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Should parents apologies to children in Islam?


Dear Shaikh
Assalamualaikum, Ramadan Kareem.
I am a struggling Muslim, full of confusion and misdirection when it comes to researching some heart felt topics related to parenting in Islam. The relationship between myself and my parents and elder brothers has been the most constant and difficult struggle in my life. Which has resulted in me questioning myself as a Muslim and my methods in following the teachings of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).
I feel like the day I was born I was a burden for my family, that somehow I am the root cause to their deteriorating  health and disappointments as parents. Since a young age, I have been compared to my elder brothers being the youngest of 3 sons that I am lazy, incompetent and a burden. May be it was the fact that I am actually the son of my father’s eldest sister? So I am not treated equally? Over 30 years of my life I felt this was the cause. I never got the same treatment my two elder brothers where treated differently they got all the good things in life, opportunities to go on school trips, the best toys, the best of everything. Whenever I requested same I was told I would break things, or I didn’t deserve the same as my elder brothers.
I still remember when families and relatives used to come around and give gifts for all 3 brothers my mother would hide mine from me and later on give them to other families as gifts. She still does this till this day. Even when we give her gifts she keeps them to give to others.
When we would be with family friends or relatives I would also be the centre of discussion. My parents would tell everyone I am a disappointment I failed school, I failed university, I can’t get a job and that they are worried were I would go in life and what I would achieve. Even boast about how much money they have had to spend on my education, accommodation and living etc… The most hurtful thing was to hear my father telling people how proud he was of my elder to brothers, how successful they both are which till this day I don’t understand my Eldest brother is the only one in our family who required debt recovery. My other brother was a struggling academic who was failing education or any chances of securing work?
When I reached the age of 25, I simply understood I could never be happy as a part of this family so I moved away. For years I didn’t ask for help financially or mentally from my family. I became distant I didn’t want to be a burden for anyone. I was sick and mentally finished I couldn’t take it anymore. It got to a point where my brothers would make fun of me and ridicule me to appoint where my parents would join in and do the same.
At this point I decided to cut off from them completely as I wasn’t happy anymore, it was till I got married my wife told me your parents are old you should be with them. Even if they have hurt you Allah (SWT)never forgives children who don’t respect their parents even if they have hurt you all your life. On her say so, I reconnected with my family but this time round I was the one who successful much more successful than any family member I had the money, the perfect life the perfect children. I took this as a chance to show them look all those years you hurt me it made me stronger and now I have proved to you I can do it and I have done it without your help. I joke and tease them, but my parents do not like it they tell me to respect my brothers yet they were the ones who used to join in and scold and offend me.
My whole character and attitude has changed because of the mental torture I received as a child. Most recently my life took a u-turn I lost my job twice and have been jobless for 6months. My father decided to help me but again he’s now started telling everyone I am helping my son again? He volunteered to help me I did not ask him to help. I just wanted to be around family again I thought things had changed since they went on Hajj. But he’s still the same person. I am sorry if I am being disrespectful or naive. But I do not believe that a parent can hurt his child and yet the child has to apologies to his parents for being rude or disrespectful. I strongly believe if someone shows you respect and love you only then show it back regardless the relationship.
If you do something for your children that’s good, it is your duty as a parent to help them! Why are you boasting to the world as if it is a burden?
Recently I offended my brother accidentally by saying something slightly wrong because my Urdu is not great, and made a joke at my sister-in-law which turned into mayhem. My family asked me to apologise. I refused, my brother and his wife have always made fun of me and I have never responded. I have never ever been apologised to.
My father thinks I am a lost hope, I have no dean or respect and my behaviour and attitude is poor in regards to life and a Muslim?
My question is this what does Islam say about respecting one another. Should a parent or elder apologise to someone younger or their child? They seem to think an elder person or parent should never have to apologies to anyone younger in Islam? My father recently asked me “As your father the one who has done everything for you in life!, should have to apologies to you?” Yes father you have done a lot for me life but how many lectures or scolding or broken heats have come along with your help?
Sheikh, I am losing my fight with life, Islam and feelings and generally everything else. I would deeply appreciate your guidance and direction on this? Am I in the wrong to respect an apology from my own parents for the way they treated me and having developed a stone heart with no feelings left or I am in the wrong according to the Islamic teachings?

A lost muslim son


Wa Alaykumussalam

I appreciate that you have questioned to get guidance regarding this particular issue which had been disturbing you since your childhood.

What I understood is that, you are not the real son born to the parents you are speaking about, as you have mentioned that you are the son of your father’s eldest sister. Usually, people in the subcontinent countries used to give their child to brothers or sisters either in the case of the other brother/sister not having a child or in case of having many children, the others would adopt one.

Definitely there is a difference between one’s own child and an adopted child. But if one adopts another children he/she should be treated in the same manner as we treat others. Had it been anyone else other than your uncle, he would have also differed between the children, this is natural and involuntary.

But for many,  it would be very difficult to show justice towards all the children. But in any case, the adopted child tried to be treated in a way so that child doesn’t feel he is not one of the family member of this particular family.

It is not obligatory not to differentiate between an adopted son and a real son. But it should not be discriminated in such a way as to cause hatred, jealousy and fitna.

If your mentioned father is not the real father, rather your uncle, it is not Wajib on you to obey him according to Islamic laws but from the other side it is Haram to do Qate Rahem that is to sever ties with the close relatives.

Since, your uncle had brought you up, provided you shelter, food, education etc. Even if he didn’t take care by differing between you and his real sons but according to Akhlaq perspective you should be nice to him.

Therefore, we recommend that you being the servant of God, for the sake of Allah(swt), help your uncle as he helped you and indeed the Almighty will help you too.

There is a general rule that whoever has ever helped us in our lives, it is our responsibility to help him when he requires.

If there had been hitting and beating, then blood money (Diyah) has to be paid but if there has been only hurting you mentally etc, if doesn’t have blood money rather one should compromise and deal it by asking for forgiveness.

Read about blood money on:

According to Islam, the elders can certainly apologize to their young ones if they have done wrong. From your side, you can forgive them all and try to help your uncle and you will see how Allah(swt) helps you in different phases of your life and the Hereafter. If the brothers or other people do not cooperate with you, then try not to mingle up so much but also do not disconnect the relationship. If you own parents are alive, keep connection with them and get Duas from them as they are your real parents and you can’t cut relations with them.

If you are fulfilling your duties then it doesn’t mean you do not have a proper Deen as you asked.

It would be very good if you can consult a counselor (Muslim counselor or a scholar) as he can help you out  in a better way by listening to you and asking you different questions which will make it easy to help you. You don’t need medications, just how to tackle these issues and get over them.

On the other side, keep yourself busy with your family(wife) and kids.  Make sure you go out for outings. Get in good contact with nature. look for a decent job. And we will also recommend you take some good classes on Aqaid (it can be once a week thing, however, they will boost your connections with Allah and you will be able to see the vastness of the horizon of blessings that He has wrapped you with). At this point, you will be able to appreciate yourself as “yourself” and not a “son who belongs to that family”. It’s time you moved on.

Try to forget the past and remember the good things. Although this would be tough, but if you look at the positive side, it will be easier for you to come over this issue and not think more about it which would lead to mental health issues as it has already been created to some extent. One of the best ways, is to make sure that you’re not treating your children the same way you were treated. This will help you heal and you will be able to live out your childhood with your children. Apologise when you have to.

Pray five times a day, recite Quran every day and try to read the translation everyday starting from one verse a day. Reading the Quran with translation brings about alot of tranquility. That’s because, someone who loves you the most, is speaking directly to you.

Please get back to us if you still require more guidance. Make sure you keep consulting so you don’t lose the hope. Once a person loses hope, everything is gone so never let yourself down.

May Allah(swt) grant you ease and success in your life.

AAA team under the guidance of Syed Haider