Do I Have to Pay Back my Father After Graduating?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum, My dad gave me a lot of money for my undergraduate studies. Do I have to pay it back?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

If your father did not specify that this money was a loan then you are not obliged to pay it back. You can assume it was a gift.

Repaying Good With Good

Having said that, some of the best qualities one can acquire are gratitude and being appreciative. If it is possible do give it back to your father. Even if he does not accept the money he will appreciate the gesture.

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever does something good for you do something equivalent for them. If you’re unable to do so then pray for them until you think you have done the equivalent.“ (Abu Dawud)

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite 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 Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, 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, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Abusive Relationship

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: After over a decade of incessant emotional abuse from my mother-in-law, and physical abuse from my husband, I want to know what my rights are as a wife?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for reaching out and seeking to know your rights as a wife, Muslim, and human being. May Allah give you a way out of the suffering that you are experiencing.

As a wife, you have a right to have your own place where no one can interfere with your life and in which you are safe, both emotionally and physically.

Given the scenario you have described, you have the right to ask your husband to divorce you. If he does not, you can seek Islamic arbitration with a local imam/mufti. If that does not go ahead, you can seek a legal divorce through a secular court.

Right to be Physically Safe

Every human being and owned animal has a right to be safe. Whenever anyone is being physically abused, the abuse must be stopped. This is keeping with the legal principle ‘Harm shall be removed.’ (al-Ashbah wa al-Nadhair, Suyuti)

This applies a fortiori to the wife and children. If a woman is physically abused, she has the right to be unilaterally divorced. That is to say, she is divorced by a Sharia court/Islamic arbitration whether or not he agrees to it. (al Sharh al Kabir, Dardir)

Right to be Emotionally Safe

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Everything about a Muslim to inviolable with regards to other Muslims: his blood, his wealth, and his good name.’ (Muslim)

This hadith tells us that we have a right not to be called names.

Emotional harm is recognized by the Sacred Law as a state of duress [darura]. The scholars tell us that a woman who is in her post-marital waiting period [idda] must stay at home except under duress, such as ‘fear for her person, property — such as the house falling down, there being a fire or thieves about — or being harmed by neighbors or in-laws.’ (al-Anwar, Ardabili)

It is clear from this text that being harm emotionally and socially is equivalent to being harmed physically and financially. And this applies to a better right to wife in her home.

So a wife has a right to have a place to stay in which she is not under constant attack from her in-laws.

‘Sometimes your mother is your door to Hell.’

Your mother-in-law is not your husband’s wife. If he thinks she is, he should think again. If after over a decade he still hasn’t picked up on this, it is probably time to move on.

Try to have him listen to this video of Mufti Menk: Stand By Your Wife, RIP Mother-In-Law | Mufti Menk

If your marriage is to continue, he needs to leave her out of the picture and work on things between you and him and none besides.

Too much “loyalty” to one’s mother (or anything except Allah and His Sacred Law for that matter) can lead one to do great wrong. And as Mufti Menk mentions in the video, ‘Sometimes your mother is your door to Hell.’

Please also see: Doubts About Marriage

Conclusion

Try your best to have your husband see how he has to steer things in the right direction. If it doesn’t work, try to get a divorce.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

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.

Car Accident and Fraudulent Claim

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Years ago I was in a car accident. My guardians made a fraudulent injury claim at the time. What should I do?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

You would need to return the money which you received as a result of the claim to the company that made the payment. If you are unable to find the company, you can simply donate the money to any charity or poor person with the intention of getting it out of your possession. (Usmani, Fiqh al Buys’)

Returning Wrongfully Taken Property

Any property which has been wrongfully taken, such as through lying and deception, must be returned. It is a condition for the validity of one’s repentance that one does do. (Nawawi, Raiyad al Salihin)

The money can also be returned anonymously or via an alternative means. For example, one could purchase a gift voucher from a company one owes money to and not use it. Or if money is owed to an individual one could just place it in an envelope and post it to them.

The point is to return the right to the owner. Sometimes, if the matter was discussed with the owner, he would just forgive the right. If that is the case then nothing needs to be returned.

It’s better to deal with matters in this life before the next, where the only available currency is deeds which one has sent ahead. Imam Sha’rani suggested regularly performing a particularly good deed and donating its reward to anyone one has wronged. This ensures the matter is covered one way or another. (Sha’rani, al Kawkab al Shahiq)

May Allah facilitate the matter for you in the best of ways.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is It Permissible for a Woman to Travel Accompanied by Her Young Son?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to travel accompanied by her young son?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Conditions of a Chaperone

It is permissible for you to travel with your 12-year-old son. A woman must travel either with her spouse or non-marriageable kin (mahram) who is trustworthy, mature (i.e. reached puberty), and of sound intellect. The pre-pubescent child is allowed as well, like the mature. [al-Hadiyah al-Alaiyah]

The Age of a Pre-Pubescent Child

A male child is considered pre-pubescent (murahiq) when he reaches 12 years of age. This is because 12 is the earliest age that a boy can reach puberty. [al-Hadiyah al-Alaiyah]

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Angry During Pilgrimage

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: I got angry with my mother during the Hajj. I don’t know what happened to me, but I was so angry, and I could not control myself. I am crying every night after that. Can you please tell me if there is any way to ask forgiveness to Allah and my mother?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You have no need to worry; there is no sin which Allah Most High is not prepared to forgive. Ask Allah for forgiveness, and speak to your mother, and ask her to pardon you too.

Allah Knows Our Weakness

Having created us, Allah is well aware of our weaknesses and flaws. He told us in a hadith in which the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, quoted him, “My servants! Indeed you keep sinning day and night, yet I [am willing to] forgive all sins! So ask Me for forgiveness: I will forgive you.” (Muslim)

What a beautiful hadith this is! Turn to Allah, and ask. Then carry on with things, confident in the promise of Allah Most High.

Speak to your Mother

It may be a good idea to speak to your mother to explain your side to her. From your question, it seems that you were very concerned about her wellbeing, and performing tawaf in that crowd was, in fact, not the best course of action for her.

Sometimes, in stressful situations, it can easy for people to get upset, or a bit angry. I’m sure if you explain this to her, she will appreciate that it was your love and concern for her that was your motive. And, after all, mothers are very forgiving.

Don’t worry about your Hajj. Allah’s mercy is vast, as is His generosity. Perhaps your Hajj was accepted because of that concern you felt for your mother…

May Allah accept your Hajj and that of everyone else who performed it and grant you all the fullest of rewards for it. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite 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 Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, 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, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Dealing Problems With Abusive Father

Answered by Shaykh 

Question: I’m a woman who lives with both parents and siblings home. My dad has sexually abused me for 13 long years without my mom knowing. Do I have any right to leave my parents’ home and never speak to my dad again?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Dear sister, I pray Allah gives you a quick release from these difficulties you have endured. The difficulty of the situation and the burden of the secret must have been unbearable.

You have every right to leave your parents’ home; in fact, you must. You need to take all the steps to get yourself out of harm’s way, as living in such an environment is clearly very harmful to you.

Allah Hates Oppression

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, quoted Allah Almighty Himself to have said, “Truly, I have made it forbidden on myself to wrong anyone; and I have made it severely forbidden for you! So do not oppress each other!“ (Muslim)

Allah hates oppression, and it is necessary for you to end this cycle by moving away to your new school. This will prevent the continuation of this problem.

When you are ready, you need to discuss this matter with your mother. Do not break ties with her due to your father’s actions. She must know, as there are legal ramifications to this situation too. Also, if he has been secretly doing this to you all these years, it is very likely that there have been other victims.

If he’s managed to keep it a secret from your mother, it’s possible that you could have kept other similarly vile acts a secret. Even if there aren’t any other females he has access to, it needs to be brought up: some younger males could be in danger too.

Distance Yourself

At this point, you need to get out of harm’s way and focus on healing. I don’t advise you to go near your father again for the foreseeable future. The scars you have will take a long time to heal. You will need a lot of therapy and a supportive company to move beyond this.

This is a safeguarding issue, and it should be reported to the authorities. Usually, it is the silence of the victims that emboldens people like this to prey on others. This may even be in his own interests to prevent him from further harm to others.

Supplication

Keep supplicating to Allah for a way out, healing, and for you and your loved ones to stay safe. In the Qur’an, Allah commands us to be excellent to our parents (Qur’an, 17:23). The wording indicates that they deserve this just for being the means of entering this world.

Putting up with harm, and restraining yourself from a bad response are both forms of excellence. If things do get out don’t you yourself think that you are being bad, and don’t let anyone else convince you of that either. I’d say you’ve shown plenty of excellence through these all these years, to both of your parents.

Find Support

Find someone who can support you through this and take the necessary steps. Don’t think about cutting ties or anything right now. The priority is to get away and heal. Things may get worse before they get better.

You don’t have to go near him, nor do you have to speak to him at this point. In fact, it’s better you don’t.

As a closing thought, I’d say that such tests are not given to everyone. They are very hard, and the pain may seem unbearable, but the gifts Allah has in store for you will be infinite and unimaginable great. Have a daily dose of reminders on patience and fortitude, and this seminar may be useful on your journey to healing. Get professional help.

May Allah take very special care of you. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite 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 Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, 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, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Being a Daughter, a Woman, and Living This Life

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil counsels on the role and duty of daughter toward parents, being a woman, feeling isolated overwhelmed by expectations.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am tired. I don’t feel like I understand my purpose anymore. Especially when I see so many of my sisters in Islam living a life of independence. I am confused about exactly what Islam says on the matter – it has been my long held belief that a girl or woman doesn’t leave her parents home except by marriage.

Am I wrong? I was under the impression that this is based upon a hadith. What happens if she doesn’t get married? Is she forced to leave and find her independence?

I am one of three sisters. One who has gotten married, one who lives independently of us, and me. I do not wish for marriage. But I see myself as being responsible for my parents as they get older. I have no mahram other than my elderly father. No other family here. I do work, part-time alhamduliLlah.

Should I leave the home and leave my parents alone? (I don’t want to, because I am afraid to lose them in any sense, even by their own natural end).

I sometimes feel like nothing I do is right before my father. I feel like I studied and obeyed them in this regard. But now, I am so tired with how pointless everything is. I studied two degrees, trained for a long time, and all for what?

I remained confused about my faith, I have lost friends, and become more isolated. I genuinely believe women need a mahram to travel randomly around the globe if for pleasure and not for purpose.

I’ve become disheartened, disillusioned, for clinging onto things that others maybe don’t consider important. Please advise me.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Living Alone

Dear sister, please know that Allah knows the deepest contents of your heart. If you do not want to move out from your parents’ home, then please, by all means, remain there.

Please do not compare yourself to your sisters, as tempting as that may be. Three of you are completely different individuals, with unique strengths and challenges. Your responsibility is to measure yourself against the yardstick of what is pleasing to Allah, in this present moment.

Please refer to these links to clarify your confusion about the permissibility of an unmarried Muslim woman, living alone: Can I, as a Woman, Live on My Own? [Shafi’i] and Can an Unmarried Young Woman Live Alone?

Exception

The only scenario in which I would encourage you to move out from your parents’ home is this – if staying with your parents were harming you, in some way.

It does not have to be outward abuse, but if you feel that staying with your parents is contributing to feelings of stagnation, then perhaps it is time for you to make a change.

Caring for Parents

It is praiseworthy for you to take on the main responsibility of caring for your parents in their old age. However, please know that goodness to your parents remains a personally obligatory act for all of your sisters. Your commitment to caring for your parents does not lift the responsibility from their shoulders.

I suspect that because you live with your parents, then your sisters take you for granted. They know that you are there every day to be of service to your parents, so perhaps they do not try harder to be there for them, too.

I encourage you to complete this transformative course: Excellence With Parents: Muhammad Mawlud’s Birr al-Walidayn Explained: Your Parents’ Rights and How to Fulfil Them.

Father

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Sura al-Dhariyat 51:56)

You describe that nothing you do is right by your father. I am sorry – this is deeply painful, for any daughter. Please know that when a father is chronically displeased with his children, it actually reflects his own chronic displeasure with himself.

I encourage you not to live your life for your parents, especially not your father. This can be very hard to do at first, because it has become an ingrained habit. Live for Allah, and within the realms of permissibility, please do things that bring you joy. Find ways to nourish your heart, body, mind and soul.

Please know that perhaps creating some physical distance between you and your father may help you realign with your values, instead of always being drawn to what is pleasing to him.

You were created to worship Allah, and your journey to that includes working on your weaknesses and harnessing your strengths.

Life Coaching

I suggest that you look up one of the many Muslimah life coaches online. Find someone who resonates with you, and commit to exploring ways to improve your life. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What do you want to get better at?

Marriage and Possible Depression

You describe that you do not want to be married. Is this because you have been hurt before, or because you genuinely are not interested in marriage?

You have also described yourself as losing friends, feeling lonely, and being exhausted. Could your low moods and lack of interest in marriage be something you could explore, within the safety of a culturally-sensitive counsellor’s office?

Travel

Please refer to this link for clarification: Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram?

Spiritual Nourishment

Dear sister, your soul is yearning for relief. Please feed your soul with the the cool, sweet waters of dua, the Prayer of Need, reciting and listening to Qur’an, and other acts of nearness to Allah.

Clarify your confusion about your faith through seeking out healing knowledge. SeekersHub courses are in abundance, alhamdulilah, so decide which ones resonate with you most, and strive to complete them.

I pray that this has been helpful. Please keep in touch.

Please see: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Abusive, Toxic, and Mentally Ill Mother

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am a Muslim woman in her early twenties, living with my parents and I have always had trouble in my household. I have grown up in a toxic and violently abusive environment with consistent emotional, verbal and psychological abuse, and at many times physical abuse. I am an only child, and my mother is extremely mentally unwell. My parents have been fighting for as long as I can remember.

My mother needs to admitted to a psych ward because her mental illness has gotten so bad. We can hospitalize her, but no one, even family members seem to understand the extent of it so they’ve advised that we do not. I want to, but will I be punished for forcefully admitting her into the psych ward because her condition has gotten so bad? How will I live in her house peacefully, while my mother is in the hospital?

The constant torment, physical abuse and the walking on eggshells around her not knowing if today will be a bad day or a horrible day. I don’t think I can remember the last time I was burden-free. It has come to the point that my own mental health is so greatly affected that I cannot tolerate anything anymore, the slightest thing will trigger me and I become so enraged I cannot control it. I am starting to have similar episodes like her because apart from genetically being predisposed to her mental health issues, being raised in such a toxic environment has solidified the manifestation of those illnesses within me, guaranteeing that I may be like this with my family in the future.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Obligation towards parents

Dear sister, please know that I am so, so sorry to hear about the huge burden you are carrying. I wish I could be next to you, hold your hand and tell you, in person, how brave you are. You have endured such terrible pain.

Please know that you are not alone. You have never been alone. Allah is always with you. I am so grateful that Allah moved your heart to contact us. I pray that my advice will soothe your troubled heart.

Hospitalization

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance about whether or not to hospitalize your mother. I would suggest that as an absolute last resort, but a necessity if she continues to harm herself and those around her.

Modern psychiatric medicine is strong and does have side-effects, but there is a place for it, in extreme cases. When your mother stabilizes, then she will be more open to holistic remedies.

Spiritual and Emotional Abuse

Narrated Anas, may Allah be pleased with him: Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Bukhari)

Even though your mother is unwell, she is still hurting you deeply. You must protect yourself. That is obligatory upon you. You must take care of your own sanity and your own soul. Please do not let your mother break you, because you matter to Allah.

Please plan to move out of your family home. Ready your financial situation and search for trustworthy roommates. You cannot change your parents or their deeply troubled dynamic. But you can change your living situation, and focus on healing.

By leaving your home, you are actually doing your mother a favor. In her moments of lucidity, she will no longer be accountable to Allah for hurting her own daughter so terribly.

Your parents will be deeply unhappy with your decision. Expect it and prepare for it. You must still be respectful to them, and take the time to contact them and visit them as often as you can handle. When the abuse begins, then politely take your leave.

Over time, and with healing, they will not change, but your response to them will. It will get easier and easier to be around them, insha Allah, as impossible as it might feel right now. Give yourself time. It is impermissible to cut ties with them, but in your case, it is perhaps even obligatory for you to build some distance between yourself and your parents.

Gift of Pain

Dear sister, you may not believe me right now, but because of your years of suffering, when you heal, you will be a tremendous source of comfort for those around you. You will have empathy for other survivors of childhood abuse. Children with non-abusive parents cannot imagine what you and I have gone through. Your priority is to heal yourself, first, before you can help anyone else.

I speak from experience. My own family dynamic carries many wounds. Alhamdulillah, Allah sent me the help I needed, and I had to also make many hard decisions as a young woman. None of it was easy, but it helped me become who I am today.

Spiritual Medicine

Please soothe your heart with regular and protective Qur’anic recitation, and duas such as these: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

Please perform the Prayer of Need as often as you need to, especially in the blessed time before the entry of Fajr.

I encourage you to read Al-Shifa and the Shama’il, as a means of healing through the barakah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

Emotional Medicine

I strongly encourage you to seek out a culturally-sensitive therapist to help support your healing. Your rage is merely the top part of the Anger Iceberg. A kind therapist can help you empty out your full emotional backpack.

I pray this is useful in the meantime: Emotional First Aid. I encourage you to also look up Hakim Archuletta and Hafsa Hasan.

Marriage as Medicine

Insha Allah, when you are more healed, and when the time is right, I pray that Allah will send you a loving and righteous husband – one who will value you for your strength and love you because of your scars. Please do not hide what you have gone through from your prospective husband. The right man will see your strength, and celebrate it. A safe and loving marriage is also a powerful medicine for you.

However – and I cannot state this enough – you need to heal sufficiently for you to recognize a good man when you meet one. Often, unresolved childhood trauma can cause women and men to select unsuitable romantic partners – neglectful and abusive ones – because it is a familiar pattern.

Motherhood as Medicine

When you become a mother some day, because of your own trauma, please know that your own child is likely to trigger you. When your child behaves likes a child – cries, shouts, tantrums – it is likely to cause you to overreact, because your mother overreacted to you. You are likely to be overwhelmed by rage and lash out at your child, but know that you can heal, and get better at staying calm.

Your own mother’s neglect and abuse of you has left you with deep pain, and our own children have a way of triggering these sore points. You can use this as growth point, and choose to respond from a place of calm, instead of lashing out the way your mother does. It will take practice, but you will get better at it, insha Allah.

Please know that you are not doomed to hurt your family the way your mother has. You have insight, and motivation to change. I pray that with dua, hard work, and self-compassion, you will make an incredible mother.

Inherited Pain and Resilience

It is possible that your mother is so traumatized because of her own childhood. Perhaps she is repeating the cycle of abuse that she endured. And perhaps your late grandparents carried their own trauma.

You have the choice to break this pattern, and to gift your children with a mother who loves, protects and guides them – the way you deserve. It will be hard at first, but as you choose love and calm, your brain will rewire, and it will become easier and easier.

Rights of Parents

When you are ready, please aim to complete Excellence With Parents: Muhammad Mawlud’s Birr al-Walidayn Explained: Your Parents’ Rights and How to Fulfill Them.

Shaykh Rami’s course has been transformative for me, and for other children who have had childhood trauma. My biggest takeaway from this course is this – even abusive parents must be treated with respect and kindness. The key is knowing how to keep yourself safe and grounded when you do so.

I pray this has been helpful. Please write back if you would like further clarification. I pray that Allah eases your suffering, and transforms your outward state while you transform your inward state. You are beloved to Allah, and I know that there are wonderful things ahead of you. Have faith in His Mercy, and the transformative power of his Love for you.

Please see: Reader on Abusive Parents.

Raidah

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


 

Marrying a Practicing Non-Hijabi

Ustada Raidah Shah Idil is asked if marrying a practicing sister who does not wear hijab is permissible.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Where I come from, there are many Muslims that practice Islam without their parents’ consent. I belong to such a family, but alhamduliLlah things have changed a lot for me. I can join prayers in the mosque, and have permission from my family to do that.

But I have lots of friends who can not, for example, join prayers with jama‘a, or join Khalaqas given in Mosques, generally because of the fear of falling into the extremism of the religion. For these families, praying, reading Qur’an, joining Jumu‘as are things that put their kids in extremism, as well as the fear that their kids will leave the dunya altogether, and will leave science to seek knowledge for the deen. Anything along the lines of Islam is fearful for them.

There are sisters in my hometown who are religious. They pray, read the Qur’an, listen to khutbas through the web, and fast every Ramadan. Headscarf is another point that is risky to put on unless they’re praying. Families don’t give permission to wear the hijab outside, because it is a way of backwardness.

My question is, is it allowed for me to marry a non-hijabi sister who is religious, a good person, and a practicing Muslima? Do I get any share in the sin she does because of not wearing the hijab (if married to such person)?

Answer:

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Permissibility

“And each soul is paid in full for what it did. And He is Best Aware of what they do.” (Sura al-Zumar 39:70)

In short, yes, it is permissible for you to marry a non-hijabi sister. Her sins are on her, just like your sins are on you. As spouses, it is better for both of you to encourage one another to whatever pleases Allah, even if it may displease everyone else.

Marriage as Growth

Spouses, especially in the first year of marriage, often trigger old wounds from childhood e.g. fearing practising the din openly, feeling chronically unworthy etc. Use these uncomfortable feelings as opportunities to work on dismantling these patterns, together. For example, once she is married to you, then your future wife can rest easy knowing that you are supportive of her decision to wear hijab. Her family will still be unhappy, but when a married daughter leaves her family home, it is understood that her husband will have the greater influence, moving forward.

I pray that marriage will be beneficial for both of you, and increase you both in inward and outward observance of the din.

Please complete this course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


Heavily Afflicted by Waswasa

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about compulsively saying “I’m sorry” and asking forgiveness.

I became heavily afflicted with waswasa when I was unemployed mainly around najasah, but alhamduliLlah I recovered from that after starting work.

But recently have developed waswasa about actions or words of kufr. Also I’m obsessed with an intense fear of being “rude” and I keep obsessively saying sorry and it’s upsetting my parents.

I used to say bismillah before everything I do but a shaykh said it’s kufr to say bismillah before watching tv, as it contains haram things – and he said saying bismillah before eating something that’s not halal is kufr.

Is this true? Pretty much any media consumption involves some haram things like women without hijab or some music with haram things in it etc. So can we not say bismiLlah before watching tv or using internet, what about saying bismiLlah before leaving the house as you might see a uncovered woman, etc?

I am, insha Allah about to do nikah but in her culture we can’t consummate until walima a few months later. I am constantly worried and thinking about how any thing of kufr can nullify the nikah before consummation a‘udhubiLlah may Allah protect me. I found an opinion saying if we go into khalwa it can count as consummation.

Shaykh, is there an opinion that says any acts of kufr don’t affect the marriage from any madhab so I can take rukhsa?

Sometimes Muslim friends of mine make a joke on some topic that may actually be interpreted as kufr.

I’ve read your guide on how kufr needs to be intentional and you can’t accidentally do it, but I want a personal answer because it tears apart my mind and depresses me. Sometimes and my brain or shaytan finds a way of confusing me.

I also have this obsession that is driving my parents crazy. I have this intense fear that if I’m slightly rude or have an argument–disagree with someone and they get annoyed with me, it means I’ve argued and my dua won’t be answered and I’ll be punished. So then I have to beg forgiveness. Almost every single conversation I have with my parents ends with me saying “I’m sorry for being rude, I’m sorry.”

Someone in the masjid turned on the fan and someone else thought it was me and looked angry at me and I looked back at him and said “It’s a bit warm,” so he got angry with me. I felt like I had had an argument and needed to resolve it and apologize and say sorry.

And I’ll never criticize someone in case I’m being rude. This is driving me crazy and upsetting me. Is there actually any hadith or fiqh about arguing or being rude causing one’s dua to not be answered or severe punishment? The main problem is that my older brother is sometimes very harsh and rude with me even if I’m not saying anything, but even then I will try to say “sorry for being rude” because I’m scared it means I’ll be punished and my dua won’t be accepted.

I can’t leave any single interaction with a human without saying “sorry for being rude.” And it makes me seem very weak and if they know me for a while they will think I’m a bit weird. Like I will tell a joke, then think what I said might be offensive and start saying “Sorry.”

May Allah forgive me for anything haram I’ve said.

Kind regards

OCD

I pray you are well.

It’s clear that you have OCD, and it’s manifesting itself in religious matters. Worrying about falling into disbelief or offending people is a symptom of your OCD. The urges they cause can be very strong, and we know that there are some uncontrollable matters which a person is not taken to task for.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Indeed Allah has overlooked mistakes, forgetfulness, and being forced [to do something] for my umma.” (Ibn Majah). Although the compulsion referred to in the hadith is the type which comes from another party, we can infer that Allah’s mercy would also extend to some behavioral compulsions too.

Based on this, jurists have said that the divorce of someone like this would not apply if he was compelled to say the word over and over (Haskafi, al Durr al Mukhtar).

Relax and Seek a Remedy

Therefore, you should not worry or be consumed by guilt. You have a condition, and Allah has provided us means to getting it fixed. Get some professional help. The therapies EFT, PSTEC, and EMDR work well with this issue. Please bear in mind that it may take time for the issues to go, and that is a test by which you will draw closer to Allah if you show the appropriate response.

Please refer to this answer too.

Ask Allah for help, and seek a solution.

May Allah remove your difficulties very soon.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.