My father provides us everything he can but he is verbally abusive. To a point where I have zero respect for him and zero interest in interacting with him. What does Islam say about abusive parents?
Peace, from the source of peace. I am sorry to hear about your poor relationship with your father. Does not sound pleasant.
Prophet Abraham is certainly one example of a person who abandoned his dad. However, it took a fair bit of frustration and really crimes against Abraham before cutting ties with his dad.
Parents are a big deal in the Quran. Simply no doubt about it. Therefore, seeking avenues to remedy the relationship ought to be exhausted before you consider abandoning them. Indeed, life without parents have lots of challenges you may not be aware of yet.
That said, and paraphrasing into English, God says:
29:8: And We instructed the human being to be good to his parents. But if they strive to make you set up partners with Me, then do not obey them. To Me are all your destinies, and I will inform you of what you used to do.
God is giving you explicit permission to disobey your parents if they're getting in the way of you cultivating a relationship with God.
4:135: O you who believe, stand with justice as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or the parents or the relatives. Even if he be rich or poor, God is more worthy of them, so do not follow desire into being unjust. And if you twist or turn away, then God is Expert over what you do.
God is basically giving you the license to disobey your parents if it is for a just cause. You can watch for that the next time you hear foul language from your father. You can push back firmly on a justice front. You can ask "is it fair to say 🤬?" for example. Obviously use your discretion.
However, these words from God, again paraphrasing in English, truly makes the poor choice of words from your dad an issue, which with God's help, you can try and raise
68:7: Your Lord is fully aware of those who strayed off His path, and He is fully aware of those who are guided.
68:8: So do not obey those who deny.
68:9: They wish that you compromise, so they too can compromise.
68:10: And do not obey every lowly swearer.
68:11: A slanderer, a backbiter.
68:12: Forbidder of charity, a transgressor, a sinner.
68:13: Unappreciative, and greedy.
68:10 in particular is a characteristic you're witnessing in your dad. That's unfortunate.
Abandoning parents can open up a whole other set of problems you didn't anticipate. However, enduring verbal abuse is not a virtue.
If there's a good time to speak with you dad, maybe when he's less stressed, perhaps talk to him about it. Tell him to cut it out or drastically reduce it. Tell him that it's affecting your relationship with him.
Tell him the truth, and encourage him towards it, as God advises us to
103:1: By time.
103:2: The human being is indeed in loss.
103:3: Except those who believe, and do good works, and support one another with the truth, and support one another with perseverance.
May God ease your hardships in this part of your journey.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful
If he is truly abusive, then remind him of this verse in which Allah said:
"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 Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded." [Quran, 66:6]
And also tell your dad that if he don't quit being abusive, then angels of torment will awaits you to torture you in Hell and they don't disobey the command of Allah. So that he may stop being abusive towards you.
And as for you, Allah says:
"And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word." [The Night Journey, 17:23]
Tips of how you can deal with your father
- Forgive him [al Maida, 5:13]
- Show him that you're better than him
- show him kindness and goodness greater than his
But, if you dare to abandon your parents, then Paradise will be closed upon you because you have not fulfilled the duties which God made obligatory upon every kid.
Also, there is a severe punishment if you abandon your parents because of abusing you.
"So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship? Those [who do so] are the ones that Allah has cursed, so He deafened them and blinded their vision..." chapter Muhammad
Jubair b. Mut'im reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: The severer would not enter Paradise. Ibn Umar said that Sufyan (explained it as): One who severs the tie of kinship would not enter Paradise. [Sahih Muslim, 2556]
Some narrations which encourages you to do good:
Abu Huraira reported that a person said: Allah's Messenger, I have relatives with whom I try, to have close relationship, but they sever (this relation). I treat them well, but they treat me ill. I am sweet to them but they are harsh towards me. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: If it is so as you say, then you in fact throw hot ashes (upon their faces) and there would always remain with you on behalf of Allah (an Angel to support you) who would keep you dominant over them so long as you adhere to this (path of righteousness). [Sahih Muslim 2558]
Those who cut the ties of kinship deny themselves the reward for upholding the ties of kinship in the Hereafter, in addition to denying themselves much good in this world, which is a long life and ample provision (as we mentioned in a previous Hadith): that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever would like his provision to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
So, do you wish a long life with too many provisions from Allah? Then, don't abandon your parents even if they abuse you.
CONCLUSION: I have not found any report from Sunnah of Prophet in which he allows the cutting of ties with parents. I have made researches and found that the Prophet encourages you to not abandon your father even if he abuse you, otherwise if you do abandon your parents, then you will have a terrible life and a terrible Day. So based on my researches, it is haram whatsoever for you to abandon your abusive parents. The wisest thing you can do is just forgive your dad and give him good treatment and be kind with him and don't mind what he does to you if you find abusive.
I can fully relate to your predicament of abuse. My father a devout muslim prays five times a day, fasts, gives to charity etc. But he is not only verbally abusive but physically abusive as well. He ran our home like a Dictator and often would assault my mother and us, often to no fault of ours mostly for just having a bad day. It was not uncommon for him to leave the house without saying where he was going because he was above telling a woman his whereabouts. In a fit of rage during an argument over dinner my father would lose his temper and take all the food and wipe it off the table and it would go every which way on the walls, floor and ceiling. He made us all walk on eggshells and your opinion was of no significance. Until today almost at 50 still I suffer from anxiety mostly from retriggering whenever I am in his presence or on the phone. He is one to put everyone down in his family especially his wife and children and loves to tell us how hell will be full of woman. I have tried to keep communication with them through the years and one thing is for sure my quality of life has been affected. Suffered with low self-esteem and found it difficult to interact with others as would hear the negative verbal confirmations of both my parents in my head.
If we were back in our home country I could have turned to an aunt, grandmother, uncle anyone who could have interjected but being in a foreign land away from family you are left flailing. My grandmother upon her visit said that my grandfather never ever hit her and she did not know where this behavior is coming from. My grandmother on my mothers side said to divorce him within the first year as he slapped my mother across the face for asking him why he was late for dinner.
If one of Allahs description is the Just, how can this injustice be considered ok. If he is the God of Mercy, again why would he allow this to continue. We as a muslim community have a responsibility to our Ummah to keep its children safe and to teach respect toward the spouse. We should have confidential counselling centers to address these concerns. We are very fragmented and alone when there is a problem. If no one is advising my father then he is left without putting himself in check. There are hadiths stating the prophet never layed his hands on a woman or servant are they not worth mentioning. Or the one where the prophet was praying an a child crawled on top of him, and instead of yelling stopped his praying to play with a child and then resumed his prayer. He could have scolded the child and destroyed his spirit. Islam is a religion of everyday conduct and parents as they have a right over their children their children also have rights.
Life is harder than ever we no longer have the tribe to support us. Wars have also warped many of our muslim brothers minds as my father was bombed twice in his life once as a child and the other during war. In addition, behavior is learned and we are expected to be kind without experiencing kindness. Seems like taking a test without knowing what will be on it. We have a new world problem that isn't being addressed and the trickle down to their families is having a very real and lasting affect. Yes, be kind to your parents but the child even an adult child only has so much power and may also be psychologically suffering. Try your best, ignore their comments, limit your interaction if need be but there is a point where you may have to decide whether the verbal abuse is Islamic, several hadiths on that as well comparing those that are loud to a braying donkey and slanderous foul language as being held in contempt in the eyes of Allah.