I have little support from my late husband's family and I have no family of my own nearby.
I pray regularly and I read the Qur’an, but I am still having a difficult time. Please advise what should I do?
In this counseling answer:
•It is better for you to develop and sustain good relations with your husband’s family.
•Seek help from the local masjid or Islamic center.
•You may also seek out some Muslim families who are sympathetic to your situation and establish some relations with them.
•Make plans so that you spend some time looking after your own needs
•When you feel you have recovered from your husband’s passing away, do give some thought to marrying again.
•You deserve to have a spouse and the children deserve to have a father.
As-salamu `Alaikum dear sister,
First of all, our du`aa’ is with you. Single Parenting and losing one’s spouse can be a very difficult transition to make in life. May Allah (SWT) make it easy for you.
Reading the Qur’an and keeping a strong relationship with Allah (SWT) is sure to bring comfort to your heart.
Second, we understand the challenges you are facing while adjusting to being a single parent. However, you have pointed out that you are not able to rely on the usual supports, i.e. close family and relatives.
It is regrettable that your husband’s family is also not helping you.
Developing good relations with family
Despite their unwillingness to help, it is better for you to develop and sustain good relations with your husband’s family.
In this way, `in sha’allah they are more likely to respond to you positively and to see your children as a part of the family.
Short visits can be more helpful, in that way you will not outstay your welcome.
There will be times when you will need support, times when your health is not so good and times when you could simply do with a break.
In the meantime, makedu`aa’ and perhaps Allah (SWT) may guide them to help you in the future.
Third, we would like to refer you to explore your own community further. For example, seek help from the local masjid or Islamic center.
Since we are not aware of your community setting, this may not be a suitable suggestion. However, it is still preferable that you start there.
In addition, you may also seek out some Muslim families who are sympathetic to your situation and establish some relations with them.
It may be awkward at first, however, you have the right to ask for help. Too often we think of help as only being financial, but there are also many other ways that people can help.
Financial help is important and you can do your best to explore all possible help from the local/state government as well as social service agencies.
Try not to get caught up in the dilemma of whether to accept help from non-Muslims or not.
Making new friends
Other suggestions include, for example, if the other families have children, you may make some arrangements for your children to spend time with them.
Depending on the ages of your children, you may also like to look for teenagers or college students who can serve as mentors or peer counselors to your children.
There may also be some people in the community who can serve as role models for your children.
You will also want to make sure to attend to your own needs as a single parent. We suggest seeking out other families where the mother is also a single parent.
Make plans so that you spend some time looking after your own needs. You may find it overwhelming to be a single parent.
However, you do not have to deal with every situation alone. There are people in every community who are willing to give their time and energy as a part of the community spirit to help you cope with your situation.
Your challenge is to find the right people.
Check out this counseling video
If you feel the situation is becoming especially difficult, you may wish to seek out professional help from a counselor or social worker.
Sometimes, when you are too close to the situation, you may not be able to objective and it helps in those cases to have outside assistance.
When you feel you have recovered from your husband’s passing away, do give some thought to marrying again.
This may seem like a difficult step to take, however, you deserve to have a spouse and the children deserve to have a father.
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.