Marriage, Relationship, Christmas (Counseling Session)

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 Hannah for answering the questions.

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

 

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 | 13:00 - 14:00 GMT

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

N



Assalamualaikum.

Recently, I started to repent to Allah for all the sins I’ve done. I got engaged but my partner does not know I had affairs several times a few years ago. I realized my mistakes now and I sincerely regret them. Should I confess my past sins before marriage, or should I repent privately and hope that Allah conceals my sins? Does it mean I am deceiving my partner into marrying me if I do not tell him? 

I know that Islam says we should conceal our sins. However, I was also looking for mental help, so I confessed to my therapist what I had done. Now I am so scared. Did I do the wrong thing? Should I have kept this to myself? 

 

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

You do not have to share anything that happened before you marriage with your spouse. This is not his business. Until you are married to him you have no commitment to him and neither does he to you. Perhaps he has done things in his past too that are simful and he is not proud of too, but he is not obliged to tell you and neither are these matters to be discussed after getting married. Any such sins should repented for and left in the past.

The good thing is that you are feeling sorry for your previous actions and are seeking forgiveness from Allah. This severe guilt that you are experiencing will deter you from doing the same again to avoid having to go through such feelings again. This may even make you a better and more faithful spouse than you would have been otherwise as you will be even more conscious of falling into sin and will observe your hijab more strictly which is essential when you are married.

Regarding having confessed your sins to your therapist, whether it was the right or wrong thing to do there is nothing you can do to take it back now. Ruminating over whether it was a good choice or not will only cause you more turmoil. Whilst it is not seen as a good thing to reveal your sins, your therapist is bound by a code of ethics that means unless what you are revealing to her indicates that you will harm yourself or others she cannot share information with anyone else without your consent. In this respect the information you have shared should be safe. Since it is a matter that is causing you so much distress aside from taking it to Allah, the only way you can process it and get help in moving in is to share it. If such information must be shared that someone then a neutral party bound by confidentiality is the better person to open up to.

There is nothing you can do to change what has happened in the past so it’s important to move on from it so that you can have a happy and successful marriage. The mistakes of your past are haunting you until now so do continue to take the matter to Allah and seek His forgiveness. Allah is the most forgiving and makes it very clear that He loves when His slaves turn to him in repentance. Turn to Him in the last third of the night, shed tears of repentance and beg Him for forgiveness and trust in His Mercy. Confidence in His mercy will help you to forgive yourself too. This is the key to moving on. If you cannot forgive yourself then  you will remain stuck in your past mistakes.

Beyond this, use this as an opportunity to purify yourself from past sins by bettering your character by adhering to the things that Allah tells us to, especially when it comes to interactions with non mahram men. If you abide by Allah’s commands then this task will be much easier. Do not talk with other men except when necessary. Only engage in talk relevant to the reason for transaction between you and avoid pointless talk. Never be alone with another male. Should it be necessary to be with another male then make sure to have a mahram with you and be in a open place with other people around. Avoid mixed gatherings where men and women open mix with each other. This rules should even apply in the online space too. Some of these things might seem a little extreme and people can easily question the harm in such interactions trusting themselves not to slip into zina, but Shaytan works in deceptive ways and quickly and easily turn something seemingly innocent into something far more sinful.

So, whilst what you did in the past was sinful, you can turn things around and use your experience to reform yourself and improve yourself for the sake of Allah and for the sake of your marriage.

May Allah forgive you and may you find contentment in turning to Him. May Allah bless you with a happy and successful marriage that will please you in this life and the next.


N



Assalamu ‘alaykum. I think someone who likes me is indirectly telling me that he wants to talk to me, Ive learned about it through his posts in facebook. I ignored it of course as I want to stay away from haraam interaction. but as time passes by, I felt bad/ guilty because his tweets in twitter contains pictures implying that he’s drinking alcohol to ease hurt feeling of avoiding him.

I felt bad because I think me ignoring him is making him stay further away from deen. I was waiting for him to ask me first directly through chat to clarify everything and to tell him that there is halal way of approaching someone he likes. But it seems like he still wont start a conversation. Can I just tell him through chat? Like I’ll be the one to initiate the convo. I just want to clarify things. If ever his answer is he just want haraam relationship and doesnt have intention to propose then I’ll just end it there and have more peace of mind. Jazaakallah for listening.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

The first thing I would suggest is to unfriend/unfollow him on all social media! It may seem quite innocent being friends online and following each other but this can easily lead to Haram, arguably more so that being friends face to face. With the thought that noone is watching from behind the screen things could quickly get out of hand. The fact that you are contemplating making one to one contact with him is a step in the wrong direction. If you feel he wants to talk to you and seek marriage then you should not contact him yourself, but could ask someone else to contact him on your behalf. To do so yourself would only open the doors to even more Haram although you may feel that in the beginning by doing the right thing and trying to guide him to do things the right way and masha Allah your intentions are good, but it is a dangerous path to tread and Shaytan can easily take advantage of this. It may be that he himself also misinterprets your communication with him too. Therefore, it is important to keep away from this before things get out of hand by making sure any contact you have with him is in line wit Islamic guidelines. To remove any indirect conta t with him by unfriending/unfollowing him, the temptation will be removed from both of you.

Also, be aware that the way you are interpreting his own behaviour could be entirely wrong. Turning to alcohol, whether he is hurt by your actions or not is not a good sign. You cannot be sure that this is the reasoning behind his actions, but to seek to talk to him because of your own interpretation of his actions is not a excuse to start a conversation with him. If he is turning to alcohol due to mental health issues then you would be a better support to him by expressing your s concern to someone who will be able to help him. You are not the person to do this. As much as you feel guilty and responsible for his actions, he is the one in control of his actions, but you can take responsibility if you wish by other more acceptable means. Likewise, you feel your actions are pushing him away from the Deen, but this is your interpretation of posts you see him put up. There may be a bounty of other reasons why he is like this, but you do not need to take responsibility for this. He is the one in charge of his actions. Again, as with the alcohol, of he needs support in his Deen you can ask someone to offer him a supporting hand in getting closer to the Deen. Additionally, the strongest thing you could do is turn to Allah and ask Him to guide him on the straight path and away from sin.

Just as you wish for him to approach in the halal way of he wants to talk, if you are interested in seeking marriage to him too you can always approach him in the correct way too. You could ask a mahram such as your father or brother to approach him directly and organise a meeting between you with your mahram present. However, do be aware that since you have some history together via online means this might affect your feelings towards him and your judgement over whether he is a good person to marry. The fact that you feel concern and guilt for his feelings already would indicate that this is the case. This is the benefit of having your mahram present as they will be able to judge him without such emotions getting in the way.

May Allah guide you on the straight path and grant you a husband that will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.


N



Assalamu’alaikum,

I am writing this with messy, confused thoughts I have in my brain and huge inability to run my life properly cz it’s been mixed with personal problems and mental health issues, but Im not asking about mental health issue. Im just hoping I will say my point across well despite the heavy feeling n I easily lost focus.

Confusion of Seeking Convincement

 My heart prones towards Islam. I want to stay in this religion cz I ve been placed in a situation that to me pushing me to be cynical about Islam but my heart feels restless and still want to go back as I already understood so many things in Islam rulings is logical, and bcz of the beauty of Quran linguistics that proving Allah’s love for us all.

The thing is, I dont think I have researched in the right way (systematically) and right person too. Cz things makes me confused, really confused. It gets messy and I am afraid it will make me lost evenmore. Sometimes too I becime afraid to ask someone by internet like this or in real life. Sometimes not (being brave). Then when I talked with another muslim they have their own choice about a matter. Then it baffles me again. Afraid Im the one who is wrong and they re right since idk how come they re so convinced about that.

And sometimes I feel this is stupid cz other people doesnt learn much more about their convincement of islam like I do, even some does like I am too, that makes me wanna stop it and act like “Im just following famous ustaz”, and just care about my other problem in finance, mental health issue, and study.

This confusion gets me like in startled constantly. I get awkward in me starting to do my prayer and results I dont do it unless I am in the crowd which is easier to do cz I dont focus on my powerlessness in my thought n body.

I watched Zakir Naik, but I got evenmore powerless like I cant map all of these things calmly and make it as a firm convincement like they have. Yusuf Estes and other lecture about nonmuslims that converts to islam.

Do you think I should continue the search? How? In my town, I am afraid like I dpnt trust enough the ustaz/ah are openminded about my questions, Im afraid to be judged or smirked. So I dont think it’s by real life by ustaz/ah. If by internet like asking through this web, some people say I shouldnt only learn Islam by internet. So which one? Seems everyone gets their own opinion n they look so firm so I get scared which one. But where else if its not internet cz in global world (where we all using english) I see like this website, it’s higher chance to get empathetic scholars of this search than in my town.

It leads to the second problem which is me feeling tired or sucked out energy seeing this dilemma that we are all not the same theres alot of nonmuslims and I feel pity/empathy to them as if I am born as nonmuslim there can be big possibility I am as distracted as them with dunya and fear and not thinking about religion at all. Like I am worried about them cz I am afraid Allah let them go. Cz the condition is Islam name are supressed in reputation by media and even if there are people convert into islam, there are much bigger number that yet convert. I mean I feel the dilemma cz many of those nonmuslims have good attitude as a friend to others, good moms, good guy, kindhearted, charitable etc. And knowing if they re not be muslim, all of their good deeds are useless n doesnt count at all, bothers me so much.

My qestion is, like how can? Will Allah be thoughtful and care detailly about giving them lots of signn or baits of hidayah so they can follow those signs so finally by their free will they will find Islam? I know it’s about their free will what to choose to do or believe, but how do I stop feeling sad about them as if its like they re in difficult and unprivileged state unlike us thats already muslim by birth and have better environment to keep us safe in the right path of Islam?

This search n powerlessness feeling I have, is the biggest factor I think that I am unable to run life n act/do/behave like others do. Now I barely trust anything n be passionate over anything cz it seems everything is relative and none is able to be earned in absolute right measure. All people got their own saying. And if I really want to get convinced 100% I have to research that deep and I dont think I have the energy anymore

seeing my condition n confusion. I am very lost. This question bounced between Psychological n Religious problem and sometimes I am so mad to myself that I eveb choose to start to be critical like this but I get lost myself and being overpowered by this confusion. Believe me sometimes I even want to take my own life cz I dont know anything at all anymore. Im scared to believe something cz somebody else will attack you n conflict with you and I got no energy at all. I am serious. Im saying Im serious cz I am afraid u think Im dramatizing which I am not and bcz I have self truat issue or maybe waswasa that keeps bothering me by questioning every intention I have. And so that I will believe that myself is dramatizing and insincere and whatever. But even I fulfill this waswasa I keep having this problem for so long so 8 dont think my problem is fake and I am just questioning islam in bad manner. No Im not.

Thank you, Jazaaka(i)llaahu khairan katsiiran for your answer. I really really hope Allah give me guidance how do manage all this. And may Allah grants you Jannah and good life in this world.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh and ameen to your du’a,

 

You are right to feel concerned as the things you have mentioned here certainly are concerning and can cause much distress for the one seeking knowledge. Masha Allah, you are actively seeking knowledge, as we should all be. There is so much too learn about Islam and even the greatest of scholars have much to learn still. Islam is like a never ending search for knowledge. With so much to learn it is understandable why you feel so confused and lost. To add to the burden there are also many people following the wrong path, following the practises of their forefathers and are being unknowingly lead astray and teaching the same to their own children. On top of this, with the creation of the Internet there are even more sources of knowledge. Masha Allah, there are many online institutions that offer structured courses in Islamic studies, but there are also many sites to be avoided that contain bogus information too. This probably hasn’t given you any more reassurance at this point as I am merely reinforcing the fhe fact that seeking knowledge as you desire, as we all should desire, comes with many obstacles. However, it is important that you don’t let this tire you out and that you continue to search for the knowledge that you desire and require to live your life as a contented Muslim, satisfied with Allah and His Deen.

My first suggestion would be to search online for some of the reputable online institutions that offer courses in Islamic studies and commit yourself to this. Such institutions offer structured courses that enable you to learn in a logical fashion and therefore reduce the chances of getting confused on a matter related to the course content. It also breaks knowledge down into more manageable chunks. With so much to learn this is crucial in maintaining motivation. The though of having so much to learn can be overwhelming, but to have it logically broken down topic by topic can make it alot more manageable. If you are confused about something in the course material then make use of the tutors teaching or facilitating the course. Or, you could use your query as a means of discussion with your local imam. This will give you a source of discussion to approach him with to facilitate further conversation and learning. It is important that you also manage you time as a means to support your learning too. At the start of your study write a plan of what you will study each day to ensure that you stay on top of your studies. Remember that there is much to learn. Take your time and understand what you are learning. This approach generally will help you to feel more relaxed about your search for knowledge. And, of course, continue to turn to Allah in your journey, asking Him to increase you in beneficial knowledge and guide you to that which is good.

Your second point is also a good point of genuine concern. Seeing good people who have not yet been guided to Islam can be heartbreaking. However, you should have confidence that Allah can guide anyone, even the most lost of people and He can do so in a single second. Know that Allah has predestined everything and from the moment the ruh was breathed into every single one of us our fate was already decided. This is something only Allah has control over. You cannot make someone become a Muslim. This can feel quite heartbreaking especially if someone you are close to is not a Muslim. However, you do have the power to be a good Muslim and spread the message of Islam. Make da’wah with such people even if it is just as simple as being a good person and showing the non-Muslims that Muslims are good people and Islam is beautiful. This is a responsibility to all of us. Remember that we were all born in a state of fitrah and yet some were guided astray for whatever reason, usually that they were raised in a non Muslim family, so everyone has the capacity to revert back to the straight path too. As well as being a source of da’wah to them, you can also take some control and turn to Allah in their behalf in asking Allah to guide them.

Ultimately, relating to both your points, they are both genuine reason to feel concerned and show a good heart in yourself. To help yourefl get through the distress that these matters are causing you firstly and most importantly, turn to Allah and ask Him to guide you as well as others to the straight path. Have strong faith that He is the only one that can guide you and them and can and will do so. Whilst you don’t have control of matters of the amount and quality of knowledge available, as well as the state of a person’s Deen, you do have control over taking the matter to the one who can make these matters easier for you. Take advantage of this. Allah loves when people turn to Him. Have confidence in His Power over all things and find confort and ease in this. Secondly, relating to both things again, take control of what you can in seeking knowledge in a manner that is most accessible to you as well as being a good role model and source of da’wah to those who are not currently Muslims and ask Allah for guidance on these matters too.

May Allah reward your concern for your own search of knowledge and for the state of mankind. May He guide you and may He guide us all on the straight path.

 


N



Assalamualaikum. I had received a proposal some months back from a far off relative of mine for their son who is 34 years old. We knew the family and their background well so my parents showed interest. He works in Ajman so couldn’t come to meet me personally so my parents were coercing me to try and get to know him through video call.

Honestly I was not really keen on this type of 1st introduction but reluctantly agreed. He is a nice , decent and caring guy. Alhamdulillah I was satisfied with his deen and character but I could not feel the attraction for him. During all this I always felt I was being guilt tripped by my family and other relatives to reject such a good proposal when its so dificult to find one these days. The guy was understanding enough to hear my predicament and came all the way here to meet me personally just for a day so that I could take a decision. 

I was not really excited as he was for this meet as I thought I might not like him and reject him as attraction was an important thing to consider no matter how small its significance is. I had prayed istikhara a couple of times but due to my anxiety could not really understand my feelings. I prayed to Allah fervently saying whatever is best for me let it happen and make me satisfied with it. Surprisingly I liked him compared to his pics or on video call so I thought I am ready & said yes. 

I was happy and at peace with my decision & the guy went back to his work. Within a week our engagement was done. But I don’t know what happened suddenly 1 night before the engagement I started panicking a lot & even told my mom that I don’t want to get engaged. But since it was too late my mom just assured me everything is alright & I’m just overthinking. My engagement was done. 

Everybody was happy except me. I realized that maybe I just liked him as a friend & didn’t feel attracted to him as a potential spouse. It’s been a week now since I’m engaged but I don’t feel happy at all. I feel guilty all the time that I’m playing with the guy’s feelings as he is so genuine with his feelings for me. I told my parents that I’m reconsidering this whole thing but now they are stressed coz of me as the family reputation is at stake. My mom says that since this is an arranged marriage I won’t start feeling for him so early.

As time goes by & after I get married to him & start living with him I will start feeling attracted to him. But I’m not convinced. I feel if I only consider him as a platonic friend & can’t feel that attraction now, how can it grow after marriage? I talk to him on call sometimes & other times on text. I’m generally a friendly person so I speak to him like a friend so my parents think I’m just overthinking about the whole issue. But sadly it has affected my physical & emotional health too. I’m unable to eat properly sometimes , my appetite has reduced & I even feel uneasy by some food smells. I could’nt sleep properly at night. 

I suffer from thyroid and PCOS so I wonder maybe there’s a major hormonal imbalance in my body because of which I get these mood swings. I’m taking medications for it. I fear I’m emotionally unstable right now to make any decision. The guy is so caring & empathetic towards all my feelings and emotions but I haven’t been able to tell him this. My dad is a heart patient & whenever I try discussing my issues with him he starts complaining of chest pain or how he feels I’m going to be the reason for his deteriorating health. 

Please guide me. I’m very stressed about the whole situation. I agree I was the one who took the decision & was satisfied with it but then how come I’m not sure now. Everybody thinks I’m to be blamed for all this but nobody is ready to understand my mental agony. Pls guide me as to what is the right way to go about all this as soon as possible. Thank You.

 

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Seeking marriage and getting married is an anxious time for most people. If you suffer form health problems and anxiety already then this event can only make things worse. Your feelings are completely normal and understandable.

Alhamdulilah that you have the support of your parents, however, you are feeling somewhat pressured at this point like they are forcing you. In Islam you should never be forced into marriage against your wishes and you have every right to withdraw. On the other, it does seem like he is a decent marriageable man. Whilst attractiveness is certainly a good feature to have, it is not the most important. If his Deen is in shape and he has a clear fear of Allah then this is the most important. A man with such qualities will treat you well and in line with what should be practiced in Islam.

As an arranged marriage, as you parents pont out, the spark may not be there from the start. Even in marriages that are not not arranges it can take time to develop the strong feelings that you typically associate with being married. Some couples do have an automatic connection and others take a very long time to develop, but the strongest of feelings come out of time and experience together. They come out of experiencing and overcoming difficulties together; experiences that don’t occur in the early days of marriage, but in time. It is experiences together that create fond memories and build trust that is mot present in the early days of marriage.

You are doing the right thing in turning to Allah making istikhara. Continue with this. As yet, it doesn’t seem to be coming to anything and this is fine. When the time is right Allah will guide you to what is best. Take your time and make your decision. Continue to make istikhara and Allah will facilitate it for you. If the marriage is meant to be everything will fall in place and if not, your heart will turn away from it.

This conflict between your feelings of being unsure about what to do is causing much distress and only exacerbating your anxiety further. Make sure to take time for yourself to take of yourself and take time away from thinking about this current dilemma. Keep busy with hobbies that you love, spending time with friends and even get some exercise. These are all things that will help to boost your well-being and reduce your anxiety. As you anxiety reduces you will be in a better place to make a more rational decision about the next step to take.

In the meantime do be careful about how you maintain contact with this man. As yet, you are not married so be careful about interactions alone with him, even from afar by phone and text. Make sure your father is in on any contact as your mahram to ensure things don’t turn into something Haram. These interactions may also make the decision making process even more difficult for you too as you develop feelings for him, as a friend, potential spouse, or otherwise. This will effect your interpretation of your feelings towards him and potentially marrying him too.

For now, take care of your mental health and take some time to carefully consider your options. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s your decision at the end of the day. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of moving forward with this proposal as well as the benefits and drawbacks of declining it. Considering which will be most pleasing to Allah and which will best for you now and in the future.

May Allah guide you to make the best decision for His sake and yours too. May He grant you a spouse that will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.