Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Ask the Counselor About Religion, Faith & Mental Health

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Thank you for participating in the session.

Here are the 4 questions our counselor provided answers for. If you do not find yours below, please submit it again or check our next session.

Thank you for your understanding.

Question 1. Holding Grudges on dead relative

Assalamu Alaikum,
Recently, my parents have been fighting and my dad has said harsh words to my mother and shouted at her for silly reasons and made demands such as you did not cook food on time, why don’t you cook well, and other silly food-related matters. This is not the first time it has happened. My father has yelled out like this before for such reasons. And I notice a trend that this happens when there is something wrong at work for him. And my Mom told me that this has been a trend since they first got married. I have tried telling my father to stop after their fight. However, he doesn’t understand what he is doing and it only makes the problem worse.

Alhamdulilah, He is not abusive and he treats me well most of the time. However, I feel like he doesn’t understand my and my mothers’ emotions.

I was addicted to masturbation for a long time and the situation was much worse than it is now. However, my father never cared about my struggles and laughed every time he figured out that I acted out. This has been the biggest obstacle in my life and my father’s attitude is what prevented me from making progress to change.

I think that the reason why my father is like this today is because of the way he was treated when he was growing up. My grandmother was emotionally abusive towards her 4 children and did not have mercy on them nor did she treat them well. My Dad growing up with her face a lot of hardships and stress. He even got depression. My grandfather was neglectful. He did not spend on his children nor did he show any mercy or kindness towards them. All of this led to intergenerational trauma where my father gets angry over these small issues. These actions have also had terrible effects on the marriages of my uncles and my aunt which in turn affected their children.
My Grandmother died last year. May Allah have mercy on her and admit her to Jannah

Knowing all of this, Every time my parents’ fight or every time my father uses any harsh words I tend to say nasty things about my deceased grandmother. I feel bad every time I do this.
I also think about how bad she was almost every and I have thoughts about punishing her by hitting her, etc. These thoughts are bothering me and are leading me to sin by cursing her each time. I am tired of my parents fighting over small things.

I want to know, how do I deal with these situations?
It makes me feel irritated and tired and grudges are making me feel stressed too.

Ads by Muslim Ad Network


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

This is a very unfortunate situation that you seem to be caught up in, made trickier by the fact that you are suffering as a result of the behavior of others. Your father’s behavior towards you and your mother is not acceptable. However, I am glad that you are able to acknowledge and understand where his behavior likely stunned from – that is, ill treatment from his own parents as a child. It does seem like to some extent this softens your heart towards him through this understanding. I would certainly always advise people in similar situations to look for reasons behind the behavior of the one that they are having a hard time with as it makes it easier to tackle the problem with them based on this understanding. Alhamdulilah, it seems that you ha e already been able to do this. Do note however, that just because you are able to understand the seeming root cause of his behavior, this in no way makes it acceptable.

The first part of your query is perhaps the .ore difficult one to deal with in that whilst you are witnessing your father’s terrible behavior towards your mum and it is causing great pain for you, you also need to be very cautious about how you involve yourself. It is causing you pain indirectly, but it is also it your business to interfere in their marital affairs. This is what makes it particularly tricky. It may not feel like you are interfering as such, but you actions towards them could be perceived as such by either of them. It may be painful to sit back and watch without saying anything, but the best thing you and probably do is to be there for your mother and show her the love and support that she is perhaps not getting from your father right now. This way she at least has someone in the home to give her the love and appreciation she needs.

Otherwise, another way to tackle things indirectly that will hopefully have a positive impact on relationships all around is to work on building stronger and healthier relations with your father. This might come with simply spending time together doing things that you both enjoy, and even supporting him in something he enjoys. Doing such things aside from the difficulties you face with him personally and those you witness between he and your mother will help to gradually foster positive relationships between you such that hopefully the negativity will fade away as you all appreciate each other more. As relationships improve, hopefully you will also find that your hard feelings towards your grandparents will also disappear too as your fathers negative behavior begins to dissipate.

On this last point, do continue to pray for your grandparents as hard as it may be due to their behaviors that have caused the difficulties that you currently face. It may be difficult especially on the days when you feel like you are particularly suffering at the words of your father, but it will help to soften your heart towards them and your father too. This will in turn make it easier for you to be with him doing more positive things aside from the difficulties that you face with him. To make it easier, try to focus on their good traits. Remember the good things about your grandfather and grandmother.

As difficult as this situation is for you, you can use it as an opportunity for growth. Learn from the mistakes of your father and ancestors and put this to use in ensuring a healthy household when you get married and have children yourself. You have seen firsthand the kind of damage that can be done, but you have the power to put an end to this intergenerational trauma by ensuring that it does not continue past you. Remain firm in your faith and afford your wife and children their rights. Recognize the signs that you see in your father that if you see them coming out in yourself, you are fully aware of the consequences so can stop yourself. This is where remaining firm in your religion is key and to do so at this early stage will sow the seeds for success, in sha Allah.

Do also remember that it’s ok to seek support from outside the home. Of course it would be most ideal to get support for such intimate matters as masturbation from someone close like your father, but if he can’t fulfill this for you, then don’t hesitate to see it from elsewhere. Your local imam would be a good person to turn to who could give you the honest support and direction you need with such matters that are also in line with Islam.

May Allah reward your efforts to make things easier for your parents. May He erase the trauma from your family’s life and guide you all on the straight path. May He ease all your affairs and grant you a life of happiness in this life and the next.

Question 2. Changing faith

How so difficult someone to change religion and how to explain Islam is the ultimate religion?


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

This is a good question that as Muslims we all need to be concerned about. It is our duty to spread the word of Islam. However, it is also important that we do so in a way that is compatible with Islam and in line with what Allah has enjoined upon us.

There are many ways to approach people about this and there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration in doing so. Something to consider first are: how well do you know the person? How strong are they in any current faith they have? Are they open minded to learning about new things? These are some of the most important things to have in mind before embarking on this conversation with them.

As I said, there are many ways to go about this depending on who the person is, but the following are ways that you could approach it. If possible, you could even take a stepped approach that incorporates all of these things.

On one level, you can simply be yourself with them. Be kind and approachable. Let them see the good manners and character of a righteous Muslim. Let them see the beauty of Islam through your good character. Build a positive relationship with them so that they can see this first hand. Don’t be afraid to practice in front of them. If it’s time to pray, let them see you praying and that this is a part of your life. If you are fasting and they invite you to eat, decline and inform them why. This can often comfortably lead to healthy discussion about Islam as they become curious and ask questions about what you are doing. Your gentle response to them will allow your character to shine whilst also educating them about Islam.

Similarly, educating people about Islam without being pushy or forceful can be a way to guide people to Islam. This way, you are not forcing people to Islam as this could have quite the opposite effect, but will open their eyes to something that they didn’t know about so that they can make the decision themselves. Sometimes people simply don’t have the knowledge or are afraid of what they don’t know, or as is often the case have ranted views based on what they see in the media. By educating people gentle and sensitively about Islam they will realize that its nothing to be scared of and that what they see in the media isn’t all true after all!

Of course, there is much to learn about Islam, so it maybe that you just pick out the key snippets that are important to share and will do make them want to learn more. By offering them something, but not taking a huge amount of their time to do so, this may open the doors to further questions and a curiosity that makes them want to learn more. This way, you don’t have to overwhelm them with too much information, but provide a gateway for them to seek more knowledge themselves. They may ask you questions, or maybe you could direct them to online sources or books where they can learn more.

In another completely different approach, but in that might work better with certain people, particularly perhaps those who are more resistant would be to refute their beliefs with evidence from Islam. However, with this sort of approach, you would need to be very firm in your faith and also very knowledgeable yourself as they may ask questions that you yourself could not adequately answer.

It is important that you are well equipped if this is the case as it could become dangerous if things become too confrontational which the last thing you want is. Be careful not to come across as insulting their beliefs that they probably hold very strongly. In the case that it becomes somewhat of a debate, friendly or not, you need to be very sure that you are spreading the correct knowledge, and not something false which would not only be detrimental to holding such conversations with others, but also to your own faith too.

In either case, especially the latter, you might make the conversation smoother by focusing on shared beliefs. The other person may hold shared beliefs and values with you that are compatible with Islam, whether it be an engrained religious belief or a general moral belief that could potentially be shared between Muslims and non-Muslims alike, maybe something as simple as the importance of being kind to others or giving in charity. It may be that the non-Muslim you approach has no religious background at all, but strongly believes in giving in charity for example. Use this as a shared value to initiate conversation with this as a topic of interest.

Also, on the other side, if they then chose to accept Islam, make sure you provide the ongoing support that they will need, as a new revert to Islam. They will have lots of doubts and questions especially at the beginning. It may cause hardship upon them for a time, especially of their family and friends do not agree with their choice. This is when the new revert really needs a source of support in dealing with this, whether the support is direct, or you have somewhere to point them if you are unable to help.

May Allah reward your desire to spread the word of Islam and fulfill the commands of Allah. May He make your journey a smooth one that will please Him.

Question 3. Intrusive thoughts

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. I get intrusive thoughts that make me really tiring in my mind. Things that aren’t true at all but I get scared that they will become a real something in the future. For example if Iam attracted to the same gender or a family member. (Of course this is not true AT ALL). These thoughts make me feel really bad. How can I stop this?


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This certainly sounds like you are experiencing the whispers of Shaytan (waswas). As I’m sure you are aware, these thoughts can be incredibly disturbing especially when they interfere with daily life so dramatically. Unfortunately this is something that most of us suffer from to some extent or another at some point.

However, the good news is that there are many solutions to this. The main thing is that you stay firm in your faith and do not let such thoughts take you away from this foundation.  It may sound easier said than done, but there are many techniques that you can use and you are sure to find a solution to this, in sha Allah.

The first step is to increase your remembrance of Allah. Do this bit by bit so as not to overwhelm yourself. If you try to do too much too quickly you will burn out and lose it all! Here I will suggest some and you chose which to do and build on them and add more as you are able. Firstly, ensure your obligatory acts of worship are in order. Make sure you are praying on time and doing so with khushr, concentrating on the words you say and finding personal meaning in them. From here, you might add in the various voluntary prayers throughout the course of the day. You might also make dhikr throughout the day, particularly in the moments where not much going on and you may be more vulnerable to having the intrusive thoughts you have been having.

Likewise, introducing all the various duas that you can say throughout the day as a means of protection such as those we say before entering and leaving the bathroom, or the house, before and after eating … etc. This ensures that Allah is at the forefront of your mind in every action you do. Satan will not like this and will try to make you forget or be distracted so you might consider using post notes nearby as a reminder until it becomes a habit.

Also, make sure to fill idle time with something useful. This might come in the form of reading the Quran, maybe a few ayahs or pages at a time depending on your ability and making this a daily habit. Again, this will repel Satan and also have you working on something daily. Perhaps you might set recitation or memorization goals to make this a task that you feel motivated to go to each day. Likewise with study. If you have the time, signing up to an Islamic studies course can help achieve the same goals as well as potentially connect you with other sisters who will help to keep you strong in faith also.

All of the above techniques work by getting you closer to Allah by increasing you in the numerous acts of worship available. It might also be said that they provide a conducive means of distraction from such thoughts by keeping busy in other more useful things. If you still struggle with the odd thought another technique is quite the opposite and is instead to actually pay attention to the intrusive thought but without acting on it of course.

Sometimes the act of avoidance can actually make the intensive thoughts even stronger and difficult to push away, so an alternative technique to try is to just stop and pay attention to the intrusive thought without pushing it away. Allow the thought to come and then allow it to pass. Just because you allowed the thought to enter your mind, you do have the control not to act on it. You have the power to do that. This is also a way to show Shaytan that he does not have that control over you and you have remained firm.

So, as you can see, there are many ways that you can help yourself to overcome these intrusive thoughts. In sha Allah you will be able to use some of these to help rid yourself of such intrusive thoughts.

May Allah reward your journey on the path to please Him. May He make it easy for you and may you find great pleasure in getting closer to Him.

Question 4. Tired of life and afraid of death

Aoa. This happened 3 months ago. Suddenly i feel something very evil in my heart. I was doubtful about Islam nauzubillah. But Allah guided me through Quran. Then I was doubting the aqeedas etc. But Allah guided me again. I was reading quran continusly and there was hellfire for the disbelievers and I got so scared. Now I can’t even do anything normally. I’m always thinking. I can’t pray namaz like I used to. I mean that i am scared but in a very unusual way. I sleep is almost non existent and I can’t go to any psychologist.

I want to help my ma around the house. I feel like I should live. But I feel dead. I keep on wishing to die. I feel useless. Lethargic. I know Allah is very generous and merciful but my thoughts kept repeating in a visious cycle. Now I feel numb towards life but still scared of my life and death.

I want to have a good opinion of Allah tabaraktala. But life means trials and I don’t feel the energy for even helping around the kitchen or even taking bath seems so hard. Alhamdulilah due to Allah’s blessing, my ma keeps an eye that I must continue praying. Allah tala is Continuously helping me.

I want to get up and help around the house. Feel genuinely happy. Love Allah and Nabi SAW.

Everyday i saw tomorrow. Ewen reading Quran makes my heartbeat high because I’m afraid that my mind goes back into spirals about Allah.

I was a very firm believer who changed herself as Allah willed. But now I’m sooooo sad that I cannot think like that anymore. I’m afraid I can’t do anything properly. I’ve become useless. It’s like my mind is telling me that you are going to jahanum, there is no use of anything.

I’m fasting a lot. I feel my heart is physical getting weaker as well.

I’ve become very negative. I think that it be good if I die. But still I’m afraid of death and hellfire. I look at people around me having so much hope and love for Allah and I long for that and feel so hopeless. I make lots of duas as well. But then I get tired.

I sometimes feel good about muslims but I don’t feel that connection with Muslims even normal humans. When I learn about tragedies, I think about myself.


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

I understand that you are struggling with your faith a lot at the moment and that it is causing you great distress. I do, however, want to begin by drawing out the positives that I also picked up from this. I understand that you are feeling down right now, but, Alhamdulillah, I can also see that, despite this, you are able to relate some positive things too. I hope that, in sha Allah, this attitude will help provide you with the steps that you need to take towards a more content life than you are experiencing now.

The 2 key things I’m picking upon here that you should take advantage of. Firstly, you are clearly able to recognize that there is a problem going on here, you are able to express it very well, and you are looking for help with it rather than brushing it under the rug and running away like there is no problem. This will absolutely instill hope in you that things can and will get better because you recognize the problem and are willing to do something about it.

Secondly, and again, very importantly, you have the support of your mother. It is so important to have the support of others during times of crisis. Not everyone has this luxury, but Alhamdulillah, your mother is at your side, taking care of you and encouraging you to pray. This is truly a blessing in your life. People who do not have this support can easily go astray, but at least you have someone by your side to give you that encouragement. Most amazingly, it is your mother, and you live with her, so you don’t even need to make the effort to reach out as she is always there by your side. Alhamdulillah. I just wanted to begin by highlighting these positives in your life that can become so easy to overlook when faced with such distress. Inshallah, these things will serve as stepping stones to help you overcome your difficulties.

Regarding what you have presented, it does seem like you are either experiencing depression or waswasa, or perhaps even both. I would suggest seeing your doctor and/or a counselor to get their assessment on this and whether it is depression or not, but I do also understand that perhaps this is not an option for you. In sha Allah at some point perhaps you will find the means to make this move as a feel this is something that you need to provide you with ongoing professional support that is appropriate to your needs. However, in the meantime, I hope I can give you a couple of pointers to lessen the burden for you for now.

I feel like perhaps if you can address your intrusive thoughts that do seem to be coming from Shaytan, this will hopefully impact your motivation to do things around the house as you desire to. I understand that you are trying in that you are praying, reading the Quran, and fasting, ma sha Allah. This definitely the right thing to be doing, but it seems that unfortunately your intrusive thoughts occur whilst you are doing these things. Firstly, I would suggest keeping at it. Do not let Shaytan win! Don’t let the intrusive thoughts stop you from doing these blessed acts of worship. It’s not an easy thing to do, but the rewards are so great that it’s well worth fighting the thoughts and continuing regardless of the struggle. After all, did Allah not promise us that He would test us? It seems that this is your test to prove to Allah that He means more to you and that you will never give up and will press on for His sake.

Ma sha Allah, despite the struggle, you did not give up on your obligations and your faith, and you have your mother to provide the additional support too, so perhaps the next step is to gradually add more acts of worship as and when you are ready, which will, in sha Allah, strengthen those that you are doing as well as add something fresh to your routine. Revive some sunnahs in your life, pray voluntary prayers, don’t forget your morning and evening adhkar, and say all the duas prescribed for all the little actions you do throughout the day, such as entering and leaving the bathroom and the house, before and after you eat, etc.

Something else that would indeed be particularly beneficial to you would be to sign up for some kind of Islamic studies course, whether online or in person, depending on what’s available to you. Not only is this another means of getting closer to Allah through increasing your knowledge, but it’s something new and exciting that could help with your depression, if indeed that’s what you have. Not only that, but it also provides a means to connect with other sisters who will also be able to provide additional motivation as you work together towards the same target. You’d probably make new friends as well, which, again, is crucial to maintaining your psychological wellbeing and will be important in overcoming your current feelings.

May Allah make things easier for you and carve a path out of your difficulties. May He reward your every struggle for His pleasure. May Allah guide you to a journey of success and happiness in this life and the next.

Thursday, Jan. 05, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.
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.