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Finding healing in our homes.

On 12 May, Sout Ilaahi organised an event, a lecture by Habib Kazhim on “Finding God’s mercy in a broken family”. It’s interesting how Allah planned this event to happen on the same day as Mother's Day. It was eye opening for many people to realise that no family is perfect without trials and tribulations. There are questions about what is a broken family? Perhaps we regard it as dysfunctional families involved with drugs, alcohol, prison, crimes and abuse. The truth is different families have different challenges.

It’s difficult to understand how a family can be broken even though they are well-to-do with high education, top notch careers and are living in a landed property or condo. It’s a hidden wound that people don’t recognise. Narcissistic parenting and different forms of abuse in a family are often being regarded as normal by our society because we can’t differentiate between abusive behaviour, sexual abuse and having petty arguments and conversations. The sad part is that many suffer in silence. They can’t reach out properly because they will have nowhere to seek help from society. Many don’t think this is an issue.

Over the years, many had lost sanity, developed anxiety and depression in a narcissistic family environment. What more when there is sexual abuse in a family which the Muslim society refused to acknowledge and condemn, to give space to the victims and give them hope and courage to move forward in life. Instead many battle with themselves alone in trying to justify what happened to them in their family.

Before the event started, we had received questions for the Q & A. In total we had about 150 questions. This is seriously alarming because it clearly shows that we have serious issues back in our homes but we brush it under the carpet. We ignore it for too long. This affects people’s lives and faith in the long run. The questions involve social issues from different forms of abuse to parents' narcissistic behaviour (I mentioned earlier (above) which lead some to leave Islam.

Habib Kazhim gave many insightful knowledge and wisdom with spiritual litanies. Zikr,

Selawat and waking up before fair to do some spiritual activities like azkar and some other forms of solat to develop spiritual immunity in us not to be affected by our environment and the people who are abusing us in our homes. This is to shield us from developing our spiritual sickness. To avoid becoming like them or even worse. It doesn’t mean we allow ourselves to be abuses or bullied by anyone not even our family members.

In fact Habib Kazhim mentioned one needs to draw the line if the condition is beyond repair. He is referring to narcissistic personality disorder in the home whether it’s the parents or children or among siblings. It’s fine to live far apart or even to cut off ties with them. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s not that you had done it purposely to cut off ties with your family who are abusers. Habib said you don’t want to end up being revengeful. As we read in the news on the death of abuse victims or the victims killed his or her abuser at home. This is important for our society to understand and to know the consequences of the situation.

It’s not a straightforwards process but it’s the journey that counts in which it begins with the connection of our hearts together for Allah. Parents need to realise that they are not perfect. The same for children too. Besides doing zikr and selawat together as a family and also individually to reflect deeply upon our imperfections on how we can improve ourselves together as a family. The parents support their children to develop spiritual growth while the children support their parents to achieve tranquility in their struggle to deal with their nafs.

Have a good environment for conversation with parents and children like how the prophet ﷺ does with his family. Even if it’s a difficult conversation, parents need to have an openl mind to allow their children to express themselves freely so that they don’t hold back their emotions and able to trust the parents in every situation they are in. They can talk to their parents without any pressure or fear. This will build a healthy relationship and environment.

You can never have a perfect family. Every family will be tested accordingly by Allah for them to be closer to Allah. To realise their life and journey is to Allah. To hold nothing in their hearts. Parents need to let go of their children since young to nurture their souls to be with Allah and learn how to trust Allah in every affairs. We should not hold our children as hostage for our lives and benefits. We need to let go of them.

There are many practical steps in developing healing for the family if everyone is keen to get involved in healing but we can’t change people if they don’t want to change or they can’t change like narcissistic personality disorder. The truth is we can’t save our family. We can only save ourselves. We have to find healing ways for ourselves to move forward in our life to live a peaceful life for Allah.

Mah Allah ease our affairs and heal us in our return to Allah every moment.

Coach Khalid Ajmain

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