Accustoming children to keep good relations with 'abusive' mother
Fatwa No: 267535

  • Fatwa Date:9-10-2014 - Thul-Hijjah 15, 1435
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Question

Assalam Alikum, A friend of mine recently divorced his wife. He has two boys aged 2.5 and 4.5 at the time of divorce. One of the main reasons for the divorce was because the mother was physically and verbally abusive to the young children and neglectful to them. The children were behind on their physical health (underweight) and language skills due to poor nurture. Alhamdulillah, a year later now, they are doing much better and hoping for a full recovery. However, throughout the year, the friend has been keen on keeping the children in touch with their maternal mother due to the belief that he is ISLAMICALLY obligated to do so. The courts ruled him full custody rights. The issue is that the children do not want to talk or see their maternal mother. He forces them to speak and see her via Online chat. This is because he fears that he will be punished on the day of judgment for not letting her talk to them. My question is .. is he really obligated to force the children to keep in touch with their maternal mother? please note that everytime they talk to her they are forced to, and it is a stressful time for both the children and their father. please provide examples from the quran or hadeeth,if possible, to support this fatwa. Jazakum Allah Khair

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The father is obliged to educate his children well and accustom them to good morals as he is held responsible for them; Allaah says (what means): {O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allaah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.} [Quran 66:6]

Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Indeed, each one of you is a guardian and is responsible for those under his guardianship. . . and a man is a guardian in his house and is responsible for those under his guardianship.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

There is no doubt that it is an obligation to be kind and dutiful to one's parents, particularly the mother, as her right is great. Therefore, the father should raise his children to be kind to their mother in the same way he teaches them the morals of the Muslims and the teachings of their religion, and he is responsible for them in this respect. Perhaps if he is wise in dealing with his children, they will listen to him without him obliging them to be kind to their mother, so he encourages them to not only speak to her but to visit her and he should clarify to them their duty toward her and endear her to them.

It is better, in our view, if he consults a psychologist to guide him to the appropriate means for this purpose.

Allaah Knows best.

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