Talk with Your Heart: Aisha Swan’s Live Counseling Session


Salamu alaykum dear 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 Aisha Mohammed Swan for answering the questions.

If you have any queries that you would like to send to our upcoming live session, feel free to send them to [email protected]


Q: Assalamalikum,

I’ve been in a long distance relationship for three years and we’ve met a couple of times. Last year we were planning to get married. I’ve been Islamically divorced. For over 5 years my English divorce didn’t come through till the end of  last year but during this time my partner was compelled to get married to someone else. He is now about to become a father. Upon hearing this I was upset and shocked so I decided to leave him.

After 3 months he got in touch with me and said I’m his first love and he can’t leave me and wants to marry me. I feel that is unjust towards his first wife. He says, he married her for the sake of  his mum and that they don’t have a mutual relationship. How can I deprive the child of his father ? I can’t bear the thought of sharing him. 

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation you were in a long distance relationship for three years and you did meet a couple of times. During this time, you were Islamically divorced however you were waiting for your divorce to be finalized in the courts. This was finally concluded at the end of last year. In the meantime, you found out that your fiancé had married someone else and is about to become a father. 

Fiancé Married Someone else

Sister I can imagine hearing that he married and he is going to have a child hurt you very much. As you and he were planning to get married for 3 years, it seems that the communication from him should have been better. As he is expecting a child it is apparent that he was married for at least 9 or 10 months if not a year. This could possibly mean that he was not honest with you during your conversations within the past 3 years, especially the last year. 

Ex Fiancé felt Pressure to Marry someone else

Your ex fiancé said that he felt pressured and compelled to get married due to his parents. This is understandable as parents can put much stress and pressure on one to marry. However, if you and he we’re planning to marry he should have informed his parents that he was already getting married in the near future. He did not do this which is another form of deception. He may have even kept your engagement secret, only Allah knows.

Ex Fiancé Reaching Out

Currently your ex fiancé is reaching out to you and expressing his desire to marry you and told you that you were his first love. You rightfully have some concerns due to the fact that you were to marry and you found out he married someone else and is now expecting a child. Insha’Allah sister, please do consider the fact that when we love someone we do not deceive them, trick them, nor lie to them.

There are several hadiths which address deception, cheating, and lying: “Whoever bears arms against us is not one of us, and whoever cheats us is not one of us.” (Saheeh Muslim) and “There are four characteristics, whoever has all of them is a true hypocrite, and whoever has one of them has one of the qualities of a hypocrite until he gives it up: when he is trusted, he betrays; when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he disputes, he resorts to slander.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim). 

While I do not know the full situation nor conversations you have had regarding this betrayal, it is worth looking at as you are contemplating a future marriage with him. 

Polygamy

Men are allowed to marry up to four wives as you know. I am sure you also know that there are very strict rules men must adhere to should they choose to do this. It is a very serious contemplation. While he is within his rights to ask for your hand in marriage, it would have been best if he was honest from the beginning to avoid hurting you.

Surely he must know that his deceptive moves of marrying someone else would make you contemplate trusting him in the future.  AboutIslam (1) states that “Polygamy requires us to adhere to everything that Allah has taught us about marriage, and to follow the example of Muhammad (PBUH) and his wives.” This is so true. If you were to contemplate his offer, you would have to decide if you have it within yourself to be able to be in a polygamous marriage.

Polygamous marriages can be beautiful when everyone is following Islamic principles and knows their own emotional composition in terms of creating a loving family in this way. For more in depth articles please see (2). 

First Considerations

Sister the first consideration should not be fears of you taking him from his child and first wife nor is it even about you sharing him with another wife. While yes you would need to think about your ability to be in a polygamous marriage and your emotional ability to share a husband, you may need to determine first whether or not he is trustworthy and honest. 

Previous Deceptions and Hurt

As he has hurt and deceived you in a major way, I would be very cautious about  jumping into a marriage with him at this point. Sister perhaps his marriage is not working out and that’s the only reason he is reaching out to you. You may wish to have your imam or another wali speak to him on your behalf about his intentions, his ability to take another wife, as well as his family awareness of the situation.

You are treasured

Sister, as you decide what to do, please do know that you are a treasured and valuable Muslimah. You do not deserve to be lied to nor manipulated. I kindly suggest in sha Allah that you think very hard about his intentions, the fact that he did not inform you he was getting married when you already planned for a marriage, and any future possibility of him mishandling situations that may arise. As it appears he did not have the backbone to stand up and claim you as his future wife in the past, there may be other situations in the future that may cause grave disappointment and hurt for you. 

Conclusion

Please do think very carefully before you make any decisions. I kindly suggest keeping the situation halal and to communicate at this point with a wali who will look out for your interests. Insha’Allah, think this through thoroughly and pray to Allah for guidance.  We wish you the best.

1. https://aboutislam.net/family-life/husbands-wives/before-choosing-polygamy-issues-to-consider/

2. https://aboutislam.net/tag/polygamy/  


Q: Assalamalikum,

I am a working woman married for 14 years and have 2 sons. I myself belong to a broken family with nobody to support me in any matter whether financially or emotionally. My husband is educated but dont work, he sold all his property in trying for business. I supported him in every part of his life. I am doing all the work whether it’s earning or house chores. I never believed in breaking a marriage but I am financially, physically and emotionally exhausted.

My husband from many years stopped saying any nice things to me he dont show any intimacy and we have sex only once a month which is also because of me perusing him. I don’t have any place to go except this home but I can’t handle things now, it’s too much for me. Please help. Give me options to go with it without taking divorce. I did talk to him about it but he don;t do any effort in any of the mentioned things.

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I am so sorry to hear about your situation sister. I can imagine you are very tired, frustrated, and sad from all of the burdens. You may be feeling hurt and quite alone right now.

You have been married for 14 years and you have two children. Your husband is educated however he does not work nor help you around the house. He does not show you any affection or say nice things to you. 

Feeling Overburdened and Alone

Due to your situation you feel like you have nowhere to turn nor no one to talk to. Sister I would highly suggest that you see if there are any Muslim sister groups at your Masjid or Islamic Center where you live.

Sister groups can prove to be very supportive, encouraging, and provide solid Islamic supports and solutions. Support from our sisters is a blessing and a critical part of what helps us get through difficult times in life. 

Counseling

Additionally, if there is the possibility that you were able to go for counseling I would kindly suggest that you do. By participating in on going counseling, you will have the support and guidance from a professional who is trained to help others through difficult situations such as these.

Counseling can also provide you with an outlet for discussing your feelings as well as learning new coping mechanisms and techniques. You will learn how to deal with stress better.  It will also help you develop a path towards a better future and healing. 

Marriage and Expectations

I know it can be very difficult when everything is on you. People do not enter a marriage and expect to be the only one who financially supports the household, cares for the children, takes care of the home, cleans, cooks, while the other person lounges around. Marriage is a partnership wherein spouses help one another in love and mercy.

In the Qur’an it states ““And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect” (Quran 30:21).

When Marriages Fall Short-Distance and Intimacy 

You Are Not Alone, there are many situations like yours where the wife is doing everything. The additional loss of closeness, intimacy, and affection only creates a wider distance between the two spouses. As humans we have intimacy needs with our spouses. When needs are not met there is often a feeling of further rejection and loss.

Again, your situation is not uncommon sister.  I know this may not help much however I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in this type of situation. 

Is Husband Depressed?

Sister I am wondering if your husband is depressed. This would explain his lack of ambition, his loss of feeling responsible for his family, as well as his lack of interest in intimacy. When one is depressed there are many symptoms such as” loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports” etc. Please see (1) for a full discussion on depression and its symptoms. As you stated your husband lost everything due to a business, perhaps indeed he is depressed. 

Speaking with Husband

Sister I would highly suggest in sha Allah that you speak with your husband when things are calm. Explain to him how much you love him and want to save this marriage but there must be some changes in order for the marriage to work.

You may wish to first point out his good traits and qualities and express your love for him. You may then discuss how you feel and why you are feeling this way and how he may help.

Marriage Counseling

You may ask if he would be interested in marriage counseling, personal counseling, speaking with the imam at the Masjid for spiritual guidance, as well as possibly taking marriage classes if they are offered at your Islamic Center. While each suggestion is not a solution in the near future, it is a step in the direction towards healing. Insha’Allah he will be open to suggestions.

Connection with Allah

Insha’Allah try to strengthen your marriage and relationship by performing acts of worship together. This would include the two of you praying together more, doing dhikr as well as reading the Qur’an. Insha’Allah you can go to the Masjid together for prayers as well as Islamic events. Acts of worship done together will bring many blessings in sha Allah.

Self-Care

Sister my heart goes out to you as you are going through a lot. Please do check out your options for a Muslim sister support group. Connect with the sisters at the Masjid to get involved in social activities as well as consider ongoing counseling to help you deal with the stress, difficult emotions, and help you to formulate a plan of action so you can begin to heal.

Eat healthy good foods, try to get outdoors in nature, ensure you get enough sleep, start an exercise routine, and try a new hobby. All these things may add a balance and satisfaction to your life while you are working on your marriage. 

Conclusion

Please do speak with your husband about saving your marriage. Offer suggestions such as marriage counseling, individual counseling, and talking with the Imam. Try to incorporate acts of worship together. It is very evident you love your husband however you do need a balance in your life, please try to incorporate self-care.

As stated previously the possibility that he is depressed they can be a contributing factor. Please speak with him about this. As you are currently financing the bills in the home, if needed, you may wish to consider a brief separation if your husband refuses any efforts to improve the situation. If he refuses help, or he refuses to improve the marriage perhaps you may need solitary time away from him so that you yourself can heal and decide which route you would like to take.

It is not an easy situation, but in sha Allah he will agree to address his personal situation and resolve the marital issues. Sister please do stay close to Allah and know Allah does not test us beyond our capacity. Make duaa to Allah asking for His blessings, guidance, and ease. We wish you the best.

1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007


Q: Assalamalikum,

I have been married for almost 2 years now. I have been cooperating with my husband and my in-laws as much as I could bear. My mother-In-law constantly goes into my husband and my room and I have asked her as well as my husband multiple times to please not go in anymore, but she refuses to listen.

I told her one day not to go as she lives in our house and she still goes in and looks through my wallet and many other things. My husband and I have been arguing almost nonstop about his mother and how it doesn’t feel like my home or that I have no privacy either and he never tried to solve it.

When our daughter was 3 months he said to me that he was no longer attracted to me or loved me, as well as threatening me with divorce.  Now I am fed up after seeing his mother who yelled at me and said she wouldn’t even spit in our room multiple times a day and still not listen to my one boundary.

My husband constantly takes out his parents’ frustration out on me and my parents’ frustration on him since he says I’m not allowed to create boundaries with his parents anymore.  I am recently at my parents home and left with my daughter and he says that he would rather get divorced then let his parents live with another one of his brothers or his sisters. 

as salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Sister I am so sorry to hear about what is going on not only in the household but with your marriage. I can imagine that you feel very alone, hurt, and perplexed by the whole situation.

When one gets married they generally know that there will be challenges. Every marriage has challenges. However, there can be joy in challenges as spouses work together as one to overcome the tests and trials. In this case your husband appears not willing to resolve this situation.

Problems with Mother in Law

In this situation your mother-in-law lives with you, your husband and child. She is very intrusive and vile towards you. The one thing that you did ask of her (your husband is aware), is that she respects your bedroom and does not go in there. However, neither her nor your husband will reinforce this.

Sister when you get married you do have the right to your privacy in your own bedroom. The fact that your mother-in-law comes and goes in your bedroom as she pleases just for the fact of snooping around, going through your wallet, going through your private things, indicates it may be done out of malice.

It’s not like she is going into your room to help put away laundry or some other kind act. It is possible that she is acting territorial and is letting you know through her actions that she still runs and controls everything. 

No Support from Husband

Sadly, your husband sticks up for your mother-in-law and he even told you that he is no longer attracted to you nor does he love you. I can imagine this was devastating to hear, how cruel. Whether he meant it or not is not known.

However, if this is the truth this is possibly one of the reasons he does not stand up for you as he should as a Muslim husband. Quite honestly he and his family, specifically his Mom, sound very disrespectful and insensitive to your needs. I can imagine this is  very hurtful sister. 

Currently at Back at Mothers Home

You are currently with your child at your mom’s home. Sister based on not only what was going on in the home with your mother-in-law, but more importantly what your husband has stated about not loving you, perhaps this is the best place for you right now. At least when you are at your mom’s you will have some semblance of comfort, love, privacy, and support. 

Taking the Time to Heal

In sha Allah take this time sister to heal from what you have been going through with your husband and mother-in-law. Try to eat good healthy foods, get good sleep, start an exercise routine, get out in nature, and try to enjoy special times with family and your Muslim sisters.

Increase your closeness with Allah by doing dhikr, praying, reading Qur’an, and attending the Masjid. You may be amazed at how much better you begin to feel! 

Revisiting Marriage Expectations

Sister, perhaps it is time to think about what it is you truly want from a marriage and a husband. Examine your needs and expectations and you ask yourself are you getting it. Look also at the principles of marriage and family and ask yourself “are you giving as much as you can?”

If you’re not getting your needs met and if the marriage is not based on Islamic principles and foundations, you may wish to explore other alternatives such as a longer separation until the issues are resolved. 

Speaking with Husband

You may wish to kindly ask your husband if he would be willing to attend marriage counseling in an attempt to save this marriage. In sha Allah he will agree. However, as he has already stated he would rather divorce you then have his mother go live with one of his siblings, perhaps he is not as committed.

Perhaps this was only said out of anger. If he truly means this then perhaps it is something the two of you may wish to discuss with an Imam. Perhaps there are compromises that can be made in regards to the living situation, boundaries, and family interactions. It may be that your mother in law and you could sit down and talk to work out your differences. Perhaps she is feeling misplaced and discarded and thus is acting in a hostile way.

Allah Loves You

Sister, never forget that Allah loves you. Allah will often let us go through tests and trials to either open our eyes to situations so that we may learn more, or to strengthen us. These tests and trials also help us to draw closer to Allah. 

Conclusion

While you are contemplating and healing, please do draw closer to Allah through prayer, duaa, dhkzir, and other acts of worship. In sha Allah try to attend the Masjid as often as possible for prayer. If there are social activities that the sisters are doing at the Masjid or getting together for dinner, tea, exercising, whatever, please do join them. By having more of a balance in your life and enjoying the company of your sisters will prove to be uplifting Insha’Allah.

Sister please do remain at your mom’s for as long as you are able.  Ask your husband to participate in marriage counseling. Inform him you would like to save the marriage however as a woman, wife, and Muslim you do deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. As he did indicate he would divorce you before he sent his mother to live with his siblings, sadly this may be an indicator that he may be unwilling to try to save the marriage.

Please put your trust in Allah as you move forward trying to save your marriage as well as standing up for your rights as a Muslim wife. Please note that while this is hurtful and it may seem impossible to resolve, it will get resolved in sha Allah in one way or another. We wish you the best.


Q: Assalamalikum,

Good day, my fiance has a problem with me working after marriage. Please could you educate me on the rules guiding a woman working, her rights after marriage  and then advise me too please!

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. As I understand your situation you have a fiancé and he has issues with you working after marriage. As you have written about this concern, it must be with your intent to work after marriage. 

Marriage and Working 

This is a dilemma that many couples face. According to Islam,  a woman may work.  A woman/wife who works may keep all of her income from her work. That money belongs to her not her husband. If she so chooses to pay bills or spend her money which she earns on the household or things needed, then it is a blessing for both the wife and the husband.

AboutIslam (1) states that “What also does not fall under a wife’s responsibilities is earning anything towards household expenses. For women in salaried jobs or entrepreneurial pursuits, their income is theirs to keep for themselves.”

Finding Reasons of Resistance 

If you would like to work after marriage and your fiancé is against it, it may be due to cultural or personal reasons. I kindly suggest that when things are calm that you sit down and talk with your fiancé about his reasons that he does not want you to work.

There can be many reasons why a man does not want his wife to work. These reasons may include culture, desiring control over all finances, it may make him feel less of a man and less of a provider, he may fear that his wife may meet someone else and cheat on him- which is really trust issues and insecurities.

On the other hand, he may genuinely be worried about her safety, or he may want her to focus on taking care of the house and children they may have in the future. A husband may feel that having a job or a career is a distraction.  

Why Muslim Women Work

The reasons why Muslim women may want to work are varied and the benefits are numerous! Benefits include accumulation of wealth, assistance for taking care of her parent’s needs, ability to give sadaqah, desire to contribute to society, the ability to share her expertise and knowledge to benefit others, personal satisfaction, and so on. For the full list and inspiring discussion sister please see (2). 

Women’s Right within Marriage 

A husband and a wife have rights within a marriage. Both Muslim men and Muslim women have rights within Islam as individuals as well. Women’s rights are abundant and explained fully. As your rights are detailed, please see these two articles for a more in depth discussion (1) and (3). 

Making a List and Learning about Successful Women who Work 

I would kindly suggest that you make a list of the reasons you would like to work or have a career. You may wish to highlight how it could add to the marriage and family situation. You may also wish to learn about and include examples of other Muslim women who had/have careers and experienced success in both business and family such as Khadijah, our beloved prophet’s wife (PBUH). You may write down  points and supports from the Qur’an and reputable Hadiths as examples. 

Seeking Allah’s Blessings

When you speak with your husband it will be important that you both listen to one another without judgment. It will be important in sha Allah to listen to each other’s viewpoints with an understanding heart and mind.

To seek Allah’s blessings and mercy regarding the issue, you may wish to pray together before initiating the conversation. It sounds as if this is one of the first issues that you are facing with a future marriage. Praying for Allah’s guidance and mercy before discussing an issue is a good precedence to set for your marriage. 

Conclusion

In sha Allah you both will be able to resolve this successfully and that will set the stage for future conflicts and discrepancies the two of you may have. In sha Allah you will be able to discuss with your husband why you would like to work and he will be able to explain why he doesn’t want you to and you both will help each other to understand viewpoints and come to a compromise or a decision that is agreeable and happy for both of you. We wish you the best.

1. https://aboutislam.net/family-life/gender-society/6-hidden-abuses-of-muslim-womens-rights/

2. https://aboutislam.net/family-life/gender-society/10-answers-to-why-should-muslim-women-work/

2. https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/wife-obligated-cook-clean/ 


Q:  Assalamalikum,

I have a problem in life which is causing me a huge depression and affecting my daily life. ALHAMDULILLAH I am very close to Allah. I read the Quran, make my prayers on time, listen to naats and watch islamic videos. However I always feel that I am always ignored by people. Now I don’t know what the problem is that makes me think about this. Every new person I meet I feel that he ignores me and does not give me importance.

To be honest I have this bad habit which I know is very bad. That is that I always want to be the center of attraction for everything. Whenever someone else gets more importance than me, I start feeling jealous of that person and my heart gets filled with hatred towards that person. My problem is so deep that if someone does not give me a proper reply on message or in a group then I am not able to sleep at night due to that.

Now please help me so that I can get rid of this filthy addiction of getting importance and stuff. Please support your answer from the Quran and hadith. Secondly, whenever I go to a ceremony or any place I always feel that I am being ignored, I feel that people don’t want to listen to me. To be very honest this is not true like I just think like this. Becz ALHAMDULILLAH I have a great family and good friends but I only think like this and I am not able to stop this habit. I need a complete Resurrection of my mind and thinking.

I have one more issue. I am too afraid to speak in front of people. I feel that I will be judged. I think soooooo much before I speak and then when I do not get a response from people I again get depressed. I think then someone may say something to me. And if someone says something to me, I will mind that to such an extent that I won’t be able to sleep at night. I only feel that everyone gets respect and importance except me.

As salamu alaykum dear brother,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  I am sorry to hear about the issues you are going through emotionally and socially. From what you have written it appears that you feel ignored by others. You feel that others do not think you are important.

You also want to be the center of attention wherever you go and if someone else gets more attention or appears more important than you, you start feeling jealous and hateful. You do state that you have great family and friends and that is a blessing. 

Conflicting Issues

You stated you seek attention and admiration from others. On the other hand, you also stated that you are afraid to speak in front of people. You feel that you will be judged and when you do not get responses you become depressed. 

Affects 

These issues not only interfere with your sleep at night but they are causing you to feel depressed. You also appear to be “overthinking” on these issues of attention and self-importance. These thoughts seem to “run” your life.

Possible Social Anxiety

Brother first of all based on what you have written, it sounds like you may have social anxiety. Social anxiety can evoke feelings of fear, self-consciousness, humiliation, feelings of inadequacy, and inferiority when in social situations (1).

Social anxiety is a common condition which millions of people suffer from. Please see (1) for a complete description of social anxiety and its symptoms so you can better determine if this may apply to you. 

Self-Importance and Attention Seeking

The second aspect of your issue is that you always want to feel important. You want to feel as though you are the best.  You get jealous and feel hatred when others may get more attention or are looked at with more importance than you.

This is not healthy emotionally nor spiritually because as Muslims we should want for others what we want for ourselves.  Also, feeling jealous and hateful are not Muslim qualities that we want to incorporate into our character. These are haram traits. 

Excessive Attention Seeking Behavior

It is possible that you have excessive attention-seeking behaviors which are interfering with your emotions, your self-concept, and your life in general. It appears that you may go to unhealthy lengths to fulfill your need for feeling important and having the attention on you. This is a kind of emotional desperation (2). 

According to psychology, seeking attention and acceptance as well as importance may go back to early childhood development and is related to safety and survival (2). According to Psychology Today (2) if you are suffering from excessive attention-seeking it does involve how the brain is wired. There are different neurohormones that interplay with this desire for excessive attention (2). To learn more about this please see Psychology Today (2). 

Compensating Emotions

The aspect of your question has two parts. You seek excessive attention and want to feel very important yet you appear to have social anxiety and do not want to speak in front of other people because you are afraid. These two feelings: 1) desire for attention, recognition, and importance, and 2) fear of speaking in front of others- may seem to be separate but they may be feelings that compensate each other.

In other words, while you seek attention, acceptance, and admiration, you are afraid to speak in front of people perhaps because you may feel inadequate or lack self-esteem. This lack of feeling confident, important, and good about yourself may produce a driving desire to attain these self-concepts via an excessive need for external validation. 

Assessment and Counseling

Brother I kindly suggest that you find a counselor in your area who can assess you and develop a plan of action for your treatment. It may include stress reduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, learning self-love and acceptance, and other techniques.

You may find ongoing counseling to be very helpful with not only symptom relief, but in developing a healthier self-concept, improved social behaviors, as well as a long term peace within yourself. 

Moving Forward

Brother it does seem as if you have some issues going on with your mental health in terms of anxiety and self-esteem. Only a counselor who assesses you can determine. Insha’Allah you will seek counseling. As stated earlier, you are not alone.  There are many people who suffer from various forms of anxiety and the need for self-importance. The good thing is that you are young and you do not have to live the rest of your life in this state of fluxing emotions.

There is treatment depending on your diagnosis if any, and things you can do to help heal yourself from this dichotomy. I kindly suggest that you do engage in ongoing counseling, participate in some free classes online for self-confidence and self-esteem, learn how to reduce your stress levels which would include possibly breathing techniques, progressive body relaxation, journaling, and so forth. Please see (3) for a list of possible stress reduction techniques. 

Conclusion

In sha Allah by engaging in therapy and increasing your self-confidence and self-esteem you will be able to overcome these thoughts and behaviors that appear to be affecting your life in a negative way. Please do make duaa to Allah for guidance, mercy, and help as you begin your healing Journey. We wish you the best.

1. https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/what-is-social-anxiety

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/obesely-speaking/201411/excessive-attention-seeking-and-drama-addiction

3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety#16.-Spend-time-with-your-pet


Q: Assalamalikum,

How to deal with my sadness . How to forget everything I suffered for almost 12 years. How to marry a person when I have zero chances. Please tell me any dua. Since the day I remember my life I mostly have sad days. I always cry because of different things. When I was in school people started making fun of my looks and complexion. This started when I was 10 years old and it didn’t stop till this day. It was so hard for me to face all this. My whole class used to make fun of me so back then when I was 14 I started doing self harm and I tried to commit suicide but didn’t succeed.

Being bullied was not only the reason I took these actions. My sister used to teach me math and other subjects and she always said  you are not intelligent at all, you can’t do anything at all , she always discouraged me. I know I was not picking things up so fast because I stopped studying for 3 years to do hifz. Also my mom and I fight a lot (she also makes fun of me) . After that my life is still the same. I had to deal with the same problems till this day. Now I started doing self harm again but I promised myself not to commit suicide. In the past whenever I was sad my sadness always went away but as time is passing it is hard for me to deal with it. Everyday I cry myself to sleep. How can I find a way to stop feeling like this.

There is one more thing, now there’s a guy that I love a lot (we don’t talk). I don’t know but many of my prayers are not accepted but I only want this prayer to come true. I want this so bad. He is non Muslim and lives in another country. So there’s no way that we can get married (also my parents are so typical ). Please tell me what can I do that Allah will listen to this prayer of mine? Any dua specifically I can do that Allah will listen to me and make him Muslim and we can get married? I know it’s impossible but still I believe that maybe Allah will listen to my prayers as He can do anything.

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran sister for writing to our Live Session. I am sorry to hear about how you have been suffering and the things you had to go through. You state that since the day you can remember, you have always had sad days.

You stated that in school people made fun of you for the way you look, at home your sister used to tell you that you were not intelligent and that you couldn’t do anything. Even your mom used to make fun of you. 

Bullying and Abuse from Society and Family

It appears that you had a very traumatic life my dear sister. I am very sorry this has happened to you. This life can be cruel in many ways, but we should find love, comfort, and solace in our families and friends. Unfortunately, your family also bullied you, and what else they did to you, I do not know. 

Self-Harm

Sister you stated that you used to self-harm by cutting when you were younger and you also attempted suicide. I am wondering what the outcome of all that was. Did you go for counseling, did you go to the hospital, did anyone intervene- such as your parents? I am happy to hear that you had promised that you would not try Suicide again. As much pain as you are in, please know that it will get better one day soon.

As you know suicide is permanent- there’s no coming back and this is also a scent. As I do not know what country you live in, I do not know where to direct you for the Suicide Prevention hotline. Please do look it up in case you need it my dear sister.

As you are very depressed right now and have started self-harming again, I highly recommend that you do go for counseling as soon as possible. In fact, if there are community clinics/centers in your area you may be able to be seen as a walk in. If you are feeling especially bad please do go to the emergency room. 

A Beautiful Survivor

Sister please know that despite your traumatic upbringing and experiences, you are a very beautiful, intelligent, and capable young lady. You are very valuable and loved. Is a shame that people have destroyed your sense of joy, innocence, and hope. You will insha’Allah find your true, happy self-it will take determination on your part, but you can shed these years of pain and start brand new insha’allah.

Through Allah, anything is possible. Here is a duaa for depression “O Allah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so don’t leave me in charge of my affairs even for the blinking of an eye. And rectify all of my affairs for me. Nothing has the right to be worshipped except You.” And “O Ever-Living One, O Everlasting One, by Your mercy I seek help.”

If you are Still Living at Home 

You are in a very toxic environment. It may not be possible to move out, but there are some things in addition to counseling you can do to negate that toxicity. I would kindly suggest dear sister but in addition to counseling, you also start to go to the Masjid to pray as well as to build up a supportive and loving network of sisters.

Unfortunately, in life there are many young girls who have been abused and bullied and they feel alone. We are blessed because in Islam there are many good sisters who can be a great support. Oftentimes we meet a few sisters that become lifelong friends. Praying to Allah, doing dhkir, reading Qur’an can all be a blessing in that it brings us closer to Allah and helps to remove negative, bad vibes. 

Desiring to get Married

Sister, I understand that you want to get married. You have met this guy from another country and he’s not Muslim. You have kept the relationship halal which is good alhamdulillah. However, I would like you to think about something.

When you get married, no matter who it is, don’t you want to present yourself as someone who has done the work needed to be healed from your trauma? Starting a marriage when one is still suffering from the effects of trauma, abuse, and bullying is not conducive for a strong marriage. We all have things we have to work on, some more than others, but it is best to enter a marriage after we have healed. 

Counseling as a Journey Towards Self 

With that said, you may wish to look at counseling as a journey back to yourself. You may wish to look at counseling as a start towards healing from all the pain, trauma, and abuse- and finding the beautiful, intelligent, young woman that you are. When you have a healthy relationship with yourself and no longer suffer from depression, self-harm, and incorrect thoughts of yourself (such as you are not pretty or you’re not smart or whatever else you were bullied about).

When you have a clean and clear picture of who you truly are and you begin loving yourself – it is easier to love someone else purely and honestly. It is often said that you cannot love someone until you love yourself. Duaa “O Allah, nothing is easy except what you make easy, and You can make what is difficult easy if You wish.”

Step Work

Sister I highly recommend that in sha Allah you do the step work needed to overcome the trauma you have experienced before thinking about marriage. You are young. You are only 21 and now is the time for you. Now is the time to take that step and seek counseling so you can resolve the issues that others have created. It is sad that oftentimes in this life we are stuck with pain and problems that others have created, however they will have to stand before Allah for their abuse and mistreatment of you.

Love for One who is not Muslim

 Regarding the young man who lives in another country and is not Muslim, I kindly suggest if you are engaged in a conversation with him or texting that you have a third party or a wali monitoring the conversations so they do not go too far.

It is permissible to get to know someone, however you must have someone else present to make it halal and safe. As he is not a Muslim, you and your friend or wali should make it clear that you are Muslim and possibly talk to him about Islam to find out if he is interested in becoming Muslim. 

Reversion for the Sake of Allah

It is not that you want him to become Muslim to marry you, I am sure that you do want him to become Muslim because it is the right path and only path in this life. If the young man is touched by the light of Allah and the truth of Islam and accepts Islam because he loves Allah and wants to serve Allah- alhamdulillah.

On the other hand, if he only wants to become Muslim to marry you, it may not work because it is not a true reversion. Whatever is done should be done for the sake of Allah. Should the boy not be interested, that too is by the will of Allah. I know that you feel like you love this boy however Allah Knows Best. 

Allah Loves you 

Sister, if it is not this person who was meant to be your husband, it will be someone else who is much better for you. Allah loves you sister and he wants the best for you. In fact, Allah does have somebody waiting just for you. It may be this boy or it may be someone else. You just have to trust in Allah as He knows what is best for us. 

Allah Listens to your Prayers

As far as Allah listening to your prayers and answering them, Allah does listen to your prayer’s sister. He also answers them, in His time. Allah swt answers them in His time because of course, Allah knows what the best time is, we do not. Sometimes we may pray for something and not get it because if we did get it, it would hurt us.

Sometimes we pray for something and Allah gives it to us but it’s so subtle we don’t realize it. The point is always keep your faith in Allah, know that He hears your prayers, know that He loves you, and know that He will open doors for you which are for you. The doors that are shut, or the doors that remain shut, are ones that may harm you.

Duaa: “There is no god except Allah, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; there is no god except Allah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne; there is no god except Allah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne. (Al-Bukhari 8/154, Muslim 4/2092)”

Tests and Trials

I understand you have been harmed all of your life and I am so sorry for that. However, I am fully confident that you are going to heal and emerge as a beautiful, strong butterfly. Perhaps you went through this so you can help others.

Perhaps in your life there will be young girls who have experienced what you did and you can be a mentor or a counselor and help them. We never know how the tests and trials that we come through will help someone else. 

Rising Above

Sister you have been through a lot but it is nothing that you cannot overcome. You can heal from this. You have an amazing spirit. Allah created you beautiful, intelligent, loving, and pious. Your feelings of depression, sadness, anger, and lack of self-worth are products of the abuse and bullying you have experienced and are still experiencing. I am fully confident you will rise above this, heal and go on to live a wonderful and beautiful life. 

Conclusion

Please do seek out counseling as soon as possible. Try to engage with the sisters at the Masjid to create close friendships and support. Seek out a wali or a close friend to monitor or intervene with your questions for this young man. Introduce Islam to him and make duaa that if it is Allah’s will- Allah touch his heart.

While I do not know of -or think there is a specific duaa to make for hoping one will be Muslim, you can ask our scholar section. Here is a powerful duaa that may cover all you seek sister and it is Allah who is All-Knowing-who will do what is best for you-and guide whom He may to Islam. 

“Dua for seeking goodness from Allah (Istikharah) “Jabir, Allah be pleased with him narrates that the prophet of Allah, Allah send peace and blessings upon him would teach us (the prayer and supplication for) Istikharah (seeking good from Allah) like he would teach us a chapter from the Quran. (He would say) when one of you intends to do something then he should offer two Rakats of (optional) prayer and say (after completion, while making Dua) Oh Allah! I seek goodness from You because of your knowledge (of what is good for me) and I ask You to grant me the ability (to do what is best) because of Your power and I ask You (to grant me) of Your great favour, because You have power and I do not, and You know (what is best for me) and I do not, and You have full knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If You know that this matter (at this point, the one supplicating should mention the matter) is better for me with regards to my Deen, my worldly life and the outcome of my affairs, (one narrator has doubt on the wording of the Dua and says or the Messenger said, for my current matters and future matters) then make it destined for me, and if You know that this matter (at this point, the one supplicating should mention the matter) is bad for me with regards to my Deen, my worldly life and the outcome of my affairs, (one narrator has doubt on the wording of the Dua and says or the Messenger said, for my current matters and future matters) then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and destine for me good wherever it may be and then make me pleased with it.” (2) Sister, we never know what Allah has planned. However this turns out with the young man, please do trust in Allah that it is for the best because Allah is the best of planners. Please do seek counseling as soon as possible sister so you can start on your path to healing. We wish you the best.

1. https://quranacademy.io/blog/6-duas-for-depression/2. https://www.myislaam.com/dua/seeking-goodness-from-allah-istikharah/

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Monday, Jul. 27, 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

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