Marrying a Convert Man Who is Drifting Away from Islam

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I am a Muslim woman who has been trying to get married to a convert and my family declined. Things got really bad with the way he was treated when he was interacting with them when he converted. He’s now saying he feels like he’s losing his interest in Islam. Now I told him if he decides to leave Islam I am not permitted to marry him and he’s even more turned off by the religion and feels all religion is restricting and unfair.

What are the reasons why a Muslim woman can not marry a non Muslim man? Isn’t the woman in charge of raising the children? Isn’t she the main person they interact with? Also, how can I help this man? Is there anyone who would be willing to take time to speak with him? I feel like he needs a knowledgeable and positive source.

 

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this message finds you well.

The restrictions on marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man have more to do with normative gender roles in Islam than individual cases. It’s very possible for the mother to exert more influence on the children, as evinced by situations where Muslim men have married Christian women and their children have been raised with the religion of their mother.

Sacred law, however, is not based on individual cases, but on the consensus of Islamic scholarship regarding how key provisions of the Qur’an and Sunna should be interpreted. The majority of Islamic scholars concur that for a woman’s marriage to be valid in the Shari’ah, her husband must be a Muslim.

As mentioned above, this derives from normative gender roles (and key Qur’anic texts) and the understanding that the husband is the head of the household. Were he a non-Muslim, it would be difficult for him to fulfill the roles and expectations placed on a Muslim husband, particularly regarding the religious and spiritual upbringing of children.

I’m most sorry to hear of the brother’s experience with your family. Being a new Muslim can be tough and when the Muslim community is less than supportive on the marriage question, it can be even tougher.

My advice to the brother is that Muslims, just like any other group, represent a spectrum of tolerance and intolerance, kindness and brittleness (to use your term), and sensitivity and insensitivity. Islam should not be particularized to the behavior of your family or any one family, but should instead be seen as a universal way of life based on a creedal foundation of monotheism and moral precepts that regulate human interaction. Unfortunately, not all of us live up to this standard.

I pray you and the brother can resolve this situation in a way where your hearts find peace.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari

Related Answers:

Marrying a Convert Without Parental Approval


Marrying a Potential Convert: Supplication, the Prayer of Guidance, and Following Allah’s Guidance

Should I Marry Someone I Had a Premarital Relationship With?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I made a mistake by doing unisamic actions with a girl I really liked. Afterwards, I felt guilty and did not want to see her anymore because it reminded me of the bad things we did. I see her as a bad influence even though I fully participated and initiated a lot of things. She is upset but wants to marry me. She is more religious, (prays regularly and is willing to make more changes) but i feel like it’s fake and just to get me. Is it wrong that I question her intentions? Or could this be the time Allah brings her back to Him? Am I wrong for letting go and not trying to marry her? I wanted to marry her initially.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question.

There was a time in the United States, in the not-too-distant-past, when a man would “do the right thing” by a woman and marry her if they had had intimate relations and particularly if those relations resulted in a pregnancy. Although this was viewed as the honorable thing to do, it did not always ensure the longevity of the marriage since the marriage’s very foundation was shaky. Sometimes, however, strong marriages did arise from an unfortunate start, particularly if the couple were determined to look forward.

What you have to do is figure out if there’s the possibility of a strong marriage after this, or a lifetime of mutual resentment.

Speaking according to the strict letter of Islamic law, you are not required to marry the young woman if you have repented. That is, you do have the option of trying to start over with a clean slate and marry someone with whom you share less baggage.

From a human-relationships standpoint, though, you should probably consider her predicament. After all, both of you consented to the actions and it is wrong to blame her for a sin that you both committed.

If your negative opinion of her outweighs any good you see in her, despite her remorse, then it’s probably best to move on. If you see a future with her, then you need to leave the past and accept her repentance, just as you would hope she accept yours.

Please pray on it (salat al-istikhara).

May Allah make things easy,

Zaynab Ansari

How to Approach Getting Married

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I’m 31 years old and still not married. My younger sister and younger brother are married which stressed me out. Also, I have two suitors who I’m not interested in due to age, maturity and religiosity. I know that I won’t find a perfect guy but when I pray istikhara I didn’t feel anything.

My parents won’t decide for me. They just tell me the guy’s name, and sometimes no details at all. I’m totally lost. How can I make decision without some details about the guy and just some basic information for example their name, age, occupation?

Sometimes, my father just chast with them after they come to the house then asks me do I want to accept them. Some of them ask if I’m willing to get know the man thru sms/email/phone first. I’m against this as I tried it once and I know I’m not good at it and I don’t like to have useless chatting with boys. Please advise me.

Answer:

Marriage is From your Provision (rizq)

The first thing to remember when approaching marriage is that it is part of your provision (rizq) which is guaranteed by Allah. Allah says, “There is not a single creature on the earth except that Allah takes care of it’s provision” [Quran 11:6]. So, no matter how old or young one is, their wealth or whether or their siblings married before them, these and other factors do not affect the provision that is guaranteed.

Depending on Allah

Although we know to depend on Allah for provision, He also instructed us to take the necessary means to achieve the provisions. True depending on Allah (tawakkul) is defined as “taking the necessary means while recognizing that Allah is the true provider” [Mawlud, Purification of the Heart]. So in the case of quenching our thirst, for example, we don’t just wait for it to be quenched, we drink water as a means and recognize that Allah quenches our thirst not the water.

Tying the Camel

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a person asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), “Should I tie my camel and have Tawakkul (trust in Allah for her protection) or should I leave her untied and have Tawakkul.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Tie her and have Tawakkul” [Jami At-Tirmidhi].

Getting to Know Someone

Before getting married, one should take the means to get to know the person. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged one of the Sahaba to look at a woman before marrying her [Ahmed and others]. The reason for this is that there are traits a person may have in their personality or body that might complicate a strong relationship from forming.

The Limits of Interaction for non-Mahram

As long as one follows the rules of gender interaction, they can communicate with a potential suitor to ensure that there is compatibility. A woman can speak to a non-mahram as long as they do not maintain constant gaze at each other, there is no flirting, and their is no pleasure being derived from the voice or conversation [Mawlud, Prohibitions of the Tongue]. The two also must be in plain sight of other as to avoid the prohibition of being alone together (khalwa) and there cannot be any physical contact. Just as one can keep a conversation “strictly business” in a school or work environment, the same can be applied to a conversation about marriage.

Rami

Is Someone Using Black Magic to Destroy My Marriage?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I hope this reaches you in the best of health and imaan. I got married a few months ago and everything was at first, but then my husband started arguing with me about petty things constantly. He’s gotten very ill, suffering from back, arm, knee, shoulder pain, headaches, lack of intimacy, lack of appetite, mood swings etc.

He acts harsh towards me and threatens me with divorce.  He says he doesn’t know why he is unhappy with me, because at other times he says I’m the perfect wife. The doctors don’t even know exactly what is wrong with him.

Recently I’ve been getting dreams of jinns trying to wrestle with me whilst I’m in bed etc, then I’ve woken up feeling shaken because it was so real. I even had another dream where I woke suddenly because I felt like there was some dark male figure hugging me whilst laying besides me on the left hand side of the bed. (I was not sharing a bed with my husband at the time) The figure was hot. I awoke feeling shaken again. Now I always read ayatul kursi and the 4 quls before going to bed.

I  had another dream where my mother had asked me who had given me these gifts she found in my room. I answered her and asked her why it was important? She said the gifts indicated that someone had ”done something to me”. I’m just frustrated, upset, confused now I was wondering if this relates to my marriage? I feel like someone is doing magic to interfere in our marriage. I’m not sure. Is there anyway of really finding out?

Please advise me about what I can do to find out if something is going on and what I can do in the meantime to protect our marriage and help my husband.

Answer: There is no exact way of finding out for sure what is going on. There is a chance that it could be related to something on the unseen realm, such as jinn or magic, and there is also the chance that it could be a mental health issue or emotional issue that he is dealing with.

What I would suggest is that you cover all the bases in trying to treat what is going on. Continue to do what you are doing in terms of Quran recitation and dhikr.

You should also increase the amount of whatever you are doing as long as it is within your capacity, as moderation is also prescribed. You should encourage your husband to increase his acts of worship and to be in the company of good people and shuyukh, as that has a healing effect.

Also remember that there is a lot of good found in seeking knowledge and a special protection granted to seekers of knowledge, so you and your husband should make a serious effort to seek knowledge. His emotions may be coming from ignorance of the deen and the cure for this is to study.

You should also seek outside help from both clinicians/therapists as well as people trained in spiritual matters. See if there are any therapists that can help you and your husband understand the possibilities of what might be going on. In terms of people versed in spiritual matters, you should only go to people who are knowledgeable of the Quran and Sunna and are know for following the tenets of the faith.

Beware of charlatans, people who are not qualified and those who seeking money for this type of work. Having a knowledgeable teacher locally or by phone will also be a help for you and your husband to work through issues that you are having as a couple or spiritual issues. They may also be able to identify signs of what might possibly be the cause of what your husband is experiencing.

And Allah knows best.

Rami

Related Answers:

How to Counteract the Effects of Black Magic

How to Counteract the Effects of Black Magic

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu alaikum. I have a friend who is suffering from major problems at home. Somebody has done black magic on her family . When she goes to sleep she feels something pulling her down and when she woke up in the morning she had deep bruises and scratches on her leg. They experience different things every day. They read Quran on a regular basis but are starting to lose hope in the words of God. I told them to continue reading and not to lose hope.  Is there anything you can recommend to help?

Answer: What you have advised them is the best thing that you could tell them, which is to keep reading the Book of Allah and to have faith in it. One thing that I would say is that you could also educate them on the point of who it is reading the Quran.

During the time of Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiya Allahu anhu), he used to recite something in the ears of insane people and they would be freed of the jinn inside them. One man, who was not insane, wanted to know what Umar was reciting and so he pretended to be insane and then went to Umar. Umar then recited the Fatiha in his ear.

The man then went on to others and began claiming that he could cure the insane. An insane person came to him and sat for the reading. When the man recited Fatiha into the ear of the man, he heard the voice of the jinn inside the man saying, “Yes, this is the Fatiha, but where is Umar?”

So, although you might have two people reading the Quran, their level of spirituality and connection to Allah and the Quran are different. The state of the person will also have an effect on whether it works or not. You may advise the family to find someone pious to recite.

You should also remind them though, that there are people that are charlatans and can take money from people and claim to be able to help. They should look to a person with knowledge of the deen (fiqh) and piety (wara) to ask about reading in their house. They may also ask that person to write them a ruqya (taweez) but it should only be something with Quran, Hadith or the Names of Allah.

Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials from Allah

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question 1: How can we balance self-esteem with humility? To me self-esteem means one loves oneself and consider themselves to be mostly good, yet Islam requires us to consider ourselves weak, broken and full of faults. Is it ok to do ‘affirmations’ by looking in the mirror and repeating statements like ‘I am good’, ‘I am carefree and joyous’ etc. for 2 minutes a day? This is what some self-help non Muslim people recommend.

Answer 1: Before analyzing the various practices that one can do to improve their self esteem, it is important to note the Islamic understanding of how we view ourselves.

The Islamic Understanding of Self-Esteem

There are terms to know and they are arrogance (kibr), vanity (‘ujb), dignity (‘izzah), debasement (dhul), and humility (tawadu’). Knowing these terms and what the definition is is important so that one does not fall into the prohibited. Arrogance (kibr) is when a person deems themselves to be good but in relation to others as in saying, “I am better than him/her/them.”

Vanity is when a person deems them self to have some blessing and forgets that it is from Allah and it does not require that a person is looking down on another person. Dignity (‘izzah) is when a person recognizes the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them (faith, life, health, beauty, wealth, knowledge, prestige, etc) and walks humbly with a recognition of those blessings while not deeming themselves better than others.

If a person allows others to walk over them and take away their rights, this is called dhul and it is haram. So you have to hold your head up high with dignity, not with arrogance. All people have to remember that they have God-given rights and it is an obligation to protect their dignified state (muru’ah). If a person voluntarily gives up their owed rights and is not demanding, then this is humility (tawadu’) and it is a praiseworthy trait.

A person must therefore protect his self-esteem especially since our greatest enemy, the Shaytan, who has declared war on mankind, hates our God-given dignity. Allah says, “And we have ennobled the children of Adam.” It was this honor, nobility and dignity that cause Iblis to refuse to bow and caused him to become rejected. Iblis hates us for this and will try everything to remove our dignity.

He will make us remove our clothes, tattoo ourselves, wear undignified clothing, speak filth hurt ourselves and others. He works day an night to sink us into a state of depression and then into a state of despair. In the state of despair, we end up hurting ourselves and others, leaving faith, and taking our lives or the lives of others. So, we must have a fortress of strong self esteem to protect ourselves against the shaytan.

Mentioning the blessings that Allah has given us is actually a good practice. In Sura Duha it states, “And as for the blessing of Allah then speak.” At the same time, we do not want to allow a recognition of the blessings of Allah turn into arrogance or vanity. One way to do this is to remind ourselves of our nature, which includes the fact that we carry najasah in our bodies, we create filth in our ears (wax), eyes (sleep), nose (mucous), mouths (saliva), etc.

Hasan al Basri once saw a man he did not know walking with arrogance The many saw Hasan looking at him and said, “Do you know me?” to which Hasan al Basri said, “Yes, you began as a clot of blood, then at the end your life you become a rotten corpse and in between that you caryy filth in your body.”

The science of understanding the intricacies between all of these states is called Tassawuuf and is an accepted part of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah. I encourage you to study this science but to begin by gaining a firm grounding in the science of faith (aqida) and law (fiqh).

Question 2: I understand that Allah tests us with suffering as a trial, but what if it is too much for the person to handle?  I suppose I am trying to ask how come we are tested in ways that we can be completely ignorant about? As a child I was beaten, tricked and nearly drowned by other children falsely accused by my parents for things, and told I was stupid.  Were these experiences supposed to benefit me in the long run?

Answer 2: We all experience different levels of trials but we have to be firm in realizing that they are all from Allah. Recognizing Divine Decree (qadr) is a pillar of faith as is mentioned in the Hadith of Jibreel alayhis salam. One of the main ways that the Shaytan gets us to question the existence of Allah is to begin by getting us to question Divine Decree.

How to Deal With the Divine Decree

Many people have left faith in God because of not being able to answer the question, “If there is a God, then why is there evil in the world?” For a Muslim, the answer should be automatic and it is, “Allah does whatever He wills” (Quran 85:16). I myself repeat this ayah when I see or hear things I cannot understand such as the death of children, atrocities against people, oppression, etc.

There is another ayah to repeat and reflect on when we think about things we cannot answer and it is the verse, “He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned” (Quran 21:23). Therefore, do not allow yourself to ask about what has happened unless you first accept it and then you are trying to find wisdom in what happen, as the angels were in asking about the creation of mankind. Also, when reflecting on what you experienced think about the prophets and what they experienced

They lived lives like we did as a consolation to us. We cannot fully relate to angels because they do not experience life as we do. Having prophets as examples allows us to be able to relate to them. We will all experience aspects of the Seera of the prophets or the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless them and our Prophet).

If you feel rejected by others, reflect on the people’s rejection of their prophets. If you feel betrayed, think of Yusef at the bottom of the well (and a person can drown in a well). If you feel alone, think about Musa alayhis salam in the land of Madyan. You should not feel stupid by thinking about your life and experiences. Your life is a book that Allah gave only to you and He wants you to reflect on your life. Just as we are to reflect on the heavens and earth, we are to reflect on ourselves as Allah says in the Quran (51:21).

Using Life Experience to Strengthen Faith

You need to use your life experience to grow stronger in faith and not be weakened. If you feel weakened by thinking about your life, then you are reflecting on it in the wrong method. Change the method that you are using to think about your life. Also remember, that we can sometimes get depressed and reflection and dhikr can help. Other times the depression becomes clinical and we need medication or therapy. Do not feel embarrassed about seeking out this type of help. There is no difference between seeking medical help or therapy for physical ailments or mental ailments.

Rami Nsour

Studying Philosophy in a Secular University

Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I have an interest in studying Philosophy after my Undergraduate degree, but have heard that many times the ideas presented in secular philosophy courses lead young people away from Islam.

I hope to one day become a seeker of Islamic knowledge, I’m diligent in my salah, fast occasionally and try to be good to my parents and family. So, I’m an average Muslim with no scholarly background. What is your advice about studying philosophy at a Secular university?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

I would strongly advise you to not study philosophy in a secular university until and unless you have a strong foundation in traditional Islamic studies, particularly theology and spirituality. Even then, one must be careful and always consult senior scholars and spiritual mentors.

We have seen too many cases of people getting confused, and even losing their faith (Allah forbid), by studying philosophy without a solid foundation in traditional Islamic studies. I say ‘traditional’ because even studying ‘Islamic studies’ in a secular university is dangerous unless one has a strong foundation and adequate time spent with righteous inheritors of our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

For a more detailed discussion, you can read some of the related works of Hujjat al-Islam Imam Ghazali, particularly his “Munqidh min al-Dalal” (Deliverance from Error). As the Imam points out, it is not that the philosophers have strong arguments for their disbelief. Rather there are many secondary issues that might confuse one who is ill-equipped, causing him to be open to their positions of disbelief.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Will Allah Forgive Someone Who I Forgive for Wronging Me?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: My father was negligent and did not fulfill his obligatory duties towards me. He had children from a second marriage who got all the inheritance. I did not stake any claim and forgave him.

 

What I want to know is whether my father will be forgiven by Allah because I forgave him, or will there be some punishment for him for breaking the rules of Allah? If it is the second case then how can I save him? I have performed Hajj & Umrah for him and spend regularly in charity for him.

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

In general, when a person is unjust towards another, they must seek the victim’s pardon in addition to asking Allah for forgiveness. If the victim pardons them, the matter is left to Allah. He Most High may decide to forgive or He may decide to punish.

Having said that, Allah is far more kind and merciful than anyone in His creation, and it is hoped that Allah will forgive those people whose victims forgave them — particularly amongst family members, and particularly if the family member that was harmed is doing extra good deeds on their behalf.

Turn to Allah and ask Him to forgive your father and have mercy on him. Continue to do extra works on his behalf. Trust Allah that He will do what is best. And remember that Allah created 100 parts of mercy and sent down only 1 part to creation, which is the basis of all kindness and good in this life. 99 parts remain with Him, awaiting His servants on Judgment Day. [Bukhari, Muslim]

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answer:

Understanding Allah’s Attributes: Love & Mercy

Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I had a very small period of time where I had relief from blasphemous thoughts I was having. Now the terrible thoughts are back and they are worse. They have a terrible effect on my imaan and I feel empty I remember Allah and I feel no joy when I think about his greatness.  They are very bad when I pray, but I still pray.  It is hard to persevere though.  Now I started delaying my prayers because I know I will get these thoughts when I start praying.  I am  scared that Allah might count that I did shirk because the thought entered my mind when I was in the act of praying. I have been begging Allah for His help, sometimes I think that I know relief will come but then I think how dare I think Allah will help me now that I have become so wretched. I feel like such a prisoner in this dunya now and I feel as though my chances of jannah are ruined

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

The thoughts you mention are from the devil, so be vigilant in ignoring them. Give them no weight whatsoever. Your disgust of them are indications that you are a true believer, alhamdulillah. Your chances for Paradise (jannah) are by no means ruined.

Disgust of Bad Thoughts as a Sign of Faith

Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih collection that some of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless
him and give him peace) came and asked him, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.” Imam Nawawi clarifies, “Considering it too enormous to mention is pure faith.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]

The Vastness of Divine Mercy

I would specifically advise you to relax and focus on Allah’s unimaginable mercy, of which He states, “Your Lord has prescribed mercy upon Himself” (6:54). He has not described any other divine attribute in this manner.

Our Masters explain that one of the reasons Allah describes Himself as “The All-merciful” (al-Rahman) in the verse, “The All-merciful has assumed the throne” (20:5) is that just as the entire cosmos is like a speck in an ocean compared to Allah’s throne, so too is the throne like a speck in an ocean compared to Allah’s vast mercy. Never despair, and always keep the best opinion of Allah.

Our Master Ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) used to frequently say, “I swear to Allah, no person ever maintained a good opinion of Allāh save that Allah in fact blessed him accordingly,” based on the hadith qudsi related by Imam Bukhari, in which Allah Himself says, “I am in the opinion of My servant.”

Whatever good we think of Allah, that — and even better — is what we shall find inshaAllah. Keep up your prayers, perform them on time, and focus on Allah’s vast mercy and love.

Related Answers

Please also see these related answers (as well as the many answers on waswasa):

Moments of Bad Thoughts About Allah and the Prophet

What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

Waswasa

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Student Assembly Review – Great Scholars of the Past

On Sunday May 5th, I had the pleasure of hosting SeekersGuidance students for our term opening Student Assembly. This was no regular student assembly of course – it wouldn’t be a Seekers event without an online component, and indeed, we broadcast live via our LiveStream channel from our Hub in Toronto and also from our new office in California. As students of sacred knowledge preparing for their classes, we sought to engage our audience by honing in on those whose legacy our classes are built on – great scholars of the classical Islamic period.
Shaykh Rami Nsour, our new Dean of Academics enlightened us on the life and work of Imam Malik.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani focused on Imam Abu Hanifa, and also took questions live from viewers.

When this term comes to an end, we will, God willing, have another Student Assembly, which will focus on great scholars of the modern era. Let us know which scholars you want to know more about by emailing us. Also stay tuned for video from the Assembly, to be posted on our website and Facebook page soon.
Indeed, our teachers sought to describe how a heart connected to saints and scholars of the Islamic tradition give a sincere student wisdom and energy with which to pursue sacred studies. I will leave you with counsel from Shaykh Faraz, who advised students of SeekersGuidance, through the words of Imam Abu Hanifa, as to how we can utilize mention of the rightly guided scholars in our own pursuit of knowledge:
“Abu Hanafi would say ‘moments spent in the mention of the righteous are more precious to me than hours spent in the review of Fiqh.’ Why? The mention of the righteous gives us an embodiment of what the purpose and reality of knowledge is, and qualities that remind us how to become of the true seekers of knowledge, and how we can fulfill the true purpose of knowledge.”
Like us on Facebook and Twitter.
Abrar Qadir,
Development Manager, SeekersHub Global

Operating without Barriers