Counseling Live Session with Hannah

Thank you for sending us your questions. Thank you sister Hannah for answering them. Read below the counselor’s answers:

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What do you think of sharing my children’s photos online? I see many parents doing it, and I feel like the black sheep, but I do not like the idea. As a psychologist, do you see any harm in it?

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

At the end of the day this is your choice, however there are many things to consider here from many perspectives also.

Firstly, please remember that just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t mean that you must too. It also doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do and that you are wrong for not following the everyone else. You should make a choice based on your own values, not everyone else’s. After all, for whatever may or may not come of it, you will be the one held accountable, not anyone else.

Do also remember that these are pictures of your children, not you, and as minors they may not be aware of this or any possible harm that could come of it now, but in later years they may become upset that you shared their pictures publicly without their consent. Also, be aware that the digital footprint now means that even after you delete these pictures, they will be available someone for years to come.

From a safety perspective, it’s important to consider the potential consequences that could come of sharing photos publicly too. In fact it is something that is even taught in school curriculums now in order to instill these considerations from a young age. As adults, raided in a time when such opportunities were not available we can be quite oblivious to some of the dangers that can come from sharing photos. In this case, you are talking about sharing your children and potentially exposing them to these dangers; dangers that you yourself may even be unaware of or oblivious too.

From an Islamic perspective, it is generally recommended not to share such pictures publicly for risking the possibility of afflicting the person in the picture with evil eye.

With these factors in mind, consider what benefits, if any, you may get from sharing your children’s pictures? Of course, it’s also important to consider the potential negatives of sharing them also. Consider both possible choices and consequences of both and use this to decide the most favourable option. Whilst doing this, it’s important that you also consider the benefits and costs from your childrens perspective also, both in the immediate and near future.

Additionally, you might think about some alternative. For example, you might consider only sharing photos privately with friends and family you can trust, but not sharing them publicly. This way you are avoiding exposing yourself and your children to the many dangers that come with public sharing, yet still get to share the pictures that you would like to.

Depending on your children’s ages, you should consider consulting with them and get their opinion on it.

Additionally, there are now plenty of opportunities to sign up to training in Internet safety. You may even find its being offered locally via your children’s school. Take advantage of an opportunity like this to learn more about these things in order to make a more informed decision based on facts. You may feel like you know enough but with technology rapidly evolving, you will probably be surprised about the things that you don’t know too.

May Allah guide you to make the best decision that is best for you and your children and most pleasing to Him. May He continue to protect you from the trials of this life and keep you safe in this world and the next.

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How does my child get affected by seeing his or her parents kissing or hugging each other? I have grown up in an environment where I never saw my parents touching each other in any way, however I often read in psychological magazines that it would be actually good if children saw such affections at home, so they become sensitive, emotional people themselves. What do you think?

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

This one can be tough on a number of levels. In your case, as someone who was not exposed to physical affection between your parents, this has probably lead you to have the attitude that it is not OK to show such affection in front of children and would probably make you very uncomfortable to even think of beginning to show affection openly in front of your own children too. This is a perfectly natural attitude to have given your upbringing. This doesn’t necessarily make it right or wrong, but it is important to understand that you attitudes and feelings towards it likely stem from your own upbringing.

On the other hand, as you have mentioned, being affectionate with your spouse in front of the children (within boundaries of course) can have its benefits too in that it let’s them know that it’s OK and even healthy to be like this with your spouse and will encourage them to have loving relationships with their spouse in the future by making this behaviour more `normal’.

However, that’s not to say that they can’t have loving relationships of they are not exposed to it as a child, but as you have experienced first hand, it might make things a little more uncomfortable. It may even be argued that considering children are not yet so knowledgeable about this, they may take this out of context and start engaging in such behaviour inappropriately with someone who they shouldn’t be, or in an inappropriate place, or taking it to a new and inappropriate level.

You don’t need to force yourself to do something that is different to, in fact, a better starting point for both you and them would be to educate them on matters related to it. For example, teaching them about appropriate and inappropriate contact with mahrams and non-mahrams, as well as what the awrah is and how we should treat out own and others. This will set the stage for you all with regards to what OK and not and in what context and will make you comfortable within your and with your children’s behaviour in terms of behaving in a way that is acceptable to all and in line with Islamic values.

May Allah reward your concern for raising your children in the correct you and may He guide you to what is best for you and most pleasing to Him in this life and the next.

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Salam.

I have been married since 10 month.it was a love marriage after a lot of struggle.but after nikkah he is not showing any love or affection to me.he have a best friend who is a girl.he like to spend time with her. When I asked him about it , he told me that she is highly deppresed so he have to give support ..alse she is taking antidepressants..initially I supported him for supporting her.but later am not able..

he is avoiding me becoz of her to such an extend that am not able to tolerate. we both are in same college but we are not walking or spending time together .he is always with her.i have to asked him a lot to spend time with me.he will always say one or other excuses to avoid me like migraine headache, work etc..after 10 month of marriage we both have outing only twice..but during that time he was so lovely and caring..we don’t have sex till now, . I told about his attitude towards me to my mother and they then advised him ..he told me and my parents that he will change but till now he didn’t..nw my parents told me to divorse.. actually did he love me..? I don’t know what to do.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

You are quite right to be concerned in this situation. Perhaps he really is having some kind of health problems and this is why he is not being as forefront with you as you’d like, however, this is no excuse for his behaviour with this other woman. For him to be having such contact with someone other than those that he is permitted to is not acceptable. I don’t doubt that she needs some kind of support and that he feels there is nothing untoward in their interactions, but this does not make it OK for him to be the one who is having this contact with her.

Shaytān will happily take advantage of situations like this and turn it into something beyond where it is now. This is the very reason why free mixing is not permitted in Islam. People can have pure intentions, but Shaytān is wise and very able to break people out of that intention. This is why such interactions can be so dangerous. If she needs support, there are plenty of other people she could turn to for more appropriate support. Aside from this, the effects are already creeping into your own marriage. He may still see that he’s doing nothing wrong with her, but the fact is impacting on your marriage is a problem.

Alhamdulillah that you have the support of your family and that he does seem to realise that there may be some problem here as he has promised to change (even if until now he hasn’t). Now, you don’t have to take their advice, but it’s always useful to have support close by in case you do eventually make the choice to walk away. However, in the meantime, it is perhaps better to not be so hasty in just walking away just yet. Do give your relationship a chance first and try to make it work so that you don’t walk away with regrets. If you walked away this soon, you may look back and wished you’d done something more or given it more time first before making such a big decision.

What he is doing is not acceptable and the 2 of you should take time to really discuss it and the impact its having on your marriage. Be open and honest with him about it. Your marriage is still new and you don’t have any children yet. Take advantage of these times to really get to know each other and spend time together. Organise date nights together regularly. Perhaps even organise one without him knowing and surprise him. Make memories together. Even try doing something new together or go somewhere new that you will both enjoy and create these memories.

As you form this stronger relationship, in sha Allah, the intimacy with naturally soon follow.

Do give things time to develop and don’t expect change to be immediate. However, do expect and notice any small change. If you notice no change at all after a certain amount of time, then you might start thinking of alternatives.

Firstly, you might consider counselling to get the support and assistance of someone who doesn’t know either of you. This way neither of you can feel like the meeting is bias towards one or another as it would be if family were present.

If, after all this he is still not making change and your relationship is not showing any signs of improving then you might consider walking away as an option. Make sure that if you take this choice, you don’t do so lightly. Consider it deeply and take the matter to Allah.

May Allah guide you to what is best. May He guide your husband on the right path. May He make you the coolness of each others eyes in this life and the next.

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Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

I am a Muslim(Alhamdulilah) I got married to my Husband who took his Shahadah. We have been married for almost two years now. We have a beautiful son(Alhamdulilah 6months old). My husband plays video games all the time, Not conscious of Prayer time or learning more about the Deen. He can not fast because he is diabetic. We don’t pray together because he does not know what to say, but not showing effort in learning also. I don’t want my son to grow up, and think it’s okay to delay your prayers or not pray.

What do I do???? please!!

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

You are right to be concerned about the message that your husband is putting across to your child if you want him to grow up to be an upright, Allah fearing young man. However, at the same time, do also try and understand things from your husbands perspective too. He is relatively new to Islam and perhaps feels a little intimidated by every thing that is new, beginning with prayer and not knowing what to say at this time. Perhaps she does not yet understand the importance of matters such as praying on time. There is so much to learn about Islam and even the most basic of things that are different from life as a non-Muslim can seem daunting.

New Muslims require a lot of support, both in the home and outside too. You might begin by supporting him within the home by directing to simple materials where he can learn the basics bit by bit. Also, just because he doesn’t know how to pray or what to say does not mean that he cannot join in with you and just follow the motions for now. He can learn small words bit by bit and integrate it into prayer. Support him by doing online courses in Islam together (you may even find yourself learning something new too!). This will be good for his learning and increasing his knowledge of the Deen, but also shows him that you care and are there to support him on this journey. It will be great for your relationship to be working on these things together too. It may even be an opportunity for him to meet other brother online too.

As well as in the online space, you can encourage and support him in making new friends that are Muslims. If your local masjid is open, encourage him to attend. This way he will be able to make new connections with. Other brothers whilst also learning how to pray through observation. They may even be offering classes or get togethers there that he could become involved in too.

Otherwise, why not invite your friends and their spouses over (within local guideline restrictions and segregated of course!) and let this be an opportunity for him to mix with other brothers too. This way he will be able to ask questions to other brothers of he should have any as well as integrate into the general Islamic lifestyle. In sha Allah, these brothers would be a good influence on him with regards to encouraging prayer on time. It is also perhaps a more natural way to learn about Islam that does not involve reading from a textbook. Some people find this is a more helpful way to learn about the Deen, or is at least a good compliment to reading from the textbooks too.

These approaches are also useful because it takes a stance that is less forceful and is more encouraging. To make him feel bad about his actions, or lack of, may only turn him away from Islam. To gently support him both in the house and out of the house is more likely to have a bigger impact on him and lead him to engage more and make changes by himself. Such changes are more likely to be lasting since he has been the one to make the moves himself with your support.

May Allah reward your concern for your husband and child and may He support you in supporting your husband. May He make your journey in Islam together one that will strengthen your bonds together and in Islam too.

Tuesday, May. 25, 2021 | 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

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