Change Your Life with Self-Awareness (Youth Counseling Session) | About Islam
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Change Your Life with Self-Awareness (Youth Counseling Session)

Session Guest

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.


Thursday, Jul. 11, 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 Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Aisha for answering the questions.


Assalamu alaikum, I'm really tired of feeling lazy to pray when the tine of prayer has come in public, because I dont want to look like a freak to them if I do this. I saw on Youtube a Muslim woman who prayed in public places of New York and people came and mocked her, and since I saw it, I started to feel insecure of myself and Insafe. Hence I started to pray only at home.

My question is: how can I be careless of what others think of me? And how to start praying in public without fearing others? If someone mocks me while I pray, can I beat the hell out of him for mocking me? Or what should I do if they will start to mock me?



As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session brother.  I am not sure of your situation in regard to prayer. Praying in public can be accommodated based on the situation insha’Allah.

 

Prayer Space

Usually one can find a private space to pray at their job. If this is not work related and it is just a matter of praying the prayer on time when you’re out in public, there are many options. You may find an Islamic restaurant, Masjid, or other semi-private place to make your prayer. Also, if you’re not going to be out for very long and it is before the next prayer, you may wait till you get home.

 

Islamophobia and Prayer in Public

With all the current Islamophobia that is going on, it is understandable that you may be afraid to pray in public. However, there are many people who do pray in public. Most of the time people do not say anything and other times they make fun of the person or actually harm them. It all depends on where you live and the tolerance levels. One thing we should keep in mind though is that we should only fear Allah and be concerned with what Allah thinks about us. With that said we should also use common sense and be mindful of our safety as well. However pleasing Allah comes first.

 

Learning to Pray in Public

You asked about how to start praying in public without fearing others. As I’m not sure what you mean about public, I will try to provide the best response for your situation. I will kindly recommend that you do find a more private place to pray as indicated above. This has more to do with your concentration on your prayer and a quieter area has less distractions. With that said, a more private area may be considered public if it is not in the Masjid or home. Insha’Allah you may also wish to seek out other Muslim brothers to pray with or talk with brothers at your Masjid who are familiar with praying in your community and can offer real time tips.

 

Addressing Questions or Mocking

You may wish to think about how important praying is to you. By thinking about the importance of prayer it will strengthen your resolve insha’Allah. Additionally, you may be inspired by this reflection and it can lead to your knowing a correct response when somebody asks you what you’re doing or why you were praying. A simple response is usually best. If somebody approaches you and mocks you, you may wish to either ignore them or after prayer indicate that they may not understand the importance of prayer to you and that is okay.  You may wish to ask them if they would like to know why prayer is so important to you. This could either lead to a conversation (dawah) or they may not know how to respond and walk away. They could keep mocking you and in this case, it would be best to walk away.

 

Reflecting Islam

Regarding your response, it should reflect Islam. Think of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and how he would respond in a situation like that. Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) usually responded with kindness. Your question of whether or not you can you beat the hell out of people for mocking you, well yes you can, but as a Muslim- no. This would not be reflective of our character brother. You are to defend yourself of course but to just beat up someone who mocks you-no. The prophet (PBUH) did not do that. I kindly suggest that insha’Allah you read more about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). By learning more about his life and how he handled different situations will help you learn how to handle situations that you may encounter, especially ones concerning praying. A good book to read is called “The Sealed Nectar”. It is very inspirational and has a lot of examples from which we can learn from.

 

Conclusion

Brother this may be a new situation for you and it is understandable that you may feel unsafe or fearful. Please do know however that these are normal feelings. Please talk with the brothers at your Masjid for area specific tips, reflect upon your responses in regard to the importance of prayer to help you formulate a response if needed. Read more about how our prophet (PBUH) handled conflict and prayer situations. Make duaa to Allah for guidance and protection. Insha’Allah, you will get used to praying in a place that is public or has people there who are not Muslim. After a while it may even feel natural to you. We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.

 


I love a guy too much and it is genuine and pure enough. That guy was a senior to me. We have spent a good time together but now he has no interest on me. He walked away after having sex and said he can't provide anything other than friendship. He can marry me out of guilt but he will never love me. I asked him to meet me and spend qualitative time with me so that the present scenario may change and hence he might fall in love with me.

But he denied the fact and said he wants to stay alone and does not want to talk to me at all. His behavior of pushing me away always has caused great pain to me for which I even sought for suicidal attempts. I had a child in me because of him but I suffered a miscarriage. We were in haraam relationship for almost a year after which he went away telling that he has no feelings and no interest in me. He says had God wanted us together he could have put feelings in him but it is not that way.

Hence, God's indication is that he is assigned for some other woman in life. But after whatever has happened with me I can't see him with any other woman. What should I do?



As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session sister. It seems that you are in a difficult emotional situation. As I understand, you were in a relationship with a man for about a year. As you had sex you did become pregnant but lost the child. I am so sorry about the loss of your child, I can imagine it hurt you deeply. At this point the man wants nothing to do with you.

 

Believe what is said

Sister, this man states that he does not love you and cannot provide anything other than friendship. Sister, I would have to agree with this man. He obviously has no feelings, no remorse, no guilt, nor any sense of responsibility for his actions towards you. He seems very cold and not in touch with his human side concerning compassion, and certainly not his Islamic side. Please do believe him when he says he doesn’t have feelings for you and given his character-be thankful.  He did offer friendship but given his bad qualities and his coldness, I would not want or recommend someone like that as a friend.

 

Repentance

Sister I am not sure if you have repented to Allah for your behavior concerning zina which you know of course is a sin. If you have not done so, please do go to Allah and repent. Allah is most merciful and by setting your relationship straight with Allah, will help you in your quest to overcome your feelings for this guy.

 

Hurt and Longing

Sister I understand how hurt you must feel. However, as you know, this is why these types of relationships are sinful and haram. They often end up in very hurtful situation such as this. This man probably had no intentions of marrying you to begin with. He had no business engaging in sex with you and leading you astray, being that he is a lot older than you. You on the other hand however, are still accountable for your actions. However, as this man is an elder it seems he has taken advantage of you. The hurt and longing you feel will go away as you begin to see him as he truly is-deceptive and sinful.

 

Moving on

Sister I would strongly encourage you in addition to repenting, to move on with your life. I am sure you do not want somebody like him as a husband or even a friend. He sounds like a very horrible, cold person. I am sure that you want more in a husband than that. I am sure that you would like someone who is loving, kind, responsible and will lead you on the path of Islam not lead you on the path to hell.

 

Hell in this Life and Hereafter

Sister, given what you experienced with this man, life with him would be hell this life and may lead you to hell in the hereafter. It sounds like if you were to marry him he would be a most horrible husband and make your life a misery. Please do look at the situation from the outside. If you had a younger sister that came to you asking you this question what would you advise her? Would you look at his character and say “oh yes he sounds like a wonderful man what a great loss”, or would you see that this man is not a good person?

 

Conclusion

Sister often times our emotions can cloud our judgment and our ability to analyze a situation. If you step back from your emotions (which is hard to do right now I understand), you would see clearly that Allah does not wish for you to be with this man. It may not because he is such a wonderful man, but because he is such a horrible man. Allah wants better for you sister, please be patient. Please repentant if you haven’t already, look at the situation from a third-person perspective, and make duaa for clarity. Insha’Allah you will begin to realize that a wonderful life awaits you as you renew your relationship with Allah, set your affairs straight, and seek that which is good and wonderful for you. You are in our prayers we wish you the best.

 


Assalam o alaikum! I am engaged to my cousin. I accepted this engagement for my elders. My other cousin loves me so much and asked for my hand through his mother but was not accepted due to their status only. But he has all the good qualities of a good Muslim. I also liked him but I couldn't do anything.

I always pray for my parents and fiance and my cousin which I like. The problem is that he loved so much deeper that he can't forget me. He doesn't tell anyone because he doesn't want to cause troubles in others lives but whenever i see his posts without letting him know i feel heartbroken as sometimes these are so sad but no one can understand these posts except me. We are not in any type of contact. I am not nikah yet.

My question is that can i just give him some advice for Allah sake. Can I just console him through the islamic way . I pray for him but yet i feel hurt in my heart. Kindly guide me.



As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session sister. I am sorry to hear about your situation. In reading your question what caught my attention was that you stated you accepted your current engagement for your elders. As you did not expand on that, I’m not really sure what you mean, however I hope you are not marrying your cousin only to please your family.

 

Marriage is an Important Step

Marriage is a very important step in life. It is pertinent that when considering marriage, you choose somebody who you like. It is important that you have things in common and are compatible. Sister from what it sounds like, you still have feelings for your other cousin whom you are writing about. You stated he has all the qualities of a good Muslim and that you like him, but you couldn’t do anything. I take this to mean that you are pressure to marry your other cousin to please your parents and family. As you are not yet married I would kindly advise you insha’Allah to think about this situation. Going into a marriage just to please parents and family is not always a good idea, especially if you do not like the person, you do not know the person, or you feel you are incompatible. In your case you already like your other cousin and think about him all the time. Perhaps this cousin is the one that you should marry. You stated that he did ask for your hand in marriage however it was not accepted due to their status. This is not an Islamic reason to turn down a marriage.

 

Speak with Parents

Sister if possible, I will kindly ask you to speak with your parents about your feelings. Please do use the Qur’an and hadiths to illustrate who is permissible for marriage and what qualities they should have. While status is one quality that may be sought, a pious Muslim always comes first. One may have high status yet not be a practicing Muslim. While one may have high status, there may be compatibility or other issues. I would kindly ask that insha’Allah, you ask your parents to reconsider their position regarding your other cousin.

 

Engaged with Feelings for Another

Going into a marriage and having feelings for someone else is not recommended. You may wish to call off the engagement, so you and your family may work this out. On the other hand, as you are 26 years old and you are not a minor, you are able to make your own decision regarding who you will marry.

 

Pleasing Parents vs Future Marriage

Pleasing parents is paramount in Islam as you know, however it is your right to marry who you want as long as they are Islamically permissible to you. You do not need your parents’ permission although that would be nice. What is extremely important here, is your future, your happiness and of course your deen. It is also not fair to your other cousin who you are engaged to. Your heart does not appear to be with this engagement. In consideration of these things it is important that you marry someone that you would like to marry. Insha’Allah, please do consider calling off the marriage and speak with your parents about these facts in a respectful way.

 

Heartbroken Posts

I understand your concern right now about seeing your cousins’ posts and how heartbroken he feels, as well as how you feel. In this time however, please do not contact him as it is haram because you are engaged. You need to take care of this current engagement situation first (if you chose), speak with your parents, set your intentions, and make duaa to Allah for direction.

 

Choices

If you do decide to call off the marriage and speak with your parents and they are agreeable after you have provided Islamic proofs to your right to marry who you want, you may wish to have a family member contact his family. Insha’Allah he will still be available for marriage. If your family does not agree, you must take that big step in deciding what to do. You could go forth with a marriage you may not want which may hurt you in the future, or you could choose to marry the cousin that you do like and wish to marry. In either case sister there will be sacrifices and tests.

 

Conclusion

Please make duaa to Allah and chose the marriage path that will produce the most successful marriage, and the one that would be the best for your Islam. We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.


Assalam Alaikum. I like a girl for a few months. We are classmates. We use to talk to each other daily like friends. I am thinking about asking her parents for her hand right after I graduate from college, but I am confused.

The problem is that although she is very kind, pretty, good Muslim she does not wear Hijab. Despite all, I can't get rid of thinking of her. As I guy I have this jealousy thing too. Should I get married to her? How can I encourage her to wear Hijab? Will Allah hold me accountable if she doesn't wear Hijab?



As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our live session brother. As I understand your situation you are classmates with a girl whom you have liked for the past few months. You are thinking about asking for her hand in marriage after you graduate from college, but you are confused. You state that she is very kind, pretty, and a good Muslim but she does not wear a hijab.

 

Non-Hijab Muslima

Brother if she is a good Muslim, keeps her prayers, fasts during Ramadan, treats other people with respect, kindness, and caring, guards her chastity and modesty, does works of charity, as well as other Islamic requirements and attributes, then insha’Allah you may seriously consider marrying her. While not wearing a hijab is not in alignment with what Muslim women are supposed to follow, it is certainly not an indication of her being a bad Muslim. There are some sisters who do wear hijab all the time as well as abaya’s for covering, yet they do not keep their prayers, or they may engage in backbiting, gossiping about others, or other sinful behaviors. What I’m trying to explain is that a Muslims exterior does not always reflect the interior heart and spirituality.

 

Character and Goodness

Brother, I kindly urge you to get to know her in a halal way to determine her character first. If her character is as you say, she would make a wonderful wife insha’Allah. In time you may wish to speak to her about wearing hijab. Perhaps not wearing hijab is common in her family. It may be that it is not something that she truly thought deeply about, and instead focused on her relationship with Allah, kindness to others, as well as other nice qualities that Muslim women should have. It may be that when you do discuss hijab with her insha’Allah, she will understand its significance and importance. You may wish to explain this to her from a spiritual perspective rather than one from a jealous position (as you stated you were jealous) so she does not feel as if it is a condition or order. Insha’Allah she will respond favorably. If she does not, however, you may wish to consider whether or not all of her good qualities outweigh this one deficit. When considering this please do consider your issues with jealousy to ensure that you would be able to treat her with respect and dignity should she decide not to wear hijab.

 

Marriage, Trust, Jealousy

As marriage is built on kindness, trust, and mercy, Insha’Allah anyone that is your wife (hijab or no hijab) you should have trust in. Usually, jealousy stems from one’s own lack of self-esteem and fear of losing something or someone. In this case, it is related to the showing of hair and sexual attraction because of it, and possible fear of loss. Insha’Allah if you do decide to approach her for marriage and you do discuss hijab, you may wish to point out the spiritual requirements as well as give her illustrations of the prophet’s wives as well as current illustrations of Muslim women in today’s society. You may also wish to examine if it is jealousy that bothers you about her not wearing hijab. Hijab is not meant to benefit a husband in terms of jealousy but is between a woman and her Lord.  If you are concerned that she is not in compliance with hijab and you worry about her spirituality, that is more reasonable. Please do examine your motives regarding her wearing a hijab.

 

Accountability for One’s Wife

As far as Allah holding you accountable if she does not wear hijab, it is my understanding that we are all individually accountable to Allah for what we do or don’t do. Given this premise, she will be accountable to Allah not you. However, I am not in Islamic scholar so please do ask our “Ask the Scholar” section for further clarification on this.

 

Conclusion

Brother, she sounds like a wonderful sister and it sounds as if she would make a good wife insha’Allah. She sounds very pious and of a good character. Please do get to know her and her family in a halal way before making a final decision. If you find that indeed her character is what you think it is, insha’Allah discuss the hijab with her. Please respect what she chooses regarding wearing the hijab. It is actually between her and Allah. If you decide to accept her not wearing a hijab and decided to focus on her inner spirituality and goodness and kindness and her relationship with Allah, alhamdulillah. If you feel that you cannot get over worrying about her deen, or jealousy about her hair being shown, perhaps you should think of marrying somebody who does wear a hijab. Whichever way it works out brother, may Allah bless you in your efforts.


One week ago my husband and I got into a fight about our daughters. They were playing "dressing up" and were wearing makeup which my husband did not like; however, I feel a girl should be comfortable at home. I tried to explain to him that they only do this at home, but they are not allowed to do this anywhere else.

The girls are well aware of it and agreed to it. He did not like it, and the argument turned into yelling, and he smacked me. I was so shocked and so upset. Now, the only time we talk is when he needs something; I can't break the ice. I feel so let down by him, and I don't know what to do. Should I wait until he talks to me about it or should I approach him? I feel like if I approach him, I accept what he did to me, which I don't.



As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session sister. I am sorry to hear about the fight that your husband and you had over your daughters. It is even more disturbing to hear that he hit you. While it is common for couples to argue periodically in a marriage, it is totally unacceptable to use violence as a means to express anger.

 

Islam and Domestic Violence

As you know, in Islam violence against a wife is forbidden. If we look at our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we can see that he treated all his wives with tenderness and the utmost respect and kindness. He even stated that “the best among you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you as I am the best to mine”.  Additionally, there are many verses and hadith referring to treating wives with mercy, kindness, and tenderness. Regarding the verse in al-Nisa 4:34 regarding a husband hitting a wife, it states he should admonish her, forsaking her in bed and as a last resort hit her. Hitting one’s wife in the Qur’an is not as most understand it today. The term hitting is meant in the context of not causing pain, injury or harshness. In fact, some hadith refer to using a siwak which is very small and would be more like a tap, not a hit. It is clear however that the prophet (PBUH) was kind and non-violent even with those who sought to harm him with the exception of battle and even then, there were rules which centered around treating captured prisoners with kindness.

 

Anger Issues

Sister, you stated the argument started because your daughters were playing dress up and wearing makeup.  Your husband did not like this. I do not know how old your children are sister, but I do agree with you that the children should feel comfortable in their home and be free to play dress up and try new things as long as it is not haram. Playing with makeup is not haram, therefore your husband appears to have over reacted to the situation. It is quite possible based on your husband’s response which was so intense and turned violent, that there may be other things that are bothering him and making him angry. Surely little girls playing with makeup should not have resulted in such an intense argument and violence. Perhaps he is having problems on his job or elsewhere within his life. Despite this possibility, it is no excuse for him to hit you.

 

Speaking with Daughters

I am not sure if your children witnessed this violence, but I hope not. Being a victim of violence or witnessing violence within the home has a devastating effect on children. Insha’Allah you did speak with your daughters if they saw what happened and discuss with them how they are feeling, as well as from an Islamic perspective explain that it is haram for a husband to hit a wife. Please do use the Quran and Hadith to illustrate to your daughter’s how women should be treated. In addition to your well-being and safety, your girls need to know that yelling, severe arguments and domestic violence are not acceptable ways of living and it is not acceptable for a husband to treat his wife like that. You don’t want them to grow up thinking that this is the norm.

 

Moving Forward

As far as your husband goes, I would kindly suggest that you do approach him insha’Allah. This is not a signal that you accept what happened sister, but a way to ensure this does not happen again-ever. It is being proactive. You may want to request that the two of you sit down and talk about what happened. I kindly suggest that you use the Quran and Hadith for proofs and foundations for a non-violent marriage. You may want to discuss the way the prophet (PBUH) treated his wives and mention that he never hit them. As most men strive to be like our beloved Prophet (PBUH), perhaps this will remind him. Inshallah he will sincerely apologize for this one incident and you can move on. However, I do suggest that you both go for marriage counseling to learn more effective communication techniques. It is also recommended that your husband go for counseling to deal with his anger and learn how to manage it in a better way.

 

Domestic Violence

Should this happen again sister I would highly suggest that you consider separating. Oftentimes domestic violence continues if there is no intervention. Domestic violence does tend to get worse with time, and your safety and your children’s safety is a priority. Please do speak with him about the seriousness of domestic violence both spiritually and legally, as well as the possibility of going for counseling. Ensure that he knows you love him, but he should also understand you will not be a victim of domestic violence. You are in our prayers dear sister, please do let us know how things turn out.


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