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.

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 | 13:30 - 15:30 Makkah | 10:30 - 12:30 GMT

Session is over.

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum. I am a 22-year-old Muslim woman. I have a nine-month-old son who was born through a caesarean section. I am 7 1/2 weeks pregnant again. I had to discontinue my studies for my first baby. I started studying again, but I got pregnant once again. I am not ready for another child now. I am a little career- oriented, but my husband doesn’t want me to work or study. I am feeling very sad as it was my father’s dream that I complete my studies. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Please advise.



As salamu alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Congratulations on your pregnancy! As I understand your situation, you had to discontinue your studies at the University for your first child who is now 9 months old. Afterwards you resumed your studies, and now you are pregnant again.

 

Not Ready for Another Child

 

Based on the quick conception of your second child and your desire to complete your studies, you feel that you are not ready for another child. Sister this is understandable as you just had a baby 9 months ago. However, children are often conceived a few months or years apart. It is quite common. I understand your apprehension.  The thought of having another child at this time may be overwhelming for several reasons, one being that you would like to finish your studies. You stated that you feel sad because it was your father’s dream that you complete your studies.

 

Dreams and Goals

 

Sister, I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah  you contemplate your career path and decide for yourself what a truly is that you would like to do. I understand it was your father’s dream that you finish your studies but what is your dream? You may wish to make a list of your goals, dreams and desires and things you wish to accomplish. Perhaps they are in alignment with your fathers wishes, maybe they are not. It is okay sister to pursue your own different path concerning studies, a career or being a stay at home mom.

 

Ready or not?

 

Perhaps you are ready for another child, but you feel guilty because you fear you cannot fulfill your father’s dream. Or it could be that you truly want to complete your studies, but in a different field. Maybe you feel it truly is too soon for another child given you had a c-section only nine months ago. Maybe you feel your body has not fully recovered yet, regardless of school aspirations.

 

Exploring what you are Truly Feeling

 

Whatever the case may be, insha’Allah please do look over your list of hopes and aspirations. Include an honest evaluation of how you are feeling physically and emotionally as well. This can assist you in determining what it is that you’re truly feeling. Insha’Allah you can continue with your studies while you are pregnant with your second child if this is the direction you want to go in-for you. After the birth of your child insha’Allah you can resume your studies once again. Many women do this. It takes a bit longer to get a degree, but it has been done, and is being done by many women worldwide-both Muslim and non-Muslim.

 

Husband is against Education and Working

 

You stated your husband doesn’t want you to work or study.  However, this is a personal choice regarding your decision for your life. As you are married, it is best to come to a compromise with your husband regarding your goals and aspirations. In marriage we are to sacrifice to please our partners and strengthen our bond of marriage. However, this goes for both husband and wife. When we love someone, we seek to assist them attain their goals and dreams (as long as it’s not haram).

 

There are many women who do go to school, complete degrees, have a career, raise families and do perfectly fine. It is a lot of work though, and supportive loved ones who lend a helping hand along the way is a definite plus. If you have family in the area who can help from time to time, that would be a blessing. When discussing compromises, an example may be that you agree to work part time while the children are young.

 

Your husband may compromise by offering extra help while you finish your studies. Insha’Allah, your husband will soften his stance and become supportive of you. Oftentimes a husband cannot see the blessings of an educated wife-both spiritually, financially as well as emotionally. It is said that when a woman is educated-the whole family becomes educated.

 

Conclusion

 

Insha’Allah sister, please do some inner reflection and journaling about what direction you want to go in. Decide if you are living your father’s dream-or yours. If you decide it is yours, speak with your husband about your plans to complete your studies. Discuss the benefits of your having an education and a compromise if he is resistant. Seek the support of family and friends if need be for the duration of the process.

 

If it is a case that you do not want to complete your studies, and you just fear hurting your father because he wanted you to, perhaps it is time to take a different path. Just because this is your father’s dream sister does not mean that it has to be yours. If it is yours fine, but if it is not there is no harm in changing paths. As you had a C-section and then got pregnant almost 7 months later, please do ensure you are in good health for your second child by consulting with your doctor.

 

Insha’Allah, look at this situation as a blessing and a challenge. There are many challenges in life sister and insha’Allah we learn about our inner reserves and we become stronger. Rely on Allah, make duaa for guidance and direction. Allah loves you sister and will bless you in your pursuit of living your best life for your family and yourself as a Muslima. We wish you the best.

 

 


As-salamu `alaykum, I have recently married a wonderful man who is trying to become a better Muslim alhamduLlillah. However, he comes with a colorful past! He had a child out of wedlock when he was in his early twenties with a non-Muslim woman. The relationship between my husband and the mother of his child did not work out so well. Under the western law, the mother received custody of the child (who is now 11 years old).

My husband has visitation rights, however, his child lives in a different city; therefore, his visits are not regular (usually during the school holidays for a few weeks). The problem is his daughter's mother is not raising her as a Muslim. Although my husband tries to educate his daughter on the religion he finds it difficult as she is living in a house where Islam is not taught. I as his wife am extremely concerned about his past actions, and how to rectify his mistakes.

How do we best overcome these difficulties in an Islamic way, and teach her about the religion while she is living in a non-Muslim house? Insha-Allah, when I have children how best do I explain their father's actions? I feel that my husband is relying on me to help educate her on the religion, which is fine by me.

I just would like advice on the best way to educate her. Do we (my husband and I) educate her strongly on the religion against her mother's wishes, and with the possibility of losing his daughter if she doesn't react well? As we will never have custody of his daughter, can you recommend the best way to guide her to Islam? Also, if she doesn't become a practicing Muslim does my husband carry the burden of her sins? Thank you.



Question 3 My husband with colorful past - About Islam

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Congratulations on your recent marriage may Allah bless you both in your lifelong journey as husband and wife. As you know marriage is a very special relationship created by Allah. Marriage is a blessing; however, it does have its ups and downs and it does require kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and hard work at times.

 

Sins are in the Past

 

Regarding your situation, you stated that your husband has “a colorful past”.  As stated, your husband has a child from a previous relationship which was not within the marriage arrangement. He had an  affair/relationship and a child was conceived. Sister, if your husband repented to Allah, there is nothing for you to say or do regarding his past sins. That is between your husband and Allah. If he repented, no one has the right to come between him and Allah.

 

Therefore, dear sister, there is no need for you to be “extremely concerned about his past actions and try to rectify his mistakes”. That is why we have Allah. His sin regarding this is in the past. His daughter is not a “sin”, the child did nothing wrong. Allah does not create mistakes sister. The child is innocent. She just happens to be living in a non-Muslim home. Please keep in mind sister, that there are reverts world-wide who came from non-Muslim homes!  Allah guides whom He will.

 

Current Situation

 

At the current time your husband’s daughter lives with her mom. Alhumdulilah he does have visitation rights. Your first concern is that your husband’s daughter is not being raised as a Muslim because her mom is not Muslim. You wish to know the best way to teach her about Islam without making her mother upset or pushing his daughter away. This is a concern of many in  this kind of situation.  Your husband’s daughter is 11 years old. She is entering the age and developmental stage wherein she will start to make her own decisions and choices.

 

Teaching Islam by Example

 

Insha’Allah the best thing you can do for her at this point is to show her Islam by example. This would include illustrating kindness, asking her about her life, showing concern for her issues as well as respecting her position regarding religion. As she was not raised Muslim you may not be able to successfully encourage her to revert right now.

 

There are even children who are raised in strong Muslim households who divert from the path of Islam once they hit the teens or pre-teens.  However, you can show her how beautiful Islam is by setting an example in your behavior, kindness, love, and interest in her. You may wish to share stories with her about some of the things you experienced when you were her age.

 

This may create a bond between the two of you.  By sharing Islamic inspirations and choices you made, this may pique her interest. I will kindly suggest inviting her to the Masjid for prayers, events, and for teens and pre-teens group discussions. When you and your husband pray or read Qur’an, invite her to join you. If you do charity work, bring her along.

 

Thee are many ways for you to teach her Islam besides one on one study sessions.  You would like for her to gain interest in Islam first, and study it from her heart.

 

Illustrating the Beauty of Islamic Principles

 

Sister show her the beauty of Islam. You may start with an appealing basic principle of Islam. For example, discussing the fun festivities of Eid celebrations may lead to a discussion of why we fast during the month of Ramadan.  Children tend to respond better to things they perceive as fun, festive and relatable.  Ramadan and our Eids are fun and festive, but there is a serious reason why we do participate and celebrate.

 

You and Your Husband as Examples

 

Insha’Allah sister she will also see the joy, closeness, and kindness that you and your husband share. Insha’Allah,  she will see and feel the happiness that Islam brings to you both. Insha’Allah she will want to be a part of this. Take it slow with her sister, and introduce Islamic concepts and principles based on her interests, willingness to participate, and maturity level. Don’t push Islam, offer it and make duaa for Allah swt to touch her heart.

 

Conclusion

 

Sister, when you have your own children, you do not have to explain your husband’s actions to your children. As stated above, his sins are in the past. This is a new life moving forward. Your husband has a daughter from a previous relationship-that’s all that needs to be said if asked. Insha’Allah when you do have children you will treat them all the same-you and your husbands’ children you have together as well as his 11 year old daughter whom you are now forming a relationship with.

 

With this said I’m sure that you both will do your best to respect both her and her mother, her as well as illustrate the beauty and righteousness of Islam whenever she is in your home. As far as your question about “if she doesn’t become a practicing Muslim does my husband carry the burden of her sins”. I am not an Islamic scholar therefore I can only advise you that we all stand alone before Allah on judgement day. Please do write to our section “Ask the Scholars” for a more complete and precise answer. We wish you the best.


As salamu `alaykum. I am 19 and in dire need of help. Lately I don't get along with my siblings. They are all older and I am the last born. I live with my married sister and her two kids along with my mum, one brother and a cousin, including my brother in-law. Lately I have been suffering from a severe conflict which makes me confused. I have been given to understand that nobody is going to provide for me in terms of books, tuition, pocket money.

I don't drive and no one is supporting me on this. I have been commuting to work and college by bus and it's hectic. By the time I get home I am dead tired. I want to major at university, yet, I never get time to concentrate on my studies. I plan to move out, and they all support on this, but they are not pushing me out, they say. I want to move out, because I feel what is the point of staying if there is no difference between living by myself or living with my family who are not helpful.

My dilemma is that, I want to move out, yet if I do so then I would have to quit my school. If I stay, I am going to lose face with my relatives because I have already told them that I want to move out. not only that, but also because if I do stay I know my sister and I will never get along as we have some serious issues going on between us. Please tell me what to do. Talking won't help because all of us has done our share of that. I just want to know what to do.



As salamu alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session and trusting us with your concerns and issues. May Allah swt make this situation easy for you.  Your situation is that you are 19 years old and you live with your family and extended family and you feel they don’t help you. Additionally, you don’t get along with your sister.

 

Conflict within Family Relations

 

According to you, your siblings are all older than you and you feel neglected in your financial needs for school.  You also feel a lot of conflict lately which is confusing you. While on one hand there are a lot of people around you that can provide help in terms of books, transportation, and pocket money, no one is assisting you. Perhaps it is that they are financially unable sister? Or perhaps they are very busy running a home and taking care of the basic family needs. You stay that you’ve been going to work and college by bus.

 

Insha’Allah sister I would ask if you could look at the assistance that everybody else provides in the home. Is it common that in your family everybody is helping and assisting each other except for you? Or is it that everyone in your family pretty much does the best that they can with what they have? Sister, maybe it is not you that is being singled out, but perhaps in your family everybody “does for themselves”. Perhaps they feel since you are the youngest with les responsibility, you are able to be freer in your choices and options than they are. Whatever the reason is, insha’Allah sister you can come to terms with it and find some peace. As you stated you and your family have trued talking many times with no resolution, perhaps it is time to focus on what you need to do to feel more secure.

 

Examining Current Assistance

 

Sister as you do want to complete your university studies, insha’Allah  you would be able to continue studying and working if you remained living at home. I understand you’re very tired after “bussing” it all day, however a lot of people do keep up this hectic schedule with work and school.  Somehow, we all get through these tests and trials in life and are stronger for it. I encourage you to try to make the best of your situation at home insha’Allah. It is hard out there sister and once you leave school, your future may not look as promising.

 

I understand you want to avoid conflict. I understand you must feel hurt that no one is helping you with transportation, pocket money and so forth. However, they are helping you. You may want to look at how they help you by addressing the following questions: Do you pay rent? Do you pay utilities? Do you buy your own food and cook it? Do you purchase your own bed, dresser, linins, etc? These and other life needs are often over-looked when we are living at home.

 

Finding Resolutions and Peace

 

Sister, I understand you now want to move out as you would like to “save face”. However, please do consider that if you move out now, you may not return to the university and it will be much harder. At this point you have a place to stay. I would kindly suggest that you put your “pride” aside and stay home.

 

Look at this as an opportunity, a gift- to complete your educational goals despite how difficult you feel that it may be.  Many young people do not get this opportunity. It could be worse.

 

I would also kindly suggest insha’Allah, that if you do stay in the home that you remain kind, considerate, and respectful. While you may be hurt or confused over the lack of help that you feel you should get, you are an adult and you are living in a situation where it appears that you are not required to pay rent or other bills related to the household. You appear to be only responsible for yourself.

 

At this age is expected that one does more or less take care of themselves. You may see other families who are wealthy, and the kids have everything paid for. This is not the case in most families. Insha’Allah please do not feel hurt but feel blessed by the opportunity to get your education. Your peace and resolution can be a matter of changing your perspective dear sister.

 

Conclusion

 

I do not know the situation with your sister, but I encourage you to make duaa to Allah to help resolve the conflict. In the meantime, remain polite, go about your business and create a wonderful future. If the situation is that horrendous, you have plenty to keep you busy and out of your sisters’ path. The two main activities are school studies and work. Try to balance it out by having halal fun times with your friends, taking up a hobby, going to the Masjid more for prayers and Islamic events, as well as self care time. Join a gym, go hiking in nature, start journaling and engage in stress management. All these activities can add balance and fulfillment to your life sister. In time, you won’t even think about what others are not doing for you-you will be too busy enjoying the life you have created with the blessings of Allah.  We wish you the best.

 


As-salamu `alaykum Should I return to my husband in a Middle Eastern country, without my children? I was married in May in this Middle Eastern Country. I brought my children 14 and 12, there to live with my husband. My husband has a good job and a big heart. He has no problem caring for my children. I was alone for 9 years before I remarried. My children have had a very hard time adjusting to sharing me with someone.

They do not accept him. Also, they hate the middle east. They say it is too hot to play outside and there is nothing to do, it's too boring. I brought them back to the USA to leave them with their father's family. I am having a very difficult time leaving them. They refuse to return to this Middle Eastern country, simply will not get on a plane. I am torn between my children and husband. My husband is becoming increasingly angry and he will divorce me if I am not back in his house soon. Please advise me.



Question 1 kids and my marriage - About Islam

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. As I understand your situation you are considering whether or not  you should return to your husband who lives in a Middle Eastern country, without your children.

 

Children or New Husband?

 

Sister you are not in an easy position. I can imagine you feel very torn. On one hand, these are your children. On the other, I am sure you are happy to have met someone whom you feel compatible with after nine years. I can imagine that the joy and comfort he brings you is a  wonderful feeling.

 

Children Do Not Like New Husband

 

As your children are 14 and 12, they are preteen and teen. You are contemplating leaving them with their father’s side of the family as they refused to return to the Middle East. You stated that they are having a hard time sharing you with your husband, as well as they do not like the Middle East. Additionally, they do not like him.

 

Adjustments and Kindness

 

Sister, at this age is very difficult for children to just simply get up and leave and start a whole new life in another area. It is hard enough when one has to do this simply moving from city to city or state to state however, you are taking them to a different country where they know no one, have no friends, and they must readjust to a whole new lifestyle and culture. While this is not impossible and many children do succeed at doing this, it is challenging. It may be especially difficult as they do not like your new husband. I can imagine that this hurts you and is disappointing. Sister, I am wondering did the children get a chance to get to know your new husband, to spend quality time with him and you? Did your husband make efforts to be kind to them? Did he try to get to know them-their interests, feelings and so forth? Often times when children do not like a parents’ new spouse it can be out of jealousy or perhaps, they did not get a chance to know him very well. I can imagine sister that the children are upset and also feel torn. They have been with you all of their lives and now suddenly there is a new husband, a new way of family life, and a new country to adapt to as well.  Sister they may feel scared about a lot of these changes and it is coming out as seemingly rebellious.  The time period leading up to your marriage and after is one in which special consideration and kindness must be shown to your children by both you and your new husband. It is not an easy transition for children at this age.

 

Talking with your Children

 

Perhaps inshallah you could sit with your children and talk to them about how they feel. Don’t try to convince them to like your new husband or to want to move but find out what they are feeling-separate from your wishes and needs. Perhaps they have some valid points which you may wish to address. By talking with them based on your love, care, and concern for how they truly feel, you may gain insight and a new perspective regarding their feelings. Conversations such as these should be had insha’Allah, so there is no misunderstandings or confusion. I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that you discuss with your children how much you do love them, and that you do want them to be happy. Indicate that your happiness is important too, and that as a family you need to count on their maturity as young teens. Assure them that your love for your new husband in no way diminishes your love for them. You may wish to explain how it is a different kind of love, based on Islamic principles of finding a mate and getting married.

 

Refusal to Move

 

It appears that your children are dead set against moving. It would be best not to force them, but to assure them of your love and work out an arrangement which will be beneficial to your children and you.

Options

 

You may want to consider a joint custody situation wherein your children stay with their father’s family for part of the time, and then with you and your husband during vacations, school breaks, summer and so forth.  If a plan is in place before you go back, your children may iunsha’Allah feel more secure about the situation. If a plan is in place for your reunification times with them, your children are less likely to feel that you have just left them.

 

While it is their choice not to go for various reasons and emotions, they are still children and need extra considerations at this age. With an arrangement such as this,  they may feel more secure in the fact that you will have shared custody and that they will see you on a regular basis. This may insha’Allah be a temporary solution until they get used to you being remarried, develop a relationship and trust with your new husband and his family, as well as have a chance to get used to a new culture and environment when visiting.

 

Speaking with Husband

 

Sister you may wish to propose the joint custody situation after you’ve discussed it with your ex-husband. In order for this to work, your husband must be agreeable to the terms as well. It will involve money for travel when the children come.  If you go to see them, you will be leaving him to visit your children. It is important that you and your husband agree to the terms and conditions that this will require, or at least be open to a compromise. However, in compromises involving children and their expectations, I implore you to make decisions in the best interest of all involved.

Husband Threatening Divorce

Sister the one point that you brought out in your question was that your husband has become increasingly angry with you and states he will divorce you if you are not back in his home soon. That is a bothersome proposal because as your husband, he is supposed to be kind, merciful, and patient. Especially given the situation that your children are hurt and upset, he should exercise some restraint in his words.

 

Threats of divorce and anger are not good. I would kindly suggest sister that insha’Allah you look at this situation with him concerning his anger and threats carefully. Determine if this would be a  lifestyle that you would have to live daily. Is your husband easy to anger? Will he threatened you with divorce if you do not comply with all of his wishes? It is often in times of tests and trials (such as this situation) that one’s true character comes out. As you are recently married, these are some very serious things to think about. Honestly, your statement concerning his increasing anger and threatens of divorce are very troublesome to me.

 

I kindly suggest insha’Allah dear sister that you do explore further what is going on with him in regard to this temperament. Try to determine if this is a pattern that you may have to deal with. In light of this, it may influence your decision to move back  to the Middle East. We wish you the best.