The Mindset Of Thankfulness


Salamu alaykum dear brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this live session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Hannah Morris 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 am new to Islam and I am having many doubts. At the beginning I did not have any doubts and everything felt so beautiful. At the beginning I thought that marriage is a beautiful bond, a partnership between the two and both have to help the other whenever the other needs it and there is no excuse for abuse. At the start it seemed to me as if it is a very close friendship between the two that is full of love, trust and respect. 

However, after I started reading some fatwas and watching some fatwa videos about marriage I have been greatly impacted by them because I really do not understand why and it feels as though a woman is a man’s object and her only right to eat, clothe and have a roof on top of her head. It now seems like a King-slave relationship. Here are the things that made me feel this way: 

1) If a husband prevents wife from visiting her parents she must obey. They even quote that if a wife’s mother is sick and he prevents her she must obey him. How is that Islamic? Isn’t preventing a wife to visit parents especially when they are sick great abuse? Has she automatically become a slave once she accepted the marriage? I always thought that not visiting parents is haram. Why would a woman be required to obey a husband in this? Not visiting them is haram, will emotionally harm the wife and this is something beyond what any sensible human can cope with.

Yes I know that a wife needs to tell the husband before leaving the house and before I developed these doubts I have heard that the only reason she has to tell him is for safety reasons so that if the place is dangerous he can stop her so that she is not harmed but if the place is not dangerous he cannot stop her from going out just to harm her. Now visiting parents is not dangerous at all and is a duty. Preventing her from visiting them is not protection is humiliation. Although, if he prevented her from visiting her friend for example for no reason she can handle this but not when it comes to parents. 

2) Husbands are allowed to stop wife from using social media even if she is using it responsibly. If a woman is doing all her duties as a wife and a mother what is she meant to do when she is bored? Find a wall and hit her head with? Or talk to herself like a psycho? I even saw somewhere, even if the wife is using social media responsibly but the husband does not want her to use it for any reason she must obey him and not use it behind his back.

If he prevents her while she is being good on it why can’t she use it behind his back ? Is she just meant to accept all forms of oppression? Okay,  first they said a woman cannot go see her parents, if he prevents her, now they even want to ban her from social media when the husband forbids while she is not doing anything bad on it and not posting pics of herself. I really do not understand why they give the husband that much importance, they make him seem as though he is KING OF ALL KINGS and the wife as a slave of no worth. 

3) Sexual desires. Whenever a man complains about his wife they automatically throw tons of hadiths and threads at the wife without even asking the husband to understand why she refused. But whenever a woman is complaining they tell her to find out if she has a shortcoming or what is making the husband not want her. Can you believe I saw a fatwa called,  “Husband is not sinful for refusing sexual intercourse unlike wife”. Although, in the fatwa they say that they think that he should give it to her, but at the end of it they talk about him not being sinful unlike the wife purely because men are less patient that women in this.

I once saw a video saying that the reason there is no hadith specifically talking about husbands being sinful is because it would embarrass women and it is less likely for men to refuse, but that video also said that this does not mean that men are not sinful for refusing. However, there is only one source claiming this and that he is sinful just like the wife, all the rest make it seem like it is no big deal for a husband to refuse and he is not sinful for not having it with her whenever she has a desire.

Okay, yes I do agree that men have more desire, but they should keep in mind that women are shy to ask and because of this they will only ever ask if they have a very strong urge. They always back their reasoning by saying men are less patient and no one can force their desire at will, yet a woman is obliged to comply even when she has no desire.

So they are only forcing one party to force their desire and the other no.  If we rely on their reasoning that a man is not sinful  and does not have to do it if he does not feel like it, then what should a woman do when she has a desire???? In this case why bother and marry when a man is going to control every aspect of her life! And think that he is not sinful for not fulfilling her desire. 

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister, 

Based on what you have presented I can fully understand why you would be feeling the way you are towards marriage in Islam. Islam is a beautiful religion that encompassed all aspects of life, including marriage. Islam does not promote oppression of the woman, in fact, it promotes quite the opposite and actually empowers the woman.

This might seem incredibly difficult to believe based on the things you have mentioned here and I think anyone who read these things would also fail to see Islam in a positive light. There are few things you can do from here to seek reassurance on this matter and in sha Allah be able to see the beauty in Islam once more. 

Firstly, I would make sure to check the source from which you are getting this information and make sure it is reputable. Some of them sound a bit off and actually quite against what Islam actually says. In each case, certainly it is expected that a woman does obey her husband, but there are also conditions around this too. He cannot just be telling her to do things without having any realistic rationale behind his instructions.

For example, regarding spending time on social media. Perhaps if she had been neglecting things that she should be taking care of, such as her children, or if she was spending excessive time on it, interacting with bad people.. Etc.. Then he could advise her to reduce her time or in the worst case maybe tell her to stop. However, if there is no harm coming of her using social media then should be no good reason to forbid her from using it. 

I wonder if these fatwas were perhaps given in very context specific situations. For example, the woman being forbidden from social media was perhaps using it in a detrimental way. Likewise in the last example, a woman can refuse intimacy with her husband without consequence if she has a legitimate reason. This is something to look into also.

It may be that they only apply in a particular situation. If this is the case then one should be cautious of applying them to situations that are not the same. It can lead to a lot of misunderstanding and false information being spread against the well being of others. 

Similarly, with the first scenario, forbidding a woman from seeing her parents. Islamically, we are actually encouraged to maintain family ties, especially towards our parents who raised us. To cut them out and show them no respect is against Islam.

Perhaps in situations where the parents are encouraging you to do something forbidden in Islam then one is not obliged to obey at all. Otherwise, we owe them the utmost of respect and there is much evidence to support this in the Qur’an and sunnah. As a result, I would encourage you to look at primary sources, that is, the Quran and sunnah, to get the best and most authentic evidence on these things. 

Additionally, I would encourage you to seek scholarly advice regarding these matters and perhaps ask for an explanation to the fatwas that you are concerned about. It’s always best to get individual advice on your own personal experiences rather than relying on advice that was aimed at someone else in a different situation.

Since you are not yet married, now would be a great time to get this kind of information and advice so that you can be very clear on what is expected of you as a wife, what the expectations of your husband would be and what marriage should encompass from the outset. 

The fatwas you have looked at here are focused solely on the man’s rights. I would also encourage you to look into the rights of women too. The woman has many rights in marriage, and even outside of marriage, that protect and empower her. This would help to add a bit more balance towards your understanding of the roles of the husband and wife in marriage. 

Even though having read these fatwas has put a sour taste in your mouth for what Islam has to offer, there is some benefit in this. Given that they seem like the harshest of fatwas that would put many off Islam, the fact that they are like these has pushed you to a place where you have felt the need to reach out for advice.

As well as reassuring you about the possible reasons why they may seem this way (due to being inauthentic, or for a specific context and do not cover the full spectrum of issues with plenty of others factors that actually are in the woman’s favour), you are advised to get further information from a learned scholar Alhamdulilah, this situation has caused you to seek knowledge.

Perhaps if you had read something that you liked, or didn’t find any problems with, you would have had little motivation and passion to find answers. It may seem like this situation is a terrible one, but Alhamdulilah, it is also something to be thankful for in that it has encouraged you to seek knowledge and advice further. 

May Allah guide you in your search for the truth and may He grant you a righteous husband who will treat you well, in accordance with Islamic values and will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

My husband has committed sins. Frequently. He has lied, been a hypocrite, been in illicit relationships. I have just come to know the truth. Since our engagement, he has been in an illegal sexual relationship with multiple girls. I was abroad at that time, and the only means of communication we had was via mobile phone. He would wake up with this girl and text me.

After marriage, he never seemed to be satisfied with me, and my body. He always complained how unattractive my private parts were. I was ashamed, and got overly concerned about my body image. We never seemed to have built this soul-to-soul relationship. There was a void. As it was my first relationship, it should be normal and I should give it all the time.

All those times, he was in contact with that girl he slept with for years, long before we had known each other. On her birthday, he’d video call her; he’d beg her to meet her on his birthday, even though I was die-heartedly waiting for him, comforted him. That girl came to know about the marriage, and after continuing a sexual relationship with him for 3 months, she got reluctant to be in a physical relationship anymore. But constantly gave him hints that they two were made for each other. He’d praise her and belittle me in every possible way.

One day she texted him, and I got to read the word “wife”. I further tried to read messages, and visited her profile. I messaged her personally, where she shared messages (screenshots) with me of them talking, having video calling, exchanging pictures all even after one year of our marriage. Also, one day my husband reinstalled his whatsapp, and few of their chats, to his surprise, came back from backup. I read them. They had been openly talking about sex in those chats (it was 2 weeks after my marriage).

Now that things have disclosed, Allah has made him uncovered, he asks for my forgiveness. He constantly says Allah pardons His sinners too. He tries to portray himself as a good man just because now Allah has disclosed his ugly picture.

What are my reasons to forgive him? Why and how come Allah forgave someone like him and her who slept for 4 years before our marriage and continued to do so even after tying the knot with me?

What did I do wrong in all this? He used to send caring messages on whatsapp before our marriage when I was abroad studying my masters. He asked for the marriage himself, it was his family who came to my place for this relationship (arranged marriage). He got a girl who has been untouched, and he continued to be this sinner with multiple women. He treated my body just as meat as well.

I’m 8 months pregnant, and try not to cry a lot, as it could cause a premature delivery. But yes I have cried my eyes out. My whole world has come to crumble. Nothing seems legit to me anymore. I cannot share this with my 77 year old mother. I feel I cannot even cry to the full and feel forced socially to be with this man I made my husband a year ago.

His family is such an imposter. His father used to beat his mother, and his mother herself is a cheap mentality lady who talks about beer and 4 marriages all the time in front of us.

I think if I continue the relationship, because he is very sorry and wants to change, I would never be able to trust him again. I do not want a broken home for my child. Although I’m educated and have a job, I feel a child needs a father’s love too. I do not know what future has for me, all I know is, he’ll go to his grave and I will mine.

His sins are over his head. And I do not want Allah to forgive him. I do not want those girls to be forgiven. I want them to go through the pain for each time I woke up in the middle of the night all traumatized, thinking my pre-marriage chats with my husband were all fake, and soulless. Thinking he cheated on me within two weeks of our marriage. I cried to bed and woke up to cry more until I fell asleep with no tears left. 

Do I have anything to hinder the forgiveness of Allah over the people who have hurt me deeply? I want him punished for all of his sins, and not be forgiven. I want his parents to be punished severely for cutting him loose every time, for they knew what he was doing before our marriage! I want them all punished but not in this world, instead in the hereafter, so the punishment is severe.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister, 

I’m sorry to read what you have been through at the hands of your husband’s illicit relationships behind you back before and after marriage. On top of that, he doesn’t seem to have been treating you well based on the things he has said to you and how he has made you feel. As a result of all of this, it is not surprising that you are feeling angry and wish he was not forgiven for the pains he has caused you over such a long period of time. 

You have gone through so much pain and the focus has been on the things he has done wrong and it can be difficult to separate yourself from this because the impact has been on you whilst he seems to show only a small amount of remorse as well as trying to hide from his sins under the cover of the merciful nature of Allah who says He will forgive all sins.

This might seem quite wrong just considering all the pain he has put you through, so why should he be forgiven? It’s not quite as simple as that though. People can’t just go around committing sin after sin because they are confident that Allah will just forgive them anytime. One thing people who do this forget is that to actually attain Allah’s forgiveness they must turn to Allah in sincere repentance and go out of their way to do all they can not to fall into the same sin again.

If someone is genuinely repentant for the sin then they will do all they can to rectify it and avoid falling into the same situation again, avoiding all things that may lead them to it. 

As difficult as this may sound, one way to help heal yourself is to find a way to soften your heart towards him and find it in yourself to forgive him. This by no means implies that you have to stay in this relationship that seems to be quite toxic from the outside at least. What he has done is wrong and you have every right to be angry  at him due to his continued betrayal.

However, holding onto this anger towards him will only cause you further distress and lead to both psychological and physical consequences for you and perhaps even your baby. He has hurt you enough already, you do not need to give him the continued power to hurt you further.

The good news is that by you taking back control, forgiving him and moving on, the power and control is back with you again. To forgive someone who has caused so much hurt will be a huge challenge, but one that comes with so much relief to be able to let go of the pain. Instead, forgive him like you would wish for Allah to forgive you for any mistakes you have made and then leave the rest to Allah. Have complete faith in the Mercy and Justice of Allah. 

Pray for him, that Allah will set him straight. Again, not something easy to do, but will help in the process of your finding peace in your current difficulties. It will help to ease your anger and frustration when you turn the matter to Allah and leave Him to take care of the matter and relieve you from the burden. Find comfort in remembering that He will replace this with something better, even if you have to wait until the Hereafter, but He will! 

It may feel unjust and maybe he hasn’t sought your forgiveness and rectify his ways. But remember, for all the sins he has committed against you, you will be gaining his good deeds. Alhamdulilah, that is the mercy of Allah. The pain you have faced at his hands is not in vain. 

Alhamdulilah, Allah has granted you a child out of this relationship and regardless of your relationship with your husband you have a responsibility towards your baby now. A little soul that relies on you. Focus your energy on him and allow the gratitude you have for this opportunity to be a mother to spill over into other aspects of your life spreading positivity.

Focus on the positive aspects of your life moving into the future rather than dwelling on the mistakes of your husband. Be with people who make you happy and do the things that make you feel good about yourself. Do not let the mistakes of your husband bring misery to your life. 

May Allah Ease your worries and bring you peace at the end of this struggle. May you always find peace in His remembrance. May He grant you and your child a life full of happiness in this life and the next. 

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

We are 6 siblings and we have the greatest mom in the world. Last six weeks my sister has been so ill, it started with a headache then temperature then chest infection. Then infection after infection. Then all clear no infection in the body. Next she’s on a ventilator with extremely high oxygen needed. 

As we all do our normal prayers then the day she went to hospital we have been crazy about reciting Quran. We have planned praying times out between us all. It’s like two prayers for 4 hours then other two people take over, not a minute gap in reading and nafil as well tahjjud. 

The more we prayed, the worse our sister got! 

We said to ourselves Allah is judging us so we don’t give up. We carry on praying. With loads of Sadaqah, crazy kinds of charity are sent to the needy. But my sister didn’t get better even after all this girl is suffering so much. She is the most kind person in the family.

Always given charity always helps others. We are all going through tough times. But I’ve just come to realize that no prayers can change what Allah swt doesn’t want to change. No matter how much you cry how much you beg Allah to help you. Nothing ever changes. 

Walaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister, 

I am very sorry to hear of the pain you and your family are facing due to the severe sickness of your sister. Alhamdulilah, you are doing all you can by staying by her side and supporting her as a family. You are praying for her, giving plenty of sadaqah and constantly reading the Qur’an to her. Masha Allah, may Allah reward all your efforts and bring you peace In His remembrance. 

I know it must feel very disheartening that her condition continues to deteriorate no matter how much your turn to Allah and beg Him for her health to be returned, but always remember that your duas are not made in vain. Allah is hearing everything. He may not be responding in the way that you are expecting, or the way that you want, but trust that He is hearing and will answer your prayers. 

As difficult as it is to see the blessings in this situation please do try to see in this the Mercy of Allah. Remember these things; this is a test for your sister and for your whole family, but there are so many blessings that come out of a test. It can be difficult to see in the moments that you are facing the difficulties so I’d like to just remind you of a few things… 

For every trial that you (and your sister and family) endure, Allah is purifying you of your sins. We are all sinners to some extent or another, and to be purified of these sins in this life is a blessing. 

Allah only tests the best of people. The ones who He knows are strong enough to endure such tests. The ones who are deserving of the highest place in Jannah, in sha Allah. Look to the prophets and sahabas before us and the immense trials and tests they were put through. Greater than any of us could even dare to consider enduring. Surely this is a sign to those who suffer so greatly in this life. 

Also, look to the beautiful things that have come out of this situation that would not have otherwise. Alhamdulilah, people have benefitted from your additional charity. Needy people have been blessed as a result of your giving and you have eased their burdens even if for a short time. May Allah reward you and bring them ease. 

It has brought you closer together as a family and been an opportunity for you to spend time together for the same cause, working together for the sake of supporting your sister. Alhamdulilah. Not everyone can say they have such a strong family. 

This situation has also pushed you closer to Allah. You are probably making even more dua and reading more Qur’an than you would have been otherwise. 

Alhamdulilah, so you can see that even though times are hard, there is so much good that has come out of it too. That is not to say that you cannot or shouldn’t be sad, because most people in this situation would be too. This is warranted, and perfectly normal. However, when surrounded by such sadness and despair and being with others who are also feeling this way too, it can be easy to lose sight of other things such as the positives to be thankful for also. 

You know yourself that no amount of anything you can do will change what is already destined for her, or for anyone even, but that also doesn’t mean that you should give up. As yet, you don’t know her fate. In sha Allah she will be granted a full recovery and having family around her is what is giving her that strength and comfort to keep fighting. Continue to do all you can, continue as you are in turning to Him always and then leave the rest to Him and find comfort and faith in whatever He wills. 

May Allah grant your sister a full recovery leaving behind no sickness. May He reward the steadfastness of you and your family. May He grant you all comfort in His remembrance during this difficult time and may He bless all your efforts for His sake. 

***

Q: Assalamalikum,

I am 22 years old one night I suddenly feel like my heart is beating faster and I can’t breathe properly and I feel like it’s my last night. I cannot sleep that night. The next day I googled the symptoms of death and they are similar to the condition that night. I consulted a therapist and he said that it’s normal in your age and the level of serotonin is low that’s why you have excessive thoughts of death.

But now it has become serious because when I do something like take shower I feel like it’s my last shower. When my mom goes shopping I feel like I will never see her again. I don’t know why this happens, why I have excessive thoughts of death in my head. I feel like it’s the sign of Allah that I am going to die.

Please tell me what’s happened to me. I am so depressed. Nowadays I hear voices and visual effects of death. I don’t know why this suddenly happens. I feel these are my last days why these suddenly started to me. I feel it is a sign or indication or message from Allah that my time is near. Please help me!

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

I can understand how this must be very distressing for you both physically and psychologically as it seems to be affecting you in many ways. From what you have presented here, it looks alot like you are experiencing anxiety. There are many ways this can be treated with medication, psychological therapy as well as spiritual therapy too. I would first urge you to go to your doctor to discuss your symptoms and get a more formal diagnosis. Whilst it sounds alot like it could be anxiety, it may also be something else. Your doctor will be able to assess you and refer you to the relevant people to get assessed and treated in the most suitable way depending on if it is anxiety, or if it is something else. 

There may be some other underlying condition present which your doctor will be able to check, but regardless of whether it is something else, or if it is an anxiety disorder, you are experiencing symptoms that are causing you great distress and whilst you are seeking medical advice on this, you can also consider some things in the meantime. 

To be living with anxiety, regardless if it is due to a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder or a symptom orlf something else, or otherwise just intense feelings of anxiety without the presence of an actual disorder, can be incredibly debilitating to live with, as you know. It is impacting on you physically and psychologically and is interfering with your daily life. Whilst you await medical assessment and intervention, there are a few things you can do that can help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, both physically and psychologically. 

From a spiritual perspective, turning to Allah for the sake of pleasing Him in praise and contemplation will naturally reduce your levels of anxiety as you get closer to Him. Certainly, do fear Him, but also focus on His Mercy too and find comfort in the remembrance of His Mercy as a means to reduce your levels of anxiety. Studies have even shown the very practice of praying and reading the Qur’an can counter the symptoms of anxiety by reducing blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rate. Alhamdulilah. As these things settle, you will find that your racing mind will also calm too. 

From a psychological perspective, ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen? We all have to die and we should all be prepared for that day. Focus on being good and preparing for that day and pleasing Allah so that you feel less need to be anxious about dying and instead are focused on Allah’s Mercy and the beauties of Jannah. No one knows when it is their time. It could be today, it could be in 50 years or so we all have to prepare for that day. 

This is not to trivialise what you are going through, because certainly it is evidently very distressing to you to be going through this, but it is a means to open your eyes to other things that can be so easy to overlook when going through such intense negative and difficult experiences. 

Take some time to look at the positives in this situation, Alhamdulilah, it seems to have made you very conscious of Allah as you fear death and His punishment. You can use this heightened level of Allah consciousness in your favour by continuing to return to Him to seek forgiveness for the things you fear and live in such a way that Allah will be pleased with. In sha Allah, you will overcome these intense feelings you are going through and come out a stronger person better equipped to deal with the various trials of this life.

At the end of this, if it is determined that you do have an anxiety disorder do continue to contemplate over the things mentioned here, but I would also recommend that you seek ongoing counselling so that you can get the ongoing support you will need in overcoming this condition. Also, you knight consider taking anxiety reducing medication if necessary to stabilise the physical effects and take the edge of the most severe effects to allow you to deal with the psychological components in recovery. 

May Allah bring you ease during this distressing time. May you find comfort in His remembrance. May this experience be a source of purification for you that will be the source of the highest ranks in both this life and the next in search of His pleasure.

***

Q: Assalamualekum, 

I met my husband 3 years ago and it truly was love at first sight.  He was married before and has a child . 

I myself am a converted Muslim with orthodox christian family .  

When we started realizing that we truly wanted to be together we told our parents and family members and we both were denied of the idea. 

Afterwards we decided that we wanted to respect our parents and even though it hurt a lot we cut the ties completely. 

 Months later we ended up reconciling and getting married in two weeks on condition of us keeping it as a secret for a while . 

Long story short, it’s been more than a while and every time my husband said that he wanted to marry a convert his family denied. And instead offered him to marry some other woman . 

I don’t know what to do anymore, or how much patience am I expected to have. I don’t want to exaggerate the situation by pressuring him with anything. But it is frustrating to not know. If anyone could give advice will be much appreciated.  

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh 

Alhamdulilah, that you did the right thing in breaking ties at first when you realized that you didn’t have your families support at the time as this could have saved you both from landing into a sinful relationship.

It is unfortunate that you were unable to win family support and had to marry in secret, but at least you did the right thing in marrying rather than having illicit relations with one another that would have been sinful in the shoulders of you both.

However, there are still problems with the in-laws and this is causing you great distress, especially when they would like your husband to be with you and have someone else in mind for him. By now, it is becoming very frustrating for you and understandably so. 

You have been patient until now, but it is now getting to a ton of frustrating points for you. You are now faced with either pressuring him to tell them that you are married and potentially risking making things difficult between the 2 of you, or just remaining patient for some time longer, but at your own detriment and risk damaging your own psychological well-being. Both are options that are going to cause some kind of problems either way so is something for you to consider very carefully. 

Take time to contemplate your options in private, away from distractions where you can think clearly about how to best approach it as well as the potential consequences and how you would deal with them. Consider the pros and cons of each option and leave it aside for a short time before contemplating again.

It may also open the doors mentally to some kind of middle course that suits both you and he. Doing this will prevent you diving in, possibly irrationally in the moment. Giving yourself space to fully consider your options will make you more confident in what to do and be able to approach the matter more confidently and calmly. 

If your marriage is to ever work and win the acceptance of each other’s families, it will eventually need to be made public to them. Considering their thoughts on the matter, this is something to be done tactfully to ensure maintained relations. This may be uncomfortable at first and you will both need to be prepared for this, but with time and getting to know each other and feel comfortable with each other things will get better, in sha Allah once the first hurdle is cleared.

This requires teamwork between you and your husband. And discussion beforehand to ensure you approach it together with a strength that won’t be broken by others who are against your marriage to begin with. Of course, to take this approach would require you to bring the matter up with him.

You don’t want him to feel like you’re pressuring him otherwise it may cause problems between you, but at the same time, if you don’t speak up he may never do anything about it and you will be forced to remain silent about it unless he decides to make that move himself.

Perhaps a middle ground you could draw for yourself before approaching him is to mentally set a time frame for him to do so without approaching him on the matter and if he doesn’t then prepare to be the one to initiate the conversion with him. This will also give you the time to think about the best way to approach him without feeling like you are pressuring him. By then you will also be clearly able to say that you have been patient enough and waited long enough. 

Another middle ground, once you have reached the point where you are able to discuss it together is to get the support of someone who is family respect and respond well to, someone who can either soften them to the thought of the 2 of you, or who can be with you when you approach them about it yourselves.

Be prepared that when this moment comes, they may feel somewhat betrayed that all this happened behind their backs, but perhaps with someone to support you both they will take it more easily. 

As difficult as this situation is for you, try not to make it the thing that dominates everything about your relationship otherwise it may cause unnecessary strain on both of you. Continue to make time for other things between doing things that you enjoy doing together as a couple and maintaining the love between you. 

Regardless of the route you take, the most important thing is open communication between you and your husband if this is to work. Even aside from this situation, communication is so important in keeping a marriage strong and stable.

Alhamdulilah, perhaps this very situation has been placed in your way to forge the very development of this quality in your marriage, that without would likely struggle. Likewise, although this is a very difficult situation for your marriage to first in these early days, it is also an opportunity for you to strengthen your marriage right from the start and build strong foundations for the marriage moving forward.

Difficulties in a marriage may seem to go against what marriage should be, but in fact, much of the time it is these difficulties that only make a marriage stronger; stronger that it would have been if not faced with such challenges. Tests in a marriage provide an opportunity to develop qualities such as trust and bonding that are crucial to marital success in the long term. 

May Allah make this present challenge a source of strength in your marriage. May He guide you to do what is best for you all and most pleasing to Him. May He continue to make you the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the next.

***

Q: Assalamu alaikum,

I am 26 years and still not married. It seems no one cares about it. They say girls can still marry after 30. I regret rejecting all the previous marriage offers. It makes me feel that I will never get married. I don’t want to fall for any haram relationship. Alhumdulliah I protect myself but I am scared about my future.

I am the only earning person in my family of 4 as my father left us alone again. Now I am tired of being the breadwinner. Everyone just wants me to be there for their work. I am not having my own life. I am only living for others sometimes it feels good sometimes I feel depressed. 

I want to live my life, I want to study and become an alimah. I want to contribute more to the deen. I feel I am losing my friends and gaining enemies because I am straight forward when I easily get angry and I lose my control. I try to control a lot but sometimes it becomes difficult. Even protecting myself from haraam I still hear bad things from others in my family.

At present I don’t know what to do with my life? I am losing myself. I am trying to concentrate more in deen but sometimes it feels like I am not alive. There are lots of responsibilities in which I lost myself. I left everything to Allah, but my mind plays with all the bad things that happened in my life. I tried a lot to be positive. I am having complete trust in Allah for my life but I can’t take so much rejection.

What more changes do I need to do in my salah? How much more do I need to make astaghfar? I feel like I hurt someone because of which I am facing all these problems. What should I do to ask forgiveness from Allah. I don’t trust my family for my matters. I am totally dependent on Allah.

Please share any dua, any ayat of quran or any changes to make in my life.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

There are quite a few things that you have mentioned here that seem to be getting you down and it looks like it is the accumulation of all these things that have finally tipped you over the edge to feel down like this.

Firstly, you mention the issue of marriage, and then having anger management difficulties, difficult relationships with friends and family, losing sight of yourself, the pressure you face as the only breadwinner and so on.

It would not be uncommon for people to feel down dealing with only one of these things, but you are carrying all these things on your shoulders at once. On the whole, it seems like a lot of your feelings stem from a focus on the negative consequences of focusing only on other people’s needs and losing sight of your own. 

As a result, I’d suggest the first step for you to get out of this cycle of negativity is to focus on yourself for a change. This can be exhibited in a couple of ways; by doing things for yourself for your own pleasure, but also in terms of your interactions with others by not worrying about what others think and behaving to please them even if it is displeasing to you.

For example, regarding marriage, even if others think it is fine to get married after the age of 30 but you would like to get married now, it doesn’t mean that you should be comfortable hanging around until then. If you are ready to wed now then take active steps to do so and don’t be afraid to ask others for assistance just because they have a different opinion to you. 

Your focus on pleasing others and living only for others with little focus on yourself has left you feeling rejected because you are relying on others rather than yourself. It’s a lot easier to let other people down than yourself so it’s not surprising that you are feeling so rejected because so many people are relying on you.

This is by no means a reflection of you as a bad person who is wronging people, but more that there are so many more opportunities to let other people down when so many rely on you. To counter these feelings, you can try and free yourself from this to some extent by engaging yourself in more things where it is only you relying on you. You are so used to doing things for others that you don’t give yourself any time or appreciation

Feeling like you are being rejected by others is of course going to encourage you to only focus on negative things, not only the negative things going on in your life, but any negative characteristics you may have as a person which will only serve to exacerbate your negative feelings further. Without even knowing you personally, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of your positive qualities that are evident from this short query only.

Even though you are concerned about what others think, you are also concerned about what Allah thinks and are actively doing your best to avoid harm. The fact that you live your life daily by working to provide for your family. This alone is a sign of your selfless generosity and kindness. Write these things down and reflect on this every night before you sleep to end your day on a positive note thinking of the good things in your life to be thankful for generally and about you on a personal level. 

As mentioned, the other problem is that your focus in all you do is to focus on helping others to the point that you have lost sight of yourself amongst the concern for providing for your family financially. Something that could be very helpful for you is to start something new that you’ve always wanted to do. This may be in the form of a hobby or a course that you want to do.

You mention you want to study to become an alimah. Well, what’s holding you back? Do it for yourself. This will give you personal goals to work towards that are not reliant on pleasing anyone but Allah and leaves no room for feeling like you are not impressing others or being rejected by others because this is for you and Allah. This also relates to one of your last points regarding being dependent only on Allah. This is the fundamental truth. You are dependent only on Allah. We are all totally dependent on Allah. 

Although you don’t seem to be consciously committing sins against people, you do mention that you do seem to be getting angry, perhaps as a result of your frustrations towards your present situation. This may or may not be the reasons behind the difficulties you face now, only Allah knows, but regardless, Allah loves to forgive so there is never any harm in repenting to Allah. If nothing more, it is a means to soften your heart and get closer to Allah. There are a few prescribed times that provide the best opportunity to do so such as in sujood and in the last third of the night. 

May Allah keep you steadfast on His path and reward all your efforts to support your family and to please Him. May He grant you ease in your difficulties and bless you in all that you do.

Salam,

*****

Wednesday, Dec. 02, 2020 | 08:00 - 09:00 GMT

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