Heal your Heart with Sr Hannah’s Advice

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 Hannah for answering the questions.

You can find the answers below:

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

Q: Assalamalikum,

I have been married for a year. All things were good until a month ago. I talked back to my husband due to my frustrations in my new atmosphere. After that he started threatening me that he will commit suicide. He would do things like head banging and slapping himself. Then I  found out he has an emotional affair. Now he attempted suicide by hanging himself. The only mistake I made was I talked back to him rudely. I complained all this to his family but to no avail.

Walaikumsalam sister, 

As difficult as things are for the one who tries to commit suicide, this also comes with great difficulty to their loved ones also. As his wife it’s only right that you would seek support from family, but it would seem that in this case you did it in such a way that could potentially cause problems as you presented it in terms of expressing your frustration and exposing his sins.

Certainly, what he did was wrong and should be dealt with appropriately, but to complain to his family will cause problems for him and cause added tension between you and him also. Both of which will only contribute to his poor psychological health right now. This by no means makes what he did OK but it does highlight the necessity to approach the situation in a sensitive way. 

Regardless of his actions with regards to your relationship, he is clearly exhibiting symptoms of mental health problems and needs support for this first and foremost before clearing up any relationship difficulties as he is hardly in the best place to work out relationship issues until his mental health is more stable.

If you are able to put your differences aside for now and support him in encouraging him to seek professional support this would be helpful. However, given everything that has happened perhaps this might not be an option. In which case you could take the case confidentially to someone else who he may be more responsive to. This might be someone who he is close to in his family, or if not perhaps you might connect with your local imam and approach him this way. 

Once his mental health is more stable you will be in a better position to discuss the matter of his emotional affair and how you will move forward with this together, whether you are willing and able to forgive and move on and work on strengthening your relationship or not. It may be that you require some kind of counselling together to support you in this process.

It is recommended that even if you don’t see staying together as an option that you at least try to make things work by making use of things such as counselling to ensure that you have tried everything to make it work so that you should eventually leave, you don’t do so with regrets. Otherwise, if this is not an option then you need to make sure to surround yourself with the support you need from friends and family in making your move away from this relationship. 

May Allah make things easy for you at this difficult time and guide you to what is best for you and most pleasing to Allah. 

***

Q: Assalam alikum,

I want you to know that I actually want a true love like relationship in my marriage. Like we both will be only in love with each other, he will be mine and me his, it’s a kind of love where we will not feel the need of any other person in our relationship, we can die for each other, we will only love each other, we will never marry any other not because the other one insists but because we really don’t want to, we will be for each other forever, no other creature will come between our relationship. We will never dream of any other person as husband, wife or partner. It will be deep, heavenly and for ALLAH’s sake. It will be true love. I hope so in sha ALLAH.Now my question is, I only feel true love exists in monogamous relationships. But how does it exists in polygamy relationship? Because we know that Prophet Muhammad SM had many wives. I would never want that in my relationship as I told above. My another question is I feel like my dream relationship (in Sha ALLAH) is superior than Prophet Muhammad SM’s polygamy relationship because I feel it’s not true love and it’s not deep, heavenly and you know why I think so (nau dhu bi ALLAH). And I don’t know how Prophet SM is the best husband (nau dhu bi ALLAH) because I feel true heavenly love exists in monogamy and it’s better than polygamy and I am getting a lot of waswasa in this.Now these things makes me feel like our love life is better than that of Prophet SM because I feel polygamy relationship is not true love and because I don’t want that (nau dhu bi ALLAH in everything in this line except ‘because I don’t want that’ as there’s nothing wrong in not wanting polygamy) though I know he is the best husband but don’t know how and I am getting a lot of waswasa. And is it wrong to wish that people will praise this type of love thinking it’s actually a kind of true love (I added ‘a kind of’because I know you will say true love also exists in polygamy but I want to know how because I feel my type of monogamous love is only true love)  and it will make us proud like “Yes it’s true love for ALLAH’s sake, yes we only love each other, we are each other’s forever in sha ALLAH,we will never remarry etc.” Please read the questions carefully and try not to miss any single sentence. Thank you very much.

Wa alaikum salaam sister, 

Alhamdulilah that you have found yourself in a marriage where you are so very content with your blessings. This is a wonderful thing. May Allah continue to bring you such joy for the duration of your marriage. 

However, you must be very careful about how you view and compare your situation to others, especially when you identify what you have as being more superior to others, and particularly to the Prophet (SAW). This can be very dangerous both in terms of the impact that it will have on you in this life, but also the consequences that may come of such thoughts beyond this, particularly regarding the latter. 

Everyone has different preferences, some may not be happy in a monogamous love marriage and look to avoid such a marriage and wonder how such people can be happy in such marriages much like you feel towards polygamy.

I don’t know if have children yet but you can love and have heavenly love towards more than one child just like with polygamy where you can have the same feelings towards multiple wives. There are many benefits that can be gained from polygamy that can’t be gained in monogamy. This way of life is not suitable for all, but for some this is most ideal and perfect for them. 

As with many things in life we all have different preferences. To draw on an abstract example to demonstrate, everyone likes different foods and hates what another loves. Everyone has a different holiday destination preference.

Some people like going somewhere hot and sunny because it’s comforting and they find themselves miserable in the cold so would choose not to take a skiing holiday. On the other hand some people find skiing holidays in cold snowy countries fun and could think of nothing worse than being in the sun all day as they find heat aggregates them. Of course these are not directly comparable to marriage but just simply a way of highlighting our differences. 

Likewise, this doesn’t mean that any one type of marriage is superior to the other, but that we all have different preferences and what makes one person happy might feel like a curse to the next so we can’t really judge what is better than the other. Monogamy and polygamy are both acceptable in Islam and we should trust Allah on this. The important thing is to be aware of these differences, respect them and be grateful to be blessed with a marriage that brings you so much happiness. 

Given that you suspect your thoughts could be a result of waswas, please do take every step to protect yourself from this and in sha Allah it will become easier to be more respectful towards the types of lives that others choose to live even if it is not the way that would make you happy.

Instead of feeling that they couldn’t be happy, instead pray for their happiness regardless of their type of marriage. This will help to soften your heart to others and reduce any chance of conflict. Keep Allah close at all times, observe your daily prayers and extra if you can, read Quran, fast and sit making dua to Allah. Remember Him in all that you do and in sha Allah thale waswas will soon cease. 

May Allah continue to grant you happiness in your marriage in this life and the next and may He protect you from the whispers of Shaytan. 

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

I’m a married woman and mother of 2 kids. We’ve been married for 5 years. My husband is the best man I know. He is Kind, loving, caring, and gentle. He helps around the house. He is a great dad. Just everything in the textbooks. But for some reason he has very low sexual urges. Or maybe I have a high libido. I don’t know. But we go well over a month without sex and it’s hard for me. And I hate asking him for it constantly. He just has excuses every night. Or day. Lately it has got me to resort to haram (masturbating) And I hate it. I honestly feel suicidal because of this. I’ve tried talking to him and he just says I’m too needy. Once a week or once in 2 weeks is all I ask. Help me. Please give me any advice.  

Walaikumsalam  sister, 

Alhamdulilah that you are married to a good man that meets the criteria of a good husband and father to your children. However, there is an aspect of your marriage that is causing you difficulties and that is the lack of sex. It may be that your libido is high and his is just average, or perhaps his is just low. It is difficult to know for sure but there are some things that you can do to try and reach a place that will make you both happy regardless of which is the case 

First, try to identify if there is any reason as to why he may be seemingly looking for excuses. Is it that he never wants to have sex, or he does, but not as often as you like? Is there any reason why he might be declining? Is he very busy with work so has other things on his mind? Is he stressed about something? Does he feel inferior in the bedroom? Does he have any underlying health concerns? These are all things that could be potentially affecting his sex drive.

If you can understand any underlying reasons then you can approach the situation more tactfully with this in mind and work together in overcoming these difficulties. It will also help your self esteem too as you can appreciate why he is behaving the way he is. 

If it is a medical matter then you can support him in getting medical help for the same. If it is an inferiority issue, then you can reassure him. If it is otherwise there are some things you can do to support your relationship and improve your sex life. 

It’s not unusual for the level of activity to go down following having children and just generally time passing. It’s good to break from this routine and refresh your marriage every now and again. Ask friends or family to take care of the children for the week, or even just an evening and do something nice just the 2 of you.

Try something new and exciting, or romantic, whichever preference you both have. Go somewhere that you both used to enjoy going in the early days when things were fresh and exciting. Relive those days again. All these approaches will give you both the chance to spend time alone together doing something to nurture your marriage and ignite the spark again. Things that will make sex come more naturally

If it is that he has been stressed or experiencing work overload then this approach will be helpful. Likewise, if it is simply a matter of low sex drive, again this will be helpful in boosting this also. 

May Allah bring you both happiness and success in your marriage in this life and the next. 

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

I am 24 year old and I am not married yet. I always wanted to marry a successful man as I am also on the same path. In other words I have always wanted to be rich because I grew up in poverty and I didn’t like that experience.  I live in Fiji and grew up in a patriarchal family. My brother is an engineer and earns a lot. My elder sister got married into a good family as well. She is in New Zealand and they have 2 houses. The guy I chose is not a rich guy. He earns less than me and he looks after his whole family. He does not even have a bedroom of his own. I started talking to him last year because I was falling into depression and needed to talk to someone. I really liked the type of person he was. My brothers found out and I was left with no choice but to accept that I like the guy and I will marry him because my brothers look down on girls who hang out with other guys. Anyway, I really like this guy but I feel like I am compromising with everything in  my life. I am not a materialistic person. I always wanted to fall in love with only one guy whom I will get married to. Instead I felt for him and I have started crying a lot because he loves me a lot and I feel bad that he is not earning that much. I have a Bachelor’s degree and I am currently doing a second degree. Today I cried a lot when my elder brother told me he is getting a pay raise and he is saving because he has a girlfriend. From my childhood I have been bullied and was never loved. However, this guy loves me a lot but he isn’t earning like my brother. He changed a lot for me but I still have issues with his past. I was even devastated when I found out he has a kid from his one of previous relationships but he couldn’t marry that girl because she was Christian and her parents didn’t agree. She left for some other country with the kid. It still bugs me that Allah is neglecting me.  I am really stocked and I do not know what to do?

Walaikumsalam  sister, 

I can understand your concerns about the type of man you marry and you are right to do so considering you will be sharing your life with him and want to be sure that he has all the qualities that can make you happy in your marriage. It is also understandable how your childhood is influencing the choices you make as it may do for most people. 

You have found a man who you feel fits the bill as much as possible and would like to marry him but your brothers are objecting to this and they are right to do so for your own best interests. I understand that you felt you needed someone to talk to as a result of experiencing depression and it’s perfectly healthy to do this as a means to get the necessary support in managing your depression.

However, it is also important that you turn to the right person. As I’m sure you are aware having relationships with non-mahram members of the opposite sex is not acceptable for reasons such as the situation you find yourself in now. It would be perfectly natural to develop feelings for someone who has given you comfort during times of distress so it is understandable how and why you feel the way you do towards him. 

Now that you have developed feelings towards him and won’t be able to see beyond this in terms of what is really is  best for you and this is why it is helpful to have the support of others who have your best Interests at heart as well as being in a position to assess your suitability for each other.

As your mahrams, you brothers are in a good position to advise on this matter. It’s not necessary to have their support as such, but it would be best for you and a comfortable marriage, whereas to move forward without family approval may cause difficulties for you and your marriage. If you are able to put aside the things that upset you about this man and you are serious about marrying him make sure to do it in the appropriate way.

Cut contact with him for now, repent for having a haram relationship and then pursue it in the correct way. Arrange a meeting between the 2 families, or even between him and your brothers, or another mahram so they can get to know each other first. 

We all have ideal dream spouses in mind but in most cases we can’t have everything that we want. That doesn’t mean we should settle for less, but it means we should pay attention to what’s most important. It is understandable why money is an issue for you given your upbringing, but it’s far from the most important thing.

To say Allah is not putting money in your way does not mean Allah is neglecting you. Quite the contrary in fact. This could be a blessing for you because money can cause many problems for individuals and within a relationship. What’s most important is to find an Allah fearing spouse who will encourage you in the Deen and treat you well regardless of whether he has money or not. 

May Allah grant you a spouse that will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next. 

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

The thing is that I’m quite religious and I strive to be a better Muslimah everyday though I’m not perfect. Most of the time I’m happy but I’m sick of disbelievers on the internet or in real life speaking bad about our prophet Muhammed saw and saying all sorts of absurd things. I get sad and enraged and I know that I can’t do anything about it but still. What do I do ? I’m really just sick of them. 

Wa alaikum salaam, 

Reading such material can be incredibly upsetting and can even lead to feelings of intense rage. When reading such terrible comments it is understandable why, as a believer, you get upset. There are a couple of things you can do here. 

Firstly, as much as it hurts to see such things, try to restrain yourself from possibly responding in a way that is not acceptable out of anger. This could lead you to say or do things that are sinful. If you feel the need to respond, do so in a kind way that demonstrates the best of Islam. This may even turn their hearts to Islam as they see the beautiful behaviour of the believers. 

Similarly, instead of directly responding to such comments, you can counter their comments by writing something truthful to educate those who make false and hurtful comments. This will help you to feel better a out it knowing that you are spreading a message of truth and showing people how beautiful Islam is. 

In addition to the last point, or alternatively to, if you are unable to restrain from commenting or are finding the pain too much simply don’t turn to resources where such comments are made. Stay away from social media to avoid seeing such painful comments. 

Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do as well as some of the above is to pray for those who make such comments. Be confident in the Mercy of Allah that He can turn the hearts of anyone, even those who make such comments about our beloved Prophet (SAW). Continue to do so and find peace in the remembrance and trust in Allah. 

May Allah reward your concern for the ummah and may He guide you to the most appropriate way to counter the behaviour of people who chose to follow such a path. May He guide them on the straight path. 

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

I am married to two wives but finding it difficult to have sex with the first wife because she always makes me sad by making troubles with me always. This always gives me a concern because I know I’m supposed to be doing this but due to her bad and worrisome actions, I always find it difficult. She planned to divorce me initially because we had a registered marriage. During this time I remarried. Then divorce was stopped with a lot of troubles with my family and pleading because if she divorced me then almost all properties will be given to her. Since then things have not been okay between us despite all my efforts and prayer to settle the matter. There is always trouble between us. Please advise me on what to do.

Wa alaikum salaam brother,

It often occurs that when there is difficulty in a marriage there will be difficulties in the bedroom. After all, who would want to do such a thing with someone who you are lacking the emotional connection with. In order to improve things in the bedroom, the first thing to do is to improve the relationship.

Firstly, you should take a look into why the difficulties exist and see if this is something you can address easily. Perhaps there is a matter present and you have not discussed it, or perhaps she has a problem but didn’t want to talk to you about it.

You might begin by trying to sort it between you without the input of others before seeking further assistance outside. Find a moment when you can spend sufficient time alone together when you won’t be disturbed by anyone else and have an open and honest talk about your feelings. Discuss ways you could overcome them together.

If this isn’t an option, or she is unresponsive to this conversation then you might seek assistance from this part through the process of marriage counselling. This way you will be able to both express yourselves with a mutual party present. It may be that simply getting yours and her feelings out is enough to resolve the issue with no further action.

Sometimes things can build up without being said to the point that it causes significant difficulties and to simply share these concerns out loud and know that the other party has heard can be therapeutic enough. Perhaps she has been anxious to tell you what is on her mind so give her the space to talk openly without judgement will provide her with the opportunity she needs.

Once you are aware of what the problem is you can work together on finding a solution and trying to make things work again.

If things still don’t go to plan and you still desire to marry her but are prevented due to not wanting to lose property to her then perhaps since you have now given her the space to address her issues and between you have not reached a solution you might be in a better position to come to a mutual agreement with regards to sharing property in the case of a divorce.

If she makes things difficult then you might consult a solicitor and seek the most appropriate way forward according to Islamic law. I am not aware of how this works with regards to property following a divorce but rest assured that whatever the outcome, if you are following Islamic law then this is best for you in the eyes of Allah and this is the most important thing.

May Allah grant you peace and tranquility during this testing time and may He guide you to a solution that is best for you and most pleasing to Him. 

*****

Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2020 | 16:30 - 17:30 GMT

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