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Overcome Your Marital Obstacles (Counseling Session)

Session Guest

Overcome Your Marital Obstacles (Counseling Session) - About Islam

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.


Thursday, Jul. 18, 2019 | 09:00 - 10:00 Makkah | 06:00 - 07:00 GMT

Session Status

Session is over.

Salaam `Alaikum dears 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.


Good evening. I slept with my cousin’s wife 8 years ago. Then I was 19 years. Now I am 27 and married and I have a son.

I feel very sad and bad about the sin I committed. Any time I think about it, I feel ashamed. I feel have betray my cousin. It has never happened again since then. I visit them once in a while.

Please advice me.



5 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation, you slept with your cousin’s wife approximately 8 years ago when you were 19. You are now 27 and you are currently married with one son.

 

Grief and Remorse

As you are experiencing a great deal of sadness, regret, and generally feeling bad about what happened, it is clear that you feel great remorse. This is a good thing. When we commit sins such as these, we should feel bad. Feeling bad and ashamed is a sign that we have a conscience. It is a sign that we know that we have committed something wrong, and it does not rest well with our spirit. With that said, I am wondering if you had repented for this act of zina.

 

Repentance

As it has been eight years and you seem to fear Allah very much as well as feel bad about the sin you committed, I can imagine that you did repent to Allah and ask for forgiveness. However, if you have not done so, I kindly suggest insha’Allah that you do repent to Allah. As you know Allah is most merciful and most forgiving. When we go to Allah in sincerity and repent for our sins, Allah is most forgiving. The key to repentance is not to repeat the act for which we have begged for forgiveness. Also, when we repent for a sin we are not to hang on to that sin once we have given it to Allah and asked for forgiveness. We learn from our mistakes, but we are to put it out of our minds. We are not to hang on to the sin.

 

Feeling bad, Still

It is understandable that you still feel bad and ashamed, however it is best that you try to put this in your past insha’Allah and move on. You stated that you visit your cousin and his wife once in a while and it causes you to feel uncomfortable. I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that when you do visit try not to think about the situation that occurred almost a decade ago. Most likely your cousin’s wife has also repented, and let it go. You should as well. Look at the situation as something haram that happened a long time ago, but one that you have repented for and need to move on from.

 

Moving Forward

Often times when we commit sins and hurt others whether they know or not, it can weigh heavily on our conscience for a long time. Please try to move on with your life and leave that sin in the past if you have repented to Allah. Make Duaa to Allah to help you get over these feelings so you can move on with your life and fully enjoy your married life and child.

 

Trust in Allah

It is obvious you are very sorry and remorseful for what happened, but one cannot change the past. We can only move forward and strive to do better. We all commit sins in this life. The key is in sincere repentance, learning from experience, trusting in Allah that we are forgiven and moving on. Hanging on after we have repented can only further perpetuate bad feelings, vibes and situations. When we trust in Allah, we trust that our sin has been covered and forgiven. If Allah forgives us when we repent, we must learn to forgive ourselves and move on. Please do trust in Allah that this matter has been forgiven and ask for strength to forgive yourself and move forward with your life. We wish you the best, you’re in our prayers.


Assalamu alaykum, my question is about how to deal with some people.

They are my relatives and I really can't be patient with them. I mean I just don't want to meet them because always they say things that are mean for me. They don't respect me.

The reason why they behave like that is because I practice Islam even though they are Muslim they are afraid from Islam.

I don't know how to react because I get angry immediately.



4 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation sister you are wondering how to deal with certain people who are toxic. In your case, the issue is regarding your relatives. As they are your relatives, it makes the situation more sensitive.

 

Dealing with Toxic Relatives

Sister you stated that your relatives say mean things to you, and they don’t respect you. For these reasons you find it hard to be patient, you become angry, and you really do not wish to see them. This is understandable. I am sure that it hurts you very much when your relatives are mean to you. In this life we seek our family for comfort and solace. We don’t expect them to be cruel to us or be disrespectful. However, in a lot of families this type of behavior does occur, sadly.

 

Practicing versus Non-Practicing

According to you, the concerns and issues between you and your relatives surround the fact that you are a practicing Muslim and they are not. You stated they are afraid of Islam. I am not sure we what you mean by that, however perhaps you mean that they do not wish to practice because it may be too difficult for them to give up things that they’ll enjoy which are harmful. Perhaps they feel guilty. Sister you stated that you are a practicing Muslim. If you are a practicing Muslim, then you should not get angry when they say something or do something that offends you. It hurts you of course, and as human this may be a first reaction.

 

Illustrating Islam

However, the best way to reach your family, and show them that Islam is a beautiful religion to be practiced, is by being an example. If we look at our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PHUB), we can see how he dealt with situations such as yours. He dealt with mercy. I would kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you read further on the life of our prophet (PBUH). By reading about his trials and tribulations and how he handled things, you may gain more insight and comfort. This may help you in dealing with your own family. It may help you to learn to be more patience. Insha’Allah, it will also help you understand and deal with your anger. As Muslims we are to be slow to anger, especially with our family members.

Dealing with Anger and Hurt

 

If you can learn to understand and control your anger insha’Allah, and express what is really going on, such as feeling hurt by their disrespect and the they treat you, you may find some common ground with them. If instead of getting angry and expressing anger, you say “What you stated really hurt me” perhaps after awhile your relatives may begin to understand how their negative ways of treating you hurts. Insha’Allah they will begin to understand and change.

 

Conditions of a People

Regarding oppression, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change themselves. In your situation it may mean that you will have to address your anger issues. Sister it is understandable that you are angry. You are angry because you are hurt. However, once you realize that by getting angry it is only perpetuating the distance and poor behavior of your relatives, you will insha’Allah, choose different responses.

 

Conclusion

Sister, please do read more about the life of our prophet (PBUH), try to deal with your family without reactionary emotions such as anger, and insha’Allah, try to view their being mean and disrespectful as a symptom of their own inadequacies not yours.  Try to limit time with them if possible until you are able to sort out your feelings and react in a way that will not feed into their negativity. Be the example they need to see. When visiting them, insha’Allah try to display Islamic qualities and adab. Overtime insha’Allah, you may be surprised to see they may begin to change.  Perhaps they will become curious as to why their harshness is no longer affecting you. They will see your nour insha’Allah, and their negativity silenced by it. We wish you the best you’re in our prayers.


Asalam alaykum waramotullah, please what can I do to a wife or what do you think is the solution to a wife who believes her husband must share with her the domestic works in the house and who also disrespect the husband and his family?



3 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation, one of the issues you are wondering about concerns “what to do or what is the solution” to the situation wherein a wife wants her husband to help her with a domestic work in the house. In this situation we must look to our beloved prophet (PHUB) and how he lived his life in regard to marital relationships in the households with his wives.

 

Helping with Chores: Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) as an Example

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did indeed partake in the domestic works in the house. He helped out around the house and he even sewed his own socks. Therefore, based on our beloved prophet’s (PHUH), this it is sunnah. While it is not commanded that a husband do this, there are many blessings in it for a husband.

 

Disrespect in Islam

In regard to a wife disrespecting a husband and his family, that is a haram situation. While you did not specify in which ways disrespect was being shown, it must be dealt with. In Islam we are to respect one another, especially husbands and wives and family members. Kindness, love, mercy, and respect are the foundations of Islamic relationships between family members.

 

Dealing with Disrespectful ways

I would kindly suggest that the wife be counseled on her behavior regarding respect or lack of it. Perhaps it may be best to speak with the wife and find out why she’s being disrespectful. There may be other factors involved, such as she may feel disrespected herself, she may feel as if she is not liked or accepted, or there may be other reasons why she is acting this way. While there may be a reason that she is disrespectful, that is not an excuse to be disrespectful.

Speaking with Wife

I kindly suggest insha’Allah that the husband speak with his wife in a kind way to find out what the problem is. Disrespect may come as anger from place of deep hurt and feelings of rejection or may come from a place of feeling higher or better than someone else. In both instances it is wrong. Finding out where it is coming from will assist in knowing how to address it.

 

Resolving Disrespect

From this perspective the husband may be able to help resolve any misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or fears the wife may be experiencing. He will also be able to at that point, help her to understand that her ways are disrespectful and need to stop. Insha’Allah by having a conversation which is conducive to resolution using the Qur’an for guidance, the disrespect will be resolved. We wish you the best you are in our prayers.


I did istikhara about marrying someone, I read that if you still have an inclination towards marrying this person, then that's a good sign. I did istikhara I think a year ago. Whenever I say I am going to give up on him (not directly to him) he comes back into my life.

Most people that I have spoken to about him have been negative due to jealousy (I know this because they've been negative whenever anything good would happen to me) and others have been negative just because he's not the same race as me.

What should I do?



2 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your question, you would like to marry someone, and you did istikhara prayer and got a positive response. You are basing the response on your inclination towards still wanting to marry this person every time he comes back in your life.

 

Racism and Backbiting

Sister, you stated that others have spoken negatively about the man you would like to marry. You feel this is due to jealousy. Those that say negative things about him, base their negativity on his ethnic or racial identity. They are acting in a very sinful in her own way. As you know we are all equal before Allah, with the only matter counting is the condition of our heart.  In Islam, all are equal and there is to be no racism. I kindly suggest dear sister, that insha’Allah if this talk continues, you give them reminders from the Qur’an about their sinful ways regarding racism and backbiting. Once you’ve given them the reminders, I will kindly suggest that you either avoid these people, or walk away when they start talking backbiting and talking racist.

 

Istikhara Prayer & Marriage

Sister, you did state that istikhara prayer results were positive. However,  you also say you are going to give up on him and he comes back in your life and you see this as a sign from your istikhara prayer. When we make istikhara prayer it is important that we don’t interject our own wants and desires into the prayer. Perhaps you care about this person and this is the outcome you desire. Perhaps the man coming and leaving your is a sign that it is not a good match. Perhaps this is the sign. As Muslims, we also need to approach our prayers and decisions with the utmost trust in Allah as well as use common sense as to what is good for our deen.

 

Questions to Consider

Sister I would like you to ask yourself- why does he keep coming in and out of your life? Are you in contact with him? Did he propose marriage to you? Is he someone with reputable character who would make a good husband? Would he bring you closer to Allah? Also please look at whether or not he is stringing you along or playing with your feelings. Sadly, sometimes some people will pop in and out of another person’s life whenever they feel like it because they can. In other words, they don’t want to make a commitment and they are not serious.  They just like the attention they get when they show up. If this is the case this is not the person for you.

 

Allah knows Best

If this person is truly meant for you it will be. Allah closes doors and Allah opens them. Nothing will pass you by sister that is meant for you. In regard to whether or not this person is to be your husband will depend on if he is meant for you. If he is, he will be honorable in his actions, words and deeds. He will not come and go year after year-but he will propose and make you his wife. As you have already felt like “giving up on him” several times dear sister, perhaps he is not the one for you.  Perhaps it is time to move on. We wish you the best you’re in our prayers.


I did an istakhara in February 2019 and received a clear answer. It was related to my job. I am being bullied and harassed by my colleagues.

I got a clear no on whether i should resign. But now i am emotionally exhausted, should I do istakhara again? Or is this too soon? Can you tell a dua for peace and safety. JazakAllah



1 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session sister. As I understand, you are being bullied and harassed at work . I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. How cruel. I imagine it is most hurtful sister and causes you to not even want to work there.  You should not have to put up with being bullied and harassed sister.

 

Bullies

Sister, our world is filled with bullies-people who take pleasure in harming others, how sick. Those who bully in order to self-validate themselves due to low self-esteem. Sister, please don’t ever lose sight of who you are, how wonderful and capable you are despite the bullies. I admire your resolve in staying as long as you have, however perhaps you need to think about a change insha’Allah as this is not a healthy situation for you.

 

Istikhara

Sister you stated that you did istikhara prayer for an answer relating to your job and the bullying. You stated you received a clear answer to stay. I am wondering what the clear answer was? Even though you feel you received a clear answer, you are still being bullied and harassed by your colleagues. Sister even though you feel that you got a clear answer you may have introjected feelings why you were praying. According to AboutIslam (1) “Istikhara guides you to the path best for you concerning an affair with two lawful options. In matters that are obligatory, forbidden or disliked there is no need to pray Istikhara”. I would like to point out sister that bullying and harassment can be a form of oppression and oppression is a thing that is not liked, and hence does not require Istikhara. As you did make istikhara prayer, realize that results can take many forms. “Basically, you go by your feelings, whether you now feel more favorable or not. Also, you may notice events have changed, either for what you have expected or not.” When you got the results sister did you feel good? Did you feel things would change? Have things gotten better or worse at the job? The outcomes (such as what you are experiencing now) may be an answer. Please do consult our “Ask the Scholar” section for a more precise answer regarding this.

 

Tests and Trials

Oftentimes sister we are tested in this life as you know. Perhaps if you wait out the bullying and harassment it will stop, and you will be elevated to a higher position. Perhaps this will not be the case. Perhaps it will only get worse and it will wear you down even further. Regarding peoples who are oppressed or suffering conditions, Allah says that he will not change the condition of a people unless they changed the conditions within themselves. In your case this may mean changing jobs or actively seeking to stop the bullying, which may be difficult.

 

Changing Conditions

Sister, you may feel that you are supposed to stay in the situation and perhaps you are not. Perhaps you are to change the situation within yourself and seek another job. Allah does not want us to be bullied and harassed and harmed. Often times as stated, we will go through tests and trials that have different outcomes. Perhaps the outcome from this one would be that you got a different job. Perhaps the other outcome would be that you persevered, utilize patience and the bullying and harassment stopped and you got promoted. It is difficult to tell. The one thing that is apparent is that it is harming you.  The one thing we can do in situations like this is trust in Allah and use our common sense when evaluating the situation and make choices which are good for us and our deen.

 

Choices

At this point you may want to explore other job options. You may wish to utilize this time to also learn how to effectively respond to bullying and harassment. Please see The Balance Careers (2).  You can choose to stand up to it, file a complaint with your boss and or the company.   Whatever you choose, just know that Allah does want you to be safe and happy and not have to go through such persecution. Please do decide whether or not you would like to stay or leave the position you are in. We do have choices in life. Explore your choices, make duaa and make an informed decision.

 

Safety in Allah

Sister, please consider getting a different job or addressing the bullying so you can have peace. Your health and safety are important. Make duaa to Allah for guidance and protection and recite Ayat Al Kursi. This is a powerful ayat which provides protection and safety. “It was narrated from Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Kab that his father told him that he had a vessel in which he kept dates. He used to check on it and found that the number was decreasing. So, he kept guard on it one night and saw a beast that looked like an adolescent boy. He said: I greeted him with salams and he returned my greeting, then I asked him, “What are you, a jinn or a human?” He said, “A jinn.” I said to him, “Show me your hand.” So, he showed me his hand, and it looked like a dog’s paw with dog’s fur. I said, “Do all the jinn look like this?” He said, “I know no one among the jinn who is stronger than I.” I said, “What made you do what you did [i.e., taking the dates]?” He said, “We heard that you are a man who loves charity, and we wanted to have some of your food.” Ubayy asked him, “What will protect us from you?” He said, “This verse, Ayat Al-Kursi.” Then the next day he [Ubayy] went to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and told him (about what had happened) and he said, “The evil one spoke the truth” (3). You are in our prayers sister, we wish you the best.


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