Thank you for participating in the session.
Here are the 4 questions our counselor provided an answer for. If you do not find yours, please check back for our upcoming session or submit it once again.
Thank you for your understanding.
Question 1. How to cope up with persistent grief depression and trauma
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmathullahi wabarakathuhu.
I’m a 22 year old reverted Muslim girl. I reverted together with my family. After 6 years of our reversion a month ago my sister passed away to Allah because of TB. She was 19 years old. With Allah’s grace she was uttering the shahadah when she was going to Allah. She was as bright as the lamp and she had a very beautiful smile on her face. I knew that Allah had loved her and called her and I truly and deeply believe Allah will join us together Insha Allah in paradise. But the thing that’s bothering me is my sadness. I’m keeping on missing her so much. Because we’re always together, we ate on the same plate, drank in the same cup, studied together and did everything together in my life, not even a minute I have spent without her. We even used to scold each other if we left each other for a second. Now I couldn’t live without her. Even my parents are getting pressured cause of my depression. No matter how hard I try I also ask Allah for help in every Sajdah but I couldn’t stop those memories and worrying over it. And my dreams whenever I sleep I only get the memories we had as dreams and the next day I feel very lonely, very sad and I also feel very regretful for not being more in Allah’s way with my sister. I know asking for death to Allah isn’t permissible but I couldn’t live too. My granny, my dad, my mom everyone advises me to leave the burden to Allah and be happy but no matter how hard I try I couldn’t. I don’t know what to do. Please help me in Allah’s way.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
I am so sorry for your loss. May Allah grant your sister the highest place in Jannah. Dealing with loss is such a difficult time for everyone, especially when the loss is of someone very close, like your sister. You did everything together and now she is no longer with you and suddenly you are faced with a huge void in your life. Given how close you were, life must feel so incredibly different now and this will take a long time to get used to.
Grief is a long process. You have not long lost your sister and are naturally going to find it very hard to adjust since she played such a prominent part in your life. It’s important at this delicate time that you are kind to yourself. The feelings are still very raw and fresh and you may continue to feel this way still for some time to come.
Don’t rush yourself to ‘get over’ her death and move on at a pace that you can’t manage. Take your time and be kind to yourself. It will take time to adjust and it won’t be an easy journey but I hope that continued faith in Allah and some advice I can give you here might help to ease your journey somewhat.
Firstly and most importantly continue to turn to Allah. Find solace with Him. Cry to Him, ask Him to make things easier for you. Pray for your deceased sister. Have faith that Allah will grant her a place in the highest ranks of Jannah and be happy for her in this respect. Continue to pray and be hopeful that you will be reunited in Jannah by the will of Allah and find happiness and comfort in this.
Nothing will be able to fill the space that your sister once held in your life, but you can ease things by filling this space with something useful and productive. If you and your sister had any particular routine that you did on a regular basis, then continue to keep it up for her sake. Or, if there’s another way that you can do these things then maybe switch things up a bit.
For example, if you used to go to gatherings together, then continue to do so. Maintain the mutual bonds you had with other people and keep her memory alive by sharing memories of her during these times.
Of course no one else will fill the void that she leaves in the same way and you can’t expect anyone to, but this would allow you to fill it a bit in a helpful way that will help you to take baby steps forward.
Is there anything that your sister was particularly passionate about? Any cause that she liked to help out, or often thought of or spiked frequently? How about keeping her memory alive by supporting this cause, either donating or volunteering. Use her passing as a way to do something positive and beneficial to others that she cared about. Perhaps even get the support of mutual friends and family in supporting the cause even more and having an even larger impact.
Also, ask yourself what your sister would say to you at this time? How would she advise you to deal with this situation? How would she have dealt with something like this? How would you want her to deal with the situation if things had been the other way around? Thinking about things like this could help to guide you on how best to manage the situation from an alternative perspective, with someone close in mind.
Additionally, don’t feel ashamed or shy to seek counseling. Dealing with loss is not easy at all and it can be incredibly beneficial to get additional support to deal with it. It might be that going to a counselor will give you the space to just talk openly, to get all your feelings out. If you need it, your counselor might be able to offer you more support beyond talking and give you exercises to do that will help you to process the grieving process such as those I have mentioned here.
The most important thing is that you realize that it is not a straightforward or easy process to go through and that its ok to ask for help. Of course, continue to turn to Allah, but also look elsewhere if needed also. This is ok too.
May Allah make things easier for you at this difficult time and may He guide you through this tough time in a way that will bring comfort to you. May you continue to find comfort in the remembrance of Allah as you move forward over the next months and years.
Question 2. Depressed state of mind
Salaam, I am struggling as a Muslim. I try to hold on to my prayers. I fast Alhamdulilah pay zakat. But all of the things I am missing. My marriage is difficult and my husband neglects me emotionally. He doesn’t want to talk about anything. I feel so alone. Alhamdulilah I have a beautiful daughter who is 18 years old that I can talk to. I don’t know what to do. How to get better. Marriage is making me depressed. He gives out all his energy to outsiders and leaves me with nothing. Feels like a journey alone. Please help. He doesn’t want to seek a counselor. I just wish I can learn to love Allah and forget what my husband is doing to me.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
Marriage is supposed to provide a source of comfort and happiness to both spouses. However, for the majority of couples, marriage comes with its ups and downs. On the most part these form part of what makes a marriage what it is and often even contributes to strengthening a marriage having worked through and survived the toughest of times together.
I’m sorry to read that you feel lonely in your marriage and that you feel that your emotional needs are not being met. In this case the first thing I would ask is if he is aware of this? Breakdowns in communication are so often the cause of marital difficulties. Perhaps your husband isn’t aware that you feel this way and his behavior towards you only exacerbates these feelings further.
If he is not aware just how much he’s hurting you then he won’t acknowledge your feelings or make any changes to his behavior and certainly wouldn’t accept seeing a counselor if he sees no need. It may be that you need to spell things out more clearly. Perhaps you haven’t mentioned it at all, or maybe have, but haven’t told him the extent to which it is having an impact on you.
Is this the way he always was? Did he used to talk before? Attend to your emotional needs before? Spend as much time out with his friends? If this was always the way, then perhaps something has changed in you that’s made you feel that it is no longer acceptable and you would need to sit with yourself and think about what has changed in yourself to make you feel this way now that didn’t bother you before?
Otherwise, is this a change in him? If this is a change in him, then ask yourself what’s happened? Are you aware of a change in his life that might be causing him to be like this now that he wasn’t before? Has he lost someone? Experienced a change at work? Might he be depressed and trying to avoid facing it by keeping busy and distracted by friends and not with you where he might feel like talking about it?
Something practical that you can do to address the matter indirectly to begin with is to do more things together. If there is something that you like doing together either presently or in the past then encourage it more.
This will help to foster a closeness between you doing something interesting together. It will encourage dialogue too. This dialogue doesn’t have to relate to your current feelings to begin with but will make it easier for you both to open up freely about your feelings in a more natural way.
In the beginning you probably won’t directly address more difficult emotions, but doing something together like this will also provide an alternative way for you to get the emotional support that you currently feel you are lacking. It might also support him in a way that enables him to give you emotional support in a way that comes more naturally too.
In the meantime, although not an alternative, don’t neglect to attend to your emotional needs in other ways too. Don’t neglect your own self care. Do things you enjoy independent of your relationship with your husband, be with friends, engage in your favorite hobbies.
May Allah make things easier for you and increase the love between you and your husband. May Allah make you both the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the next.
Question 3. Divorce and Loneliness as a new Muslim in a non-Muslim Island.
Assalaamu alaikum sister, I feel a strong sense of loneliness and sadness when I have memories of my ex-husband. I have been divorced a little over 3 weeks now and it has been emotionally difficult for me. During that time, I moved back into my parents house and told them that I had converted to Islam. Where I live, the population is around 3% of Muslim and since I’m somewhat newly converted, I have not formed relationships or met many sisters who I can learn from or just talk to. (I’ve lost my previous friends during the marriage) My question is, what are some practical steps I can take to heal and feel relieved from the loneliness due to our separation?
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
You have just been through a divorce and even though you have been able to move back in with your parents you face an isolated life as a new revert in a country where there are few Muslims and you are not yet established in the community.
At the moment everything is still fresh as you adjust to some big changes in your life. Facing one of these things alone can be daunting enough, whether it is divorce, reverting to a new religion and way of life, living somewhere where you are in the minority or moving to a new home with your parents.
Each of these things alone comes with its own unique challenges, but you are faced with them all at once. May Allah make it easy for you. All these things are still so fresh for you and will all take a period of adjustment. So, with this in mind, my first advice is to be kind to yourself, take your time and don’t place any undue pressure on yourself during these testing times.
Alhamdulillah, at least for a start you are at home with your parents so you can be cared for and receive emotional support from those close to you.
Take advantage of this opportunity to rest and recuperate as you make your next steps forward. It will provide a safe and stable environment in which you will be able to move at your own pace. With it all being so new to you, do take your time. Don’t rush things. For now it’s important to take care of yourself to allow for healing.
When you are feeling ready seek to integrate yourself into your local Muslim community. Find out where your closest masjid is and begin making connections. Find out if they have any classes for sisters or regular meetups that you could attend and go from there. You may find that they are Muslim families living closer to you than you realize. Perhaps the easiest way to start here would be to attend Friday prayer or contact the masjid online if they have a website.
As well as connecting locally with other sisters, given the minimal Muslim population where you live you might also seek friendships online. You might do this through trusted social media groups.
Alternatively, as a new Muslim in the search for knowledge on Islam I would strongly recommend taking advantage of any of the many online courses available. Many of these courses have groups for the students to connect also. This would be an ideal way to forge friendships with other sisters also on the quest to increase their knowledge.
This will then serve the purpose of giving you something productive to do whilst meeting and bonding with others also and helping you on your new journey in Islam.
As well as making connections with sisters, as part of your healing, you could also connect with others in the community too. If there are other things going on that interest you that are within the bounds of Islam, then go for it, especially if it’s an opportunity to engage in a hobby you love or get some gentle exercise. Do look into any ladies groups that do such things locally that you might be interested in getting involved in.
I also wonder if there would be any chance of you rekindling past relationships with those you lost during marriage. If circumstances would not allow and it would cause you further difficulties, then overlook this, but if it’s something that perhaps you might like to consider, then maybe you could reach out gently to them also, maybe from a distance via the phone to start to enable bonds to rekindle first. Of course, if you are not comfortable doing this then don’t force it and make things any more difficult for yourself at this time.
If, in some time, you are still feeling down and like things are not improving for you emotionally, do reach out to get some counseling support to provide you with a space to express your feelings further. This may be particularly useful if you have still not found anybody locally or online, Muslim or not, who you have made an emotional connection with to help you to heal from your new wounds.
May Allah ease your difficulties during these testing times and may He make a comforting path forward for you that will be filled with happiness and success in this life and the next.
Question 4. Marriage
Asalama aleikum sheikh.
I am a Muslim mother, I have a disturbing issue in marriage I hope Allah will grant me and my justice.
We were married for 9 years my husband with three kids always use to go away after staying with me only 2 month Alhamdulillah every travel Allah blessed me a baby and use to come back after 2 years. Alhamdulillah may Allah grant me reward for my patience but with all that patience and perseverance my husband opt to marry another woman just because she was from west I only notice and asked and these has let a divorce. Alhamdulillah we got separated for 3 years he never visited children all that just send money third year he came and subhana Allah subhana Allah I can only say it was all Allah plan we went together again with just 20 days stay as I was travelling maasha Allah tabaraka lah I got pregnant. In these time he told me he again married another woman just 4month to come but because he told me I said its ok honestly these time I had no love feelings but more of looking forward for kids benefit. Alhamdulillah Allah has blessed us 4th baby together but again I was all alone only stayed 20days. It was quite hard for me to bare the man who hurted me left 3years another woman how I accept to the worst I had no feelings. This question killed me slowly but to worst again another woman in his life. walahi all I kept repeating is Allah has choose him again for you and give you baby so say Alhamdulillah.
These time, he tried his best to be nice and understanding and because of early pregnancy sometimes I cry cry, cry because am in new country and pregnant. All went on and off but what kept me strong was my prayers and trust I put in my heart Allah will never put you more than you can bare.
What makes me wonder is my husband will call and send nice message but there is no that love intimacy any sexual feelings at all remember to be clear it started long time…I kept asking if your husband claims and swears he loves where are his feelings and when say do you love the other wife he swears he actually don’t even communicate and when tell him why fear Allah make us equal Allah will ask you he claims he does that to please me which I tell him no ..its wrong equalize us we have same right.
My husband will send messages for kisses but even to kiss me just video came to look into my eyes is like am stranger …reality its just like am single wife. I have husband but I don’t these has killed me gradually till I lost any feelings am just a life just like that.
Recently I addressed that he should think about these situations cz am done I can’t be living with husband who can’t even show me any intimacy as his wife.
Secondly, he claims he don’t love the other woman but he is married to her just because she loves him and she is crying not to divorce.
Since am lost and find whole marriage and its affecting my health and I find him not totally honest with whole thing is it a sin on me to ask for divorce to free myself.
Thirdly I don’t know if its satan or what but I kept getting whisper that I should leave these marriage and these man ….Alhamdulillah I pray all my prayers and read my duas and dress Islamically am totally honest to my husband I feel stressed and don’t know whom to talk to.
Recently after i sent the voice he switched off his mobile.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
This sounds like a very confusing and difficult time for you and your children. As a result, your health is now being affected. Given the instability you are experiencing, it may also be affecting your children also and this is why it is very important to sort this out and be clear about where you are going, for both their sake and yours.
I can’t judge the situation entirely without being aware of your husband’s side of the story, but from what you are presenting it certainly seems like your rights as a wife and your children’s rights also are not being fulfilled. Sure, he does also have the right to marry another woman, and he has, but this doe not mean he should forfeit his responsibilities towards you. Alhamdulillah, you do seem to be hanging on to your Deen and staying close to Allah and this will certainly ease the burden for you and make it easier for you to navigate these difficult times. However, whilst this is keeping you strong, you also have the right to be treated right by your husband regardless of if he has another wife or not. If he is genuinely not fulfilling your rights then something needs to be done.
Whilst I understand that after all these years of seeming mistreatment from your husband you are having thoughts that you should get a divorce, and maybe that would be the ultimate best thing to do, I would not recommend jumping straight into a divorce without first trying to make things work. Only after you have tried all you can to make things work through counselling or reconciliation or other methods would I suggest you take this big step as it will have major consequences all around for you and your children. Once you have tried, if it doesn’t work, then you could walk away confidently knowing that you did try everything and therefor could leave with no regrets.
With this in mind, it sounds like the first thing you need to do is rekindle the relationship. Remember why you fell in love with him to begin with and the things you once did that brought happiness into your marriage and try to revisit these times again together. If there is someone who can take care of your children so that you can have this time alone together that would be helpful. This way you can have joyous moments together but without the pressure of discussing what’s happening right now just yet. Begin by just enjoying each others company. Perhaps part of his attitude comes from trying to escape this discussion so don’t force it at first. Let it come naturally. He is probably quite aware of how you’re feeling and feels where the conversation will lead and how it could potentially lead to disagreements. Let this conversation come more naturally as you reestablish the bonds you once had. it will allow for a more gentle and honest discussion following this. It may take some time to reach this point, but patiently taking your time as you relationship improves will allow for more effective and productive discussion on the topic and how to move forward in the best way for everyone where all needs are being met correctly.
This would be ideal, but if he doesn’t seem interested, then it might be necessary to involve a third party, whether it be a marriage counselor, local imam or mutual friend or family member that wouldn’t take sides and would allow you both to express your thoughts and feelings openly without judgement. It maybe that he also needs an opportunity like this to be able to make his voice heard too and this will help to ease the burden for him also. If he is not up for this, do remind him that it is for sake of his children also that he tales part in this. Again, give him time to accept this as an option without pressuring him too much, at least to begin with. Give him time to consider and ponder this without continually pushing him.
If after all these efforts to reconcile, after some time you still see no improvement at all, then perhaps it is time to seek divorce. But, before taking this big step, make sure you have considered the pros and cons of it, taken you time to consider these things, and most importantly, taken the matter to Allah. If you choose to go for it then ensure you have all security in place to manage practically, emotionally and financially. Make sure you have somewhere safe to stay, perhaps with family if you have any able to tale you in, or at least have friends and family close by that you can turn to for the emotional support when you need it. Do take care of yourself as well ensuring you keep busy with the usual dealings of life, but also doing things you enjoy also. Spend time with friends and family doing other things that don’t involve any discussion about what’s going on in your personal life also and this will help you to keep things level and not too distracted and overwhelmed by what’s going on with your husband.
May Allah make things easy for you and your children at this difficult time and bring you a resolution that is best for you all.
Monday, Dec. 26, 2022 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT
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.