Be Dutiful, even to a Bad Father
No doubt that the duty of a father is to look after his children and attend to their needs as well as being a shield from disasters and trials. We really admit that and assert on it.
Yet, from an Islamic point of view, we have to ask you that Islam expects Muslims not to repay a bad deed with a bad deed but with a good deed. Almighty Allah says,
“The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.” (Fussilat, 41:34)
This is a general rule, then what would be when it is to a father?
What is required is to forgive him, be dutiful to him and fulfill his rights on you. The father’s rights of honor and good treatment should not be waived if he falls short and mistreats his family. Rather everyone should fulfill the duties that he owes. So even if he falls short, we should not fall short.
Moreover, turning away from him, forsaking him and not serving him will make him even worse, and undoubtedly we do not want that. Many of those who sinned and then repented have spoken of the effect of people’s forsaking them, and said how that made things worse and made them do stupid things that they would not have done if they had felt that they had children who loved them and respected them even though they were harsh and behaved badly.
No matter how bad a person is, he does not forget kind treatment, even if outwardly he appears to be ignoring it. Hence the most beneficial way of dealing with a sinful father is to draw close to him no matter how far away he seems, and to be merciful towards him no matter how harsh he is.
It is certain that our kind treatment will not be wasted before Allah, and it will bear fruit for us in this world and in the Hereafter, by Allah’s leave.