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You Asked, Our Counselor Answered! (Counseling Session)

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You Asked, Our Counselor Answered! (Counseling Session) - About Islam

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)


Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 | 13:00 - 13:30 Makkah | 10:00 - 10:30 GMT

Session Status

Session is over.

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Hannah for answering the questions.


How to encourage a girl I like who is also my classmate to wear hijab and observe modesty? We don't usually meet each other in the college. Much of the talking is on WhatsApp and Snapchat. What are some of the good ways to encourage her to do good things that are pleasing to Allah, so that when I propose her after graduation I don't find myself in dilemma.



AG - About Islam

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

 

Alhamdulilah that your intentions for her are good in that you want to encourage her to do things pleasing to Allah, but having a relationship outside of marriage, even as friends like this is not something that will be pleasing to Allah, hence why He has made the results of such haram and prescribed marriage to meet the needs of such relationships and this is what pleases him. Therefore, the first step in encouraging her to do good is to remove the temptations of this relationship from her until you are able to seek marriage.

 

The first thing I would advise is to refrain from direct contact with her, even via non face to face means such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. This might seem quite harsh since it seems that you have already developed feelings enough for her that you would like to marry her at some point in the future, but there are many good reasons for this.

 

Keep in mind that the hijab that you would like to see her observe, along with modesty, is not being encouraged by having this kind of relationship with a member of the opposite sex such as you, so by having such contact you are automatically contributing to her not observing modesty and the general sense of the word hijab beyond it being simply a covering of the hair, but a covering beyond this to both physical and social modesty.

 

As you have observed first hand, talking to her and getting to know her has lead to the development of romantic feelings. These feelings can easily lead to haram via fornication, zina and even adultery. As humans we have desires, but we are also not so strong at controlling our desires. When it comes to romance and intimacy, Allah has encouraged us to get married to fulfil many of these desires. However, fulfillment of these desires outside of marriage is a sin and this is why marriage is encouraged as a protection for society to prevent things such as children being born outside of marriage and rights not being fulfilled. There is much wisdom and benefit in marriage that can cannot be attained through non marital relationships.

 

It is important to understand this wisdom to understand why having relationships with the opposite sex come with many risks and is why contact with the opposite sex who you are bit a mahram for should also be restricted to avoid the development of feelings that can easily lead to sin. You may feel you have control over these things and that you won’t commit sin, but controlling the nafs is never an easy task and jihad of the self like this can be very challenging. Allah knows us better than we know ourselves and this is why he prescribed marriage in order that we don’t have to face what we are not strong enough to.

 

Therefore, I would suggest that you either move forward in getting married soon so that you can resume such contact, or, if you don’t plan to get married anytime soon then either cut contact completely until then, or if you want to be in touch make sure there is a third party present to prevent you both falling in to sin, even via online contact. This can be done by adding her mahram to the WhatsApp conversation for example so they can monitor your conversation. It may seem like a strange thing to do, but even one to one contact online can lead to inappropriate interactions, in fact, even more so than face to face as when people talk online, they are behind a veil which leads to losing one’s inhibitions to some extent which can lead to sin even more easily than face to face contact.

 

Beyond your current situation, once married you would be more easily able to directly influence her behaviours and encourage her to do things that please Allah, such as observing physical modesty and wearing hijab. She would also be less inclined to engage with other men as she has a spouse and this would protect her modesty more generally. For now, you could instead take indirect steps by asking those that you are permitted to talk to to talk to her and encourage  good in her. This maybe less direct by asking them to invite her along to local religious events and classes in the community that will encourage her to keep good company with those who do good deeds and conduct themselves well and therefore will nurture her to do the same. This way they have to necessarily make direct comments about the way she dresses for example and will encourage her to make these changes herself of her own volition. In sha Allah, by the time you are ready to wed her she will have already established these things.

 

May Allah guide you and this girl to the things that He is pleased with and grant you happiness and success in both this life and the next.


My uncle, who is close to my age and therefore like a brother to me, left Islam 10 years ago, but converted back. However, he left again but converted again and this time he stayed. Nowadays he is a devout Muslim and prays and fasts, but is disturbed by bad thoughts, waswas.

My uncle says it is driving him mad and when he even does something simple, a bad thought enters his head. For example, the other day he told me: during ghusl, he had a bad thought in his head that if he washes his body three times, he will be accepting another religion, etc, and therefore he told me he washed his body 4 times. I feel sorry for him, because he is acting mad and thinks he is a dirty kaffir.

Please, please tell me what can i do to help my uncle? Will Allah forgive him? Will bad thoughts be ignored or will the angels write it down? Will my uncle still be a Muslim for thinking terrible thoughts/waswas or no?



AF - About Islam

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

 

Alhamdulilah that your uncle found Islam again and that he has a supportive family member like yourself. It sounds like he is very disturbed by waswas and it is impacting a lot of things in his daily life. This is something that most people go through to some extent or another, but there are many things that can be done to get through it and overcome them, and with your support also this will be very helpful.

 

First of all, you can remind him to keep Allah in mind as much as possible by saying all the necessary daily duas and saying bismillah before much of what he does. One way to keep this reminder ever present is to put sticky notes or posters in visible places as reminders, such as on the bathroom door with the dua before entering the bathroom, and on the front door with the du’a when leaving the house.. Etc.. Likewise, you can also help him to set reminders on his phone to remind of things like morning and evening adhkar.

 

Beyond this, you can join him in encouraging him to read the Qur’an more and attend religious gatherings in your local community. This will also be useful to you too as much as it will to him. It will let him know that you are there to support him but also give him increased reminders of Allah and nurture him in getting closer to Allah. As he remembers Allah more, his heart will be at increasing peace as he feels more and confident in the shelter of Allah’s protection from Shaytan.

 

Another thing he can do when he is involved in other activities is to either be listening to the Qur’an or doing dhikr so that an idle time between reading Qur’an and being with others is continually filled with the remembrance of Allah and pushing away of Shaytan.

 

Of course, Shaytan does not like to see people getting closer to Allah and may fight back and the waswas may even get stronger, but with persistence through continued worship and your support as a help, he will be able to get through this.

 

Remind your uncle that this is something everyone faces to some extent. Remind him that actually the waswas only gets stronger because Shaytan can see how much he is trying to get closer to Allah and He hates that. This waswas he is experiencing is a sign of his faith and commitment to Allah and he should continue to fight it and seek refuge from Shaytan with Allah and in sha Allah as Shaytan realises that his tricks aren’t working the waswas will cease. He should try to refrain from giving the waswas any attention. The more he allows it to get to him the more the Shaytan will realise he has a hold of him. This along with the advise above should in sha Allah with time and patience rid him of the waswas and bring him peace of heart and mind.

 

May Allah guide your uncle aright and protect him from Shaytan. May He reward your concern for him and bless all you efforts.

 


Assalam alaikum. I have been in a relationship with a man for almost 10 years, we wanted to marry each other very much but his father is against it. We separated 3 times and after each separation a while we got back together again. Once I came close to marrying another person but I discovered something bad about him so the marriage proceedings were cancelled.

I tried to give others a chance but each time something happens which stops any marriage possibility, or I'll feel an unaccountable repulsion towards them. He appealed to his father for the last time about 4 months ago but he rejected and refused. So I stopped talking to him and ignore his messages to me. I've prayed and done istikhara several times and I am still praying but he is still the one I feel in my heart, so i became doubtful whether i am making biased istikharas and dua's and i cleared my mind as much as i could and tried again and again...

The feeling still remains. It is stronger than ever now actually. Recently I dreamt twice that he told me he still loves me, I am just so confused and scared too. I dont know what to do. Please advise me, jazakumullah khayr.



AD - About Islam

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

Pursuing marriage is always made especially difficult when the support of the family is not present, especially when the support is lacking from the mahram of the female as in your case. This has lead to you potential marriage to the man you wish to marry being delayed and cancelled numerous times.

 

Masha Allah, you did the best thing in making istikhara relating to this matter, but as you have mentioned yourself, you fear it may be biased. You have made a good judgement here. As you have had a relationship with this man you have developed feelings for him so of course your heart will be inclined to him regardless of whether you make istikhara or not. As a result it is easy to confuse the feelings in your heart as being from Allah in turning you to him and encouraging you to continue to seek marriage to him, or whether it is simply a result of the feelings that you have developed for him due to your relationship with him. Likewise, with your dreams, since you have feelings for him, it wouldn’t be unusual for you to dream about him also and then feel confused about whether this is from Allah, or whether it is just due to your contact and feelings towards him. Your feelings towards him could also Be what is influencing you to feel repulsed towards other men.

 

Due to this, it might be advisable to seek assistance from a trusted loved one who has your best interests at heart. Someone who will be able to help you by making judgements that are not influenced by feelings that have arises out of prolonged contact with the man. If this is your mahram, then let him meet with the man you wish to marry and get his judgement and thoughts on pursuing marriage to him. If he feels he is a good man and will be a good match for you then you could ask him to meet with this man’s father to discuss your marriage to him. Whilst it is not necessary to have the support of his father to go ahead with a marriage to him, it would be ideal and would reduce the chance of family conflicts that may have an impact on your marriage in the future.

 

Perhaps your mahram could discuss with his father why he is so against the marriage to see of there is a legitimate reason why he is against it. If it is a trivial matter then perhaps you could work on this matter with the hope of changing his mind so you can comfort ably pursue the marriage. If it is something that is only going to cause disruption in the family, or if your mahram doesn’t see him as a good match for you anyway, then perhaps you should consider fully letting go and moving on.

 

Your thoughts will always be biased towards this man, but in sha Allah with the support of loved ones and continued istikhara you will be able to move forward. If it is meant to be then a meeting between him and someone who knows you, ideally your mahram, will clear this matter and in sha Allah you will be married. If it is not meant to be then obstacles will continue to prevent it from working out.

 

You could give yourself a time frame such as 6 months and if things are still not working out make the brace decision to move on. If this is the case, be prepared that you will likely still have feelings for the man and you will likely as a result not be attracted to anyone else. This is where you need to be patient with yourself and them. In time as you get to know someone better you will be able to develop feelings for them. It might be that you require more meetings with them than you might otherwise expect to get to know them more and be prepared to face a marriage that you did not anticipate. It you are to truly move on then it will be necessary for you to be open to a new experience. Right now you probably feel that this is not possible, but it is. It might just take longer than you expect.

 

May Allah guide you to do what is best for you and most pleasing to Allah. May He grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.


Assalamualaikum,we are moving to Pakistan and my female cousins live there as well,and my mom tells me to play with them I told her that it is haram but she doesn't listen,what should I do? If I deny she will burst into anger and be very upset.



AS - About Islam

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh brother,

 

This is a difficult situation because of course you must obey your parents as is commanded by Allah, especially at your young age where you rely on them for much as you have yet to develop your independence. However, when they are encouraging you to do something that is disliked by Allah, that is freemixing and playing with females it is causing tension because your mom is getting angry with you for not playing with them, but you know that it is not OK for males and females to be together like this. Masha Allah you have a good understanding of some issues that even adults struggle with. Whilst you may be young and therefore the dangers less in such interactions, it is good to form good habits from a young age if possible such as observing modesty as you are trying. However, when your mom makes it difficult for you to decline, what can you do?

 

There are a couple of ways to approach this.

 

You could completely refuse to play with them as whilst we must obey our parents, we do not have to when they encourage or even force us to do something against Islam. However, in this case it will come at a big cost that your mom will get angry with you which will make things difficult for you. You know her better and K own the extent to which she will get angry and can guage better whether this is an option. If it is that she would only be angry for a short time and then we be fine again and it wouldn’t effect your relationship with her then perhaps it is worth the risk of disobeying her and avoiding playing with these girls and facing her anger for a short while, but for the pleasure of Allah and her anger will soon pass. If it is that her anger will not subside and she will continue to be angry for a long time and make things difficult for you, then you might consider alternatives options.

 

You could try being completely direct with your mom about why you don’t want to play with them and how you are aware of the dangers of freemixing with girls and that for the sake of Allah you don’t want to play with them. Also explain that this is not only for your benefit, but also for theirs too so that they don’t fall into sin as much as you.

 

If you are not comfortable to have this conversation yourself you could get someone that you know and trust to be with you when you have this conversation. Alternatively, you could take your concern to someone who might be able to talk to her themselves on your behalf. This would ideally be someone that you know you mom listens to and responds to well such as an elder relative or person in the community.

 

Alternatively, or in addition to the above, you can keep yourself busy in other things that you don’t have the time or space to even play with these girls. For example, of there are any boys that you could play with then meet with them first, or be busy in extra curricular activities such as sports or even study if you like to keep yourself busy that you cannot play with them.

 

If none of these options are available and you have no choice but to be around them, then as a minor who is not yet of the age where they will be held accountable then it might be argued that you can play with them. However, you know well yourself the possible dangers of this and how this might make freemixing something which is normal and acceptable to you. So, to avoid falling into this trap be careful about the tyo5of interaction you have with them as very soon you will enter the age where you will become accountable and you will observe why freemixing is not acceptable. Therefore, you might keep contact with them as minimal as possible, avoid any physical interaction and even too much verbal interaction also, avoid being in any situation where there is only you and one other girl together, instead, keep in a large group. What you could even do, is invite other boys to play too and then just let the natural happen as the girls go off and play together and you boys go off and play together.

 

May Allah reward your good intentions and may He be pleased with you. May He guide and keep you and your family on the straight path.


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