Ask the Psychologist (Counseling Live 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 Hannah for answering the questions.

Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  

Salam. How to fight depression? I have seen many teenage friends of mine being depressed all the time due to many different reasons.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh brother,


Thankyou for your kind comments. I’m glad that you get much benefit from our site that many people work hard together to maintain. It is a pleasure for us to help others for the sake of pleasing Allah too.


Whilst you don’t have a question directly for yourself, you have brought up an issue that is faced by many teens in the Ummah for many numbers of reasons. Even though this is not a problem that you say you face yourself, given the prevalence of the condition it is important that we are all educated about it in order that we can help those in need due to depression. With a better knowledge of depression, it’s causes and consequences we can be better equipped to provide such support. Knowledge about the condition can further help to reduce the stigma that commonly surrounds have psychological disorders such as depression. This stigma stops people with dep2seeking help when they really need it. If it is something that people know about and talk about openly the stigma will be leased and people with depression and other psychological problems can seek help and support more freely without fear.


It is particularly common in the teenage years for a couple of reasons. During teenage years, the body faces many physical changes both visually as well as those that go on inside the body that we don’t see. These chemical changes in the body can be responsible for the development of depression on a physiological level. In such cases, medical treatment can be effective in rebalancing the chemicals that are causing depression.


One of the other most common reasons for depression in the teenage years are circumstancial. Not only do people go through the physical changes associated with the teenage years, but the social changes can have a huge impact on a person’s psychological wellbeing. The teenage years are those that are experienced on the transition between childhood and adulthood. This brings many challenges; taking on new responsibilities independently without such rigid support from parents, in preparation to manage things for themselves such as a home, finances, careers, families.. Etc.. As they prepare to soon be the one that has to take responsibility for others such as a spouse and children rather than having everything done for them. In this case, since the depression is a result of circumstances a more social solution would be advised such as seeking support from friends to share their struggles with, approaching advice services to get information on things such as money management.


Dealing with change more generally can have a psychological impact on the teenager as they encounter so much change and leave behind a life that was more carefree than it can perhaps be from here on in. They experience a sense of mourning as they let go of their childhood and watch their friends move on and face their own responsibilities too. This can have a profound affect on the teens wellbeing and is where psychological support through counselling would be beneficial as a means to address these psychological issues and challenge any erroneous beliefs in favour of a more positive and realistic outlook.


As new thing take priority in the teens life they need support in moving on from the past and making the most out of managing their present and preparing for the future. As the changes in their life takes the front stage it is not usually to focus on the negative things, what they’ve lost, which fronds have moved on, who did well in their exams and is in a top college now, things that didn’t go to plan so much so that they had to consider new options that they had never planned for.


Unfortunately in these times of depression and despair teens will turn away from their Deen out of frustration, or even complying to their peers who deem other things to be more important. Unfortunately, what they don’t realise is that this will only make the situation worse, where in fact getting close to Allah during such times is the most effective way to overcome depression, especially when the cause is a situational one rather than a physiological one. A strong belief in Allah helps to overcome the feelings of helplessness commonly associated with depression in replacement for a trust in Allah’s decree. Therefore, another way to indirectly support a depressed teen is to encourage them in their Deen, remembering Allah together, inviting them to a halaqah.. Etc.. This way it is not necessary to talk about an issue they are difficulties with as such, but helping them to get stronger in their Deen will help them to nurture their own skills in dealing with their difficulties themselves, but in the comfort that they have the support of a brother or sister in Deen.


May Allah make things easier for our brothers and sisters who are suffering with depression and may He guide us to help them most effectively.


I am unsure what I should do for my post-secondary education, and would like to ask for some advice.

There is an Islamic University in Malaysia that I would really like to go to. It has all the things I could dream of, and the campus is beautiful. The only problem is though, I don’t think my parents will agree since it is very far away from where I live, and it is in a foreign country. I haven’t told them about it yet, but I don’t know if I could convince them to send me so far away.

On the other hand, there is a medical college in my parents’ ethnic country where I feel my parents will be very happy if I go there, since it’s one of the top medical colleges in the country. I looked into it, and it seems like a great place. The only problem is, I don’t think I’ll have time to focus more on my deen or to read much Quran if I go there, as I will be constantly studying. I also am worried about having to sleep late, missing Fajr, and not getting enough sleep.

My third option is to go to the university within my own city. It is one of the top universities in the country, and is hard to get in. I’m afraid of disappointing my parents if I don’t get in, but I know that whatever happens is whatever Allah wills. While this university isn’t a religious university, it includes clubs such as MSA (Muslim students’ association), and has halaqahs and Jummah prayer on Fridays. The only problem is, I don’t know which faculty to apply for since there are so many options. I would’ve done sciences, but I am scared of labs, as I have an extreme fear of unfamiliar lab chemicals due to a past experience. I know I can’t skip labs in university as I have done in my past school years, and I don’t know if I can manage. I can go into the arts faculty, but I have no clue which career to take from it. I want a career that would keep me happy, yet also give me enough money to not only afford basic needs, but to also afford extras such as going on vacation.

I’ve thought quite a lot on which to choose, and I’ve prayed Istikhara, yet I remain undecided. I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

Jazakallahu Khairan.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,


This most certainly is a very difficult decision. These are 3 incredibly different routes to take with totally different consequences in terms of your own satisfaction and needs, future career options, you parents satisfaction and most importantly, your Deen. You have approached the situation in the best was by considering the pros and cons of each option as well as taking the matter to Allah for His guidance, who is the best to guide on any matter, especially important life changing one’s like this. However, as yet you have not received any further clarity in which route to take and remain confused about where to go from here.


The first thing to advise is that you should keep up with turning to Allah with the matter and have complete trust that He will guide you to what is best. As you do this there are other steps you can be taking to try and make things clearer for yourself in which choice to make.


You spoke about how you anticipate your parents would respond to your choices and which ones you think they would be pleased with and not. This shows that you clearly respect their own input on your decision. However, it seems you are only speculating how they will respond without actually finding out from them yourself. It is clear that you respect their own opinions so why jot take it to them to get their opinions on the matter. Often when considering these things it is useful to get the opinions of loved ones who know us well because it’s easy to overlook things that others can hig3for us. That can change things dramatically. You may also find that they would completely support you moving so far away if they knew it was something that would be good for you and something that you want. Whilst parents are saddened when their children leave, especially to go so far, Tey also want what’s best for their child. Perhaps you will find this to be the case for you and if so then it might make the option to move to Malaysia even more appealing than ever because the main barrier would have been removed.


Whilst you don’t have to do something only to please them, it is ideal if they support your decision for the sake of relations with them and the continued support they will give you when you need it. You must also consider what will make you happy too, even if it means making some compromises and doing something that they might not be so happy with.


Most importantly however, you should pay attention to which option would be most pleasing to Allah because what is pleasing to Allah will be good for you in all respects and what is not can only lead to negative consequences either in this life, the next or both. If Allah is pleased and you are pleased with your choice for the sake of pleasing Him, then you will be content with whatever choice you take and everything will fall into place.


As you consider your options also keep in mind that once you start things will change throughout your life as a student. You will make new friends and different opportunities will come along. Things you never anticipated so try to avoid thinking too far ahead and being to rigid in such thoughts, such as if you take a certain path then there will be no opportunity to go into such and such a career or you won’t earn sufficient money in a different career as Allah can put anyone on your path or place an opportunity in your way that will bring you good in a choice you make that you never anticipated if you are doing it foHis sake. He can place success on a path that you didn’t expect through a means in which you didn’t expect.


Give yourself time to continue thinking about these options and don’t rush yourself. Remaining calm will place you more favourably to make a better, more rational decision. As well as asking your parents for their thoughts, ask other close friends too. Friends who know you and what you like and what you are good at will be in a good place to give advice that is less emotionally dependent than yours and your parents judgements on the matter.


With all these considerations over a period of time, in sha Allah your thoughts will become more clear. This will be the time when istikhara will be most needed. Make your decision and go for it. If it is meant for you then Allah won’t let it pass and if it is not, then Allah will place obstacles in your way to push you away from it.


May Allah guide you to make the decision that is best for you and most pleasing to Him. May He bring you happiness and contentment in whatever choice you make for His sake.

Salam. I am a 22 years old girl. I have been in love with my classmate since 5 years. And during that 5 years, we never met alone. Never did anything sexual. Last year we told our parebts about each other and luckily our parents agreed, they did our engagement, and wedding was decided after completion of my fiance's study. (which will be completed after 3years) .

After our engagement he started to say me that show me ur body on video call. I refused him so many times, we fought so much. But i am ashamed that without nikah i showed him my upper body. When he started saying me to show me ur vagina. I refused him that i would not show u before nikah. I know that i should have not said this but i asked him to do nikah on phone, because we knew our parents would not agree on nikah now.

I didnt want to show him my body without nikah anymore. So without out my parents, i did nikah with him. I know i should not have done this, but i was so depressed, i cant leave him nd i cant make ALLAH angry. Now he forced me to meet him in the hotel room. He says that this is husband's right. He promised me that he wont do anything that makes u loose ur virginity. He met me in the room, and i am still virgin. But i am so depressed. If suicide was halal, i would have died. I am so depressed now a days.

I know he loves me so much. He says that he does not want to go to another girl and do zina, but he cant control his sexual needs. Please suggest me or guide me. I wanted to do everyhting with my parents presence. And i want to keep physical relationship after wedding.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,


Alhamdulilah that you have found someone you wish to marry and that both families have agreed to the marriage. This makes things alot easier than for many from the start. However, the problem in your case is that they wished the nikkah to be delayed until after he has completed his studies. This has made things a little difficult for you both and especially him due to the desires that he wishes to have met yet cannot yet as you have not actually married yet and therefore any such interactions between you will be haram and sinful on you both. You are aware of this, but are also aware of his desires and that the only way to make such interactions halal is to marry him, which you did. However, you did this in private without your parents knowledge and are how left with the guilt of having done it behind their backs. Whilst this isn’t ideal and perhaps might lead to their anger and mistrust of you should they find out, if the nikkah was conducted correctly with your wali present then you are saving yourself from the greater sin of committing zina. This is very admirable as sexual desires can easily lead to such sins so to have done the correct thing in making yourselves halal to one other you avoid this. However, as you mentioned you wanted to do the nikkah in their presence and almost feel like you are not officially married because of this and chose to save yourself sexually until you have had what you see as the correct marriage between you.


Now that you are officially married, even though without your parents presence it would no longer be a sin to be with him. However, the depression the situation is causing you is not going to make it comfortable to be with him. It is unfair that he is pressuring you by saying your behaviour may encourage him to commit zina, but at the same time, you went ahead with the secret nikkah to make such interactions with him permissable and he is therefore being denied of what is permitted to him.


Now you are married there is also no way to take it back so you need to think about your options in moving forward and the potential consequences of each.


You could continue to keep it completely secret and be meeting with him in secret. This will allow you to fulfil your marital rights to some extent but due to the secrecy will come with the added emotional burden or keeping such a big secret. You may even get caught meeting him by some one else and end getting into further trouble and having to come out about your secret marriage which would be even worse than telling them yourselves.


You may also chose not to meet him to avoid the temptation and possibly getting caught out and waiting until the nikkah that was originally planned for after he finishes his study. However, this would defeat the purpose of having conducted the secret nikkah in the first place and the consequent stress you have faced. It would also deny you marital rights in the mean time which could be classed as a sin and is also unfair to you both. Furthermore, this may cause difficulties in the second nikkah after his studies as you have already been through the process. You would need to look into if it is possible from an Islamic perspective to even do a second nikkah to the same person.


Remember that it is the pleasure of Allah you are seeking and if this means you must disobey you parents if they are advising you against something that is prescribed in Islam then this is a sacrifice you can take. However, of course there may be consequences in your life that arise out of disobeying them. Therefore, you might try and find the best way to being the issue to your parents. To tell them straight out that you already got married may cause difficulties for you so it may be best to approach it more tactfully to avoid this. Perhaps your father’s may be more understanding of the situation from the perspective of your husband so it may be best to approach him about it first to make it then easier to take the news to your mother and extended relatives. Of you are not comfortable to do so then perhaps you could bring someone in with you that you know he would respond well to. Make sure to do so at a time and place where there will be no discractions and he is calm. Take time to explain why you did it and that you feel he would best understand.


Discuss the matter privately with the parents first. Tell them that it has hurt you alot that you did it and how sorry you are and let them see and feel that that they may be understanding and merciful to you. It may be that you are catastrophising the situation and that actually they would be more understanding than you expect. After all, they were young and went through the same kind of feelings as you did in their youth. If you approach them privately in this way you could agree between you about how to move forward with this and involve them. This might make them feel less betrayed in the matter as you have come forward in telling the truth and are seeking their guidance and support from now on. Perhaps you could arrange some kind of celebration with the entire family that been seen as and something like how the nikkah would have been as a way to announce it publicly to extended family and allow you both to be together in the future and therefore make things more comfortable for you as you will be able to live as a married couple and not hide anything anymore. Keep in mind that whilst a marriage may be more difficult before one has completed their education, it is not forbidden. Unfortunately many cultures make it necessary for education to be completed first before they will permit a marriage without considering the consequences of trying to maintain chastity and a stage in one’s life where one desires it most. Marriage provides the solution to this and delaying it can lead to all sorts of sins such as zina.


May Allah guide you to make the best choice moving forward. May He give you comfort in this difficult times and may He make your spouse the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

Assalamu alekum dear counselor.

I am 16 years old and alhamdullilah a practicing Muslimah. Its been a year i have started wearing hijab everywhere.

But at home I become sometimes a bit difficult to hide my hair as there are constant people visit my house although I try my best to wear my hijab all thr time.

But I fail because of my sometime unconsciousness or because of sudden visit of anyone.

I use to feel very guilty and suddenly pot on the hijab.

Please help me.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,


Masha Allah, may Allah reward your intentions to please him by covering yourself as he has commanded us too. Alhamdulilah, this is an easy task for you when you go out, but naturally when you are at home it’s less practical to wear it and therefore there are moments when you find you are not wearing, despite making an effort to wear it even indoors as much as possible. When indoors and less conscious of if you are wearing it, it becomes alot easier forget and suddenly have to run and put it on when necessary if you have sudden visitors who arrive with out prior warning. This is is making you feel guilty and u comfortable perhaps just to a flustered rush to find a hijab and quickly fasten it or perhaps that a non Marham may see you hair, even if for a second. However, there are some practical solutions you can follow to make the experience less bothersome for you.


If you wear a hijab that you wrap around and pin, when you take it off indoors you can simply unpin and pin it to your dress and remove your hijab to your neck and wear it like a scarf so that it is easily accessible should you need to use it in the case of a visitor. Nor would you need to quickly dash to grab a hijab and hope they don’t see you in the process.


In the case that you are not going out, or even more generally, store your hijabs close to clothes that you wear on a daily basis, such as underwear. This way, every day when you get dress you are visually reminded to take a hijab also. It may be that you put it on right away if you are going out, or wrap it around your neck like a scarf in the house in case someone does arrive unexpectedly.


If you do wear this type of hijab, you might also just take some time when you have it to practice how to tie it quickly. When you first start wearing hijab like this, it can take some time to be able to tie it securely each day. Over time it gets easy, comes naturally and just takes seconds. So ce you have only been wearing it for a year it is possible that you are going through this phase experimenting with different ways to tie it and with different materials.. Etc.. You will find that there are certain ways to tie your hijab and certain materials that are alot more convenient. Some materials are much easier to quickly tie without a pin even. You can practice with your different hijabs which might fit this criteria and you can find a quick way to wrap your scarf and even tuck it in without the pin. You may only do this for a short while to maintain modesty from the very start of an unexpected visitor arriving and then if needed you could excuse yourself to retire it and add a pin if you feel the need to.


If at this point in your journey you still struggle with wrapping your hijab quickly which might be cause you added anxiety when it comes to the unexpected visitoryou could switch to using a ready made hijab that can be just slipped on in a second without fiddling around with wrapping and pinning.


Another similar such option could be to wear the full underscarf at all times (you might hear of them called ninja scarfs or bonnets) to cover you entire head. There are very comfortable and don’t get in the way of any practical activities that you might do such as cooking. As mentioned before, you might keep a bunch of them in a place that you go to every day when getting ready in the morning so as not to forget. This way you hair will always be covered, but a more practical way. If an unexpected visitor arrives and you do t have a scared to hand immediately at least your hair is covered whilst you go to get one and you do not need to get flustered trying to at least cover your hair. When wearing this type of scarf it is then easy to just wrap a scarf around. On a practical note, if you are struggling with tying the top scarf a full underscarf can make the process easier as it holds the material of the top scarf more than is you had no underscarf or even a smaller headband.


In sha Allah I hope these tips will help to make things easier for you.


May Allah reward your struggle for His sake. May He bring you the best in this life and the next.