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Family & Youth Counseling Q/A Session

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for participating in the session.

Please find the 7 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.

Question 1. Marriage

I don’t want to marry the guy my parents want me, as I am not pleased with his deen. In my (community) one cannot marry outside. So, the guy has to be someone from my community only, no matter he has got deen or not. My parents say because his family background is good, the guy is perfect, not understanding the point that the two of us our completely opposite. ALHAMDULILLAH BIIZANILLAH I am studying deen, and a student of Quran tafseer… and even my family is a practicing Muslim family, but they cannot at any cost break this custom of marrying within our community, as they will be expelled from it. Not just this, we have many cultural things too in our marriage ceremonies, completely taken from Hinduism. Even if I talk to my grandparents about this, I fear I will be made shut, and will be pressurized about marrying that guy only, and I have already lost my esteem before my parents, I have contacted a local aalim of my area to talk to my parents but he said he cannot help as this is a family issue, and of he says anything, he will be blamed that he is the one who is saying me to do this. To add something about that guy, he mixes with girls, is in hotel Management field, goes to night clubs… How can a Muslimah marry such a guy and how do I escape this situation when my parents are not supporting…I cannot really write here how many attempts I have made to make my mom understand, but she is not ready at any circumstances?

Salam alaikom, sister,

Thank you for sharing your struggle. I am really sorry to hear that your family is not willing to change their opinion and stick to their cultural understanding of marriage.

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We receive many letters like this, maybe not exactly from your community, but the issue is exactly the same: parents prefer to please community interests and are not willing to discuss the needs and interests of their daughter or son.

Furthermore, sadly, there are local community leaders who act exactly the way you said and prefer not to get involved.

You are a student of knowledge, masallah. I think you already know that in Islam there is no place for racism or tribalism, and the only way we should measure each other is through taqwa. What should matter in our choices is how much God-consciousness the other has; as the Prophet Muhammad said, this is the only thing we people differ from.

Furthermore, you may know that having your consent is a condition for the validity of the marriage, according to Islamic teachings. No one can be forced to marry and form a family with someone he or she does not want to.Read more here:What Are the Conditions of Marriage in Islam?

Yes, there are some points about why it is good if the two families get along well and why looking at the families has benefits. But still, the main concern should be the piety of the spouses and their compatibility in terms of personality, values, and goals.

You say that you don’t like his deen. How much do you know about him? Have you had the chance to meet, talk, and get to know each other a little bit? What does faith mean to him? How is his relationship with Allah? Are his goals beyond this dunya or not? If not, you may ask your parents to organize further meetings when you can check more in depth whether you are compatible or not.

First is to Please Allah

I am really sorry, sister, that your parents do not see things the same way. They should know, along with other community members, that there will be a day when they have to answer for preferring to please others over Allah. May Allah open and soften their hearts and grant them the willingness to understand why it is so important.

So, after all, what can you do?

It is difficult to advise because it is easy to say simply that “you don’t have to” marry him if you don’t want to. But I know that unfortunately, it is much more complicated than this, and you are the one who knows how much your situation permits you to break away from customs, traditions, and your family.

So, some options—what would be the best one, also Islamically—may not be possible to carry out. May Allah make it easy for you.

Keeping this in mind, know that if you think that this man is not suitable for you and, according to Islamic standards, he does not match your interests, you do not have to marry him. That is your right. Islamically, your consent is a condition.

Now, what can you do if there is no way to marry outside of your community? What if this option does not exist for you in practice?

You may talk to your parents and let them know that if they want to find someone in the community, they should look for someone who you also like and who is more religious and practicing. They have to understand that in the long run, it is also in their interest, and many problems in the future can be avoided. What about looking first at the candidate and then his family, not the other way around? At the end, it is about you and your marriage, and secondly, about the families.

Try to talk to them in a kind and respectful way without getting too emotional. Just tell them that you love them, and you know that they love you too, and they want the best for you, but what happens is that you differ in your idea of what this means.

Explain to them how it makes you feel to imagine that you have to join your life with someone you do not like and who has different values. Also tell them your faith in Allah and your willingness to please Him and His commands first. That is where baraka comes from, and it is something they need to understand.

Also, standing up for your opinion does not mean that you disrespect them. It is about your life, and you can have an opinion about that. And if it happens to differ from the parents, you need to sit down and reach a compromise. And compromise usually necessitates some level of sacrifice from both. You will have to let go of some of your wishes, but they will have to do it too.

Furthermore, do not forget the power of dua and keep your faith in Allah and His plan. He is the Only who can change the hearts of your parents and who can help you find a solution.

Here are some other articles from our site that can add more details:

Parents Say They’ll Cut Ties If I Marry Him

Marriage Decisions: Finding Balance Through Shura

Pressured or Forced Marriage – Misconceptions & Facts

May Allah help you!

Question 2. Why would Allah do this to my family?

Dear reader I am not a Muslim I am open minded and trying to educate myself. I am wondering why Allah would kill my mother’s baby in pregnancy? My dear mother is 47 and was six weeks in when we learned she was pregnant and just a few days ago we found that we’ve lost it. My family has had a difficult year and the news of pregnancy brought us closer. (for reasons I won’t get into details on) we are trying to rebuild our trust in my father and I feel the news of pregnancy helped immensely. I’ve never seen my mother this excited in the last few years, she deserves the world and I cannot understand why Allah would take that from her, from us, please help me understand.

Wa alaikom salam, dear brother,

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and doubts with us.

I think it is truly beautiful that you love and care so much about your mother and would like to understand what happened from another perspective and find meaning in this loss. You saw her being excited, and your family came closer thanks to the news of the pregnancy, and you shared her joy and closeness, alhamdulillah. May Allah keep your family a loving one, and may Allah keep your kindness and care for your mother.

Your mother is 47 and got pregnant, but in the 6th week, the pregnancy did not continue. I am sorry for the loss and for the hardship it might have caused your family.

Well, brother, I know that your case is unique to you, and that is what matters, but if we look at it from a medical perspective, what happened is very common in the early stages of pregnancy.

There are numerous studies about the possibility of experiencing pregnancy loss. 

According to this article, one, in 2012, found the chance to be between 11-22%, while other studies put it around 10-15% that one pregnancy ends up in miscarriage in the first and second semester.

According to the same article, age is one of the biggest predictive factors: after the age of 45, there is a 50% probability of suffering a miscarriage.

As you can see, women in general are likely to experience a miscarriage through their lives, and at the age of your dear mother, even more, every second one.

Still, from a medical perspective, when a miscarriage happens, it can be understood that the fetus, for some reason, could not develop further due to some anomalies. The miscarriage has a protective function, preventing putting into risk the life and health of the mother, the baby, or, in some cases, both.

And here comes the spiritual perspective, brother. As you know, Allah is the Most Wise, and He knows what we do not.

He protects us from harm and prevents future complications from some events that seem tragic or uncomprehensible at the moment.

Think about the story of Prophet Musa and Al-Khidr in Surah al-Khaf. Al-Khidr acted in a seemingly “cruel” way, for example, when he killed that boy or when he leaked the ship of the fishermen. But he knew—by the will of Allah—what was unknown for Musa, and behind his action was indeed the protection of good people from harm and loss. Read more here: Why Did Khidr Kill A Child?

Try to see what happened through the same lenses and see what good this event brought to your family and what possible harm this loss could have prevented.

For example, you became closer as a family, alhamdulillah. That is a blessing. You were able to rebuild trust in your father, and alhmadulillah, that is again a blessing.

It could mean many other things for each family member, maybe a wake-up call or a reminder. And lastly, but not least, it may have prevented harm to your mother or the baby’s health from possible complications during or after the birth.

I hope this helps to comprehend that sometimes what we experience as tragic or unjust is indeed a protection of Allah and a sign of His mercy and love for us.

May Allah help you and your family to keep being close despite this loss and preserve your bonds and love for each other, whatever the plan of Allah is.

Here is a hadith for these moments of hardship:

„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

Question 3. Shame and Guilt for past

Asalamo alaikom, dear counselor,

As a young child, I have been sexually abused by family members. In the far past, I had a relationship with my cousin. My dad found out and he was upset, but now years later, my sin has always been kept hidden. I haven’t spoken to my cousin anymore, as he is married now and has children, but for years I have been feeling guilt and regret for doing this, and I feel I am not a good woman because of this. I have repented many times and I am still repenting and I have changed my life completely for the better. I will soon go for my first umrah in shaa Allah and Allah gifted me with getting to know in a halal way a wonderful person to get married to in shaa Allah. However, my past haunts me and I feel very guilty towards him since he doesn’t know about my sinful past. I don’t want to tell him as exposing sins is haram and it was from a time in which I was a different and young naive person. Should I keep worrying that my cousin could years after that incident still hurt me or that my past will be exposed to my husband? Is it right to still feel guilty and ashamed after years? Could have Allah accepted my repentance? Does Allah still love despite my awful past?

Please help me out.

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Thank you for sharing your story.

You feel guilty for your past, which was covered by Allah. Now, as you are getting married, these feelings are intensifying. You keep asking for repentance but still feel ashamed. You do not want to tell your future spouse what happened, yet you are worried about what can happen if he finds out.

I would start by saying, sister, that what you relate in your letter is more complex than it seems at first.

I am really sorry to hear that you have been sexually abused by family members. I know that this is not the main focus of your question, but I still believe that it probably had a strong impact on you, especially when those things happened with your cousin.

I am not sure how you feel about those events now. Have you ever worked on your feelings using your spirituality, faith, or some form of psychological aid? Do you think that some emotional disturbances—the guilt and shame you feel—can be somehow related to them?

If you think that there is a need for healing, I kindly advise some form of talk therapy, as it would definitely help to accept your feelings and move on from the past.

That could be important, especially as you are entering into a relationship soon. And this will be an intimate relationship, and sometimes past events may affect the way we deal with some issues in the present.

I am also asking this because, according to what you relate, you were only 12 when you were involved in a relationship with your cousin. So, you were very young, and I am not sure whether he has to do anything with the abuse you mention. Either way or around, it is quite possible that your willingness was influenced by your experience of sexual abuse.

The point I want to make, sister, is that please do not blame yourself for what happened. You were very young, and what happened was probably the direct or indirect consequence of a traumatic experience. You point it out well: you were a different, young, naive person then. At that age, and maybe due to your circumstances, you were unable to judge well what was right and wrong. That is okay, sister.

I understand that you have repented, but you also have to understand that there are probably some elements of that story you are not even responsible for. I understand that you might feel shame when you remember those moments, but it is not you who should feel ashamed and guilty for what happened, but someone else.

Furthermore, now you understand many things, and now you would act the other way. But think about the girl you were; imagine her. Was she able to understand what was happening to her? Look at the 12-year-old yourself from “outside”, as if she were another person. Does she deserve compassion and understanding of her struggle? I think so, dear sister.

At the same time, what do you see if you look at yourself now? You say that you do not feel like a good woman for now.

You need to switch from the young girls’ feelings and actions to what you feel and know about yourself now, in the present. Dear sister, you are a very good woman now, a practicing Muslima, a beautiful soul, and a young lady. That is who you are now, and you have to see yourself according to this, the present moment, not according to your past actions, which you were probably not even responsible for.

You also ask whether it is “right” to feel ashamed after many years or not. I think it is not a right or wrong question. Allah says in the Quran that he is All-Forgiving and Most Merciful. He forgives all after sincere repentance. Despite this, some people still feel ashamed, as they have understood their wrongdoing and responsibility. But they can carry on well in the present.

Some people, on the other hand, feel intense guilt for past actions to the extent that it affects their lives in the present. It is not “wrong” but rather a sign that some form of reinterpretation or healing is needed to be able to fully accept the promise of Allah and to move on.

Allah is All-Hearing and Seeing and I am sure He knows what you were capable of understanding and what was beyond that.

And, alhamdulillah, He covered those events, and many years have passed. Of course, I cannot guarantee that it won’t be uncovered once, but you have to put your trust in Allah that He loves you and wants the best for you. He loves you because He completely changed you; you are closer to Him and receive his blessings, alhamdulillah. You just mentioned some in your letter, and I am sure you could list even more.

He knows what is best for you, and if those actions should remain kept secret, they will.

You are asking whether your cousin would hurt you with those images. I am not sure why he would do that. Do you think he has not realized his wrongdoing and repented for it? He also has responsibility for his actions, and he also has many things in his present to lose.

On the other hand, I bring up again the importance of healed wounds, or at least the way towards healing, when it comes to marriage and intimacy. So, I kindly ask you again to think about whether you need to talk to a specialist about the sexual abuse and enter into the marriage with the best possible perspective. I am not saying that it will surely affect your marital life, but there is a chance that some unhealed wounds got activated, and that might lead you to feel the “obligation” to bring up your past after the marriage. I hope you understand my point. May Allah help you with that.

I hope this helps. I pray for the best for you. sister

Question 4. Struggling with school and having more interest in Islamic studies than school studies.

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh I am a high-school student. Alhamdulillah follow Islam as much as I can but I have a problem in praying salah five times a day. I cannot pray the zuhr prayer because my school is not allowing me to pray and it’s a non-Muslim school. They said other students can use this as a reason to skip the class so they said no.  Now I have to pray the zuhr prayer after coming home combining it with Asr prayer and when I say this to my family because I cannot change another school by my own, my family is not agreeing with me and I am having problems with this. Even if I pray without their (school, family’s) permission, I fear that it will create a chaos and will bring troubles to me. by this reason I am losing interest in school studies and I am showing more interest in Islamic Studies which I love to learn and I never get tired but in school studies I get bored very often and I hate it. so, my family is scolding me to concentrate on school studies first and then go to Islamic Studies. They say “we can study Islam whenever we want even if we get old. but School studies are not like that! we can only study it when we are young” and I want to have Muslim friends who would guide me and make me close the Allah I don’t find like that I only have non-Muslim friends…I want to talk about deen more but I cannot because I am studying in a non-Muslim school. so, the talks are all about wasteful things and studies only. I want to talk about Islam more and I want to study in an Islamic school where I can learn deen and also dunya…  but I cannot! how can I balance the deen and the Duniya correctly? and I don’t want to drown and be concentrated only on school studies I want learn and talk more about Islam. And I feel a sense of loneliness and emptiness after having a conversation without the mention of Allah…what can I do in this situation? Can I give importance to my deen first and study it because of my interests in it and put dunya at the second? And how can I pray on time?

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Thank you for sharing your struggle with prayers in the non-Muslim school and with balancing between deen and dunya.

Masallah! It is very commandable to know what your priorities are in this life as a Muslim. Islam is a way of life; it is ideally our basis and our principal perspective. You are still young, but you are blessed with the wisdom to realize that. May Allah preserve your outlook and attitude, ameen.

I understand that you would like to find an Islamic school, but maybe your parents have some reasons why that is not a valid option for you right now. It can be finances, logistics, or even the reputation of the closest Islamic school in your area, among other reasons.

I am sure that your parents love you and want the best for you when they try to emphasize the importance of studies that are not about Islam. They may think about your future in the dunya and would like to equip you with the best possibilities to ensure your stability.

And there are many parents who think the same way, and they also take care of the Islamic upbringing of their kids.

You may think that an Islamic school is the only solution, but maybe there are other options too, so let’s explore some alternatives. Alhmadulillah, nowadays there are numerous possibilities that can work.

What about talking to your parents and asking them to support you with these plans and your interest in learning about the deen or being with good Muslims around? You may talk about the importance of having good Muslim friends and remind them kindly of their role in facilitating Islamic studies and the environment for you.

I advise you to seek out and join a group or a course, either online or not, where you may meet those with whom you would like to talk about Islam as much as you do. You can seek knowledge by finding an Islamic course or extracurricular activity after school or on the weekend.

You do not need to change school, but you can find these activities after that or during the weekends. When you are in school, you fulfill your duties while also having time and space to deal with what you love and are interested in. You may promise your parents that you will not neglect your studies either.

This is also how we balance deen and dunya: we take responsibility for our wordly matters and try our best to excel in them, while we have to do it with taqwa and the right mindset and priorities.

Actually, this is what Allah says in the Quran:

Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant. But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” (Quran 28:77)

You can use your time in the non-Muslim school to spread Islam with your good manners, your social activism, your helpful attitude, and your good deeds. If you have the right intention, you can turn even your learning into an act of worship, alhamdulillah.

Prayer at school

You say that your school does not allow you to pray with the excuse that other students may skip the class for this reason.

I am not sure whether you have a break around the time of Dhur and whether you can pray then or not. That can be an option, even if that is after the exact time of the adhan, but within the time frame of dhur prayer.

If that’s not feasible and the only option is to combine it, as you do, I advise you to keep doing it that way, knowing that Allah is very well aware of your good intentions and also of your obstacles, and He is the All-Forgiving and Most Just.

When you are praying, just try to let go of your concerns, be fully present, and seek the pleasure of Allah. Allah will know that once you have the opportunity to pray right on time, you will do that, in sha Allah.

Muslim friends

During the teen years, many important changes happen, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically, and these issues can occupy your mind and interests. Studies, peers, friendships, etc. That is why, at your age, sometimes it can be difficult to find like-minded peers who are spiritually focused and have the deen as their very first priority.

It is difficult but not impossible, alhamdulillah. So, what can you do? If you do not find them in the school, you may find them in the mosque, in youth gatherings, or in the Quranic school. In a non-Muslim majority country, the places are limited, but still, there are Islamic schools, even online Islamic events, groups, etc.

I advise you to look around and to make dua for righteous friends. Sometimes, less is more. Maybe Allah will bring you one or two sisters who share your interests and can talk about the deen.

I hope this helps.

May Allah help you with that.

Question 5. Depression caused by Parent(s)

Assalamu alaikum, I have already sent you a question about school struggles, I hope inshallah you would answer that and this one as well. My parents When I was young fought sometimes and rare I think. But now as I’m getting older, they fight often. They fight for sometimes and talk later and then fight again.. this is going on like a cycle. My father is calm and deals with it as much as he can.. but my mother cannot control her anger much and she screams. When she complains or talks about our family problems to someone by calling on phone she shouts and gets angry. This made me feel depressed and I feel uncomfortable hearing her shout and I put my earphones on. I am not very energetic as I have low blood in my body. So, I get tired often whenever I do something. She criticizes me for not doing this or that in home. I feel like it’s all my fault and I’m lazy. When my parents are in a fight, my mother acts rude to me, like if I did something wrong, she curses me. The relationship between me and my mom is getting weak. When she talks to me smiling and laughing, I get happy and pleased but suddenly after that she again screams. When I’m scrolling phone sometimes her looks and footsteps scares me that she would shout at me for not helping or doing anything at home. Is it my fault sister? I don’t know seriously. Can you tell me? And she’s not following Islam correctly that much, whenever I tell her about a hadith or something she tells me to do something and breaks the topic. She says I’m waste. She compares me to my cousin sister that she does her works correctly by herself and she’s younger than me. How can I deal in this chaos?? Sister.

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Let me also answer this second concern briefly.

It seems to me, according to your letter, that your mother is struggling with some issues, probably related to her marriage or something else. You may see their fights, but I think there must be some things that are beyond your full insight and understanding. You are still a young teenager and probably do not get the full picture of their relationship, and you do not need to.

What probably happens is that your mother is struggling with stress, but she cannot properly channel it or deal with the emotional distress some events may cause her. But maybe she doesn’t or cannot address the source and transfers this anger to others around her. She needs to let the stress you out in order to feel some form of relief, but probably she ventilates it through the phone or by being rude with you if you happen to be there.

Of course, it is not the best way, as it damages her relationships. Her feelings may be valid, but we need to learn to control them and not act out upon them, especially with those who have little to do with them.

What I suggest is to be understanding with her and supportive. Try to distance yourself from these outbursts, especially if it is clear that they are not about you. She has no right to curse you, and cursing is sinful and harms your well-being.

You may offer your support and kind help. Let her know now that you love her and are worried about seeing her struggling with some issues, and that you are there to support her. But you can also tell her that it hurts you when you get scolded; you feel it is unjust, especially if she is stressed for someone else. You can tell her that you may make some mistakes, but we all do, and you try your best, and this is what matters.

Furthermore, if you are tired due to health issues, ask for her support and also try to take care of yourself. Try to sleep well, eat well, and be healthy, and try not to stress about things you cannot control or your responsibility.

I hope this helps. May Allah bless you.

Question 6.  Family issue

My question is my father has committed shirk to keep his job and through his job is where he provides for the family and found currently. So, should we stop taking money from him?

Salam alaikom brother,

Thank you for contacting us. This is a fatwa related question, so I kindly ask you to resubmit your question to our upcoming fatwa live session with Sheikh Ahmady Kutty and get a satisfactory answer. Here you find our upcoming live sessions:

You do not detail how your father can commit shirk to keep this job, so I am having hard times to understand the context of your question. I kindly ask you to use our search for previous fatwa articles related to haram or halal job, income and provision. You can find the search engine here:

I hope this helps. May Allah bless you.

Question 7. Broken family

I am oversimplifying a complicated situation. I have two adult sisters, about 5 years ago, they had a physical altercation where the older sister beat up the younger one. My mother broke up the fight and younger sister left home feeling unsafe. My younger sister reported to authorities. Myself and my parents did not want police to get involved or testify as witnesses. Instead of pressing charges, my younger sister wanted to get a peace bond to which my other sister, my parents and I also did not want. My other sister felt that it was regular sibling fight and felt she didn’t deserve a record to impact her career and or children. My younger sister dropped all cases and cut all ties with the family.

Now recently my younger sister reached out to me and my parents and said that if we wanted to have a relationship with her, we would have to stop any contact with my other sister? My younger sister wants consequences for being mistreated.

I understand that I have made mistakes, and many years have past. Should I maybe pay my younger sister monetarily for damages of pain and for not getting authorities involved? What can I do Islamically to rectify our family relationships.

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Thank you for sharing your story about the fight with your sister, which eventually led to cutting ties and breaking the family. I am really sorry to hear that a conflict has led to these drastic consequences.

As you are the third sister, and what happened first was between your two sisters, it would be good to listen to their opinions and points of view and try to reach a mutual understanding to bond the family together again.

From what you present here, it seems that both parties got hurt somehow, and both felt that their side of the story was the truth.

Your younger sister left the house unsafe, and it seems that she, or her point of view, was not supported neither by you nor by your parents. I am not sure, but maybe she felt the need for some form of “compensation for not receiving support from her loved ones, and that is why she turned to the authorities. Maybe she felt alone and vulnerable and expected a different response but could not properly express that.

At the end, she dropped the case, maybe because she understood the possible harm it could cause to your other sister (getting filed for a family, an ordinary fight, as she classified it), but cut ties until recently. Now she would like to have some consequences for being mistreated.

You are asking about whether to pay some form of monetary compensation for the damages.

Sister, I do not have the full picture of what happened, and I haven’t heard the version from your sisters.

But I think this story has to do with forgiveness and acceptance, and I am not sure that monetary compensation would fulfill the needs and wishes of your sister.

I do not know what the fight was about; she may have committed something wrong, but do you think she deserves the opposition of the whole family for that prolonged time? You wrote that she wanted to make peace, but you and your family did not. That must have been a hurtful moment for her, even if she was the one who initiated or caused the fight. Yes, she cut the ties, but what if she expected a different reaction to that? Your older sister took it as a regular sibling fight, but what if it was not the case for her?

I am not sure whether there was any moment where you could discuss what each of you felt in that situation. What led them to act this way, and what led you to support one and not the other? As each coin has two sides, we have to try our best to put ourselves in the shoes of the other and understand where she is coming from.

Sometimes we even realize that some fights have a much older history and things did not start on that day. This is something they, sisters, should reflect upon to see what even escalation could have led to this situation.

Sister, we all commit mistakes, and first and foremost, we need to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah, as He will make us accountable, right? If He is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful, why, as humans, cannot we be the same with our own family members?

Please find these lines from this article on our site:

All of us, at one point or another in our lives, have had an experience that frustrated us, made us upset, resentful, or angry.

The sources of difficulty might have been the words or actions of a family member or friend, or the words or actions of a stranger. Based on the intensity of the pain or harm we perceive from such difficult moments or incidents, we sometimes find that it is not possible for us to move on, to overlook, or to look past the pain or hurt.

Even worse, we sometimes find it impossible to resume normal interactions with the individual or individuals who have caused us the pain.

Forgiveness is the subsiding and ultimate elimination of feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment towards the individual or individuals who have caused us the pain, followed by a resumption of normal interactions with the individual or individuals concerned.

And the author says:

As much as we would like to blame our inability to forgive on other people, claiming that we do not forgive because the other person or persons are so bad, so unworthy of forgiveness, the reality is that not forgiving others is more a reflection about who we are, and about our souls more than it is about other people.

I kindly recommend reading the whole article, as it explains very well what we gain if we are able to forgive one another. I know that it was not your conflict, but it is you who are trying to find a possible solution and asking for advice.

So, as a conclusion, I would approach this situation with a full, open heart and understanding that you might disagree with your sister, but these disagreements can and should be reconciled. Islam very much emphasizes the importance of reconciliation, and those who help others can expect reward:

And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allāh. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allāh loves those who act justly.” Quran 49:9

“Fight against the one that oppresses UNTIL it returns to the ordinance of Allah.”

What can this mean in your situation?

Sister, I kindly advise you to talk to your younger sister with good faith. Ask what really bothers her and what she really would like to have: peace with her family or “payment” for the consequences. Talk about what happened and try to be non-judgmental about her position. Did she “return to the ordinance of Allah?” i.e., did she repent and realize her wrongdoing in the situation?

You may have your own opinion, but try to understand hers too. And most importantly, what matters is that in the past and present, you can still forgive, reconcile, and have a good and loving family together.

If needed, you may seek further support from a family mediator or trustworthy member who can help you understand each other and restore peace between your siblings and the family.

I pray that you succeed. May Allah help you with that.

Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.
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