Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2016 | 12:00 - 14:00 Makkah | 09:00 - 11:00 GMT
Session is over.
Salam, I am very ashamed to confess that I had several sexual affairs before my marriage. My parents got me engaged to a guy (they didn't know about my affairs) whom I wasn't attracted at all. My mother, due to fear of society, begged me not to call off my engagement. I married him and as expected didn't feel any attraction towards him. I got so depressed, and the emptiness got me into another affair. Initially, I enjoyed it a lot, but later on the burden of huge sin took its toll on me. I decided to quit it, but my husband found it out. He didn't know the extent of the affair but just read some romantic messages. He got very hurt and depressed. I begged him to forgive me. I started wearing hijab and I’ve become regular in prayers, but I still don't find him attractive. He is obese and doesn't take care of himself despite of my uncountable requests.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,
May Allah forgive you dear sister and make it easy for you to continue on the straight path. You know that you have sinned, but you have repented for it and are doing your best to avoid letting it happen again.
It is understandable that you are finding your marriage difficult if you do not find your husband attractive. Marriage is the best protection from committing further sin with affairs so it’s important that you try your very best to make it work to avoid falling into sin again.
You say you have tried to tell him to take better care of himself. If he is not too sensitive, you could just be more firm with him in pushing him to take better care of himself. However, this can be quite a sensitive topic for many, so you could be more gentle and encouraging with the issue.
You say he is obese so maybe you could make exercise an activity that you both engage in together. You might like to sign up to the gym together. You can support him through activities in the gym and you can help to motivate him to attend regularly if you go together.
Alternatively, find a beautiful place to go for a walk and make it part of a routine. Seeing beautiful scenery together will help to encourage conversation, get to know each other, and develop a love and appreciation for each other. As an added bonus, the exercise should in sha’ Allah tackle his obesity, too. As you come to love him more, you will naturally find him more attractive. This will take time and you have to be patient to allow this love to develop.
May Allah give you the patience to face the challenges of marriage and ultimately experience the benefits of a happy and successful marriage, and may He keep you on the straight path.
As-Salamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. I am in a state of confusion. I have a friend who is so close to me, but as time passes by, I feel irritated by some things in her like the way she talks, and especially the way she eats, because she eats so loud. I cannot help myself from getting irritated. Also, when she advises me, I feel she underestimates me or boasts about certain things. I hate these attitudes of hers, but I do not let her see how irritated I am, because I do not want her to feel bad. I haven’t told anyone about this because it might lead to backbiting, and I do not want that. My biggest problem is that I am stuck in this situation and I cannot go out from this. It's like my heart has begun to hate her, but I am trying to stop myself.
Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh sister,
May Allah reward you for reaching out for assistance with this matter as a way to protect yourself from sinning by backbiting. Let me begin by reassuring you that you have gone about managing this problem in the best way.
You say that you feel she underestimates you and boasts about herself. People often behave like this when their self-esteem is low and they put others down and boast about themself to give themself a boost in self-esteem. Try to see it from this perspective also. Maybe she doesn’t really mean to hurt your feelings by what she’s saying, but it’s just a protective mechanism to help her feel better about herself. Next time she asses such a comment, if you feel comfortable, perhaps let her know that what she said hurt your feelings. Maybe she doesn’t even realise she is hurting your feelings at all.
The fact that you are looking for assistance and feel disturbed that you have these thoughts towards her is a sign that actually you do care about her, otherwise it would not bother you. Sometimes, when people spend too much time together, they start experiencing these feelings that you report.
There a couple of ways you can handle this. You might chose to spend some time apart and you will find that actually you miss her and forget all the irritating things. You will realize that you miss all her good points and being in her company and then when you see her again you will be more happy and less critical in her company.
Take some time to think about all her good points (she must have some, otherwise you wouldn’t be her friend!) and resist thinking about her bad points. Focus on all the good times you have shared together. That could be something you do together even. Talk with her about the fun times you have shared together; laugh together and reminisce over good memories.
May Allah rekindle your friendship and grant you many more happy times together through the support of having a close friend.
As-Salamu ‘Alaykum. I try to be a good, practicing Muslim. Recently, I got engaged. She is a quite practicing Muslim and from a good family. In the past, I thought that first I will arrange my future and then get married, but my career plan didn’t go as I had planned. I also took a loan for my higher education which I was able to pay back, alhamdulillah. Now, I have a decent salary, but I am quite afraid that I might not be able to support my family financially. Also, until my engagement, I was staying with my parents, but now I have been working in the Gulf. Can you advise me how to overcome this fear? Thank you.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear brother,
Allah is the best of planners and, ma sha’ Allah, you are doing a great job of managing your situation. It can be very distressing at times when things don’t go according to the plan, but you have coped by just switching the order of your plans by marrying first before pursuing your career further. This is by the Mercy of Allah as He has saved you from the sins that can come from not being married. So, Alhamdulilah, this has been settled first for you and now you are in a position to settle your career. And Alhamdulilah that you have a good, pious wife. May she continue to be the coolness of your eyes.
Leaving the comfort of our parents home is difficult for most people. Suddenly, you are placed in a situation where you are fully responsible for yourself without the immediate support of those who have supported you 24/7 from birth. This can be a daunting prospect and understandably will always result in a sense of fear and anxiety that you are experiencing. Furthermore, moving to another country will exacerbate this feeling a lot more. However, with today’s technology, the ties are easier to maintain from a distance. Keeping regular contact with your parents will help to bring this sense of comfort and you can easily seek their advice if you face a situation where they would usually assist you.
Many people move to the Gulf to work so there will be plenty of people there in the same situation as you are. They will be very understanding of your emotional experiences, so try to integrate with other people so you can have this support locally and discuss the challenges that you face.
The first few weeks and months into a move can be difficult as you find your feet and adjust to a new way of life and new culture, so be sure to integrate with the local community. Get to know how things work locally and which good places to go. In sha’ Allah, in time, you will adjust and your anxieties will reduce.
Many people also don’t get the chance to experience, so enjoy your situation and be thankful that Allah has given you the chance to see the world.
Overall, just know that what you are experiencing is perfectly natural in your situation. Do your best to mix with locals as well as other people who have moved from abroad and appreciate the blessing. In sha’ Allah, in time, your anxiety will reduce and you will enjoy your time there.
May Allah make this process a smooth one for you.
Salam, I have been through a lot and got diagnosed with major depression disorder. Through my last marriage, I learnt to lie in order to keep myself safe. Now, this affects my new marriage and my husband wants a divorce. I told him I would never lie to him again and sought help. But he doesn’t give me any time; he doesn’t talk to me and wants me to move out. I told him I am really sorry, and he knows my ex and how he affected me, but still he just wants to give up. I feel so worthless now. His so called brothers of Islam are telling him to divorce me and telling him I'm psycho. His last wife left him because she felt he was mentally abusing her.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Alhamdulilah, I am pleased that you have stepped forward to seek a diagnosis and assistance with your problems. This is the first step towards your recovery, in sha’ Allah. You realise why you developed a habit of lying and recognize that it is wrong and have promised to change. Ma sha’ Allah, sister, even though you face a difficult situation you are managing it in a positive way.
I know you have said that your husband won’t give you the time to talk things through. You might like to first keep your distance, give him a bit of space, and let him cool down a bit. When things are calmer, you can be alone with him in a peaceful environment, approach him, and talk gently about the matter and see if you are able to resolve things.
If there is nothing that you can do to convince your husband not to divorce, then just accept it as the Will of Allah. I know this might sound too easy given that you have already been through the pain of a divorce, but Allah knows best. If you are firm in the knowledge that Allah is working with your best interests, then know that there are better times ahead for you.
You say that your husband’s last wife left him because he was mentally abusing her. Maybe a divorce then would save you from the same potential outcome and even more pain in your relationship. Perhaps Allah wants to save you from this. Be confident in the knowledge that Allah will not test you beyond what you can bear and will only let things happen for the best possible reason, in sha’ Allah.
May Allah give you the strength to move forward whatever the outcome of your marriage and may He give you the confidence to trust in His ultimate wisdom.
Salam. I wrote you previously. Now, I would like to enlighten you about how things are around me currently. The man I am married to secretly has improved a lot over the past one year. He treats me very kindly and lovingly and tries to make me happy. But everything else is the same; he can't declare his nikah with me at all. My family has got more restless than ever regarding my marriage. I am almost 32 now. I, too, personally feel old. But despite all the pressure from home and the disgraceful situation of being his secret wife, I don't want him to divorce me. Even just glancing at him gives me a kind of tranquility that I don't experience anywhere else. The thought of being intimate with another man scares me to the extent that I’d prefer death. My family keeps looking for proposals and I don't know how long will I be able to withhold the pressure. You know, I have been praying for years to get out of this sick community. My father's and his family's insistence on their cast being superior is unfair. Most people in our community earn money unlawfully. (We have a corrupt government here in Pakistan and bribery is very common.) Having a govermental job and earning unlawfully is considered respectable is my father’s community. It’s this system that I have always prayed to escape from. Why doesn't Allah answer me? I feel so tired. What should I do? Where do I go? I don't want to live with the guilt of having stayed as a wife with a man for almost three years and then giving it all up in the face of circumstance. I don't want to stop loving him either. What do I need to do?
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Alhamdulillah, I’m pleased to read that at least the situation with your husband has improved and that you experience tranquility when you are with him. This is very important in marriage and I am pleased that, despite the difficulties, there is some happiness in your life with your spouse.
It is perfectly natural to feel depressed when in the situation that you are with your family. We all want to make our parents happy and in Islam we are ordered to be good to them. But when they expect us to do something haram or against Islamic principles, then we are under no obligation to comply at all. In fact, we are to resist.
Everything we do should be for the sake of Allah. Obeying the rules of our fore-fathers that are against Islam is not for the sake of Allah, but for their sake to please them. Some might even call this a form of shirk.
Take examples from Islamic history; Prophet Ibrahim (AS), for example. Despite the shame it would bring on him to resist the forbidden act of idol worship that his father wanted him to engage in, he still refused. So you can find comfort in the fact that even the greatest of people before us have faced the challenge of resisting close family for the sake of Allah. Maybe your marriage to this man will disappoint your family, but it will please Allah, and this is the most important thing.
It is a trial sister, a very difficult one, but ma sha’ Allah, you have done the right thing to be engaged in a halal relationship and resist any efforts from your family to follow cultural traditions that are not related to Islam. Everyone is tested in different ways and this is the way Allah has chosen to test you. You have no need to wish for death because there are many blessings in trial, dear sister.
Firstly, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, Allah will test the very best of people. This gives you a chance to prove your faith in Allah. Additionally, it is said that for every trial you face, your sins will be expiated. What a great reward for having endured hardship! This is a good sign that Allah loves you, sister. Know that you ARE strong enough to endure and survive this test. What is most important is that you stay strong in faith and don’t let this situation shake that. Let it be what brings you closer to Him.
May Allah bring you strength in this adversity dear sister. May He continue to bring you peace in the presence of your spouse, and may He make relations with your family easier and more comfortable.
How to deal with loneliness and depression as a single Muslimah?
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Depression is a very common issue in societies these days, so you are not alone in what you are going through. In your case, you say that you are suffering from loneliness. Oftentimes, loneliness can actually be the cause of depression. So I would suggest addressing this first and see if this helps to alleviate your negative feelings.
There are a number of ways to manage depression. First of all, I would suggest that you become more socially active. You might like to engage in positive activities that get you involved in your local community. If your local mosque runs classes or study groups for sisters, these could be a great place to start as it would get you mixing with other like-minded people for the sake of Allah. Not only will this help you to increase your knowledge, but it will get you mixing with good people in a good environment which will be very beneficial for both your spiritual and psychological well-being, in sha’ Allah.
Something else you might want to try is volunteering in your local community. This is a way to get mixing with others for a good cause. You will get the reward of doing charity and at the same time you will feel good for helping others. It will also introduce you to new people and keep you socially active for a positive purpose.
Engaging in any of these activities is a good way to integrate with other members of the local community. When you are working alongside people with the same purpose, starting a conversation will become a lot easier because you are working for the same common goal. This will make it easier to develop relationships and perhaps lead onto friendships that extend beyond the group or work and will help to keep you busy and not lonely.
Additionally, these are activities that will be pleasing to Allah. When you know that you are doing something for the sake of Allah, you will not only get the reward from Allah, but you will feel a sense of inner reward and satisfaction, too, that will help with your depression, in sha’ Allah.
May Allah help you in overcoming your feelings of loneliness and depression and make it easy for you to move forward positively. May He reward you with patience in dealing with the trials that come with depression.