Thank you for participating in the session.
Please find below the five questions to which our counselor responded.
We may not be able to answer all submitted questions. If you do not find yours below, please check the answers in our upcoming sessions as well.
Thank you for your understanding.
Question 1. Moving on from toxic parents
I grew up in a dysfunctional family, where I always witness my parents fighting and arguing as long as I remember. They are separated at 6, yet always in constant fight in every Eid. So Eid have always been a nightmare for me.
Now in my 30s, alhmadulillah been achieved much scholarship and academic success, yet they remain displeased because of the choice of my corporate career especially my dad. He even threatened me that should I displeased or disobedient by not withdrawal from my job, I will be labelled as disobedient child who is destined to go to hell and will have a bad life and bad living. Is that a curse and will Allah really accept such dua from such a parent?
Mother on the other side always please other children who are into medical fields, as if her own child is worthless for not pursuing that. Always share a story of that children’s medical success and etc, but ignored mine. She never asked of what’s my interest except pressing onto hers, and shunning of my stories every time I try to express.
In other words, no matter what I do or achieve can never please them, even reprimanded for it. I am already exhausted with them. How do I move on from them and how do I not end up like them? I am still single for fearing of ending up like theirs, and ignoring their own kid’s existence. And such a parental curse on their child who is not complying to their wishes is valid?
Salam alaikom wa rahmatullah, dear sister,
Thank you for writing to us.
I am really sorry that you are not feeling that your family is displeased with you. This must be very hard, subhanallah. Being accepted and loved by our closest ones, especially our parents, works as a shield and protects our self-love and esteem.
I understand that you are trying to please your parents—actually, it is something very natural. But in your case, no matter what you do or achieve, you feel like you never please them.
Probably this desire has worked as a motivating force, and your great achievements in your studies and career might be attributed to this drive, alhamdulillah. And even so, you may struggle with feeling contentment, as those who you really would like to please do not seem to recognize your success.
I am also saddened to learn that you do not feel supported by your mother either, as she is praising people in the medical field and does not appreciate your success. Her love should not depend on your career choice or whether you are in the medical field or not.
Regarding your question about the parental curse for a disobedient child: Sister, unfortunately, there are parents who justify their abuse with religion. This is called spiritual abuse. It means that they try to force their opinion on you and use the distorted meanings of religion to get what they want. Read more about it here.
One thing is for sure: using religion to control, gain power or oppress someone is not Islamic at all. The leader of the family—in your case, your father and your mahram—should consult your opinion and consider your interests and needs, especially if they relate directly to your life choices.
Yes, they have a right to guide you towards Islam and an Islamic solution regarding all matters. At the same time, you as an adult are responsible for your life and choices in front of Allah, so there should be a clear line between guiding and forcing you.
So, my question is, dear sister: do you think that your father’s primary concern is related to your choices Islamically? What is exactly their problem with your job? Do they try to protect you from some kind of harm?
It would be good to know your actual circumstances—the country, the customs regarding women, and work—to get a clearer picture.
I am not sure, just guessing, but if they oppose your choices because they can be opposed religiously—for example, being in constant close contact with non-mahrams, dealing with riba and haram finances or commerce, etc.—I advise you to involve a third party—a person with knowledge about Islam and legal rulings—and discuss your halal possibilities. In this case, you might need to consider their opinion, as it may be driven by the fear of Allah and transgressing His commands.
But if his concern is not justified Islamically, they actually do not have the right to force their choices upon you. Especially by torturing you and threatening you with Hell, as well as other forms of religious blackmail. No need to say that this way of treating you is not right and acceptable, even if they have sound reasons for opposing you. Mercy, respect, and kindness are components of communication in the Sunnah. Check out these articles, for example: this , this.
So how to cope with this and move on?
- Sister, first I would deal with the nature of their concern and check whether there is any Islamically justified reason behind it.
- Try to involve a third person, someone who has knowledge about Islam and can mediate between you. If they have some valid points, try to reflect on them and arrive at a compromise. And if they do not, let them know—with or without the help of someone else—that they should not force your choices upon you using religion or other forms of emotional abuse.
At the same time, ask the mediator to help you guide them towards a more Islamic way of consulting and communicating instead of blackmailing and threatening.
- Switch your focus and try to please no one else but Allah. He is always there for you, and he loves you more than anybody else. Earning the love of Allah is the most worthwhile and pleasing one. I know that the love and acceptance of your parents are precious, but think about how much more precious the love and mercy of Allah are!
- Even if your parents are unkind to you, you can still maintain your kindness and respect for them with the primary intention of pleasing Allah.
- You said that you were worried about ending up like them. Sister, in sha Allah, it won’t be the case. The fact that you are reaching out is proof that you know that there is a better, healthier, and more just way of dealing with our children. Make a promise that you will not forget and will try your best to listen to their needs and give them the treatment you were deprived of. If you recognize the problem and work on healing the wounds, you can break the circle, in sha Allah.
- Forgive your parents. Allah may give you more strength, and you will be able to overcome the unhealthy behaviors you have learned. Forgive your parents, as they were probably unable to do that. Think about the reasons behind their behavior. They may have been hurt in the past; perhaps they were not heard, and their needs went unmet. Be the change at home and set a good example.
- Learn about parenting and healthy communication about your needs. Here are some examples from our site: this, this, this or this.
- If you have the chance to try counseling, and work on your self-esteem and self-love, that would be beneficial, in sha Allah. You might try online counseling or a minicourse about building self-esteem and self-acceptance. Check out this video.
I hope these tips will help you. May Allah protect you from further harm, ameen.
Question 2. How to give up bad habits for the sake of Allah
I’ve been struggling to pray lately an I don’t really find motivation I do pray sometimes I’m guilty of my prayers not being done and I feel that maybe Allah is angry with me I want to read Quran but I want to manage my time efficiently we also have a community here which does 1-2 Islamic classes in a month in masjid it’s near our area we go there sometimes it’s so peaceful there at Maghreb time after Sarah it discusses about Sahaba’s and ulama’s habits and their personalities I’m struggling to find info on this topic can you pls guide me on how do I find authentic resource in this social media world jazakallah u khairan
Salam alaikom, dear sister,
Thank you for sharing your struggles related to prayer. You say you do not find enough motivation to pray, but at the same time, you feel guilty and would like to read more of the Quran and learn more.
Dear sister, you are not alone in your struggle. Many experience some kind of ups and downs in the quality of worship. There are daily struggles—exams, school, etc.—and sometimes we do not have enough time to worship as we would like to.
Alhamdulillah for reaching out, as this means that you really would like to improve your connection with Allah, and I am sure that you can!
Let me help you with some tips about building habits that will help you be more consistent and motivated.
Intention and perspective
Start by setting your intention and perspective. I guess you follow a certain routine every day, and it is usually connected to your daily activities—school, lunch, an afternoon activity, etc.
What you can do instead is center your routine around the worship of Allah. It entails intending to do your daily tasks for His sake, to the best of your ability.
For example, you wake up every morning, right? So, instead of waking up for school, wake up for the sake of praying and doing a morning adhkar. When you have lunch, think about how this way you are taking care of the body that Allah gave you, etc.
Set a new perspective in which your first priority is ibadah.
I kindly ask you to write a list about your daily tasks, and mark them in order from the first until the least important. The “must-dos” come first. Then place your prayers and worship at the top of the list. Everything else is to be adjusted accordingly.
If you center your day and your thoughts around Allah, you will see that you can find Him near you all day. And he is there; we just need to be mindful of Him:
„And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer1 to him than [his] jugular vein.” (Quran 50:16)
You can follow it by trying to know Allah more. How? Through His names and attributes, for example. Try to read about His names and their meanings, and reflect upon His greatness. Check this series, for example:
You may realize that He is the ultimate governor of our lives. All you have—your rizq, your health, the love and care you receive from others, etc.—are all from Him.
Look around and see your blessings. Practically, we can be thankful to Him for everything we see around us! In exchange, we could spend some time remembering him before we enjoy all of these blessings.
I am sure you adhere to some daily routines, and you feel obligated to do them, don’t you? For example, you brush your teeth every morning, try to arrive at school on time, etc. Why do we adhere? Because we have learned that not doing them has negative consequences, and we want to avoid “punishment.”
Sister, while we may not directly see the negative consequences of missing our salat and worship, the promise of Allah is there in the Quran, so we need to take the rules of Allah as seriously as we take, for example, the norms at school or anywhere else.
Dear sister, I advise you to make the decision to start your day by remembering Allah. You will see that it will work as a shield and will help you to be more mindful of Him during the day.
According to studies, it takes an average of 30 days to build a new habit. So, I would start with something new, like, for example, an extra dhikr and dua after your morning salat. Try to do it at least during a full month, and in sha Allah, it will become a habit.
You do need to spend an extra 30 minutes on the carpet; just think about an extra 2–3 minutes first.
The most important thing is to maintain consistency. If, for some reason, you miss it in the morning, make the decision to do it after one of the other prayers on that day. And remember your priority!
The Prophet advised us to be gradual in our worship. It means that less is more if you adhere to it. Simply set realistic goals and gradually increase your study time.
- Learn 1 verse a day. No more.
- Read one page from the Quran a day.
- Do 5 minutes adhkar a day. Or 1 minute, after each salat.
- 2 voluntary rakats a day.
- 1 lesson a week in the masjid.
- 1 dua a day.
And so on. When you are comfortable with one, you can increase it, for example, to 2 verses a day, or jump to another form of worship; it is up to you. If for some reason you missed it in your normal schedule, promise yourself to make it up at another moment, on the same day. It will help with decreasing your guilt as well.
You also asked about breaking bad habits. I think if you increase your good habits, it will automatically help you decrease the “bad ones.” Furthermore, good deeds eliminate bad ones, and you can earn rewards even if you do not do what you intended:
“Allah says: ‘If my slave intends to do an evil deed, do not write it down until he does it. If he does it, then write it as it is. If he does not do it for My Sake, then write it as a good deed for him. If he intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, then write it as a good deed for him (in reward). If he does it, then write it for him ten times up to seven hundred times (in reward).” (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)
Sister, you may know the prophetic wisdom about the importance of righteous friends. This is especially true if you are living in the West with non-Muslims around. If your friends and the people around you do not remember Allah and have no habits of worship, it will make you less inclined to set up your priorities.
So, try to look for friends who can motivate you and with whom you can encourage each other. You can talk about your favorite dhikr, learn a verse together, or just be there for each other. This way, your daily routine as a Muslim can become something you are proud to follow instead of having to hide it from those who do not understand its significance. There are also online sisters groups if you don’t have anyone nearby.
I am not sure where you are coming from or what your native language is. If you live in a non-Muslim land, my experience is that in English there is much more material available. Is this an option for you?
If yes, alhamdulillah. There are good sites with articles, free books, and even online courses or degrees for affordable prices. For online articles, you can use the translator so you can enjoy the content in a language you better understand.
Here are some sources about the Sahaba from our site: Strong Female Companions, 7 Black Companions of the Prophet (PBUH), Three Young Companions Empowered by the Prophet (PBUH).
And other books: here, here or here.
May Allah help you sister,
Question 3. Very abusive father
My mum, sibilings and I are struggling so much from my father’s excess abuse. The whole day we are quite but he always finds something trivial to abuse us on. If I tell you what he makes issues on you won’t believe me. From nothing he will find a way to abuse us. The other day he attacked my sister and was going to hit her with the coffee pot and she did not do anything, she was just helping my mum do something on the phone, and he just go involved and saying my sister can’t do anything and she does not understand anything, and she did not do anything to him. She was shaking so bad and was about to faint, and he just accused her of being a lair and pretending that she was shaking and fainting. This just one example, that is nothing compared to other stuff. If we tell someone to speak to him, he becomes even more abusive. He always abuses us, especially, since us and our mum have nowhere to go. What is the solution? I really hate living because of him, I even see nightmares of him abusing us. What is the solution?
Salam alaikom dear sister,
I am really sorry to hear about your struggle because of your father’s behavior and abuse.
I hope my answer serves at least as an orientation in this situation, because I think there is quite a lot to tackle on a personal and familiar level, which necessitates multiple levels of professional support and guidance.
First, it seems that your father has some serious issues he should address. I am not sure whether he was always like this—hot-tempered and unable to control his anger—or whether something has happened that worked as a trigger. A wide range of issues, for example, from work to economics to a recent loss or undiagnosed or untreated mental disorders, can cause intense distress and an inability to control one’s rage.
So, it would be good to explore the reasons behind his behavior and his willingness to admit that it is unacceptable.
I am saying this because, obviously, domestic violence is a sin. Oppressing the weaker is strongly condemned in Islam, so one has to reflect deeply about his own faith and connection with Allah as a believer if he or she constantly abuses his spouse or children.
And if someone realizes his wrongdoing, feels guilty, sincerely repents, and asks forgiveness from Allah and his loved ones, he still needs to work very hard on changing his behavior, learning to control his anger, communicating effectively, gaining back the trust of his loved ones, and so forth. This needs longer-term professional help, at least at the beginning, in the form of individual and/or family counseling.
When he improves at an individual level, then together you can work on adjusting and improving the family dynamics and heal the wounds together.
But if, for some reason, there is no opportunity to improve together or until it starts happening, you need to focus on your well-being and safety and on how you can feel better and more supported in this situation, along with your siblings and mother.
Not to Be Tolerated
The first thing to know is that physical and emotional abuse should not be tolerated, neither as a wife nor as a daughter. If you are hurt, or witness the hurt of your family members, you need to look for help to prevent something tragical event to happen in the future.
A husband has no right to use violence—either physical or verbal—against his family. So, you, your siblings, and your mother need to be very strong and determined in looking for solutions. Check out this video.
I cannot evaluate your particular case here, unfortunately. But your situation needs a more in-depth assessment in order to be able to receive the right help. You were brave enough, masallah, to write to us. Now I encourage you to look around locally to receive this assessment and possible solutions.
If you think that your family or community cannot offer meaningful solutions, you may call a local domestic violence or women’s support organization and explain your case so that they can instruct you on where, how, and what to do.
Support Each Other
Sister, alhamdulillah, you are there for each other, along with your siblings and your mother.
Support each other and share your struggles. Try to help your mother decide and ask for help until it is too late. Be comforting to each other with love and care; it can give you a lot of strength and hope in moments of distress, in sha Allah.
Sister, your father’s violent behavior and inability to control his anger are not your fault. Please, do not hate yourself for that! Love yourself and believe that you are worthy of love, mercy, and kindness.
If you do not receive enough kindness from your father, think about Allah, who is the Most Loving and Most Merciful, and whose kindness is the greatest. Turn to Him and know that He loves you and is there for you:
“…Allah loves those who are mindful ˹of Him.˺ (Quran 3:76)
May He comfort you when you are feeling distressed. Also, know that He hears your dua:
“Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4090
Turn to Him and ask for His guidance. Make a dua to bring your situation to an end. At the same time, take action and do not wait without trying to seek help.
You say that you have nowhere to go. Sister, I believe that once you put your full trust in Allah and seek solutions in times of calamity, Allah will provide help from unexpected places.
You just need to take the first step. Imagine that you are walking on a road, but you are afraid to proceed further because you do not see the end because of the sharp turn in front of you. If you get stuck there, you won’t arrive, but if you decide to move further, the end of the road will become more and more visible, and finally you can make your way.
With this being said, I encourage you to see together what opportunities are there to make the first step toward changing the situation and seek our help.
Here are some sources from our site you might find beneficial:
How Does Islam View Emotional Abuse? Domestic Abuse – Cultures and Laws as Main Factors,
Counseling articles: this, this, this or this.
I pray Allah to ease your struggle.Please keep us updated.
Question 4, My parents reject a man that I love
Al salam alaikom
I’m 23 years old I’ve met a guy in my work and he is very respectful and he is religious too but he is divorced and he has a daughter I like him and he likes me too he wanted to marry me but my parents say you can marry him but we will never talk to you or him because they see he is not from our tribe and he is divorced and he has a child so what we are going to tell the people?
What do you recommend me to do
I tried with them they say you can marry him but we don’t want to talk to you anymore.
Salam alaikom, dear sister,
Thank you for turning to us.
I am sorry that your parents are threatening to stop talking to you if you get married to the person you would like to marry.
Although he is religious—according to your letter—and a respectful person, your parents do not want you to marry him as he is not from your tribe, he is divorced, and he has a child.
Sister, while I am not a scholar, the reasons you mention—he is from another tribe, divorced, and has a child—are not conditions to prohibit a marriage.
Regarding his origin:
Yes, trying to strengthen ties by marrying within the same tribe, family, or nation makes sense, but it is not an Islamic but a culturally embedded condition that is unfortunately very common. And it is also a kind of false assumption that this guarantees protection, as there are many real-life examples where this is not the case, while there are many happy marriages with different origins.
The Prophet made it clear in the well-known hadith that religiosity should be the main priority when one is looking for a spouse. If there are other conditions also present, for example, status and family, that is alright, but it should not be the scale of measure of a good spouse.
Furthermore, even in many Muslim families, the marriage of two individuals also means the union of two families; the individual compatibility should not be overlooked and sacrificed for the union of the families.
Ideally, there is a healthy balance of trying to fulfill these needs through mutual consultation, especially in lands where extended families have greater influence in people’s lives. The peace within the family is important, but first of all, the couple will closely live together, sharing privacy and intimacy together, so their compatibility and mutual understanding are highly important factors and come before the others.
The other thing the Prophet made clear is the prohibition of cutting ties within the family. It is actually sinful to cut ties with your parents or kids, and stop talking for more than 3 days:
“It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5727; Muslim, 2560).
Read more about this here and here.
Divorce as a Stigma
Divorce is still a social and cultural issue, sadly in families and communities, and it is not justified Islamically. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself married divorced women and did not discourage his companions from doing that.
While divorce is disliked, it is not prohibited, and in some particular cases, it can even be recommended. So those who went through divorce are equally worthy members of the Muslim community, and they should be able to remarry if they fulfill the conditions of a marriage.
So, with this being said, sister, I would advise you to do the following:
- I would approach your parents with kindness and respect and let them know that their conditions are more cultural than religiously supported. I would kindly inform them that it is actually sinful to cut ties with family members and that they need to reflect on whom they want to please first: Allah or the cultural expectations of the community around them. If you have a religious family member or friend who can help you with the mediation, that would be a plus. They are probably willing to listen to someone else they trust.
- You can also explain that without sound Islamic reasoning, they cannot insist on their opinion and should consider yours as well.
- I’d also like you to explain why you think you’d be a good match for him and what your future plans are. You might arrange a meeting together, as, probably, if they get to meet him, their fears will become reduced.
- You can tell them how much it bothers you that they force you to choose between him and them. This ultimatum, as a weapon, is quite painful, and many parents who chose it finally spend their elderhood without daughters, sons, and grandchildren. They might repent, but it is too late. They have to understand that Allah won’t support a decision with His barakah if the decision is against His command:
“Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.” Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 56
Make sure that you do keep an open and kind attitude towards them, whatever happens, and your door will always be open for reconciliation.
Regarding his divorce and your possible marriage:
As I said above, there is nothing wrong with choosing someone who has gone through a divorce previously.
At the same time, you may gather enough information about the reasons for his divorce. He has experience in marriage, both as a husband and as a father. So, it would be useful for you to know what led him to end his marriage.
Talk to him about this—there is no need to hear intimate details—but I think it is good to hear how he thinks about his own responsibility in a conflict, about his willingness to work on problems as a couple, about his way of dealing with disagreements, and so forth.
Also, how this experience affected him and what changes it brought about in him and his attitude toward marriage.
I am saying this because no one arrives perfectly prepared for marriage, and of course, one can always expect some form of conflict during marital life. And a previous relationship is a good opportunity to learn about ourselves as spouses—and even as parents—and improve by admitting possible mistakes, learning the lessons, and trying to prevent them in our new marriage.
Pray to Allah and Make Dua
Finally, turn to Allah for guidance and ask him to help you and your parents gain the ability to decide between right and wrong in this matter.
Make dua for your successful marriage and peace between you and your parents.
May He hear your duas and bless your affairs,
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 | 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.