Pre-Marital & Marital Issues (Counseling Session)

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Live Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Hannah for answering the questions.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 | 12:00 - 13:00 Makkah | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.

As salamu alaikum. I am married for 8 years. I have three children. My husband and I are having a long distance relationship and I live with my in-laws. For 2 years I have learned that he has friendship with many women on Facebook and WhatsApp. He indulges in all types of private talks. He even sends and receives pics of private parts.

When I questioned about this thing, he told me its someone else who has done so. But constantly I find unacceptable conversations on his mobile.

I also tried to explain to him that all such conversations are haram in Islam. But he always tells me it isn’t me, keep your trust in me. I even found voice clips of his voice. I argued with him then also he told me: nothing to worry about. He is rarely intimate with me. What shall I do? I am in a dilemma. Please help me.

34 - About Islam

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,


This situation must be causing you great distress, made especially worse by the fact that you don’t live together. Marriage provides us with the means to have needs met that cannot be met in an acceptable way otherwise. When couples are apart the temptation can be increased significantly as the spouse is not available and therefore they seek other means to meet such needs met, that is not acceptable in Islam. Your husband has denied any such acts and has told you that you should trust him and not worry but considering what you have found on his phone this is difficult for you to believe.


It seems that there is a general issue of trust here as the fact that you are even searching through his phone implies that you don’t trust him as you are searching for something in the first place. By going through his phone you are also breaching his trust also and that’s unfair on him. It’s not good to be suspicious of people and go searching for things behind their back. On top of this, you have also found evidence to suggest that he is not being faithful to you which is shaking your trust in him. Without trust from either of you, your marriage will face difficulties if not managed appropriately and are issues that are important for you both to tackle together.


It’s clear that you have tried to tackle such issues by raising them with him, but since he denies it, it becomes a little it more tricky to approach. If he is indeed committing adultery,  then, of course, he is wrong, but since he denies it, without proof you cannot be sure so to dwell in this issue at this point will do little to move your relationship forward. Instead, try focusing on what the potential causes of all present issues are and also consider some of the following things also; how would you feel if he was going through your own phone? Is it the fact that you are living apart that is causing marital difficulties?


It seems like the spark between you has been lost as you state that he does not reciprocate with you. After 8 years of marriage, this is not uncommon. There are things you can do to reignite this spark once more. Firstly, remembering all the things you both loved about each other from the start. Try to organize a date night together, just the 2 of you and ask your inlaws or someone else you trust to take care of your children for the evening. Do something nice together and talk about old times, reminisce and laugh about things you have done together. Things that easily become forgotten as life moves on and you settle into new routines, especially when children arrive. This will help to reestablish old feelings that may have dwindled by this point, as well as giving 2 of your time alone together which probably doesn’t happen so often anymore. Try and make this a regular thing, something to look forward to, even if it is only once a month. Begin by talking about old times without dragging in present issues regarding his behavior as this will only spoil the mood of the evening. They certainly do need to be discussed, but you might first focus on repairing your relationship so that it is in a better place to be able to discuss them properly and in-depth in an open and honest manner. This will enable you to develop the trust necessary for a successful marriage.


If he truly is committing wrong, then he will come to feel it and make efforts to change, and if he doesn’t, then you need to consider what steps are best for you to take next in moving forward if he doesn’t change. Alternatively, you may come to realize that you had it wrong and misinterpreted something seemingly innocent and will make changes to stop suspecting him all the time. Trust is something that takes some time to establish, so you will both need to be patient in the process, but if successful, the results will be profound.


Essentially, the best way to start is to go back to before things started getting rocky and work from there in both uncovering where the problems started and why they arose. From here, you can reestablish a strong relationship between yourselves which will pave the pay to better tackle and overcome the present issues and move forward successfully with established trust.


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

I came across a guy on social media in late 2017 and we became friends. He told me that he has got feelings for me and likes me. In the beginning, I told him that I am not interested in any relationship and just be friends. He said it’s not possible and we broke up.

During the one year or so of this relationship we broke up twice or thrice but came back again. We live miles away from each other as we reside in different countries. We only met four or five times when I visited his country and when he visited my country. He visited me earlier this month but on the eve of the last day of his visit he became annoyed over a petty matter and it angered me.

After he went back home and settled there I told him that we will never be on the same page, his expectations are much higher from me, he makes issues out of small things and it’s better that we part our ways on a good note since it’s important that our families accept each other if we want to get married - but which is highly unlikely.

What bothers me is that I feel that I have broken his heart which was never my intention. And I felt bad as well as heartbroken when he said to me that he was never my priority it was always my work and that I have left him in the middle of nowhere. I am feeling miserable now.

33 - About Islam

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,


Let me reassure that you did the correct thing by breaking this relationship off. Even though most of the contact was not in direct contact, it is still not permissible to have such relationships with people outside of marriage. As you have witnessed your self having such a relationship lead to the development of deeper feelings which had now lead to heartache for both of you. It is for the very reasons why such relationships are not acceptable.


However, there is nothing that can be done at this point to take this back as the damage has already been done. Now, it is important for you to focus on where you go next and how you overcome the difficulties that you now face in feeling miserable as a result of the consequences of your relationship with this man.


Firstly,  in the long term, you can use your experience to learn and create a better and more positive experience for fours left in the future. You have now learned about how quickly strong emotions can emerge when having one to one contact with someone of the opposite sex, even if discussions happen from afar, and you have also then learned how this can lead to heartache when things work out. It’s probably also given you an idea of what exactly you would like form a spouse when you seek marriage as well as understanding how your approach to married life could affect him too, especially if your work is also important to you. Due to this learning curve, you have been through, you are now equipped with more knowledge and experience in how to better approach marriage in line with Islamic values. It may have been a painful experience for you to reach this place, but alhamdulilah, this will deter you from going about it in an inappropriate way and instead encourage you to go about it in the correct way for the sake of Allah, as well as your own happiness also.


When you are ready to seek marriage, do things in the correct way right from the start.  You can make this easier in yourself by perhaps getting your parents involved in helping you to find a spouse. This way you are less likely to engage in haram as they are part of the process and you can also be more confident that they will also be satisfied with your choice of spouse. All of which will provide a positive start to a potential marriage.


Regarding feeling bad for his own feelings, as much as you probably feel that you would like to comfort him, it is best advised not to. If you do, this could lead to rekindling old feelings and send you on the same path that you have already followed.


The best and most important thing you can do at this point is to turn to Allah, firstly in asking for forgiveness for your previous anxious and do so with conviction in His Mercy. Part of this, of course, will be abstaining from doing the same things again. Continue to turn to Him and find comfort Inn His remembrance. Even though it not recommended for you to talk to this man directly, you can still pray for him, that Allah will also make things easier for him and guide him also and do so with conviction in Allah’s Mercy also.


Right now, the feelings will be very fresh and raw for both of you so emotions will be heightened and the negative feelings will be at their strongest. In time yours, as well as his feelings will eventually subside making way for more positive emotions that will clear the way to move on successfully. As much as you feel bad and responsible for the way he is feeling, Do remember that he also had his own part to play in this also and must deal with the consequences on his side and whilst you can’t be there to comfort his feelings try to find comfort in your faith in Allah’s ability to bring ease to him and that the moment will also pass for him, as it will you. You do not need to carry the burden of his own feelings as he was an equal part in this.


In the meantime, try to not allow what has happened to distract you from other things in your daily life as these will be the things that help to keep you moving forward and away from what has happened.


May Allah bring you both ease and guide you on the straight pathfinding happiness and contentment in His Mercy.

I have been in a relationship for almost 4.5 years. In July 2018, we talked to our parents and told them about us. Our parents met, and we got committed by our parents. But the condition is that until he doesn't complete his education and get a job, we will not get married. So approximately three years are needed for us to get married.

Now we have started meeting each other and we have realized this talking and meeting is haram. But we can't do anything because our parents won’t accept our demand for nikah this early. Please, tell us what should we do to avoid sinning? Because we don’t want to indulge in any haram activity, but our parents won’t understand us at this time.

We have started thinking about secret nikah to avoid sin, and later on we will have a second nikah in the presence of our parents according to their right time. Please tell me what should I do? I don’t want to make ALLAH angry.

31 - About Islam

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,


Alhamdulillah that you have found someone you want to marry and your parents agree on the same. However, they want you to wait until he has finished his education, yet you are concerned that you will fall into sin if you wait.


You are right to be concerned, and this why it is recommended to marry and to do so early so as to not give you an opportunity to commit sin. Unfortunately, it seems that your parents are not on board with this as well so you need to carefully consider your opinions or which there are several to think about.


If you feel comfortable, you could just be completely honest with your parents about why you feel you cannot and should not wait to get married. They have already been in a similar situation before so they will have some understanding of the types of feelings you face as you get to the age where you wish to get married. This way they will be able to be more sympathetic to your situation and may change their mind, or at least consider an alternative option that may bring things forward. Failing that, they can at least be there to support you at this time as you wait to have a full understanding of what you are going through.


In this case, try to take some time also to understand their concerns as parents. They want what’s best for you and probably fear that if has not achieved his education and career then perhaps he could not fulfil his roles as a husband and thereof they may just be making sure that he is best for you, or stop you both from falling into difficulties, such as finances before marriages knowing from experience that such things can have a big impact on whether a marriage will be successful. So, you also need to try and see from their perspective also and this will help you to also feel more understanding of why they are placing such conditions on you


Then, on one hand, you could go ahead with the nikah in secret, however, there are many challenges to consider here such as finding a mahram for yourself and the fact that it would be incredibly difficult to keep such a big thing secret. It may be years down the line but eventually, they would find out and until then you would be restricted in not being able to live as a married couple to avoid them finding out. These things could end up destroying your marriage in the end, although you would be able to be in contact with one another without falling in to sin.


Then there is the entirely opposite choice of going with your parents’ desires and waiting until he has finished his education and training, but avoid contact with him to avoid falling into sin. If you continue as you are, meeting and talking before marriage, the chances are that you will develop stronger feelings for each other and this will make it even more difficult to prevent yourself from falling in to sin. If you take this route, perhaps you could arrange meetings with him every now and again but with your parents present in an environment where you simply can’t fall into haram. You might think about trying this out for a prescribed amount of time before reassessing the situation. If it becomes too difficult and the urges become too strong, then maybe you consider the other options.


If you take the route of going with your parents choice and waiting whilst eliminating and unacceptable contact with him,  try and keep yourself busy with other things that will help to keep your desires under control. Do things you enjoy doing, take on extra activities, and focus on achieving set goals, spend time with good friends.


Take time to consider your different options and their potential consequences keeping in mind what Allah would say and therefore which will be most pleasing to Him as well as beneficial to you. For example, to wait for 3 years whilst avoiding contact is admirable, it also deprives you of catering to your desires that would otherwise be acceptable if you were married.  On the other hand, you could get married and therefore avoid potential sin,  but this would make your parents upset whilst we are supposed to respect them and this will make for tricky family relations. Take time to think about it for yourself and then you could even consult with people that you trust and are close to you. They will be able to advise you from a rational perspective that’s not tainted by emotions you may have already developed for this man.


May Allah guide you to make the choice that is most pleasing to Him and best for you.

Salam Aleikom dear counselor,

Why do everything encourage women to be and do whatever they want to while when they get married they will realize basically the only thing they can do is having children and doing the house chores?

You can be lucky to have a husband who cares that you want to do other stuff than just having children, but lets be honest, they are less in number. The rest of Muslim men think and say that “their success is their wives’ success”, meaning the wife needs to help her husband so that he earns enough so that his wife and his children live a fine life. But what if the wife wants to do something too, work and create stuff? What if she does not want to have children or at least not right now? Why everything is about children for a wife and basically the husband just tolerates if she want to do something else – whatever it is, it can be daawah projects or Islamic stuff. Why cannot both be successful by helping each other? Why is everything about the men and pleasing men?

I feel I do not want to even be married, just live alone would be fine. It is still unclear for me what I think of having children. Sometimes I feel I wish to have when I see cute little girls, but on the other hand I am really not desiring to go through all the hassle of having children…I am an introvert also, plus these troubles with my husband…The least thing I desire or can think of is children…. My husband does not want to go to marriage therapy so do not advice that option. What do you advice me?

32 - About Islam

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,


At some point, most people struggle with finding and accepting their place both in society, as well as in the home, facing periods of acceptance and denial and just general confusion over what they want whilst also trying to strike a balance that satisfies all parties.


It is true that it can be seen that there are some men that do carry this attitude that you speak of that seemingly irritates you, but this is far from common. Being exposed to the media, it is easy to believe that all men are like this and that women can only stay at home having babies and doing house chores and whilst this may be true to some extent, there are a lot more meaningful things that need to be considered amongst this.


Firstly, in the west, this traditional role of the woman staying at home is downplayed and women who do choose this route are made to feel shame for this. Of course, Islamically this is the primary role of the wife, but that does not mean that she can’t do other things too, because she can. Being a mother and wife is such a big responsibility and there is a reason why Allah has primarily placed thus role with her.


Women are naturally more caring and nurturing creatures so it makes sense that they were given this role over the husband, but that’s also not to say that he should not be involved in house chores and taking care of the children because he should do. He should take a part of this responsibility too. In this day and age, it is also common for the wife to work also, often not out of a desire to, but out of necessity and this is ok too.


Do also be aware that the things that may have been falsely represented in the media are not necessarily a representing of true reality. It can often seem that everything is about what is best for the man only and that they get the final say on everything without having to do anything. Often the case is that the men do more than they say, just choose to keep it quiet.


Likewise, in the traditional role of going on to work and providing financially for the family, they face a heavy burden that can be very stressful yet they don’t always show that as they are trying to please their wife and family by working hard to ensure all needs are met.


It’s easy to feel a little resentful because it seems like as women we have to continually cater to the husband’s needs, but it’s also important to be empathic to what the husbands are facing and the struggles they deal with daily in trying to do everything meet the needs of the wife.


Regarding having children, right now you don’t desire to have any and if your husband doesn’t either then it won’t be a problem, but if someday he decides he would like to start a family, things could get difficult between you. As the only person in the marriage who can actually provide this, he would then not be able to have his desire to start a family met, so do try to understand the situation from his perspective, which may be something like the ones you have expressed here, perhaps much the same as him forbidding you from going out to study or work as you would not be able to fulfill your desire to do these things.


As much as it is difficult to imagine, many women also report how their feelings change after having a baby when they find a type of love and responsibility that they never anticipated. When a baby is born the natural inclination to love and nurture generally takes over developing feelings that they never anticipated.


It is a shame that your husband would not attend marriage counseling as it can be very useful even in times when the troubles are not much. However, that is not to stop you from attending therapy yourself. You’d be surprised at how much even attending marriage therapy on your own can be of great benefit to your marriage.


In this space, you would be encouraged to focus on your own part in the marriage and things you can do to improve things. Often we don’t realize how our own behavior is influencing and impacting on our spouse. Therapy encourages you to explore such things and you will likely uncover things that you hadn’t thought about before.


These are things that with a mindful reflection of your own behavior and approach to your marriage can serve to improve relations and in sha Allah have a positive influence on your husband and also your marriage overall. Perhaps in time as the bond is strengthened between you, he may agree to come with you.


May Allah bring happiness and contentment between you and your husband and may He guide you to success in this life and the next.