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My Family Treats Me like an Outcast

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A

Reply Date

Jan 05, 2018

Question

Salaams, I am a 32 year old woman and not married yet. I have been experiencing many problems in my life for the past 5 years. The first guy I went out with cheated on me. The second guy didn't want me at the end, because I wanted to live in a private flat. (Bear in mind that in my entire life I have had to share a room with 3 older brothers, and now with my niece as well). I then said to myself that Muslim guys are the pits, so I got involved with a non-Muslim colleague who was separated from his wife (but not divorced yet). He was willing to revert to Islam until I told him that my parents will not accept converts because of social status. Therefore, that relationship ended as well. We sometimes chat because I don't have any friends I can to about my problems. But I am trying to stay away from him (I don't meet him anymore), because I want to be a good Muslimah. The other problem is that my mum isn't the kindest person. She criticizes me a lot and I cannot get her approval on anything. She never says a kind word to me, but she dotes on my brothers a lot. I feel she hates me and I am some kind of a burden on her because I am not married. It's not that I don't want to get married, but what should I do if Allah doesn't place anyone in my path that would be suitable for me? Her criticism makes me very depressed and weak. She says things like I have a big mouth when I ask her about her issues with me, and she says that I will never keep a man happy. She sometimes curses me as well. When I stand up for myself, she tells me I only fight because I am possessed by jinn. I read Quran every day after magrib, and pray regularly. I guess if I really had a jinni, I wouldn't be able to do these, right? That's her excuse actually for everything ever since I was a little girl; she is always telling me I have a jinn. She has brought me to imams where I had to do all these weird rituals of slaughtering, walking over smoke and cracking coconuts. I know it's wrong and Allah won't forgive me, but I wish for her death. I am tired of experiencing this. Why can't I meet a good guy? No one stands up for me at home; neither my father nor my brothers. My family treats me like an outcast, and I really feel depressed. Please help me.

Counselor

Answer


My Family Treats Me like an Outcast

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry about the amount of pain and hurt you may be experiencing, and I hope I can address the two main issues in your question which are regarding marriage and the relationship with your family, especially your mother.
First of all, regarding marriage, it is important to remember the boundaries that Islam has set for us in order to consider a marriage partner. If we want blessings on our marriage, and in sha’ Allah on our future children, it is important to be mindful of Allah (SWT) and ensure that we follow the steps laid out for us when getting to know a potential partner. This includes the potential husband approaching the family with a proposal, the two potential partners not being alone until the marriage contract has been signed, speaking respectfully and in the presence of the woman’s guardian, or if he is not available, a third respected party (preferably from the girl’s family like her brother, mother, aunt, uncle, or grandparent). Islam does not permit dating which is ultimately a form of protection and honor for both the man and the woman to ensure their modesty is protected. We are all humans and prone to making mistakes, but what’s important is that we repent and ask Allah to forgive us, stop the sin, and vow not to do it again. If it involves hurting someone else, seek their forgiveness, but if it is not possible, then at least make du’aa’ for them.

Remember, you are honored in the sight of Allah (SWT), and He clearly speaks in the Quran about women not taking ‘male friends’ who become ‘secret lovers’:

“So marry them with the permission of their people and give them their due compensation according to what is acceptable. [They should be] chaste, neither [of] those who commit unlawful intercourse randomly nor those who take [secret] lovers.” (Surat Al-Nisa, 25).

Allah (SWT) has written for you whether you will be married and to who long before you were ever born. Therefore, first, trust in Him and His infinite wisdom that He has delayed your marriage for reasons which you may not realize now, but which are ultimately for your best. In sha’ Allah, you will be rewarded for your patience and reliance on Him. Take the time you have now to learn more about the religion of Allah by learning the Quran and other Islamic sciences, and strengthen your relationship with Allah (SWT), for ultimately only He has the power to heal us and to mend what is broken. For learning about the meanings of the Quran, I highly recommend br. Nouman Ali Khan’s lectures which can be found on YouTube. Take time to improve your skills in areas that you are interested in, and/or seek work if you can as this can be a source of income and a good learning experience for you while it helps you improving your confidence and self-esteem. Remember, before expecting others to love us and be kind to us, we have to love and be kind to ourselves. Keep in mind also that we are imperfect and have shortcomings that we should try to overcome by seeking help from Allah (SWT) to whom all perfection belongs to.

Second, make supplication to Allah (SWT) especially in these blessed days to grant you a righteous husband, and to guide you and keep you on His straight path, for the power of du’aa’ is truly beyond our imagination. Allah (SWT) promises that He will answer the du’aa’ of the one who calls unto Him. Our supplication can be answered in three ways: it is either answered in the way we have asked for, or answered by preventing harm from befalling us, or answered on the Day of Judgment. So, keep making du’aa’, and strengthen your relationship with Allah, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “Du’aa’ is the essence of worship.” (Tirmidhi)

With regards to the situation with your family and your mother, once again make supplication for her that Allah (SWT) guides her and softens her heart towards you. And continue to be as kind as you can be, for after worshipping Allah, being kind to our parents is most important in Islam. I know this can be hard when you are not receiving kindness, but remember that this may be your trial and a reason for you to enter Jannah. When a man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) after carrying his mother on his back around the Ka’bah for Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) seven times if he has repaid her for all she has done, the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, not even for one contraction during her labor (when she was pregnant). Even when the parents are non-Muslim, Allah (SWT) tells us in the Quran to continue being kind to them:

“But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.” (31:15).

These are for the parents who are asking their children to commit the gravest sins, so imagine how we should be treating parents that believe in Allah, but nevertheless fall into sins such as the ones you mentioned. After making du’aa’, I would suggest speaking with your mom,-heart to heart, woman to woman,- gently and kindly about how you feel. If it turns out to be a problem, you can try writing to her or even asking a third member whom she respects to speak with her. Even if you don’t see immediate results, a mother’s heart is a mother’s heart, and she will be affected in sha’ Allah. If there is a way to also encourage your mother, indirectly, to strengthen her relationship with Allah by understanding the Quran or listening to Islamic lectures by true scholars, this could also help. Also, continue being kind to your entire family, and form strong relationships with your father and brothers so they may support you as well. Ultimately, remember that despite all of your hardships, there are many more with even worse circumstances, so remember to thank Allah for your blessings, for He (SWT) promises us in the Quran:

“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].” (14:7)

Finally, the effects of a painful childhood can carry with you into adulthood, so if you feel you really cannot overcome certain issues, I would suggest seeing a professional counselor if possible.

I pray Allah (SWT) will make things easy for you, heal your pain, mend what is broken, grant you a righteous husband, and improve your relationships with your family.

Ameen.

***

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About Um Hadi

Um Hadi has BA in Psychology & Education and acquired certifications in Leadership, Life Coaching, Adults Training, and Relationship Coaching. She is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership.


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