My father oppresses me greatly by evoking doubts about my words and actions and he puts a lot of pressure on me. He tells me to do something, so I do what he asks and then some time later he rebukes me for what I did. This never ends. He frequently gets angry and I have not been able to change anything. He does not pray and he commits a lot of disbelief (kufr). What should I do?
Answer (Sheikh Muḥammad al-Faḥḥām):
In the Name of Allah, all praise be to Allah and blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the Messenger of Allah, and upon his family and Companions and those who follow him.
To proceed: Dealing with parents is not in order to reclaim a right or an example of a partnership. Rather, it is a transaction with the Generous Lord, so have confidence in the existence of Allah the Exalted, who says in His Majestic Exposition, “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.’ Your Lord knows best what is in your selves. If you are righteous, He is Ever-Forgiving to the remorseful.” [al-Isrāʾ 17:24-25] In other words, Allah knows what is in your selves, whether your intend righteousness (birr) towards them or recalcitrance (ʿuqūq). If you obey His command, He is Ever-Forgiving towards those who keep returning to Him, i.e. He is very forgiving. Be upright and sincere in your perseverance and anticipate your reward from your Protector, Who has written abundant reward for those who act well and will not their reward go to waste. The Glorified has said, “But as for those who believe and do right actions, We will not let the reward of good-doers go to waste.” [al-Kahf 18:30] I advise you not to get into conversation with him, let alone debates. Instead of all of that, have hope and supplicate to the Lord of the Heavens to guide his heart and open his chest to the light of repentance and remorse. I will supplicate with you, if Allah so wills, and perhaps the Protector, Glorified is He, will respond according to the promise of the greatest master, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that a brother’s supplication for his brother in secret is answered.