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Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have been reading and studying about Sufism, and I really want to start my path to Ihsan, to Allah Ta’ala.

My husband is totally against that. For him, the Sufis make innovations, their practices are out of Qur’an and the sunna of our Beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and is not necessary at all to follow a Shaykh and join a tariqa.

Every time I try to talk about that with him, I give up because he does not understand and he tries to convince me that it is wrong path. I would like to know what should I do? Should I hide from him that I am really interested and I want to follow this path?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.

Sufism

Dear sister, your spiritual path is between you and Allah. Your relationship with Allah is the most important relationship you will ever have in your life. Please remember this, as you navigate the waters of your life.

It is not necessary for you to disclose everything about your life, including your spiritual practice, to your husband. Marriage does not mean dissolving all boundaries between you and your husband. Doing so can be unhealthy. At the same time, the more secrets you keep from your husband, the more distant you are likely to feel.

Prayer of Guidance

I suggest that you perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to proceed. If Allah places tranquility in your heart about your decision to join a tariqa, then that is your answer. If Allah places unease in your heart about doing so without your husband’s blessings, then that is your answer. You can perform this prayer as many times as you need to until you are certain.

Husband

I doubt that your husband will change his views on Sufism through direct confrontation. I suggest that for the time being, please leave the topic of Sufism alone. It sounds like when you bring up this topic, your husband immediately goes on the defensive. Instead of riling him up through these heated discussions, focus on nurturing the parts of your marriage that you do have in common. Make happy memories together. Grow a sense of ‘we’ instead of ‘me’.

When registration opens, please enrol in the SeekersHub course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. In the meantime, please listen to the lesson set Getting Married with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Lead your husband by example. If your marriage is healthy and strong, then your husband will be far more open to accepting your influence. It is not uncommon for initially rigid husbands to eventually relax and change their beliefs once they feel secure, loved and respected by their wives. However, this change may take many years, and I suggest that you work on accepting your husband’s good qualities.

Emotionally Intelligent Husbands Are Key to a Lasting Marriage
Husbands Can Only Be Influential if They Accept Influence
7 Research-Based Principles for Making Marriage Work

I pray that Allah blesses you with nearness to Him, and the gift of a loving marriage.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[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 SeekersHub 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.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)