Ask the Psychologist (Counseling Session with Aisha) | About Islam
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Ask the Psychologist (Counseling Session with Aisha)

Session Guest

Ask the Psychologist (Counseling Session with Aisha) - About Islam

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.


Monday, Mar. 18, 2019 | 09:00 - 10:00 Makkah | 06:00 - 07:00 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 Aisha for answering the questions.


I'm half Romanian and half Arab. I have not talked in Arabic for very long time since I came back home in Bucharest. Now I'm in grade 12 in a Romanian high school, and my Christian female class mate made fun of me by saying random words in Arabic.

I stopped understanding Arabic because of not using it anymore, and she expected me to replay back to her in Arabic and I did not understand so, I answered her: "dude! Speak in Romanian!" She told me in a loud voice in front of others: "fuck you! You said you're Arab?!" I felt discriminated and I started to even hate what origin I have. So, how should I deal with such people?



5.	How to deal with mockers abd mean people peoppe? 2.20 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum brother,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear what you went through brother.  People can be so cruel. What you described can be classified as a mild form of bullying.  The classmate who challenged you appeared to feel a sense of entitlement and power.  It was an illusion.  She tried to make you look foolish but what your classmate did, was made herself look ridiculous, not you.

 

Culture and Expectations

 

Just because a person is of a certain ethnicity/race/culture does not mean they must know the language. There are a lot of people who have parents who are from other countries and speak different languages.  Their children however, are not always fluent in both languages and that is okay.

 

You are Romanian and Arab.  Be proud of both your heritages.  There is no need for you to speak fluent Arabic to prove your ethnicity.  The important thing is that you can speak Romanian because that is where you live now.  If you want to You do not have to prove anything to anyone.  When situations like this arise, it hurts.  We do not truly know the motive of the one who is doing the bullying. Usually the best course of action is to either ignore the person or to briefly tell them you have not used the Arabic language in a long time and are not fluent. However, it is really none of their business. You do not have to prove anything to anyone.

 

Discrimination & Bullying

 

You may feel discriminated against for being Arab, which may be true I do not know.  What more than likely happened was the girl was just trying to intimidate you to make you feel bad. Who knows, perhaps she was jealous of your dual ethnicity and wished she was of two different unique cultures.

 

Brother try not to take it to heart. Chances are, when you go back, it will be all forgotten about.  Her response was rude true indeed but in situations like this it is best not to respond as it just feeds into the situation. If you must respond just be polite (I know it’s hard) because the last thing a provocateur wants is a polite response.  They are eagerly looking for you to get upset and lash out.  This feeds into, and escalates the situation. When you respond in a way that closes the situation (yes your right, you have a good point, thank you for your concern), the person usually stops as there is no argument to defend. The only exception is if there is ever a physical confrontation.  In this case you have every right to defend yourself and you should.

 

This situation however seems like some very childish behavior from her part and insha’Allah it will be forgotten about when you go back.  If she continues to harass and bully you brother, please do inform someone at the school or at home of the situation. You deserve to learn in a peaceful non-threatening environment.  We wish you the best.


Salamu alaikum. I have this female friend of mine. At first we were just friends but as time goes on we get connected and lead to Zina on several occasions. We have tried all my best to keep away from such act, even I stopped talking to her, stopped calling her even avoid coming face to face contact with her but still we both couldn't help ourselves.

I have other female friends but this doesn't usually happen between us. Rather with only this girl. Please help me on how to abstain myself from this and to be a better Muslim. For Zina leads to hell fire. Please help me.



4.	Addiction 3.3 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum brother,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear of the situation that you have gotten yourself into my dear brother. As I understand, you have a female friend who you committed zina with on several occasions. As you know this is haram and a grave sin. As we can see, there is much wisdom in the rules regarding not having contact with the opposite sex. This is a perfect example of what can happen. You started out as friends, but as you stated time went on, you connected in a sexual way. When you connect sexually with somebody, is often difficult to break away, as you are seeing now.

 

Intimacy & Attachment

 

You stated that you tried to keep away from her.  You stopped talking to her, stop calling and you even avoided coming face-to-face with her. Your attempts at avoiding her have not been successful. You keep returning to her and committing zina.  As you can see brother, this is a very powerful connection and that is why (in part) that it is strictly confined to the marriage relationship. You stated that you have other female friends, and this doesn’t usually happen between you and your other friends, only this one girl. I am not sure what you meant by “usually”, but I think you can now see it only takes “once” to become a serious problem that is hard to overcome.

 

As you have developed a sexual, emotional, and intimate relationship with her, of course it is going to be difficult to break away. However, you cannot continue in this sinful way. You have also acknowledged in your question. I kindly advise brother, to seek repentance from Allah, ask for His forgiveness, and promise yourself you’ll never do it again. Not only is this promise a part of repentance, it is also a verbal contract between you and your desires. Insha’Allah, you will honor this contract and you will honor your repentance and pleading forgiveness by not seeing this girl. It will be hard, but you will have to cut her off totally. I kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you also make duaa asking Allah to give you the strength to not see her or speak to her anymore.

 

Refocusing

 

Focus your mind and your thoughts on other things. Keep busy with either work, school, family, Islamic Studies, going to the Masjid, as well as socializing with uplifting righteous Muslim Brothers. You do not want to be among those who are on the path to Hell Fire. We all make mistakes, that is why we have Allah to go to for forgiveness, alhumdulilah. That is why in His Mercy, we can repent. Once we repent for our sins that means we are never to repeat them.

 

You are a good brother, you love Allah, you fear continuing sins and you desire to end this behavior. Brother, I am confident that you will make the right choice insha’Allah.  We wish you the best you are in our prayers.


Assalamualaikum. A year ago my boyfriend left me because he had to follow his family to marry someone else. Actually, he is a non-muslim. My relationship with him is for more than 6 years. We lost contact after he left me. Then suddenly he contacted me back and said he still loved me. But he has to follow his family's will first.

I can say he still has a part in my heart. But I'm not sure whether I still love him or not. I want to forget him but until now I've failed. I pray every time and ask forgiveness from Allah and hope Allah can help me to forget my past and forget him if he is really not for me. I'm really suffering because he always appears in my mind. Please guide and advise me what should I do.



3.	Forget the past 3.4 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum sister,

 

Shokran for writing into our live session. I am sorry to hear that your boyfriend left you due to having to marry someone else that his family chose for him. As you state that your relationship with him was over six years, I can imagine that must have really hurt. When one is planning on a marriage and waiting for that long, the emotional pain can be devastating. It would be most hard to let go I agree.

 

Allah Knows Best

 

Sister, I’m not sure what your relationship consisted of, however as you know we are not supposed to have boyfriends in Islam. Additionally, he is not Muslim therefore he is not Halal for you to marry. Should he accept Islam because he truly believes it is the one true religion, then he would be permissible for marriage. However, he should not revert to Islam just to marry you. That would be a false action on his part, and no doubt would have consequences spiritually. With that said, I can only advise you to move forward and forget him. I know it’s painful, but time will heal. There is a reason for everything sister, and in Allah’s infinite mercy and love for us, He will close doors of harm.  Allah knows best.

 

Choices and Considerations

 

Insha’Allah, I kindly ask you to repent and ask for forgiveness for getting into a relationship with this man who is also not a Muslim. Should he revert to Islam because he does believe Islam is the true path, then the situation is different. In this case he would be permissible for you to marry. Regarding his parents wanting him to marry someone else, in Islam we are free to marry who we want. Again, if that person is permissible to us. While our parents support, help, and blessings are vital in the marriage process, they cannot prevent their children from marrying somebody who is permissible and who they desire to marry. By the same token, parents cannot force their children to marry someone of their choice if their child does not want to. Your boyfriend does not have to marry the one his parents want him to marry. As an adult and a free person, he can marry who he chooses. the same goes for you.

 

Conclusion

 

I will kindly suggest that you inform him that you cannot marry him because he is not Muslim. You may suggest that he explore Islam to find out if indeed his heart is drawn to the path of Islam. If so, you may also wish to inform him that he is free to marry whoever he chooses. If he does revert to Islam, I kindly suggest that the two of you marry as soon as possible. If he does not revert to Islam after your statement to him, please do cut him off totally and go on with your life. It is hard sister I know, but Allah knows what is best for us and our deen.  You’re in our prayers, we wish you the best.

 


As'salamu Alaykum wa'rahmatullahi wa'barakatuhu. My wife is not romantic but she has sexual desires. I also feel shy to be romantic. So, what to do?



2.	Marriage 3.6 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing into our live session. I am sorry to hear about the issues that you and your wife were having. You stated that you feel shy and that your wife is not romantic, but she does have sexual desires. Brother, I’m not sure how long you have been married, however, if it has been a rather short period, you and your wife may need time to become more familiar with each other in an intimate and romantic way.

 

Increase Bonding

 

It is not uncommon for married couples to have sexual desires for one another but not know how to initiate romance. I would kindly suggest that you and your wife discuss what it is that makes you feel romantic. This can be a very creative discussion which insha’Allah, will bring you closer. Discovering what is romantic can be fun, sensual and provide intimate bonding time.

 

Brother, every person is different when it comes to what they like regarding romance. Insha’Allah, the key is to find out what each of you enjoys and make efforts towards pleasing each other.  Over time, romantic gestures and actions should increase as you get to know your spouse on a deeper level. Insha’Allah, learning about your wife’s likes and dislikes will encourage you to become less shy and more expressive.

 

Romantic Tips

 

Oftentimes couples can be shy especially when first married. This shyness tends to go away the more you and your spouse bond as a couple. I would kindly suggest insha’Allah, that the two of you spend more time together doing romantic, enjoyable things. It could include a candlelight dinner, going for a walk in the park, enjoying special little treats together such as tea and sweets. The more comfortable you feel with each other and your romantic feelings, the easier it will be to have sexual relations. One of the key points is not to worry or stress over it. When we worry or stress about romance and sexual relations with a spouse, it can interfere with the natural spontaneity of intimacy.

 

Conclusion

 

Do plan romantic evenings or just spending quality time together, but also leave open the possibility for natural romantic desires and connections. Learn about each other’s likes and dislikes an experiment with romantic scenarios. Inshallah, you both will become more comfortable and freer with your intimate needs and desires with each other.  It may take some time to discover all the ways in which romance can add closeness and spice to your intimate life, but it will be time well spent.  Learning how to romance your spouse should be a lifelong process of creative dialogues and activities.  During the duration of your marriage ideas of what is romantic may change due to life circumstances, growth and personal needs. Therefore it is advisable to make romance a priority as it is a lifelong investment in your marriage.

 

We wish you the best.


Assalamu Alykum. My 30 years old son has a hoarding problem where he just does not discard anything even some of the things considered trash like plastic bottles, papers etc.. Could you please inform me how he can overcome this problem? Also, if you know any du'a for this, Jazak Allah.



1.	hoarding 3.4 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

 

Thank you for writing to us. As you described your situation, your son may have a hoarding problem. I can imagine you are very concerned and not quite sure what to do. According to your question, you stated there are things he just does not discard. Some of the things are considered trash, such as plastic bottles, papers, and so forth.

 

Hoarding

 

Hoarders generally do not feel as if they are acting out of the ordinary.  They see no issue with keeping nearly everything, even when piles of stuff build up. They can become quite upset when a family member or others try to clean up and discard apparent garbage. It can be quite frustrating and alarming. On the other hand, could it be that your son is depressed and just does not care about picking up?

 

You may want to look at if this has this been a long-standing problem that has gotten worse.  Has your son sought help for any type of mental health issue in the past?  Hoarding is generally considered part of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.  It is also associated with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.  Indecisiveness and social withdrawal are also prominent features.

 

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you learn as much as you can about hoarding.  This will help you to better understand your son’s condition as well as how to help him.   Hoarding is a topic which in recent years has gained more attention. According to Psychology Today (1), there are some things that are common among people who hoard. They tend to be around the age of 50.  They may have begun hoarding behaviors around the ages of 11 to 15. If you can recall his early childhood, perhaps you may remember some of the signs beginning around that age. Hoarding can be related to trauma or traumatic event.  Hoarding behavior serves as a coping mechanism. Treatment can be challenging because your son may not feel that his hoarding behaviors are out of the ordinary, or that they are an issue. If you can encourage him to get counseling, that would be most beneficial. You may even want to offer to go with him to show support.

 

Helping Your Son

 

I would kindly suggest that you sit down and talk with your son about hoarding in general. At first insha’Allah, you may want to mention that you see he has accumulated a lot of “stuff” and you are concerned it may be a health hazard as well as a sign that he may be experiencing anxiety or depression.  Point out that a lot of people suffer from hoarding and discuss with him what this means.  You may want to ask him why he is keeping certain items. For instance, if there’s a paper cup that has been around for a long time and he refuses to throw it out you may wish to ask him why he is keeping it. Does it have some sentimental value to him? Does it provide a sense of security? Depending on his answer to your questions, it may give you more insight into how to address the problem. There are several things to keep in mind when trying to help your son. Your son may have problems making decisions.  He may have difficulty organizing things, he may be a perfectionist and display excessive attachment to possessions.  He may not feel comfortable letting others touch or borrow the items in his home. Lastly, your son may have limited or no social interaction with others.  All these possibilities may make intervention difficult.  Insha’Allah, with patience, spending time talking with your son about the advantages in seeking help to address the hoarding, your efforts will prove successful.

 

Treatment & Healing

 

According to Psychology Today (1), the most successful treatment for hoarding is cognitive behavioral therapy. Medications have also shown to be useful.   Communication with educated information is important. Once your son understands that his behaviors maybe due to anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, he may be better able and willing to address them.

 

Making duaa’s for your son will be a powerful part of his healing.  You may want to include these duaa’s for your son on his behalf, or ask him to recite the following duaa’s:

 

“O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment). Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.” (Abu Dawud 4/324, Ahmad 5/42. Al-Albani graded it as good in Sahih Abu Dawud 3/959.)

 

“There is no god except Allaah, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; there is no god except Allaah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne; there is no god except Allaah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne.” (Al-Bukhari 8/154, Muslim 4/2092, )

 

We wish you both the best, you are in our prayers.


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