Ask the Counselor About Marriage & Children

Question 1I get angry with my kids’ fighting

My kids 3 dauters one son stat last 3yrs fighting for little things and I get so angry that sometimes I beat them badly after that I feel so bad and need help to improve my behavior as well as their plz help me m a doctor in gynacology and obstetrics having job with clinic I want to spend happy time with my kids but the little time I get m angry with harsh behavior .plz help me out

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This kind of behaviour towards your children is not OK, but it is clear that you realise that. Alhamdulilah, this is the first step in making improvements moving forward. The next step is to reach out for help with your behaviour and again, you are doing the right thing in reaching out for assistance.

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Of course, this doesn’t excuse the behaviour, but it means you are ready and willing to make all the changes you can to improve your behaviour. Once this is fixed then, in sha Allah, the relationship with your children will also improve and you will be able to spend happy time together as you want. This will also make for healthier children psychologically too.

No parent is perfect. It is a learning curve from day 1. We face new challenges every day and as they grow older the challenges change and we have to change our parenting style to match their ever-changing needs also. Additional challenges arise when you add in additional children from other age groups too and have to now manage multiple tasks, abilities and needs all at once.

This can be incredibly overwhelming, even for the most patient of parents. Sister, you are not alone. Difficulties in raising children and managing feuds between siblings is something all parents face to some extent or another.

No one comes equipped with the skills to manage this without practising first as we get used to what works with each child and not. Of course, the best of guidance comes from following the example of our Prophet (SAW) alongside any legislation laid out by Allah.

This sets the best guidelines, to begin with, and sets the boundaries for good parenting. There are many things that we can take from this and I will outline some things here that are particularly relevant to your own scenario.

Firstly, have no shame in apologizing for your behaviour when you have such outbursts. This lets them learn about the art of apologising and makes it something that will be more normal and comfortable for them to do too. This will help them to do the same when they upset their siblings and will make it easier for you to encourage them to do the same because you are leading by a good example.

It also tells them outright that the angry outbursts that you have are not OK. If you don’t apologise and tell them that your own behaviour is not acceptable then they may grow up believing that it is fine to beat people because you as their mother, their role model, does it.

The next thing is probably quite obvious, but yet is a big challenge, probably one of the biggest when it comes to parenting even! Be patient! You have said that they are fighting over small things so most likely, your angry response is disproportionate to the actual behaviour and is the thing that could be escalating things further.

I would suggest that when you see an argument brewing and it is likely something small that will blow over quickly, you might leave the room and take a breather before you can respond irrationally. If you feel things are escalating to something more serious, then step in before it does and remove one or two siblings from the scenario peacefully without directly mentioning their arguments, call them to help out with something more positive. This will help difuse the situation from escalating.

If this is not an option, you could call them all to just pause and ask them each to give their own thoughts out loud to you and each other without anyone interruption. Allow everyone to have their say and feel heard. This way they get the chance to have their feelings and view heard and you can hear everyones perspective too.

You might ask them all to offer their own perspective on what should be done and the consequences that should be given. This again will help then to all feel respected. This alone may solve the issue as they realise that it wasn’t a big deal afterall, or otherwise, at least let them know that they have been heard

In the same sort of format, you might all get together outside of an argument and decide on consequences for poor behaviour between yourselves. Having them involved in such decisions will make them more likely to adhere to the rules because they were part of deciding the rules. This way they cannot say any consequences are unfair.

Additionally, make sure that at some point during the week you give them all a bit of one to one time with you. Sometimes little disputes between siblings can be a result of sibling rivalry all calling for parental attention. If you are the one to voluntarily give them their own special bit of time with you then there will be less need to compete with siblings and cause problems. This may not be the reason why they are fighting, but it is a healthy habit to establish to ensure good relationships.

Also encourage tasks that require them all to work together on a single task, something that requires teamwork for a shared goal and pushes them to work cooperatively. Something like cooking something they all enjoy might be a good example. You might assign them all individual tasks within the overall project so they each have their own individual responsibility too.

I hope there tips will help you to improve your behaviour and also to encourage ways of working with your children that encourage more positive behaviour and habits to form that will strengthen your relationships further.

May Allah forgive you and reward you for trying to make change in your shortcomings. May He make the task easy for you and reward all your efforts. May He strengthen you as a family and place love between you in this life and the next.


Question 2 – 3 questions on disowning, the perspective of zina, and hitting a child

A few days ago, I was talking with my fiancé about our future kids, and we got into an argument. First and foremost, the subject of a disobedient child. he said if his grown up daughter/son will become a disbeliever or commits zina without repenting, he will cut them off and disown them. as far as i can recall, there are multiple verses in Quran and hadith who’s talking about the importance of kinship. so, isn’t it haram to do so? also, if i may continue asking: are we supposed to have any difference in the way we should react to a family member who commit zina, based on their gender? [meaning, is the different view regarding female and male who commit zina, islam based or just a misogynistic culture?] and one last question: until what age it is permissible for a parent to hit his child? if he is already an adult, is it still permissible to lay a hand on him? i find it extremely disturbing, honestly hope to receive an answer, thanku and JazakAllah khair <3

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Alhamdulillah that you are having these discussions before actually having children so that you can both get such issues discussed and agreed upon beforehand. Having different opinions between spouses regarding a child’s up bring is not unusual.

We are all raised in completely different environments with different rules and therefore what’s acceptable to some people is absolutely not to others. Sometimes it is very clear in Islamic ruling what is right and wrong and other times it is not. Often, there needs to be a degree of compromise between husband and wife.

The key is that these discussions happen amicably without major arguments. Of course, it may get heated if you are both very strong in your opinions, but it’s important to at least hear each other out and be aware of each other’s perspective of an agreement is to be made.

When there is no clear correct way, the first thing to do is to consult Islamic rulings and if you both have a different opinion or understanding of it, then it is best to get scholarly advice on the matter to be sure that everything is being done in accordance with Islam. All of your questions fit into this category so please do get advice from someone of knowledge to at least be clear on what is OK and not from the Islamic perspective.

With the types of questions, you have asked I believe the answers should be straightforward and will require little further discussion on your parts as the rulings should be clear enough on what is permitted and not. They may be difficult to accept by the one who doesn’t agree, but if the Islamic rulings are very clear then it is important that, for the sake of Allah you are both willing to make the compromise to raise your children in the correct way, according to Islam.

However, much of your questions also relate to situations that can be avoided with good upbringing. For example, raising your children Islamically should automatically deter them from zina. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t fall into this trap, because many people do, but it reduces the chances of it happening and also reassures you that you have done all you can to ensure it doesn’t happen such as discouraging free mixing, dressing with hijab.. Etc.. You, as parents also need to set good examples also so that you will positive role models to them.

The other important thing to note at this point, is that since you are not yet married, if you are unable to agree on your future together at this point then you have the opportunity to walk away and not get married of you don’t believe you could work together successfully, especially when it comes to something as important as raising your children on the correct way together as a team.

Given your situation, you might turn to others close to you, especially your mahram and get his perspective on whether he agrees to you marrying him, and his thoughts on your fiancé’s opinions too. These opinions should come from people of experience who have you beat interests in mind. Most importantly, consulting a person of knowledge to ensure that you get the correct opinion and appropriate on the topics you have raised here as well as any others that may arise.

Give yourself time to think these things through, especially now that you are in a strong position to really give it your time since you have not committed to a marriage or had any children yet. Better to spend time thinking deep on this proactively rather than reactively after wedding and having children together. It is a very important decision that should have sufficient time dedicated to such a decision. Most importantly, take the matter to Allah. Make your decision, pray istikahara. Ask Allah to guide you to what is best for you and your future children.

May Allah reward you for seeking knowledge in order to raise your future children correctly according to Islam. May He guide you and grant you a happy successful marriage and children that will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.


Question 3 – Husband’s Erectile Disfunction

My husband has erectile disfunction, he’s had it for about 2 years now. I try so hard for him but I feel like his male ego gets in the way he doesn’t want to receive help as he feels embarrassed, I really love my husband and could never think about divorce as we love each other so much I am only 26 and I haven’t told anyone about my husbands problem sometimes I have bad thoughts but I have been praying more and more to allah as I have been faithful to my husband for 6 years and want to remain that way till the day I die. I would like to know if there is any other way I can help my husband fix his problem because we both want more children in the future any advice I can get off anyone will be much appreciated ❤️

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This is not an uncommon problem in men and he is not alone. However, I understand that it is an embarrassing problem for him. Unfortunately, it is this embarrassment that can actually make it worse and the more embarrassed he becomes the bigger the problem becomes also. Alhamdulilah, he has a supportive wife in you and this will be incredibly helpful for him moving forward, in sha Allah.

As much as he feels embarrassed about it, it is also important that he does get medical advice about it. This problem could possibly be a result of some underlying condition that could easily be fixed. If he does not see a doctor then he will never know.

Like with most similar problems, it is always best to see a medic first to rule anything else out. If nothing is found to medically wrong then the doctor will be able to refer him to someone who could help with what is probably then more of a psychological issue, that again, could easily be resolved.

Both men and women feel embarrassed to go to the doctor about any issue to do with genitals it is not something that many people are comfortable to talk about or have to expose ones awra. This is a good sign of modesty, but when there is a problem, it is OK to seek help, and it is important to do so. Such problems may be embarrassing, but his doctor has certainly dealt with the same query many a time before and therefore there is no need to be embarrassed.

Continue to offer the support to your husband, let him know that you will accompany him if he wants, or even call and book the appointment too if he wants. Whatever will make him comfortable. Give him time and gentle encouragement without making him feel pressured or inadequate.

If you haven’t shared your thoughts and fears with him then you might do this when the time is appropriate too. Let him know that you want to have more children together and want to support him in making sure that you will be able to do this and that visiting the doctor is a necessary step in this.

This is because you care about him also and want to make sure there is not something else going on medically cause this problem. That the doctor has seen many patients with the same problem and will be able to rule out any underlying condition and also advise on how to fix the problem naturally.

For example, even without any underlying problem present there are medications and devices that can help with your husbands problem that the doctor would be able to direct you too also, or to a specialist who deals with such queries every day.

May Allah reward your concern for your husband and efforts to support your husband. May He grant you both confidence and guidance moving forward and grant you more children who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.


Question 4 – Should I get a divorce?

Assalamualaikum. I’ve been unhappy in my marriage of 3 years. We are going through marital, financial issues as well as issues with my parents. We were only married after finding out I was expecting. My parents disapprove of him, I was also angry at myself for being pregnant before marriage. My parents were not very supportive of us and only helps with our 2 children. Since we are living with my parents, I feel like we are both outcasts in this house as they don’t really want to have a relationship with us.

On top of all that, we have been struggling financially since the very start. Now he has not been able to provide me with nafkah for me and my children for a whole year because his job hasn’t been paying him. Since the start of our 3 year marriage I have helped him financially, becoming a breadwinner for us both and our 2 small children (excluding my parents and siblings). From time to time I have caught my husband lying to me and we have fought a lot in front of our children but he keeps making empty promises. I do see him try from time to time but not consistently and he fails to communicate with me his feelings and lacks the initiative to help me with our problems.

This year has been the worst year for me. Earlier in the year, I caught him cheating when I saw texts between him and another girl at midnight. I tried to work things out with him and he seemed sincere to put the cheating behind us. A few weeks after that, he left our house to live at a rented apartment saying to me that he needed to stay there for spiritual treatments because we have been sihir (magic) to separate us and make us have these problems. I later found out from his mistress that he was cheating again with the same person, committing zina with her when I was taking care of our newborn. I also found out he owed someone money because he went back to dealing drugs and caused him to get beat up in front of me when i was with my newborn.

Now he’s been back with me and I am confused. I don’t know if i should trust him again, it is making my mental health deteriorate and I have been depressed for 10 years. I’m taking anti-depressants because all this trauma from being with this person. He says he will try but he’s not consistent. Please give me advice.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

It certainly sounds like your marriage has been under a lot of pressure from the very start. This has lead to continued difficulties between you. You have since learned that your husband has committed zina and been involved in drugs. SubhanAllah, it is no surprise that you are now suffering from mental health problems.

I understand that financial difficulties often cause men in particular to feel inadequate and therefore find a sense of adequacy by doing things such as having extra marital affairs or trying to get money from bad sources such as buying and selling drugs. Difficult as it is however, this does not make his behaviour OK and you should never blame yourself for this. He will be held accountable.

Of course, it is your choice where you go from here and you certainly could just walk away from it all, however, you must consider the consequences of this and really think things through. You do not want to walk away and regret it and find that there is no going back. What I always suggest in situations like this is to at least try counselling together and so all you can to fix any wrongs and try and make things work. This way, if things don’t work out then you can walk away knowing you did your level best to try and make it work.

Get couples counselling together, ideally from a Muslim who will be able to provide the space for you both to mutually air your thoughts and feelings about the situation. You can let your husband know how much his affairs hurt you and how depressed you are feeling. Perhaps he doesn’t know. Perhaps there is something bothering him too that he would like to get off his chest in an environment like this.

With a Muslim counsellor, or Imam, you could be advised Islamically also with regards to involvement in zina and drugs. Perhaps this might be the thing that encourages your husbands repentance and to fix his wrong doings.

Aside from this, for your own mental health, it is important that you look after yourself to ensure that you don’t make any irrational decisions and that you can be in a healthier state of mind moving forward. Take some time out to do what you enjoy. Spend time with friends and family doing things to give you space from the difficulties you face daily with your husband. You might even consider taking a weekend away to clear your head a bit. Perhaps you need longer than a weekend. Take all the time you need to think things through and consider your options. Get the support of your loved ones so that you have them around to provide comfort, but also ongoing support in the case that you do decide to divorce.

Following this break and some counselling, you might do all you can to make things well between you and your husband. Do something fun together, or go away for a short weekend, or have someone look after your child whilst you spend the weekend at home together. See how it feels, see how you feel towards him. Can you forgive him? Can you give him one more chance? Or do you not feel anything for him anymore? Discuss your feelings openly together during this time and speak honestly about your thoughts.

The point is, he has done wrong, and this is unacceptable, but you need to tend to you own emotional needs and perhaps do some things together to try and work things out, or otherwise, at least be confident that you can’t forgive him or trust him and are confident after much consideration for yourself and your children and what’s pleasing to Allah that walking away is the best thing to do and you have sufficient support from loved one to make this move. Whatever you choose, always pray for Allah’s guidance and stay strong in faith. With Allah you are strong enough to face whatever the outcome.

May Allah guide you to what is best for you all and most pleasing to Him. May He make your path easy and always bring you comfort in His remembrance.

Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 | 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

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