Posts

How To Manage Problems With In-Laws – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How To Manage Problems With In-Laws. A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersGuidance seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersGuidance Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

What Is The Purpose Of Marriage? A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Muslim-Marriage-Couple-Nikah-CREDIT-AzlanDuPree

What Is The Purpose Of Marriage? A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersHub seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersHub Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

Successful Marriage: Keys from the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah ﷺ, by Habib Hussein as-Saqqaf

This talk on marriage by Habib Hussein as-Saqqaf is probably one of the finest we have heard on the subject in a long, long time.

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersHub seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersHub Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

Prepare, Before Your Marriage Goes Belly-Up

So many of the questions Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil sees on SeekersHub Answer service have to do with marriage. By the time the questions reach her, things have already gone badly.

An oft-repeated theme I see is this: parents who are deeply unhappy with the cultural background of the person their son or daughter wishes to marry.
If you’re single and reading this, then it’s likely that you have parents who are actively involved in your lives. If you’re from a very cultural background, then it’s possible that your parents want you to marry from that same culture. Sometimes, even the same village. Parents want what’s best for their children, based on their understanding of the world. Invariably, their version of what’s best is so different to their adult children’s.

Please do something differently.

Rather than wait until you meet Mr or Ms So-Right-For-You-But-So-Wrong-For-Your-Parents at your local halaqa, college, or work, please broach the topic from now. Even better – please enrol in and complete this course: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. (I know how hard it can be to successfully completing an online course. Pair yourself up with an accountability buddy. Discuss lessons after you listen to them.)

Talk to your parents.

Ask them what they envisage for you in terms of a suitable marriage partner. They may surprise you, or they may not. They key is to let them talk, and then really listen. Not a “I’m pretending to hear you so then I can get my opinion in”, but a sincere, open-hearted kind of listening. Stay calm. Read between the lines. Try to understand what your parents are really telling you. Is it fear of the unknown? Is it social pressure from their friends and family members? Is it their own baggage from their marriage?

Validate their concerns.

Help them feel like you actually care about what they have to say. Then use wisdom and tact to offer your point of view. Ask compassionate scholars and/or elders in your community for support, if need be.
Is talking to your parents a sure-fire way of guaranteeing their blessings and smooth sailing? I can’t guarantee that. But I can hope and pray that it’s a step in the right direction. I encourage you to enrol in The Rights of Parents to get an idea of the tremendous station of parents, and the reward in treating them with goodness.
May Allah soften the hearts of our parents, give us the wisdom and patience to approach them, and bless the ummah of our Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace).
[cwa id=’cta’]

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered in this comprehensive reader.

My Step Dad Favors One Child Over the Others. What Can I Do to Protect My Siblings?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have four younger siblings and my step dad favors only one of them. He doesn’t care to show it either. My mother consistently tells him that it’s wrong and that it is affecting the other kids. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

The basis is that gifts should be given and divided fairly between children. Although there is some leeway in favouring a child with more, for instance, if the father does not intend to hurt or harm the others, or if there is a genuine reason for doing so.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Be fair and just among your children with respect to gifts.” [Bukhari] The commentators explain that this is a recommendation to ward off any ill-feeling and envy between the children, and to also ensure that the resultant situation doesn’t become worse for the parents and family as a whole.

Consider tactfully reminding him of the immediate harm it is causing the other children, and similarly the long term harm that can arise from such treatment of children, or of the discord it is causing within the family unit. If he persists, you can pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?] and consult about the specifics with a local scholar to try to figure out the best way to change or improve his behaviour.

[Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i; Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

Please also see: Estate Division and the Sunna of Equal Treatment of Children in Gift Giving and: Transferring Property to Children in One’s Lifetime

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Tell My Family From Abroad That I Do Not Support Their Backwards Thinking?

Answered by Ustadha Umm Umar

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have recently had close relatives from abroad. They are very cultural. They are not used to seeing girls getting an education and working. The only thing they think is important to a lady is for to get married and have kids. They ask and tell me: “Why do you go to school? Just get married, have kids”.However, these are not my priorities as of right now.

How can I tell them respectfully that I do not support their backwards thinking?

Answer: Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

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

There is a great wisdom in each of us living our lives in a manner that only we can choose for ourselves. Others may speculate about what we should or should not be doing, but at the end of the day, it is really your own opinion that really matters.

I would encourage you to consider what feelings might be behind their advice, such as:

-them wanting what they see as best for you
-trying to help you in the best way they can think of
-actually caring about your life and wanting you to find happiness
-concern for your future
-that they love you

These ideas are in no way wrong, in fact the opposite. Now days people are often wrapped up in their own lives to sincerely care for others and their future. Their expression of concern is in fact very sweet masha Allah. I know it can be difficult to have other people attempt to delve into your personal life, especially when you do not wish to consult them. I would advise you to handle this by:

-thanking them for their concern
-attempting to change the subject (a good way is by asking them for advice in another area to distract them, or by asking about a historical event in your family)
-holding them in a good opinion

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was someone who had the best character with every single person he dealt with. He often dealt with desert bedouins, who did not have the finer elements of etiquette that the more local Arabs of Mecca had. Yet the Prophet (peace be upon him) interacted with them in the best of ways, and persevered and remained friendly, even when their conduct left much to be desired.

Likewise, we ourselves need to be patient with others, as an expression of love for our greatest teacher. Also to show that as believers, we are called to the best of etiquette, even when we are provoked, or others are behaving in ways that we find annoying.

May Allah Most High put us all on the path most pleasing to Him,and may we all be exemplars of the best of conduct in our homes and communities, ameen.

Umm Umar (Shireen Ahmed)

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Defence Images

I’tikaf: When The Aching Bones of Your Wives May Testify Against You

[cwa id=’cta’]

I’tikaf is intended to be a blessed time for those who have the opportunity to engage in it so why is it causing so much marital discord between couples who Jazmin Begum-Kennedy is counselling?

Iʿtikāf (Arabic: اعتكاف‎‎, also i’tikaaf or e’tikaaf) is an Islamic practice consisting of a period of staying in a mosque for a certain number of days, devoting oneself to worship during these days and staying away from worldly affairs. The literal meaning of the word suggests sticking and adhering to, or being regular in, something, this ‘something’ often including performing supererogatory (nafl) prayers, reciting the Qur’an, and reading hadith.

Every year, I read wonderful social media updates from brothers preparing to go to i’tikaf followed by others praising them and requesting them to make dua. This ought to be a beautiful thing but unfortunately for the wives left behind, it is often a nightmare.

Few men make enough fanfare or even mention who will

  • pack their things for them,
  • do grocery runs,
  • cook fresh food each day,
  • send the fresh food to the men in i’tikaf each day, twice a day – for iftar and suhoor,
  • take care of the children and the school runs,
  • serve their parents,
  • serve their in-laws
  • take care of her own health, while pregnant or otherwise

All this on often little to no resources.
For these women, engaging in more prayer, Qur’an reading and quiet reflection during the blessed 10 nights of Ramadhan are a remote possiblity.
Don’t get me wrong- I am all for i’tikaf but men need to make provisions for their womenfolk first before they set off. Every year I am left counselling mothers who have been left to take care of young children and demanding inlaws, as well as send freshly cooked food to their menfolk at the mosques. Often, they are not left with much money or resources to barely feed the children and elderly in their care, let alone send food to their men in i’tikaf.

“But My Wife Doesn’t Mind”

I don’t just listen to the women’s side of the story. I have spoken to many men about this. Last year, one brother messaged me saying how the companions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  often left for months and years and no one complained. He insisted that his wife didn’t complain either. When I asked him if he had asked her, he did not reply.
We do not live in societies that allow for such privileges. When the companions of the Prophet ﷺ went away, they left their families in a community with extended families and friends. They had maids as well as wet nurses for support.
These days, women have to do school and mosque runs, shopping, take children to appointments, chores for in-laws etc. Everything is done by one person – the mother.
On top of the daily grind of life, there’s the added stress of arrange the delivery of fresh, pipping hot food because she doesn’t want to upset or anger her husband who has gone to get closer to Paradise.

Is This The Path To Paradise?

What blessing is there in striving for Paradise, off the back of another human being?
I acknowledge that being in service to those in worship is a form of worship itself, and may Allah reward all who engage in this to the best of their abilities. However, on the flip side, there is a disturbing element of injustice and oppression.
Just before I wrote this, I was consoling a mother who is experiencing a very difficult pregnancy and has a toddler to attend to. She can barely keep her head up due to the sickness and exhaustion. Her beloved husband set off for iti’kaf leaving her with strict instructions on making sure his two meals are delivered at the right temperature.
I try not to aggravate situations like this. I try to hold my tongue, for what it’s worth. I advised this woman to go to her parent’s home so she can get some much needed respite. She is drained. She is carrying life in her womb. It is her God-given right to be nurtured during this fragile time and her God-given right to request her husband stay home and make himself useful. I told her to print this profound hadith and hang it in her home so all can see what our beloved Prophet ﷺ had to say:

The best of you are those who are best to their wives.

SubhanAllah, it is time to reflect on why we do things and how our actions, even if it’s to do something good can be so damaging for our hereafter. I was reminded by a fellow mother, Sumayyah Omar on Muslim Mamas that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to the people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month. Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfill his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah the Exalted will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day when the footings are shaken.”

Scholars and Imams, Insist On A Checklist

Wouldn’t it be great if the imams in all our mosques would read this hadith out during Friday sermons in Ramadan? And then advise the men to follow basic protocols before packing their bags? Moni Akhtar, another mother from Muslim Mamas made a great suggestion: the masjid should give out a form of prerequisites before men are accepted into i’tikaf:

  • Have you asked your wife if she can cope without you?
  • Have you left her with provisions?
  • Have you paid for a cleaner to come and help?

Guidance and prompting from the ulema is sorely needed to raise greater awareness.
I would love to leave on a good note but instead I am forced to leave a warning. Your women and those in your care may not utter a word  now but their aching bones will testify against you on the Day of Judgement. May Allah have mercy upon us all, ameen.

Photo credit: Juliana Cunha

[cwa id=’cta’]
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.

Forgiveness in Light of Being With The People, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Forgiveness in Light of Being With The People, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin
Forgiveness in Light of Being With The People, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan
Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

Every night our Ramadan scholars will explore one of the three key spiritual goals of Ramadan. Each talk will conclude with a dynamic conversation as we explore mercy, forgiveness and salvation deeply and see how we can attain these divine gifts practically. These talks will enliven and inspire us as we begin our nightly ‘isha and tarawih prayers.

Daily at 10:00 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live. 

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Art by Tom Gowanlock

Ties that Bind: (30 Days, 30 Deeds), by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

Ties that Bind: Reconnect with relatives who have become distant (30 Days, 30 Deeds), by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have a far-reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live. 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy, and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Cover Photo by Talisa

 

Day 6 In A Nutshell – The Ties That Bind, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

If you missed the livestream of the two extraordinary short talks Shaykh Muhammad Adiyenka Mendes gave, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes (please subscribe for automatic updates). In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – the best of the day’s events in a nutshell – it’s all about families that drive us up the wall and Prophetic ﷺ tenderness toward the young and the old.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.