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Keeping Family Ties Through Intergenerational Trauma – Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil reflects on why she travels with two small children, and how to break the cycle of  intergenerational trauma.intergenerational trauma

I started to write this while my two jetlagged daughters were finally fast asleep. My husband, young daughters and I have just returned from our annual visit to Sydney, Australia. There, I finally get to reconnect with my mother, my siblings, their spouses, my nieces and my nephew. We are exhausted, and yet, we plan to visit again next year, if Allah wills, and the year after that.

These experiences allow me to see this hadith in a new way:

Malik related to me from Sumayy, the mawla of Abu Bakr from Abu Salih from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Travelling is a portion of the torment. It denies you your sleep, food, and drink. When you have accomplished your purpose, you should hurry back to your family. [Muwatta Malik]

There are the challenges that come with being trapped in an aeroplane with small children. And there are the hardships when we land. And there are the readjustments when we come home. It’s not easy. And yet, we keep visiting our family in Sydney, year after year.

Why? I have my sentimental reasons. I miss the city I grew up in. I miss my family, my friends, tasty Arab and Turkish food. I miss the bush, and I miss the beach.

But my most important intention in our annual trip to Sydney is linked to blood. I want my daughters to know their grandmother, aunties, uncles and cousins. My daughters are unlikely to remember these early years of their life, but I pray that their hearts will always know how much they are loved. In a world so fragmented, I want my daughters to be deeply rooted in the foundations of our families.

We are all bound by blood, and blood is not always easy. My family and I have gone through deep valleys of pain. I am grateful that my trials brought me on a journey towards Allah. Now, I am at the most challenging and rewarding leg of my journey – motherhood.

Every day, I commit to breaking my family’s cycle of intergenerational trauma. I commit to intentional, peaceful parenting. I refuse to inflict my nafs on my children. On good days, I can stay calm and rise above the challenges that come with being the main caretaker for my children. On bad days, when I am running low on sleep and patience, I can see the temptation to lash back. And when I slip up, I always say sorry. I want my daughters to learn how important it is to take responsibility for their mistakes, to make amends, and repair their relationships. I hope to model that for them, I pray that Allah fills in the rest and forgives me for my shortcomings.

While my daughters sleep, I look up flights to Sydney for next year. Until then, I tell stories to my children about their grandfather, grandmother, aunties, uncles and cousins. They are too young to understand the meaning of divorce, estrangement, and inherited pain. But what they do understand is love.

May our children never hunger for our love. May we teach them how much Allah and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) love them. May we all be reunited with our loved ones in Jannahtul Firdaus.


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.


 

Prophetic Parenting Part 1 – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophetic Parenting series, taught by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani,  covers 40 Hadiths on raising righteous Muslim children.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani opens the session by bringing the discussion to the pre-marriage phase; choosing a spouse.

A successful marriage will be with somebody who has good character, empathy, generosity, and other inner trails, while things like beauty and wealth can fade away. This world is provision and a means, and the best provision in it is a righteous spouse.

Good character is very important because children are extremely impressionable from a young age. It is important for parents to model qualities that they want the children to instil, such as honesty and accountability.

In addition, parents should make their choices carefully, and make them for the sake of Allah, knowing that they have immediate moral consequence in this world, and in the hereafter.

Parents’ actions will affect their relationship with their children, and have emotional, physical, and moral consequences. The Prophet Muhammad was incredibly expressive in his love, and he described his two grandsons as “the two joys in my life.” He would regularly express his love to his family members and others. Parents shouldn’t be shy to be expressive in their love to each other and to their children,

In addition, parents should have a good idea of how they want to raise their children, and ways to achieve those goals. Secondly, they should have a good idea how to have a healthy and gentle how to install adab, or proper manners, in their day-to-day routine.

About the Series

As Muslims, we take family and our children seriously. We seek clarity and guidance to raise upright, righteous, successful Muslim children who love Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover 40 hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on parenting.

Beginning with how to choose a spouse while keeping in mind future parenting, to raising and educating children from when they’re small to when they are young adults. We will also see beautiful, faith-inspiring examples of the Prophet’s mercy, gentleness, wisdom, and excellence in his own parenting and dealing with children–while inculcating in them the highest of aspiration, discipline, curiosity, intelligence, and spiritual resolve.


 

Is It Obligatory to Try to Have Children?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I don’t want children in the future. I am very sure about it. But I heard from a lot of people that this isn’t Islamic correct. I don’t get it. Maybe it is mustahab to have children but you can’t make a women put in such a pressure and let feeling her bad for her choice. What is the truth about this matter?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

One of the noble objectives of marriage is offspring. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in surah al-Baqarah, “So now have relations with them, and seek that which Allah has decreed for you”. Many of the scholars stated that, “that which Allah has decreed for you.” refers to children.

The right to having children is a right of both husband and wife. Your question does not mention your specific circumstance. Are you married? Does your husband want children? Whose criticizing you and making you feel bad?

If it is that you are married and individuals outside your marriage are criticizing you, then you should ignore them. However, if it is your husband that desires children, then, unless you have a valid reason or excuse, you should not be stripping him of this right. Similarly, had it been the wife that desires children, the husband, unless he has a valid reason or excuse, should not deprive his wife from her rights. The Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam in a narration, indicating to the wife’s right to have children, prohibited the husband from practicing coitus interruptus without the permission of his wife.

Further, it’s important for husband and wife to discuss these matters prior to marriage. When both parties agree not have children then there is no problem in that.

Finally, psychiatrists mention a number of reasons why certain women may be completely deterred from having children, many of them relating to her youth or upbringing. This is a worthy avenue to explore as it may present solutions to a challenging situation.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

How to Raise Children in Difficult Environments?

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

A woman who lives with her husband and children in a non-Muslim home, what is her responsibility in safeguarding her faith and the faith of her children?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

She is responsible for:

-Filling her heart and the hearts of her children with the love of Allah, The Truth, and His Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his folk)

-Guarding the performance of the obligatory prayers

-Taking on a share of the [consistent] reading the of Quran

-Recitation of the morning and evening supplications

-Frequent recounting of the Sirah (biography) of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his folk), both among the spouses and to the children
[Mention of] the news of returning back to Allah, entering into the life in the grave (barzakh), the Day of Judgment, and Paradise and Hellfire.

-In addition, the parents should arrange for their children gatherings of group remembrance during the week; if not every night.

-On occasion, they should present to them beneficial lectures and recordings of the righteous.

-Vigilant supervision of their children’s behavior and character;

All this is to be done infused with the spirit of mercy, beautiful kindness, intellectual persuasion and gentle demeanor.

Translated by Rayshaud Jameer

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

Am I Obligated to Look After My Difficult Grandchildren If I Cannot Manage?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My daughter is married and lives on the same street as me. I have said that I can’t look after the children whenever they have had enough, or when they want to go out child-free. Her husband forces her to send them to me when she knows that I am unable to take them. Then he badmouths me, saying that I won’t have the children. He instigates the children to go to me, so much so, that I’ve stopped going out in case I cross their path and he foists the children on me when I can’t manage. He won’t take no for an answer. Am I obliged to take the children if I can’t manage?

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.

Obligation

Fiqh-wise, the obligation for care of children falls solely on their parents. You are not obligated to care for them. It would be praiseworthy for you to care for your grandchildren, but only if you are able to.

Your grandchildren did not ask to be born. Your daughter and son-in-law are responsible for their care. It is deeply troubling to hear that your son-in-law would leave them all day with you if he could.

Support

Who do you have to lean on for support? You sound very alone in this struggle.

I encourage you to seek out a culturally-sensitive counsellor who can help you learn better coping strategies. She can teach you how to assert yourself and resolve conflict, for example.

It is troubling to hear that you have stopped leaving your home, out of fear of running into your daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.You need to nourish your own self, and isolating yourself in your home may lead you to feeling trapped and depressed.

Childcare

Your daughter and her husband need to come up with better solutions for childcare. It sounds like your grandchildren are craving more play, connection and boundary-setting from their parents. Children can tell when their parents are distracted and unhappy to be around them. This triggers deep feelings of insecurity, making them clingier and more challenging to be with. Foisting them on you will not fix that. This is why it is so important for you to hold your own boundary. Your daughter and son-in-law need to spend more nourishing time with their children, and not less.

As a mother of two children under the age of 3, I have found Dr Laura Markham’s Aha! Parenting and Patty Wipfler’s Hand In Hand Parenting resources to be extremely helpful. Both approaches come from a place of peaceful and deep connection between parent and child. Perhaps you can read up on these, and suggest these resources to your daughter and her husband.

In addition, I encourage you, your daughter and your son-law to enrol in SeekersHub’s Parenting in Islam: How to Raise Righteous Children.

Your daughter will probably benefit from sending her children to part-time nursery/preschool/daycare. This is obviously more expensive than sending them to you, but the routine, peer play and guidance of caring teachers may be good for them.

Change is uncomfortable for most of us, even when we need it most. As your son-in-law will not take no for answer, then you must stand up for yourself in as clear a way as possible. Again, strategise with your counsellor or life coach about how to better set this boundary.

Boundaries

MashaAllah, you have already gone through the hard years of parenting your own children. Grandparenting is an entirely different stage of your life, and it would be better if you chose to care for your grandkids willingly, from a heart free of resentment. Some space from them may be what you need.

This may sound extreme, but if they continue to disrespect your wishes, then perhaps moving further away from your daughter, at least temporarily, may be a solution. You will naturally feel guilty for moving away. Make space for these feelings of guilt, and remind yourself that your self-care comes first. You do not want to end up making dua against your daughter, her husband and her children, in a moment of deep unhappiness.

I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Need and the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward in this trial. Watch what Allah unfolds for you. For example, if He facilitates your moving to a different location, then that is a sign for you to proceed. If He sends obstacles your way, then that is a sign for you to stay where you are and work things out.

Daughter

Motherhood, especially during the stage of small children, is relentless. I am not sure how old your grandchildren are, but if they are both under the ages of 5, then your daughter and son-in-law are probably sleep-deprived, overwhelmed and potentially depressed. Encourage your daughter, at least, to seek out professional help. Have an honest conversation with her. Find out why they are struggling so deeply to be present with their children.

It is not healthy for your son-in-law to not want to spend time with his own children. This shows to me that he may have many unresolved issues from his own childhood, as parenting can bring up old wounds. The solution is not to ignore these signals, but to use them as opportunities for growth and healing. It may be easier for him to avoid these feelings by leaving them with you, but this robs him of the gift of meaningful connection with his children. So many Muslim children grow up disconnected from their parents, starting from their early years, and it culminates in young adults who do not practice the deen, and who find comfort outside their homes.

For your daughter, especially, I recommend the book Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood In The First Three Years Matters by Erica Komisar. This groundbreaking book describes how important the early years are, and how mothers need to face and work through feelings of guilt for not being present for their children. The impact of these early years of parenting will reverberate for the rest of your grandchildren’s lives. How your grandchildren are being parented today will teach them how to parent, in the future.

I pray that Allah sends you help, heals the rifts between your hearts and blesses your grandchildren with parents who value, love and cherish them.

Please see:

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.

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari on Women of the Quran: Sarah

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, in partnership with Muslimah Media, speaks in a 6-part series about women who are documented in the Quran.

Sarah, wife of Ibrahim

Sarah, wife of the Prophet Ibrahim, is the oldest historical figure mentioned in the Quran. She appears both in the Quran and in the hadith traditions. In Islam, she is understood to be very different from how she is portrayed in other religions.

Rather than portraying her as a bitter and jealous woman, we know that, despite enduring hardships, she was confident that she would be a part of Allah’s miracles. She did have to watch her husband take a second, younger wife who gave birth to a son, Ismael. However, she displayed the character of a true believer by remaining patient and steadfast. Eventually, Allah rewarded her with a child of her own. She was an elderly woman by then, but Allah made it possible through his Mercy and Will.

A relatable woman

Many women can relate to Sarah. She was challenged with infertility, and her struggle is documented in the Quran. After a lot of struggle and patience, Allah granted her a miraculous child.

A group of angels, on their way to the people of Lot, stopped at the house of Ibrahim. They delivered the good news of a child to Sarah. Out of delight, she laughed out loud. This laugh of hers was mentioned in the Quran.

Her child was Ishaq, or Isaac, who became a Prophet just like his father. His son was Yaqub (Jacob), whose son was Yusuf (Joseph), upon them be peace. Therefore, Sarah became the matriarch of a glorious line of Prophets. These Prophets were followed, and are still followed, by countless believers.


Resources for Seekers

Imam Zaid Shakir on the Florida Shootings

The following post by Imam Zaid Shakir was first published on his personal FaceBook page immediately following the shootings. We chose to republish it as it attempts to bypass the emotionally driven factionalism and address the roots causes of what is happening.

School Shootings: More Than Deranged Teenagers

Our condolences to the families of those killed and wounded by Nikolas Cruz in the “Valentine Day Massacre” yesterday in Parkland, Florida. The fact that Parkland was recently rated the 15th safest city in America and the safest in Florida, indicates the kind of mindless violence which has befallen that city can rear its ugly head anywhere.

In looking for causes many will point to the mental challenges the killer was confronting. Others will point an accusing finger at the NRA as a major contributor to this type of continuous carnage. The problem is larger than mental illness and it is larger than the NRA.

“It Is What It Is.”

The problem is a system that demands our country be flooded with guns in order to protect the profits of gun manufacturers.

It is a system that demands the world be flooded with American weapons in order to protect the profits of our weapons manufacturers.

It is a system that demands we engage in an unending series of armed conflicts in order to deplete the inventories of our military stockpiles.

It is a system that allows for the unfettered sale of ever more vicious and violent video games, knowing that such games desensitize human beings to killing (see Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman’s, “On Killing”).

It is a system that spend’s trillions of dollars on war but cannot find money for adequate treatment and housing of the nation’s mentally challenged.

It is a system that is steeped in violence yet cannot admit just how normal violence has become.

The Truth Is…

The truth is that violence has become so normal that a candidate for president can be elected after saying, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters…”

Until we address the nature of the system defining the parameters of our politics, economics, our social and political cultures, and why it breeds such violence these tragedies will continue to occur. As the young folks say, “It is what it is.”

Imam Zaid Shakir

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Is There a Dua Protecting Children from Bad Intentions of People?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am a mother of a 3 year old son. My in-laws want to harm my son. I feel it.

Is there a Dua to protect him from evil people?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you’re facing. May Allah make things easy for you and protect you and your family.

I’m sure living with dominating in-laws can be very difficult and get you down. You have not mentioned your husband’s role or opinion in this. If he is someone you feel you can talk to about your concerns, then you should do so. You have more right than in-laws to the decisions made about your son and where he spends his time. Tell your husband how you feel and discuss ways to find a resolution, including moving out of that area.

If you do not feel comfortable speaking to your husband, see if there is anyone from your family or a neutral figure who may step in and speak on your behalf. As a last resort, is it possible for you to put your foot down, without any serious consequences for you? Do be careful, as unfortunately, in many countries, customs and fixed mind-set prevent people from seeing and doing what is just and proper.

Supplication

Despite our moments of feeling powerless, and obstructed by the will of others, Allah gives us the most powerful means to overcome situations, that is du’a, something that no one can stop. Allah hears your plea, just try to be patient in the meantime and do whatever you can.

– Recite the Tawaudh (أعوذُ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ), the three 3 Quls (al Ikhlas, al Falaq, Al Nas) and Ayat al Kursi over your child in the night and the morning.

– Also, recite over your son often and when he goes out,

أُعِيذُكَ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ ، وَهَامَّةٍ ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لَامَّةٍ

I commend you to the protection of Allah’s perfect words from every devil, vermin, and every evil eye. [al Bukhari]

أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created.
[al Muslim]

– For yourself, make the following supplications,

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَـيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ ، وَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ

O Ever Living, O Self-Subsisting and Supporter of all, by Your mercy I seek assistance, rectify for me all of my affairs and do not leave me to myself, even for the blink of an eye. [al Hakim]


اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ بنْتُ عَبْدِكَ بنْتُ أَمَتِكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاءُكَ أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ ، أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي ، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي ، وَجَلاءَ حُزْنِي ، وذَهَابَ هَمِّي

O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your handmaid, my forelock is in Your hand (i.e. You have total mastery over me), Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just.” I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my bosom, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety. Note: Allah will take away the anxiety and sorrow out of the heart of him who recites this supplication, as mentioned in this hadith by our Prophet ﷺ’ [Ahmad]

– Please also make du’a in your own words, and ask for whatever you need and hope for.

May Allah find you a way out of every difficult situation, and make your heart tranquil.

Related Answers:

The Powerful Dua of a Parent

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.

The Noble Intention of Parents

From Habib Kadhim Al-Saqqaf – Parenting in the Modern World Raising Pious Children

Translated by Shaykh Ahmed Abdo, during the Australian tour, 2017

The noble intention of mothers, fathers and grandparents has an effect on subsequent generations. That’s why we find great Imams, like Imam Bukhari, Imam Shafi’i, before they were born their parents made noble and pious intentions for their children and look what came of them. It is quite clear that good pious intentions of parents will impact upon their children.

The great Salahudeen Ayoubi, he was the one responsible for the re-opening of Jerusalem al Quds. His father was a little delayed in getting married, however he really loved the scholars and the Awliya and he used to frequently visit the scholars and pious ones. So they used to always say to him “Why don’t you get married?”, and he used to always come up with excuses trying to avoid marriage altogether. They wanted to take him to the various scholars and have explained to him why getting married is good, for you are going to get have children and get lots of rewards. And we have in a hadith that two rakats from a married man is more virtuous than 72 rakat of a man that is single. And he used to say, “I just can’t find the right match”, so the people just left him.

And so one day one of the pious men in the city came to this particular shaykh, and he said look every time someone comes to court my daughter I find that these men are just not good. So this father came with his daughter to the shaykh, in order to have the shaykh persuade the daughter to accept one of these proposals. She was from a poor family, but she was quite knowledgeable, she was quite beautiful, she was intelligent.

When she comes to the shaykh with her dad, he says to her “Why don’t you want to get married? Allah has brought different young men to wed you, however you reject them, you’re intelligent you are understanding, you are beautiful”. And she responds to this shaykh, “I don’t want to get married to any ordinary type of man, the man I want to get married to, I want him to be the father of a child that is not ordinary but is a really pious one that Allah is going to grant victory to the Muslims through.”

At this response the shaykh said, “My daughter, this is a good intention, just wait out until that right man comes who is going to be the father of your children, that will allow the victory of the Muslims. And so whilst this young lady was with her father and the shaykh, some of the men came saying that outside is Najmudeen Ayoub the father of Salahudeen, he wants to speak with you. So the shaykh said to the lady and her father, if you could just move to the side a little I’m going to have a discussion with some other people.

Some people came in with Najmudeen (who was the father of the great Salahudeen) saying that they needed some private time with him. So these other men who were with Najmudeen said to the shaykh, “This is one of our generals of the Ummah of the state, Allah has given him wealth power and control and he still doesn’t want to get married.” The shaykh said to Najmudeen “Why don’t you want to get married? Allah has given you all these things.” And so this man says, “Look shaykh, let me let you in on a secret, I can marry the greatest women of the greatest generals of the army of the Muslims, however I don’t want any ordinary girl. I want a women who understands the importance and value of marriage, I want a woman who will be the mother of a general — a leader of the Muslims. And so the man said, “Shaykh, I don’t care if this women is the daughter of some army general of the Muslims or is from a poor family, it doesn’t really matter, just a girl that understands the value of marriage and who wants to be a mother of a child that will be a general a leader of the Muslims.” The shaykh said, “Don’t you worry my son I have this lady here for you with the same intention.

And so we have here a perfect match of intentions of the man and women who want the same thing from their children and they became the mother and father of this great conqueror and general Salahudeen Ayoubi. Therefore the Muslim man and women should make noble intentions before the birth of the child for that piety, this is first, such that we can produce a generation that holds and bears good and benefit for all people and Muslims.

Notes by Ali Chaudhry ~ Parenting in the Modern World Raising Pious Children ~ Habib Kadhim As-Saqqaf ~ Australia Tour 2017

My Husband Doesn’t Want to Have Kids. What Can I Do?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam alaykum

My husband has changed his mind about having kids. It has been a very traumatic experience for me as I love him dearly and I want to have a family with him.

1. My husband argues that there is nothing in Islam that says that a married couple must try to have children. Is it true?

2. If I am unable to convince him, is it haram for me to go off birth control without his permission and pretend to have an accidental pregnancy?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

1. Having children is certainly something encouraged by our religion as evidenced in the Qur’an and sunna. The Qur’an, for example, describes the Prophet Ibrahim (blessings be upon him) as supplicating to God, “My Lord, grant me a child from the righteous.” (37:100)

Similarly, the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) instructed some of his companions to marry those who would bear them children stating, “I will be proud of your great numbers.” [Abu Dawud]

Having children is not only following in the footsteps of past prophetic figures, such as Ibrahim and our Messenger (blessings be upon them), but it is also a blessing in a number of ways. Children are a means for one’s salvation, they are a source of sustenance, and also a form of continual charity for parents. Importantly, having children can be an expression of one’s love for the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) when done with the intention of making him proud of his communities size in the next life.

2. The majority of scholars have stated that a wife’s consent is necessary for any form of birth control – even simple acts of withdrawal (i.e. coitus interruptus). One of the reasons for this is clear: a wife has a right to have children. This is, in fact, one of the main purposes of marriage and for a husband to deny his wife this right is potentially a sin.

As such, your choosing not to carry on with birth control is your decision. With this said, I cannot give any specific advice regarding whether you should simply cease taking birth control without telling your husband. A healthy marriage is based on mutual respect and an openness that is conducive to a healthy relationship. You should speak to your husband openly and stress that having a family is both something the shariah encourages and is a right of yours. He also needs to understand how you feel and the manner in which this will effect the future of your marriage. A third party, such as a reliable marriage counselor and scholar, may also prove helpful in this situation.

If things do not change then you will have to decide what course of action you wish to take. Keep making du`a to God to bless your marriage and facilitate matters for you. You should also perform the istikhara prayer given the seriousness of your situation.

Also see:

The Virtues of Having Children

Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.