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Mental Health & Spirituality (Counseling Q/A Session)

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Thank you for participating in the session.

Please find the 4 questions our counselor provided answer for.

If you do not find yours, please check back to an upcoming session or submit it again.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Question 1. Fear of death during childbirth

Asalamualaikum I have a fear of death I am pregnant with my 2nd child. Alhumdulilah my first born died when he was just 7 days now, I am pregnant Alhumdulilah and I have this extreme fear of death during process for child birth I have heard some horror real stores of women who died during c section now I am obsessed with this thought that I will also die during childbirth I won’t be able to see my child or spend time with my child. My husband lives abroad after our marriage we only spend 3 months together in 2 years of marriage. I didn’t spend time with my husband these thoughts are making me so depressed I cry in sujood I ask help from Allah but still I have this fear my due date is near and my fear becoming worse. I always thoughts it is something related to a sign from Allah that my death is near my death is approaching are these thoughts real? Are these signs from Allah that my death is near? I am also visiting psychiatrist but still medicine is not helping.


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Allahumma barik, firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy. May Allah grant you a healthy child who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

I also understand that whilst this is happy news to be excited about, you are also experiencing the psychological consequences of your previous experience of pregnancy which ended so sadly. Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon. May Allah bring you ease and strength in dealing with your loss and may He reunite you with the baby you lost in Jannah.

To experiencing the kind of anxieties that you are is something that many women go through in pregnancy. You are not alone there. However, your previous experience is understandably exacerbating these feelings.

This is making you perhaps more anxious than others may be during pregnancy, but yet, it is a completely understandable reaction to your situation. It is perfectly normal for any woman who has experienced child loss whether in pregnancy or after giving birth to be plagued with similar thoughts to what you are having.

However, even though these are quite normal to be having, knowing that you are not alone will certainly help a bit, but it doesn’t take the feeling away entirely. As your due date draws closer your anxiety is getting worse and its affecting your psychological wellbeing which is not good for you or baby.

I am glad to read that you are seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication. This would be the first thing I would ask you to look into. Unfortunately, it seems neither is working for you at present. Regarding this, I would also ask you to think of a couple of things. Both psychotherapy and medication can take a little time to work so I wonder if they are not working yet as its something new? Perhaps you have been using both for sometime and this is not the issue, but just to make you aware of that in case it is something relatively new for you.

I would also ask if your psychiatrist has any experience working with grief, particularly child loss? It can make quite a difference to be counselled by someone who has experience with your particular situation. Again, maybe she does, but is something that is worth considering given your circumstances.

Additionally, whilst it can be tempting to read around about horror birth stories, this is clearly doing you no good so I would advise you to stay away from such as it seems to be significantly contributing to your reduced psychological wellbeing. Instead, focus on surrounding yourself with support from loved ones, friends and family who will not feed into these negativity and instead instill more positivity. This should at least in part help you to divert your attention to something less worrisome. Aside from your present concerns, thisnis also important given the absence of your husband much of the time.

From an Islamic perspective, again, you are doing the right thing by taking your affairs to Allah first and foremost and seeking His aid. You are doing so during sujood and are open to pouring out your fears to Him. In sha Allah this is providing you with some relief, but at the same time, I understand you are still feeling distressed too.

Here, if advise you to take another approach too. Death is something that we all fear to some extent. Sometimes if can reach levels of an irrational fear and can be completely debilitating. Alhamdulilah, in Islam, we can use this in a more positive way. Use this fear as an opportunity and take a good look at yourself and ask yourself if you are ready for death? Have you done enough good deeds? Have you abandoned sin? Do you worship Allah as you should? And so on. Use this fear as a motivation to better yourself and take active steps to do so. After all, one of the main reasons we fear dwath as Muslims is our fear that we didn’t do enough to earn a place in eternal paradise. Thinking of death and fearing Allah reminds us of the things that we should be doing to earn Allah’s pleasure. It is scary, but what better way to push us towards the good of both this life and the Hereafter? Use your loss and current anxieties as a means to a positive solution by seeing some kind of blessing in it, as distressing as that may be, but yet at the Mercy of the Most Merciful.May Allah bring peace and contentment in your heart and grant you an easy pregnancy and delivery. May He bless you with a healthy child whonwill be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

Question 2. How to deal with difficult in-laws

I have been troubled for the last many years due to my in laws behavior. They are treating me badly. They look down at me, always says words that hurt me.

So I prayed a lot to save me from them. Alhamdullilah, I got job. I worked. After 5 years Allah helped us to build a new house. But when I came to India for my house warming function my co sister who seemed to be very friendly. She always says that mother-in-law is telling bad about me. Daily she comes and says whatever my mother-in-law says to her she will come and say to me but she is very friendly with her also. I feel very frustrated because of both my mother-in-law and co sister. Mother-in-law still behaving badly to me.

I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t know why they are behaving like this. Now I don’t like to see these two ladies. I don’t even like to call. But sometimes I call only for the sake of Allah. My husband is always with me. He knows all the situation.I feel very lonely and awkward when I am with them.

Please help me how to get along with such strange people. How to deal with them?Mother-in-law is filled with hatred towards. I comes out every time through her words.I pray that I don’t want to see such double faces people.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This is indeed a very distressing situation that you are in. Everyone would love to have a healthy relationship with their in-laws, but unfortunately, this is often not the case, and rifts may be observed by at least 2 parties.

Of course we all want the ideal situation where everyone gets along, and even in the cases where they do, some level of compromise is needed behind the scenes, but it is not uncommon for there to be big problems with the in laws.

Whilst you can’t just make things perfect and turn things into the ideal situation that you seek, as do we all, there are some things that you can do to ease the situation. You can’t change their behavior, but you can consider things from an alternative perspective.

Firstly, remember that all families are different, even those from within the same country, culture, and even religion. Every family has a different set of values and ways of living that are normal and acceptable to them. Even marrying within the same culture presents its own challenges of understanding, accepting, and adjusting to a different way of life. This is why so much compromise is often required in a marriage to ensure both parties have their needs met according to what is acceptable to them while still making allowances for different approaches that they may have too. As spouses, it can be difficult, but still manageable for the sake of having a healthy and happy marriage. Alhamdulilah, it seems you have this with your husband; however, when there is less emotional investment from extended family, making such compromises can be a lot more difficult. It’s more challenging to make these adjustments for someone you don’t live with every day or for them to understand an alternative way of life.

With this in mind, understand that your in-laws simply have less experience with your family background and way of life, which may make it more difficult to interact with you in a way that is acceptable to you. It may even be that, to you, their behavior seems rude when, in fact, this is just their normal way of interacting and they don’t really have any problems with you after all. This misunderstanding would therefore cause unnecessary difficulties between you.

On the other hand, maybe this is not the case and actually there is a problem, but it is that they are just adjusting to having someone from another family in their lives. It may even be that they really do have a serious problem with you; in this case, understand from their perspective that they are perhaps having a hard time letting go of a family member (that is, your husband) and therefore see you as some kind of threat. Naturally, if this is the case, this will lead to feelings of animosity toward you. Now, whilst understanding that any of these reasons will likely explain why they are behaving this way towards you despite you not having done anything wrong towards them, it won’t fix the problem entirely, but hopefully your understanding of their motivations will help you respond to the situation more successfully.

This doesn’t make their behavior toward you acceptable or ok, but in sha Allah you can respond with a softer heart and compassion towards them due to their own shortcomings. Understandably, you want to reduce contact with them to avoid these feelings of discomfort that you experience when being around them.

However, you are also aware that, for the sake of Allah, maintaining ties of kinship is also very important. It will also make things easier for your husband, who is in the middle. You could certainly reduce contact for your own wellbeing; that’s ok, but just make sure it’s regular enough so as not to exacerbate things further. It might be that actual contact can be reduced, but you can work gradually towards increasing it as you build bonds and accept each other into your lives.

Perhaps start by doing something completely new and different together. You might even start by building bridges with your mother-in-law to begin with, out of respect for her as the woman who raised your husband. Perhaps in the form of a short amount of one-on-one time together to get to know each other more.

This way, you are giving her your undivided attention away from other family members who seem to be making things more difficult by gossiping behind her back. Get to know her and her interests, and let this shape your conversation. This may be awkward at first and will likely require persistence, but with time and patience and gradually getting accustomed to one another, in sha Allah, things will begin to improve. May Allah make things easy for you and draw your families together in love and happiness that will bring contentment all around.

Question 3.

Assalam alikum. My parents were in abusive marriage since day 1. I’ve witnessed this with my own eyes, and till today, I’ve never seen peace in my home. Even though they have settled thing between themselves, the domestic violence at home still having long-lasting effects on me.Sure, there are days when we’re avoiding each other acting like it is all cool, but when we do interact as a family, it always ends in chaos and someone getting hurt emotionally or sometimes even physically. I really do believe in my heart that it’s injustice but I also believe Allah has bigger plans for all believers. It’s because she thinks that it will cause problems for us (her children) after divorce even though we’re grown up, that my mother refrained from divorce. I’ve never received any help from anyone I shared with not, even the people I trust from my relatives. No one understood how bad the problem was. Years passed by, and even after 20+ years, it’s left scars on the family. I’ve tried to move on, but I feel like I’m facing this alone with no support from anyone. I feel like all my life I’ve been trying to make the pain of abuse go away, but it doesn’t. Nothing works. Every day, I get flashbacks of the violence, and it brings me immense sadness. The pity and sympathy of people don’t help. I wish I knew what the prophet’s advice would be if I explained my situation to this mentally entrapped condition. I’ve distanced myself from my abuser but I am still financially dependent on him till I graduate college. He still manages to say hurtful things to me when he calls. I try to avoid him, but it’s no use. I feel like I know how refugees and orphans feel cuz I’ve felt the neglect of pain and abuse, but I don’t think that that’s the reason why Allah would ever put anyone in a situation like this.Invest little more not learned the lessons apart from pretending to have patience. I tried and tried, but I feel so numb and emotionally drained from those years of abuse in the past. I try to relax, but I’m unable to see the light in a place where I can’t forget about all the pain it’s left behind. I just have a very good memory of all the pain & I know that’s not good for my well-being. I think I have PTSD and panic attacks. I feel sometimes alike. My breathing gets heavy, ponders I have against I feel suffocated like my body is reliving these memories even though I’ve tried my best to forget about it My mother tells me I’m too sensitive but I don’t force myself to be like that I’m just so easily hurt by what people say even if its good advice.I am not against taking advice but sometimes people don’t understand how to give advice at the right time and place. It’s hard to take advice when I’m already filled with so many emotional scars. That’s why I have such deep trust issues. I can’t ever believe people because I’m defensive, afraid of helping hurt in relationships, both professionally and personally. Nothing’s helping, and sometimes, after I read many ahadith and verses of Quran, I feel unhappy that I can’t find the exact solution to my problem. All I can do is pretend that everything’s fine is, though internally, I don’t feel alright. Like my struggles are pulling me apart. I feel sick of my family struggles. Please help


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

I can feel every bit of bit as you spill all your worries and hardships that you have experienced since a young age. I understand that your current difficulties almost certainly stem from what you were exposed to as a child. Often parents going through difficulties together chose to stay together for the sake of their children. You have said that your parents also did the same.

Unfortunately, what most don’t realize, especially when there is domestic abuse involved is that actually staying in a household witnessing domestic abuse is actually far more harmful to the children than getting a divorce and co-parenting separately. When spouses stay together in such situations, they don’t realize that they are normalizing this experience and showing their children that a ‘normal’ marriage is one that is filled with arguments, abuse and unhappiness. This will either lead them to accept the same type of relationship where they are abused or abuse their own spouse or simply avoid getting married altogether.

They will not know what marriage is supposed to be. If we are to follow the sunnah then marriage should be a happy institution that provides comfort and support.

I believe something similar has happened here to you in that you seem to have ended up in a situation just like this. You seem to be very aware of and in touch with your feelings so I think you probably know this already.

However, perhaps hearing it from someone else might help to clarify that and also let you know that it’s not your fault. Again, you seem to be exhibiting any self-blame for your current situation, but in case you are and you just didn’t write it down, again I want to reassure you that it’s not. The circumstances you have been exposed to from a young age have likely influenced the choices you’ve made along the way. Again, I think you may know this already, but for anyone else who may be reading this and in a similar situation could benefit from reading this, especially if they are not aware of how things we are exposed to in childhood can significantly impact our experience as adults, here on the topic of domestic abuse.

Whether you were aware of this or not, or whether this is something you are really reflecting on for the first time, I understand that the way you have been dealing with it so far has been to try and push it aside and forget about it. However, so far, your efforts have been fruitless in this regard and you are still experiencing emotional turmoil. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but instead something that makes you realize that this approach is not working and hasn’t been so maybe it is now time to take another approach and face it. It can often feel like the best solution is to just hide things away and avoid it, but so often this doesn’t work, especially in cases like this where the damage is so deep and prolonged.

Given how it is still impacting you now emotionally and affecting your marriage I would seriously suggest that you seek counselling to get the ongoing support that you need. There is no shame in talking about you situation, your past and current problems, and at least just having someone listen and validate your feelings.

Alhamdulilah, you’ve taken the first step by opening up anonymously here and I hope that will provide you with the motivation to go and get more long term, ongoing support to help you work through your feelings with someone who has experience of listening to very similar cases to yourself.

Having this support will place you more securely in moving forward successfully and freeing yourself from the pain you are facing.

Aside from having professional psychological support, I would also urge you to surround yourself with good people who will provide you with general support. I am not suggesting here that you disclose anything to anyone else, but generally having social support is a fantastic way to feel comforted in times of distress, even without having to share your problems. Knowing that there are good people around you if you should need them provides a sense of reassurance. Engage yourself in special circles in your local masjid and feel comfort in being around other sisters that will help support you in your Deen and remain strong in your faith.

Again, without even having to advise or counsel you, simply being around people who strengthen your deen will make your stronger and closer to Allah. May Allah reward all your struggles and provide you with the strength to get through these testing times. May He grant you happiness in this life and the next.

Question 4. Deen

Assalamualaikum I am a person who is going through mental distress and depression for a long time and the reason for depression is still not known to me but I want to share some concerns of mine. Recently I have started taking my religion very seriously and started doing some research on various topics and most of the cases I feel Ok but there are some things that I find difficult to be fulfilled like women education and work. Among the terms and condition, one is there should be no free mixing. But in my country, you may find schools or colleges free from male student but male teacher is always there. Most of the universities and medical colleges are not free from mixing.So should I stop studying entirely because of that knowing that education is very important as I don’t know in future, I may need skills to get a job. In case of job sectors situation is same as finding a job free from mixing is very tough. Is it my responsibility to make sure that wherever I go should be free from mixing because not everything is not my hand but life has its own need. If my old parents need my support especially financial support. Should I not work for them as they have taken care of me since my childhood. the requirements that scholars say and reality is very different and they only say but cannot give us any realistic or alternative solution. I have heard scholars saying that I cannot live in non-Muslim country but if I go back to my country nobody will offer me any job, I have to entirely rely on my savings is it a good idea. I came here in non-Muslim country because my father was sick and doctors of my country did wrong treatment now, he if I go back to my country that would intentionally putting his life on risk and in my country, treatment are costly and not free if I have to treat him there I have to sell all my properties….is it a good idea to do that. I cannot take loan for treatment because that involves riba and I heard from a scholar saying that I cannot even treat myself from haram means even if my life is in danger now you tell me what should I do as a helpless person where I cannot do anything. I cannot work in a mixed culture I cannot live in a non-Muslim country I cannot help my parents I cannot go outside. How should I get out of depression where I try find solution but solution is none.


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Your dilemma is one that is very common to us sisters living in the West. Mixed work and study settings are the norm so to find something that is strictly halal can be quite the challenge.

I understand that for you, as for many sisters, living in the West is not something that is easy to get away from, especially when you have important connections and commitments there, such as family, especially parents who you are responsible for caring for as is in your case.

Of course, the other option could be to get a loan as you suggest, but as you also rightly conclude, this is also deals in some form of Haram, in this case riba. So what do you do, when all your available options seem to lead to haram and you are left unable to fulfil your needs and responsibilities? This will inevitably lead you to feeling the distress that you are.

However, that are a few solutions to consider. With recent advances in technology, there are plenty more opportunities and options available that would help you to avoid some of the things that make fulfilling your needs more difficult.

As for study, there are so many online courses available now. Its even possible to complete professional courses online up to a high level. Online study allows for greater flexibility whilst reducing the interaction required between students as well as with their teachers. Likewise with work. Following Covid in particular, a lot more jobs are now available online, or in a work from home capacity. So again, with such opportunities you have options to earn money without even entering a mixed environment. A lot of sisters even endeavour to create their online businesses which allows for even greater flexibility and the opportunity to work in the field of your choice, doing something even closer tonyour heart as your own boss.

So, as you can see, whilst you are seemingly in a tricky situation with no apparent solution, there are also other options that are worth looking into where you can fulfil your needs whilst remaining within the boundaries of whay is acceptable Islamically. Alhamdulilah, this should allow you to remain firm in taking your religion seriously as you have been.

Of course, if in doubt about any new opportunities you may look into, do seek scholarly advise to be sure that what you are about to pursue is acceptable from and Islamic perspective.

On another point, do also ensure thay whilst your work and study may be possible in this alternative format, it can be quite lonely and isolating so make sure to maintain healthy social connections with sisters in you local community so that you can also keep a healthy face to face social life too.

This will help in managing and buffering any psychological distress you have been going through.

May Allah reward you for seeking to live for the pleasure of Allah and be ing conscious of your actions in a way that will please Allah. May Allah continue to guide you on the straight path, steadfast in you Deen.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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