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Help! My Fiance Is Brainwashed by a Sufi Group

14 July, 2020
Q Salaam,

my fiance started practicing sufism over a year ago. In the beginning I did not see it as a bad thing because his actions were really subtle.

However, as of recent months, I have become aware that the practice has completely consumed his life to the point where he has lost all interest in dunya and has mostly isolated himself from friends.

I do not know how to describe it but it kind of feels like he is following some sort of cult and not islam. I want to know if there is any way I can help him and get him out of this situation?

We were meant to get nikah this year and he was really pushing nikah to happen as soon as possible the last few months we were in contact. When I questioned his practices and asked him to balance his time a bit more, he called it off and said he did not want to get married to me anymore.

I looked into the teachings of his "shaykh" but to me a lot of it did not really seem genuine as they use movies to explain their beliefs. For example, they posted a video showing that the movie "Star Wars" was sent to mankind through Allah SWT as a message for us (and they basically connected scenes of the movie to their sufi beliefs).

I feel as though he has been brainwashed and really want to help save him from this difficulty. He has also faced mental health issues in the past so I don't know if the situation could be linked to that.

He keeps to himself and is an introvert, does not really discuss things openly.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Sister please let this situation go with grace.

We cannot force anyone to do anything, nor can we spend years trying to.

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Leave your fiancé in the hands of Allah and trust Allah that your he will one day find his way back.

If you know a good friend of him, a relative he trusts or someone who can positively impact him, you may ask them to interfere and speak with him.

In the meantime, practice self-care and self-healing, stay close to Allah, and begin to create a new wonderful future for yourself. 


As salamu alaykum sister,

I am truly sorry to hear about what your fiancé has gotten caught up in. It does not even sound like a Sufi practice. I have never heard of anything Islamic being associated with Star Wars that concept is truly different. I would even question if it was truly a Sufi order. It does not sound like it.

Marriage Plans and Hurt 

I can imagine all of this has hurt you very much. You both probably had plans for a wonderful future sister. Now it is all in disarray. When we care for someone we want to see the best for them and it is very difficult when they take the wrong path or something affects them mentally, spiritually, or physically.

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It is especially difficult when marriage plans were in place and are then affected by these changes. It is truly devastating to the person who has watched the other deteriorate.  My heart goes out to you. 

Help! My Fiance Is Brainwashed by a Sufi Group - About Islam

Wrong Paths, Possible Mental Illness, Refusal to Change

Sister as you have described him, he is introverted at this point, has no balance in life, is totally immersed in this ideology and refuses to listen or even consider changing his ways at this point. As he has a history of mental health illness, this most definitely could play a part in his fascination and obsession with this.

As you know in Islam we are to have a balance in life and in all our affairs. With that said, there is not much else known about what he is into except that it is in part based on a Star Wars movie prediction (?) therefore it is far removed from Islamic teachings. 

Would Marriage to him have been Ideal?

Sister I will kindly ask you to consider what it would be like being married to him right now. I am sure that by pondering this thought you will find it is not pleasing to you. Allah is merciful sister and saves us from many devastating things.

Allah will shut doors even when it hurts us-for our own good. Allah knows best. 

New Chapter in Life

Insha’Allah as you cannot change him, nor can you force him to change, perhaps it is time that you close this chapter of your life. I know this is hurtful to think about but given the situation and his refusal to find truth and balance it may be your only option.

Additionally, he has called off the marriage anyhow and this may be a mercy to you from Allah. 

Moving On

Sister I encourage you to move on. I know it will be hard for a while but please know that only by Allah and through Allah can your ex fiancée find the right path and change. In the meantime, nothing is guaranteed in that regard and you have a life to live. I kindly suggest you invest in yourself right now.

Give yourself a lot of self-care, eat healthy, get in some exercise, take walks in nature. Spend social times with family and friends as you are able. Take up a hobby or engage in an activity of your interest. Use this time for self-care, healing and to rebalance your life. 


Check out this counseling video:

Staying Close to Allah

Insha’Allah, engage in charity work if you can. Helping others always makes us feel good and is a great benefit to those in need. You may find great joy in this right now. Stay close to Allah through prayer, reading Quran, and dhzikr.

Trust in Allah, knowing you had this experience for a reason, a reason that may not be revealed right away. Allah Knows Best. 

Conclusion 

Sister please let this situation go with grace. We cannot force anyone to do anything, nor can we spend years trying to. Leave your ex fiancé in the hands of Allah and trust Allah that your ex will one day find his way back.

In the meantime, practice self-care and self-healing, stay close to Allah, and begin to create a new wonderful future for yourself. We wish you the best.

Editor’s note:

Sister, we know you still care about him and would like to help him anyway. If you know a good friend of him, a relative he trusts or someone who can positively impact him, you may ask them to interfere and speak with him.

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/shariah/shariah-and-humanity/shariah-and-life/sufism-vs-wahhabism/

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/research-studies/authentic-sufism-sufism-not-mysticism-2/

https://aboutislam.net/shariah/refine-your-heart/advice/ibn-atta-ascending-levels-worship-pearls-wisdom/

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.