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Controlling Family Makes Me Feel Depressed

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Dec 30, 2018

Question

Assalamualaikum,

Thank you for taking the time to help me with a couple of issues I am facing. I have been dealing with very depressing thoughts and want to move out due to the negativity around me, but I need guidance from Allah. My parents have been fighting over my sister's arranged marriage for years. I am now 24 and this discourse has been ongoing for 8-10 years.

They would always fight about which side she would marry, then when she grew older and she refused and fought for years they even started ignoring her and neglecting us. I hate to make them sound like the bad guys, because I understand that they have their own point of view that I will have a tough time understanding, and that their cultural background plays a big part.

They want me to be a lawyer, and I have just been failing at it, I can't study for the BAR (exam) because it's one of those careers I am not interested in. I want to become a computer engineer, but they have told me that they have informed everyone that I will become a lawyer and they will find it embarrassing. I have been smoking to relieve stress but I'm just overboard.

I have been talking to a woman I met through volunteer work, and I have grown very close to her mentally. I haven’t crossed any limits as I am keeping it halal and I want to marry her. We have an odd relationship; we have talked about our flaws and worked to compromising and solving any issues. We even talk about our religions and the similarities and differences, and she has talked about converting to Islam.

The issue is that my parents do not know, as I am sure they would immediately disapprove, fight, and shun me. I am sure because I once heard my dad tell his brother that "respect is above my family and children”. I do not hope to sound mean, I am just numb right now from feelings and I need help.

I cannot focus on anything, I just want to lay in bed all day, sleep late wake up late. I have saved enough money to be able to move out without saying a word and marrying my female friend. However, I am conflicted on that choice. I want to build my faith in Islam as I was before and work towards motivation and happiness through Islam and Islamic advice, but I need guidance.

Please help me, thank you.

Counselor

Answer


Controlling Family Makes Me Feel Depressed

In this counseling answer:

• So, remember Allah often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah.

• You need to invest your time in learning Islam or exercising or socializing with friends. If you are lying down in bed in isolation, you are doing more harm to yourself than smoking.

• Seek face to face counseling.


Assalamu Alaikum dear brother,

Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.

I am very saddened to hear about the issues that you are currently undergoing with regards to your family and mental health. However, I want you to rest assured that hardships are meant to make us stronger. Patience is the key. It is something that we all need, but we all do not have. In all circumstances, we must certainly have patience, and patience does not come without the complete belief and trust in Allah.

This is because it is our complete faith and trust in Allah, and in his decree and ability to change and improve our circumstances and bring out the best from the worst that render us patient in difficult times. Without complete faith and trust, we cannot be hopeful of a good future.

Premarital Relationships

Dear brother, in Islam it is prohibited to have any sort of relationship outside of marriage. Your relationship with this girl needs to end in a breakup or should be directed towards marriage. If you are completely certain that she wants to convert to Islam from the bottom of her heart and not simply to get married to you, then you should guide her to the mosque and then speak to the Imam about your situation.

Imams are the leaders of the community and they will speak to her. Dear brother, sometimes people convert for the wrong reasons and when they are done with what they are seeking, they will leave. You need to be strong and seek Allah SWT’s guidance when it comes to such circumstances.

You must read the prayer of guidance

Jabir Ibn Abdullah said,

Allah’s Messenger used to teach his companions to perform the prayer of Istikhara for each and every matter just as he used to teach them the Suras from the Qur’an He used to say, “If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two rak`at prayer other than the compulsory prayers, and after finishing it, he should say the supplication.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Until she converts, and until you collect enough strength to speak to your parents about it or ask the Imam or someone who you trust to speak to your parents about your feelings, you must not get in contact with this girl. If she is serious about Islam, you must explain to her the displeasure of Allah SWT at any relationship outside of marriage. She will certainly understand if she is the right one for you.


Check out this counseling video:


In addition, please ask for Allah’s forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is not necessarily for those who have sinned, nor does it imply that you are or were a sinner. In fact, the Prophet SAW used to ask for Allah’s forgiveness about 75-100x daily.

The Prophet SAW therefore advised us that,

“If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” (Riyadh as-Saliheen)

Despair and Depression is from the Devil while Hope and Happiness is from Allah

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

         “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad, 13:28)

True sadness and despair tend to deviate us from believing in the power of Allah. So, remember Allah often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah.

The Prophet SAW said,

“If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts them with trials.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Therefore, please do not despair. Allah SWT wants to test your sincerity. By giving you a certain hardship, Allah SWT is making you a better Muslim today than you were yesterday.  You must also remember that in the Quran, Allah SWT tells us that with everything difficulty, there is ease. {Quran 94: 5-6}

You need to invest your time in learning Islam or exercising or socializing with friends. If you are lying down in bed in isolation, you are doing more harm to yourself than smoking.

Over Interfering parents

Over interference of parents in their children’s lives is becoming a problem for many kids and young adults across Canada and the United States, given the cultural differences. However, this problem is not limited to these two countries, many young adults face the same problem all over the world.

In order to overcome this solution, we must practice three things:

  1. Patience when we do not agree with our parents.
  2. Manners and rationale when we want to explain to them our point of view.
  3. Consistent prayer and supplication to Allah SWT to change the hearts of our parents and our hearts for the better.
  4. Patience when we do not agree

Dear brother, respecting parents is of huge importance in Islam. I am glad to hear that you realize that they must have their own points of view. Many children fail to understand this and argue with their parents and disobey them and in certain circumstance, rebelliously move out, forgetting all that their parents once did for them and the struggles and hardships they must have gone through when they moved to a new country for a good future for their kids.

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. (Quran 17:23)

The above verse does not indicate that we should blindly obey. It simply says that we should listen and speak to them nobly. Allah SWT watches us, and our deeds are being recorded.

Manners and Rationale When Approaching Them

Many parents simply want what is best for their children. Your parents are not used to seeing the culture around them, and I am guessing when they see other young adults go down the wrong path, they become overprotective. Your parents were arguing for an arranged marriage for your sister, yet, it is your sister’s right to agree or disagree. You should let your parents know this. In Islam, a female cannot be forced into a marriage. If she had been forced, there is no marriage—there is no connection of hearts, and soon the two individuals we grow apart.

Consistent Prayer and Supplication

Dear brother, no one can really change our situation except for Allah SWT.

Yunus AS was swallowed by a whale and was on verge of death. Even when situations were so dire, he sought forgiveness. He wanted Allah SWT to forgive him and give him relief from the worldly stress. This does not mean he wanted to die or seclude himself or do something that is prohibited.

When we seek Allah SWT’s help we must make sure that we are not doing anything to make Him SWT unhappy. For example, what is the purpose of smoking? You are aware of all the life-threatening diseases that it gives you. In order to relieve yourself of the troubles, you need to practice gratitude, charity, and kindness. This will give you more peace than smoking.

Even in complete despair, Prophet Yunus called out to Allah SWT:

“There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (Quran 21: 87)

Dear brother, repeat this verse in Arabic at least 50-100x a day.

I am certain inshaAllah if you learn to grow more positive and have more faith in Allah SWT, and continue to strengthen your relationship with Allah SWT, your worries will subside.

I hope my answer provided you with the guidance you were looking for.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Studying Abroad to Escape from a Controlling Mother

How to Deal with Controlling Parents?

I Left Home to Escape from My Parents’ Control

 




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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