Quran & Hadith On Dealing With Emotional Abuse | SoundVision.com

Quran & Hadith On Dealing With Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is dangerous.  When there is physical violence both the perpetrator and the victim are fully aware of the hitting, slapping, pushing, restraining and other life-threatening acts. Psychological and mental abuse is a manipulative technique where one person controls another’s perception of reality or their moods. Emotional abuse is the process where the abuser undermines their victim’s self-esteem with deliberately deceptive behavior that also coerces  the victim to behave or think differently than they would naturally.  

Some will explain away emotional abuse as a manifestation of a certain culture or habit, however that is not true. Emotional abuse is deliberate on the part of the abuser. It is an issue of the character of the perpetrator. It also addresses the level of God-consciousness that the abuser may have.  

There are several signs of typical behavior strategies of an emotional abuser. However, we have guidance from the life example of Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, and the rulings from the Quran that teach us that emotional abuse is a sin. For every mental sickness there is a cure and warning for the believer to follow.


  • An emotional abuser may give the victim ultimatums to elicit a certain behavior or just to make them feel bad. Typically, this is a threat to do or not to do something unless the victim agrees to or does something to the abuser’s satisfaction.  


  • The abuser usually takes the victim on a rollercoaster of highs and lows. There is a lack of self-control, irrational anger, temper tantrums and threats. Heated exchanges may be followed by gifts or disingenuous promises to do better. 

“Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Self-Sufficient, Most Forbearing (Quran 2: 263)

Disparaging Remarks 

  • An emotional abuser ridicules the victim with the sole intention of hurting their feelings or making them feel uncertain. The abuser may repeatedly tell their victim that they have no skill, don’t understand a simple concept, or can’t be who they think they are.  The abuser may even taunt their victim by implying they are not smart enough to do anything about the abuse.


  • Emotional abusers often have issues with self-control and good conduct.  They blame the victim for their own problems, lack of success, financial situation, or overall unhappiness. The abuser may taunt the victim even in front of family, friends, or co-workers thus embarrassing the victim.  

Ibn Mas'ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing." (At-Tirmidhi). Riyad as-Salihin 1555   Book 17, Hadith 45


  • The abuser will try to argue and convince the victim that their complaints are not valid or that their own behavior is misunderstood and exaggerated by the victim.  The intent is to undermine the victims understanding of reality and doubt their own mind and perceptions.

Jealous Or Possessive 

  • The abuser has extreme or unfounded feelings of jealousy. The victim is made to feel that the abuser feels this way due to the victim’s behavior or attitude even though there is no real evidence or cause for such feelings.


  • The abuser may try to keep the victim away from family and friends so that they have no support network. They may go so far as changing addresses or phone numbers so that the victim is out of contact with potential support.

Withholding affection 

  • The abuser may give the victim the silent treatment, separate or withhold affection to control the behavior of the victim, or make them feel ill at ease.

    And of His signs is that He has created mates for you from your own kind that you may find peace in them and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely there are signs in this for those who reflect.” 

(Quran 30: 21)


  • The abuser spends time watching or checking up on the victim to the point where the victim feels constantly watched and never at ease. The victim will develop behaviors that accommodate the abuser’s need to always verify their whereabouts.


  • The emotional abuser struggles with suspicion and will accuse the victim of all manner of small and major wrongdoings with no evidence, witnesses, or even reason. The purpose is to control the victim with fear.

O you who have believed, avoid much (negative) assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. 

Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. 

And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is accepting of repentance and Merciful.

(Quran 49:12)

If an emotional abuser does not have the ability to obey Allah and His messenger, then they certainly can choose the option of a secular psychological redirection, behavioral modification and/or mental health medication. If the abuser’s intention is to discontinue the harm, then surely Allah will help them do so. Husbands, wives, parents, children, families must always remember that our interaction with each other should only be with respect and fearing the displeasure of Allah, The Most High.   

Our natural trust and love for each other as Muslims is the remedy.  

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said, ”I asked the Messenger of Allāh: ‘Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure” (Bukhari and Muslim)

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