Counselor Hannah Morris on General Counseling | About Islam
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Counselor Hannah Morris on General Counseling

Session Guest

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)


Tuesday, May. 28, 2019 | 12:00 - 14:00 Makkah | 09:00 - 11:00 GMT

Session Status

Session is over.

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

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

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

Feel free to contact us and send your questions anytime to:

[email protected]

 


My son who is 12 now, was born with Down Syndrome. Despite his slow milestones and many other learning restrictions, he is very fond of music (no one in our household listens or likes any music).

His learning improves with musical stuff and he is socially comfortable dancing singing and performing on stage in school. Should I discourage him and how? jazakAllah khair



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

This is a very difficult situation to be in where your son who has Downs Syndrome seems to benefit greatly from activities that are discouraged, or even harm in Islam. To allow him to continue means you be able to see him continue to thrive but the concern is that perhaps if this was taken away from him he would lose the social comfort that he presently gains from this. It may even cause a bit of conflict if you try to discourage the same which makes the task even more tricky.

 

Even though on the surface it might seem difficult, if we consider it solely in the light of Islam the answer becomes much easier. We know that singing and dancing are worldly matters that we should abstain from despite their seeming attractiveness, and whilst this makes it difficult there are many other alternatives Islamically. Keeping in mind that it is only Allah that can improve a person’s state and not thinks like music and dance we should be turning to him for such comfort. We also know that it is said that when we give up something we love, Allah will replace it with better.

 

When he seems to be benefiting from this it might be hard to discourage him from it but, as his mother you will be held accountable for the actions of your children, so if they commit haram deeds and you know about it and don’t take steps to prevent it, that sin would be counted amongst your own deeds. Keeping this in mind will help provide the motivation to do what you can to discourage him.

 

This all makes perfect sense to us who are not in his situation, but to try and implement this comes with its own set of challenges. It’s easy to say that such things should be discouraged, but the ‘how?’ is more difficult to deal with.

 

Clearly, your son has benefitted and thrived in the field of performance so the first step might be to get him involved in performing still, but in a way that is more aligned with Islamic values. If there is nothing to stop him from making his performances more Islamic in the school then you could encourage this. For example, instead of singing and dancing on stage, reciting Qur’an on stage instead, reciting with a beautiful voice. If the school is not agreeable to this, then this could be something done in the local Muslim community.

 

You might ask the masjid if they could organise something with the youth to put on halal performances of such a thing doesn’t exist already. This will encourage the youth to come together and for your son to interact with others for the same purpose that he has thrived previously, only on an act that is more acceptable. In sha Allah this will have the same effect on his social skills as previously. This should give him the same social boost as previously which will make it easier to part from what you have discouraged him from as it has been replaced with something that gives him the same.

 

Fortunately, since your household is not fond of music this will make it easier for him too. And, if he desires music still, then you could get him a duff drum which is the one permitted instrument in Islam. You can find ways to implement this into his learning so that he may benefit in the same way that he has previously with music.

 

May Allah reward your concern for your son and trying to raise him in the best way whilst pleasing Allah. May He make the task an easy on for both you and your son.

 

 

 


My daughter is 22 she does not listen to me or her dad. My husband wants me to kick her out of the house, does Islam permit me has a parent to do this.as a mum I can't do what he ask off me.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

I would recommend you seek advice from a scholar regarding the permissibility of this. She is 22 so should be well able to take care of herself outside of the family home, however, she is not yet married and therefore this would leave her without a mahram and therefore still under the care of her father of which he could not provide such if she does not live at home. Either way, it is best to consult scholarly advice to ensure you make the best decision prescribed by Islam.

 

At her age, it becomes difficult to enforce rules as she is now a full grown adult and so will naturally want to make her own decisions, however, whilst still at home she still needs to abide by the rules of the family home. The fact that she doesn’t listen indicates a lack of respect for this.

 

To try and improve this situation try and see things from her point of view. She is an adult but almost has to live as a child still as she is under the rule of her parents. She may be rebelling due to the inner conflict this causes. She wants to be independent but living at home places at least some restrictions on this. This can be very frustrating which may be the cause of her not listening as she tried to find some way to at least have some control in a situation where she doesn’t feel she has enough.

 

Also consider why she might not be listening. Are you placing heavy demands on her? Are they realistic and rational? Are you being forceful with them? Does she get any choice within the home? Or does she have to live entirely by your rules?

 

Consider if it might be simply down to your approach with her that is causing her to not listen. If she is treated like a child, given no choice and forced to abide by rules she doesn’t agree with then this will cause her to either behave like the child she is being treated like or rebel. Instead, remember that she is an adult now and should be treated as the same, this includes the way you enforce rules or make requests. She should be part of decision making in the family and not spoken down to as a child anymore, but as a collaborative partner in the family with an opinion that is valued as much as everyone else.

 

A way to combat this is to give her more independence and responsibilities in the home. Let her take charge of the cooking once a week or so; from picking what will be eaten, going out to buy the ingredients and making the food. Not only will this show her that you trust her, it will give her responsibility and independence and it will also prepare her with the skills that she will need when she eventually does leave home.

 

Develop relationships by doing things together as a family. Eat together, go out together, do things that she enjoys and have fun. When stronger relationships are established she will more likely be more responsive to your requests.

 

May Allah help you in overcoming this difficulty and bring you all happiness and comfort to one another in this life and the next.

 


I was born in England and married to a man from Pakistan. It’s not a good relationship. He does as pleases paying bills and mortgage but never interest in kids. My turning 16 yr daughter has been difficult over the last 6!yrs becoming even worser. She claims I do not allow her to follow her heart and make her own choices. She claims Islam allows us to wear jeans and T-shirt’s and not wear hijab etc. I also have a 12-year-old girl. They have always not got on. Suddenly the 16 yr old is making demands being abusive blanking and ignoring me they both are best of buddies and I know they talk in secret about me. I think the ynger one spies and tells her everything.

Basically I said islamically incorrect to wear jeans but if she really wants to at least with a longer top or jumper. She went mad and refused point blank. Said I am a weirdo and no mother blah blah..

She also wanted to go to a late night mixed school prom. Obviously I wasn’t happy but said I would think about it spk to her father and get back to her. She went mad about this said I can’t make decisions myself. Her father said no. She was mad and upset and came back to me I said I would have another word with her father no promises. We decided to let based on some conditions..

She was looking at sleeveless revealing dresses so again said not correct to look for a one that covers her properly. She refused said I was a weirdo she had no Robles with revealing full arms and side of her bosoms in this dress. It was her dream dress. The only one she wanted..

I said we wanted her to also come home earlier than 11.30 pm and I would drop and pick her myself. She went mad and refused. Said she didn’t want to go win my ugly car and I was ugly wanted to go with friends. I said have think and let me know. I’m trying to help and compromise but she wants her full way. She refuses to pray and fast too..

Basically she has ignored me for wks and makes snide remarks here and there . I’ve tried talking few times but she’s not interested. Said she going to leave and follow her heart. I’m no fit mother. .

I’m so confused and stuck. Should I carry on giving into everything she wants or let her ignore me and stick to my guns. I have tried. I don’t want to lose her. I love her with all my heart and want her back.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

Dealing with teenagers is difficult at the best of times, but dealing with issues related to Islam in a county that doesn’t practice it makes such matters even more difficult. When the normal way of life in the country goes against Islamic values it becomes increasingly difficult to convince children otherwise, especially as they reach the teenage years.

 

You daughter has reached an age where she is becoming more independent and wants to be able to make decisions for herself. It certainly is important to encourage this, but at the stage it should also be done under guidance, especially when it comes to matters of the Deen.

 

It would likely make things temporarily easier for you and your relationship if you just continued to allow her to do as she pleases, but the consequences for all would not be good in the end.

 

Firstly, and most importantly, you will be held accountable for allowing your daughter to do things that are against Islam. Furthermore, when your daughter has found her way, she may even feel a sense of resentment towards you for allowing her to do these things. To stand your ground and prevent her doing these things makes you the opposite of an unfit mother. It may not seem like it to her, but your choices are what is best for her as prescribed by Allah.

 

However, perhaps you should consider taking a different approach to dealing with such matters since it seems at present she is unresponsive and this is causing difficulties between you 2. Difficulties that push her further away and more likely to make irrational decisions. Instead of making it seem like you are setting the rules and she must follow them, take a collaborative approach.

 

This has many benefits. It gives her the opportunity to have a say in her life, it places her a position of responsibility and it will help to nurture your relationship that she will value your opinions more and therefore take them on board and abide by them without question. You might begin with more minor matters such as getting involved in buying ingredients and making dinner to build the trust and relationship before moving to bigger matters.

 

It is more difficult when you don’t have much support from her father, but when it comes to matters of the Deen you may want to be a bit more firm in telling him to get involved for the sake of the children as well as how he will be questioned for the actions they take. You may ask him to talk to them directly on such matters rather than consulting him and relaying the message on. The might provide a firmer response.

 

You might also encourage her to develop friendships with other girls her age who would not encourage her to dress inappropriately or free mix. If you have friends with daughters the same age invite them to your house and allow such friendships to develop naturally and reinforce such relationships by allowing them to meet outside. Similarly, get yourself involved in the local Muslim community and encourage her to attend with you.

 

Another thing to try is to bring in someone else who you feel she may be more responsive to, if she has a cousin or aunt for example and have them have the same conversation with her. Even if she doesn’t respond she will have heard from more than just you on the matter which will reinforce the point more.

 

Aside from trying to make decisions together, do things together to develop the relationship. Things that don’t involve deep discussions about what she wears and where she goes. Instead, go somewhere together a s family. Do something fun that she enjoys. Have fun together and allow the relationship to blossom free from an environment of you telling her what she should do and her making remarks back. Other things that can help nurture the relationship include taking an interest in her life.

 

Make a point of asking how her day was, what she’s been up to.. Etc.. This paves the way for healthier relationships that will make things a lot easier when it comes to the more tricky matters. When such a relationship is established she will be more likely to respect your opinions and abide by your rules.

 

In the worst case scenario if she still refuses to make any compromises and does her own thing without your consent, at least just be there to catch her if things should go wrong. Know that you did all you could to prevent it, but as a loving mother you will still be there to comfort her if things should go wrong. In sha she will eventually find her way and she will need support then.

 

May Allah reward your concern to raise your daughter in the correct way. May He guide her and strengthen your relationship.


My father abuses my mother(both physically and mentally). What do I do?

I’ve grown up in a completely unlovable environment. My father and mother’s is a love marriage and my mother converted to Islam after marrying my father. But as of today, things are totally opposite.. my mother is closer to Allah she prays, fasts and keeps in touch with Islam. Where on the other hand my father is rare in doing anything related to islam.

He has given my mother every reason to hate him.. he cheated, he also used to drink at a point in life.. he still is cheating and he never treated us with love( except sometimes).. and when confronted about his haram doings he starts abusing my mother physically and verbally.

What do I do in a situation where he is hitting my mother? According to islam.. and also i have a younger teenage brother who is completely detached because of this environment.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

It is of no surprise that your younger teenage brother has become detached because of this environment. It is not a healthy environment for anyone to live in, especially children and teenagers who are most in need of a loving environment. In fact, it’s not uncommon for such environments to lead the children to turn to delinquency as a means to manage their emotions and therefore becomes very damaging to the family as a whole.

 

Aside from this, your fathers behaviour is entirely unacceptable. Drinking, cheating and not practicing Islam aside, physically abusing your mother is completely unacceptable both morally and Islamically. The difficulty for you is that you should avoid getting involved in matters between you and your parents on the most part. Such issues are for them to resolve and any interference from you could lead to further difficulties so you must approach things with caution. However, it may be argued that since your mother is in danger due to the abuse then you have the right to speak up for her protection.

 

Rather than directly getting involved in their difficulties you could help by being there as a support to your mother. Give her the love and affection she needs and likewise allow her to give you the same.

 

It could also be an option to consult outside help from your local imam so that he can intervene in their situation, rather than you having to do so directly. However, this may come at a risk so consider it carefully. It might get your father upset or even angry that you have shared matters outside. If it is that the situation at home has become one where things are not getting any better and you fear for your mother’s wellbeing, then this may be your only option.

 

This will give them the ideal space to discuss matters and take any necessary actions to end this situation. It may also provide islamic guidance that will push your father back on the straight path of Islam which will naturally change his behaviour.

 

Aside from your concerns for your parents, it’s also important to take of yourself and the same for your brother also. Living in such an environment and dealing with your parents issues on a daily basis will be draining for you too. Make sure you take time for yourself regularly. Be with good people that make you smile and do things you like doing. Encourage your brother to do the same too. Maybe you could even do things together to encourage him to at least reconnect with the world outside of the home. This is very important for your own wellbeing as right now it is likely suffering due to what you are facing.

 

Also, continue to make dua for them both. Let your father see you engaged in acts of worship. It may persuade him back to his Deen again. If he can find this connection this will also change his behaviour as he feels more inclined to behave in ways that are consistent with Islamic values for the sake of pleasing Allah.

 

May Allah make things easy for you as a family and guide your father to a path of righteousness. May He bring happiness and contentment to your family.

 

 


My mom loves me a lot I know she does and I do too, however she is verbally, physically and mentally abusive. I cannot go a single day without fighting with her. I have tried to sit down with her and have a civil conversation with her but she refuses to. She yells instantly and takes offense to everything and starts cursing and plays victim. My whole family is fed up with her. She does with my brothers and my father. She doesn’t respect any of us especially my father.

She curses all of us. She’s very unreasonable. She will say mean evil things to hurt the other person and if we react she yells, even more, saying we have to respect her no matter what because she is our mother. But the truth is we have all lost respect for her. My brother doesn’t even talk to her. I still do everything for my mom I help her in every way but she is never satisfied.

She doesn’t appreciate it she says it’s my duty to help her which I know it is but I crave affection and compassion from her which she does not give. She is constantly comparing herself to me if I say I am sick she will say she is more sick getup. Or she will degrade me in order to accept a proposal I do not like. She degrades me to the point where I fill like committing suicide. And then claims she does it because she wants me to settle down and this is the only way.

Telling me I’m dark and short (I’m not even dark or short) and guys are rejecting me because I’m not pretty and I never will get someone good it’s too late for me and how I should think what bad deed I did to get this punishment. And she thinks it’s because I talk back to her why I’m not married. But really she makes it impossible to not talk back. I can’t reason with her.

Doctors have recommended she see a therapist and take anxiety and mood medicine but she refuses. She never sees her fault. She refuses to sit and talk with any of us. Will Allah forgive me for talking back? I ask for forgiveness and then I do it again.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

It sure is a difficult situation when the one you love dearly, in this case, your mother, is so abusive you. If it were a stranger, or even a friend, it would be much easier to walk away, but this is a close blood kin. Of course as your mother you must respect her as she says, however, this does not give her the position to treat you the way she is.

 

The doctors are correct, it very much looks like she would benefit from seeing a therapist, as would the entire family. However, if she refuses to attend at this point it becomes much of a challenge. Whilst she may not feel like attending now this may be because she feels pressured to by others. In situations like this it is more ideal to create a situation where she will chose to go herself. She is more likely to follow through and commit this way. This will require a bit of patience on your side for now as she reaches that point. As it is, the situation is not conducive to her making this choice so there are some things you can try to facilitate this.

 

Try changing the way you deal with her. Of course the natural response when someone says something offensive is to respond back. If the words said were hurtful then generally the response back is also hurtful. However, the best response and one that is prescribed islamically is to respond with something better or to not respond at all. This does not indicate that the things she says are OK, but it prevents a downwards negative spiral from occur and the insults just becoming worse.

 

It can be incredibly difficult to respond to evil with kind, but the results can be quite unbelievable, after all if someone said kind words to you it would feel pretty strange to say something bad to them, right? Besides, how can she continue to be mean to you if you are only kind to her.

 

The other option is to quietly walk away without saying anything back at all giving her no fuel to argue back with. It will also give you the space to take a breather and not live with any regrets for saying bad words also. This goes for the other family members too so as not to reinforce her negative behaviour more.

 

Alternatively, as it is difficult to respond with kind in the heat of an argument, instead make this act of kind be outside of this. Say something kind to her during the day when she is just going about her usual business. This will also lift her own self esteem which is seems may also be lacking. In fact, it may be that the reason she does put you down is a way of lifting herself up, so instead bring her up before she can bring you down and perhaps she wouldn’t then feel the need to say anything insulting to you.

 

The words that she has said to you are very hurtful and the fact that it has driven you to the point of feeling suicidal is concerning. Aside from being concerned about your dealings with your mother, it is also important that you take time to focus on yourself too. The kind of things she says to you can be very damaging to your self esteem, so for all the negative things she says remember your good points and blessings. Also remember that as a close relative you will be an easy target for her to unleash her anger towards as she knows that as her child you love her unconditionally and will not abandon her despite her terrible behaviour.

 

This is why she is seemingly comfortable to hurl such abuse towards you with this in mind. Keeping this in mind you can understand that she almost certainly doesn’t mean anything that she says, but is just looking for an easy target to vent her frustrations. Again, this does not make her behaviour OK in anyway, but it helps you to understand why she is being like this to some extent and that you should try not to let such comments bring you down.

 

Aside from this, take time to focus on yourself. Get out of the home and do the things you enjoy. Do things and be with people that make you feel good about yourself to give your self esteem the lift that it needs. Make this a regular thing so that whilst your mum remains like this you get some regular respite. It may even be that you take to having some extended time away, even just for a weekend to get a longer break.

 

In sha Allah with time and managing her behaviour as a family she will make the decision to seek therapy herself if she is still feeling some frustrations, or if not, perhaps she will feel more comfortable to talk to someone in the family.

 

May Allah make things easy for you all and guide her on the straight path. May He bring happiness and contentment in your family in this life and the next.

 


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