Family, Ramadan, and Quarantine – Counseling Session

Salaam `Alaikum dear 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.

You can find the answers below:

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2020 | 08:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.
DISCLAIMER
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  





Q:

How to deal with a husband who is now at home 24/7 during Ramadan? Since the first day of Ramadan, my husband has been argumentative and impatient. It’s driving me up the wall as I have a toddler and a newborn baby to look after as well.

The argument escalates if he asks me a question and I respond to it if I sit quietly then he gets annoyed for not responding its a loose loose situation. I’m dreading the rest of Ramadan with him.

A:

Ramadan Mubarak sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. I am so sorry to hear about what you are experiencing with your husband. I can imagine you feel very frustrated and hurt. We often expect our spouse to be a source of comfort, and that is not always the case.

Lockdown and Ramadan

 As yes we are living in a lockdown as well as it is Ramadan, things can get a little bit tense to say the least. A lot of families are having to deal with short tempers, irritability, and arguments due to being all together in the home 24/7. While Ramadan is our most joyful and holy month, fasting can also affect our mood sometimes, and we become irritable which adds to the already tense situation.

Finding a Peaceful Spot in the Home

I kindly suggest to my dear sister that you find a place or room in the home that your husband does not frequent very much. Fix it up so that is comfortable for you and represents a place of peace. When things get a little heated between you and your husband, insha’Allah you can always go to this little place and regroup, calm down and take a few breaths.

To Speak or Not to Speak

I understand that your situation is conflicted.  If you respond he escalates and if you sit quietly he gets annoyed, so you feel like it is a no-win situation. However, if you could find the responses which will keep him calm, you might want to utilize that technique.

While it is not advisable to respond in a way that is not natural for you, or one that you do not agree with, it can be done in a way that does not betray your feelings yet does not trigger him.

Trigger Points

As we are living in a tense situation in society right now, people are getting triggered very easily. Try to identify what your husband’s trigger points are and try to not feed into them.

You may also wish to suggest to your husband that the two of you read Qur’an, pray, take a walk together, or engage in some other spiritual and enjoyable time. This may get his thoughts turned back on a more positive note.

Conclusion

Sister, insha’Allah this lockdown will end soon. There is so much stress surrounding it. Please do try the tips, insha’Allah they will work. If at any time however you feel unsafe, please do call 911 or seek help immediately.

At this time, more and more cases of domestic violence are going on as well as child abuse. Women need to know to call for help should they be in this situation.

Make duaa to Allah to grant you ease, protection, and blessings. Insha’Allah your situation will be resolved soon dear sister.  Please let us know how you are. We wish you the best dear sister.


Q:

Salaams counselor, This Ramadan I’m planning to get my 8-year- old son to fast insha’Allah. But while we are talking he asked me “Why do I have to fast in Ramadan when I’m still a kid?” I need your advice, what is the best answer I can give to him on such a question. Thank you!

A:

Ramadan Mubarak sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. Your son actually does not have to start fasting in Ramadan until he is of puberty age. However, if you would like to get him use to fasting at this age, you may wish to explain to him why we fast, the benefits of fasting as well as the obligation we have to do so as Muslims.

According to AboutIslam (1) “full knowledge should be shared about the etiquettes of fasting like observing good behavior, helping the needy, avoiding excess talking or use of abusive language, offering prayers on time besides others. A clear understanding should be given on the importance of Suhur and Iftar as well.”

Teaching Children to Pleae Allah

You may wish to get some children’s books which are age appropriate to read with him. You may explain that by starting to fast now-even for short periods, he will begin to get use to fasting and may even enjoy it as it pleases Allah and has so many blessings.

Support and Tips-other Children Fasting

If there are other children fasting, you may wish to see if there is an online group of kids who are meeting (with a moderator of course)-to discuss Islam and their fasting experiences.

Partial Day Fasts

You may wish to implement a partial day fast for him and let him build up to a full day as he is able. Ideally, having him get up with the family for Suhoor and starting his fast then will prepare him well for the day both physically and spiritually. However, if he choses a different schedule I would kindly suggest letting him decide.

Letting your Child Choose

I would kindly recommend insha’Allah that you let your son determine the times and lengths he will fast. By letting him choose, he may develop a stronger bond with fasting. If you force him or deny him a choice at this point, he may become turned away from the concept of fasting.

Conclusion

As fasting is not obligatory for your son yet-your goal insha’Allah is to educate him spiritually as well as physically (health benefits).  Provide social support by connecting him with his peers who are trying out fasting (online), create an environment wherein he feels comfortable fasting, and praise him for his efforts.

By praising him for his efforts even though it may fall short from what you may wish for-you are giving him the confidence to go a little longer the next day!  We wish you both the best.

1. https://aboutislam.net/family-life/moms-dads/easing-kids-ramadan-fasting-steps/


Q:

I have two kids aged 6 and one just turned 3.I got married earlier and completed my studies during this time very hardly and stressfully. Allah has blessed me with a good mind and I love studies.

I want to be someone proudly working for Allah and people. I want to take a very competitive exam in my county next year in February. I want to focus on that together with kids and household but my husband wants another child and says you can do this with three kids.

I know how I passed my university. He begins to add Islam and hadith to make me understand that I need to produce a child. What should I do?

A:

Ramadan Mubarak sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation you have two children who are ages 6 and 3. You have completed your studies successfully, however it was very stressful for you but Allah blessed you with a love for studying and a good mind.

Your desire is to be someone who works for Allah and the people. Sister you should be so proud of yourself for all that effort, hard work and sacrifice!  Congratulations! I know that was not easy, but you did it!

Desire to be of Service to Others-Husband wants another Baby

You stated you want to help others and be of service in the helping capacity. You have worked very hard towards this goal and you hope to take a very competitive exam next February.

The issue at hand is that your husband now wants another child and feel you that you can’t do this exam with three children based on the stress and difficulties you experienced finishing your studies with two.

Stress-Free Examination

Sister, only you Know your capacity to handle stressors. You sound like a really good mom, wife, and Muslim. It seems that you do have your life on the track that you would like it, and one of your goals is to take this exam.

As you are successfully managing all other aspects in your life and this is something that you truly desire to do, it is your right to be able to take this exam as stress-free as possible. You have accomplished so much and worked so hard to reach this point of being able to take your exam, it would not make sense to throw away or put this opportunity at risk right now.

Ready or Not-Third Child

Sister, if you feel you are not ready for another child at this moment for whatever reason, that is your right. Nobody can or should try to force you to have a child if you are not ready yet.

Additionally, it is not being selfish if you decide that you would like to wait. It is your body, your decision. Many couples decide to put off having children for a variety of reason. Some couples space the birth of their children. There is nothing wrong with that.

Speak with Husband

I would kindly suggest sister that you sit down with your husband and discuss points concerning another time that you would be willing to have another child. Marriage is comprised of compromise and taking into consideration the wishes of both people, not just one.

You already have two children and a husband to take care of. While in some families it may not be a lot, it is still a big responsibility. If your path is seeking to help others and you need this exam to do so,  I kindly suggest you do pursue your dream.

It may be that you can have another child later, but it may not be that you can take the exam again. This may be your only opportunity and additionally as you recently graduated it is best to take the exam with study topics fresh in your mind.

Kindness and Compassion

Insha’Allah your husband will be supportive of your goals as you are of his. Insha’Allah he will exert compassion and kindness and be understanding of the importance of your dreams and goals.

Insha’Allah he will understand the importance of this exam and he will see that waiting a few extra months to conceive a child is not that much of a length of time. This is not just his decision it is yours as well, and you have every right to decide when you would like to have another child.  We wish you the best.


Q:

Hi, I have a question about mother-daughter relationships.

It is so frequent that my mother and I clash as a result of her bad temper and bad habits (sihir etc) that drives her to be irrational, almost terrifying when she is angry. She does not listen to reason and will shut me out and ignore me for days even when I have done nothing to disrespect her.

She threatens and uses religion to control me by saying things like I will never ‘approve’ of you and let me see you succeed when your own mother is not rathiya on you. She wishes I fail in my life. She’s very abusive since I was little (both physically and mentally) and I struggle to have a relationship with her because of the way things are.

My question is: how do I deal with this? Will God stop accepting my prayers when she threatens and says things like this? Is it so wrong that I can’t find it my heart to forgive her? I never argue or talk back only tries to explain the situation better.

Thanks for your time!

A:

Ramadan Mubarak sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. I’m really sorry to hear what you have been going through. I can imagine you feel so hurt, confused, scared, and not really sure what to do at this point. Sister, mother, and daughter relationships can be very temperamental, yet contain so much love. Yours is a special situation because your mom is abusive and possibly suffering from mental health issues.

Emotional Abuse

The one thing about mother and daughter relationships is that mothers and daughters love each other very much despite clashes and arguments. As I understand your situation your mom has a very bad temper and bad habits. You state that she is terrified when she is angry and that she does not listen to reason.

You stated that she sometimes shuts you out for days even you’ve done nothing wrong. She also threatened you and uses religion to control you by saying she’ll never approve of you.

Possible Mental Health Issues

Sister just from what you have basically stated in your question it sounds like your mom is suffering from a mental illness. There could be other things they’re going on with her that perhaps you have not disclosed or perhaps she has not told you about but she really does need to see a mental health specialist.

Talk with Family about getting Help

If at all possible I would kindly suggest that you talked with your father or someone else who is close with you and your mom or even just your mom.

Perhaps someone in the family can convince her to go for a mental health evaluation. As she does use religion in various ways, you may wish to illustrate how Allah helps those who help themselves.

By stating that, it is meant that Allah helps us because He is so merciful, however when we see something is wrong or something is not right, we need to do everything within our power to help ourselves as well. In your mom’s case she may not realize she needs help, however if she’s made aware that she needs need help, it is incumbent upon her to seek it out.

Not your Fault

Sister, I can understand this is very hard on you. I can imagine this hurts very much. Please know that it is not your fault. Despite the way she acts, your mom does love you very much, and she does want to see you succeed in life and she is very proud of you.

I am very sorry that she has been abusive to you since you were young. No child should have to go through this. It is very sad also that those around your mother who saw her behaviors and the way she was did not get help for her.  It is even worse that you were not protected from her abuse. Indeed, it is a travesty.

Allah Loves You

Sister Allah will not stop accepting your prayers when she threatens you. Allah looks at your heart. Allah knows you have been abused, He knows your pain and suffering and Allah cares.

Also, it is not your fault that you cannot find it in your heart to forgive her right now. You are in an abusive situation and you are not on a healing path yet, therefore, it is hard to forgive. Sister, please know that Allah loves you very much and He understands.

Conclusion

Sister, please find a family member or close family friend to try to get your mom in for counseling as soon as possible. If she is resistive you may want to educate yourself on mental illness, abuse, as well as how to handle your mother now that you are an adult.

You may wish to seek out support groups in your area for adult survivors of child abuse or adult children with parents who have a mental illness. These groups can be very helpful and teach new ways of coping, learning new skills, and separating the reality from the illusions.

I kindly suggest that you try to learn her mental health triggers and avoid them. I understand this is no way to live but if she will not get the counseling you may have to either modify your interactions with her (to stay safe) or move out.

Perhaps there is a relative you can stay with? I also suggest you get counseling dear sister. You have been through a lot and counseling can help you on the path to healing from all this trauma.

Insha’Allah your mom gets help but if she does not-please do get help for yourself. Make duaa to Allah that He move your mom in the right direction to address her issues as well as Allah pour His blessings and protection on you.

We wish you the best dear sister.