Ask About Parenting (Counseling Session)

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 Aisha for answering the questions.

Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019 | 00:00 - 02:00 Makkah | 21:00 - 23:00 GMT

Session is over.

As-salamu Alaikum,

I am a 22 years old woman who is going to be graduated from university soon. I have been dealing with stress and pressure at home but I feel like I cannot escape. It is apparent that since I was little my parents always want me to achieve perfection and calling me names such as stupid, unreliable, or lazy in a jokingly manner and often in a serious tone when I did not do something their way.

While, as their daughter, I could not oppose them nor explaining my reasoning behind my action, which then leads me to fully submit myself to them. Since I almost graduated college, every time I try to take a break, they always belittled me and remind me that I would never amount to anything or I would be a failure in my marriage, as a parent, and as a daughter-in-law.

They make me think some scenario in the future where I would ruin my own life if I do something they disapprove of, like taking a nap. I'm always in constant fear of being threatened and criticized, yet I couldn't talk to them because I know they will dismiss my problem as my fault and ask me to not be a "crybaby" since it had happened once. This makes me want to get away from home. Is this considered as emotional abuse? If so, what should I do?



Question 3 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I am sorry to hear about your situation with your parents. It must be a very hurtful situation for you to endure. My heart goes out to you.

 

Emotional Abuse

 

The way you have described your home life, it is apparent that you have been in an emotionally abusive situation for quite some time. You stated that since you were little, your parents always called you names such a stupid, lazy, unreliable, and so forth. They also expected you to always achieve perfection, which is impossible for humans. None of us are perfect.

 

No One is Perfect

 

Sister no one is perfect, including parents. Despite your parent’s cruel emotional abuse, they do love you very much. However, they lack parenting skills. While they may jokingly call you names according to you, it is not funny at all, in fact, it is harmful.

 

Children need Love, Encouragement and Support

 

Growing up, children need support, positive reinforcement, encouragement, and mercy. It appears that your parents forget that everyone makes mistakes including them. When parents are overly critical and expect perfection from their children, it can cause low self-esteem, lack of confidence, depression, anxiety, and other issues. When one is subjected to constant criticism, disapproval, insults, and lack of support, it is an emotionally abusive situation.

 

A Wonderful Young Woman

 

As you are now 22 years old and will be graduating from university soon, I am sure that you have learned that you are a very precious and adequate young woman. By realizing your good attributes, your accomplishments, as well as your decision-making abilities, you can clearly see that all they have projected upon you is not true. With that said, insha’Allah, you can move forward with your life knowing that you are a very capable, intelligent young lady. You may also realize that your parents have deficits when it came to raising children. Perhaps they projected their own inadequacies and their own fears upon you. You do not have to accept this however, and it is understandable why you do want to move away from home. No one wants to live in a situation where they are constantly insulted, belittled, and put down. We thrive best in a loving, supportive environment.

 

Talk to Parents

 

Sister, I will kindly suggest that insha’Allah you do try to talk with your parents. Please pick a time when things are calm. Maybe go out for lunch or take a walk somewhere with them and discuss how you are feeling. You may want to point out that the name-calling and teasing has hurt you, but you have risen above that and developed a positive sense of self, have made wise decisions, and will have successfully completed college soon. You may wish to express to them that you love them very much and would like to see your relationship improved. At this point you may wish to include a list of things that they do that harm you and ask them to stop. You may wish to use the Qur’an and Hadith as evidence of how parents should treat children, as well as how Muslims should treat each other. We are to treat each other with support and loving kindness, not with threats, insults, or another derogatory emotional bombardment.

 

Choices

 

Sister if your parents cannot come to a point where they treat you with love and respect, I would kindly suggest that you consider getting an apartment, renting with another sister, or staying with a relative that is kind to you. If you remain in the situation it may cause you to become depressed, feel degraded, or eventually want to give up on trying to continue your accomplishments in life. You have come too far and have been very successful to let this happen. While it is sad to have to leave home and one’s parents, it is it is even sadder to lose oneself due to the emotional abuse from others.

Conclusion

 

Please do speak with your parents about changing their way of treating you, make duaa or to Allah regarding your situation, and make istakharra prayer if you decide to move out to ensure it is the right decision. If you feel you are getting more depressed because of the situation, please do seek counseling on a regular basis. This can help you move through the negative, hurtful emotions that are a result of their emotional abuse. Sister, please know that Allah loves you, and that you are a very capable and wonderful young lady. Please do let us know how you are, you are in my prayers.


My son started dating an atheist and is thinking about marrying her and leaving Islam. Please advise



Question 2 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I am sorry to hear about your situation about your son wanting to marry an atheist and leave Islam.

Identity Seeking

 

I do not know your son’s age however as he is thinking about marriage, he may be in his late teens, early twenties. If he is younger, they may be more influence you may have, but I am not sure of the situation. Younger people in the mid to late teens, often go through a stage of trying to “find” themselves. This can lead to temporary changes in thoughts, actions, behaviors, and belief systems while the teen is “trying on” new ways of life. In these cases, the teen usually returns to his/her Islamic upbringing as they find that it is truly the best path in this life. As he just started dating this girl, it could be that he will discover things in her that he does not like and will eventually leave the relationship. It could be that he is initially trying to please her and will later decide that he does not want to sacrifice his Islam.

Interventions

 

At this point sister, I would kindly suggest that you try to talk with your son as a “friend”. This doesn’t mean you leave the role of mother, but you may need to refrain from expressing anger and fear (which is a normal response). Your goal insha’Allah is to try to get your son to open up to you about what he is going through and feeling. If he sees you as someone who he can talk to without fear of judgement, he will be more likely to open up. This may put you in a position wherein you will be more likely to influence him in the right direction. I kindly suggest that you speak with him when things are calm. You may wish to explain to him that now as he is grown, his decisions are his own and he will be accountable for them.

 

You may wish to express your love for him, as well as inquire about his interest this girl. By inquiring about her in a non-threatening way, you are showing him that you are interested in someone whom he feels he loves. You may also wish to ask him more about atheism, what is means, what are the belief systems and ask him what aspects he feels are better than Islam. In this way sister, you may encourage critical thinking skills in your son.

 

At this point, it seems his decision to leave Islam may be centered around an emotionally charged feeling of “love” he has for this girl. It could be that this love will pass in time, and he will not leave Islam. You may wish to suggest that he wait for a period of time to ensure she is the “right” one. You could also suggest that he study and compare both atheism and Islam in the context of decision making. This may serve to strengthen his interest and dedication to Allah

and Islam as he studies it more deeply and may act as a renewal of his faith. As you have raised him in Islam and have given him a solid foundation of Islamic principles, insha’Allah his further study and connection to Islamic study will bring him back into the folds of Islam. However, at this age, it is his own decision.

 

Critical Thinking

 

Sister, I would kindly encourage you to refrain from insisting he follow Islam as this may only push him further away. This will be very hard to do because as Muslim parents, when our children stray, we know the consequences can be dire. It is a most hurtful thing, but we need to remain focused if we are to help our children return from a wrong path. At this point, insha’Allah your goal is to help him think critically about this decision and how it will affect his life, while at the same time, supporting him as your son. Encourage him to study and contrast Islam and atheism and ask him about his findings. Perhaps through discussions he will come to see that this is a bad decision.

Conclusion

 

Insha’Allah I kindly suggest that you seek his trust by approaching the situation as calmly as possible, with support in order to gain his confidence. Once you have gained his trust, you can begin to help him see how this decision may harm him in the future by encouraging him to explore Islam on a deeper level as well as atheism. Insha’Allah sister, perhaps this relationship will end, and he will return to his previous belief system as his emotions will not be influenced by a “love” interest. Give it time, insha’Allah he will lose interest in this girl and it will not be an issue. Please do make duaa to Allah to guide your son on the right path. Pray to Allah to open your son’s heart and mind to the seriousness of this decision. We wish you the best you are in my prayers.

 


My mother does not allow me what so ever to go to the mosque at the time at fajar as it is dangerous in Pakistan, I ask my father to lead me there but he also refuses to and is too lazy, should I obey or not?



Question 1 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum dear brother,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I understand and admire your desire to go to the Masjid and pray Fajr prayer.

 

Praying Fajr in Masjid

 

To be able to go to the Masjid to pray five times a day is a blessing indeed. However, there are certain situations or circumstances which may prevent one from being able to go for all prayers. With that said, it is not incumbent upon us to go to the Masjid to pray Fajr prayer.

 

Respecting Parents

 

In your case your mother feels that is dangerous for you to go. Perhaps because it is so early in the morning, or there may be other reason/dangers which she knows about, and you do not. Your father as well refuses to take you. You stated it is because he is lazy. Brother please do not disrespect your father by saying he is lazy. He could very well be tired from long days at work supporting his family.

 

Obeying Parents

 

Being that your mother has a good reason for not wanting you to pray Fajr in the Masjid, I kindly advise you insha’Allah to listen to her and do not disobey her. She does have good reason to be concerned about your safety as you would be leaving the house alone very early in the morning.

 

Other Options

 

I admire your desire to do Fajr prayer in the Masjid however you can pray at home as well. May Allah swt be pleased with your intentions. Another option you may want to consider is to speak with some older brothers at the Masjid and see if there are people going for Fajr prayer that may be able to pick you up and take you with them. If you do decide to explore this option, please do speak with your parents first and ask for their permission.

 

Conclusion

 

Brother, while you may not understand or see the realistic concern your parents have regarding this issue now, you may later. Please understand they are acting out of love, concern, and protection. As they have more insight and life experience than you, they see situations which may be dangerous for

you even though it is your intent to worship Allah in a way that is optimal for your desire to be closer to Allah. Allah knows your heart brother. Please do obey your parents. We wish you the best.