Fears & Worries (Counseling Session with Dr. Aisha) | About Islam
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Fears & Worries (Counseling Session with Dr. Aisha)

Session Guest

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.


Monday, Mar. 25, 2019 | 09:00 - 10:00 Makkah | 06:00 - 07:00 GMT

Session Status

Session is over.

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Live Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Aisha for answering the questions.


I have failed many times the simulation exams in the past, and this year in grade 12, I have the last simulation and a key to enter A Levels. Without it, I have to wait 1 year to enter. I haven't studied well and I feel bad now. If I fail, then probably I'll go really mad.

Can you tell me how to ask God to grant me death after simulation? I'm tired to live with bad memories. I just want a good death in which I can recite shahada and answer all the 3 grave questions correctly. How do I get that? I really need to know.



As salamu alaykum brother,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  Brother as I understand, you have failed your simulation exams many times in the past. You stated that you have the last simulation and a key to enter A levels, and without it you’ll have to wait another year. Brother you indicated the problem is that you have not studied very well. You now feel bad that you haven’t studied. The problem is not that you’re not smart enough to pass, I’m sure you’re very intelligent. The problem is that you don’t apply yourself and therefore you are suffering the consequences. I guess I’m wondering why you’re not studying.

 

 

Deeper Issues

Your question is even more alarming because you want to know how to get anything you want from God even self-death. Brother I’m wondering if you are suffering from depression, if you have a history of trauma or abuse in your life, or if there are other reasons why you are thinking in this way. Have you had previous suicide attempts? Do you have a plan commit suicide? I strongly recommend brother that you seek counseling for your desires and wishes to die.

 

Asking for Death

 

While you did not specify suicide, I did need to ask those questions and have you think about things more clearly. If you are feeling any suicidal ideation please do call the suicide hotline in your country or go to the nearest emergency room. I kindly suggest that you speak with somebody that you’re close to about what you’re feeling. I also want you to make a promise, which is a written contract to yourself that you will not harm yourself. As you know brother suicide is a sin. As you are a good Muslim and you love Allah, I am hoping that you will honor that. One cannot ask Allah or pray to Allah for death. Only Allah knows when our time of death is. It is pre-written by Allah.

 

Tired of Living

 

Brother everybody goes through times where they’re tired of living. We all have bad memories and negative things happen to us. However most of the time we don’t wish for death. We wish to improve our circumstances. Allah says he won’t help a people unless they help themselves. I kindly ask you, have you really helped yourself? Have you put all your efforts into studying, have you put efforts into resolving the situations that you’re tired of living with? Brother you’re only 19 years old. You have a whole wonderful life ahead of you. To just give up now and wish for death is kind of like saying Allah made a mistake when He created you, which he did not do.  Allah does not make mistakes. We all go through tests and trials in this life. This is a test and a trial that you are going through. I am confident that you will see the wisdom in the lessons learned from these tests and trials and you will come through them stronger.

 

Allah Created you with Love

 

There’s a saying that “life is what we make it”. This is true to a degree. For instance, we can either choose to study for an exam and do well, or we can choose not to. We can choose to remain depressed and sad and tired, or we can seek out counseling to resolve our feelings. We do have choices. You seem like a very smart young man who is a very pious Muslim. You sound very overwhelmed right now however, and I am concerned. Brother things in your life will get better. As your question was very brief I’m not sure exactly what you’re going through or what you’ve been through. All I know is that you are taking exams and you’re not passing them because you’re not studying. It’s a simple solution really, regarding the exams.

 

If you fail this one you just have to study for the next one. You will have a whole year to do so. During this year you may perhaps want to improve upon your study habits. I also highly recommend that you seek out counseling on a regular basis to resolve what may be depression, based on your wish for death. Please do get counseling brother, as well as draw closer to Allah. Allah loves you very much. He wants you to succeed. Allah swt want you to be happy and to have a good life. He gave you this life, you are a special, unique human being that Allah created with love. Please honor Allah and your life by living up to your full potential.  There is nothing in this life that you cannot overcome if you try.  I am confident that you can. Please let us know how you are doing you are in our prayers


I have many misunderstandings with my fiancé. It would be time to fix our marriage date, yet I fear this marriage. Evil eye causes troubles and I have no idea how to fix these problems. Now things are getting better currently. But he talked to his parents, but his father has not responded to him about our marriage.



 

As salamu alaykum sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  I am happy to hear that things are going better for you and your fiancée. As I understand your question, you had concerns that there was evil eye on him but now you feel it is resolved and you are back on terms of planning for your wedding.

 

Delayed Responses

 

I am happy to hear your family is supportive in your marriage.  Your fiancée is now in the process of waiting for his father’s response.  Sister, often it can take time to get a parents’ response regarding marriage, although this is not recommended in Islam.  One is not to prolong a marriage.  I am not clear on how long you and your fiancée have been waiting for his dad’s response. Perhaps his dad is busy, maybe he’s thinking about it, or there may be other reasons as to why he has not responded.  Has his mom responded sister? Delayed responses can be very unsettling because you don’t know what is going on.  Imaginations can make us think all sorts of things and cause unnecessary worry. It is best insha’Allah to try not to “over-think” the situation sister.  I know that can be hard as it is such an important life event but if you try to relax and keep your mind on other things you will feel better.

 

Ignoring Calls

 

It could be that your fiancée is embarrassed as his dad is taking so long and he just does not know what to say, hence his not ignoring your calls.  While it is rude to ignore your calls maybe he just really doesn’t know what to say yet.

 

Conclusion

 

I would kindly suggest that you give him a little more time. If there is no response soon, insha’Allah ask your family to contact his family. I would kindly suggest dear sister that you try not to worry too much.  I know this is an exciting and stressful time for you and waiting is hard.  However, insha’Allah all will work out soon.  Make duaa to Allah for His blessings and ease concerning your upcoming marriage. We wish you the best.


My husband has a female friend. It is not an extra marital affair but she remains in contact with him. I have tried talking to my husband about it several times but it does not yield any results.

After our marriage the contact has become very limited, this is what my husband says. He never talks to her in my presence so to avoid disturbing me.

He is of the view that since she has always supported him and helped him a lot and is an old friend so he cannot cut off with her at once. But all this disturbs me a lot always. Please, guide what should I do.



As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Sister it is very understandable that you would be not only uncomfortable but upset about this relationship between your husband and another female. As he is married and a Muslim, he should not be having any female friends whom he speaks to and does things with.  I am not sure in what ways she has supported and helped him before, but there comes a time when one must cut things off to do the right thing not only Islamically, but for your marriage as well.

 

An Uncomfortable and Haram Situation

 

As your husband knows this makes you uncomfortable, he needs to cut off his friend permanently. I’m sure if she is truly a good friend she will understand that he is married and should be not talking to other women or going out with other women. You stated that your husband doesn’t talk to her in your presence to avoid disturbing you, however that is more bothersome because what is going on behind your back that you do not know about? While you stated it is not an extramarital affair, she does remain in contact with him and he permits it.  There is a danger in friendships such as these.

 

Islamic Guidelines

 

Sister, insha’Allah I kindly suggest that you sit down with your husband when things are calm and discuss with him how you feel. He may already know how you feel but he needs to know the seriousness of this and how it affects you. As his wife, you come first.

 

When you sit down and speak with him sister please do in a calm manner and not in a way that is confrontational. You are trying to get him to understand something, not to shut down. When you describe to him how it makes you feel, please do insha’Allah remind him of our Islamic guidelines concerning contact with the opposite sex, especially when one is married. Unless he will be approaching this woman’s parents for her hand in marriage (second wife) he has no business continuing contact.

 

Creating Empathy

 

You may also want to ask him how he would feel if perhaps you had a male friend whom you were talking to. You may go into detail and explain if you had a male friend who helped you, and you were close to him and did not cut off contact, how he would feel about a situation like that. Often when a person is asked to think about being put on the opposite side of a situation they created, they see the seriousness and hurt.  By creating empathy, your husband may understand the impact of this relationship and end it.  When the “shoes in on the other foot, it sometimes feels tighter”.

 

Conclusion

 

I would kindly suggest insha’Allah, when you speak with him, you inform him that under no circumstances do you want him talking with this woman. Assure him of your love for him but emphasize the haram nature of this relationship as well as your hurt.  Even though she’s a friend, the time has come in both of your lives where you are now married, and it is damaging and inappropriate Islamically. We wish you the best sister, you are in our prayers.


As-salumu alaykum.

My mother in law had problems with relationships. Her daughter died at a young age so she always gets angry, I have lived with her for 2 and a half years. She also looks after her daughter's son, but I had to play with her grandchild morning to evening, do whatever mother in law and his says.

My husband is good but he told me you have to obey my mother and nephew. But now I’ve got my own house and children and whenever they come they keep bully us especially her grandchild of 8 years bullies my child who is 3 years old.

Should I set boundaries? Such as he can’t come into the house if he bullies or teases or what should I do? My mother in law is also injust with other children (like my children ) and children live closer to her. Please help.



As salamu alaykum sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  I am sorry to hear about the situation that you are in.  May Allah bless you for your kind and patient heart. Sister I will do my best to answer your question and provide guidance however I am not an Islamic scholar. Please do consult with our Ask the Scholar section in regard to your husband ordering you to obey his mom and eight-year-old nephew.

 

Obedience and Rights

 

Sister, you are to obey your husband yes.  However, there are limitations.  For instance, your husband should not let his parents (family) mistreat you or take advantage of you.  You are not to be bullied by them either.  Your husband is supposed to protect you from such treatment.  As you kindly and lovingly helped while you were living there, it seems that you (and your children) are expected to put up with current mistreatment.  You now have additional responsibilities such as a home and your children to look after, and their behavior when visiting is troublesome. Not only are you being bullied, but your children are as well.  This can harm your children and ruin a happy home life.

 

You are to be kind and helpful to your mother in law, but you do not have to put up with intrusions into your home and bullying behavior.  You have a right to run your home as you like if it is in an Islamic manner. Why your husband thinks you should obey an eight-year-old child is puzzling, you are a grown woman and you deserve respect, that is your right.  It is sad that his mom died however that does not give him liberty to bully people and get away with bad behaviors.

 

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you sit with your husband and talk to him about the situation.  You may wish to point out that you love his family but that bullying behaviors are haram and cannot be tolerated.  You may wish to point out the negative effect it is having on you and the children. Kindly ask him to speak with his mom about implementing some discipline for her grandchild. You may wish to point out that the child’s behavior is not in alignment with Islamic manners and if it continues, he may end up being a troubled person when he gets older. It is also a bad example for your own children.  You may wish to go over some basic home rules that everyone should follow which are conducive to a happy Muslim family.

 

Respect

 

Sister, please do discuss with your husband the respect you deserve as a woman, Muslim and wife.  I am sure he would not want anyone outside of the family disrespecting you or bullying you therefore he should not permit it from his own family. In Islam you are a pearl, with a highly respected position. You were not married to be a slave, to be abused nor to obey a mean mother in law nor an eight-year-old child. You are to be cherished and respected.

 

Adab/Manners

 

If your husband refuses to change the situation dear sister, I would kindly suggest that you begin to implement the correct Islamic adab that is to be followed in your home. “The concept of Islamic adab insists that Muslims should be differentiated by their immaculate interactions with other people, the environment, and ultimately – the purpose of adab – with Allah ﷻ.” (1). You can discuss these rules with your mother in law, kindly telling her that as a Muslim family, adab is important in your home.  As your husband stresses obedience which is Islamic, he should also stress adab, which is Islamic also. We can’t pick and chose what we will adhere to.  We wish you the best sister, please let us know how things work out.


Salam Aleikom. I am a 21-year-old Muslim living in the UK. I attend the mosque frequently, but after the NZ attack, I do not go to the mosque with as much joy as I used to go.

I know some brothers said they would stop coming to the mosque as they have become a dangerous place. Others prohibit their wives and daughters to attend the Friday prayer. I know everything is Allah's plan and He is our Protector, yet many of us started to fear to go to the mosque.

What do you advise me and my other brothers and sisters to overcome this fear?



As salamu alaykum,

 

Thank you for writing to us. Given the tragic terrorist attack at the Masjid in Christchurch, NZ, it is understandable that the community is fearful. One does not expect to go to a place of worship and be a victim of a terrorist attack.  Sadly, the rise of Islamophobia in conjunction with white supremacist attacks is on the rise.

 

White Supremacy and Terrorist Attacks

 

Attacks such as these can cause fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and trauma. We live in a very unsafe world and realistically, attacks can occur anywhere on the subway, crowded places, events, even just walking down the street.  Our Muslim sisters and brothers worldwide have been enduring these attacks and other acts of violence for a long time due to hatred, occupations, and oppression in various other countries such as Palestine, Myanmar, China and other places.

 

We will Face Trials

 

We must remember that our beloved prophet (PBUH) and his family,  companions, and followers were severely tried and attacked. AboutIslam illustrates that we too, will also be tested “{Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried? …} ( Al-`Ankbut 29:3) When you claim to believe in Allah, stand for what is right, oppose what is wrong, support justice, or fight oppression, these claims will all be tested. Allah will show who is truthful and who is lying.This is the tradition of those on the straight path at all times. The Prophet and his companions were asked in the Qur’an, a question that is also asked to all of us: Do you suppose that you will enter Paradise untouched by the suffering endured by the people who passed before you? They were afflicted by the misery and hardship and they were so convulsed that the Messenger and the believers with him cried out: “When will Allah’s help arrive?”} (Al-Baqarah 2: 214)”

 

Helping to Ease Fears & Safety Tips

 

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you or a family member approach your imam with your concerns.  Perhaps a community meeting can be held to discuss everyone’s fears, concerns as well as how to come to a resolution which will ease fears and provide an extra layer of security.  This may include offering to counsel, develop ongoing support groups, training brothers for security roles inside and outside of the Masjid, as well as offering classes in self-defense to all members of the Masjid.  Education surrounding how to handle conflict, how to react in dangerous situations as well as learning specific supplications and duaas for protection is helpful.

 

The fear is understandable. However, when we do not attend the Masjid, the shaitan and his dupes (white supremacists, terrorists) win.  They accomplish what they set out to do.  Instill continued fear and prevent Muslims from worshiping in Masjids.  If we look at the other terrorist attacks such as the Pittsburgh synagogue, the Charleston S.C. terrorist attack at a church committed by Dylann Roof, , attacks on Sikhs and their places of worship, we can see that hate and violence targets others as well.  Yet, these communities managed to still go on refusing to submit to the trauma and fears they must have felt.  As Muslims, we need to do the same insha’Allah.

 

Despite the Hate, there is Love & Support

 

We need to also look at the kind, loving outpour of support that came from non-Muslims after this terrorist attack.  Many communities across the world were quick to condemn the vile act and offered their solidarity, support, and friendship.  Outside of the Masjid I attend, there were flowers placed by neighbors near and far, showing there love and support.   While creating more secure and aware places of worship is a sad reality today, we also see that there are others out there who are not Muslim but do love and support us in our times of need.  This indeed is a blessing.


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