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What Are a Wife’s Rights and Responsibilities in a Difficult Marriage?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

1. If a woman marries a convert, what are the responsibilities of the wife towards the husband’s Islamic education?

2. If a sinful Muslim husband demands his rights to be fulfilled (respect, etc.), what would be the wife’s rights?

3. Is it right to advise that respect can be somewhat potentially higher if the husband follows Islam and guides the family Islamically?

4. If a husband tells the wife he is starting to “not like her” and that if she finds him with someone else, to not be surprised – how should the wife be motivated in the marriage?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your questions. I pray this finds you in the best of states. Insha’Allah I will answer your questions in order.

1. If a woman marries a husband who has reverted to Islam a few years before marriage, what are the responsibilities of the wife (if born Muslim) towards the husband’s Islamic education?

When a person becomes Muslim, the obligation of knowledge is two-fold, seeking it and providing it. The person themselves are obliged to seek knowledge of the fundamentals of the religion, and those who are aware of his/her need, and are able to provide such knowledge, are obliged to give it.

What is meant by fundamental knowledge of the religion is that which the person needs to make their belief and worship valid, as well as any other aspects that maybe relevant to their specific situation such as marriage and trade. It does not include Islamic knowledge beyond this.

Offering this knowledge is a communal obligation (fard kifayah). If one person fulfils it then it suffices. As such, a wife is not obligated to teach her husband matters of the religion (revert or not), if there are others who can and are willing to do so. In these situations, if the wife did take it upon herself to teach him, then this would be a virtuous act and carry tremendous reward.

If, however, there is no one else available except the wife, then it would become personally obligatory on her to teach the husband his personally obligatory knowledge (fard ‘ayn), not as a right of a husband, but as a fellow Muslim.

2. If a Muslim husband demands his rights to be fulfilled (respect, etc.), however is not god-fearing i.e. does not fast, pray, has done drugs almost the whole of the marriage, etc, what would be the wife’s rights if she fulfills her duties as a Muslima i.e. prays, fasts?

A wife’s rights usually include things like suitable accommodation, food and clothes, toiletries etc. and other things usual for a woman of her social standing, as well as the right to live cordially, without abuse or neglect.

The situation you have described is obviously sensitive and requires discussion and support to resolve what is clearly deep seated issues. Islam provides and protects rights, including material, physical and emotional rights, but these legal rights do not usually resolve matters of disrespect and personal religious practice.

I would suggest seeking out professional marital counselling as well as encouraging the husband to seek out counselling for his own struggles, which seems necessary.

If the husband is not practicing the religion, and engaged in substance abuse, then these would be strong reasons to consider separation, especially if the husband is not willing to change or seek help. The wife will be rewarded for her patience, but is not obligated to live with someone who has such serious problems and addictions, more so if he is not fulfilling her legal rights as well. One should seek further advice from local scholars.

3. If a husband compares his wife’s respect towards him to that of a pious couple who prays together, is it right to advise that respect can be somewhat potentially higher if the husband follows Islam and guides the family Islamically?

Yes, it is correct to advise a person that respect comes about from being upright, principled, and practicing the religion, and inappropriate for a person to demand respect while they do nothing to earn it. However, one should choose wisely how they advise others, so as not to make matters worse. Sometimes a firm word is needed, other times being gentle is better. Sometimes getting a third party to intervene is a good solution.

4. If a husband sees faults and has high expectations of the wife i.e. business, baby, household, groceries, cooking, laundry, cleaning, without helping – and with this, tells the wife he is starting to “not like her” and that if she finds him with someone else, to not be surprised – how should the wife move forward and be motivated in the marriage?

The simple answer is that in such situations, the wife will not be motivated or incline towards the husband, and for good reason. Marriage is a two-way street, requires give and take, the least of which is to acknowledge the other and their efforts. The description you have given is a form of psychological abuse, aimed at making the person feel worthless, unattractive and insecure. Intentional or not, it is wrong and prohibited.

Moving Forward

In all the scenarios you have given, and acknowledging that there may well be much more to the relationship than is written here, it seems such a marriage is very troubled and requires either professional advice and support, or separation. The wife should consider where she sees her own life and spiritual growth heading, as well as what the situation would be should she have children.

May Allah grant ease and peace in all our affairs.

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.

Who Can I Vent to About My Abusive Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have been married for a long time, endured verbal and physical abuse, and have children. We walk on eggshells around my husband, who has been violent in the past. My eldest daughter wants me to divorce him, but it will destroy him. Can I vent to someone about this?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

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

Marriage

Dear sister, I encourage you to please speak to a culturally-sensitive counselor. It is permissible for you to speak to her, because this will support you, and because she is bound by confidentiality laws.

Discussing Intimate Details in Therapy Sessions

You do not need to bring your husband with you. The important thing is for you to have a safe space to process your pain.

You are wise to not disclose your marital problems to your family. They love you, may react emotionally, and this may make things worse. An objective third party may be a better option for you.

Children

You are in a truly heartbreaking situation. On one hand, you fear breaking your family apart. On the other hand, your own daughter wants you to ask for a divorce, because she sees you in so much pain. Children, especially as they get older, are able to tell when something is amiss between their parents.

Ideally, your husband and you need to see a marriage counselor. You know him best.

Violence

I am relieved to hear that your husband has not been violent in a year. He sounds like he needs support in controlling his anger. Walking on eggshells around him is exhausting.

Communication

Please read these excellent communication articles from the #staymarried blog. You are not able to change your husband’s problematic communication style, but you can definitely improve your own.

Prayer

I know that you say that you do not want a solution, because you have resigned yourself to enduring this. When you are ready, I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance about what to do in your marriage. Please watch what Allah unfolds for you.

Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to help you.

I pray that Allah grants you clarity and ease. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
My Husband is Abusive, Irresponsible, and Doesn’t Practice Islam
My Husband Lied to Me, Disrespects Me, Took Back and Spent Most of My Dowry. What Should I Do?

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and 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.

Is It Permissible to Give My Zakat to My Daughter? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am an unemployed housewife. My husband is stingy. I have been using my savings to buy food and other necessities. I also pay my daughter’s Islamic School fee. I spend around $800 a month. Now my savings had left $22 500. This year, I feel heavy to give my zakat to other people as I am the one who need the money more. Can I use my zakat to pay for my daughter’s fee?

Answer: Assalam alaykum sister, thank you for your question. I’m sorry to hear about your difficult financial situation. It’s unfortunate that you have been left to take on this responsibility, which should not be yours in the first place. May Allah makes things easy for you.

The general ruling is that a parent cannot give their zakat to their own children. However, this ruling may change depending on a number of factors, including whether the child is pre-pubescent or post-pubescent (baligh).

When working out if zakat is permissible to give to one’s child, there are a lot of aspects to consider, and would need further details of the case. There are quite a few practical considerations as well, which can be become complex, especially if the child is still young. For this reason, I will just mention here the possible practical solutions for you.

Practical steps

1. If there is a legal court you can take the case to, then you can do this, so that they enforce the father to pay for the upkeep of the child (as well as yours and any other dependent).

2. If there is no option of law enforcement, then you would be legally permitted to take from the father’s money, without permission, whatever is needed for the obligatory financial maintenance of yourself and any other of his dependents, though obviously you must be careful when doing this, for your own safety.

3. If the above is not possible, then please read the following.

Giving zakat to an ‘adult’ dependant

If your daughter has reached puberty, then it would be permissible to give your zakat to her. However, by giving her your zakat she owns the money and it is not obligatory that she spends it on her school fees.

Giving zakat to a pre-pubescent dependant

If your daughter is pre-pubescent, then the most practical steps would be to either:

A. Give your zakat to your 20-year-old son, if he fulfils the legal conditions of a ‘poor’ person (see point B below). If he then chooses to pay for his sister’s studies, then this would be permissible, as a sibling is not obligated to pay for another sibling’s upkeep.

However, do be aware that by giving your son the money as zakat, it belongs to him, and he can choose to do whatever he wants with it after receiving it. It is disliked to agree between the both of you that he use it for his sister before physically giving him the money, and prohibited at the point of giving him the money.

Giving Zakat in this way is valid, but generally disliked. Normally it would not be given as an option, however, if you are being forced into a difficult situation, there is some leeway.

B. In the Shafi’i school, a ‘poor’ person is someone who does not have enough to cover all his own needs and that of his dependents. What is meant by ‘enough’ is that one possesses enough money that they could invest it in a property or similar investment, and the profit would suffice them for their remaining lifespan (up to 60 years old). This covers a broad range of people. If they do not have this amount, then they are considered poor.

The amount of savings you mentioned you possess, even though it may seem a large amount of money, does not seem that it would not provide this, and since you are busy raising your family, then you yourself may be considered legally ‘poor’ in the Shafi’i school, and so entitled to zakat from others, which may help you make ends meet. However, if possible, please go over your details with a local scholar to confirm this applies.

[Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Bughyat al Mustarshidin, Mughni al Muhtaj, Nihayat al Muhtaj]

Final considerations

I’m sure the situation must be very testing for you. May Allah make things easy for you and the family. Perhaps the following may also be of help:

– Try getting a third party, such as a friend, family member, or local scholar, to speak to your husband and persuade him to pay for yours and your child’s upkeep.

– Make plenty of du’a. You may find the following supplication helpful,

اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِنِي بِحَلَالِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ وَأَغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِوَاكْ

Oh Allah, suffice me with things that You have made halal so that I may abstain from things that You have made haram, and enrich me with Your grace so that I am not in need of anyone besides You.

May Allah grant you an easy way out of every difficulty.

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.

Should I Get Back to A Cold Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I married a good man, but due to our emotional distance, we have not been intimate for a year. We have separated, but he wants me back. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Marriage

I encourage you to enrol in and complete Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. Please reflect on the sanctity of your marriage, and do your best to save it. You describe your husband as being a good man: he is on the same spiritual page as you, loves you, is generous to you, and helps out at home. Individually, each quality is a blessing, let alone collectively.

I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times before making any final decisions. Watch what Allah unfolds for you. If your heart softens towards your husband, then consider that a sign to stay in your marriage. If your heart reminds closed off despite your best efforts, then that is a sign for you to leave.

Growth Mindset

I encourage you to view your marriage through the lens of a growth mindset, and not a fixed mindset.

We live in a global culture that is fixated on Hollywood ideas of romance. There is this pervasive myth that love is something that needs to happen instantaneously. The reality is that love can and does grow after marriage, but it takes effort, patience, and continual dua.

Please refer to these invaluable resources:

Walking Side-by-Side – How to Keep Perfect Pace with Your Partner
Does Your Marriage Need A Rebrand? – Six Simple Ways to Prioritize Your Spouse

Communication

If your husband is motivated enough, then he can learn to be a better listener and communicator. Perhaps this skill comes easily to you, but it sounds like he struggles with it. It sounds like he is keen to have you return home, but the question is – are you?

Placing the blame entirely on him or on you does not help. Both of you are contributing to your marital unhappiness, and both of you need to work together to help your marriage thrive.

You can choose to lower your expectations, and accept the good in him. He can choose to try harder to listen to you, and express himself better. Guide him along, in the spirit of having sincere concern for him.

Intimacy

Emotional intimacy can grow in a marriage, but only if you give yourself and your husband permission to try.

Wives do need emotional connection before feeling ready for marital intimacy. Husbands, on the other hand, feel connected through marital intimacy. If both husband and wife are unwilling to compromise, then the end result is a stalemate, and nobody benefits.

Turning On Your Crockpot
Great Microwave Meals

Reality check

Perhaps there is a part of you that feels that Mr Right is out there, somewhere. Perhaps you imagine that when you find him, everything

Dear sister, I encourage you to look at Mr Right In Front Of You – your husband.

Show up in your marriage. Be present. Make a serious commitment. Aim to be of service to your him, for the sake of Allah and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised.

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 see divorce as an absolute last option for you. Unfortunately, there is a terrible double standard that exists in our community. Divorced men are looked upon more favourably than divorced women. Single mothers are at the very bottom of the marital barrel, when they are the most selfless women who can make incredible wives.

That being said, some people need to go through divorce to appreciate the good in their spouses. Marriage and divorce are halal. If you truly exhaust all options and cannot see your marriage working, then it is better for you to let him go, and make dua that Allah grants you both better spouses.

I pray that Allah grants you the wisdom to choose that which pleases Him.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

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.

The Husband of My Friend Threatens to Reveal Her Infidelity. What Can She Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My friend, a mother, had an affair with a married man. Her husband found out, recorded their private conversation, and threatens to reveal it to their family members. What should she do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah make things easier for your friend, and may He reward you supporting her.

Ransom

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

What your friend’s husband is doing is a form of oppression, and is forbidden in Islam. It is impermissible to publicise sin and to humiliate another believer. He sounds deeply hurt and enraged, and would benefit from counselling.

Counselling

It will take a lot of work and courage, but it is possible for a marriage to heal from infidelity. Unfortunately, it sounds like your friend’s husband is more interested in vengeance, and not healing. Regardless, encourage your friend to acknowledge her husband’s pain, express her deep remorse, and to invite him to marriage counselling.

Prayer

Please advise your friend to perform the Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times about what to do about her marriage. For example, if her husband’s stance softens and he agrees to attend counselling, then that is a sign for her to stay and work on her marriage. If he continues to abuse her and refuses to change his ways, then that is her sign to leave.

Encourage her to wake up 10-15 minutes before the entry of Fajr and perform the Prayer of Need. She has no control over what her husband does, but she can appeal to the Turner of Hearts. Encourage her to surrender this heartbreaking matter to Allah, and to trust in Him.

Tale-bearing

Your friend sounds understandably worried about her husband exposing her sin. Reassure her that God-fearing family members would not be interested in hearing the recording. If her husband were to resort to that, then his standing among his family members would surely drop. However, if he does gain an audience, then call her to bear this trial with patience, and to respond to ugliness with good character.

Please refer to the Reliance of The Traveller for more information:

Chapter R3.0: TALEBEARING (NAMIMA) R3.1
(Nawawi:) Having summarily mentioned that talebearing (namima) is unlawful, with the evidence for this and a description of its nature, we now want to add a fuller explanation of it. Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali says, “Talebearing is a term that is usually applied only to someone who conveys to a person what another has said about him, such as by saying, ‘So-and-so says such and such about you, ‘ In fact, talebearing is not limited to that, but rather consists of revealing anything whose disclosure is resented, whether resented by the person who originally said it, the person to whom it is disclosed, or by a third party. It makes no difference whether the disclosure is in word, writing, a sign, nodding, or other; whether it concerns word or deed; or whether it concerns something bad or otherwise. The reality of talebearing lies in divulging a secret, in revealing something confidential whose disclosure is resented. A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim to relate or prevents disobedience. Anyone approached with a story, who is told, ‘So-and-so says such and such about you, ‘ must do six things:

-1- disbelieve it, for talebearers are corrupt, and their information unacceptable;
-2- tell the talebearer to stop, admonish him about it, and condemn the shamefulness of what he has done;
-3- hate him for the sake of Allah Most High, for he is detestable in Allah’s sight, and hating for the sake of Allah Most High obligatory;
-4- not think badly of the person whom the words are supposedly from, for Allah Most High says, ‘Such much of surmise’ (Koran 49.12);
-5- not let what has been said prompt him to spy or investigate whether it is true, for Allah Most High says, ‘Do not spy’ (Koran 49.12);
-6- and not to do himself what he has forbidden the talebearer to do, by relating it to others.” (Ibid., 471-72)

Divorce

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

If your friend and her husband choose the path of divorce, then as much as it may hurt at first, reassure your friend that Allah will carry her through. Even if she no longer loves her husband, they have children, and built a life together. The fallout will be difficult, and events like divorce will show her who her true friends really are.

Her top priority, after her own emotional health and safety, is the care of her children. Divorce is traumatic for children, but they are also resilient. Encourage her to read the book “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study” by Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee.

Healing

If your friend and her husband and her commit to a path of healing their marriage, please be of support to her. The fact that she had an affair in the first place signals her disconnection from her husband, as well as Allah. Both relationships can be salvaged, and it all begins with a return to Allah, first and foremost.

Please direct her to these resources:

Recovering from Infidelity
5 Ways To Prevent Infidelity
An Open Letter to The Cheater and His Wife

May Allah guide your friend and her husband to what is most pleasing to Him, soften their hearts, and relieve their distress and their children’s.

Please see;

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

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 Husband Has Cut Everything out of My Life. What Can I Do?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

After marriage my husband has cut everything out of my life, I do not visit my friends, I don’t visit my family and parents often and if I do then I have to fight to be allowed to go. I have become nothing more than a maid in this home. I am slowly dying inside.

What can I do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam sister, I’m very sorry to hear about the hardships you’re facing. May Allah bring ease to your life.

Marital issues can be very sensitive and it’s usually difficult to ascertain the details and reasons involved in the issue in order to offer real solutions. To provide support and advise from a distance is very limited especially as these cases need following up. For this reason, it is imperative that you seek out a trustworthy third party to help you get through this. Is there a family member (on either side), friend, or local scholar you can speak to?

Abuse of rights

The Shariah provides rights to both husband and wife, and these are meant to be fulfilled with goodwill, consideration, love, and wisdom. It is true, the law does afford men a certain amount of legal control over his family, and this is a huge responsibility that is not to be abused or transgressed. For most people, it’s often a fine line between commanding one’s rights with force and transgressing those rights. However, Islam doesn’t not implicitly or explicitly, condone or promote abuse of another person, spouse or otherwise, whether that abuse is physical or psychological. No one is meant to suffer at the hand of another.

Steps to Take

If it is possible, speak to or write a letter to your husband telling him everything that you are feeling. Be honest and try not to attack him in your words, as this will just make matters worse. Try to ascertain if there is any bad feelings or motives there that is causing the issue. Be sure to tell him how low you are feeling and that things are severe. By addressing these matters, from both your side and his, perhaps his insecurities and jealousy might stop.

If talking to him is not an option or doesn’t work, then try to find outside support, such as the people I mentioned above. If not, then try to speak to a qualified Muslim marriage councillor for advice and support. If you can, try to get your husband to go through counselling with you, but if he won’t, then see if you can get support yourself. If a Muslim councillor is not possible (or you feel they are not qualified enough) then seek counselling from a qualified non-Muslim councillor who is culturally sensitive.

If they are not available, then you could ask your husband for a divorce. When you do, try not to get angry, but explain to him that there is no point living in such a miserable and unfulfilled way.

If none of the above is possible then you could try to contact this group. They have a good reputation for their level of help and support. However, please bear in mind, that some of the advice they give will not be religiously sensitive, and therefore use them for general advice and support, but if you are not sure if any course of action they propose is permissible in the shariah, then please do try to talk to a scholar before making any drastic decisions.

The above steps are based on the information you have given. If there is more to the situation, such as you feel that you may be on the brink of a mental breakdown, or the abuse is on a different level, especially physical abuse, then you have the right to leave the house and seek support directly.

Finally, whilst taking the means above, and as I’m sure you know, please continue to make Allah Most High your first, last and continual source of hope, support and goal. As with any trial, hardships and lows are worldly tests for us, and despite how forsaken we may feel, Allah Most High is always near. Even when down, keep up with the obligatory prayers, and make remembrance of Him whenever you can, for Allah Most High says, ‘So remember Me; I will remember you’ [2:152]. And whomever Allah ‘remembers’, is indeed blessed and never alone.

May Allah bring peace and comfort in your lives. You are in our dua’s, please keep us in yours.

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.

I Am in a Long-Distance Marriage and I Find Solace in My Facebook Male Friends. Is That Sinful?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am in long distance marriage, and my husband and I have children. My husband lives overseas and is emotionally absent. I asked him to divorce me.

Is it sinful for me to seek solace in Facebook, especially my male high school friends who have the same interests as me? Is it also sinful if I ask for divorce again?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah ease your sorrow and grant you a tremendous opening.

Support

Raising two small children on your own is extremely exhausting. My heart goes out to you. Do you have family members or close friends who can help you? What kind of self-care can you do on a regular basis? Alhamdulilah, your husband is financially responsible. Please try your best to put aside some money every month for your savings, as well as self-care.

Facebook

If you feel uncomfortable about seeking solace in Facebook, especially male friends, then that is a sign for you to refrain. Listen to your conscience.

You are only human, and longing for companionship is normal. However, the gender limits in Islam are there for your own protection. Please unplug from Facebook because it can very easily become an unhealthy addiction.
7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space

Companionship

When you feel lonely, seek comfort from safe places like family and close friends. Have a chat with them when your children are asleep. Arrange for playdates with other supportive mothers at least once a week, or once a fortnight.

Ultimately, the most important relationship you need to to nourish is your relationship with Allah. Make sincere dua to Him every night, Nourish your soul through like listening and reading to Qur’an and making regular dhikr.

Husband

I’m sorry that you are struggling to have a emotional connection with your husband. He sounds very troubled, so make dua for Allah to heal him. Suggest that he see a counsellor to sort out his own issues, even if he does not want to seek marriage counselling.

Prayer of Need

Allah Most High says: “….And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [Qur’an, 65:2-65:3]

Please perform The Prayer of Need and ask Allah to grant you a way out, in a way that is most pleasing to Him.

Prayer of Guidance

Abdullah-Muhaimin bin ‘Abbas bin Sahl bin Sa’d As-Saidi narrated from his father, from his grandfather, who said that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said:“Deliberateness is from Allah, and haste is from the Devil.” [Tirmidhi]

Before you make any final decisions, please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times. Watch how things unfold in your life. If your husband softens and agrees to work on your marriage, then please do everything in your power to make it work. If he remains uninterested, then that is your answer.

If you no longer want to stay in your marriage, then please rally a team of supportive family and friends to help you through your journey of healing. Your sons will need you to provide love and stability for them. Your husband will remain their father, and I pray that he remains a positive part of their lives, no matter what you decide.

May Allah grant you courage, wisdom, and patience. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

A Reader On Gender Interaction
The Close Proximity of Single Mothers to the Prophet ﷺ in the Hereafter
Staying Connected to Your Purpose Even When Your Marriage is Rocky

[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 Is So Controlling. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Before marriage, I was working full-time, attending circles of knowledge and had an active social life. Now my husband has become very controlling, and has made me the maid of the house. He shouts and swears at me, becomes very abusive, and says that I have no right to ever complain. I have lost so much weight through stress and made myself really ill. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Abuse

Dear sister, your husband is hurting you. I am concerned that unless you get outside intervention, things will only get worse.

I urge you to get help, but do so with wisdom. Speak to a trustworthy local scholar and seek out marriage counselling.

Forgive me for being blunt, but please take the necessary means to not fall pregnant during this time. Many people have the mistaken belief that a baby will ‘fix everything’ in a troubled marriage. More often than not, the stress of a newborn can bring even more turmoil to a fractured relationship.

Support
 
Please do not suffer in silence. Abuse will only get worse if you are isolation.

Please look for a culturally-sensitive counsellor and ask for help. Reach out to trusted family members and friends. You are not alone.

Istikhara

Please perform the Prayer of Need as much as you need to, and the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times. Beg Allah to lift this tribulation from you. Observe the result of your istikhara.

Speak to your husband about seeking out marriage counselling. If your husband resists change and continues to hurt you, then that is your answer. If your husband is open to change, then that is your answer.

Divorce
 
For as long as you are alive, you have choices. Do you honestly see your husband changing his ways? Exhaust all options before considering ending your marriage.

Divorce is not the end of the world. It may be a release for you, and a way for you to grow into a stronger, wiser, more compassionate version of yourself.

However, if your husband is willing to change and work on your marriage, then stay and work things out. Only you can decide. Continual abuse robs you of your ability to trust in yourself, so please get help. Find ways to empower yourself enough to make the best choice for your dunya and your akhirah.

Moving forward

If you end your marriage, when you are ready, please learn from this terrible experience. Assume nothing when it comes to discussing marriage with a potential husband. Bring everything to the table. Learn your rights and your responsibilities through a course such as Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

I pray that Allah grants you a way out of this hardship. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

My Husband Mistreats Me and He Doesn’t Pray
[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 through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

How Can I Fix My Empty Marriage?

Answered by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Question: Assalam alaykum,

My husband never attempted to understand the pain and difficulty I was going through after leaving my family and my lifestyle behind. He claims he is too stressed to spend time with me and he spends this time playing games. Whenever I try to speak to him about this we end up arguing. I always try to please him but our relationship has gone very stale.

How can I save my marriage?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this message reaches you in the best of health and iman.

I wanted to recommend a great book to you called “The Relationship Cure” by Dr. John Gottman. In that book he talks about how to turn around a marriage that has taken a turn for the worse, and practical steps you can take to improve the relationship.

I really admire as to how no matter what, you kept trying and trying to do things for your husband and overlook how his stress level was affecting your relationship. You just need to remember that we live this life seeking the pleasure of Allah Most High in absolutely everything we do, so even though your husband may not be responding in the best of ways, this may be a means of your works having even greater value with Allah Most High – because despite his emotional state you continue to strive to be a good wife and create an uplifting environment to come home to. If you do these things for your husband, then his lack of response or appreciation will wear you down over time, however when you are striving for the sake of Allah Most High, then your patience/ tolerance level increases manifold levels. Then you are able to continue to see your husband as someone who needs your support and kindness, rather than seeing him in a negative light.

You may want to consider encouraging your husband to pursue studies & ultimately a career in a field that he enjoys more and is more passionate about. Secondly, he is not required to pay for the home renovations for his parents. Rather he is just supposed to make sure they are comfortable and have money for their food etc. This way he is taking too much of an unnecessary load upon himself. If they have their own savings then they can provide for themselves, he is not required to support them financially.

Consider it a fun challenge to try and cheer him up and turn his mood around. I would keep giving him compliments, even if he gives none in return or only returns insults. Remember with every kind word you give him it is worth many times its value in reward with Allah Most High. And if he speaks badly of you and you remain patient and upon good character, you receive reward and your sins can be forgiven, so you are still “the winner” so to speak.

In marriage one often sees the worst points about one’s spouse, but one needs to be able to overlook those and focus more on one’s own shortcomings so that one can be committed to constant improvement. We can never really control another person no matter how much advice we give, but we can control ourselves and commit to upholding the best of character like how our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم did.

Men often don’t want to sit down and discuss how “we can make things better” or discuss out a certain problem they are having – because this oftentimes makes the situation much worse as people feel hurt more by being directly confronted. Rather one needs to think with wisdom as to how they can direct a person to change without saying a word. This requires a great deal of thought and almost coaching the other person through baby steps towards the end goal of the behaviour you want to see from them.

So just keep smiling and upholding good character and doing kind gestures for him and other people, and remember Allah Most High is seeing everything you are doing, and your recording angels are recording. Also I would recommend you do stuff for yourself that you enjoy or make you happy, such as buying fresh flowers for the house, or periodically spending good time with your own friends etc.

Masha Allah you sound like a great person, very patient, and very caring towards others. Remember Allah Most High sometimes send us these blessed kinds of reminders in this world that nothing should be more beloved to us than Allah & His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. So be grateful for this opportunity to see past this current state of affairs, to the One who truly deserves your love.

The upshot of this is hang in there, keep going, keep a high intention, and Allah Most High Himself with alleviate your condition in the best of ways. May Allah Most High bless you and your family and grant you tranquility in this world and the Next, ameen. Barak Allahu feeki!

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to email me anytime insha Allah.

Wassalam
[Ustadha] Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar)

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar) inspires her students as a living example example of what is possible when one is committed to gaining sacred knowledge.  Teacher, student, activist, mother, wife — Umm Umar shows that it is possible to balance worldly responsibilities with the pursuit of knowledge.

Umm Umar was born and raised in Canada, where she graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. During her university studies, she was actively involved in MSA work at the local and national levels. After graduation, she set out to formally pursue sacred knowledge, studying Arabic at the University of Damascus and Islamic studies at Jamia Abi Nour and taking private classes in Qur’anic recitation, Prophetic traditions, Islamic Law (Hanafi) and the Prophetic biography.

My Husband Does Not Want Marital Relations. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband is not interested in having marital intimacy with me no matter how much I beautify myself for him. When I try to talk to him about this, he becomes aggressive. But He spends a lot of money on me. Am I being ungrateful?

I left my studies and work to relocate with my husband after marrying me. Do I continue to observe patience?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Final decision

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

Dear sister, have you completed performing the Prayer of Guidance seven times? If so, then observe how events have unfolded in your life. If your husband agrees to go to counselling with you, stops abusing you, or responds to your request for marital intimacy, then take this is a sign that your marriage is worth saving. However, if he persists in neglecting and hurting you, then please consider taking steps to end your marriage.

Although divorce is the most hated of permissible things to Allah, this may be a mercy to both of you. Even if he doesn’t want to end your marriage, you have the right to, if you wish. You can request for a khula’ (separation) and return your mahr to him. If your husband resists, please speak to a compassionate local scholar and seek his assistance. MashaAllah, you are an educated and capable woman, and your provision is with Allah.

Emotional needs

Wanting love, affection and intimacy from your husband is not an unreasonable request. You are not being ungrateful. Please take comfort in that. Please continue to see your counsellor, especially if you choose to end your marriage. There is an unnecessary amount of stigma surrounding divorce in the Muslim community, so take heart in knowing that even the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) divorced and remarried.

Libido

To help with your feelings of sexual frustration, I encourage you to fast, and refrain from things that inflame your desire. Cut down on red meat, and have more cooling foods in your diet. Consult a naturopath for dietary advice.

Please forgive me for my bluntness, but if you are ever tempted to commit zina out of frustration, then you are permitted to masturbate to avoid that greater sin.

Support

I am sorry that you have struggled to find support from fellow Muslims. Alhamdulilah for the help you receive from non-Muslims. May Allah gift them with guidance.

Please look after yourself during this difficult time and reach out to your loved ones for support. A decision like divorce is a difficult one, and it is during times like this that you will find out who your true friends are. Remember that Allah Most High is always with you, no matter how much creation lets you down.

I pray that Allah grants you an opening, lifts your tribulation and rewards you for your steadfastness.

Please see:

Muslim Scholars On Spousal Abuse: “In Islamic law it is absolutely unlawful to abuse a wife, injure her, or insult her dignity.” – Allahcentric
Problems in the bedroom department play a huge part in the failure of many marriages.

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 through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.