Setting Boundaries With Siblings

Question:  Recently, my brother-in-law brainwashed my sister to block me, cut all ties with me, and she says she no longer wants to speak to me. Recently when he argued with me, I lost my cool and answered back, which I regret now. Since then, my sister and I drifted apart, and now she is spreading false stories about me to relatives, who are demanding explanations. I don’t know how to deal with such situations. Is it okay to set strong boundaries with siblings?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration with your sister and brother-in-law and I pray that you can reconcile with them and have mutual respect. The very best advice that I can give you is mentioned in this link: https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-deal-with-difficult-siblings/

Brother-in-law

It may be that your brother-in-law has started this problem between you and your sister, however, your sister is at fault, not him. She should know that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the ties of kinship” [Bukhari]. Because of this, you should keep calm with your brother-in-law and not lose your patience around him. There is no sense in arguing with someone that will not listen, but instead let him see the blessings in your life, and prove to him your point through action and example, not yelling. In sha Allah, when you do start to see them again, keep this in mind.

Sister

As for your sister, you cannot force her to see you, but you can apologize. Apologize, only once, for one does not apologize over and over, and let her know that you will not cut her off. If she has blocked you, mail her a handwritten letter so she knows where you stand. Employ a friend or relative to speak to her. Remind her that behaving in a backward cultural way will not solve anything. If she will not listen, ask her to at least stop complaining to relatives and honestly tell her that it hurts you. Send her a gift, this usually gives a clear message and she will be too embarrassed to continue cutting ties.

Relatives

As for aunts and the like, don’t get sucked into their demands or let them make it a big problem. Tell them that you both have a little disagreement going on, but it is not serious and you have no intention of cutting her off. Perhaps they can even give the message to your sister that you are not upset and are willing to meet again.

Setting boundaries

Yes, it is a very good idea to set boundaries with siblings. Avoid any situations that stimulate an argument. Meet outside for coffee, don’t hang out late at night, don’t get into heated discussions, or meet with your sister without her husband. Meet her with friends, or just talk on the phone more often than meeting in person; there are many ways to keep things peaceful. Never allow anyone to abuse you, and you will find the best tips in the link above. Make it clear to her that you won’t accept her speaking to relatives about you.

Ask Allah to always keep you and your sister on the straight path and ask Him to join your hearts. Malice and bitterness have no place between siblings and I pray that your bond with her becomes stronger than ever before.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

 

Marrying Someone Other Than Parent’s Choice

Question: I have been suffering from family problems since 2016. My parents and siblings don’t understand what I want. My mom wants me to marry someone I don’t want. She urges me all the time. I don’t have anyone close to share my problem with. I always feel lonely and depressed. I have seen one guy and when I saw him I felt like I had known him for a thousand years. I started to like him but we haven’t met. I don’t know how to tell my parents that I want to marry him.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and I pray that you can communicate openly with your mother about your feelings instead of suffering silently.

Forced marriage

Keep in mind that marriage cannot be forced in Islam. A woman must consent to marry her suitor and you should not be made to feel guilty about it. Have you prayed istikhara about this man that your mother speaks of? Was it negative? Have you told her that you had a negative istikhara?

There is no shame in explaining to her how you feel and that she is causing you a lot of distress and worry with her pressure. Try to sit down and understand her reasons for suggesting this man, and after clear deliberation, respond with polite curtness and firmness that you will not agree, once you are certain.

See this link as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/can-mother-force-marry-someone/

Your alternative suitor

As for the other man that you speak of, I am afraid that you don’t know anything about him, nor does he know you. How do you know that he is right for you? What do you base your choice on? His looks? Please pray Istikhara about this person and if it’s positive, proceed to tell your parents. It won’t be easy, but you must start communicating with them if you don’t want to be potentially miserable for the rest of your life. These are the times in life when you speak up.

See these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/the-reality-of-istikhara/

Friends

I noticed in your question that you said you are not close to anyone. This saddened me because a young Muslim cannot get by in life without friends. They are supporters, helpers, beloved for their good character, and there to lean on and learn from. Please socialize a bit more and seek out good religious friends that are a good influence and that you can relate to and relax with. They are instrumental in times like this.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace” [Bukhari].

May Allah make the choice easy for you and may you be blessed to marry the perfect man suited to you, and may Allah give you the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

 

Telling My Parents About My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I’m in a true relationship with a person for the past 8 years since our student days. We both are honest and true for each other. We want to make our relationship halal and for that, we need more time because he is not settled financially yet. I am getting many marriage proposals and my parents are telling me to get married but I want to marry him only. My parents don’t know that I’m in a relationship and I want to tell them about it but I’m afraid.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The first thing that I need to tell you is that your relationship is not honest or true, as you describe. You have lied to your parents, done the impermissible in the eyes of Allah, and your relationship is based on lust, not love.

Repentance

The first step to getting what you desire is to turn to Allah and repent for your sins. You have had a secret boyfriend, been in a secret relationship, and have become close to a man and emotionally attached instead of following the rules of gender interaction in Islam. Stay away from him from now on and only proceed with a serious engagement or nikah. Please see this link on sincere repentance:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/

Istikhara

After your repentance and resolving to stay away from him, pray istikhara to see if this man is the right one for you. Do not think to make such a big decision just based on feelings, please consider the Prophetic advice first. It seems to me that man who agreed to be in a relationship with you for 8 years without a nikah doesn’t honor you.

Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/istikhara-prayer-for-marriage/

A proposal: Engagement or nikah

He must come to your family with his parents and offer a formal proposal. There is no reason to tell your parents of your past with him, as it will only break their hearts. Tell them that you are attracted to this proposal and that you feel that it is right for you. If they give their permission, then you are all set and you can have your nikah. If they don’t, you will have to walk away from him.

If your boyfriend can’t come with his family to propose yet, then you must wait for him to find the right time. If you can find a way to hold off your parents, do so, but if you can’t you might have to tell them the truth which will cause them pain and disappointment. Otherwise, you will have to leave him. You certainly can’t be expected to wait for him very long. At least, he should have the decency to propose to you so that you can get engaged, if not married.

Put Allah first

I pray that your situation works out for you, but I recommend that no matter what happens, you put Allah first in your life and strive to live your life by His rules. Learn the halal and the haram of daily life, worship, and the rights and obligations in a Muslim marriage. May Allah reward you and give you the best of both worlds.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Right to Property

On Fences and Our Neighbours

Question: If one builds on a property, does one have the right to use the property?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Promising to give/transfer property to someone else is not legally binding, but one will be responsible for breaking one’s promise on the Day of Judgment (Hashiyat Qalyubi; Iltimas al Sad, Sakhawi).

Furthermore, a promise to transfer ownership is a gift contract (hiba), and a gift contract is only binding once physical or legal possession (qabd) has taken place (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi). As such, you do not own the land by the mere fact that your brother promised to give it to you or your father.

As for building on the property, your use and your father’s use of the land was a loan of usufruct (ariyya) and your older brother can revoke that right whenever he chooses. That said, he must either buy your houses from you that you built or demolish them and pay you compensation (Rawda al Talibin, Nawawi).

If you cannot agree to a settlement, you have to take the issue to court.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Marrying My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I was born and raised in UAE and lived there for 14 years with my family and then we shifted back to Pakistan. Now that I am 18, my family is planning to shift back to the UAE. I have been in a relationship for 3 years here and when I told him about us shifting, he proposed a nikah so that our relationship would be accepted and halal. I want this, too, but how do I talk to my parents as they won’t let me marry at 18 years old.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I commend you for willing to make your relationship halal and for wanting to step out of the sin that you are currently committing. May Allah reward you for your intention and open a way for what is best for you.

Talking to parents

There really is no way around it. You will have to speak to your parents and tell them that you have found someone that you believe suits you and your family. You don’t need to reveal your illicit relationship to them, as that would break their hearts, and Muslims may not reveal their sins to others.

You may even consider asking a third party to sit down with your parents and recommend this boy to them so that it’s not only coming from you. Another option is for the boy to come directly to your parents with his father, and they officially propose. Or, his mother could call your mother and tell her that she would like to propose marriage. Involving the parents would be the most honorable way. Of course, his parents would have to be convinced, first.

Then if your parents were to accept, both parties could agree on a timeline for a nikah and wedding reception. An immediate nikah would be optimal so that the relationship becomes halal, but you would have to wait for your parents’ permission. A delayed nikah is better than nothing and you should consider yourself blessed if they agree, even if they make you wait.

If they refuse

If your parents refuse this official proposal, first discuss the reasons with them. If they want you to complete university, promise them that you will. Perhaps you can meet halfway. Complete half of your degree, and then marry, and then complete the other half. If they feel they don’t know the boy, perhaps you can have them sit down and get to know each other. If they have some other concerns, try to address it and use politeness and good character to convince them.

If they refuse, even after many discussions, then you are left with no choice. You will have to move on and allow your heart to heal and find someone else at the right time and in the right way. If this happens, don’t ever tell your future spouse about him.

For now

For now, you should repent and cease all physical contact with him. You both have to make a major decision and there is no sense in dragging this on if it will not lead to fruition. Get serious, stop seeing him, make a good intention, and start working on convincing your parents. If it doesn’t work, make the painful break and start the healing process. Don’t ever allow yourself to be used and disrespected in this manner again. May Allah make it easy for you and guide you to the best decision.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better” [Musnad of Ahmad].

Please see the link below:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-am-in-an-impermissible-but-healthy-relationship-what-should-i-do/

[Ustadh] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Choosing Phone Over Family

Reconnecting With Family

Question: My husband neglects me & the kids. He chats on social media all day long, even in the toilet, at the dinner table, and ignores us. He lies and says it’s work but it’s not. Often, all I get from him is a greeting. I constantly tell him to stop. I applied for a fasakh but he lied to the counselor. I feel lonely. When I discuss it with him, he ignores me. He doesn’t want a divorce but he doesn’t want to make time for me either. I don’t have any other adults to talk to but him.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

I am so sorry that you are going through this hardship and I empathize with your pain. Some people don’t handle the use of the internet well and it destroys their time and relationships. I pray that your husband comes to understand your needs and learns how to balance his obligations with his personal entertainment.

Faskh or khul`

My understanding is that a Faskh can only be accomplished by an Islamic Court of Law after proving that your husband hasn’t supported you financially. Rather, in your case, a woman can apply for khul`, which is a release for payment. One would pay the husband a mutually agreed upon sum for him to release her from the marriage with his consent.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/can-women-stipulate-marriage-contract-right-initiate-divorce/

Communicating the problem

I recommend that you try fixing this marriage before walking away. There are many things that you can do, but I am afraid that telling him to stop isn’t one of them. You will have to take steps of having an honest, non-confrontational discussion about it, making technology-free zones in the house, turning up the intimacy, and making sure that you spend less time on the phone yourself.

I know a woman who had the same problem with her husband at the dinner table, so one evening, she overdid the salt in his dinner. He was shocked and asked her what happened to the food, and she said that she did it so he would speak to her at the table. After that day, he always spoke to her at dinnertime. Here are some ideas for you:

-Try inviting others for dinner, anybody, just so that he turns away from his phone and is forced to socialize.
-Try bringing up an interesting topic to him, such as sports, politics, or something else he likes.
-Try asking him to take you all out for dinner because you are tired and don’t want to cook.
-Try having him read stories to your children or take them to the park, appealing to him that they need to spend more time with him.
-Try getting him to help with their homework, or to buy certain things for them that they need for school.
-Try communicating with him through text message yourself, for this can often get a man’s attention.
-Last but not least, explain to him that the children need his love and attention and a male role model, or they will just grow up and ignore their families too. This is contrary to any decent way of living, let alone the Prophetic way.

Resources

Please read these books and article and see which one strikes a chord with you, that you can act upon:
https://www.amazon.ca/Fascinating-Womanhood-Bestseller-Strengthen-Marriage/dp/055329220X
https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0743204441/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/8063/phone-addiction-ruining-relationship/

Please see these articles for excellent advice about internet addictions:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-can-i-reconnect-to-my-husband-who-is-addicted-to-his-phone/
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/log-off-live-life_b_1220542?fbclid=IwAR1p1-ItMHGFNwo6_7eZxAIGT9mXqL9Kxm4gdVXmKSveYlUhKIX4RvEo7xU

Please see this article for advice on addiction in general:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/advice-to-a-young-man-with-ocd-and-struggling-with-pornography-and-other-major-sins/

May Allah make it easy for you to move forward in a positive and loving marriage and help your husband realize that he is wronging himself and others. May Allah make it easy for all of you to change and grow together.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Can My Brother-in-law Hold My Wedding Feast/Walima?

Faith is Believing

Question: Can my sister’s husband hold my walima if I permit him to?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

It says in the Reliance of the Traveller:

The wedding feast is a sunna (A: whose time never expires, though it is recommended to be after intercourse). The sunna is for the meal to consist of a sheep or goat (shah, def: h2.S), though it is permissible to serve whatever food is readily available [m9.1].

It is permissible for your brother-in-law to hold your walima. I assume that by “holding“ your walima, you mean that he will pay for it and invite the guests. This is a praiseworthy act on his behalf.

Please see this article for more details:
https://islamqa.org/shafii/shafiifiqh/30244

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Effect of Names on People

Question: Is it true that the name of a person affects their character and fate?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

One’s character and fate are determined by one’s choices in life. One is not doomed or saved just because of one’s name.

That said, we do often notice that there is a relationship between one’s name and one’s persona or profession, and a number of ulema have suggested that the Prophetic injunction to give people good and beautiful names is exactly because of this unexplainable relationship (Tuhfat al Mawdud, Ibn Al Qayyim; Fayd al Qadir, Munawi).

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-it-acceptable-to-choose-a-name-that-is-not-arabic-and-is-not-from-the-quran/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/change-name-not-arabic/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/halal-and-haram/can-change-name-child-birth/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-it-permissible-to-name-ones-daughter-barakah/

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

I am in Love and Want To Make Her My Second Wife

Question: I am in love with a girl of another Muslim ethnicity that I worked with. Five years ago, I proposed to her to become my second wife, and she rejected me, complaining to management whenever I spoke to her. Praise be to God that I didn’t lose my job. I have not spoken to her in the last five years, but now she is inclining toward me. Is this a blessing from Allah, the Almighty?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. No, I would not look at this as a blessing from Allah, but rather as a test.

Taking a second wife

It’s not right for you to take a second wife, because of the hardship and pain that it will cause your first wife. You will not be able to fulfill her rights and you won’t be able to see your children as much as you should. Please see these links for more details:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-the-man-i-love-take-me-as-a-second-wife-despite-his-mothers-disapproval/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/can-a-husband-marry-a-second-wife-without-his-first-wifes-permission/

Ignore lust

Loving a girl is not enough to make a marriage endure and is by no means the right reason to get married again. I encourage you to restrain your gaze and to follow the rules of gender interaction when you are at work, lest the Devil occupy you with thoughts of a second wife. I also encourage you to rekindle your relationship with your wife and try new things with her. One must be willing to adjust and change in order to improve one’s marriage and drive away any thought of other women.

May Allah give you the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Financial Help From Relatives

Question: My wife isn’t working so I am receiving financial help from a relative. Is this okay?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Receiving financial “gifts” from a family member is perfectly fine. Receiving “financial help” from others is perfectly halal, but not the preferred situation to be in. If you are personally able to earn more, live in a cheaper area, or do without the financial help, it would be better.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘The giving hand is better than the receiving hand’ (Bukhari and Muslim).

And he said, ‘It is better for anyone of you to carry a bundle of wood on his back and sell it than to go and beg from someone who may or not give to one’ (Bukhari and Muslim).

As for your wife working, that it is completely up to the two of you. If you are happy with her working and making money for herself to spend on her own interests, that is fine.

Otherwise, as a wife, she is never under any obligation to work or contribute financially to you. Her work has nothing to do with your finances in the eyes of the Sacred Law.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language