We asked her why she does this, and she says she likes to be popular with the guys. She says giving them what they want allows her to get drives in cars and her lunches are paid for at the nearby mall during school lunch hour. We give her lunch to take to school. She says she hates curry food and that American food is the only standard of food she can eat.
She also refuses to wear hijab and says tight jeans and low cut tops are the fashion. We ask our daughter what she wants to be when she grows up and she says a female escort. We have taken her to the doctor for tests and he said she was healthy but he concluded she was having a lot of anal sex because of scarring in that region of her body. We are tired of this behavior.
She says we are too protective and are just acting stupid because some book called the Qur’an says we should be shocked by her actions. She says we are robots that have no choice in life and she refuses to believe in a God. She says in America, girls have fun and are not supposed to be shy and stupid like they are back home. We try keeping her home at the weekends, but she keeps kicking out the windows. We have had to replace them a dozen times. She began acting this way around 11 and we assumed it was peer pressure.
Now she smokes, drinks, and does drugs with males. We don't know what to do. Can you give some help please? My husband wants to kick her out of the home. I try and reason with him saying she's just young. But he insists she is all wrong and that he has tried all means to reason with her. I think my husband is too strict on this issue and maybe should give her more space, but I'm not sure.
I have told her to cool it down and maybe have just one or two boyfriends, but my husband gets mad at me and says I should not support her by any means on this issue. I don't know what to say or do anymore.
In this counseling answer:
•You should never give up on your daughter
•Both you and your husband should try your best to answer the tough question “What led to this sad situation?
•Approach your daughter with sympathy, and kindness, just as you would deal with someone who is ill.
•Avoid any kind of aggression or harsh words. At the same time, give her your message firmly and patiently.
•Keep communication channels open with her and try to develop her trust. Besides Islamic foundation, you need to work on building her pride and elevate her self-esteem.
•Do your best to advise your daughter to repent and come back closer to Allah. Remind her of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for those who regret committing sins,
As-salamu `alaykum, sister.
This is a very high price that a Muslim family is paying for settling in the United States. I understand your frustration and disappointment in seeing your daughter losing her faith and suffering from the worst diseases of Western society.
I feel the despair and distress that you and your family are experiencing. Since your daughter has been addicted to extremely pernicious habits that wipe out her spiritual soul and lead to self-destruction, you and her father must urgently gather your will power and all of your resources to take all the necessary steps in order to wean her of these habits immediately.
You should never give up on your daughter. I propose the following steps that with the will of Allah will help you achieve this goal and pass this crisis:
First, seek strength and guidance from Allah in dealing with this difficulty by offering more voluntary prayers and closely watching your actions and words to be in accordance with Islamic teachings and so you deserve the mercy of Allah.
Both you and your husband should try your best to answer the tough question “What led to this sad situation?” The answers are very important to cure your daughter. They are not to point fingers or to blame each other.
The probability of success in curing your daughter is dependent upon the accuracy of your self-diagnosis. You and your husband are the only ones who can honestly reevaluate every aspect of your life and determine whether you are following the principals of Islam.
Are you close to your local Muslim community? Have you taught your children Islam as a way of life based on strong love and fear of Allah? How much effort did you make to develop their pride in being Muslim? After doing this self-evaluation explicitly and openly together as a couple, you should put aside any type of self-blame, and focus only on what needs to be done. Allah says,
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what it is in themselves.”
Qu ran 13:11
Any transformation or change must start from you, then it can propagate to your children. That doesn’t mean that you are necessarily doing anything wrong, you can be the most pious people and still your child may stray from the right path. Also, you may be sincere Muslims, but you missed the right methods to deal with children growing in the West, being too strict or too permissive can hurt and lead to negative consequences.
Second, when all of your acts and words, including the way you use them in raising your children, are according to what Allah commanded, start working on your daughter’s attitudes and behaviors. Keep in mind that you are working with a sick, wild human being who went out of control not because she is young or immature, but because she has lost her faith.
The real challenge is to bring her back to being a believer in Allah and His Messenger. Afterwards, the modification of her behavior will follow naturally. Now the issue is not how many boy friends she hangs out with, or what kind of cloth she wears. The main issue is does she believe in the existence of Allah, and Muhammad as His last Messenger? Without this foundation of beliefs in her heart and mind, there is no hope to bring her back to the right path of a decent life.
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In this process, do not undermine the effect of remembering Allah and reading His words on treating all of our psychological and physical problems. Seek refuge in Allah and cry for His assistance to save your daughter and protect her sisters. Allah says,
“And we send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” (Al-Israa’ 17:82)
“O mankind, there has come to you instructions from your Lord and healing for the (diseases) in your hearts, and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy.” (Yunus 10:57)
Third, before talking with your daughter about anything, you should agree with your husband on what you need to do or say. Be calm, firm, and consistent. Never give your children conflicting messages. Approach them with the same set of rules and guidelines after explaining the wisdom behind them.
Fourth, approach your daughter with sympathy, and kindness, just as you would deal with someone who is ill. Avoid any kind of aggression or harsh words. At the same time, give her your message firmly and patiently. Keep communication channels open with her and try to develop her trust. Besides Islamic foundation, you need to work on building her pride and elevate her self-esteem.
To be popular, she enslaved herself to meet the lowest desires of any man she may come across. This happened for two reasons: One, because she completely lost connection with the religion; and two, because she does not value or respect herself. Explain to her that you are trying to help her overcome her weakness in front of her desires, to save her from disgrace in this life and torture in Hellfire in the Hereafter.
Fifth, at the same time, do your best to advise your daughter to repent and come back closer to Allah. Remind her of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for those who regret committing sins, stop, and are determined not to disobey Allah again.
“Do they not know that it is Allah Who accepts the repentance of His servants and receives (approves) their charity, and that Allah who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful?” (At-Tawbah 9:104)
“Say: ‘O My servants who wronged against their souls, do not despair of Allah’s mercy! For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate.’” (Az-Zumar 39: 53)
So remind your daughter not to put off repentance and to take the necessary steps immediately. The door of repentance is open as long as we are not in the throes of death, for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah accepts the repentance of His servant as long as death has not reached his collar bone.”
But since we have no way of knowing when death will overtake us, we must never be slack in hastening to taking steps towards repentance. Repentance cannot be considered as valid unless one takes the following steps:
- One must feel deep guilt for the sins one has committed.
- One must refrain from it totally, while also abstaining from all those leads or circumstances that led to such a sin in the first place.
- One must be firmly resolved never to sin again and immediately become occupied in whatever good deeds that one can, in order to wipe out past sins.
- All of the above involve sins involving the rights of Allah; if, however, one’s sins involve the rights of human beings, then one must also do whatever it takes to return or compensate or redress the grievances of the person(s) wronged as an essential condition of valid repentance.
Repentance, as stated above, once accomplished, will undoubtedly wipe out one’s sins, and guarantee a clean record. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“One who has repented of a sin (sincerely) is like one who has never sinned at all.”
This is probably easier said than done, but it is worth trying hard. You might save your daughter and her sisters, who may look on her as a role model. Above all, you will earn the best rewards from Allah for fulfilling your responsibilities towards your family .
Sixth, you may find it helpful to consider changing the school that your daughter goes to, moving to a new neighborhood, or even a new city, where your daughter can open a new clean page of her life away form her old friends. Make sure that in your new place you have strong connections with committed Muslims and involve your daughters in Muslim youth activities, Islamic conferences in order to strengthen their beliefs and expand their Islamic knowledge. More importantly, these activities will help them develop the sense of belonging to the Muslim community and the pride of their Muslim identity.
Seventh, in order to empower your daughter to cure herself from these deadly ailments, you should seek counseling and therapy, preferably from those professionals in the field who are conscientious Muslims. If such Muslim professionals are not available in your local area, choose one from those who are ethically and morally conscious. The decision to get treatment for your daughter is very serious. I encourage you to search for consultation with a psychiatrist or mental health professional.
Finally, educate yourself and your family about substance addiction and its destructive effects, referring to Islamic resources and related research in the field of psychology and sociology, so you can approach your daughter from every perspective. Here are some Web links, and references, with a brief note about the contents of each one.
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.