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I Want Art But My Parents Prefer Medical University

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Jul 05, 2018

Question

Salam. I have two major problems.

One is that unfortunately, I didn’t get admission to the medical university, but I had interest in arts so I applied to an Art University. However, my parents didn’t let me go there and now they force me to apply again to the medical school or select any other field, but they are forcing me to do what they want and not letting me do what I want to do. I suggested more than one fields, but they said they wouldn’t let me go there. I feel my mind is blank and I have difficulties with sleeping well.

My mother says I am destroying my future, but I am unable to do anything. I am kind of stuck. I am praying that ALLAH answers my prayers, but I feel ALLAH is upset with me. I am lost, please help me. My other big problem is that my parents fight a lot nowadays. They are fighting from day to night on tiny things. My father abuses my mother’s family a lot, and my mother gets angry on every single little thing. As I’m the only child, I am so tensed. I want to see them loving each other not fighting.

My dad’s behavior has been changed as he has now a friend whom my mother and I don’t like. His friend used to flirt with me on the phone. I told my dad about this and he cut the connection with him for a while, but after some days, he started to come to our home again. My father's nature has change a lot; he used to arrive home on time, but now he comes home late and doesn’t tell us where he was. He does not answer our phone calls, and all day he is chatting with that guy or is on call with him. Even at night, his friend calls and talks with him for no reason. If my father is not out with him, he comes to visit him at home and is there till late night. Please advise me what to do. I started to lose respect for my father.

I am hoping to receive your reply. Thank you.

Counselor

Answer



In this counseling answer:

• I believe He may be testing you to see how you handle these issues in your life.

• What really matters sister is that you, as an adult woman chose a career path that you will enjoy and bring you satisfaction.

• When your parents are arguing, remove yourself from the situation and engage in something positive to get your mind in a good place and away from the arguing.


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

I am sorry to hear of your not getting admitted to the Medical University, but as you stated, your interests lie within the Arts. While our parents want the best for us as far as education is concerned, they often look at what may be in high demand as well as generating a good income, which profession is more “prestigious” or what profession is common amongst family members.

While all may be good intentions, what really matters sister is that you, as an adult woman chose a career path that you will enjoy and bring you satisfaction. It is you, who will spend your life in sha’ Allah in that career. The hard part, of course, will be convincing your parents.

Chose A Path You Like

Perhaps, for now, a compromise can be made with you proposing that you will enter some medical field as a major, and take art (or other that you are truly interested in) as a minor. That way, you will get training and education in both; you please your parents and at the same time get the education you truly want at some level, which in the future you can apply towards a single degree study of your minor. I am not sure if the universities you are looking at offer dual majors or allow you to take a minor, but a lot do. The medical field may be different, however, depending on what level you take, therefore I urge you to look into this option in sha’ Allah.

Another option is to bring forth the Islamic rights of children who are adults to choose their own spouses, careers and other major life choices. While we must always respect and be kind to our parents, it is important that we are happy in our life choices, which are ours alone.

As your parents are fighting a lot now, there are issues with your education, and a man who you state is interfering with your family life and changing your father, is it any wonder you cannot sleep! Despite what your mom says, based on what you have told us, you are not destroying your future, but rather, you are seeking a future which will bring you happiness in what you do, as well as contentment as an individual and human being. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, if your parents removed the barrier they have set up against your individual choices, you would probably feel much better in your abilities and life choices.

I think you are strong and brave to stand up for your choices. I encourage you to continue to do so respectfully.


Check out this counseling video:


Allah Tests You

As far as Allah punishing you my dear sister, I believe He may be testing you to see how you handle these issues in your life. I don’t think He is punishing you. As long as you pray, have repented for sins, Allah is most merciful in His forgiveness. I suggest in sha’ Allah that you continue praying for Allah’s guidance through all of these trials and remaining firm on your Islamic rights and trusting in Allah.

Don’t Involve in Your Parents’ Fights

It sounds as if you are under a great deal of stress, my dear sister. As far as your parents fighting, there are several ways in which you may be able to help to depend on the relationship of parent-child which they have set up in your home as guidelines to follow. Some parents reject any feedback or expressions from their children; others are willing and encourage family meetings wherein family issues are discussed. I am unclear of your parents’ stance on this, but whatever it is, it must be respected.

The first is to realize that your parents’ relationship is theirs alone. While their behaviors and arguments do affect you and the rest of the family, ultimately, they need to come to a place in sha ‘Allah within themselves, wherein they decide they do not want to live this way anymore (arguing).

I would suggest that you review two options: one is leaving your parents’ affairs to them as only they can work out their difference. Be kind and provide loving support to both of them, but at the same time understand that through your prayers, du’aa’s and understanding disposition, you can help them through Allah’s (SWT) mercy.

The second would be to “let them know how their behavior at those times makes you feel. Framing concerns in a positive way and using the utmost of adab (Islamic manners) is very important. Speak to them kindly and perhaps let them know that you are sharing your feelings to help keep your family unified so as not to allow Satan to come between all of you. Only you know which approach would work best with your parents, therefore I encourage you to think it over carefully.

Also, if possible, when your parents are arguing, remove yourself from the situation and engage in something positive to get your mind in a good place and away from the arguing. It may be going for a walk, reading Qur’an, engaging in an enjoyable hobby, or identifying a special place you can go to when needed for peace. This will be an important sister as it will help reduce your stress levels as well as decreasing getting caught up in family drama. By removing yourself from the situation when possible, it will also help you reduce the negative thoughts of your father in sha’ Allah as you will not have constant exposure to the negativity.

I would also like to add that if your father is physically abusive to your mom or you, you need to seek the help of a counselor right away. As you stated “abuse” I am unclear which type of abuse you are referring to as there are many kinds – verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, and so on. None of it is acceptable, all of it is haram and not to be tolerated. However, physical abuse is the most dangerous as someone could be seriously injured or die, so if this is the type of abuse you are referring to, please seek help immediately!

While I do not know where you live, I have included a link for you to call in the USA. They may be able to give you a number in your country/area to call for advice and help if you feel you or your mom are in danger. For more information on abuse with marriage/families, please see. Again, I do not know if this is your situation but have included it just in case it is.

While we are all human and sin, oftentimes children see their parents as incapable of making mistakes or having serious issues. As we know, this is false as parents are humans, too, and we carry many faults and sins for which we repent to Allah for.

So, I ask you dear sister that instead of focusing on your father’s bad points right now (which I know is hard), in sha’ Allah, look at him from the point that he is a human being who is imperfect and also may be suffering from issues that you are not aware of. Look at him with respect, but as someone who needs help. Make du’aa’ to Allah (SWT) that He guides your parents towards a more Islamic and healthier marriage. Sister, you are a wonderful daughter, and your concern for your parents is most admirable that displays your wonderful Islamic character. May Allah bless you.

Report Any Inappropriate Behavior

As far as the man who is now in your family’s life, I agree that it does not sound to be a positive thing. However, again, it is up to your father to stop the relationship. As you stated, he used to flirt with you, I highly encourage you to try to not be around this man and report any inappropriate behavior towards you that occurs from him. Tell your mom immediately if he does anything that makes you uncomfortable. While you may not be able to stop this “friendship” between him and your father, and your father’s subsequent undesirable behaviors, in sha’ Allah you can distance yourself sister from the drama and get more involved with Islamic activities, social outings with other sisters as well as planning for your future education and probably move to the university location.

Seek Counseling

Also, I suggest dear sister that if possible, start seeing a counselor in your area who can help you navigate through these issues. It is helpful to have someone to talk to on a regular basis when we are going through hard times in life as it can give us different perspectives and ideas for resolution and lift burdens off our minds when we vent our sadness and frustrations.

Lastly, as stated, keep close to Allah (SWT), make du’aa’ for your family and especially your dad, and ask Allah (SWT) to guide you through these hard times. I am confident you will get through this sister as you are strong, intelligent and pious. May Allah reward you.

You are in our prayers. Please let us know how you are doing.

***

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.

Read more:

What Comes First: Marriage or Career?

Can Muslim Women Have a Career?

Is Psychology a Good Career Choice?




About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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