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How Should I Live My Life After Losing Custody of My Children?

Question: I am a divorcee, I have two boys that are 7 and 8 years old. The government gave custody to my ex-husband, as I was in a bad state financially and psychologically. They are being raised by his wife. She is a good Muslima, but it is heartbreaking for me. I do not understand. Should I work on myself to take them back which will take some time, or should I consider it as the decree of Allah and give my life to seeking knowledge, feeling some calling deep inside of me?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your heartbreak and cannot imagine how you must feel being separated from your children and no longer being an integral part of their lives.

 

Do Not Let Your Children Forget You

Right now, you do not need to focus on getting your children back. Instead, pray for them, send them gifts, make small things for them, and try to visit them regularly. You should not disappoint them and keep your appointments with them. Be a good Muslim role model for them and help them as much as you are able. Pray with them when you see them, and never backbite about their father to them. Really, the most important thing is to love them.

 

Get It Together

The most important thing for you is to focus on yourself. If you are struggling financially and psychologically, I want you to get better for your sake, the sake of Allah, for practising your religion, and for being healthy-minded. This is key to any balanced, happy, and healthy lifestyle. You cannot help someone until you help yourself first.

I want you to step back, look at your life, and make a list of goals. I want you to come up with a plan to become financially independent, either by getting a job and/or getting training while you work. Also, look at your religious life and make sure that everything is in order. Start with praying on time and learning your basic fiqh and how to recite the Qur’an correctly. These are all free courses available at SeekerGuidance. All you have to do is place Allah first on your list, and everything in your life with fall in order, even if it takes time.

Please see this link to help you put your problems in the right perspective:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/everything-going-wrong-life/

 

Du’a and Tawakkul

Never underestimate the power of dua. It is the door through which you speak to Allah and ask from your heart. Use it every day and get rid of bad, old habits one by one. Pray the Prayer of Need when you are down. Also, recite these du’as in particular:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/selected-prophetic-prayers-for-spiritual-physical-and-emotional-wellbeing-by-chaplain-ibrahim-long/

Allah, Most High, says, “And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He alone is sufficient for them.“ [Qur’an, 65:3]

May Allah facilitate your matters for you and give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Should I Marry Someone from Outside of My Culture?

Question: I am in a difficult situation, and I need help. I am in love with somebody from another culture. We have no problem with it, nor do his parents, but my parents do not accept him because of it. They have a common language, but they refuse to meet him even once because of his culture.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your difficult situation, and I pray that you can compromise with your parents, after considering all the factors.

 

Istikhara

First, have you prayed istikhara that this person is right for you? Are you choosing him for his religion? Or are you basing your choice of a spouse solely on love? Make sure that you have a solid basis for choosing this man, and because you are already in love with him, I suggest that you keep your distance from him, physically and digitally, until you have settled the matter with your parents. If your istikhara is positive, then try to pursue this and convince your parents.

 

Communicate and Compromise

As a girl, you do need your parent’s permission to marry, and I suggest that you be open, honest, and polite with your parents. Explain to them how serious you are and that you will not be able to ignore this man’s proposal until they meet him and have tried their best. Please see this answer as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/are-there-any-legal-leeways-to-get-over-the-refusal-of-a-guardian-regarding-an-interracial-marriage/

 

Turn to Allah with Your Two Options

Please see these other links for more advice on the matter. Turn to Allah with this problem, pray the Prayer of Need, and exhibit patience and kindness to everyone around you. Use your frustration as a means to draw closer to Him and ask Allah sincerely to make it easy or to help you walk away if need be. Really there are only two options before you and really neither will be easy.

 

Prepare Yourself

It is very easy to get married but not easy to be a good wife. My advice to all single Muslims, such as yourself, is to take a free course at Seekers on Islamic Marriage so that you can learn your rights and responsibilities and act accordingly. Preparing oneself for marriage is the greatest thing that you can give your spouse and I hope that Allah sends you what is best for you and that you place your trust in Him.

May Allah give you tawfiq, ease, and happiness in your marriage process and give you the best in this world and the next.

Please see this course:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

See these links as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-to-do-when-my-parents-reject-my-choice-of-spouse-because-of-cultural-reasons/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/would-it-be-wrong-to-avoid-interracial-marriages-for-cultural-considerations/

Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Should My Father Distribute His Late Mother’s Estate?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.
My grandmother verbally left the property to my eldest sister, but my father will distribute it to his brothers and sisters instead. Is this right? 

He has looked after our entire extended family financially and continues to do so. My sister also thinks they have some magic on him, as he is kinder, nicer, and more obedient to them. Please advise if this is fair and if he is afflicted with magic.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

 

Getting Something as a Gift or Inheritance

If your grandmother gifted the property to your sister in her lifetime – meaning she made your sister the owner of it then and there, leaving her to do with it what she saw fit – then the property is hers. The question of whether this was right or fair is another matter.

If, however, she merely stated that your sister was to be its owner after her death, then the property does not belong to her. Your grandmother was trying to give away something at a time when it would no longer be hers. After death, the Shari’a makes a person’s estate the property of their heirs. This is her children in this case. Your sister does not have a right to it. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

 

Ruling Out Black Magic

Just because your father is nicer or more obedient to his siblings, it does not mean he is affected by magic. Sometimes, people do what you have described because they feel obligated or indebted to the other party. If this entails wronging his direct dependants, he may be manipulated, or he may have a deep emotional need for their acceptance and approval.

People are complicated, as are their circumstances. If you feel there are problems, ask Allah for help, and sit with him and have a conversation about. State how you feel. Do not be confrontational and critical, and do not make it sound like you’re accusing him. Perhaps Allah will facilitate a resolution to all the problems.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Can Someone Fill Out a Form on Another Person’s Behalf?

Question: As Salaamu Alaykum, I am a university student and in order to get a bursary from them I had to fill out a form and my parents also,
For my parents form, by brother filled it out on their behalf and they put the signature down, or the declaration box where the signature goes also has a box for a date and the names in block capitals and all these details have to be filled by the parents even if someone helped them with the form,

Now in my second year I’ve had to get another fork filled and my brother has not filled the signature but he did the date and the block capital signature it seems so I attempt (at this time) to tipex it and get it re-done

Now I think about my last years form where my brother may have done the same (excluding the actual signature) and as a result I was able to get the grant, what would I have to do?

 

Answer:

Thank you for the query. May Allah make your studies easy and facilitate the payment thereof.

Filling out the application form is a type of shahada. Shahada is when a person provides information regarding a right or obligation relating to another (Tuhfa al-muhtaj sharh al-minhaj 4.318).

Shahada does not accept agency (wakala), and thus it is not permissible for you to appoint an agent to bear witness on your behalf. This is because shahada is based on certainty (yaqin) in which agency has no place (Tuhfa al-muhtaj sharh al-minhaj 4.322).

Based on the information that you have provided, your brother served as an agent to fill out the form on your parent’s behalf. He did not bear testimony on their behalf.

 

Filling out the form:

Filling out a form (kitaba) on somebody else’s behalf is entirely permissible. ‘Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) wrote on behalf of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at the Sulh of Hudaybiyya.

In conclusion, the bursary received based on this application is valid. And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Telling My Parents About My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I’m in a true relationship with a person for the past 8 years since our student days. We both are honest and true for each other. We want to make our relationship halal and for that, we need more time because he is not settled financially yet. I am getting many marriage proposals and my parents are telling me to get married but I want to marry him only. My parents don’t know that I’m in a relationship and I want to tell them about it but I’m afraid.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The first thing that I need to tell you is that your relationship is not honest or true, as you describe. You have lied to your parents, done the impermissible in the eyes of Allah, and your relationship is based on lust, not love.

Repentance

The first step to getting what you desire is to turn to Allah and repent for your sins. You have had a secret boyfriend, been in a secret relationship, and have become close to a man and emotionally attached instead of following the rules of gender interaction in Islam. Stay away from him from now on and only proceed with a serious engagement or nikah. Please see this link on sincere repentance:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/

Istikhara

After your repentance and resolving to stay away from him, pray istikhara to see if this man is the right one for you. Do not think to make such a big decision just based on feelings, please consider the Prophetic advice first. It seems to me that man who agreed to be in a relationship with you for 8 years without a nikah doesn’t honor you.

Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/istikhara-prayer-for-marriage/

A proposal: Engagement or nikah

He must come to your family with his parents and offer a formal proposal. There is no reason to tell your parents of your past with him, as it will only break their hearts. Tell them that you are attracted to this proposal and that you feel that it is right for you. If they give their permission, then you are all set and you can have your nikah. If they don’t, you will have to walk away from him.

If your boyfriend can’t come with his family to propose yet, then you must wait for him to find the right time. If you can find a way to hold off your parents, do so, but if you can’t you might have to tell them the truth which will cause them pain and disappointment. Otherwise, you will have to leave him. You certainly can’t be expected to wait for him very long. At least, he should have the decency to propose to you so that you can get engaged, if not married.

Put Allah first

I pray that your situation works out for you, but I recommend that no matter what happens, you put Allah first in your life and strive to live your life by His rules. Learn the halal and the haram of daily life, worship, and the rights and obligations in a Muslim marriage. May Allah reward you and give you the best of both worlds.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Right to Property

On Fences and Our Neighbours

Question: If one builds on a property, does one have the right to use the property?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Promising to give/transfer property to someone else is not legally binding, but one will be responsible for breaking one’s promise on the Day of Judgment (Hashiyat Qalyubi; Iltimas al Sad, Sakhawi).

Furthermore, a promise to transfer ownership is a gift contract (hiba), and a gift contract is only binding once physical or legal possession (qabd) has taken place (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi). As such, you do not own the land by the mere fact that your brother promised to give it to you or your father.

As for building on the property, your use and your father’s use of the land was a loan of usufruct (ariyya) and your older brother can revoke that right whenever he chooses. That said, he must either buy your houses from you that you built or demolish them and pay you compensation (Rawda al Talibin, Nawawi).

If you cannot agree to a settlement, you have to take the issue to court.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Inheritance and Iconoclasm

Question: I have inherited a lamp the base of which is a 3D statue. It is of great sentimental value to me and my family? Is it haram for to keep it?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

From the description you have given, you clearly have a 3D model of animate life. This is something that is forbidden by all schools of Sunni Islam. It is not permissible to keep it and if you are its owner if must be broken.

If this is too difficult to do right now, ask Allah to give you the strength to do it later. I personally do not know of any other way to solve your situation.

Regarding your connection with your family, breaking the statue is a good deed and you may hope that what you do will benefit them in the Next Life.

I pray this helps, and I pray that Allah gives you strength and wisdom.

[Ustadh] Farid

The Role of The Elder Sister

Question: Am I obliged to obey my elder sister?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

ُThe default is that any adult is free to do whatever permissible thing they wish to do and that no one else has any authority over them unless they are too young to run their own affairs.

That said, the father and mother also have certain rights of respect. In the absence of the father, one must obey one’s mother and older brother (Hashiyat al Sharwani). One’s older sister may well have limited authority over one if there is no mother or brothers. I am personally not sure.

As for an adult male with his older sister, he is merely obliged to show her respect but he is not obliged to obey her.

Regardless of the details, one is never obliged to obey anyone in that which is sinful or clearly to the detriment of one’s religious, financial, and medical well-being.

Please see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/rights-of-the-eldest-child/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-should-i-deal-with-my-disrespectful-younger-sister/

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

How to Deal with an Abusive Father?

Question: My father verbally abuses me and my siblings and my mother. He used to beat me and my sister and has used a hanger to beat my sister when she was young. He also threatens to abandon us is as he is the only source of income in our family. He has verbally abused in a manner that I would not use for even my enemies. He recently left the house for two days after having a disagreement with my mother. He does not allow us to visit my mother’s home. He even slanders my cousins for inviting us to their homes behind their backs. He uses any type of leverage he has to hurt me. I am at the extent of my patience. I feel my life is a mistake.

Answer: 

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that you are suffering from abuse at your father’s hands. He is doing something unlawful and extreme and is attaining Allah’s displeasure. Please don’t despair because of this pain but trust in Allah that something better will come. Your du`a and attitude are key and it will save you.

Turn to Allah and trust in Him

Trust in Allah, rely on Him, and ask him to help you out of this painful situation. At this time, devote yourself to Allah, fear Him as much as you can, and know that He is the one who sent this test, and He is watching for a correct reaction from you. Don’t let the Devil persuade you to do something haram in return and don’t leave off worshipping Him because He is worthy of worship no matter what is going on in your life.

Take this opportunity to draw closer to Allah, for there is no better and faster way to draw close to Him than through the shackles of pain and suffering.

Channel all of your pain into discourse with your Lord in the depths of the night and wait for Allah to send your family what is best in the timing and manner which He deems fit, without rushing or being impatient. Be the best Muslim that you can be and strive to fulfill Allah’s commands. Don’t forget the value of the dua of victims of abuse:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while” [Tirmidhi].

Physical abuse

I don’t know what the situation is in India, but I found this helpline that might be useful to you when your father gets violent:
http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines

Also, consider calling the police when your father abuses one of you, you have every right to do this, and you all deserve protection and safety. Is there a family member, elder, or trusted friend that can help you? Can you appeal to one of his family members about this violence?

Can you communicate with your father directly about his behavior? Can you tell him that it hurts all of you and breaks your confidence? Can you tell him that you feel scared and want to live in peace? Please see this link for excellent advice on what to do:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-help-mother-despite-abusive-father/

Self-care

Eventually, you will need to talk to a counselor or therapist to deal with and work through your emotions and scars. Please seek out treatment as soon as you can. It is also helpful to speak to a local imam, elder, trusted friend, teacher, or a trusted relative. Don’t think that you have to face this alone. I pray that as soon as you are old enough, that you move out and then help your mother and siblings.

In the meantime, take care of yourself. You deserve comfort, support, and love. Take on any beneficial activity that makes you feel good, take a class, start a new hobby, learn a skill. Spend time with your friends when you can. Play a sport, eat healthily, and exercise. Do what you need to get your lively self back and gain your confidence and strength.

May Allah rectify this for you and may it make you a stronger person with even better character and fortitude.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Do My Siblings Inherit if My Mother States in Her Lifetime That She Wants to Leave Everything to Me?

Question:
Assalamu ‘alaykum. If my mother has stated that she wants to transfer her property to myself and my wife and child and has repeated this of her own accord in front of a solicitor, am I still Islamically obliged to give equal shares to my 3 brothers who all are living in their own homes. I am the youngest son who decided to stay at home with my mother as I felt that this is my responsibility. I have also invested money in this property through extensions since my brothers have moved home, so would the share still be equal?

Answer:

I pray you are well.

Inheritance Is Automatic

When a person dies, after the funeral costs and debts – if any – are paid for from the estate, the remainder automatically becomes the property of the heirs – if no will of up to a third is left to someone who won’t automatically inherit. Those who automatically inherit cannot be recipients through a will.

This means if she does not actually gift the property to you and your wife and child in her lifetime – and before the occurrence of a terminal illness – then you and your brothers are all equal inheritors, and your wife and child will not get anything. Stating something in front of the solicitor might make the transfer happen legally, but not in the Shari’a.

Inheritance is not something you want to wrong anyone in. Please listen to the second half of this lesson and the next for an explanation of the severity of the threats in the Qur’an regarding this matter.

Fairness to One’s Children

Your mother could gift it all to you in her lifetime. It would be a valid transfer, but she would be sinful for her unfair treatment of her children. They will also, most likely, resent her for it. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Fear Allah, and be fair to you children.“ (Bukhari)

It’s best to divide it according to the Shari’a. That will prevent animosity and arguments. The life of the dunya is short. It ends, and there is a judgment on the other side. Don’t let something like money and property be something that causes a rift between you and your siblings, and be a cause for your mother to potentially go to Hell for.

As for what you have invested in the properties, if you did not state that you want reimbursement then the default assumption is that it was a gift to your mother when you invested in the property. If you are not happy with this, then speak to her and your siblings now, before it’s too late, and come to an agreement whilst you can.

(Maydani, al Lubab)

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.