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Teacher Took Advantage of My Grief

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 16, 2017

Question

Salam Aleikom. I’m much tensed these days. One of the reasons is that in November, I lost my father which was a big shock for me. I miss him a lot. I feel all alone. The other thing is that I have been preparing for my exams. One of my teachers at the university was exceptionally nice to me after my dad’s death and gave me extra time. I shared everything with him and he listened to me. Finally, he gave me his number if I needed any further help, and I actually did message him for some notes. But later I got a message from him and somehow we started to text regularly. I liked sharing my things with him. One day, I came to know that he was interested in me long before the death of my father. He is young like me. Then he came up with the idea of having phone sex with me via WhatsApp which I eventually did. Sometimes, I did say ‘no’ harshly and that it was all wrong, but usually I couldn’t resist him as he made me so emotional. I don’t know what to do. He is unable to marry me in the next 2 years; he even only said he liked me and not loved me. I am really tensed by these. I am not able to see myself in the mirror as I hate myself and what I have been doing. And my exams are in the next month and I cannot focus, I am not well prepared. What should I do to get ready for the exams? And how can I process the death of my father? Thank you!

Counselor

Answer


Teacher Took Advantage of My Grief

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,

Thank you for writing. I am very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. May Allah (swt) grant him Jannah. This is a very difficult time in your life right now. I know because my father died while I was finishing my graduate studies. I, too, was very devastated and found it hard to go on with my studies, but alhumdulillah I did make it through.

You are in a grieving process and you need time to heal. Psych Central outlines Kubler-Ross’s grieving stages as follows: Denial & Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Sister, these stages are helpful to know so you can understand what you are going through emotionally. I have included some links below that you will in sha’ Allah find helpful. Also, I encourage you to draw close to your family right now as well as sisters whom you are friends with. In sha’ Allah, a strong support network will help you through this transition.

If a person does not take the necessary time to grieve and process the loss, then it can become repressed and later manifest itself in many different forms. At the time of death, we need to remain patient and remind ourselves,

“from Allah we have come and to Him is our eventual return.” (Qur’an 60:4)

As illustrated, sister, grieving is a process, and you must give yourself the time and opportunity to do so. While accepting Allah’s (swt) verdict of our loss, we must also work through our healing process. After we lose a loved one, we are often in a fragile state emotionally, and this brings me to the second portion of your letter.

During such a vulnerable time, it is horrendous that your teacher took advantage of your grieving and made haram advances towards you. Communication between a man and a woman should be of a goal that complies with enjoying what is good and preventing what is bad. This man abused moral and ethical lines in several areas. First, as your teacher, he crossed the ethical line of not getting involved with students.  Secondly, as a man, he took advantage of your grief and sadness and enticed you into a relationship in which he was selfish and sought to fulfill his own needs. Third, as a Muslim, he violated the sacredness of all of the above as well as possibly earning the wrath of Allah (swt) for his intention and actions.

Sister, I suggest you have no further contact with this man. I ask that you try very hard to put it all behind you and start new. Pray to Allah (swt) and ask Him for forgiveness and sincerely repent. Make du’aa’ and read Qur’an; this will strengthen you in sha’ Allah in your journey forward.

You have exams coming up. This is very important dear sister for your future. I suggest that through prayer and deciding to not let this situation affect your future, you focus on your studies for this exam. Do not let this man ruin your future. He is not worth it. Repent to Allah (swt) and move on dear sister. I know it is not easy as time is very short, but I have confidence in you that you can do it. I have faith that you are strong sister and can get through this month with intense studying and pass your exams. When you’re feeling stressed or upset, take a deep breath, relax, and remember that you have a wonderful future ahead of you, in sha’ Allah, and remember also how proud your father would be to see you pass your exam and get on with your future which in sha’ Allah will be filled with many blessings.

Salam,

***

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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