How hard should I pull back? Even though I explain that many of the behaviors of her companions are un Islamic, she treats it as not serious and sometimes even justifies their behavior. I am trying to balance between being a strict parent and allowing her some freedoms. I don't want to be judged by Allah as not having done my job well. What should I do? Please help.
In this counseling answer:
•Let her know your concerns for her own well-being and faith, and also about yours too and how you fear Allah’s judgment of you also for the times when she engages in behavior that is Islamically inappropriate.
•You could instead sign up to some kind of Islamic classes together, either locally or online if there is nothing local.
•Being involved in any activities organized by the local Muslim community will also provide such opportunities for your daughter to become friends with other sisters who could be a better influence on her.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
This is a struggle that many parents go through as their children get older. When you see your child doing something that seems to be taking her away from the Deen naturally you feel distressed and rightly worry about how Allah will judge you as a parent.
At the same time there is the concern that if you are too strict with her it may push her away even further and then she might be even more inclined to do all the things that she shouldn’t be doing.
At the age of 20, she is a mature adult and accountable for her own actions. Alhamdulilah, she wears a hijab and prays which is a good foundation for iman. The fact that she sticks to this reassuring that she is following the correct path. The concern, however, is about what she is up to with her non-Muslim cousins.
There are a couple of ways you can approach this. You could try being completely open and honest about it and have an honest chat with her about it. Let her know your concerns for her own well-being and faith, and also about yours too and how you fear Allah’s judgment of you also for the times when she engages in behavior that is Islamically inappropriate.
You could also take a more indirect approach too which doesn’t involve talking to her directly about the situation if you are concerned that this sort of conversation with her would be unhelpful. You could instead sign up to some kind of Islamic classes together, either locally or online if there is nothing local. This will serve multiple purposes. Firstly and most importantly, it’ll increase you both in Islamic knowledge.
This will, in turn, strengthen iman and make her less likely to engage in behaviors that are not appropriate for Muslims as she gets closer to Allah and comes to realize the benefits of staying on the straight path and away from sin.
It will also give both of you a chance to bond further and be more comfortable to talk about her cousins’ behavior when you are comfortable as well as making her more likely to listen to and take on board your concerns.
Furthermore, it will place you in an environment with other sisters seeking knowledge also. It will give her the space to befriend other sisters her age who you can feel more comfortable for her to spending time with.
In line with the last point, even if it is not that you sign up to classes together, simply being involved in any activities organized by the local Muslim community will also provide such opportunities for your daughter to become friends with other sisters who could be a better influence on her. As she builds these friendships too, she will become less reliant on you which as you state is presently causing you such stress.
This way you can feel more comforted also that she is spending time with people who are less likely to be engaged in Islamically inappropriate behavior.
May Allah reward your efforts to make sure your daughter remains in the correct path. May He guide your daughter aright and make her the coolness of your eyes.
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