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Fear of Raising My Child in the West

Questioner

R (39_female_US)

Reply Date

Jul 15, 2017

Question

I would like to thank you in advance for your help. I have two questions: 1. I am a mother who fears for her child's upbringing in a western1. I am a mother who fears for her child's upbringing in a western county in addition to the fact that his father does not pray and drinks alcohol, although otherwise he is a good husband and father. (I knew about these prior to marriage, but my family pressured me to get married because I was over 35. I knew I will regret it, but I have now accepted my fate and continue praying for my husband to return to the right path of Islam. ) The Islamic community is very small here, therefore I wish to return back to our home country, but my husband refuses to move back. I'm worried that I would be committing a sin if my husband continues to refuse it. My son hardly speaks Arabic, and my husband doesn't see it a priority to teach him Quran, how to pray, etc. I'm not sure if I can do everything on my own.2. My husband refuses to have other children because it is "too stressful" and insists on wearing protection during our intimate relationship. Does he have the right to refuse to have more children? He refuses to speak to a counselor or imam, and refuses to admit that we have a problem in the first place.Thank you for your advise.

Counselor

Answer


Raising child in the west

As-salamu `Alaykum,

May Allah guide you and your child and open your heart to the straight path. One of the toughest jobs is being a parent. Even though Allah has blessed us with children, they really don’t belong to us; they are a trust put in our hands, and Allah at any time could take these kids back. We have to do our best and beyond to be able to bring them up in the best way we can, and always make sure that we didn’t betray His trust.

Most of the times we take it for granted as if these children are a part of our worldly possessions, and can lose balance and direction in how we bring them up – from one extreme to another.

Sister, ma sha’ Allah, you’re on the right path. You’re trying to set for your son, therefore I urge you to be consistent with your husband and find what’s the best way to get through to him on the matter of raising your son. Explain to him that the Islamic way of life is as the only way to raise our kids especially in the west, and that’s how we can preserve their Islamic and Arabic heritage, otherwise it will be lost forever.

If you can’t get through to him, a family member or a close friend, whom he respects and accepts advice from, can be quite persuasive. Maybe a visit to your home country and staying around family and friends would be a great way for your son to learn the language and Islamic practices, and it could even remind your husband a little.

I would also search for the closest Islamic centers in your area as I’m sure there will many. Maybe some distance, but it will be worth it and you will enjoy it as well. Continue to make dua`aa’ for your husband for Allah to open his heart and guide him. Don’t let his rejection at this point keep you from practicing Islam, which is the greatest way to teach our kids as they learn from our actions more than they learn from our preaching.

As for the last issue, I’m not a scholar to give an Islamic ruling on whether he has the right to use contraceptives. My personal opinion is if you’re having such a difficult time raising one child, maybe it’s not a bad idea to wait till Allah makes things easier for youin sha’ Allah. Please do continue to pray, fast, and give charity as charity wipes away sins in sha’ Allah. Be patient and put your trust in Allah.

May Allah protect you and your family and guide you all to the straight path.


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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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