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Ask the Counselor About Relationships (Q/A)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thanks for participating in the session.

Please find the 4 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.

Question 1. About Parent

My father behaves very bad with my mother and torture her mentally and never he cares about my mother. Being a daughter, I couldn’t bear all those so I stop taking to my father even I avoid the questions asked by him sometimes I even shout or say bad words to him for his behavior with my mother…. I couldn’t bear my mother get hurt again and again. But he never behaves bad to me….I don’t know why…what should I do?


Assalamu alaikum wa rahamatulahi wa barakatuh,

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I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. You are an innocent victim in this and have done nothing to deserve being subjected to this. Although you father does not directions bad behaviour directly towards you, he is doing so indirectly by treating your mother so terribly in your presence. He probably does not realize that this can be just as painful, perhaps if not more at times, than actually being abused directly.

I know that this must be incredibly painful for you to endure time and time again, but at the same time, it’s important that you deal with it in the correct way. Naturally as a result of observing his behaviour, you what to block him out, ignore him and say bad things to him, but you have to be careful not to involve yourself in your parents business.  

As much as you feel like you are standing up for your mother, getting involved may only make things even worse for her. You might make him even more angry and abusive towards her. This does not make his behaviour one bit ok, but you must be aware of downpour involvement can impact on things too.

One short-term option you may consider at this point is to take a break from it yourself. If you have a family member that you can go and stay with for a while to get some space from observing what it happening at home this would be ideal.

This will give you the space to think about how you can deal with the situation moving forward. It will also give them the space alone to try and sort things out. Maybe nothing will change, but being away from the situation will give the chance to step away and think more rationally about what to do next. Consider your options and the possible consequences each might carry.

You might also consider if the way things are for them is not exactly as you are perceiving and observing them. For example, maybe you mother is not receiving his behaviour as abusive and it is not bothering her at all and in fact, she is very happy and shows it in ways that you may not perceive as happiness.

Alternatively, maybe your father doesn’t realise how hurtful his words are to her, or even if they are not hurtful to her, how hurtful it is for you to see and hear? There may be ways in which you can get a better idea of this without interfering with their business. For example, you could raise it to your father how much it hurts you when you hear him talk to your mother the way he does? Maybe even say that perhaps he doesn’t realize how hurtful it is to you? Likewise with your mother, you can check in with her how she’s feeling. Find out if she is happy. Aside from whatever the situation is with your mother and father, it would always be a good thing to do what you can to make her happy. Spend time with her, do things with her that you know she enjoys, help out where you can. In these conversations with them, you may get a better idea about how they are both feeling and what the genuine feelings and intentions are behind what’s going on.

In the best case scenario, you realise that actually things are not as bad as they seemed and you can relax knowing that actually things are OK between them. On the other hand, often things really aren’t OK and your feelings like she is being abused and she truly is, then things might be more tricky. As much as you should not involve yourself in their business, if she and you are getting hurt, then this is not ok and you might have to consider taking action. If you do have to take this route, be cautious that there may be consequences unintended, so you just consider very hard. Take time to think about what could happen and turn to Allah. Make istikhara and let Him guide you. If you can’t take it anymore, then you should turn to someone you can trust, either in the family or your local Imam who will be able to support you and beat advise on how to move forward.

May Allah ease your worries and guide you and your parents to what is best and most pleasing to Him. May He reward your struggles and grant you the best in this life and the next.

Question 2. Should I accept polygyny if my heart truly doesn’t want to?

As-salamu alaykum,

I am currently engaged but facing an obstacle. A little bit about myself: I am a revert with two children. I have been with my fiancé for two years. We had a haram relationship until Ramadan of this year. He has been practicing his faith for a few months now, and I converted at the beginning of March.

He has a very close relationship with my children, and they consider him a father (their own father is not in the picture). I am extremely close with his family, and they love me a lot. I spend a lot of time with his grandmother, who actually helped me convert to Islam. I also talk frequently with his mother. He is a great, honest, and righteous man, capable of providing for us.

I am 26 and he is 22. He wants many children (at least 15), but I know I am not capable of giving him that many. Our relationship has been great, with its ups and downs, as any relationship has. We have seen each other at our lowest points and have watched each other grow. We have a great bond, a strong friendship, and we love each other deeply. We consider each other as best friends.  I do anything he asks of me and have helped him with his businesses. I have also made significant changes within myself to be the woman he wants in his life. We live in the West, so polygyny is not normal for either of our families. His grandmother, mother, and other women I’ve spoken to have said I shouldn’t have to accept polygyny if my heart cannot handle it. That he’s doing it for selfish reasons.

We have had many conversations about it. He tells me that not marrying him would be selfish and unwise because of the life he can provide for me and my children. He also says it would be hard for me to find another man who would accept me and my children, especially within Islam.

He admits he says this partly to scare me but also because it’s somewhat true. It scares me a lot. Who would accept a revert with two children? I also want to have more children while I’m still young. I want to be married and at peace.

I want to be with one man and be accepted as his only wife. It’s hard for me to let him go because of our relationship and his bond with my children. It would break my heart tremendously for him to take on another wife.

He tells me it might not happen, but if it does, I should trust Allah and believe that I can learn to accept it. I want my husband all to myself. I want to wake up to him every night and share special moments only with each other. I pray that Allah will forgive me for feeling this way, but I truly don’t want to experience that pain. I cry almost every night because I just don’t know what to do, I cry thinking about the possibility of enduring that pain. I don’t want to ruin my children’s life and taking away that fatherly figure, nor do I want to put our future kids at risk either because of the possibility of me walking away if I truly cannot handle it. I don’t want another broken home. I grew up in one, my children do not have their father because of him being extremely toxic and abusive, I don’t want to make another mistake. I’m trying to get closer to Allah. I love learning about Islam and I’m educating my children about Islam as well. I enjoy the feeling I get from it and truly believe it will change my life for the better.


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This is a tricky situation and I can understand your dilemma. Many women, like yourself, have a hard time accepting polygamy. You are far from alone here. Islamically, it is acceptable and that’s part of what makes the struggle harder, because it’s hard to accept something that Allah has said is ok (under certain conditions of course) so you know that it is not something that you can completely dislike and that’s tough.

Although the main issue presented here is that of polygamy, the first thing I must point out even before this, is the current relationship you are having with him. I understand that character wise, you have found the ideal man, who would make your ideal husband. He’s a good man who treats you right, encourages the best in you, treats your children as his own, is someone you can talk to openly and he comes from a good family who you get on with. Your only concern is his possible desire for polygamy further down the line. This truly does sound like a great man that I’m sure many other women would also desire as a husband.

However, whilst your concerns are about what might happen in the future with the possibility of him considering a second wife, it is important that you first consider the present. Right now, you are not actually married and therefore close contact in the way you are having now is not acceptable. As you can see, it has provided the space for you to develop such strong feelings for each other. Since you are not actually married yet, you are both free to walk away. Engaged or not, neither of you are obliged to anything with one another until you are actually married. Given how close you have gotten with him and his family and even for your children too, if he (or you) should choose to walk away, it could have devastating effects, especially for the children to lose another father figure.

Thinking of this alone, you can see the dangers  of having a relationship outside of marriage. I am surprised that this man, who appears to be a decent man from what you have said has allowed you to get so close to each outside of marriage. I think this is concerning and is something to consider as you decide what to do moving forward. I’d also consider the unwise words he has used to you calling you selfish if you should not marry him and saying you’d have a hard time finding someone else as a revert with children from another relationship. This feels like he is trying to trap you.

However, at the same time, this may just be his way of expressing his fear that you will be the one to walk away and he will have lost a good wife. I say this because whilst, yes, having children already can provide an obstacle to finding a husband as not everyone would be open to that, but it is not impossible and there are plenty of men who would accept that. So, don’t let that fear that you will not find another man who would accept you and your children tie you to this man, but at the same time, if you are confident that this is the man you want to marry, then don’t allow the opportunity to pass before its too late.

It is a tricky situation to be so I understand your dilemma. As a result, it is really important that you take sufficient time to consider your options and seek advice from loved ones as well as people of knowledge who can guide you based in the most acceptable Islamic approach to take.

You have identified lots of positive things about this man that make for an ideal husband, but could you cope with being a potential second wife? If he is a good man who practices Islam correctly, then even if he should take a second wife, he will continue to fulfil his duties towards you and be the perfect husband that you are looking for.

He could achieve this just as well with a second wife. As you also get closer to Allah as you learn more about Islam, it will also become more acceptable to you too and therefore easier. On the other hand, maybe he will never take a second wife. Lots of men talk about and desire a second wife, but it is a huge responsibility and many do not go on to actually take a second wife as a result. Could you throw away the chance to marry this man based on something that may or may not happen? Or if it does, may not be as bad as you are expecting at this early stage. On the other hand, are the red flags that are currently visible those that need more attention and actually the best thing is to walk away now? This last point in particular is where it would be of great value to seek advise from others. You have gotten close to this man so it can be easy to overlook the things that are more concerning. Get the opinions of loved ones who have yours and your children’s best interests at heart and can advise you honestly without being biased due to feelings towards this man.

Take as long as you need to give these things plenty of consideration. Separate yourself from this man as you do so so you can have a clearer head and not be swayed by his presence. Continue to come back to this deliberation, don’t make a decision based on your first consideration. Sleep on it, let a little time pass and consider things again. In time, things will become clearer and you will be leaning more towards one option than another. This is where you make istikhara and ask Allah to guide you. If you have made the decision that is best for you, then surely Allah will facilitate this outcome for you. If it is not, then He will place obstacles along the way to deter you from that path and push you to consider alternative options.

May Allah guide you to what is best for you and your children and most pleasing to Him. May He grant you a righteous husband who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

Question 3. Want to marry a girl, but can’t do it becz she wants to change city and I can’t do it due to family

Assalamualikum, I have some really serious question, I love a girl with full heart for a really long time, I want to do Nikkah with her. She is also ready, she lives in the same city as me, she is currently studying to be doctor and is working hard for it, her current success shows that she is going to be a future doctor. But the problem is that in her siblings she only has one elder sister who is going to get married after 4 years, due to reason of having no brother she doesn’t want to leave her parents. I told her that I will take care of them (and I am ready to do this from full heart) but she wants to move herself and her parents to some other city thousands of miles away due to some serious family behavior reasons. She is not ditching me I know her personally, and I know the situation too. She can’t change her mind about moving away because she and her family suffered a lot in the past. I want my family to move to the same city as her, but the problem is that my family doesn’t want to go because they are happy here. I also don’t have any brothers; I am the only son of my parents. I can’t leave my family either, but I want her too. Please suggest a perfect solution and help me overcome this situation.


Wal alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

SubhanAllah, I can understand how this is such a great dilemma for you. You have found a woman who you want to marry and who wants to marry you and there seem to be no problems in you going ahead and getting married. However, there is one huge factor that is making things difficult in working out how to make things work practically as neither of you have brothers and therefore assume responsibility for your parents. She and her family need to move for personal reasons, but the city they will move to is very far away. Ideally, you and your parents could just follow her and that way you could be with her whilst both being able to maintain responsibility for your parents. However, your parents are not willing to move so you are faced with a very difficult dilemma.

You could just go and move to this far away city to be with your wife and let your siblings take care of your parents, but you will be left with the guilt of abandoning your responsibilities as the only son. Alternatively, you could leave your wife to go with her family whilst you stay behind with yours. This way you can fulfill your responsibilities to your parents, but your marriage may suffer from the challenges of being absent from each other a lot. Neither situation seems completely ideal. At the same time, marriage does come with sacrifice. There will always be something that each person will need to sacrifice for the sake of the marriage. However, there are almost always compromises that can be made to allow both spouses to have their rights fulfilled.

The above options are the 2 extreme ones that come with heavier consequences for one or the other of you and may in time cause some level of animosity between you and your extended families. There may however be alternatives in between that could be more acceptable to all. Starting with the things that must happen and no compromise can be agreed upon. If I’ve understood correctly, there is no negotiating whether this lady and her family will move to a city far away. It seems that he personal circumstances mean that they must make this move. With this as a starting point, you can consider ways to work with this. There may be many other options, but some that spring to mind are ad follows. If possible, you could share your time between your home city and the city she will move to so you can spend equal time with your family and your new wife. This may not be practically possible, especially if you have a job that wouldn’t allow for this. However, if it does, then it could be something to try.

Another might be to go with your wife and be keeping daily contact with you family back home and making regular planned trips back to ensure that they are managing OK with the mind that if they are not managing, then you may have to go back for longer visits. Either way, if you took this approach, then before you go, you should ensure that everything is in place for them, that there are people nearby who can help out, organise food deliveries if they are not able to go out themselves, someone they can get household from if they are unable…etc.. for both yours and their security, you would need to make sure these things are solidly in place before you leave. Perhaps more ideally, you could convince them to go with you. This way you can both be with your wife whilst being able to fulfil your responsibilities as a son.

They have however, made it clear that they are happy here they are and are not up for moving. This is understandable. It’s their home. However, there is also no harm in moving either and there are some things you could do to try and convince them to move. Firstly, get them involved. Let be a part of the process. Let them follow you to the new city and see what life is like there. Let them be a part of finding your new home and setting things up as much as they are able. This may open their minds to moving with you as they have become invested in the process, but also seen where you are moving to. Let them take some of the lead in this since there is a chance that this could become their future too. It also shows them how serious you are about the move and how much you want them to be a part of it as well as how much you care about them and don’t want to leave them. Their minds may not change immediately and you may move there and try one of the options above where you visit them back home regularly, but in time, this may be what warms their hearts towards moving with you further down the line.

You might also try getting other ls in the family to convince them of the same. Family discussions with your siblings can help determine how they would assume responsibilities if you should go without your parents, but also get them on board in encouraging them to follow you too. You might also remind your parents that to follow him does not mean they will never go back home and that you are willing to facilitate them going back home to their family and friends regularly too as you understand that that is their home and your understand they will miss it, but you hope that as people who have been through the process of marriage that they understand the compromises that need to be made for a marriage to be successful and I can assure they at least have some understanding of that. They may not have faced the same dilemma, but they will have been through their fair share of struggles. With that reminder, perhaps their hearts will soften to your suggestions.

Take your time to consider your options. Discuss them with your family. Consider the good and bad points of each option whilst always having in mind what is most pleasing to Allah and then make istikhara and He will guide you. If have made the most befitting decision, then He will facilitate it and it will go ahead and if not, then He will place obstacles in the way that prevent that plan from going ahead.

May Allah reward your desire to fulfill your responsibilities to both your spouse and parents. May He guide you to what is best for you and most pleasing to Him. May He grant you a righteous spouse and make you coolness of your parents eyes.

Question 4. Marriage interview with suitor who lives abroad

How can I get to know a potential suitor who lives abroad in a halal manner? To ask the important questions that need to be asked between us, should the mothers talk to each other on our behalf, or should I ask the suitor’s sister my questions, or should my mahram ask the suitor questions? Can a combination of these things occur at the same time, such as the mothers conversing in the initial stage, then the suitor going on to talk to my mahram to answer questions. At any stage, can I talk to the suitor in the presence of my mahram such as on speaker phone with my mahram in the room, or through video call with my mahram next to me? If I wear niqab, at what point in the process and how should I allow the suitor to see me?

The suitor’s family knows my family because our families are from the same country, and back home our families are neighbors, though myself and my family, and the suitor (by himself) live in different countries currently. I have met the suitor’s family while on vacation back home, but it was at a time when marriage was not brought up. The suitor’s mother recently brought up the idea of marriage with my mother, but I have no idea about the suitor’s level of deen/character and I have not had any contact with him besides seeing him in passing while on vacation some years ago. I am curious to know the best way to find out about him while we don’t live near each other.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahamatulahi wa barakatuh,

May Allah reward you for seeking out how to get to know your suitor in the correct way. So many haram relationships form these days due to people not following the most appropriate approaches towards seeking marriage.

Alhamdulilah, there are some foundations in place to begin with in that your families know one another already. Setting this up in the first place can often be a challenge to begin with so Alhamdulilah that this is jot a problem for you.

You have suggested a good number of appropriate ways that you can initiate contact between you and the families further. All of which seem to meet the Islamic requirements and are all feasible ways to get to know each other. Your parents and siblings know you well and so will be well placed to make a judgement as to if this man would be a suitable match for you. Having this additional level of support will be very helpful for you both now and in the marriage should this be where things go. I don’t see any harm in these things happening simultaneously. Given that you are in different countries, another approach I am aware of that people in your situation do is to have a WhatsApp group where both the potential suitors are present along with mahrams. This way conversations can be had but with the mahram present to ensure things are kept above board. This way, as well as the idea of talking with him on speakerphone with your mahram present, gives you the chance to get to know each other too. It’s great to get the perspectives of close loved ones, but it is also important to be able to add your own judgement to this also so you can be sure in yourself too.

If things go well and you do choose to pursue marriage, then the fact that the families have been involved right from the start should make it easier to work out the practicalities of what will happen from there on. Will you move there? Or he to you?, etc.  these may be things that you discuss as a family before getting married even to ensure that you are all on the same page and that no disputes occur after marriage due to assumptions about what was expected of one or other of the spouses. Sometimes thinking of dispute occurs after marriage due to the conversation not being had before hand. So, do make sure that if you do decide to marry that this is one (of the perhaps many!) discussions you have before hand.

May Allah reward and guide you to what is best for you and most pleasing to Him. May He grant you a righteous husband who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

Thursday, Jun. 06, 2024 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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