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I Work in My Parents’ Restaurant and They Do Not Let Me Pray on Time. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I work at my parents’ restaurant. They wait till they get home to make their prayers up. They won’t let me pray at work and I have to make them up at home. I told them I was going to leave school and find another job to be able to pray on time, but they threatened to kick me out. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out an answer which is pleasing to Him. Please forgive me for the delay.

Parents

This is a delicate situation. I pray that Allah guides your parents and inspires them to uphold their prayer. They are blessed to have you as their son. Continue to make dua for them. Although they are in the wrong for forbidding you to pray at work, you must still treat them with respect.

Reflect on the Prophetic injunction that “there is no obedience to creation if it entails disobedience to the Creator.” [Tabarani, Mu’jam Kabir; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba]

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and beg Allah for an opening.

Solutions

Please sit your parents down and explain that you love them, respect them, and that it is extremely important that you pray on time. Make it clear that you will do so quickly, efficiently, and it will not impact on your job performance.

If they still disagree, when you are at work and prayer time enters, is there anywhere for you to privately perform your prayer? Please remain steadfast on praying on time.

Is there a compassionate local scholar, family member or community elder who can speak to your parents on your behalf?

When all else fails, explain to your parents that you will need to look for a new job that allows you to pray. Many non-Muslim employees are very understanding about your need to perform your prayers.

Threats

Some parents make empty threats when their children do not fall in line. I hope that your parents are bluffing. If not, please save up money and be prepared to live on your own, or with a Muslim roommate. Don’t break ties with your parents even if they do kick you out. Visit them, call them, and give them gifts.

Please refer to the following links:

When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?
If My Parents Prepare Meat That is Not Halal, Should I Avoid Eating It?
Positive Spiritual Thinking: Choosing Mindfulness (taqwa) and Embracing Trust (tawakkul) by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Alpha

When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum

A sister is facing difficulties with her parents. It seems nothing she does pleases them. She is organizing a fundraiser but her father accuses her of using it as a means to do wrong. She also teaches 13-15 year old girls in an Islamic school; her father does not want her involved in this either. What can she do?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Obedience to parents is a general obligation, and one of the most central social injunctions of Islam. Being bad to one’s parents is one of the greatest of the major sins, as the Qur’an and our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) repeatedly explained.

Not Unconditional

HOWEVER, obedience is not unconditional and absolute. If parents forbid one from one’s fard, wajib or confirmed sunna duties, one may not listen to them, as is the case if they order one to do something haram or prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman).

If parents forbid one from something recommended (mandub) or permitted in which there is a personal worldly or religious benefit, then there is detail concerning this point:

-If doing this act leads to the non-fulfillment of one’s obligation or duty to one’s parents, such as financially providing for them or serving them if they are old and have no means but you, then you HAVE to obey them;

-If doing so does not lead to such non-fulfillment, or if they are not dependent on your providing or service, then if obedience to them will lead you to forgo real personal worldly or religious benefit, then one may disobey them, though, as some scholars clarify, this would have to be done with respect, politeness and in an indirect, non-confrontational way, because any show of disrespect, or impoliteness to one’s parents is a grave sin. [Culled from Ibn Abidin’s Hashiya, al-Tahanawi’s Imdad al-Fatawa, Shaykh Taqi al-Uthmani’s Commentary on Jami` al-Tirmidhi, and Imam al-Saffarayini al-Hanbali’s Ghidha’ al-Albab]

At the same time, it is especially important for sisters to realize that Islam generally discourages women, especially young women, to spend unnecessary time outside the house, especially when there is fitna or danger, and, as such, some of the parents’ fears about the sister may stem from this, and have some justification. Therefore, while she should not give up doing such Islamically praiseworthy activities, they should not lead her to spend undue time outside the house, and she should do them in a way that keeps her parents happy.

Usually, being exceptionally good, well-mannered, and loving with parents (and others) makes them so grateful to one that they just cannot be upset with you, even if they disagree with your actions. After a while, they will even grudgingly accept that your religious practice has made you a better child and a better human being. This is what we should seek, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I was only sent to perfect noble manners,” And, “The most weighty thing on one’s scales on the Day of Judgement is good character.”

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Jim Boud

If My Parents Prepare Meat That is Not Halal, Should I Avoid Eating It?

Answered by Ustadh Torab Torabi
Question: My parents get mad at me for eating halal. They yell at me for this. Although, I secretly am still eating halal. For example if they make haram meat at the dinner table, I say I am too full or my stomach hurts. It is really hard to keep this up because they are starting to catch on and realize that I am trying to eat halal. What should I do?
Answer: Walaikum Asalaam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh.
Anytime one is dealing with his parents, he should be very careful not to transgress the bounds placed by Allah. Islam is a religion which fervently espouses filial-piety, and so we must be cognizant of how we interact with them, regardless whether we are on the side of truth or not. Alhamdulillah it seems that you have chosen the correct way to approach this common problem, which is to do so with the utmost adab and respect.
With all this being said, we also have a very important axiom in our religion which says, “There is no obedience to creation in disobedience to the Creator.” You are correct for not eating Haraam meat and should strive to continue doing so.
My advice is to sit down with your parents and ask them why they are upset that you eat Halaal. Let them know that you love them and that after Allah and His Messenger, they are the most beloved people to you. But also mention that you don’t want to disobey Allah and that eating Halaal is very important to you. Try to understand why they are upset and address the issues. Most problems between people actually stem from miscommunication.
Here are some related answers that should prove to be beneficial inshaAllah.
Growing a Beard
Dealing with Parents
Parents and Practicing
May Allah allow us to worship Him in the the way that is most pleasing to Him and may He grant us Prophetic wisdom.
Ameen.
And Allah knows best.
Torab Torabi
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Be a Dutiful Son While Maintaining Independence from Controlling Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Jameela Jafri

Question: I wish to be a good son and fulfill my responsibilities. However I feel overwhelmed by my parents approach towards me. I feel I cannot be independent and live my own life and that my parents expect too much from me. How can I be a good son yet also be independent while respecting my parents wishes?

If I set boundaries and do things I want to won’t that be disobeying them because they want me to do things their way and they want to be informed about everything? How can I do what I want to knowing that if i try to set boundaries and do my own thing it will result in arguments. Can I accept the arguments and still just carry on as I want to?

I am young and in my twenties but this is causing me to feel very stressed, with low self esteem and weak. I just wish to make my own choices and live my own life while being a good son.

My parents being staunch promoters of the Asian full extended family system where there is lots of involvement by parents and siblings in everything and you have to simply follow this without question I expect these issues to worsen. Please advise me.

Answer: Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question. May Allah Most High facilitate ease and success in your life.

With regards to one’s parents, the general situation is that they are to be obeyed and followed in all permissible matters. One should be mindful of ensuring the highest respect and honor towards one’s parents. Allah Most High says, “We have enjoined upon man to be good and dutiful to his parents” (29:8).

It is important for you to maintain this high respect and dutifulness to your parents, while also making space for yourself to grow and make your own choices. There are some matters where it is important and natural for a person – especially a man who will have his own family one day, inshAllah – to exercise control and independence. These includes finances, personal time, private space, etc. As you mention, it is important to have some boundaries in these matters.

As you develop these boundaries, it is important to but to do so in a way that maintains kindness and respect to your parents. This will require you to be emotionally intelligent about their need to be involved in your life. You may need to overcompensate in some areas to balance these needs. Your parents may feel, for example, that you are pulling away from them as you try to assert your independence. Ease their fears by spending more time with them, calling them regularly, or buying them gifts, to the extent possible.

In today’s time, it is a great blessing to have caring parents and a family network – particularly for someone who is still in his early twenties. Your parents will be a source of continued blessings for you in this life and the next, inshAllah. Keep this in mind as you develop your boundaries with them and always maintain positive relationships. There are many people who have complete independence over their personal and financial affairs, but wish that they had an extended family system to provide guidance and advice. In times of difficulty, it is your parents and siblings that will support you.

Jameela Jafri

Related Answers:

Dealing With Parents

Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I asked by mother to get married and she told be about a lady. She said I should speak to her and then marry her if I like her. Now she wants me to cut things off because she doesn’t think the lady’s mother is a good person, even though her mother is very pious and reads the Qu’ran often. Should I obey my mother, or follow my heart and marry the lady?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

It would generally be much wiser to marry with parental approval.

Parents can be convinced. However, realize that they have deep concern, and only want the best for you. It would break their heart if you went ahead without their consent.

If your mother is not keen on it, it may be that she has seen or noticed something which may be detrimental to the relationship in the long term. Women notice things that men don’t. Marriage is a coming together of families, and not simply of the husband and bride to be.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Your love of something blinds and deafens.” [Abu Dawud] It could be that there is an issue which you haven’t considered.

If you have done your homework on her, asked those worthy of consulting, prayed istikhara, and still feel that you should marry her, then continue to insist without any arguing.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Marriage & Dealing With Parents

Marriage & Obedience to Parents

My Family Doesn’t Get Along With My Spouse’s Family

Can I Pursue a Career That Goes Against My Parents’ Wishes?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: Assalaamu `alaykum

Is it ok to pursue a career that goes against my parents’ wishes? I REALLY don’t want to go into any medicinal line but my mom insists, “listen to your parents.” And when she says that, I sort of get scared.  However, if I do pursue medicine, then I’ll be forcing myself into a career path that would just be a drag for the rest of my life AND my plans for getting married would be postponed by too many years for me to handle.

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

Wa alaikum as-salam,

May Allah Most High reward you for your concern.  Unfortunately, being forced into a career path is a common cultural problem, mainly for the children of immigrants to the West.

You are bound to respect your parents in every situation, but you are not religiously bound to pursue a career path against your wishes, especially when it is disadvantageous for you to do so.

As an adult, what is sought of you is that you respect, serve and help your parents, and give them good company.  Parents can be advisers, but not the ultimate decision-makers in their adult child’s life.

If it was not a question of emotional and spiritual harm, there would be merit in obeying them.  This rare level of obedience is neither obligatory nor expected, but it can’t be totally discounted either.

However, if you feel that obeying them in this will bring about emotional or spiritual harm, usurious debt, resentment against your parents, sexual frustration or sin due to delayed marriage, or a wastage of money because you won’t try, then you don’t have to force yourself down a path you dislike.

My advice would be to pray the Prayer of Guidance, and settle on a career.  Share that respectfully with your parents, listing your reasons briefly, and refrain from argument and debate.

Then, be a responsible adult and be proactive with your career plan- don’t hesitate, or bicker, or rely on your parents too much or show immaturity or fear in your decision.  Let them respect you for choosing.

Study hard, work honestly, beautify your character, comportment and inner self, deal with them gently and humbly, and show them that you can still be someone who they can be proud of.  Insha Allah they will come around eventually, but how fast often depends on the good character you embody.

Wasalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

What Do I Do When My Parent Forces Me to Cheat?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: My father is making me attend exams for university and skip my last year of school, something that is considered cheating and illegal.  I know this is wrong,
but  I’m a minor who is still dependent on my family, so I don’t know what to do. I also have these more specific questions:

1)My friends are sure to ask about my education. Can I tell them and smile about it? Or would it be like smiling about a sin? Can I ever be happy at university, knowing my education was attained by wrong means?

2)) Could you call my education haram as of now? And the education that I have to undertake in the following years to come?

3) Would I be receive hardships for these sins I did not commit? You mentioned that in Islam, “we are not questioned by God of sins we commit under duress, mistake or forgetfulness”, so will we be physically tested upon?

4) Could these sins be cleansed by good actions?

Is this question considered backbiting?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

May Allah Most High facilitate this matter for you and reward you for your sincere concern.

Some General Considerations

Cheating is unlawful. Our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever cheats us is not among us.” [Sahih Muslim] A deceptive Muslim remains in Islam, yet the harshness of the prophetic statement indicates the seriousness of the sin.

Another key principle to keep in mind is the prophetic injunction “there is no obedience to creation if it entails disobedience to the Creator.” [Tabarani, Mu’jam Kabir; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba]

Maintain respect and proper etiquette with your father, yet convey to him that you refuse to engage in the unlawful. Do not listen to him if he commands you to cheat or be deceptive. Consult a local scholar there to help you deal with this situation in the best manner possible.

Turn to Allah with all your heart, and be a person of God-consciousness (taqwa): inshaAllah you will find relief from this dilemma. Allah Most High states, “Whoever has taqwa of Allah, He makes for him a way out; and He provides for him from where he least expected it” (65:2-3).

Finally, make much supplication (du’a), such as the beautiful du’a of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “O Allah, suffice me with your lawful, such that I avoid the unlawful; and by Your grace, free me from needing anyone besides You.” [Sunan Tirmidhi]

Your Specific Questions

(1) You are correct in hating the cheating – that is a sign of true and genuine belief. The believer is not pleased with disobedience, and does not express happiness regarding it.

However, you can smile and show gratitude for Allah’s mercy in this situation. You can smile and intend thankfulness at the good in the situation, like your intention to be fair and your commitment to use your education for the sake of Allah, to serve His religion and His servants.

(2) As mentioned above, deception is haram. Yet your university education will come after this phase, and inshaAllah you will uphold full honesty and diligence therein.

(3) InshaAllah, you will not be given hardships for this situation, as you are trying your best to avoid the unlawful.

Do your utmost to avoid the unlawful, and then have a good opinion of Allah Most High. Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that Allah says, “I am in the opinion of My servant” [Bukhari].

(4) Yes, good actions wipe out bad actions, as Allah states, “Verily, good deeds cause bad deeds to disappear” (11:114).

This was confirmed by our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who said in one of the most comprehensive statements of guidance in our tradition, “Be God-conscious wherever you are; follow up a bad deed with a good deed, for it will wipe it out; and interact with people with noble, beautiful character.” [Tirmidhi]

Lastly, it is not considered backbiting when you ask a question to a scholar seeking counsel or legal verdict. [Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha]

May Allah give you a way out of this situation, and open doors of goodness and blessing for you in your education. Amin.

And Allah knows best.

wassalam

Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Must We Obey Our Parents If They Forbid Us From Attending Beneficial Islamic Gatherings?

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I have heard of a hadith of a Yemeni man who wanted to see the Prophet (pbuh) but his mother was elderly and needed him, so the Prophet (pbuh) told the man to stay where he was. (If know of a reference for this hadith or its authenticity, I am interested.)  This emphasizes the importance of caring for parents and decreasing their distress even when sacrificing the righteous companionship (even of a prophet).

Is it permissible for parents to forbid their children from the company of the righteous or attending gatherings of the righteous if they are afraid their children will fall into the wrong group (such as extremist groups)?

What if the parents are not in need (e.g. healthwise) of their children?

What are the permissible and recommended means of dealing with this situation for the children if in their opinion the company they are seeking is righteous and not astray?

What if there does not seem to be a means of convincing the parents? What if the source of the disagreement is a theological one and the parents do not trust the scholars present?

If you could mention both what responses are permissible and which are most beloved to Allah, it would be appreciated. Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful,

As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thank you for your question.  May Allah Most High bless you for the concern you have for respecting your parents.

The story you are speaking about is that of Owais al-Qarni, who lived in Yemen during the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time, but did not get to meet him (and thus, become a Sahabi) because he was in the service of his elderly mother who needed him constantly.  A link on his virtues is attached below.

Yes, it is for discerning and knowledgeable parents to guide their children if they fear that they will fall into the wrong groups.  This is especially when one is living with them as a child.

Later as an adult, their wishes should be respected, but politely weighed against whether the fear is legitimate, and how staying away from good Muslim company is detrimental to one’s faith.

Parents must be spoken to with tact and great respect.  This seems to be an issue of conflicting ideas about the religion, so seek out a trustworthy scholar, who follows traditional Islamic scholarship and understands the society very well, and perhaps ask him his advice, or to mediate a discussion.

Wasalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Further readings include:

My Parents Stop Me From Practising: What Should I Do?

Is Obedience to Parents Absolute?

The Role of Parents in Our Lives

Hadeeth Related to Owais al-Qarni (may Allah be pleased with him) in Sahih Muslim:

Usair bin `Amr (Ibn Jabir) reported: When delegations from Yemen came to the help of (the Muslim army at the time of Jihad) `Umar would ask them :”Is there Owais bin `Amir (May Allah be pleased with him) amongst you?”

(He continued searching him) until he met Owais. He said, “Are you Owais bin `Amir?” He said, “Yes”. `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) asked, “Are you from the Qaran branch of the tribe of Murad?” He said, “Yes”. He `Umar again said, “Did you suffer from leucoderma and then you were cured from it but for the space of a dirham?” He said, “Yes”. He `Umar said, “Is your mother still alive?” He said, “Yes”.

He `Umar said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, `There would come to you Owais bin `Amir with the reinforcement from the people of Yemen. He would be from Qaran (the branch) of Murad. He had been suffering from leucoderma from which he was cured but for a spot of a dirham. He has a mother to whom he is very dutiful. If he were to take an oath in the Name of Allah (Mighty and Majestic is He), Allah (Mighty and Majestic is He) would fulfill his oath. And if it is possible for you, ask him to ask forgiveness for you.’ So, ask forgiveness for me”.

He Owais did so. `Umar then said, “Where do you intend to go?” He said, “To Kufah.” He `Umar said, “Let me write a letter for you to its governor,” whereupon he Owais said, “I love to live amongst the poor people”.

The following year, a person from among the elite (of Kufah) performed Hajj and he met `Umar . `Umar asked him about Owais . He said, “I left him in a state with meagre means of sustenance in a decayed house.” (Thereupon) `Umar said, “I heard Messenger of Allah saying, `There would come to you Owais bin `Amir of Qaran, a branch (of the tribe) of Murad, along with the reinforcement of the people of Yemen. He had been suffering from leucoderma which would have been cured but for the space of a dirham. He has a mother to whom he is very dutiful. Were he to swear, trusting Allah (Mighty and Majestic is He), for something, Allah (Mighty and Majestic is He) would fulfill his oath. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, do so”.

This man went to Owais and asked him to pray for forgiveness for him. Owais said to him, “You have just returned from a blessed journey, it is you who should pray for forgiveness for me; and did you meet `Umar?” The man said, “Yes”. `Owais then prayed for forgiveness for him. People became aware of the high status of Owais and he set out following his course. [Imam Muslim, Saheeh].

Another narration is:

A delegation from Kufah came to `Umar . Among them was one who used to make fun of Owais . `Umar enquired, “Is there anyone among you who is from Qaran?” So this man stepped forward. Then `Umar said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, `A man will come to you from Yemen named Owais. He will have left in the Yemen only his mother. He was suffering from leucoderma and prayed to Allah (Mighty and Majestic is He) to be cured of it. So he was cured except for a space of the size of a dinar or a dirham. Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him.”’ [Saheeh Muslim]

Another narration is:

`Umar said: “I heard Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, `The best one of the next generation (At-Tabi`un) is a man called Owais, he will have a mother and he will be suffering from leucoderma. Go to him and ask him to pray for forgiveness for you”. [Saheeh Muslim].

Interest, Parents, & Upholding Good Character

Answered by Ustadh Faraz Khan

Question: I graduated college early because my family does not have alot of money and i didnt want to accrue much debt. I have a student loan which wont accruse interest until six months after graduation. I can pay it off, but my parents want me to contribute more money to other things. In the past they have had extremely poor decision making in terms of finances. I don’t have much faith in the decisions my parents make when it comes to money matters. Theyve squandered alot of wealth, despite our family situation, on things like lavish weddings, cars, and so forth. They keep taking my brothers savings and spend it without care, thousands of dollars. My parents call me “molvi” and claim that I am very disrespectful for a “molvi” because I try to share the perspective of my brother (who is older) and me. If my parents are upset with me, then Allah is displeased. If I start dealing with interest, then Allah is displeased with me.  I have really tried so hard, but I don’t see an easy way out of this   Please advise.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith. May Allah Most High bless you with ease in this difficult ordeal. Amin.

Avoiding Interest

Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us a key principle when dealing with circumstances such as yours, as he is reported to have said, “There is no obedience to creation if it entails disobedience to the Creator.” [Tabarani, Mu’jam Kabir; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba; Musnad Shihab]

Dealing is interest is unlawful and entails disobedience to Allah Most High; hence, you must take all possible means to avoid it. This is where Allah’s good pleasure lies, inshaAllah.

By the grace of Allah Most High, you have hitherto been able to navigate your way through this situation while avoiding interest; this is very commendable, and your reward is inshaAllah with Allah. You must remain steadfast and not be swayed by decisions that would affect your ability to pay back your loan before interest begins to accrue.

Repaying your loan before that point is your utmost financial priority. Anything else – even if demanded by your parents, and even if it entails a good deed such as maintaining kinship ties, supporting your sister, or the like – is secondary and therefore given no priority over your primary concern. Use this as a gauge to determine whether or not to listen to your parents’ financial requests.

Respecting Your Parents and Upholding Good Character

Notwithstanding your financial priorities, your duty towards your parents should be one of utmost love, respect, kindness and sincere counsel. Obey them in all matters that do not entail contravening the Sacred Law, and be gentle with them.

Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I was sent to perfect noble character.” [Mustadrak Hakim; Sunan Bayhaqi]

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “Verily Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness in all matters” [Bukhari, Muslim], as well as “Gentleness is not found in something except that it adorns it, and is not removed from something except that it ruins it” [Muslim].

Also, please see the discussion on Patience and Trust in the following answer:

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (II)

Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: My non-Muslim parents and relatives are against my practicing of Islam. Obedience and submission to God has no place in their mind. Since I am with them now, far away from scholars and people to ask for advice, my faith is terribly low. Here, I’m involved in sin because I don’t find the strength to tell my family I don’t shake hands with women and that I must fast in Ramadan. My mother seems to be unable to bear such changes because she had many trials in the last years. She cries almost every day. So I don’t know how to tell her that it’s not finished, there’s something more, it’s not just praying five times a day and not eating non halal meat and not having girlfriends.

I keep making supplication to be delivered from this situation but I think my faith is weak. I don’t uphold the prophetic character because it’s hard for me, having no living example around me, being sad and stressed for this situation, finding hard to communicate with people, particularly my parents, without starting talking about impermissible stuff, slandering, or things like that. Please advise me.

Answer:
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith. May Allah Most High shower you with blessings and ease for you your affairs, especially in the approaching blessed month of Ramadan.

Misgivings Regarding Weakness of Faith and Supplication Not Being Answered

In the Qur’an, Allah Most High calls the devil “the deceiver” [gharur], as he most often resorts to trickery and deception when casting misgivings in the breast of the believer. This is termed “satanic whispering” [waswasa], and is such a common tactic of the devil that Allah sealed His Book with the chapter that teaches us to seek refuge in Him Most High from such whisperings [Sura Nas].

Moreover, one of the aims of the devil’s whispering is to push the human being into despair and depression, making him feel so low as to lose all hope in Allah and His infinite mercy. When the believer entertains feelings of worthlessness and being undeserving of Allah’s compassion, he should immediately recognize those feelings as stemming directly from the devil and, as the Qur’an commands, “take him as an enemy” [35:6]. How does one respond to an enemy? Combat. This combat against the devil entails seeking refuge in Allah Most High, performing ablution, and turning one’s heart sincerely and solely to Allah Most High, in full hope, reliance, gratitude and love of the Divine. These lofty states of the heart are the most potent weapons against Satan, as he despises nothing more than a believer expressing love and gratitude towards Allah. Part of having true hope in Allah is to be certain that He will answer one’s supplication, as He Himself states in the Qur’an, “Call on Me, and I will surely answer you” [40:60]. This is a promise from Allah, and as He Most High states, “Allah never breaks His promise” [3:9].

Increasing the strength of one’s faith is a gradual process, and one should not get disheartened by slips and lapses in one’s practice, but rather take the means to ensure long-term growth and improvement. These include learning one’s religion, implementing what one learns to the best of one’s ability, and turning to Allah for help in obeying His commands. In light of your being a convert to Islam, I would recommend taking the steps outlined in the following answer with regards to dealing with your non-Muslim parents:

Love For Your Parents and When Not to Obey

Allah and His Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] exhort the believer to love his parents and family, whether they are Muslim or not. The believer’s attitude towards his family should reflect ihsan, or kindness and excellence in conduct, in all circumstances. Allah Most High says, “And We have enjoined upon man kindness to his parents” [29:8]. However, obedience to one’s parents is conditioned upon it being in accordance with the Sacred Law. As such, the verse continues, “But if they strive to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not.” Allah Most High gives the example of parents trying to compel their child to engage in the most heinous of crimes, namely, associating partners with the Divine [shirk], yet the verse extends to anything prohibited by Allah. This is supported by the oft-cited prophetic statement, “There is no obedience to creation if it entails disobedience to the Creator” [Tabarani]. On a practical note, I would strongly encourage you to take courses on Islamic law [fiqh] to learn the limits of the Sacred Law and when you can or cannot take legal dispensations when dealing with your parents.

Finally, to encourage the believer to be strong and steadfast in the face of such an overwhelming trial, that of refusing to obey one’s parents in sin while simultaneously displaying the kindness and excellence owed to them despite their attitude, Allah Most High ends the verse with the most important thing to keep in mind with trials, “To Me is your final return, so I will inform you of what you used to do.” [Nasafi/Madarik al-Tanzil] The believer’s destination is Allah, and as such his hope is in Allah, his heart is with Allah, his days are for Allah, his nights are for Allah, and his very breaths are for Allah. The believer desires nothing except to win the good pleasure of his Lord. Keeping one’s destination in mind alleviates the toils of the journey, no matter how arduous, especially when the destination is one of ultimate joy and felicity.

Feelings of Being Left Without Guidance

If your questions to scholars are not being answered immediately, be patient and have a good opinion of both those scholars as well as Allah. Allah would never leave a servant without guidance; rather, such delays are part of the trials of life that He gives us to test our patience and contentment with the Divine Decree. Have the very best opinion of your Lord, and you will find Him to be as you conceive of Him. If you have firm conviction that He is always with you and will always give you a way out of your troubles, then He will never leave you in a bind. Our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] taught us that Allah says, “I am in the opinion of My servant” [Bukhari].

Remember also that such thoughts, that Allah would leave you without guidance, are again from the devil’s whispering, so take him as an enemy and never believe his vicious lies.

Fasting in Ramadan and Your Mother’s Feelings

If you are of sound health then you must fast in Ramadan. Do not worry about your mother’s emotions. Treat her with as much kindness, love and respect as you are able to, and leave the rest to Allah. The word for “heart” in Arabic is qalb, derived from a root meaning “to turn over or change.” Human hearts by their very nature are constantly changing, swaying from one emotion to the next, except those who Allah Most High makes steadfast on the truth. Remember that everything in this universe, including the emotional state of your parents, is in Allah’s hands. Our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] is reported to have said, “The hearts of the children of Adam, all of them, are between two fingers of the fingers of the All-Merciful, like one single heart; He turns them whichever way He wants” [Muslim]. And Allah says in the Qur’an, “And verily, He alone is the One who causes laughter and causes crying” [53:43]. So consign the matter of your mother’s heart and emotional states to Him, and trust His wisdom and decree. He is in full control, and He will never let you down, inshaAllah.

Dealing with Hardship

Focus instead on your own heart and relationship with Allah. The above hadith regarding human hearts ends with the following beautiful supplication: “O Turner of hearts, make my heart steadfast on Your obedience.”

اللّهُمَّ مُصَرِّفَ الْقُلُوْبِ صَرِّفْ قُلُوْبَنَا عَلى طَاعَتِك

Along with this supplication, keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah, send abundant blessings upon the Messenger, and learn about his blessed life and character [peace and blessings be upon him]. The more one learns about his life, the more tranquility one finds in the face of hardship.

Lastly, remember the following words of our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] and realize that the hardship you face brings much good for you in both this life and the next: “No toil, sickness, anxiety, sadness, harm, or stress afflicts a Muslim – even the thorn that pricks him – except that with it, Allah erases some of his sins” [Bukhari, Muslim].

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Faraz A. Khan has lived in Amman, Jordan, for several years studying and teaching traditional Islamic sciences, with a focus on Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith studies, theology, logic, and Arabic grammar. He translated and annotated the classical Hanafi primer “Ascent to Felicity” (Maraqi ‘l-Sa`adat) by Imam Shurunbulali, recently published by White Thread Press.