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Youth Counseling (Counseling Live Session)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for participating in the previous counseling session about hardships and struggles with your questions!

Due to the counselor’s limited capacity of answering questions, here are the 4 questions that our counselor has provided an answer for.

We apologize for not responding all the other questions.

If you have not received an answer below at this time, please submit your question to one of our upcoming live session.

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Thank you for your understanding.

Question 1. Restless

How do I get out of a constant feeling of restlessness? Always feeling that I’m looking for something, checking social media and YouTube and messages as though waiting for some type of answer. A constant fear of good things being too good to be true, worried of losing people, like friends and family. A fear of losing things I love. I don’t know why I keep trying to go back to nostalgia from before this whole covid thing happened. Life was very different then, but arguably my life right now is so much better than life before. The things I wished for then, I have all of that now. Then why do I keep wanting that feeling from those days again? I feel as though I have lost myself somewhere deep inside me, and I don’t know how to find that me again. I feel like I’m just another person with the same expressions, way of talking, and type of jokes as the rest of my environment now. And I feel like something is missing in my life, but I don’t know what.

I hope you can help me, because I am really confused. Thank you in advance, and have a great day.

Answer:

Salam Aleikom sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear that you have been fighting with feeling of restlessness. You mentioned that you have thoughts that “things are too good to be true”, you are worried of losing your loved ones, and feeling as if something is still missing from your life.

Your thoughts are complex and can come from many different traumas. Have you gone through some major traumas in your life nowadays? Since when do you get these thoughts? What is exactly going on with you when you get these thoughts?

To get to the root of these thoughts, I first and foremost advise you to seek help through therapy. It takes a while to get a clarification of such thoughts and feelings and find healthy coping skills to tackle them.

Aboutislam.net offers life coaching as well with sister Aisha, you might want to try out.

The 12 most common reasons why fear of loss arises

The reasons why fear of loss arises can be manifold. In the following, you find the 12 most common reasons, so that you have a fixed point to which you can orient yourself.

Divorce: Your parents separated at an early age and you had to grow up in a chaotic household.

Loss of loved ones: At an early age you had to cope with the death of a close relative (mother, father, grandmother, etc.).

Inherited fear of loss: Your parents already suffered from fear of loss. They have then passed this on to you.

War: You have experienced war and what it feels like to lose family members, loved ones and possessions.

Illness: You may have witnessed a serious illness strike someone you love.

Cheating: Your life partner has cheated on you with someone else.

Betrayal: Longtime friends betrayed your loyalty when you needed it most.

Caregivers: You have been treated badly and devalued by caregivers (e.g. your teacher).

Lack of security: Your parents did not give you the security you wanted in childhood.

Excessive anxiety: Your parents were constantly overly concerned about your well-being.

Bullying: You were bullied in your school days and are therefore looking for a stable environment.

Mental illnesses: Mental illnesses such as depression can also be the cause of fear of loss.

In which of the above points did you recognise yourself? Can you think of any other causes that could possibly be the reason for fear of loss?

Existential crisis

I am not sure of what age you are at, but I sense a kind of existential crisis among your words as well.

Healthline writes that “People can have an existential crisis when they start to wonder what life means, and what their purpose or the purpose to life as a whole is,” explains Katie Leikam, a licensed therapist in Decatur, Georgia, who specializes in working with anxiety, relationship stress, and gender identity. “It can be a break in thinking patterns where you suddenly want answers to life’s big questions.”

It’s not uncommon to search for meaning and purpose in your life. With an existential crisis, however, the problem lies in being unable to find satisfying answers. For some people, the lack of answers triggers a personal conflict from within, causing frustration and loss of inner joy.

An existential crisis can affect anyone at any age, but many experience a crisis in the face of a difficult situation, perhaps the struggle to succeed.

Causes

Everyday challenges and stresses may not provoke an existential crisis. This type of crisis is likely to follow deep despair or a significant event, such as a major trauma or a major loss. A few causes of an existential crisis may include:

guilt about something

losing a loved one in death, or facing the reality of one’s own death

feeling socially unfulfilled

dissatisfaction with self

history of bottled up emotions

As I said sister, the best would be to seek help from one to one counseling.

In the meantime please do not forget to connect with Allah through your prayers. Make dua, talk to God as you would talk to a therapist. Make dua to make your situations easy for you and find the way our of such feelings.

I hope I was able to give you some relief to your problem and some encouragement how to proceed further.

Salam,

Question 2. why Allah SWT considers marriage to be sacred

Assalamualaykum.

I am an 18 yr old muslim guy and I am a practicing muslim. I know islam ks the truth.Allah SWT has made that apparent to me hundreds of times, but i really hate marriage. I know it is a big deal in islam and all but what to do since Everywhere i am looking everyone is commiting so many sins in marriage and tbh wouldnt zina be a lot better thanj those  many sins cuz I mean just to fulfill these damn desires (which i didnt ask to be there in me) i have to go to a lot of trouble. Why??

And one more thing ever since i became practicing i lost so many friends I know that Allah SWT promises to replace them with better people who will remind me of Allah SWT

But it been more than 2.5 yrs and I dont have that. Now you will say have sabr like ibrahim as and all that

Well i am tired and theres no one i can talk to except girls bcuz they dont make fun of me.

And i…..know that this is haram but i also want to be heard you kn ow i mean like dua isnt doing anything for myself and I am starting to think islam is sooooo haaard

But i am unable to leave islam since i am convinced that its the truth. But If this doesnt stop I dont feel like being a muslim anymore you know since, I am praying and befriending girls which is haraam i know, but what can i do about it?? i feel like Allah SWT wants to make me Abdullah ibn ubaiy  ( the leader of the hypocrites in the time of Muhammad SAW) of this time so that people learn a lesson from this.

plzzzzz i beg you to answer since I dont know if i can live like this.

Answer:

Salam Aleikom brother,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to read that you have seen many bad examples of marriages around you.

Marriage in Islam is supposed to be a beautiful bond between two persons to complete each other:

The prophet Muhammad said: “When a person gets married he has completed half of his religion, so let him fear Allaah with regard to the other half.” 

However, Allah has also promised that He will test the believers, so there is no any surprise that our life and marriage will face challenges. Marriage disputes are inevitable.

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. (Quran 2:155)

You say the marriages you see around you are full off sins. It is really unfortunate. However, it does not mean that there are no successful marriages around you, or your marriage would follow this. You are not them. The fact that you fear and you have written us show that you are open to learn about what it takes to have a successful and happy marriage. 

Unfortunately, many times what happens is that people go into marriage only by following their desires. They only thing just because the potential spouse is a “good Muslim”, they would live a happy marriage. However, sometimes people’s personality simple does not match even though they are good Muslims.

Marriage is also something you need to cultivate by speaking honestly of what hurts, by letting things go and forgiving and making excuses for the other. (Obviously, I do not mean that for example violence should be tolerated in a marriage, but I am talking in general that not everything should be a fight – there are things we need to overlook or work on in order to maintain the happy atmosphere).

People also often see red flags, but think that” it is going to be ok” or “ the other will change”. By gaining some knowledge of how marriage can actually work, you can create a pleasant atmosphere with your wife. Yes, there will be fights. Yes, you will have some moments when you feel “hm, what if…” we would divorce, what if I married another woman… You cannot escape these thoughts, but you can prevent them or minimalize them by learning about marriage.

What I suggest it:

  • you look at successful marriages. I am sure there are also people around you who are happy in their marriage. Maybe if they are people close to you, then have a conversation with them: how to be happily married. Seek understanding from elder people.
  • Read books about marriage. I suggest books of John Gottman, a very knowledgeable and well/known marriage therapist.
  • You can even join pre-marital courses, I recommend Haleh Banani’s courses on the topic.
  • You might want to ask for a one to one counseling with our psychologist to go through your troubling thoughts.
  • Think of 3-4 things that you feel are things you would never compromise in marriage. These are your core values. Discuss this with your potential spouse whether she is OK with them. Discuss her core values as well.
  • Chose a spouse whom you can create lots of good memories with. Memories that at times of difficulties you can remember and can get you through.

You also mentioned brother that as if you would not get response from Allah to your duas. That you started becoming a more practicing Muslim mashallah, but you lost many of your friends. I am so sorry to hear this.

As I mentioned brother, Allah has promised us that we would be tested, so do not be surprised of the difficulties you face. Inshallah keep a strong connection with Allah, complain to Him about all your issues, and inshallah He would replace your sorrow with happiness.

Here is a very good lecture by Nouman Ali Khan about how dua works. Learn more about duas, and keep them going. Allah hears and will give the most appropriate answer to it.

Let me tell you that I was also in your age when I became a Muslim. I lost all the people I assumed to be my friend at school because I no longer went with them to parties. It was tough but Allah gave me one very good friend at school whom I still keep in touch with and her friendship equaled many other lost friendships. I also started attending lectures and got more friends who were as practicing Muslims as me. So by looking back now, I can be very thankful for Allah the way He helped me.

I only told this story to encourage you to seek out opportunities to make friends. Do you part in making friends by attending some lectures at your local mosque, or even online you can find many groups that might fit your interest.  They will not come along if you do not assert some effort.

May Allah guide you on the right path,

Question 3. Getting and staying committed to Salat

Assalamu alaikom.

What is the best way for me, a mentally-unhealthy, 47-year-old man that was only ever consistent in his salat for no more than 6-7 months of his entire life, to unfalteringly commit to and perform salat from now onwards?

Jazakom Allahu khaira

Some potentially useful information:

I married my revert wife back in 2012 and moved in with her and her two kids (girl was 8, boy was 5) in 2014. I myself was born as Muslim in Cairo, Egypt, but I have lived most of my life in the UK and US. I currently reside in the US.

I did not have the best Islamic upbringing – much was neglected and not reinforced to instill salat as a lasting habit. As such, I admit that I’m a failure as a Muslim in that regard – that I don’t offer salat regularly. Compounded with other psychological, emotional, and mental challenges I have had to (and still) endure, I’ve never been able to make salat a lasting habit for me.

That said, my heart (and soul) will never falter or waver from its undying devotion and dedication to Allah and the teachings of the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Yet, I know that is not enough and that I must be steadfast in my salat.

Answer:

Salam Aleikom brother,

Thank you for writing to us. I am sad to hear that you face difficulty in keeping your regular prayers. As you mentioned, you did not grow up in an Islamic environment where salat was properly taken care of. Thus, it is no surprise it has not been rooted in your life. Yet, it bothers you to the extent that you have written us because you are aware of its importance in the eyes of Allah. This already shows how you really want to change and implement the habit of praying in your life. You mentioned also that you do make effort toward it, you do pray just not regularly. Allah sees your commitment and inshallah appreciates what you do.  

Allah says about His mercy:

{Call on Him with fear and longing. Surely, Allah’s mercy is ever near to the doers of good.} (al-Araf 7: 56)

You are not alone brother: every Muslim at times feel like not praying, or oversleep their fajr prayer, or they pray but they hardly focus on what is going on in their prayers. Sometimes our attitude towards prayer is like “fake it until we make it.” This is the truth: praying 5 times a day can easily become a daily habit without feeling its sweetness. Our faith is like a wave, goes up and down constantly. It is normal. What we are required to do is keep it going as much as we can.

According to islamqa.com,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

“Eemaan (faith) is “belief in the heart, words on the tongue and actions of the body.” Faith will increase and decrease. That is because the degree of belief in the heart differs from one person to another. Believing in what someone tells you is not the same as believing something that you see with your own eyes. Believing in what one person tells you is not the same as believing what two people tell you, and so on. Hence Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) said:

“ ‘My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.’ He (Allaah) said: ‘Do you not believe?’ He [Ibraaheem (Abraham)] said: ‘Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith’” [al-Baqarah 2:260] 

You are not alone brother with your difficulty.

Pray together

You also said you feel like a failure. Bother, Do not be too harsh on yourself. You mentioned that you are “mentally unhealthy”. Although it is not an excuse to not offer prayers (as we can even offer prayer with only our eyes if we are that sick), but it is a state that also makes things difficult in your life. Thus, you should celebrate any time you actually managed to pray so that you are motivated to pray more.  

It is very fortunate I believe that you have a wife who can help you keeping up with your prayers. She can help you wake up for fajr even. Use this opportunity and try praying together as much as possible. It also strengthens the bond between you two.

 Attend to Muslim gatherings

Nothing is comparable to the sweetness of praying together at the mosque. Attend to Friday prayer (as it is obligatory on men), and try to attend the congregational prayer at least once during that weekend. Attend lectures, or any Muslim gathering to uplift your faith. Nurture your spiritual self by listening to lectures on YouTube (maybe you would find videos about the purification of the soul or tazkiyah in Arabic the most useful for weak faith). Read the Quran, or do anything that help you strengthen your faith in Allah, thus prayer becomes more enjoying.  

Make dua

Duas have a very strong power. Use the opportunity when you do pray, ask Allah to help you maintain your prayers. Tell Him honestly and directly how you feel and what you want. He will surely answer in the best way. Just do your part.  

Seek help for your mental illness

If you do not attend therapy yet, I strongly advise you to seek help from one to one therapy. Our page also offers you this opportunity.

Take care of yourself brother, may Allah strengthen your faith,

Salam,

Question 4. 11 years of marriage he left me over white non-Muslim women?

We got marry in 2011. I had first child in 2013. I got pregnant again he forced me to abort baby i didn’t. 2nd daughter born in 2014. I was us citizen brought him here in 2014. First year in US i caught him cheating.. kissing (white co-worker) while drunk. I forgive him.. 2015 to 2022 numerous affair and kicked me out of the house multiple times. He used to do all kind of nasty stuff out side of house. Financially he had a control over me. He made fake separation paper in 2018 and got house only under his name.. finally kicked me out .. and now living with white women in haram relation.my heart aches.. why why me ? Allah swt knows i did so much for him i was loyal.. why me? He have house money luxury cars.. and choose haram relationship over me n kids.. i am not doing better emotionally beacuse it hurt!! Allah knows.. namaz helps Quran helps alot. But why me?

Answer:

Salam Aleikom sister,

I am so sorry that you have went through this trauma. It must have been horrific to experience the man you love seems like not loving you and doing things that deeply would hurt anyone. I truly feel for you.

You are at a state of grief now. You go through the same pattern as if a bellowed one had died. Learning about the five stages of grief helps you to process your feelings and eventually find your inner peace again.

First and foremost at such situation sister, the most important is taking care of yourself. Try to do things that you enjoy and fulfill you. Meet friends, watch something that relaxes you, attend some Muslim gathering and socialize, ask someone to take care of your kinds while you have some me time, or play or do some activity with your children.

You ask, “why me” indicates as if you blame yourself for the bad that happened to you while the truth is that it is not about you. There is something behind his screen that has made him do all these acts. There is something he hasn”t been able to process and lead him to make bad decisions in his life such as forcing you to abort your second child or get drunk or cheat you. These are all decisions that show a lack of coping skills. Iam saying these to make excuse for him. I am writing these in order to show you how much you should not blame yourself because it is not about you.  

There are actually many red flags in your message that indicate there is something wrong with this man. I am not aware of the details of your marriage, how you met, how you and him felt upon having your first child….So the following will be just possible answers for his behavior that might help you accept him the way he is and accept your current state in a better shape.  

First, you said that he forced you to abort your second child. A healthy Muslim man would never do such a thing. A child is a blessing in Islam, and abortion is prohibited except if the mother’s life is at risk.

I am not aware of the details, as I said, but maybe he already felt uncomfortable after the first child and he panicked how life would get harder after the second child.

Have you talked about your feelings after the first child? Marriage goes through a serious challenges when the first child arrives, please read about them. Did you have a lot of quarrels? I am again not justifying his actions, but rather contemplate on what could have led him chose these unislamic decisions so that you do not blame yourself any longer.  

You say your husband came to the US through you. Maybe his intention with marrying you was to get to the US. Allah knows best, but we can hear so many stories about this. Maybe, just like many Muslims who first get to Western culture, cannot deal with the desires and challenges properly, Western culture shakes them and make them get lost for a while…

Allahu allem, why he did all of these. The point is that what he did what not at all pleasant for you. You communicated it, I assume, many times through different ways, and still you found him not being a responsible father or husband. What else you can do about if not asking for separation?

Sister, 5 kilos of apple will never be 10 kilos, even if you beg them to be. Imagine your husband as the 5 kilos of apple. It is very hard to accept, but he has chosen another way of living. He could not deal with his desires or God knows what traumas that led him to deal with you in such a horrible way. Your task now it to let him go and move on.

I know it is easier said than done, especially with two children. I cannot even imagine how hard it is for you all, but you are not alone. There are so many sisters who have been through this. This is why I suggested you to take care of yourself and the children’s mental health.

Please also seek one to one therapy in order to be able to move on. Aboutislam.net offers this opportunity.

Your question of “why me” indicates that you are upset with Allah’s decree.

Sister, again, it is hard to say but that is the truth: we all get tested.

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. (Quran 2:155)

Allah knows best why. But what we get tested is where we need to learn something. So maybe try to ask yourself a different question: what does this situation teach me personally?

Remember sister that Allah does not burden you with more than you can bare:

Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford. (2.286)

Sister, be strong. Take care of yourself and your children a lot, have lots of fun in your life, and most importantly: strengthen your relationship with Allah. He is the only one who can help. Make lots of sincere dua at the end of your prayers.

Also connect with sisters who have been through the same. Attend lectures at the mosque, or sister circles. Socialize.  

I hope I was able to give some hope how to proceed further,

Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.
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