My Teenager Is Disrespectful and Has No Empathy. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have a teenager who is hyper most of the time, is disrespectful to everyone around her (elders and children), has no empathy and says some things that are out of context. I am stuck as how to deal with her. Can you help me?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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


I encourage you to bring your daughter to get some kind of behavioural and mood assessment. It is possible that she may be struggling with something deeper. If your teenager has no empathy, then she may be on the autism spectrum. If she is, then it is imperative for you to get the right kind of support.

If she is not, it still sounds like she is struggling with basic rules of interaction. Please consider finding a culturally-sensitive counsellor for her. Family therapy may also be useful for you and your daughter.


You describe your teenager as being hyper. What is her daily screen time usage? It may be a good idea to limit her screen time to one hour a day. Please look at articles like this for ideas.

What is her diet like? Common dietary causes of irritability could be certain types of food or preservatives. Look at articles like this to guide your teenager’s food consumption.


What are some ways you can help your teenager feel more connected to you? Can you spend some quality time, no-expectation time together on a daily basis? Please read this article for more ideas.

Respectful behaviour

I encourage you to set clear limits with your daughter. Before social events, remind her about what is respectful behaviour with elders: giving salams, addressing them by appropriate titles, making eye contact, smiling etc.

With younger children, encourage her to be compassionate, forgiving, gentle, and so on.

If you have already established these clear guidelines and she still does not comply, it could be because she is genuinely struggling to read social cues. Again, this goes back to her possibly being on the autism spectrum. She is not trying to be difficult; she may be finding social situations too difficult and overwhelming for her.


I cannot imagine how stressful this must be for you. Please know that Allah Most High knows how much you are trying. Do not blame yourself for your daughter’s shortcomings. Instead of blame, focus on problem-solving.

Please look after yourself in this time. I encourage you to do at least one thing for yourself every day – a cup of tea, a walk in the park, or a phone call to someone who can listen to you and offer warm support.


Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace), “The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): ‘I supplicated my Rabb but my prayer has not been granted’.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Please remember the power of your duas. Don’t give up on your daughter, and please don’t lose hope. Allah can transform her. It will take time, but it is entirely possible for your daughter to become a kinder, more grounded, and  more compassionate version of herself. I know of many troubled teens who have become pillars of strength and support to others in their late twenties and beyond.

Spiritual nourishment

Continue to perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night for your daughter. Consider giving small regular charity and make dua for your daughter’s healing. May Allah draw you ever close to Him through this trial, grant healing for your daughter, and soothe your tired heart. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Emotional First Aid

[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.

Is It Impermissible to Marry a Daughter of an Alcohol Trader? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I expressed my interest to marry a girl but my father was concerned about the fact that she is the daughter of an alcohol trader. Is it impermissible to marry her or even to think about marrying her?

Answer: Assalam alaykum. I pray this finds you in the best of states.

It is not impermissible to think about marrying the daughter of such a person, nor is the daughter herself impermissible to marry. The disobedience of a parent does not negate the piety of the child, and the child should not be judged just because of the parent’s behaviour, especially if she is against her father’s work

Nevertheless, consideration should still be taken when considering marriage, as the parents will become your in-laws, and your future children’s grandparents, and from this angle, your father’s concern is valid.

Considerations when marrying

Marriage is potentially more than just two individuals getting together, it is two families forming kinship, and it is the beginning of a new family coming into being. The most important aspect to the success of marriages and family life is piety.

The Prophet ﷺ said, A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious.’ [Al Bukhari, Muslim].

One should look for a spouse that is pious and has good character, and ideally from a good and religious family. For these reasons, I would suggest you work with your parents in making the right decision.

May Allah grant you every good.

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.

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.

Is It Allowed for My Mother to Give Preference to Me Over My Brothers in Her Will?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: My beloved mother has always maintained that she wants to give her jewelry and property to me and not my brothers (I’m an only sister of 2 brothers). Can she do that?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

If other members who are entitled to the inheritance agree to this, it would be permitted for you to take possession of such wealth. [al-Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar]


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Fabio

Celebrating The Arrival of Puberty With Your Daughter

Writer, women’s aid worker and mother of three, Jazmin Begum Kennedy has little patience for the sense of shame often attached to a girl experiencing puberty and menstruation. 
Puberty – yes, the dreaded P word – is such a daunting phase for parents, but it really shouldn’t be. Physical changes in the body, hair growth, body odour, and of course, the imminent first period, should be something to be celebrated, not an embarrassment. For girls, developing breasts and having their first period are major turning points in their lives; this is their transition from girl to womanhood, so why should there be shame attached to it?

Culture of Shame

In many cultures, society deems puberty for women as embarrassing, unclean and something no one should speak openly about. The physical changes in pubescent bodies can be traumatic and confusing for any girl, without having to face this stigma. Allowing our young girls to believe they should feel shame only adds to the stress and anxiety, possibly even leading them to despise their own bodies.
As grown women, we all know that menstruation isn’t exactly a walk in the park and so young, impressionable girls grow up dreading this life-changing event. It’s a crucial time and parents need to be actively involved in offering assistance and empathy.
balancing family

A Long List of Don’ts

In the South Asian culture I come from, we’re taught not to leave sanitary products in the family bathroom for fear of discovery by the menfolk – menstruation is a closely guarded secret of which the men must remain completely oblivious. A recent discussion on the Muslim Mamas page I help administer, revealed that many women were woken by their mothers for the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan (suhoor) while menstruating, even though they were religiously excused from fasting. If they didn’t join in, their father and brothers would know they had their period and this was an unthinkable option. Many lied about fasting and even pretended to offer the five daily prayers just to keep up the pretense.
It sounds ridiculous but it’s common in many cultures, not just mine. Menstruation is a fact of life. Every woman on this planet experiences it from puberty onwards so why all the secrecy?

The Example of The Prophet ﷺ

I read this remarkable story recently about Umayyah bint Qays (may Allah be pleased with her) a pre-pubescent girl who joined the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his army on their way to Khaybar.

“Then we set out with him. I was a young girl. He made me sit on his she-camel behind the luggage. I saw the bag had got traces of blood from me. It was the first time I had a period. Then I sat forward on the camel [to hide it] and I was embarrassed. When the Messenger of God saw what happened to me and the traces of blood, he said, “Perhaps you have had menstrual bleeding?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Attend to yourself. Then, take a container of water, then put salt in it, then wash the affected part of the bag, then come back.” I did so. When God conquered Khaybar for us, the Prophet took this necklace that you see on my neck and gave it to me and put it on my neck with his own hand. By God it will never be parted from me.” She wore the necklace her entire life and stipulated that she should be buried with it.

SubhanAllah, this young girl started her first period, on a camel, away from her womenfolk, surrounded by men including the greatest man that ever walked the earth. When the Prophet ﷺ saw the blood, he didn’t embarrass her nor shout, “Astaghfirullah! Haraam! You should be at home, with your mother!” Instead of ordering her to leave, as she was now mature, he taught her about purification at that moment in time. He didn’t scold her or accuse her of being a fitnah, nor tell her to cover up more; instead, he made this embarrassed young girl feel honoured and special by giving her a gift. How many men – or even women, do we know, who would react that way?
In contrast, we are mortified if the tiniest drop of blood leaks onto our clothing. We are often mocked, our self-esteem takes a hit and we become painfully self-conscious. In some cultures, menstruating women are even told they should keep out of sight.

Mass Re-Education is Required

I firmly believe that we need to educate people on the blessings of menstruation. During Ramadan, menstruating women are not handicapped in their attainment of rewards. The angels continuously write down their good deeds so long as the women are performing these in order to please Allah. It is the one time Allah has exempted us from obligatory prayers – this “break” is an ideal time to reflect and recuperate.
We can’t remove the stigma associated with menstruation overnight as it is the result of deeply ingrained attitudes in both men and women, but as parents, particularly mothers, change can begin in our own homes. Mothers are the first friends and teachers. It’s our role to guide our children – don’t leave this important task with the teachers at school.
We need to mentally prepare our girls, reassuring them that the changes are natural, and support them every step of the way. Instead of an awkward, uncomfortable time, we should make it a happy transition to womanhood. Yes, menstruation can be difficult for some but none of it is unsurmountable.

Be Prepared

Here are my suggestions as to how, as mothers, we can make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Communicate: Talk to your daughter. You went through this yourself so you shouldn’t be embarrassed to openly discuss bodily changes. In this confusing and emotional time, she needs your experience, wisdom and gentle support. Her hormones will cause havoc with her emotions and it can all be overwhelming, so be there for her and explain it all in an easy-to-follow manner.
2. Pubic Hair: Show your daughter how to remove pubic hair and teach her how often, Islamically, she is required to remove it. Try several methods of hair removal to find the one that ismost comfortable for her. Discuss personal hygiene. Turn the issue of sweat and body odour associated with puberty into fun mother and daughter time as she tries out different products with you.
3. First Bra: Take your daughter for her first bra fitting. On the Muslim Mamas page, many mums said they found shopping for such personal items embarrassing. Many recalled their own experience of puberty as just being given vests and bras to wear with no explanation and so, they planned to do the same with their own daughters. Let’s break the pattern. Remember, Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘Do not raise your children the way your parents raised you; they were born for a different time’.

4. Menstruation: Discuss all the dos and don’ts of menstruation. The average age for puberty used to be 11 or 12 but girls are experiencing it as early as 8 or 9 these days. Ensure you prepare her well in advance so it’s not unexpected and frightening for her. Puberty at this age is more difficult as children rarely think about personal hygiene, let alone the added responsibility of changing sanitary towels, keeping themselves clean and properly disposing of the pads. Lighten the load by instructing them carefully. Buy a separate bin for them and create a space for all their cleaning products.
5. Inform The Men. You don’t need to announce it to the world; we must still practice haya but fathers and brothers need to be aware of the changes in their daughter or sister. If she isn’t praying or fasting due to menstruation, then tell them rather than hide it. It’s much easier to inform them in advance than to have them ask about it. If you explain menstruation to a brother, then he’s far more likely to show his sister and other girls respect and not ask insensitive questions. It’s imperative that boys learn never to mock as doing so causes anxiety and self-consciousness.
6. Learn: Enroll into a Fiqh of Menstruation course. If your daughter is old enough, have her join you. Use this opportunity to bond with her and be sure to end it with dessert. Your daughter will always remember the sweetness of the day. Buy a comprehensive book on this subject. I would recommend Ustadha Hedaya Hartford’s Coming of Age, a book aimed at teenage girls. There’s also Imam Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted: Complete Fiqh of Menstruation & Related Issues. This book is the explanative translation of a major Islamic legal work on menstruation, lochia, and related issues. It provides accurate information and practical arrangement of charts and texts making it an important reference for every Muslim family.
7. Be Prepared: After having the ‘talk’ with your daughter, prepare a beautiful hamper containing things she will need for the coming of age phase. Here’s the First Blush of Womanhood hamper I created for my daughter.

It contains,

  • A Muslim Girl’s Guide to Life’s Big Changes
  • Dua book
  • First bra, crop vests, and tight, full briefs for when she’s menstruating
  • Girly nighties and pretty pyjamas
  • Pretty nightgown and slippers
  • Sanitary towels, both disposable and reusable pads. With the disposable pads, I recommend the cheaper brands as they don’t contain harsh chemicals.
  • Heart shaped hot water bottle to ease cramps
  • Chocolate for comfort
  • Himalayan salt and organic deodorants, body sprays, body wash set, intimate wash, and lots of organic facial cleaning products. Buy as many natural products as possible to avoid the harsh chemicals. I use Sunnah Skincare as their products are organic and reasonably priced.
  • Pretty flannel to match bath towels
  • Bath gloves
  • Pretty nail clipper set
  • Scented drawer liners
  • Sensitive hair removal cream, first shaving kit or hair trimmer

Make this hamper an exciting gift, and use it as an opportunity to show your willingness as a parent to involve yourself actively in this special phase of her life.

Jazmin Begum Kennedy (JBK) is a ‘Qualified Housewife.’ By day she is a mother, wife and teacher; by night she wages war against oppressors and writes books. She is an experienced teacher of primary and secondary education, an acclaimed professional artist (JBK Arts) and published author of Mercy Like the Raindrops, Blessed Bees, No School Today and the upcoming novel, Fifteen. Jazmin is an online counsellor specialising in domestic abuse, rape and child abuse. She also physically helps victims of domestic violence flee their abusive marriages. She is the co-founder of the Nisa Foundation, working as a women’s aid worker for victims of domestic violence. JBK currently homeschools her three children, whilst managing a network for Home Educators in the Greater Manchester area of the United Kingdom.

Mother and daughter by the lake, by Chris Wood.


Resources on puberty, parenting and related issues

Can I Still Speak to My Non-Practising Daughter, Who Chose to Be Artificially Inseminated?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My daughter is not a practicing Muslim and does not want to talk about Islam. She chose to be artificially inseminated. Her divorced mother supports her. She did this because she did not find the right man. What is my status, as her father? What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you patience and draw you closer to Him through this trial.


Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Whoever has taqwa of his Lord and maintains ties of kinship, his term of life will be prolonged, his wealth will be abundant, and his family will love him.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Even though your daughter has sinned, the child she bears is innocent. However, this child will be born into a home which is currently far from Islam. This makes it even more important for you, as the child’s grandfather, to keep strong ties with the child as well as her/his mother. InshaAllah, you will be a positive role model for your grandchild.

Wisdom and tact

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Three supplications are answered without a doubt: the supplication of someone who is oppressed, the supplication of someone on a journey, and the supplication of parents for their children.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Although it must be extremely heartbreaking to see your own daughter wilfully disobey Allah, please continue to make dua for her. Your duas for her are inshaAllah accepted, even if you do not see them answered immediately.

In addition to that, please spend time with her, and treat her with love and compassion. Do not preach about Islam if this will bring about more harm than good. Show your sincere concern for her in other ways. Support her in her pregnancy, be there for her when she is faced with the reality of caring for a newborn, and do so with an attitude of sincerity and warmth. InshaAllah your good character will soften her heart towards Islam.


Please try your best to uphold good character when interacting with your daughter’s mother. The way you treat her will impact on your daughter’s opinion of you. Having divorced parents can be painful even for adult children, and it is even harder when there is still hostility.


“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! “ [2:214]

Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to grant guidance to your daughter and your unborn grandchild. Never lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. Have a good opinion of Him, and trust that everything happens for a reason. Our role is not to ask why, but to respond in ways which are most pleasing to Him.


Becoming a mother will change your daughter on many levels, inshaAllah. I pray that giving birth and raising a child will bring her closer to Allah.

Please refer to the following links:

What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Should I Support Financially the Illegitimate Child of My Deceased Father?
Can I Claim a Child from an Illicit Relationship?


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is a Father Who Molests His Daughter Still Considered Her Mahram (Unmarriageable Kin)?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: What punishment is given to a father who (sexually) molests his own daughter? Is he still considered her mahram?

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

As salamu alaikum,

All praises are for Allah Most High, the Gently Kind and Loving. I’m very sorry to hear about this. Allah is on the side of the innocent child who has been violated through this abominable crime, and will call the perpetrator to full justice on the Day of Judgment. That will indeed be a day more horrifying for the oppressors than one can imagine. The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Beware of oppression, for indeed oppression will be waves of darkness on the Day of Judgment.” [Bukhari]

Someone who has been affected by this should not delay in seeking counseling, through professional channels, as well as a mature scholar in the community. They should make Allah their closest companion through constant supplication and remembrance. Whereas the prayers of so many people have a veil between them and Allah, for this person, Allah has removed all veils for them. The Prophet [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said, “Fear the supplication of the oppressed person, for there is no veil between it and Allah.” [Bukhari]

Punishment for Crimes and the Recompense of those Afflicted

While descriptions of punishments for certain crimes were told to us, this was done to give mankind a glimpse at how terrible the torment of Hellfire is for the wrongdoers; surely there are punishments for other crimes that we do not know of, but that are beyond description and imagination.

In exchange, those who were wronged will be recompensed immensely for what they patiently had to live with in this life, according to the severity of what they went through. As Allah promised His beloved Prophet: “And the Hereafter will indeed be better for you than what came before.” [Quran 94:4]

Is the Father Still Considered a Mahram? What Are the Legal Implications?

As for whether the father is still considered a mahram (unmarriageable relative), he would technically still be a mahram to the daughter. However, it would be obligatory upon the daughter to avoid all situations of seclusion with the father, given his corruption and untrustworthiness.

This would be true of whether something actually occurred, or something like this is feared will happen. Thus, if he is her sole mahram, Hajj would not be obligatory for her, as the father would not be fit to travel alone with her as a guardian. This is what I have learned upon consulting Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, one of the world’s foremost jurists specializing in family issues according to Islamic Sacred Law.

True Healing is Through the Remembrance of Allah

The final thing to remember is that true healing occurs only by completely giving one’s pain and grief up to Allah in devotion, and through that, realizing His never-ending warmth, love and mercy for you. He says, “Lo, by the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find rest.” [Quran 13:28]

We ask Allah Most High to make it easy for those who have suffered from this and to heal their hearts, and to eradicate this abominable crime from our communities.


Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani