Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah shower upon our Beloved Messenger, his family, companions, and those who follow them.
The situation you have described definitely sounds like you and your mother are being mentally and emotionally abused. Abuse takes many forms and is not limited to hitting and slapping.
Your father needs help. Since you children are grown up, I do not see why you cannot take the initiative and get your family the help they deserve. I strongly urge you to take your family to a qualified Muslim family and marriage counselor, or to a respected Imam with experience in family issues.
There are several issues here:
1. Your father is forcing your mother to work, when Islamically speaking, he is not allowed to do that.
2. He is verbally and mentally abusive and has created an atmosphere of fear.
3. He prevents you from learning your deen.
4. He prevents you from visiting relatives. In Islam, it is a grave sin to sever family ties.
All I can suggest is that you sit down with your mother and siblings to determine some joint strategy your family can pursue. Your mother and father's relationship may not be something you can fix. I think it is up to your mother to decide if she wants to remain married to your father.
But you, as your father's children, regardless of what your mother decides to do, can still have a healthy relationship with your father. However, it will take love, patience, and lots of sincere prayer to Allah Most High.
I would recommend a family meeting, if you think it will be productive. The longer these issues are swept under the carpet, the more they will build up. There should be parameters for such a discussion: no fighting, no name-calling, everyone listens to the person talking, etc.
Once again, whatever you decide to do as a family, you definitely need to refer this case to a scholar or counselor.
May Allah give you and your family healing and understanding.
And Allah knows best.
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