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I Hate My Future Wife’s Father

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked for advice concerning the hatred a person feels toward a future father-in-law, and how they fear that may ruin the marriage.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I hope everyone is well. I really hate my future wife’s father. I really love her and I don’t want to leave her because of her father but I fear that we will clash a lot in the future.

He has a good heart but he doesn’t know how to speak to people with adab. He is very abusive and you can’t have a discussion or conversation with him. He always thinks he is right and once he wants something it is impossible for him to go back on it or to even see what other people think or want.

He is very judgemental and I just cant stand his character. He wants the best for me and her but he just doesn’t know how to go about it. I’ve seen a lot from him that just puts me off and I fear it will ruin my future relationship with my wife.

I am getting married in a couple of weeks and I would like some advice.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Future father-in-law

Your future wife’s father sounds like a extremely troubled and difficult man. The worst thing you can do to yourself is try to change him. This may feel impossible, but I encourage you work on accepting him as he is. As improbable as it may sound, your future father-in-law is doing the best he can, with what he knows.

It is possible that he may struggle with an undiagnosed mental illness. He could be deeply anxious, which manifests in angry and controlling behavior. He could be depressed, which could also manifest as anger. I do not suggest that you tell him to see a therapist, because he is like to get offended and go into denial. I do suggest that you consider these reasons for his behavior, to help soften your heart.

I encourage you you make dua for him after every obligatory prayer. Perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to heal him, help you come to terms with him, bless your upcoming marriage, and whatever else you wish.

Marriage

I encourage you to work on healthy boundaries with your future wife. Without healthy boundaries, it is very possible for your marriage to fail because of the interference of a domineering father-in-law.

Your future wife probably carries a lot of pain from having a father like hers. His behavior is not her fault. She is an adult, and responsible only for her actions. However, a daughter’s difficult relationship with a troubled father does have an impact on her feelings of self-worth.

Because of the difficulty and sensitivity of your situation, I strongly encourage that you and your future wife work with a culturally-sensitive counselor.

Agency

Jarir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “Whoever does not show mercy to the people, Allah will not show mercy to him.” (Tirmidhi)

Please remember that you always have agency. You can always choose compassion, forgiveness and patience. It is harder to do this, because it is always easier to blame, shame and play the victim. That route is much easier on the nafs, whereas taking the high road is pleasing Allah.

Practical tips

When you are married, I encourage you to visit your father-in-law weekly with your wife. Be civil and kind. Do not bring up controversial topics. Be of service to him. Does he need help around the house? Can you help him run errands? What are some activities you can do together? Do your best to connect with him. Make the intention to embody good character, especially when he is being difficult.

If interactions with him become far too stressful and you fear for the health of your marriage, then I suggest that you and your wife limit contact with him. Do not cut ties, but at least visit for Eid and other special occasions. In the end, he remains the grandfather of your future children. I pray that your compassion with him in his old age will facilitate your own unborn children to be kind to you in your old age.

In whatever situation you may find yourself with your future father-in-law, I encourage you to choose mercy. Choose what is pleasing to Allah and His Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. Think of the long-term benefit, when you face short-term pain.

May Allah bless your marriage and make it a means of healing for you and your wife.

Please see: Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Can I Hate My Father?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Can a you fear or hate your father because of some bad opinions your mother taught you from a young age?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Father

This is a difficult situation. I pray that Allah grants you a complete healing. I am sorry that your mother has turned your heart against your father. This often happens when there is spousal abuse.

As Anse Tamara Gray described – the Prophetic family is kind. Please strive to view your father through the lens of kindness, despite his many mistakes.

Spiritual support

Please wake up in the last third of the night and perform The Prayer of Need. Read Qur’an as regularly as you can, and reflect on its deep meanings. Think about the deeply troubled family of Nabi Yusuf (upon him be peace), and how Allah healed them all.

Listen to podcasts such as Content of Character to teach you how to beautify your character.

Healing

I encourage you to enrol in and complete the Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents.

Please strive to understand the rank of parents, even the ones who make terrible mistakes and wrong their children.

Make dua for him after every fardh prayer, and give in charity in his name. Give him gifts. Do everything in your power to heal your opinion of him.

It is difficult to cherish a father who was been demonised, either through his own actions or actions of others, but it is still important to treat him with respect. When you treat someone with kindness and respect for the sake of Allah, then He can bestow true affection in your heart.

Trauma

I encourage you to look into Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) as a way of changing the way you feel and think about your father. Trauma can take time to heal. Consider seeing a culturally-sensitive counsellor.

Hakim Archuletta and Peter Levine are also excellent resources for trauma recovery. Hakim Archuletta teaches at the Zawiyah retreat in Rosales. I encourage you to save up and go, and consider this a beginning in your journey towards healing.

Please see:

How Does a Child Deal With Parents Who Fight Each Other?
How Should I Uphold My Family Ties?
How to Maintain Ties of Kinship Despite Hateful Siblings?

Wassalam,
[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.

Excellent Interview with Muslim Woman Removed From Trump Rally

On Friday night, Muslim flight attendant Rose Hamid was escorted out of a Donald Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina after she stood silently for a few moments, wearing a t-shirt that said “Salam: I Come In Peace,” as well as a yellow star-shaped badge reminiscent of the patches worn by Jews in Nazi Europe.

“Do you have a bomb?”

After her ejection, Hamid told CNN’s Don Lemon about the experience, which she said included Trump supporters asking her “Do you have a bomb?” (to which she replied “No, do you have a bomb?”).
Hamid said she attended the rally with the “sincere belief if people get to know each other one-on-one they will stop being afraid of each other and we can get rid of the hate in the world…There were people who were very nice and sharing their popcorn. It was very nice, people around me, the people I had conversations with. But then what happened when the crowd got this hateful crowd mentality as I was being escorted. It was really quite telling and a vivid example of what happens when you start using this hateful rhetoric, and how it can incite a crowd where moments ago were very kind to me. One woman reached over and shook my hand and said “I’m so sorry this is happening to you.””
See also, Hamid’s interview with Marie Claire magazine.

Resources for seekers:

Defending the Prophet – Advice from Habib ‘Umar

Written by Lina Abdul Wahab

Habib Umar bin Hafiz calls upon us all to teach people about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his life, his character, his call, his different states, his beauty, his perfection and his kindness and to teach about the Prophet’s light, by allowing it to shine through our words and deeds.

habibAccording to Habib Umar, amongst us are people with families and children who are ignorant about the important matters in the life of Allah’s Prophet. It is good to see that out of the love for him, Muslims are protesting peacefully and speaking out (in defense of the Beloved Prophet). However, Habib Umar added, it is essential for us to take into account by asking themselves, where have they been all these years? What are the states of our homes? Muhammad (pbuh) is absent from our families, unknown to our children and unknown to our friends at work. To them, he is a figure who has not yet penetrated their hearts. They are not connected to him, they do not revere his teachings, and they know little about his life, his character, his message, his call, peace and blessings upon him. These are the people to whom we should say, “Convey the character of the Prophet! Tell the world and everyone in it about the character and qualities of this Prophet. Express your attachment to him in the best way!”

Habib Umar added, “This is YOUR role. You! This is your task! This is your job. This is the vicegerency of Allah on His Earth, conveying the Message of Allah and His Messenger and his family and his companions. This is the reason the noble companions spread out in the east and in the west!”

Resources for seekers:

Advice in Times of Hardship, after the Chapel Hill shootings and other incidents
Video: Capacity Building for Dealing with Islamophobia
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Rising Anti-Muslim Sentiment – AlJazeera
Letter to the West: we just have to learn to live together – Habib Ali al-Jifri

Explaining the Chapel Hill shooting to children

A moving and age appropriate guide for parents struggling to explain the Chapel Hill tragedy to their children, written by California-based teacher, Hina Khan-Mukhtar:

Image: Namee Barakat and his wife Layla Barakat, parents of shooting victim Deah Shaddy Barakat, react as a video is played during a vigil in Chapel HillMany parents have been asking how to talk about the Chapel Hill homicides with their children. Here is what I wrote to a Facebook friend today. I am focusing on the lives of the three who were killed, not their deaths. I discussed this with my 7th graders today as well. I reminded them that death is inevitable whether we live five days, 25 years, or a 100. Every single one of us will experience death – it is a guarantee.

The point is what was the total sum of our lives? These three martyrs lived full lives of service and benefit to others in their “short” lives. There are many witnesses who testify to their inherent goodness. Their last FB posts were about feeding the homeless and taking care of refugees. Deah’s tweet was about wanting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I shared the interview Yusor did with her Islamic school principal and pointed out how grateful and kind she was in her manners and in her speech. We talked about how do we want to be remembered? If we die tomorrow, what will our friends and our social media friends say about us? Will the poor and the hungry miss us? How many people will want to come to our funerals? Yes, we live our lives to please Allah, but how we affect people matters too.

I reminded them to pray for safety and to know that no one can harm us unless Allah wills it. People say that those three had “their whole lives in front of them” and that “their futures were taken from them”. No, they didn’t and, no, they weren’t. This is exactly how much life Allah had written for them. None of us know when our end is coming, but we need to prepare for that inevitable day when it does.

I told them that it is still our duty to do whatever we can to ensure that this type of heinous crime doesn’t happen again, insha’Allah, but in the end, we know that Allah has created both demonic people and angelic people, and we pray that we are of those people who are most pleasing to Him.

We are either benefiting people and the world or we are harming people and this world…there is no neutral ground. It’s one or the other. We have to all assess our own lives and see what kind of impact we are making on our friends, family, and society at large.

Hicks’ first wife left him, citing cruelty on his part (it’s in the official records). His neighbors say he was a belligerent man and many people had reported him to the apartment complex HOA as a nuisance. He loved those tools that can be used to harm and kill (i.e. guns).

Deah, Yusor, and Razan are spoken about by everyone with nothing but the highest of praise. Two were in dentistry and the other was in architecture. Their tools of choice (dental instruments and architect’s materials) were used to heal and bring beauty to people and the world. What do we love? What do ppl have to say about us? Will it be a relief to others when we are gone, or will the world mourn our passing?

 

Resources for Seekers:

On the killing of three young American Muslims

ChapelHillThree young American Muslims, a husband, wife and sister, were killed in their North Carolina home today.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oun.

May Allah grant Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21 and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, His Pardon and Mercy, and may He grant their families beautiful patience, ameen.

Law enforcement authorities have charged a 46-year-old male suspect, who turned himself in.

Suzanne Barakat, the sister of Deah Barakat, gave this interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Just under a year ago, Razan Abu-Salha helped produce this video on Optimism, the lost Sunnah.

Resources for Seekers:

Imam Zaid Shakir on the Chapel Hill shooting
Injustice Cannot Defeat Injustice
As He Breathed His Last – Imam al-Ghazali’s Last Poem
Do Something about it!
Anger, Restraint, Wisdom and the Prophetic Message in Our Times (Interview with Habib Ali)
The Soul’s Journey after Death and The Day of Judgement