My Husband Doesn’t Pray.

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My husband used to pray and go for jumu’ah, but now he doesn’t pray at all. He says he is mad at Allah for all the suffering in the world, and why should he pray to a God who is supposed to be merciful, but let women and children be violated etc? We end up arguing sometimes. His mother is not Muslim. My kids and I are Muslims and practice, but he refuses to pray with us, so I lead salah with my kids. What else can I do? I keep making dua to Allah to bring him back to the straight path. He knows the punishment of neglecting his salah and jumu’ah.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Meaning of tribulations

This must be such a difficult situation for you and your family. May Allah grant you a way out, and bring your husband closer to Allah.

When we view suffering through the lens of the dunya, then there is no end to pain. But this is not the way of the believer. We must remember to look at suffering through the lens of the akhirah.

Please refer him to these resources:

Suffering and Divine Wisdom
The Problem of Evil and a Summarized Islamic Response
Why We Suffer – 2 – What Is the Problem of Evil? – Shaykh Hamza Karamali

Husband’s anger

Your husband sounds very sensitive. This quality, when harnessed well, is a very positive trait. When it is not channeled well, then it can cause great harm to himself, as manifested by his refusal to pray.

Anger is a secondary emotion. Beneath it is often deep sadness, anxiety and/or powerlessness. Your husband was not born into a Muslim family and embraced Islam at a later age. He needs stronger foundations. He needs to better understand Allah, and have a better opinion of Him, through a courses such as Absolute Essentials of Islam (Shafi‘i): Habshi’s Encompassing Epistle Explained: Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice or Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi): Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice. I pray that he enrols in these courses.

I discourage you from arguing with your husband. Focus on nourishing your connection with him. Soften him through your own kindness and patience with him.

Beautiful character of the Prophet

I encourage your husband to soften his anger through getting to know the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). There is deep healing in that. Studying the Shama’il with a teacher would be so beneficial for him. In lieu of that, perhaps he can listen to A Beauty Most Sublime and The Prophet’s Heart: Understanding the Prophet’s Beautiful Relationship with Allah and with Allah’s Creation. Even if does not want to, please strive to listen to these blessed recordings. Your heart will change, and impact on his, inshaAllah.

If he is willing to listen, encourage your husband to write a letter to the Prophet (peace sand blessings be upon him), pouring out his sorrow, anger, disbelief and so on. When his eyes shed tears, then his heart will often.

The door of punishment is not changing your husband’s behaviour. Perhaps the door of Prophetic love will.

Spiritual nourishment

Please look after your own heart during this time. Guard your prayers, and increase your acts of worship. Bring light into your home. Have regular gatherings of goodness in your home, and connect to like-minded and like-hearted families.

Be gentle with yourself. Forgive yourself. When you feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to practice these Self-Compassion Guided Meditations and Exercises

Guiding your children

It was narrated from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness in all things.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Your children are so blessed to have you as their mother. Please ensure that your own aqidah foundations are strong, so that you can teach them about Allah and protect them from being negatively influenced by your husband. You are the wellspring from which they draw from, and they learn best from you who are.

I strongly recommend that you purchase and go through these wonderful children’s books from Fons Vitae. I have bought them for my own children.

Please continue to lead salat for your children. Do acts of worship together, as a family (reading Qur’an, reading Hadith, making dua together etc), even if your husband is unwilling to join you. The states of your illuminated hearts will flow to your husband. Trust in this.

Please see:

A Reader on the Problem of Evil, Suffering, Destiny, and Allah’s Mercy

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.