I Am Unhappily Married to a Man My Father Chose for Me. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I was married to a boy chosen by my father. After marriage, I found out that he is completely different from my expectations. He is not religious, he doesn’t understand my feelings or my needs. Soon after marriage, he started to yell at me about small small things.

I wanted to marry someone else, but because he is from a different caste, my father rejected him, after threatening to disown me.

Now I am unable to accept my husband, and have any physical relationship with him. I am being pressurised by my family and my in-laws to return to him. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.

Marriage

Dear sister, I am sorry that you are struggling in your new marriage. Please know that even in the best of circumstances, the first year of marriage is a challenge.

Yours is a very complex and painful situation. You wanted to marry someone else, but your father threatened to disown you. I am sorry this happened. I pray that when you become a mother some day, you will treat your adult children with more kindness and respect, especially when they disagree with you.

Despite the rocky start to your marriage, it is still a sacred covenant that you and your husband have made before Allah. You have the opportunity to make this work. So many of us were not taught how to successfully navigate marriage, nor were we taught that the point of marriage is growth. Through these difficulties, you and your husband can attain deeper self-knowledge, closeness to each other, as well as Allah.

Seriously. What’s the Point of Marriage?

Relationships 101: What They Don’t Teach You in School

Communication

Your husband’s cycle of yelling at you and then asking for your forgiveness is deeply problematic. What lies beneath his anger? Perhaps he is struggling with feelings of shame and inadequacy. Read about the anger iceberg. Both of you need to learn better ways of communicating with each other.

You can learn how to send boundaries with him – make it clear that yelling at you is unacceptable. You describe yourself as not needing your husband, and this is part of your challenge. Healthy dependence is important in a marriage.

It is not too late for you to create shared meaning in your marriage. Learn how to build your Love Maps together. Teach your husband how you want to be loved, and he can do the same for you. This can only happen if you are both calm and committed to saving your marriage.

Conflict

Conflict is a normal part of any marriage. If handled poorly, it can break a marriage apart. If handled well, it can strengthen a marriage. Like any skill, conflict resolution takes practice, and I pray that over time, you and your husband will learn how to manage conflict better.

Conflict is a Normal and Natural Part of Your “Happily Ever After”
There Are Two Views to Every Conflict and Both Are Valid
Help Your Partner Understand Your Side of the Conflict in 3 Steps

I also encourage both you and your husband to do the SeekersHub marriage course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Counselling

I encourage both of you to attend marriage counselling with a culturally-sensitive counsellor. if your husband refuses to, which is common, then please still go on your own. There is still a tremendous amount of good you can do through your own emotional growth work.

Your father means well, and no doubt he feels responsible for the difficulty you are in. However, he cannot ‘change’ your husband. Your father may try to speak with your husband and persuade him to change, but ultimately, only he can decide to do that. Only your husband can change his own behaviour. Only you can change your own behaviour.

Dua

You are a strong, kind and capable young woman. Please know that this heartbreaking experience is a trial from Allah, and if you handle it well, you will grow as a person. I cannot tell you what to do because this is your journey. All I can do is offer suggestions, and encourage you to look deeply within yourself.

Take responsibility for your choices that led to this. You are not a victim. You chose to marry this man, and now you have the choice to make this marriage work.

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, every night, and beg Allah for ease. You describe your husband as not being religious.

Divorce

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that: the Messenger of Allah said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Please do everything in your power to save your marriage, and consider divorce as a last resort. As unbelievable as it may seem right now, with much dua and honest emotional growth work, your husband can be your closest companion. He may not be the husband you wanted, but he is the husband you have.

Perform the Prayer of Guidance as many times as you need, to help you decide whether or not to stay in your marriage. A negative sign could be your husband’s refusal to change his ways, or your heart continuing to harden against him. A positive sign could be your husband’s willingness to change his behaviour, or your heart softening towards him.

I pray that this has been helpful for you. I pray that Allah grants you the courage and wisdom to choose the path that is most pleasing to Him.

Wassalam,
Raidah

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
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

[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.

My Husband Refuses to Sleep Next to Me. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My husband is obsessed with cleaning the floors of our apartment nearly every day. It is driving me nuts! He is obsessed with having the apartment spotlessly clean. I can understand that, but it is going too far. If I don’t clean everything the way he wants, he gets angry.

He refuses to sleep in the same bed with me because he doesn’t like to sleep with anybody else, including me, his wife. What can I do?

Answer: Assalam aleykum,

Obsessions

Dear sister, it sounds like your husband may be showing signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He is probably insisting on these strange habits as a way of alleviating his overwhelming feelings of anxiety.

Please encourage him to do this test: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Screening Quiz. I pray that our OCD Archive will shed some light into your husband’s behaviour.

Has he always been this obsessive about cleaning, or has this only started since your move to Jordan? Perhaps the stress of moving to a new country has worsened his anxiety.

Please encourage your husband to seek professional help. There are different modes of treatment for OCD, including some holistic ones, and I pray that your husband will learn better methods of coping.

Self-care

I cannot imagine how stressful this must be for you. Because of the daily, ongoing stress of dealing with your husband and his obsessions, it is absolutely imperative for you to look after yourself. Please read this: Taking Care of Yourself When Your Partner Has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Who do you have for support? Have you made close friends? Are you still in touch with your family and friends back home? What helps you relax?

Marriage

The stress of your husband’s untreated struggles can take a serious toll on your marriage. I encourage you to do everything in your power to save your marriage. Perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and beg Allah for help.

I encourage you and your husband to build happier memories, outside of his obsessions. Is it possible for both of you to enjoy regular outings?

Try to reflect on your husband’s positive qualities, and why you married him in the first place.

Prayer of Guidance

If your husband refuses to seek out help and continues to yell at you, then I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward. A positive sign to stay in your marriage could be your husband being willing to get help, and a negative sign could be his refusal to.

There comes a point where staying in a marriage can end up breaking your psyche, and distancing you from Allah. No husband is worth that. Please look after yourself.

Please see:

OCD Archives
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
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.

I Fell in Love so Deeply with Someone and Cannot Forget Him. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Two years ago, I fell deeply in love with someone, just like in the movies. Does this ‘love at first sight’ exist in Islam? His aqidah and Islamic attitudes are questionable, though. What do I do? I feel sad and confused.

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.

Love

Dear questioner, I pray this finds you well.

Please know that love at first sight does exist for some. All of our souls knew one another, in pre-eternity. Some of us connected even then, while others did not.

For some, that initial infatuation may be due to physical attraction alone. This is not enough to make a marriage last. For others, that initial connection signals a deeper spiritual, emotional and physical connection – these deeper layers are what hold a marriage together. A lot of the time, however, especially for practising Muslims, love is something that deepens and grows over time, after nikah.

Marriage

It is far easier if both husband and wife are already on the same page. You describe this young man as having problematic aqidah and Islamic attitudes. He is unlikely to change after marriage, and it is far easier for you to marry someone on the same spiritual page as you. I do not suggest getting married to him with the intention of ‘fixing’ or ‘changing’ him.

As for this young man who is troubling your heart, know that you are not alone. Many people fall in and out of love. Just know that you were created for Allah, and your heart will only know true peace when you are connected to Him.

I encourage you to free your heart from your attachment to this young man, and make sincere dua for Allah to send you a husband worthy of you. Please perform the Prayer of Guidance until you have enough clarity to decide what to do. For example, if Allah keeps sending obstacles your way blocking your marriage to him, then take that as a clear no. If Allah makes easy your reconnection to this young man, and he is open to be influenced by your Islamic beliefs, then take that as a positive.

In either case, please perform the Prayer of Need daily, in the last third of the night, for the blessing of a righteous and loving spouse.

Suggestions

Prepare yourself for marriage with knowledge. I encourage you to enrol in Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. Read books about marriage such as Before You Tie The Knot.

Love can grow and deepen in a marriage, with sincere effort. Please choose wisely.

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

Wassalam,

[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.

My Mother Rejects Suitors Even Before I Meet Them. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

If a marriage proposal comes from someone out of state, my mom automatically rejects it. I’ve never even had the opportunity to sit down with a single person that has asked for my hand. I won’t even find out a person has asked until days if not weeks after my mother has already rejected the proposal. I cannot take this anymore. What can I do?

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.

Mother

It sounds like you need to have a calm discussion with your mother about your desire to get married. Many parents struggle to let go of their adult children. Explain to her that you feel ready to get married to the right person, and you want her love, blessings and support. Can you speak to your father about this too? Do you have aunties or any other respected elder in your family or community you can ask for support? Often, mothers respond better when another elder encourages them to listen to their children.

Destiny

Ubadah b. al Samit said to his son: “Son! You will not get the taste of the reality of faith until you know that what has come to you could not miss you, and that what has missed you could not come to you. I heard the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace say: The first thing Allah created was the pen. He said to it: Write. It asked: What should I write, my Lord? He said: Write what was decreed about everything till the Last Hour comes. Son! I heard the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) say: He who dies on something other than this does not belong to me. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

Dear sister, please know that whatever is destined for you will reach you, no matter what your mum does. When Allah wills, you will marry the man Allah has destined for you. Draw comfort from that, especially when you begin to get angry and upset at your mother.

Practice having a heart that smiles with Allah, no matter what is going around you. I encourage you to do breathing exercises when you start to feel angry at your mother. I also strongly encourage you to do this course Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfil the Rights of Your Parents to help you better understand the rank of your mother.

Trials

Narrated `Abdullah: I visited Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) while he was suffering from a high fever. I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! You have a high fever.” He said, “Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you.” I said, “Is it because you will have a double reward?” He said, “Yes, it is so. No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates his sins because of that, as a tree sheds its leaves.” [Bukhari]

Your challenge is an incredible opportunity for heartfelt dua. Channel all of your strong feelings into the Prayer of Need, in the last third of the night. Allah is listening, and trust that He will answer you when the time is right.

Marriage

I encourage you to do your due diligence before you get married. Do your research by doing the course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages and reading Before You Tie The Knot.

Read articles like these:

Emotionally Intelligent Husbands Are Key to a Lasting Marriage

I encourage you to learn more about yourself, and what you believe you need in a partner. What is your parents’ marriage like? Know that what you saw growing up, both the good and the bad, will be your default in your own marriage.

Marriage is indeed a gift and a protection, but it also deeply emotional growth work. Think of it this way – your patience and diplomacy with your mother is excellent training for marriage, and for your interactions with your future in-laws.

I pray that Allah blesses you with the gift of a loving and righteous husband.

Please see:
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Wassalam,
[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.

Has Genetic Engineering an Effect on Foster Relationships Through Breastmilk?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I need help in understanding the concept of Foster relationship in Islam as nowadays Genetic modifications by scientists have given rise to cows that produce human breast milk by inserting human female DNA.

Could you provide me the comprehensive answer on this issue as Genetic Engineering is becoming a reality?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

The issue of genetic engineering has no effect on foster relationships through breastmilk (raḍāʿa). Even if some human DNA is inserted into a cow or a sheep, the apparent is that milk is that of the animal, and animal milk does not have any bearing on foster relationships amongst humans (Abul-Husayn al-Quduri, Mukhtasar al-Quduri). And Allah knows best,

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Is It Permissible to Marry Someone Who Has a Different Religious Orientation?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My family and myself are sunnis and my girlfriend happens to be salafi and does not do Mawlid or believe in Wasillah of any kind even from our beloved prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him).

I fell in love with this woman for she is a gentle, nice, kind person, prays everyday everything I was looking forward to. She says she will respect our Mawlid but won’t participate in it if there is one at my place. My family also claims that this is a very difficult decision for them. What should I do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing to us. I pray you’re well.

There are two aspects to your question to consider; first, the relationship you are in, and secondly, the suitability for marriage.

Relationships

You mention that the woman in question is your girlfriend. As is commonly known, Islam puts limits on gender mixing outside of marriage and unmarriageable kin, and this is for a number of reasons. For further information, please refer to this answer:

Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?

As such, it would be improper to continue to have a relationship outside of marriage, unless you need to know one another for the purpose of marriage, in which case communication is permitted with supervision. Seclusion is prohibited.

Suitability and religious orientation

If the prospective spouse is someone who generally follows one of the 4 schools of law (madhabs) and one of the 2 schools of belief (‘Ashari or Maturidi schools), then there is no objection to marrying.

Within these schools, there are some who differ on the permissibility or recommendation of certain practices, such as the celebrating the mawlid and tawassul etc.

In your case, if it is something you and your family feel passionately about, then you may have to consider these matters more carefully in order to avoid problems later. However, do take into account that she has already told you her position on these matters, so you cannot go into the marriage expecting her to change later or be surprised if your children are influenced by her positions.

If, however, she is not someone who adheres to the above traditional schools, then the situation is more complex and you should certainly consider how your differences in religious understanding will affect your relationship and closeness, as sharing religious values and outlook is the most important foundation for harmony between spouses and when raising children. If the differences are great, they can become a point of anguish, and even resentment, at the deepest level, as you may find yourselves pulling in different directions and preventing each other’s religious progression. In such cases, marriage would not be advisable, even if you get along otherwise.

Take advice from others, such as your parents, teachers, local imams, and good friends, and pray Istikhara.

I wish you the very best,

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Family Members Financially Exploit Me. Do I Need to Get Married to Improve My Circumstances?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My father passed away recently. Lately, I feel so frustrated because I think I need someone to make me feel I am special, someone who will help me with my business, and someone who will marry me, to be my mahram. I feel this because I am tired of being abused in terms of money by my relatives. I cannot say no to them.

For example, my mother is always borrowing my money for my siblings and their families. I feel it’s so unfair. I’m always crying and think that if my father were here, that would not happen. So it makes me think that I need someone to marry me, for my relatives to think that I also need to save money because I have my own family. What should I do?

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.

Boundaries

Dear sister, I am sorry that you are struggling so much with the death of your father, and the financial troubles with your family. You sound like a kind, generous and loving young woman, and I pray that Allah rewards your sacrifices in this world and the next.

When you feel lonely and overwhelmed, it is natural for you to long for the support and love of a husband. We were all created to long for that special kind of companionship. If Allah wills it, then marriage would be a wonderful protection for you. However, until that happens, I suggest that you work on improving your assertiveness skills.

Marriage

Keep in mind that when you are feeling vulnerable, you risk rushing into marriage with an unsuitable husband. If you do not learn how to assert yourself, then you risk getting married to someone who can take advantage of your kindness and generosity. A stressful marriage can potentially make things worse for you.

Please educate yourself through the SeekersHub course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages, the lesson set Getting Married with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and by reading books such as Before You Tie The Knot.

Instead of hoping that marriage will make things easier for you, trust that you already have the skills within you to improve your life. For example, you need to learn how to be more assertive with your family members, and how to budget your finances.

Support

Who else can you lean on for support? Do you have close friends? Other relatives?

I urge you to wake up in the last third of the night, every night, or as frequently as you are able to, and perform the Prayer of Need.

Counselling

Please look for a Muslimah life coach, culturally-sensitive counsellor, psychologist, or holistic healer, to help you learn how to say no. Start to value your own self, independent of any man in your life. You are already important because you exist. You already matter to Allah. Allah has blessed you with the gift of belief.

Assertiveness

If you are struggling to find help, then I strongly suggest that you try some self-hypnosis downloads. You can listen to tracks such as these in the comfort of your own home:

Assertiveness training
10 Steps to Absolute Assertiveness

Please focus on growing stronger and more grounded. This will help you make better life choices.

It can be extremely difficult to say no to family members, especially your mother. The first time you say no will be the hardest. I pray that it gets easier with practice.

Finances

Could you consider hiring a financial planner to help you with your finances? Sit down with a professional to work out a proper budget. Decide how much you want to save, how much you can donate to your family, and how much you need for expenses.

When you have a budget in front of you, then you will feel less overwhelmed. You do not need to be married and have children to create a budget.

Father

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) as saying: “A strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your ‘if’ opens the (gate) for Satan.” [Sahih Muslim]

I am sorry that you have lost the protection of love and of your father. As heartbreaking as it is, know that now you have the opportunity to learn how to stand up for yourself. You do not need to remain a victim. You can choose to empower yourself.

Trial

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” [Bukhari]

This dunya is a place of tests and tribulations. I encourage you to reflect on the most common and recurring tests in your life. Allah sends these trials to you to help you grow, out of love for you. The sooner you learn these lessons, then the sooner you can move on to your next area of growth. Know that growth is often painful, even though it is good for you.

I encourage you to read up on Growth Mindset to help you reframe your challenges.

Self-care

I suggest that you download apps such as Calm and Headspace to help you learn how to notice and let go of your troubled thoughts. Mindfulness will not make your fears and worries go away, but it will help you cope better with them. Ensure that you are eating nutritious food, exercising, keeping good company, and giving in charity either in time, money, or both.

I pray that Allah grants you courage, wisdom, and nearness to Him.

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

Wassalam,
[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.

What Are the Rulings of ʿIdda (Waiting Period)?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I had applied for Khula from my husband. Will there be a penalty if I have broken any rules of iddat? If so, whaf would it be? And would I have to restart the iddat properly all over again? Or would it remain of the same length but with the penalties required to make up for my mistakes uptill now? Also, when I received the news of my Khula, what should have I done? And I have had one normal period after that one…a week after finishing that, I again started bleeding, which is continuing uptill now, today is the 12th day…I had my ultrasound done which showed an ovarian cyst, which could be the cause of the out-of-turn period….so would it be counted as my second period or not? Also, can people visit me at my place? If not men, then just women? Can I host just women guests at home for dinner , etc.? Can I watch T.V and perform other normal daily activities while at home?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your questions.

There are a number of issue here. To summarise the answers to your questions we can say: there is no penalty for not having observed the rules of the ʿidda, but you must repent for what has passed. According to the Hanafi school, you are required to remain at home, but may leave the house for essential needs – such was visiting a doctor and work according to the Hanafi school. The Maliki school, however, has a dispensation which you could take; it allows ladies to leave home even without ‘need’. More details of it can be found here.
Also, Your ʿidda began with the period directly after the one you received your khulʿ in, as that period is not counted.

The bleeding you saw a week after the ending of the first full period of your ʿidda ʿis dysfunctional bleeding, and not a period by the standards of the Shariʿa. The last few days could be a period, but to determine that you have to provide certain details which we shall discuss below,

The Rulings of ʿIdda (Waiting Period)

The divorce that ensues from a khulʿ (the ending of a marriage at the request of the wife in exchange of a settlement) differs slightly from a normal divorce in its rulings. A lady in such a situation is expected to not wear any jewellery, perfume and other such fineries. The reason is that the marriage – however it may have been – was a blessing from Allah, and an opportunity for both spouses to gain the benefits of intimacy, and protection of one’s religion from temptations. With it ending, a blessing has left one’s life.

Those people who she is permitted to be alone with – such as her mahrams, female friends and colleagues – may visit her at home at any time. She can continue with her normal daily activities within the home, and it is advisable for her to surround herself with people who will remind her of Allah, His favours upon her, and how one’s purpose in life is to worship Him through the myriad of means He has provided us. (Maydani, al-Lubab)

The ex-husband should continue to provide for her financially, unless what it considered ‘gross disobedience’ (nushūz) has occurred, in which case he is not obliged to support her.

Violating these limits the Shariʿa has placed requires one to repent, and ask forgiveness from Allah. There is nothing else, however, which one must do as an expiation..

Refusing to Wrong

As an aside, one of the worst things someone who has come out of a marriage can do is to keep the company of someone who will speak ill of the ex-spouse, or make one recount the woes of the marriage. Not only does this lead to backbiting and other sins, but – because one is usually deeply troubled emotionally at the time – falling into this will fill one’s heart with resentment for the ex-spouse.

This resentment, which may be natural to a certain degree for some people in that situation, usually leads to wrong actions. Many a time, through talks like this, a man is convinced not to provide any financial support for her or their children, despite being able to, which ends up being ẓulm on his part. Or, the lady is ends up poisoning the hearts of the children against the father – whether directly or indirectly; and this affects their relationship with him because they do not know better. This is ẓulm on her part.

Those who are kept safe from such actions are truly blessed by Allah. The lofty way of Islam is to know that all that happens to one is ultimately what is best for one, and to prayfor the person one is no longer married to, and that Allah reward one for the trial and that He gives something better in return. This prayer ultimately brings one blessings in life, instead of years of resentment and grudges.

The Duration of the ʿIdda

Generally, the length of the ʿidda is three menstrual cycles. However, if a lady has no distinguishable menstrual cycle for various reasons, such as the menopause, for example, then her ʿidda is three months starting from the day the divorce was issued. If she did not now that she had been divorced and some, or all of the ʿidda passed without her observing its rules she is excused, and not sinful. The ʿIdda of a pregnant woman after divorce ends upon childbirth, whether it is a week after the divorce for nine months after. (Maydani, al-Lubab).

Divorcing During the Menstrual Cycle.

For a man to divorce his wife during her menstrual cycle is a sin – yet the divorce is valid; and he is obliged to take her back as his wife if the divorce was revocable. He must then wait for that period and the following period to end and then decide to remain in the marriage or to end it with another divorce. This very clear from the wording of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim.

However, this is not the case if she divorces herself after being given a choice by him, or if the marriage end via a khulʿ during her menstrual cycle: they are both valid and neither is sinful (Ibn ʿAbidin, Radd al-Muhtar). The ʿidda in this case does not begin with the period she was given the khulʿ in; rather it starts with the following menstrual cycle. Therefore, in your case, seeing as he agreed to the khulʿ in January during your menstrual cycle, your ʿidda started when the next menstrual cycle started.

In the Shariʿa a menstrual cycle a minimum of three days, and a maximum of ten days. There must also be a minimum of fifteen days of purity between one period and the next. Every lady is required to document her menstrual habit – which is the number of days she her last period lasted for, and she must document roughly where in the month it occurred, as well as the number of days of purity between her last two proper periods.

In order to determine the ruling which applies to the blood you have been seeing you would have to provide these details; or you could consult with a reliable local scholar – whatever works best for you.

And Allah knows best.

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

I Get Nervous Every Time My Mother Tells Me That Someone Is Interested in Marrying Me. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am a young woman who is currently in college. Whenever my mother tells me someone is interested in marrying me, it is always someone outside of my country. I always think no, automatically, and I become upset whenever marriage topic is brought up. I don’t know why, part of me wants to get married but a larger part of me is afraid. Alhamdulilah my parents will not force me into marriage, but I know that they get a little upset.

Should I go against my own personal judgement and agree with my parents?

Answer:
Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Fear

It is natural for you to fear the unknown, especially as marriage is a huge step.

What exactly are you afraid of? Often, naming our fears helps us get through them.

Do you feel negative about the thought of marriage in general, or are you afraid of something specific? What kind of marriage do your parents have? If it is a difficult one, then your fears are understandable. Take comfort in knowing that with sincere dua and effort, you can still have a successful marriage. If they your parents have a happy marriage, then alhamdulilah, you have a wonderful example to draw from.

Think of creative ways to work through your fear. Paint, sketch, journal, write poetry, free-write, and so on.

Marriage

Please do your research. Read books such as Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples and Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married. Speak to your happily married friends.

Learn how to trust your intuition. You will need to trust your gut when you meet prospective suitors.

Rest assured that intercultural marriages can be a beautiful thing, and a source of growth and strength.

In the meantime, live your life well, and in a God-centered way. Be of service to your parents, your extended family, give in charity, make sincere

7 Research-Based Principles for Making Marriage Work

Supplications for a spouse

You may recite the following supplications for a spouse anytime,

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَاماً

‘Our Lord! Grant unto us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.’ [Qur’an, 25:74]

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

‘My lord, I am in absolute need of the good You send me’ [Qur’an, 28:24]

Excerpt from Should I Rely on Allah to Send Me My Marriage Partner?.

Prayer

I encourage you to pour out your fears and sorrow to Allah Most High. Please perform the Prayer of Need.

Parents

Your parents want eternal good for you. I encourage you to start an honest conversation with them about how you feel fearful about getting married. They are on your side.

May Allah relieve your worries and send you a loving and righteous husband when the time is right.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
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.

My Pregnant Wife Is Going Back to India – Does She Have to Stay with My Widowed Mother?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My wife has gone back to India as she is pregnant (5 months) with our first child.

Does she have to stay in our house (with my mom) or in her parents house?

My mom lives alone (with relatives nearby) and is not expecting her to serve her (cook, clean etc.) Can you advise?

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.

Living Arrangements

In most cases, it would be far more comfortable for a new mother to rest in her parents’ home, and not her mother-in-law’s. Pregnancy and postpartum are emotional times, and in most cases, living with one’s mother-in-law could add on a layer of unnecessary stress.

Have you spoken to your wife about this? What does she want? Please work together as a team to come up with a workable solution.

Mother-In-Law

Even though your mother does not expect your wife to cook or clean for her, that does not guarantee a comfortable household for your wife or your mother. Communication is often difficult between different generations and different personalities.

Please refer to: A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws

However, if your wife is able to balance being polite, respectful, and assert boundaries with your mother, then it is possible for them to live harmoniously, especially after the birth of your child.

It is important for your wife to accept that she will most likely fall short of your mother’s expectations. Your wife can still choose to treat your mother with kindness, in spite of that, and be amply rewarded for her patience. Those Pesky Unappreciative Eastern MILs.

Where do you fit in this scenario? Will you be going back to India soon? It may be easier for your wife to live with your mother if you are there too.

Solutions

1) Please continue to read the dua for ease.
2) Perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and ask Allah for an answer.
3) Perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward, and watch what unfolds.
4) Contented In-Laws is an excellent resource for your wife, should she decide to stay with your mother.
5) Your wife can trial staying with your mother for a period of time.
6) Your wife can divide up her week – perhaps she can stay for a few days at your mother’s home, and the rest of the week at her parents’ home.
7) Keep lines of communication open with your wife and mother so you know how they are feeling about their living arrangement.

I pray that Allah make things easier for all of you.

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.