Salamu ‘alaikum dear 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.
The answers will be published very soon.
Tuesday, May. 01, 2018 | 09:00 - 10:00 Makkah | 06:00 - 07:00 GMT
Session is over.
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.
The answers will be published very soon.
Assalamu Alaikum. Dealing with depression isn't easy at times, even after 10 years of dealing with depression, I still doubt if it's real or if I am just weak. My questions: 1) How do you find hope? 2) How do you find value in living? There's nothing I want, and I am ready to go. I am just waiting for Allah to allow it and trying to collect as many good deeds and avoid/repent of sins, as I want a positive balance on my scales. 3) Motivation to participate in life (e.g. build skills for a career, make new friends, meeting people with the goal of marriage), when you know that what you try for isn't possible, people will die/move/get married. Why do people participate in life? A sister who is reading the Qur'an as much as I can and still depressed.
As salamu alaykum sister,
Thank you for your question. Yes, depression is very real. According to the NIMH, “An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.” This is for the US only, can you imagine what the statistics are worldwide?
Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders. There are many types of depression sister and it can be a long-term (chronic) depression or an acute episode (short term, intense). Whatever kind of depression you have, please do seek help. Counseling, and often medication are very effective treatments for depression. The questions that you asked regarding “how to find hope; how to find the value in living; how to be motivated to participate in life” are all questions that depressed people ask. Why? Because they are in a state of a deep, chronic sadness. Depression can change the neurotransmitters in our brains. MentalHelp (2) states that “Depression has been linked to problems or imbalances in the brain with regard to the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine”.
While this hypothesis is not a definitive it is supported by the fact that antidepressants which work with these neurotransmitters help alleviate depression and “help the brain” to heal and restore it back to its “normal state”.
You are not weak sister. Quite the opposite. You are strong in your determination to overcome your depression. That is why you wrote to us. I admire you for that. It takes strength, which you have. Having depression sister isn’t related to how much of the Qur’an you read or how pious of a Muslim you are. It is a very real medical condition just like diabetes or high blood pressure and must be treated. Sister, I am not sure if you have seen a therapist, or have had counseling or medication for depression but I highly recommend that you seek out a good therapist in your area for an assessment as well as treatment. You will be surprised insha’Allah by what a big difference seeking the correct treatment can make.
I also urge you sister to reach out to others who have gone through depression to see how they have successfully dealt with it. Support groups for depression are empowering. You would meet with others in a safe space wherein you will hear others talk about their depression, what helped, what didn’t as well as how they coped. You can gain valuable coping skills as well as be able to share your feelings (if you choose) with people who understand as they are going through -or have gone through the same as you.
Sister the hope lies in being open-minded and trying new ways to heal-it lies in the fact that Allah loves you and desires for you to heal.
The value of living can be understood as a joy and a gift given to us from Allah and the motivation to participate lies within your hearts desires. what is it that you desire sister? Well, you may not know right now as you are in a state of depression, but insha’Allah when you are on the way to healing sister, you will feel like a brand new wonderful person, filled with hope, aspirations, plans for the future as well as an appreciation for life. Allah wants that for you as do the people who love you. Please give yourself a chance, give those who love you a chance to see the real you come shining through. Millions of people have conquered depression and you will too. It will take a first step in reaching out and getting help and being open to healing modalities. But you can do it. I feel your strength and your desire to feel good, alive and joyful coming through your question.
Sister, please do get in touch with a good therapist as soon as possible to begin your journey towards healing. Please do insha’Allah let a family member or friend (a safe person) know how you are feeling. Make a promise to yourself that you will not harm yourself, that you will reach out to someone should you feel suicidal and you will not act upon your feelings. Put this promise in writing. If you ever do feel suicidal please contact your safe person and call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If this is not for your country sister please do look up the hotline number for your country.
There is hope sister, your success is the hope that others are waiting to hear….we wish you the best, please let us know how you are doing.
You are in our prayers.
I am in my final year at the university and my parents, especially my mum, have been talking to me about marriage. However, the idea of getting married scares me because I am not confident about my body. I have some medical issues which make me ask myself questions like; what if I get married and my husband doesn't like my body? What if am not able to perform well sexually? What if he gets frustrated about that then decides to get another wife? What if my husband falls out if love with me? I need your opinion about all that because I am so scared.
As salamu alaykum sister,
Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your question, you are self-conscious about your body, your medical issues as well as being able to perform sexually when you get married. You are also concerned about a future husband possibly leaving you or taking a second wife. Due to frustration. My dear sister, you are indeed worrying very much. It is understandable that you would be nervous when thinking about marriage and the future, it is a normal reaction!
However, I do encourage you to take one thought at a time and analyze it. I kindly suggest that you start a journal sister. Take each issue that you are concerned with and write it down. Under that issue, write about what it’s about it that worries you and how can you overcome this feeling. For instance, you fear a husband may not like your body. Why not? Write down what he may not like and then follow up with a positive reality such as “I love my body, so will my new husband”. Self-love is important sister and it seems that all your concerns revolve around self-love. Self-love is not being conceited or stuck up, it is appreciating what Allah has created-which is you!
When two people get married it is always a learning and growing process that takes time. I am sure your future husband-whoever he may be is worried about things too, such as his hair or if his muscles are big enough or if he can please you in bed. As humans we are not perfect, no one is but we can learn to love ourselves and our spouse in all our imperfectness and be happy!
Insha’Allah sister, build up your self-esteem and start to develop confidence in who you are a beautiful young pious Muslima. Your imperfections are human, we all have them. When your mom proposes a certain man and you meet him, you may be surprised to find that you feel comfortable and safe in his presence. You may also feel like a flower in bloom! That is what is so beautiful about marriage sister, it is two people coming together for the sake of Allah and growing together. In this type of marriage, your fears will fall away. So please do think of marriage in a happy way sister for it is a gift from Allah and you are a gift from Allah as well-to a lucky future husband!
We wish you the best.
I’m a Muslim man, married, going to have a kid soon. When I was 18, I fell in love with a Hindu girl (my student). I feel she loved me too but she didn’t accept as I was her teacher. Just for her happiness, I agreed but I still waited for her for 10 years as I love her too much. Later, she got married to a nice, Muslim guy. Due to family pressure, I too got married to a nice Muslim girl who is carrying my baby now. But I am still in love with that girl and can’t stop it. Recently, she joined my class for further studies and that’s is when I got to know she is unhappy in her marriage. I can see in it her eyes that she is still in love with me. She shared all her problems and cried in front of me. I want her to always be happy and now I don’t want to lose her. I want her for rest of my life, but I don’t know how? Please, help me! My family knew about my love since the beginning. That is the reason I rejected a lot of marriage proposals. But due to pressure, finally I agreed but I told my wife about my love for the girl as she knows the girl personally. My wife doesn’t know that I still love that girl. Please, help me.
As salamu alaykum brother,
Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your concerns, you are a Muslim man who is married and you’re going to have a child soon. You stated that when you were 18 you fell in love with a Hindu girl who was your student. You felt that she loved you too, but you didn’t accept you as you were her sir. You said you waited ten years for her as you loved her very much. According to you, she, later on, got married to a nice Muslim guy. You also got married to a nice Muslim girl who is now pregnant with your child.
You wrote that you’re still in love with that girl and that you can’t stop being in love with her. You also stated that she recently “joined your class for further studies and that’s how you got to know that she is unhappy in her marriage”. You state that you can see in her eyes that “she is still in love with you”. You said that she shared all her problems and cried in front of you. Brother, you also feel that you want her to always be happy and you don’t want to lose her, that you want her for the rest of your life.
Brother, there are a lot of problems with what you are feeling. First of all, what you’re going through emotionally is based on a fantasy of being with her because you don’t actually know her that well. You met her when you were young and she was your student. It appears that this is a crush that has consumed you. Insha’Allah you need to see these feelings for what they are, fantasies. In life sometimes we can meet other people who strike a feeling in us that we cannot let go of and we, therefore, think it must be love-that we should be with this person. In reality what often happens is that we are in a vulnerable or open state of mind and what we feel becomes magnified. It becomes so magnified that as we keep thinking about it, it soon stimulates the hormones and neuro-hormones in our brain which in turn stimulates the “feel good” chemicals. It then becomes a sort of an addiction-thinking about this person and how much we love them. We can’t let go, we just get high on these feelings and think it is about that particular person when in fact it is not.
Brother, I kindly suggest that you try to refocus your thoughts and attention to your wife and child. While you said this girl from your past told you of her bad marriage and cried, it actually means nothing. She is in a vulnerable place and you are a familiar face. Please do not fall into the trap of thinking there is a deep love between you. By following this illusion you can lose a real and solid love which is your wife and child. Your wife and your baby are a beautiful reality. This girl is just a fantasy brother. I highly recommend that you try to look at your wife with the same emotions that are stirred when you think about this girl. Your wife is carrying your child. Your wife is the one who sacrificed her life to marry you, not the Hindu girl. In fact, the Hindu girl refused to marry you.
Insha’Allah brother you will look at this situation for what it is and begin to put your love, passion, and energies into the family that Allah blessed you with, which is a reality. Following this girl who is an illusion will only lead to heartache, pain and disappointment. I am confident that insha’Allah you will make the right decision! We wish you the best.
Asalamu Alaikum. I am going through severe depression and sadness. I never felt like this before. I got married a few years ago to my cousin. The marriage was arranged by the elders. However, it did not survive because of physical and emotional abuse I went through. One night, he punished me physically and then he brought me to my parents. My condition was not good, so my parents stopped me from going back. On staying back with my parents, they got really angry. They finally issued a written divorce. The process of divorce took almost one and a half year. My marriage legally ended a year ago. I was hoping I will get out of this emotional setback. But it is getting intense. I have been visiting psychiatrists. But when depression hits me, I am on the lowest. I recite astaghfar and darud sharif a lot. I am very grateful to Allah for His blessings, but when I am sad I can’t help it. What makes me sad the most is that my in-laws had no impact on their lives. They are living a normal life as if nothing happened bad. They are not even sorry for what they did. I try my level best to practice Islam and never complain. I am exploring opportunities for myself. But it isn’t helping. I want to get rid of it. I am also haunted by the thought that I won’t get married again and my ex will find some other girl. Please help me!
As salamu alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to our live session. I am very sad to hear what you have been going through with depression as well as with an abusive marriage which alhamdulillah you got out of. Depression can be a devastating illness and is very prevalent. Sadly millions of people worldwide suffer from depression in one form or another. Depression is also more common in women and it is one of the most diagnosed mental health disorders. You Are Not Alone.
Sister, as you’re going through a very hard time right now and the depression is not decreasing, I am wondering what kind of treatment you are getting from the psychiatrist. I will kindly suggest that you speak with your psychiatrist or counselor and inform them that you are still depressed and you would like to try other treatments. There are many different kinds of medications as well as many different types of therapy that can help. I also noted that you talk about the trauma that you went through with your marriage and the sadness you feel as well in regards to your in-laws betraying you and the possibility of your x getting remarried.
Sister, as long as you hang onto the past you won’t be able to move forward. I know it was very painful and I’m so sorry you went through this horrid abuse. What your x-husband and in-laws did to you is vile, haram and sinful. I feel sorry for any girl that would marry him and you should too. They are not living a “happy” life sister, people who are cruel and abusive are generally miserable people who just take their anger and pain out on others. Allah sees ‘s all and Allah’s justice can be swift.
Sister, please do not let these thoughts consume you. You may wish to look into cognitive behavioral therapy which will help you do just that. You may want to suggest this to your therapist or psychiatrist if you are not already engaged in cognitive behavioral therapy. It will help you get rid of negative, maladaptive thoughts and help you to learn to utilize and create more realistic and positive thought process for your future. Cognitive behavioral therapy is very successful in treating depression. Additionally, if you’re not on an antidepressant you may wish to try a medication that you are compatible with. If you are on medication, you may need an adjustment in the dose or you may need a different medication. Either way, please know that there is hope and you will not always feel this way. You will insha’ Allah find relief very soon. Please do speak with your psychiatrist and or therapist request different treatment make sure that they know that you were still suffering at great lengths from depression,. Additionally dear sister, please ask them to screen you for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on the abuse you went through you may also be suffering from PTSD.
Insha’Allah sister, focus on the positive things and blessings in your life and make a list of them every day and read them. Draw closer to Allah through prayer, reading Quran, attending the Masjid, joining sisters for social events and other things that are uplifting and spiritually nourishing. You may want to check out support groups in your area for depression. You can ask your doctor for referrals or you can look online. They are very helpful. Support groups can be very empowering. They offer us new coping skills, we can hear stories from others who have suffered as we did/are and learn from them. It is also a safe place where you can talk about how you feel and be understood. Please do consider the above tips my dear sister and know that your pain will not last, that there is help available you just have to take a few more steps and be assertive in requesting different treatment modes.
As I stated you’re not alone. There are many people especially women, who are or were going through what you are. Many have gone through their journeys of healing which led to successful and happy lives. Allah loves you and He wants you to be happy as well. Reach out to Allah, trust in the process and insha’Allah you will be on the road to recovery. You are in our prayers, please do let us know how you are.
My husband and I had a few arguments over the last 6 years that we’ve been together. Almost every time we argue, he tells me to go and not come back. One time, we almost got divorced but alhamdullilah it didn’t happen and now I’m out of his house again because I was pregnant and my hormones were all over the place. He was supporting me first, then he went back smoking weed. His non-Muslim friend came out of prison, then he has changed he had no emotions and care towards me whatsoever. I lost my pregnancy and he didn’t come and support me. I was at his sister’s house. His dad told him to bring me home. He did when he wasn’t showing me any care. Then I left his house to get some help from my aunts. He didn’t call me or text me or even visited me since then. Should I just ignore him as it is or should I tell him to divorce me?
As salamu alaykum sister,
Shokran for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear about your problems with your husband. I can imagine his harsh treatment of you is very upsetting and hurts you very much. I am so sorry you are going through this, may Allah bless you sister and grant you ease in this situation.
As you stated your husband starting smoking weed and hanging out with friends who were non-Muslim as well as not healthy friends to be with, this is where the problems may lie. I do not know for sure but there does seem to be a correlation as you stated for 6 years things were pretty good between you.
I would kindly suggest sister that you do find a place to stay, perhaps at your family’s home or a relative or friend. As you have lost a baby in addition to his callous and harsh treatment, you need time for yourself in a stress-free environment wherein you can sort out your feelings and heal insha’Allah. I also recommend that you seek out counseling sister to deal with the trauma you have been through as well as help you sort out your options regarding this marriage. A separation may wake him up and lead him back to the path of Islam or it may not affect him, thus leaving him where he is – in a state of haram.
I would kindly suggest that if you do separate, that you tell him you love him but that you feel you both need time to decide what you want from each other and from life. I would limit contact with him until you have had time to think things over and insha’Allah get counseling. Use this time as well, to get closer to Allah by reading Qur’an, doing dhkir, making duaa as well as going to the Masjid. Insha’Allah sister attend Islamic events in your area which will be uplifting and healing. Do some fun social things with the sisters so you can regain a balance in your life. All of these things serve to increase our iman as well as help us through the trials in this life. By increasing your worship of Allah, you will be able to see things clearer and receive the blessings from Allah to guide you on the right path. This is especially important regarding the contemplation of divorce.
Should your husband desire to return to Islam and treat you with mercy, love, and kindness you may want to give him another chance. If he does not, then you can be confident that Allah in His mercy has a better one for you. As Allah created marriage to be a union of mercy, kindness, and protection, we are not expected to be married to one who refuses to submit. While Allah does hate divorce, divorce is an option for you given the circumstances.
Please do consider a separation from him, limit your contact with him during this time and utilize this period to heal, to think about what it is that you truly want and most important as a time to increase your Islamic knowledge, increase your worship and strengthen your relationship with Allah. Insha’Allah the rest will fall into place, how it should be. Allah knows best. You are in our prayers, please let us know how you are doing.
Assalamualaykum. I am married for about 19 years with 2 sons aged 14 and 6 years. 3 years ago, I found my wife cheating. She had physical relations with a non-Muslim. She had just stopped her affair due to her problems with the guy when I found out all. I asked her to change her lifestyle completely and follow Islamic ways. She refuses to stop wearing western clothes and also refuses to stop talking to male friends. She is quite irregular in her prayers. I gave her Islamic literature to understand, also asked her to join Islamic classes, but she refuses. Even her sorry for the affair does not seem to be coming from within. We were having a very good life with no fights, healthy sexual relations, no restrictions on her spending. Yet, she cheated which has hurt me very badly. Although I don't feel like staying with her, because of my children I could not make up my mind to divorce her. She clearly states that she cannot change herself and I can divorce her if I want to. This attitude of hers is really hurting more than the cheating she did. If I continue to stay with her for the sake of children, and I am unable to make her follow our Islamic ways, then would I be considered a "Dayooth" and become a sinner? What should I do, should I divorce her? These last 3 years have been real turmoil for me. Please give me guidance so that I don't end up taking the wrong decision. Please help. May Allah guide us the right way. I tried doing Istikhara but have not got any clear indications to suggest staying with her would be good. I understand that Istikhara is not only about dreams, but it is about options opening.
As Salamu Alaykum dear brother,
Thank you for writing to our live session. I’m very sorry to hear about your wife cheating on you it must have really hurt you and destroyed any trust that you had in her. You’ve been married for 19 years and the both of you have two sons aged 14 and 6 so you have a history and a legacy. I can imagine your shock and devastation when you found out. It must have crushed you, I am so sorry you had to go through this. Please know you are not alone, sadly we get many questions such as yours about cheating spouses, and it does hurt as well as disrupt lives.
Brother, you have a long marriage history with her, she is your wife and you do have children together. I am not clear on how your wife was prior to this episode of cheating. However, you stated that you had a very good life that you got along, had a healthy sexual relationship, there were no restrictions on her spending and you had no fights between you. The point I am wondering is if she was practicing Islam for the 19 years that you were married? Did she suddenly deviate from the path of Islam into this haram behavior? If so, it seems very strange that she would do this and it is something you may need to look at a bit closer.
You stated that she still refuses to keep all of her prayers, she won’t join Islamic classes and she continues to want to live a life that is unIslamic. I would kindly suggest that you look at her other behaviors to see if there’s a correlation. For instance, does she seem depressed, anxious or are her behaviors in any way out of character? For her to suddenly change so drastically after 19 years is cause for alarm. It could be that she is going through a crisis and fell into haram ways. Or it could be that she is experiencing some type of mental health issue and needs to be evaluated. I will kindly suggest that insha’Allah you attempt to get her into counseling. Marriage counseling would be ideal, however, as she is the one who changed so dramatically she would need counseling individually as well to rule out any mental health issues. In some cases like this when cheating is involved and there were no previous issues, it can signal a radical change in thought processes which may be indicative of a mental health issue.
Brother, I know you’re very hurt right now and I see what you have written that you are really trying to help her get back on the path of Islam. May Allah bless you for your efforts. I would kindly suggest that you continue to try to encourage her Islamically as well as suggest that you start out with marriage counseling. Insha’Allah, should the marriage counselor detect and any mental health issues with her, they would refer her for individual counseling as well. I would also kindly suggest that if you truly do not want to stay in the marriage that you don’t. You deserve to be happy brother and live a life that is pleasing to you as well as to Allah. Regarding your question about becoming a sinner by staying with her, I am not an Islamic scholar, so please do write to our section “Ask the Scholar” for a more Islamic answer concerning this. It is my understanding that if she is it all trying to save her Islam such as praying once in a while or reading Qur’an sometimes, there is still hope.
There is even hope when people have left the folds of Islam for long periods of time and came back. This does happen and those who returned to Islam sometimes return with a stronger, renewed faith. The ultimate sin which separates us from Allah as you know is shirk. With that said, if after trying to save your marriage and she still will not cooperate you, do have the right to divorce and seek out the life that you wish to live to be happy. We wish you the best you’re in our prayers.