Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I’m a newlywed with no children yet, and have noticed that my husband is careless about his prayer, and reluctant about attending religious events.
I have tried to convince him to join some courses to improve ourselves in religious practices but he’s not interested. Because I’m not in charge of the family, I can’t impose any orders over him because he’s in a higher role and gets angry very easily.
Should I just stop convincing him and lead my life well?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
It is indeed troubling when your husband is not as religious as you want him to be. You make a good point; it would be ideal for the leader of a household to be spiritually driven.
However, the reality of the situation is that you cannot force him to change. I urge you to stop confronting this head on.
Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to help you and your husband. Ask Allah to grant you wisdom and patience.
I encourage you to lead your husband by example. Ensure that you maintain your prayers, Qur’anic recitation, study of the deen, fasting, and community participation. Bring barakah into your home. There is so much opportunity for your own spiritual growth here.
Perhaps it is time for you to reassess your expectations of your husband. You feel disappointed because he is not the spiritual powerhouse you want him to be. You want him to be more religious than you. However, you have no power over what he does. You can only control what you do.
Think of it this way: if you establish enough love, rapport and mutual respect with your husband, then he will open to being influenced by you.
Please think of ways to improve the state of your marriage. Even though it doesn’t seem this way right now, remember that you and your husband are on the same team. Please work together to achieve your goals.
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I encourage you to spotlight whatever positives your husband already has. You describe him as being very caring towards his mother, yourself, and those around you. Highlight that. Show your appreciation and gratitude in a way he can understand. What is his love language? Work on nurturing your marriage through appreciating what you already have.
Try to put yourself in your husband’s shoes. If prayer were something you struggled with, what would inspire you to do better? Being nagged by your spouse, or being inspired through gentle guidance? Many of us thrive when we are given the space to choose to do better.
I pray that Allah grants you the courage and wisdom to gently guide your husband along.
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[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.