Question 1-5

Q:

Salamu alaikum,

Due to social isolation measures, me and my husband now work from home. He is not used to it because he used to be out all the time and he isn’t enjoying staying at home.

He is becoming very aggressive and nervous towards our kids. I keep telling him to calm down but to no avail. He says he can’t control his anger and that he feels down and irritated. How can I help him?

A:

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I’m sorry to hear about the situation with your husband. These are very trying times with everyone sheltering in place at home. While it is not something that we are used to, most of us anyhow, it is not something that cannot be done.

Trying to Find a More Private Place in Home

Perhaps your husband needs to find a place in the home where it is more isolated and quieter. I am not sure how your home is set up but maybe if you could find a room for him where he can go during the day without disturbance would be more conducive.

If this is not possible perhaps having the eldest child help to keep the younger children entertained may help while you are both working. Calmness during work can be difficult when working at home with children.

However, a flip schedule may work well if the eldest child is too young to help. If possible, perhaps you can take turns working opposite hours to ensure there is a break for both of you and to ensure the children are taken care of. A break in routine on a daily basis may help.

If Permitted, Nearby Relatives or Daycare

I am not sure of the sheltering in place rules where you live but if you live next to relatives or there is a daycare (essential services) perhaps that is an option.

I know of several families who are using daycares as there is no other choice and they are essential workers. Im not sure how that would apply to your situation but it may be worth looking into for the time being.

Trying Times-Fear and Depression

Sister these are trying times. Perhaps this is a test from Allah swt, which will either bring us closer together as families for the sake Allah or will make us weaker and cause division.

I kindly advise that you speak with your husband about how he is feeling. Perhaps he is scared and worried about the future. This may cause some people to feel very irritable, nervous and angry. He has already told you he feels “down” (depressed). These types of negative emotions and actions can be rooted in fear.

Being Supportive

Sister try to provide a listening ear for your husband. Ensure he knows you are there for him should he feel like talking.

Be supportive but on the other hand don’t let him be emotionally abusive to the children or you. You may wish to suggest to him that you and he pray together along with the children as a family.

This will bring you strength and calm insha’Allah. Together, try to watch streaming Jummah services on TV/Computer when possible. See if there are Islamic groups online for Muslims struggling with feelings of depression, isolation, etc. This will be upbuilding and provide spiritual support and insha’Allah lessen the feelings of isolation.

Telecounseling

Sister, if his feelings and behaviors continue despite your efforts to find him his own space in the house, speaking with him and showing support, and drawing closer to Allah, please do look into Telecounseling to assist your husband in regards to his feelings.

Tele-counseling is available online as there is a stay in shelter order right now. Along with other medical services that have gone online, counseling also is available online.

Look into your options regarding this and speak to your husband about it. Your husband may find this very helpful in dealing with his emotions. Please do make duaa to Allah to help your husband cope, to grant mercy and ease. We wish you the best.


Q:

I’m a mother of 3 kids. They are feeling bored and isolated because we are forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. The problem is that my husband can’t stand their noise.

He is shouting and yelling at or hitting them. Kids are very afraid of him. Sometimes when I intervene to talk to him or take the child away, he tells me not to take the child away when he is disciplining him.

I try to stay strong but sometimes I feel I can’t handle it anymore. Leaving home is not an option because of the current crisis. Please help me what to do and how to deal with him?

A:

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I’m sorry to hear about what is going on in the home. This is a serious concern and has been presented publicly by various health officials worried about domestic violence, neglect, and abuse in the home.

Emotional & Physical Abuse of Children

Sister, I kindly advise you to speak with family or a close friend in the area to see if you and the children can stay with them. You need a safe place to take the kids. You cannot be sheltered in place with your children being abused. While there is a discipline for children, there’s also abuse. This does not sound like a safe or healthy situation.

Seeking a Safe Place

If there are relatives or a trusted friend whom you can stay with, or whom your husband could stay with, I highly advise separating. You may also want to contact your Masjid and speak with the Imam for guidance and suggestions for a place to stay if there is no one who can help you and your children.

I kindly suggest that you examine your city or county rules and options regarding sheltering in place and abusive situations. As every country, state, and region has different rules and options regarding this, you need to become familiar with your area’s resources.

Your children cannot remain in an abusive home-shelter in place or not-they must be protected. You are their protector right now dear sister.

Please do call the Child Abuse Prevention hotline (1), they will be a great resource for you sister. On an important note-move in your own way, do not tell your husband as he may become angrier and more abusive, be sure to erase all of your numbers, searches, etc. on your phone or computer.

Conclusion

Please do ask a family member or a trusted friend if you and the children can stay with them. During the shelter in there are exceptions and resources for emergencies such as what you are going through with the children. Call the hotline for help.

While it is understandable your husband is frustrated it is no reason to be emotionally or physically abusive. If this is new behavior in response to his own fears regarding the virus, or if it is not new behavior, it needs to be dealt with now.

Your children do not deserve this. You can deal with your husband later, right now your children need to be taken to a safe place. You are in my prayers; we wish you the best in this situation.

1. https://www.childhelp.org/hotline/


Q:

For the past month, my husband and I didn’t visit our parents due to “social distancing” measures. Although they need our care and help, we are afraid of visiting them and preferring to stay at home for their safety. We call them every day, however, I feel guilty. Please help me what to do?

A:

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I understand your concern about your parents. We are in a serious situation and they need to be protected and cared for. They are elderly and at a higher risk for getting covid-19 more severely.

Taking Care of Parents/Elders During Covid19

The social distancing measures are meant to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable such as the elderly. However, in most places you are allowed to visit your parents to make sure they are okay, help them with medical needs, food, and other things that they may require.

Please do check with your cities regulations on how to help your parents. In a lot of cases, the elderly cannot do the grocery shopping, buy the things that they need, and get to medical appointments in an emergency. They need help. We need to make sure that they are okay.

Concern for their Safety

While I understand you prefer to stay home for their safety, there are probably things that they need that you can help with.

For instance, how are they getting food and medication? How are they getting toiletries? If you and your husband are not socializing with other people and have been isolating then you should be okay to go help your parents without risking them.

I kindly suggest that you do consult a health official regarding this, however. They can offer tips for keeping your parents safe such as you and your husband wearing homemade masks, wearing gloves, keeping the appropriate distance while there, sanitizing things you touch at your parents, and so forth.

By using precautions, in most cases it should be safe to go help them. You also don’t want your parents in the position where they are going without needed supplies such as food and medication that would be dangerous.

Please do check with your local city and state laws about how you can provide services yourself or get help for them.

Fear in Elderly

I can imagine your parents are very afraid and alone right now. You and your husband’s presence would assure them and help them in their fears, this is important. If permitted, please do visit with them and assure them that they are not alone and that you are there for them and able to come to help them.

Conclusion

Sister, as I am not sure what country you live in and what the laws are regarding the shelter in place where you reside, please do find out, and proceed accordingly.

For instance, if there is no movement allowed out of the home for any reason then obviously you can’t go help them. Find out from the health officials how your patents can be assisted. If there is allowances to help parents or the elderly then you can certainly go.

Call your parents ahead of time ask them what groceries and things they may need for themselves in the home, and what medications need to be picked up. You may wish to do a weekly schedule for this to ensure their needs are met but be clear you will come if there is an emergency so they feel safer.

As our elderly are most vulnerable during these times they should not be left alone. I understand you check on them and talk to them every day, however, they probably have many unmet needs right now.

They are probably very scared and feeling alone and vulnerable. Please do what you can to take care of them in this most difficult time. May Allah protect you and your parents and grant ease.


Q:

I’m a Muslim for 13 years. I have 6 kids. I have been through depression by my so-called husband. All of a sudden he changed. He ignores me, he doesn’t talk to me only wants to know the kids. Complains when there’s no food. He wants me to be on psychotic medicines. I really don’t know what to do. My health is deteriorating.

A:

As salamu alaykum sister,

I am sorry to hear that you have been going through depression. As I understand your situation, you have been a Muslim for 13 years and you have six children. You state that suddenly your husband has changed, he ignores you, doesn’t want to talk to you, and only wants to interact with the children.

Husband wants wife to take Antipsychotic Meds

Sister, you stated your husband wants you to be on medication for psychosis. I am not sure if your husband is a doctor, specifically a psychiatrist. I am not understanding why he would say that he wants you on “antipsychotic” medication unless he is a psychiatrist and has evaluated you (which is still unethical).

Deteriorating Health Concerns

Sister, you did state that your health is deteriorating. I am not clear on what aspects that the deterioration is occurring, but please do consult with your family physician. It could be that you are depressed because of your husband’s sudden change towards you.

Also, in some manipulative relationships a husband (or even a wife), can make the other one feel as if they are crazy or have issues when it is really them.

As I don’t know your situation I can only advise you insha’Allah to make an appointment with your physician and discuss any concerns that you may have whether they are mental or physical concerns.

Possible Depression

If indeed you are depressed, counseling on a regular basis would be a great benefit. Sister depression is very common and millions of people have depression or have had it in the past. It is treatable, but you have to take the first step.

Perhaps you are not depressed but you are just irritated and sad about the situation with your husband. By seeing a counselor and getting an assessment you can determine what is truly going on and how to proceed from there.

Marriage Issues and COVID

Regarding your husband’s change of attitude with you, I would kindly suggest that you lovingly speak with him and ask him why he has suddenly changed. You may wish to ask him if he’s experiencing stress due to his job, unhappiness, fears, and so forth.

I’m not sure where you are located in regards to the COVID-19 lockdown, however, many families are experiencing stress during this time.

I will kindly suggest that when you speak to your husband try to be supportive in regards to his feelings and assure him that everything will be alright eventually. You may suggest that the two of you pray together more often, drawing closer to Allah as husband and wife. There is many blessing in this.

Possible Fears and Anger due to Covid19

Sister, your husband’s behaviors could be in response to deep-seated fears about is job, money, inability to support his family and so forth due to covid19 lockdown.

As he mentioned he gets upset when there is no food, perhaps he is feeling inadequate about being able to provide for the family, and sadly lashes out at you. While he may be feeling scared, that is no excuse to take it out on you and make it look like you are at fault. That needs to stop.

Conclusion

Sister, I kindly suggest that talk to your doctor and look into regularly scheduled counseling in your area to help you with your concerns. Talk with your husband about how he is feeling, the condition of your marriage and your desire to fix what is wrong.

Insha’Allah, see if he will go for marriage counseling as well as draw closer to Allah with you by praying together and reading Qur’an.

These times are very hard on families and couples in particular, and we need the blessings and strength from Allah swt to stay focused, healthy, and kind to each other.

We wish you the best.


Q:

As-salamu Alaikum,

My son is 3 years 3 moths old but doesn’t speak. I am Indian, but reside in Saudi Arabia; my younger son is just 1 month old. Last year’s vacation when I visited India during Ramadan2019, I consulted lots of pediatricians for his speech delay; he was 2 years 7 months. Every doctor said that my son is having autistic spectrum disorder.

His hearing test is normal, he is not deaf, but never responds when I speak to him, nor he follows any command if I tell him to bring a ball, or shut the door like a simple activity. He can’t even speak mamma. 11 months ago he could speak 10 to 15 words, but today he is totally silent.

He is busy in his own world, likes to play with toy cars, looking at the moving wheels only. All the time he jumps only on his knees. He didn’t give any response to me or baby after my delivery. As I was expecting some jealousy or sibling rivalry like a response.

I consulted doctors here in Riyadh also. They all are of the opinion that these are just toddler’s tantrums. Just speech delay but I’m so anxious and so worried about his future. I’m so depressed. I’m crying each day and night. My husband feels Indian doctors just have misguided us.

He is stick to Riyadh doctors, to wait and watch till 5 years of age. Every single day we argue on this topic, to start therapies for my son. But my husband not ready. Now I want to get admitted him to a school in the nursery at least, but he can’t even speak his name nor he is toilet trained.

No school will grant him admission. So I’m so worried, Should wait and watch will help? Is my husband right!!! Is this just my anxiety?

How can I convince him for therapy? Please give me suggestions. I’m having sleepless nights. Lots of headaches. Any Islamic speech on patience. Do you know any supplication for this situation? Thanks in advance.

A:

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I am sorry to hear about what you’re going through with your son not speaking. It is interesting that two different groups of doctors from two different areas in the world offer two different opinions.

Questions

I guess one of the questions I would have you consider is how was your son assessed by the pediatricians in Saudi Arabia? How was your son assessed in India? In order to come to a reliable diagnosis, observation and testing need to take place. Besides his hearing test, I’m not sure what else these doctors have done.

Son used to Say a Few Words, Now Does not Speak

What stands out for me is that you said that your son did say about 10 to 15 words about 11 months ago, but today is totally silent and in his own world. I am wondering if you can think back, and pinpoint anything that occurred during that time, 11 months ago when he stopped speaking.

More Questions

Did he get sick, did he have an allergic reaction to something, did he witness something traumatic, did he take a new medication? These are questions that may possibly give you a clue as to why he stopped talking. It is true that children do develop at different rates sometimes.

In your son’s case, he stopped talking and withdrew, even though he was saying a few words. Perhaps he has stopped for a while, only Allah knows. On the other hand, there are children who are slower to develop speech, but your son was progressing about a year ago and stopped.

Seek out a Consultation

I would kindly suggest sister that you consult an Autism specialist as one group of doctors felt he is on the autism spectrum. Someone who has concentrated experience in the area of Autism may be more helpful in either ruling out or confirming what the doctors in India feel.

The doctors in Saudi Arabia feel that he is having toddler tantrums. I am not a doctor, however for a two-year-old not to speak for a whole year when he previously spoke before and to become withdrawn, it does not sound like tantrums.

But again, I am not a doctor. Thus, I encourage you to seek out a separate independent opinion from an autism specialist. Please review this site for resources (1).

Other Conditions that may be Resolved

It may be that he does not have autism, but maybe your son has something else that can be resolved. Perhaps it has something to do with vocal cords, I am not sure, but the best track insha’ Allah would be to get another opinion from an autism expert.

Sister, I do not recommend waiting a few more years until he is five. It is something that needs to be addressed now insha’Allah. It could be he may need speech therapy, medication, or other intervention. It could be that to wait would make the situation worse concerning whatever is going on.

Conclusion

Sister, I understand that you want him to go to school, however, I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that you get this situation resolved first. I do not recommend waiting a few more years until he is five when it may be something that should be addressed now.

It could be he may need speech therapy, medication, or other intervention. It could be that waiting would make the situation worse concerning whatever it is. If it is autism, it will still need to be addressed educationally, and therapeutically.

It would also be very beneficial for you and his father to know how to raise and care for a child that is autistic if that is what he has. It would be to your benefit and more importantly your son’s, to get another evaluation and further education from a professional as soon as you can. We wish you the best.

1. https://www.autismspeaks.org/signs-autism

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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