on Him. Perhaps that’s what Ibrahim (AS) was being taught when his father sided with everyone else against him (possibly for selfish and not just ideological reasons) and made him homeless by telling him to leave because of his beliefs. We can learn from Ibrahim (AS), Allah calls him His best friend and he really did at such a time only have Allah. The rest of his community, including his parents, outcast him and even conspired to kill him. Rather than arguing and disrespecting his father, he promised to pray for him before leaving and maybe sometimes creating that distance or space is important.

We have been commanded to respect and be humble to our parents, especially when they are old. However, if there is too much conflict, then some distancing can help sustain a relationship of respect rather than one of anger and hate. There is Allah’s hiqmah (wisdom) in everything, in what you have been through just as there was in what Ibrahim (AS) went through. Put your trust in Him as Ibrahim (AS) did when he was being tossed in a pit of fire, his parents didn’t save him, Allah did.

This is, of course, not to undermine your very natural emotions. Allah recognises the despair and frustration life’s trials can evoke in our hearts, and says: “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger (ﷺ) and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” [Qur’an 2:214]

As the verse suggests, our difficult experiences are all part of the test that this life is. We may not always understand why (especially when we are actually going through it) but Allah tests those He loves and those who love Him. But there is also hope and help, “the help of Allah is near”, and He has created sources of relief. There is also the option of seeking professional help from your GP or talking therapies such as counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). If you feel that you cannot manage these emotions alone or that they are interfering with your everyday routine or relationships, please seek help. We at Inspirited Minds provide support through our counselling services which takes Islam into account.

You are not alone, if there is suffering then there is also shifaa (cure/healing) given by Him – perhaps talking therapies could be your shifaa. If you would rather self-manage, then salah, dhikr like reciting Allah’s names, meditation and an exercise regimen are positive steps in dealing with negative emotions. These activities can help heal your heart and help replace the anger with love and trust for Him insha’Allah. We sincerely and humbly hope this was helpful. Once again, thank you for reaching out to us.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and we hope this helps insha’Allah,
Duas always,
IM Support Team

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Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.

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