Dear brothers and sisters,
Thank you for participating in the session.
Please find the 6 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.
Thank you for your understanding.
Assalamualaikum.I am 19 years old, currently about to get into a University, but I really want to be Muslim scholar. I have a strong dream about gathering Islamic knowledge from my childhood, and work in this sector…for that I even take a decision that, I don’t want to get marry in my future, I just wanted to be a knowledge seeker and also wanted to stay with my parents because I am the one and only child of my parents. But now days, my family members also thinking about my marriage, so I told them directly that I don’t want to get married. But they are not agree with that, even saying that as a Muslim, I shouldn’t had say something like that…If I say about my thoughts, I just didn’t wanted to get marry. I wanted to spend my time with gathering knowledge and practicing them. I feared that, If I spend my most of the time with learning, I may not be able to give time to my family, after marriage, as a wife, as a mother. So, I take this decision. Please help me, so I get to know what should I do in this situation.
Salam alaikom dear sister,
Thank you for your letter. MashaAllah, it is a pleasure to read about your dreams of being a student of knowledge and dedicating your life to gaining knowledge and practicing the deen.
You perceive it as something that hardly can be combined with your role as a mother and wife, so right now you feel that you do not want to get married, despite the will of your parents.
Sister, I won’t be able to make a decision for you, and only Allah knows what your path on this Earth is. But I would like to share with you some thoughts that might help you see this inner conflict from another perspective.
Seeking knowledge for the sake of Allah and learning Islamic studies according to your abilities is a very noble goal. Actually, ideally, we all Muslims should spend at least some time from our lives to gain a basic and solid understanding of the teachings of Islam so that we can use them as guidance throughout our lives.
When you are young, surely, it is one of the best times for that. As you rightly point out, you might have fewer worldly obligations, more free time, and the mental capacity to learn and memorize the teachings of Arabic, the Quran, etc. Prophet Muhammad beautifully laid this down in his well-known hadith:
“Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” Shu’ab al-Imān 9767
So, if you are in this situation now, do not miss the opportunity and make the most of this time and this opportunity. Try to do it here and now without relying on the future, whose secrets only Allah /SWT) knows.
On the other hand, I would like to remind you of two ahadith that contain many wisdoms:
“When a man marries he has fulfilled half of the religion; so let him fear God regarding the remaining half.” Mishkat al-Masabih 3096
“Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” Sunan an-Nasa’i 3104
It might seem at first sight that we are destined for certain roles, excluding others, but there is much more to this advice.
It is also about finding the balance between theory and practice and putting into practice the deen and the knowledge you have gained. It will perfectly complement the real-life experience you will be gaining through your roles in life.
As a wife, mother, daughter, or, for example, a teacher, a doctor, or whatever field you wish to choose, you will strongly benefit from your Islamic knowledge and wisdom and will be greatly rewarded for practicing your deen.
The Prophet (pbuh) was called “the living Quran”, because he emulated the guidance of Allah by being present in many roles in life.
Subhanallah, he was a father, a husband of multiple wives, a community and political/military leader, a spiritual guide for all, and all this at once. He did not choose to leave or delegate any of these roles; rather, he gave us an example of how we can practice the deen perfectly while keeping our worldly duties and roles.
And, to be honest, this is a great achievement and a very inspiring example, as many times the real test is not learning but practicing the religion.
Also, he advised us against extremities in religion, like asceticism, to excess in worship, as our family, body, emotional needs, etc., have also rights on us.
So, dear sister, think about your goals in light of this. You might realize that it is not an either-or situation and that, probably, you can manage both if Allah has destined it for you.
I understand that the more you study Islam, the more you realize that it is an ocean of knowledge, subhanallah. Beside the authentic sources, there are the lifelong works produced by scholars, students of knowledge of the past and present, from a wide variety of fields of Islamic studies. Believe me, many of us have had the desire at least once to just “check out” for a while or stop the time to be able to learn all that we find interesting.
But Allah wants us to be here in this life and worship him through our roles in society as well. So, again, there is balance for that.
Here are some more practical tips.
As I said earlier, you might have free time now that you will not have in the future, so focus on gaining the most benefit from it by using it wisely and not delaying things for later. Also, think about wasting time in terms of learning something without putting it into practice through our behavior and interactions.
Try to learn now, when you have time for that, and try not to stress yourself if you have other roles to complete as well. Rather, try to see the wisdom of Allah behind it.
If you decide to marry later, point out your strong interest in religious studies before marriage and seek someone who you are compatible with, also in terms of religious and spiritual inclination and determination. You will grow together in the deen, in sha Allah, and support each other, as you will have goals in common in this life and the next.
I am not sure if I understand the part of your letter about entering university despite wanting to be a Muslim scholar. What would you study at that university? I suggest seeking the pleasure of Allah first when you are making choices about your career.
There is nothing wrong with gaining “worldly” knowledge that you can serve the community with, with the right intention, although there are certain fields that are less or not compatible with Islam. So, whether you train yourself as a Muslim scholar or another professional, make it with the right intention and do it for the sake of Allah and his worship.
I hope these tips helped. May Allah guide you and grant you success in this world and the Hereafter.
When I was in tenth grade a boy said something really disturbing out loud to me, he said something no really inappropriate to me and the whole class heard and became silent for the rest of the class. I was humiliated by what he said to me and never told anyone till now here. It haunted me for years and forever till I die really and I just want to know I why would Allah allow that to happen. I know humans by actions without Allah. But Allah did allow it to happen. He could have prevented it. So why let me be publicly humiliated like that. What was the point? Will I at least get rewarded in the hereafter for this trauma? Also why do I have to go through trauma to get rewarded, why can’t doing good deeds enough to get rewarded?
Salam alaikom sister,
Thank you for writing; Eid Mubarak to you!
I am sorry that you went through this, and this negative experience has been haunting you all these years. You felt really humiliated in front of others, and you really have a hard time getting over this.
You want to know why Allah allowed this to happen and whether you will be rewarded for this trauma.
Well, unfortunately, I won’t be able to answer why exactly Allah wanted you to do this, but it definitely happened for a purpose.
I know that a situation like this can be extremely uncomfortable and painful.
Although I would like you to point out that, according to what you present here, we are talking about the wrong behavior and error of another person, not yours. It was not your fault; it was a boy who said something inappropriate to you.
It was directed at you, and unfortunately, it affected you negatively, which is understandable. But, sister, it is not your fault or something you have to identify with. Dear sister, he will be accountable before Allah for humiliating a sister in deen in front of others.
Think about for a moment having a situation like this happen to a friend of yours: a boy says something wrong publicly about her. How would you feel about her? Would you identify her with those words for the rest of her life?
Is it her fault? Is it her shame or the one who was disrespectful to her?
Sister, those words surely do not represent you, so do not identify yourself with them. It is about the one who said them, so please try to move on.
If you feel that you have a hard time forgetting those words, you might ask yourself: What exactly was hurting you in that moment? Why did you find it painful? Is it somehow connected to an earlier life experience or a belief about yourself?
Think about the answers, and try to analyze why those words could hurt you. This could help you open up some possible beliefs about yourself and look at them from another point of view.
What was the point? I do not know for sure. Why is it not enough to do good deeds?
Because Allah said in the Quran that we are all going to be tested in this life and face trials and tribulations. The final purpose of these tests is to test our faith and our connection with Allah and to see whether we fully rely on Him and turn to Him for guidance in all matters of life.
“Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” Sahih Muslim 2999
These experiences can elevate our imaan and clean up our state, so, sister, we need to be grateful for them and see them as blessings.
So, here are some tips you can do:
If you think that you need to work on these feelings more deeply, please find a local counselor or someone online, preferably a Muslim one, who can offer you faith-based advice.
Try to forgive that boy. You know, holding on to those heavy feelings is not helping you move on. Forgiveness helps you to alleviate those weights. Just try to see him with mercy for his ignorance and wrongdoing, and make dua for him. Check out this and this article from our site.
I am not sure whether you get rewarded for the trauma or for the way you respond to it and bear it with patience and acceptance of your trials. Finally, sister, it is Allah who knows what is best for us, so trust wholeheartedly in His plan and destiny for you.
Turn to Allah and ask Him for guidance. You know, sister, that He is always watching and knows who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed. So, finally, what matters is how He sees you and how He loves you.
May Allah make it easy for you.
Possible courtship between Muslim man and non-Muslim woman? Is it possible?
I have met a Muslim man through work. He is divorced. We have discussed a possible courtship and I am not a woman of the book. I am however exploring Islam. We did discuss expectations. One concern I have that leads me to question my ability to convert is the sin of homosexuality. I have a nephew who is gay. I was told, if I were to pursue courtship and marriage, that my nephew and his husband would not be permitted to stay in my home. I struggle with this and the potential my religion could harm my nephew’s relationship with me and make him feel I do not accept him for who he is. I need advice on if this is haram?
Salam alaikom dear sister,
Thank you for writing.
First of all, I am very happy to hear that you are learning about Islam. May Allah guide you along the beautiful path of the religion.
You are also contemplating a marriage with a Muslim man.
As I understand it, there is an obstacle that prevents you from converting. You have a nephew who is homosexual and married to another man. You were told—I am not sure by whom, maybe by your future husband—that once you get married, they will not be permitted to stay at your house anymore.
And this feeling of not being permitted to accept him for who he is and that you may harm your relationship with him prevents you from proceeding further in converting.
Well, sister, I assume that you live in the West, in a non-Muslim country, where same-sex marriage and relationships are both morally and legally accepted by society.
On the other hand, religious communities, not only Muslims, have another view of this and follow another moral and ethical code regarding it.
I am a counselor and not a scholar, so please consider my opinion accordingly.
Well, in Islam, same-sex desire and attraction are not considered sins unless one acts upon them. In the eyes of Allah, this action is considered a sin, and a believer is expected to accept this, just like he is expected to accept other commands, regardless of what the trend in actual society is.
Please note that what religion considers sinful is homosexual behavior, not the attraction or the person who has these desires.
And this last one, in your case particularly, is very important.
As Muslims, we cannot condemn a person, only his sin, whatever it might be. None of the creatures of Allah deserve rejection or hate, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, because at the end of the day, only Allah knows what is in the hearts of each of us and what future He decides for each of us. Only He knows who He will guide and when.
Yes, as Muslims, we are supposed to love what Allah loves and hate what he hates, follow and enjoin what he commands, and try to prevent what He forbids. But this should not mean to hate another fellow human being, but his sin. There is always hope for a change of heart for everyone.
Furthermore, we Muslims also have to accept that Allah guides those who turn to Him for guidance and that there are some who won’t do that. If you live in a non-Muslim majority society where people can and do choose a lifestyle other than Islam, we do have to show respect for these choices. We maintain and explain our perspective when and where needed, without insults, provocation, or hatred.
There are some key words that are frequently misused: respect, approval, understanding, and agreement.
When we show respect for a non-Muslim’s (or even a Muslim’s) way of life, it does not necessarily mean that we approve of their behavior. And just because we show understanding for someone’s situation and struggle does not mean that we accept and agree with their choices.
Test of desires
In Islam, same-sex desire is considered a test of one’s desire, which is a huge one, and everyone who struggles with it and stays on the path of Allah will be abundantly rewarded. So, we should approach a struggling believer with understanding and a helpful attitude.
Actually, sister, in this sense, this test of desire is not distinct from the opposite sex desire for those who cannot control and keep it within the boundaries of marriage.
In Islam, marriage is only permitted between a man and a woman, and sexual relationships are only permitted among married couples. So, we, Muslims, do not “believe” in the possibility of same-sex marriages, even if they are legal in our country of residence.
And while certainly those who cannot control their desires and commit adultery have a halal option to act upon their desires in a marriage, many experience this as a huge struggle. Those who resist for the sake of Allah will be blessed with something else in return.
So, with this being said, I suggest the following:
- When you become a Muslim, you won’t have to cut off your relationship with your nephew. You may have a talk about this with him in the future and explain to him, always with kindness, what Islam thinks about marriage and relationships and that you still love him, but that personally you chose to follow the path of your Creator. You can explain how Islam sees this issue without offending or judging. Always remember what I have said above; that is not about the person.
- Regarding staying at your home with his husband: Well, sister, in my understanding, his concern might be showing affection and desire publicly between one another. We Muslims are discouraged from being excessively affectionate publicly and displaying even our halal desires for our spouses. This is to maintain a kind of modesty in society and prevent “fitna.” It is expected between a married man and a woman too.
- So, I would talk to your future husband about this and ask whether this is his concern or not. If yes, it is something understandable and is in line with Islamic teachings. So, you can arrive at a compromise: You may explain this to your nephew and ask him to avoid showing affection for his husband at your home. Would that be okay for your husband?
- Try to talk to your future husband and let him know how this makes you feel. He also needs to understand what Islam expects from him in this regard, especially in a non-Muslim environment. One thing is to reject the sin; another is to reject the person altogether. Talk to a local imam together to clear up any possible misconceptions.
- If you form a family in a non-Muslim society, this issue will come up sooner or later, so one cannot avoid this confrontation of values. We cannot ignore it; rather, we should use it as an opportunity to educate our children about the differences and the teachings of Islam.
- The most important thing, sister, is that you realize that there is one Creator and that Prophet Muhammad was His final messenger. He is the most Just. Let this certainty be the basis of your conversion; do it for your own sake and not let your relationship or others expectations influence you. It is between you and Allah. Trust in Him, turn to Him for guidance, and believe that He will help you when the time comes.
I hope this helps, may Allah grant you success.
Question 4. My husband has taken a second wife
My husband and I married almost 5 years ago. We have not been married before and are both older, I’m 47 and he’s 49. Neither of us have children. I am a revert, I converted nearly 2 years ago due to pressure from my husband to convert. I am Australian, living in the UK. My husband is Senegalese, we met online when he lived in Italy. He moved back to Senegal just before we got married. Due to our circumstances, we have never lived together, only spent time together, when I visited him in Italy and in Senegal. He has never visited me as he needs a visa to come to the UK and was denied one when we applied just after we got married. We married in a civil ceremony in Senegal, making the marriage legal and agreed to a monogamous marriage on the marriage certificate. We tried to have children, but due to my age, that was something that was always going to be difficult. Within the last year or so, he started talking about taking a second wife to have children with. I have never been happy about it and let him know my feelings on the issue, but he insisted it is his right to have multiple wives to have children with. He began searching for a wife and found one a few months ago. They communicated for a while and last Friday they married via proxy at a mosque. My husband has some businesses, all of which have been financed by me, but he cannot support me financially at all, and still relies on me to give him money occasionally (in the beginning, I was supporting him fully). His second wife is 25 years younger than him and Senegalese. Given all these circumstances and my lack of knowledge in Islam and what is due a wife, I feel he has knowingly deceived me and pressured me into situations. I also feel extremely hurt by him and am very worried that as he and his new wife are both Senegalese I will be discarded as the older white women who didn’t give him children and therefore is of no use anymore. Due to my age and that I have given him all my savings to buy land and build the businesses, which are all in his name, if I leave him, I will get nothing back of what I gave him and therefore am stuck in this marriage as the unwanted first wife. My heart is broken and I pray to Allah to leave this earthly life.
Salam alaikom dear sister,
Thank you for writing to us. I understand what you have been going through, and I am sorry that you feel heartbroken.
This situation seems complicated from moment number 1: You met online, he has never been able to visit you, and you have never been able to spend enough time together, live together, and bond together. You are not able to fulfill each other’s rights and act upon your duties, as you have limited capacity to be intimate with each other due to distance. You also add that he has never supported you financially, even though that would be his duty Islamically.
Sister, my first question is: What made you marry him? What have been your expectations? Why did you decide to proceed with a marriage plan despite the apparent obstacles?
You relate that you knew that due to your age and circumstances, having children together would be difficult.
And since last year, he has started to think about having children, therefore marrying a second wife, despite the fact that you had agreed upon a monogamous marriage.
Well, to be honest, having the desire for children and offspring is a legal and valid wish from both parties, and if that cannot happen, one might consider another marriage. This is something that does happen.
My second question is: Are you happy with this marriage? I mean, if we forget for a second about his second wife, is this the way you feel happy? Do you feel loved this way, even though you have constant physical distance, you gave up your savings for his business, which is now only in his name, and basically you can hardly be husband and wife?
Sister, I would like to give you the following advice:
I recommend you seek a counselor and work on your feelings of uselessness, unwantedness, and hopelessness. I think these feelings are more deeply rooted and connected to some kind of negative belief about yourself and your worth. Unfortunately, sometimes we carry on old wounds and create situations where we activate and hold on to these feelings.
If you are able to unpack the root of these feelings—with a professional—and change them for healthier ones, you might automatically realize what adjustments need to be made in your present relationships and how to avoid deceit in the future.
So, again, dear sister, please seek professional counseling, preferably with a Muslim specialist or with someone who is very well aware of the Islamic marriage culture and expectations.
Regarding your marriage:
Think about what would make you stay or leave in this relationship. What do you gain if you stay, and what would you lose if you choose to stay? Your mental health and disappointment also count, and it seems that the current situation triggers you and makes you feel bad.
Please try to consider the actual situation and not a preferred one. He remarried in his country and is about to form a family, have children, have used your savings, and is not supporting you as would be expected. What would make you stay?
You might talk to a lawyer, again, preferably a Muslim one, about your legal possibilities regarding your savings and your share in his business. Explore what options you have in case of a possible divorce.
Trust in Allah
Sister, maybe he was the reason for your conversion, but, alhamdulillah, you are a Muslim now and have Allah on your side. Know that He always loves you and will guide you if you turn to Him for guidance.
Find a community around you. In the UK, there is a huge Muslim community; try to find yours and involve yourself with them. Find sisters around and visit the masjid or some religious gatherings. You might find beautiful souls, and you can find worthy company while you learn about Islam more and get closer to Allah.
This will help you find your peace. Pray regularly, read the Quran, and remember Allah frequently, as our hearts find ease at His rememberance.
May Allah help you find peace within and in your dealings. Ameen
Question 4. How do I make it up to them?
I got into an argument with my parents and they’re not happy with my attitude. My parents also don’t want me to wear makeup anymore which they could only see because I was crying. But the thing is, I only wear makeup under my eyes to cover my extremely dark circles (I have inherited from my mother) and even my mother has once asked me what is wrong with your eyes when I wasn’t wearing makeup. The point is, they can’t even tell I’m wearing makeup and even my mum thinks I look ugly when I didn’t have the makeup on. They are also unhappy with the way I dress even though all my clothes are baggy so I don’t understand. This is an area of concern for me too, but during fajr prayer yesterday I pretended to do wuthu and returned to my room and to my bed. Moments later, my mum came in to see if I was praying but I was in my bed. Now she thinks I don’t pray. I admit that it was an evil deed, a sin but I don’t want them to know that I don’t pray (my prayer is very on and off). Inshaalah, Allah (swt) will guide me on the path of Islam. I’m going to try and pray all prayers today because it is something I really struggle with. What do I do? Because I’m not going to admit to them that I don’t pray. Yesterday when my mum came into my room, I said that I was lying in my bed for 5 minutes and then going to pray. But she doesn’t believe me. I’m planning to just apologize about the argument.
Salam alaikom sister,
Thank you for writing.
As I understand it, your parents are not happy with your attitude. They do not want you to wear makeup, and they do not like the way you dress. Further, they think that you do not pray. You say your prayers are on-off, but you do not want to admit it to them. You are planning to apologize for your argument.
Well, dear sister, I would say that there are two issues here.
First and foremost, your prayers, which you are aware should not be missed or delayed but which you have a hard time keeping up with regularly.
Sister, know that this can happen to any of us, as our hearts and iman are constantly changing. The more worship we do, the stronger our connection with Allah is, and the more regular and fulfilling our prayers and worship will be.
So, the first question would be: What are the reasons you think your prayers are on-off? What distracts you from worship? Do you have some doubts? Or do you need to combat “laziness? Please try to find the answer in order to be able to tackle this successfully.
You know, your faith is between you and Allah. It is not about your parents. It is about you. You do not need to pray to please them; but for your own sake. Even Allah is not in need of your prayers; He is the All-Powerful and the Source of All. But we are in need of turning to Him and asking for His guidance.
Prayer is a shield. It is the second pillar of Islam, the direct, daily, and regular connection to the Creator without intermediaries, subhanallah.
So, when you pray, and especially if you do it with sincerity and awareness, you strengthen your connection with Allah, and He protects you in between the two salats from the tricks of Shayateen. And think about the fact that, while your parents may not be aware, Allah certainly knows when you pray and when you abandon your salat.
So, sister, I kindly but strongly recommend that you turn back to your prayer, again, for yourself and not for your parents. As in the final day, they won’t be there to help you out, and we won’t be there to help them either:
“Be mindful of your Lord, and beware of a Day when no parent will be of any benefit to their child, nor will a child be of any benefit to their parent. Surely Allah’s promise is true. So do not let the life of this world deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver1 deceive you about Allah.” (Quran 31:33)
Try to identify your triggers; for example, if it is laziness and distraction, try to remove them for the sake of your prayer time. I mean social media, the Internet, chats, movies, etc.
And if they are more doubts, try to seek knowledge, find conviction in your faith, and finally find motivation to do regular worship.
Think about other worldly duties, like not being late from school, doing assignments on time, etc. Are you adhering to these duties, or are you also delaying them?
If yes, think about whether you are capable of being there for the sake of your teacher, for example, or doing things for the sake of your Creator. Does not He deserve your determination also?
About makeup, clothes, and your parents
Sister, I command you to resolve an issue with your parents. It is the right thing to do. It is normal that you have disagreements; the important thing is how you deal with them and whether you are able to discuss and settle conflict in a kind and loving manner.
It is OK to make a mistake, and it is even better to be able to ask for forgiveness by admitting your fault. And this goes not only for you, daughter, but also for your parents.
If you are able to admit your errors and they see that you are sincerely trying to work on and improve, they will be more understanding and willing to listen to you.
You need mutual understanding, and the key is communication. Talk to them without fighting. Let them understand you and that wehre are you coming from. At the same time, be open and try to understand their perspective. Try to consult and discuss matters with empathy and openness.
If you approach them this way, they also might be more accepting of your choices. Probably what they want is to guide you and protect you from possible harm. But there is always an alternative and a middle path.
You might use make-up in certain situations, and with the right intention and using clothing that you like, you feel comfortable in it and, at the same time, also please Allah.
I hope these tips help. May Allah bless you! Eid Mubarak!
Question 5. Family problems
I live in a very unhappy family. I don’t find in a peace here. My parents aren’t compatible to each other at other. I have seen them fighting since I was a little kid. I was raised up by a nanny. My mother used to live in USA. She used to send money to our family from there. My father had a good job. But he resigned from it for some reason. So, my family has great financial problem. They fight about money and all other things in the world. II am about to finish my high school. By the grace of Allah, I am one of the top student of my school. But now I am finding it very difficult to concentrate in my studies. When they fight, I get traumatized. I have depression and anxiety problems. They are getting worse.. I am losing my connection to Allah. Please help by advising me what I can do in this situation. I have become spiritually detached and lazy. Pleases help me
Salam alaikom dear sister,
Thank you for writing to us. I am really sorry that you have to witness the constant fights between your parents. It is quite understandable that this affects you negatively, causing mental health problems like depression and anxiety. And on top of that, it affects your relationship with Allah.
Sister, do not lose hope. I know that your parents and everything that happens to them can greatly affect you, and it is difficult to distance yourself emotionally from their struggles.
I am sorry that you are struggling as a family financially, but certainly disputes won’t solve this problem. You know, Allah tests all of us, and marital issues or financial struggles are some of those tests.
At the same time, we have to realize that Allah is the Source and Settler of Peace, and He is Al-Rizq, the Provider. All our provision comes from Him or with His permission.
What I would like you to understand is that while they are your parents, they are a married couple, a husband and wife, and they might have their disagreements and problems. Yes, they should find the right way to deal with them and avoid fighting. And actually, it is their responsibility to settle their arguments and find compromise for the sake of Allah and their family.
But if for some reason they cannot do that, know that it is neither your fault nor your responsibility. You do not need to blame yourself and feel that somehow it is on your shoulders to solve their problems.
With this being said, I advise the following:
Let Them Know How You Feel
They need to realize that their behavior negatively affects you and your health.
Talk to them when things are calm and quiet. Without blaming or judging, just try to let them know the impact of their fights on you. Tell them how it makes you feel, that it causes you anxiety and depression, and that you can hardly concentrate on your studies.
Ask them if you really would like them to settle some kind of peace at home, at least for you and out of respect for each other for the sake of Allah.
It would be great if they could turn to a counselor or a mediator who would help them find a compromise and see things from each other’s perspective. You can try to encourage them to seek help. Depending on your locality, some Muslim communities offer these types of services at a low cost or for free.
Focus on Yourself
At the same time, I advise you to focus on yourself and your well-being. Start with your relationship with Allah. Try to get back to Allah and know that He is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing, so he is very well aware of your struggles.
Just pray to Him and ask Him for guidance and patience.
Meanwhile, it would also be great if you could also speak to a counselor and get advice on how to strengthen your mental health in a situation like this. You can try self-help books online or in the library about this, with content about healthy boundaries or how to get rid of negative self-talk, for example: this, this or this.
And if you feel depressed, hopeless, and too anxious, please seek professional help and try talk therapy. Again, there must be some at a low cost for students around you, in sha Allah.
Until you find peace at home, you can try some practical tips:
Try not to study at home, where there is a negative atmosphere. Check out the school or local library; you may find tranquility there.
Check out the local masjid or sisters’ circle to find more peace of mind and to be able to connect with others.
Changing your focus from family issues would be good for you: have a walk, do some exercise, listen to Islamic lectures, read a book in a park, whatever helps you to distract yourself mentally from their troubles.
I hope these tips will help you, may Allah grant you peace, Ameen.
Question 6. Family ties
salam alykom my qustion is regarding my family. i am thankfull to allah for having them and they are nice to me in a way. i have been failing and doing alot of mistakes in this dunya such as failing school and being in trouble in the outside world. i have changed alot i try but i dont give it my best. my sister and father always treat me like a loser everytime i walk in the room or sit with them they get quit as if they were talking not good about me. i understand that i am going threw a bad time in my life and that all they are saying is deserved because i have been a disapointment. the question is is it haram to stay away from them especilly my sister we always argue and i just dont want to be speaking to her at all. i would rather not talk to her not out of hate but to avoid problems and because i feel that she is fake person to me. is it haram to not speak to them unless they have spoken to me. i dont hate her but i dont like her as a person. i only love her as a sister. other then that my life is better with out her
Salam alaikom brother,
Thank you for writing.
I am sorry that you feel treated like a loser by your father and sister.
You admit that you have made some mistakes in the past. But you have also changed a lot, and you try your best, even if you do not always succeed.
And what I would like to point out is this: you have changed a lot and tried your best. Brother, finally, this is what matters.
The past is over, and yes, you cannot blur it, but you can certainly change for the better. After repenting and seeking Allah’s forgiveness, this is what you can do.
Thnik about: what would be the point if there was no possibility to regret and to be forgiven?
That is why Allah says multiple times in the Quran that he is All-Forgiving and He loves to forgive. And All-forgiving means that He forgives ALL, including your mistakes.
Now what happens is that sometimes people have harder times forgiving, which, to be honest, should not be the case. If Allah, the All-Powerful, can forgive, we, as humans, should be able to do that and not hang on to the past mistakes of our loved ones.
So, what I would like to say, brother, is that
- Seek the pleasure of Allah. It is He who matters, and you need to please him first and foremost. Yes, our family and a good relationship are very important, but the most important thing is that you find your peace in your repentance and move on by striving to do it better.
- You may know that Allah does not like cutting kinship; it is even prohibited here.
Of course, we cannot have the same relationship with all our family; with some, we will feel closer, while with others, we will have more disagreement and conflict.
It is OK to feel that you are somehow not compatible with your sister, but at the same time, Allah advises us to reconcile our disagreements:
“The believers are but one brotherhood, so make peace between your brothers. And be mindful of Allah so you may be shown mercy.” (Quran 49:10)
“Those who believe and put their trust in their Lord; who avoid major sins and shameful deeds, and forgive when angered; who respond to their Lord, establish prayer, conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, and donate from what We have provided for them; and who enforce justice when wronged. The reward of an evil deed is its equivalent. But whoever pardons and seeks reconciliation, then their reward is with Allah. He certainly does not like the wrongdoers. (Quran 42: 36-40)
I am a counselor, not a scholar, but I would say that it is better for you if you try to settle into a good relationship with your sister.
You may not be best friends, and you do not need to be. But it is always good to know that you are there for each other and can support each other when needed.
What you might do is try to get closer to her and find out what makes her behave this way. Probably there are many unspoken words behind.
Tell her that you would like to have a good relationship with her for the sake of Allah. Ask her what does she would need in order o have that. Also, how her behavior make you feel? She might not realize that it hurts you.
What could be behind her attitude? Maybe she disliked some past mistakes of yours, and it took her time to realize that she should not identify you with your mistakes.
And yes, there is no need to argue and blame each other. Try to find ways to talk about your disagreements in a constructive way, searching for solutions together instead of focusing on the past or on what went wrong.
I am sure that if you admit your mistakes, take responsibility for your present behavior, and show willingness, you will come across as a mature, grown-up adult, and you will be taken more seriously.
At the same time, I want to reassure you, brother, that we are all on this journey, and it is a life-long one. We might fall and then wake up, and this goes to your sister and others as well. Focus on your own improvement and ask your sister kindly to do the same.
May Allah help you on your way.
Monday, Apr. 24, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT
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