Ramadan in the Family Home

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.

Answers will be online very soon.

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Thursday, May. 24, 2018 | 12:00 - 14:00 GMT

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Assalam alaykum. I am 25 and wanting to get married. I do get marriage proposals, Alhamdulillah but most of the time I end up not liking them. But there is this proposal I got recently, I like the guy, I think he is okay and he meets most of my requirements but he has acne skin condition which I also have. The problem is I learned acne can be genetic at times which I believe with both of suffering from this condition, it can easily predispose our kids to it and I seriously don't want my kids to suffer from acne. Another one is that I don't want us to be that couple that suffers from the same skin condition because people can be really insensitive. I need advice on what to do. Am I being silly for thinking like this? Jazak Allahu khayran for always helping.



Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

Masha Allah, you want to get married and you have had some proposals which is a good sign. The fact that you found someone who meets your requirements is great, as many have a hard time meeting someone who does.

 

The most important thing for you to consider in this situation is what is most important to you. Is it the way he looks? Or his character and spirituality? Which will be more important for your future and what will be me influential on potential future children?

 

Of course, you want someone who will be a good hub and a good father. I’m not sure whether acne really is genetic or not, but you should consider whether you would rather raise pious, well-mannered children who have a loving father, but may develop acne, or, would you rather have beautiful looking children that have a father with less than favourable characteristics that may be influenced by bad characteristic in their fathers personality.

 

Likewise, with your marriage, ask yourself if his appearance will really be a negative thing in your relationship. Is it not more important that he is a good, caring husband regardless of how he looks.

 

Also consider how you view other people. Do you judge a person by the way they look? Do you think any less of them if they loom physically different?

 

See the acne as a test. Remember that Allah will not judge a person based on the way they look, but instead on their character and piety. This character and piety will as well have a more profound effect on a positive relationship with you as well as any children in the future.

 

You can also consider the benefits of his situation. People who tall to him and befriend him will be doing so because they like him as a person. They are not judging his appearance, but his personality. This means that it is more likely that he has good friends that are more committed to him as a person than anything else. This would be reassuring to you in the capacity of a wife both that he is with good people and that he is not being discriminated again by others which will be better for his psychological wellbeing.

 

Aside from these considerations, you can make regular istikhara that Allah will guide you to make the best decision regarding this proposal and others. If this marriage is mentally to be then Allah will make it happen and soften your heart towards him and if it is not, then he will close your heart to it and place obstacles in the way, opening other opportunities.

 

May Allah guide you and grant you a righteous spouse when the time is right.

 

 


My sister is at a mature age in her teenaged life but she does not pray. She says that she wants to but she can't because she thinks she has a discharge problem and on top of that she has OCD so takes a long time in the bathroom cleaning herself which she says she doesn't want to do and annoys her. She takes up to an hour. My mum is always telling her to pray but she doesn't. What are we supposed to do??



As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

 

It can cause much distress when a loved one appears to be distancing themselves from Islamic practices and doesn’t seem to have any desire to make any changes.

 

As her sister, in sha Allah you can be a positive role model and help in assisting her back on the correct path. As we know, Salah is an obligation and so it is very important that she starts praying again. Whilst she seems to face a couple of obstacles right now, there are some things you can do to make it easier for her.

 

Firstly, you continue to pray as you always do and allow her to see the benefits it brings you; how content it makes you feel. Seeing you happy in prayer may encourage her to pray as a means to experience that same sense of contentment. This is one way to influence her continually without directly telling her to pray.

 

You can also make sure to openly seeking protection with Allah from Shaytan. You can do this as a more subtle influence as above, or you can be me direct and educate her on why you are doing this.

 

OCD is commonly associated with waswas , therefore it is important to seek protection from Shaytan to avoid waswas  and the resulting OCD practices that come with this. Whichever way you approach it, directly or indirectly, if she starts implementing seeking protection then this will in pact on her OCD in a positive way as she will be less concerned about taking a long time to do wudu, taking less time and therefore having less of a burden placed on her making prayer me appealing again.

 

Whilst dealing with waswas doesn’t directly make her pray straight away, it tackles the issue that is preventing her from praying so will indirectly encourage her. Showing her support like this will also be good for her in terms of overcoming her current difficulties.

 

Whilst you are concerned about her not praying, do be careful not to force her into it or make her feel bad for not praying. If you are forceful or negative about her behavior she may eventually develop an even more negative association with prayer. This will make it even more difficult and unappealing for her to even desire to pray.

 

Therefore, be gentle and encouraging with her that she will feel supported and have positive associations with a prayer that she will have my desire to start.

 

May Allah reward your concern for your sister and desire to guide her in her Islamic practice. May Allah guide her aright and make things easy for her.


My parents are very strict as they keep to culture a lot. Me and my siblings are not allowed to do much and we stay at home constantly. We are not allowed to make friends or move to study. They said I have to study from local universities and I said fine. There are a lot of universities around me locally and I told my parents I would like to go to one which is 1 hour away in a train but they said no and they are making me go to a university which is 20 minutes away but it is not of good quality. I don’t know what to do. My parents left their country so that I could get an education but now I feel like they are really jeopardizing it.



As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

 

It is always difficult for children when they want something but their parents disagree and want something else for them. On the other hand, you want your voice heard, but on the other, you must respect their choices.

 

Firstly, do try and see things from their perspective. They moved countries and are likely paying the fees for your education so have done a lot for you in that respect. It is, therefore, quite difficult to justify challenging what they want you to do.

 

You can, however, have a respectful chat with them about where you want to study and why. If you don’t discuss this with them then they will never be able to see it from your perspective and support anything other than what they want for you.

 

Additionally, keeping in line with considering their perspective, think about reasons why they may prefer you to study closer to home, even if the university is not as good. First of all, it’s difficult for parents to let go of their children as they grow older and become more independent. Encouraging you to study closer to home will enable them to feel Korea like you are still close to them and not traveling far for study each day. Furthermore, understand their concern that things are less safe in today’s climate. As a young Muslim woman, they will probably be feeling very concerned for your safety fearing for you traveling far each day. If you remain close they will feel more secure of your wellbeing.

Perhaps you will be able to convince them to allow you to study in your university of preference, but if not, focus on being grateful for even having the opportunity to go to university and having your parents support. Use this gratitude to fuel motivation to perform well and get good grades even if it is not where you want to be. It may be that opportunities arise for you in this local university that never would have come your way should you have gone to the university you wanted to. Allah will open opportunities in places you would never have imagined.

 

May Allah grant you success in your university career and bring happiness and contentment between you and your parents


My son married my mom's sister's daughter. She is my cousin. As she lived in a village far away I didn’t know she was mentally sick. After marriage, she showed her mental sickness by her horrible torturing behavior. Now with 2 kids, she is a horrible torturing person. Their kids are weak. She doesn’t cook, fights, and sometimes run away from home, my son’s life is a living hell. How to deal with her in an Islamic way?



As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

It is can be very distressing for parents when they realize that their child has married a person who is not making them happy and is, in fact, making things difficult for him. The fact he also has children and they are suffering makes it even worse. There are a few things you can implement to try and make things a little easier for all involved, in sha Allah.

 

Firstly, to make it easier for you to deal with the situation and deal with it in the most rational and calm way, remember that she has a serious mental illness. Her inappropriate behavior may, therefore, most likely be a result of this. She may also not even realize how disturbing her behavior is. She might, therefore, benefit from being told that it’s not ok, or at least offering her support in managing her behavior.

 

It is also possible she is dealing with hallucinations, delusions, and depression to name a few symptoms which can understandably cause people to have difficulties with others and potentially be abusive. The behavior is not acceptable, but if she has a mental illness and is not receiving any support she will have little idea about how to manage her symptoms. As the close to her, your son and her children will, unfortunately, face the consequences.

 

Therefore, the smooth important thing, to begin with, is supporting her to get some help; both physical in terms of medication if she is agreeable to this as well as psychological so that she can be supported to explore ways to deal with her distressing symptoms. If you can support her in finding this help she will also feel positive and supported by you which on its own can be a big help in recovering from mental illness, or at least managing it successfully. This will then indirectly improve situations at home with your son and grandchildren as her behavior will improve considerably once she is receiving help for her illness.

 

Aside from this, the situation will be very unstable for the children and whilst you can’t directly change her behavior, you can be the one to provide them with that stability. Make sure to see them often and offer a supportive caring environment for them. You may even ask if they could come and stay with you for the weekend every now and again so they can have a break from their mother’s behavior. This way you can be confident that they have some good role modes in their life and the impact of living with the difficulties faced with their mother will be lessened.

May Allah grant her cure and make things easier for you, your son and grandchildren.


Salaam counselor. My child -10years old-has a problem with talking back, Please advice!



Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

 

Firstly let me reassure you that this behavior is very common in 10-year-old. Developmentally, as they begin to find their voice and take influence from their peers sometimes more than their parents they begin to question a lot of things, which leads to behavior such as answering back. In sha Allah, with a little redirection and maturation, it will eventually stop. There are some things you can do to assist him I this process.

 

As difficult as it can be, the most important thing is to try and remain calm. Talk to him back in a calm respectful manner and this will bring his temper down to be at the same level as yours. Once he is at this point, he will become calmer and talk in a more respectful way.

 

If he still continues to answer back and you feel you can’t remain calm also then inform him that you will continue the conversation later when you are both more calm and ready to discuss things respectfully. Remember, he sees you as a role model and will mirror your actions, so remaining calm and dealing with things respectful fully will encourage the same in him too.

 

Additionally, answering back can be a way for a child to feel like their voice is being heard. Therefore, it may not be that he is being aggressive in any way, but feels that this is the only way he can have his voice heard. He does need to know that this is not the appropriate way to make his voice heard, but you can make things easier by stopping and hearing him out. Let him say what he wants to and let him know that you are listening to him. If he feels heard then he will less likely feel the need to answer back as he feels like he has been listened to.

 

If these things fail and his disrespect becomes unbearable, then you could consider delivering consequences for his actions to reinforce the fact that his behavior is not ok. Starting with mild, but calm verbal warning, to begin with, progressing to more serious consequences such as taking away something that he enjoys; a toy or a game for example.

 

Make sure to let him know why you are doing this so he can we see the link between his disrespectful behavior and the consequences. When he is ready to talk about it, you can discuss why his behavior is not ok and explore with him alternative ways to deal with his frustration or whatever is making him feel like answering back. At this point, you can return what you took away from him.

 

May Allah make it easy for you and help you to nurture an Allah fearing child who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.