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A Father With a Colorful Past

Questioner

H (32_female_Australia)

Reply Date

Jan 22, 2019

Question

As-salamu `alaykum, I have recently married a wonderful man who is trying to become a better Muslim alhamduLlillah. However, he comes with a colorful past! He had a child out of wedlock when he was in his early twenties with a non-Muslim woman. The relationship between my husband and the mother of his child did not work out so well. Under the western law, the mother received custody of the child (who is now 11 years old).

My husband has visitation rights, however, his child lives in a different city; therefore, his visits are not regular (usually during the school holidays for a few weeks).The problem is his daughter's mother is not raising her as a Muslim. Although my husband tries to educate his daughter on the religion he finds it difficult as she is living in a house where Islam is not taught. I as his wife am extremely concerned about his past actions, and how to rectify his mistakes.

How do we best overcome these difficulties in an Islamic way, and teach her about the religion while she is living in a non-Muslim house? Insha-Allah, when I have children how best do I explain their father's actions? I feel that my husband is relying on me to help educate her on the religion, which is fine by me.

I just would like advice on the best way to educate her. Do we (my husband and I) educate her strongly on the religion against her mother's wishes, and with the possibility of losing his daughter if she doesn't react well?

As we will never have custody of his daughter, can you recommend the best way to guide her to Islam? Also, if she doesn't become a practicing Muslim does my husband carry the burden of her sins? Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


colorful past!

In this counseling answer:

•Although you don’t mind teaching her about Islam, I think it’s important for your husband to also participate in teaching her about it because he is the parent.

•In terms of your question about how to explain to your children about their father’s past actions that is something you and your husband should discuss when the appropriate time comes.

As-salamu `alaykum,

It sounds like you are still dealing with your issues about his past which is him having a child out of wedlock. Did he share this with you before you two were married? It sounds like you still have some unresolved feelings about his past actions, which I think is important to share with him.

I understand that her mother is not raising her as a Muslim, and it sounds like that is an important issue for you and your husband. Although you don’t mind teaching her about Islam, I think it’s important for your husband to also participate in teaching her about it because he is the parent.


Check out this counseling video


The beautiful thing about Islam is that the only thing you have to do is teach someone, and hope that they see the beauty of the religion. As far as the way to teach her, there are books that can help you do that. You also want to make sure she understands it based on her age and reading level. Islam doesn’t want to be forced upon anyone.

In terms of your question about how to explain to your children about their father’s past actions that is something you and your husband should discuss when the appropriate time comes. I don’t feel that your husband would carry the sins if she doesn’t become a Muslim as long as he did his duty and educated her about the religion.

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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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