I have a question concerning my husband and my son. I got married about a year and a half ago, and now that Ramadan has started, we have had some difficulties in our marriage because my husband will not fast. We are both Muslim, but all he cares about is getting more degrees. He already has two Masters and a PhD. Now he wants to pursue medicine. When we were engaged, I noticed he was a little too obsessed with school and did not have much of a religious background, but he said he would change and become more religious.
I always tell him to pray with me. Sometimes he does, but not all the time. Ramadan is the holiest month and I feel so guilty that he will not fast. I feel that he will be such a bad example for my son and our future family. I thought I would be more of an influence, but the more I try the angrier he gets. How do I raise a religious family while dealing with a husband who is so into the school that he does not see anything (like Islam) beyond that?
In this counseling answer:
•Let him know your concerns. It may be that’s he is not aware of exactly how and why you are concerned and therefore doesn’t take change seriously.
•Let him know your fear for your children – his children and find out how comfortable he is at the prospect of them potentially staying from Islam.
•Make your daily business, praying and reading Qur’an, making dhikr..etc.. in front of him, essentially being a positive role model for him.
.Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
It is understandable why are concerned about your husbands seeming preoccupation with his career and schooling, especially as you have children who may be negatively effected by this. There a number of things you can try to attempt to resolve this issue.
There are some options that are more direct and others less so. If you are comfortable to take a more direct approach, then you can try sitting with him at a quiet moment and really talk to him about it.
Let him know your concerns
It may be that’s he is not aware of exactly how and why you are concerned and therefore doesn’t take change seriously. Let him know your fear for your children – his children and find out how comfortable he is at the prospect of them potentially staying from Islam as they don’t have a good role model to follow.
Also, let him know your concern for the consequences of his lack of attention to Islam and prayer with Allah, how his not carrying out obligatory duties will not lead to a favorable judgment if he doesn’t cage his ways. As his wife, you want what’s best for him and this life and the next and you fear for him.
This will also help him to see that you are coming at the problem with the approach of concern for him. This love and support he feels from such a transaction may make him think more seriously about making a change.
Seek someone help
In a similarly more direct approach, you could ask your local religious leader or someone he knows well, such as a family member to talk casually with him. It may be that he is more receptive to the message coming from someone else, especially a brother who will more likely have similar motivations with their career and therefore may be my understanding and sympathetic to his feelings too.
Your husband would feel like he’s receiving advice from someone who knows how it feels, who has the fulfillment of a husband and dad to consider too and therefore may be more likely to listen to what they have to say.
Be the role model
In a more indirect approach, continuing to be into him about not praying could in some cases be pushing him further away as he may feel like you’re nagging him. This would create a negative association with a prayer for him and will only make him less interested in prayer. However, in some cases, not saying anything, or saying little could prove to be more effective.
A way to achieve this is to simply go about your daily business, praying and reading Qur’an, making dhikr..etc.. in front of him, essentially being a positive role model for him.
Check out this counseling video
If he sees you doing this, and especially sees how happy and content it makes you feel, he may desire to start joining in without needing to even be invited so that he can experience that same contentment too.
Even though tour husbands behavior may be having a negative impact on your children and their perceptions of Islam, you can do your bit in the meantime by coining to a positive role model yourself.
Let them see how Islam is practiced yourself. Gently encourage them to get involved too. You may also find that this encourages your husband to join in too as he may feel ashamed that they are doing these things and as an adult, he is not.
Most importantly, remember that Allah is the Turner of hearts, so continue to pray to Allah to turn the heart of your husband and guide him on the path is Islam.
May Allah make it easy for you and guide your husband and your entire.
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.