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Doubts About Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: I want to marry a man and he wants to marry me. The problem is that his mother wants him to marry someone else. What can we do?

Answer: Bismillahi al-Rahman al-Rahim.

Your suitor should make a wise decision based on advice from outside his family and the guidelines of the Sacred Law. Whoever he sees fit, he should marry. His mother is not his guardian, and he has to make decisions for himself.

Obeying One’s Parents

Our moral debt to our parents, and especially our mothers is something great indeed, and seldom we do really grasp what respect, reverence, and gratitude are due to them.

Allah Most High says:

‘And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.’ (Qur’an, 31: 14)

That said, respect and reverence, and care and financial support do not entail allowing them to ruin one’s life. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Let there be no harm or any harming back.’ (Malik, al-Muwatta)

So as long as there is no harm, he should obey his mother. For more detail please from the Hanafi school, please see: When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

In the Shafi’i school, it would not be obligatory to obey one’s mother or father in such a request. (Bulqini, al-Fatawa)

A wise and grateful son would navigate his way through such a problem taking both positions into consideration, and being respectful, loving, and polite to his mother. But he would not marry someone he knows he cannot ever live with.

Please also see: Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage 

Mama’s Boy

Many modern scholars of different schools of thought have warned of the over-involvement and control of parents, and particularly mothers, in their sons’ marriages. Sometimes, there is an all too close attachment between mother and son that is really not healthy. At a certain point, people have to realize that the married couple area new and independent family, and that the son is no longer a baby sitting on his mother’s lap filling her eyes with joy: he has moved on and has a life of his own.

Mothers may not take well to this realization, and it can sometimes require the son/husband to take the initiative and distance himself from his mother in order for the relationships to assume their proper mold.

Conclusion

Your husband-to-be should make his independent decision while being polite, caring, and respectful. He should also look at which of the two brides-to-be have the best character and religious practice.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid DingleFarid

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 crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Am I Wrong to Not Want to Speak with My Parents?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Am I wrong to not want to speak with my parents?

Over the years I have found myself increasingly becoming emotionally distant from my parents. The reason this is, is partly because of the way things have occurred in my life growing up and the response/behaviour of my parents has made me feel stressed, guilty, inconfident and at times, unloved.

As I have grown older, I see the shortcomings of my parents in retrospect to the way that they raised myself and my siblings and this makes me question why they behaved in certain ways. I especially recall them being extremely over-protective and over-powering to the point that was unhealthy and could be seen as confidence depleting.

I even question my parents love for each other as I remember growing up as the older sibling, I had to listen to or break up my parents constant arguments, or hearing one parent talk bad about the other to me as a way for them to vent(making me feel very confused as to which parent was good/bad). I know I should love my parents by default, but I think I loved them more as a young child, being naive and not understanding things. I can’t communicate with them properly anymore and our conversations are always short and awkward. I still try to respect them and smile and behave in a good manner as much as I am able to, but the love isn’t free-flowing and doesn’t feel natural.

I am now married and have moved homes but whenever my parents try to call me over the phone I feel extremely anxious about having to talk to them. The conversation feels forced and I anticipate it ending as soon as possible. I prefer to text them instead of having to speak as even the slightest change in my tone makes them question me.

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, thank you for writing in.

A person cannot always help the way they feel about people or situations, but they must always do their best to behave and react appropriately.

Parents in particular have a special station and rights over their children, and God commands children to treat parents with forbearance, forgiveness, respect and kindness. ‘For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them [even] ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully’. [17:23]

Although your parents may have been over-protective and over-powering in your upbringing, and as difficult as it may be, try to identify where that is coming from. Perhaps it is from love, from fear, perhaps from wanting only the best for you. Emotions are very deep things and can manifest themselves in strange ways!

You mention that they tell you they love you now, in private and public, which shows they are trying in some way to connect with you and make things better. Try to remember that our parents are still individual people, with their own flaws, insecurities, and their own history, some of which we may not know. They were also children of parents and it’s important to know about their relationships with their parents. It may not help the way you feel right now, but identifying these things may help understand your parent’s motives and act as a place to start and move on from.

Having said that, when the relationship is strained, over-whelming, oppressive, or there are other deep rooted issues that cause you anxiety and stress, the obligation upon you is to ensure you do not intentionally cut ties with them and that you do not cause them hurt. Rather, you should greet them whenever you speak and enquire how they are every now and then, and if they genuinely need things then do your best to fulfill their needs or assist them.

Unless your parents are very old or in financial need, you are not obligated to serve them, see, or speak to them all the time. It is an incorrect assumption that ‘parents can say whatever they like to their children, who must ‘take it’. You are entitled to protect yourself and your family from any genuine stress or harm from anyone, including parents, while at the same time upholding respect and kindness.

Suggestions:

Perhaps try the following:

Avoid speaking about any contentious issues or anything you feel that will cause you anxiety. Keep conversations neutral. Making small talk can be hard and bland, but it’s a small price to pray for avoiding issues while fulfilling your obligation.

Have set times you call them and prepare for those conversations beforehand to avoid stress. If you really feel anxious, then write down a list of topics you feel comfortable talking about or asking, and go through them when you speak to them.

If your parents make you feel uncomfortable, whether on the phone, in private, or in front of others, remain silent and make dhikr in your head, or smile graciously and remind yourself that you’re doing this for the sake of Allah.

Lastly, do make abundant supplication for your parents. If they have wronged you, then you would want Allah to forgive them. Allah can change the state of hearts of whoever he wants and whenever He wants.

I wish you all the best and that you and your parents build a peaceful and loving relationship.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath. 

Being a Daughter, a Woman, and Living This Life

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil counsels on the role and duty of daughter toward parents, being a woman, feeling isolated overwhelmed by expectations.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am tired. I don’t feel like I understand my purpose anymore. Especially when I see so many of my sisters in Islam living a life of independence. I am confused about exactly what Islam says on the matter – it has been my long held belief that a girl or woman doesn’t leave her parents home except by marriage.

Am I wrong? I was under the impression that this is based upon a hadith. What happens if she doesn’t get married? Is she forced to leave and find her independence?

I am one of three sisters. One who has gotten married, one who lives independently of us, and me. I do not wish for marriage. But I see myself as being responsible for my parents as they get older. I have no mahram other than my elderly father. No other family here. I do work, part-time alhamduliLlah.

Should I leave the home and leave my parents alone? (I don’t want to, because I am afraid to lose them in any sense, even by their own natural end).

I sometimes feel like nothing I do is right before my father. I feel like I studied and obeyed them in this regard. But now, I am so tired with how pointless everything is. I studied two degrees, trained for a long time, and all for what?

I remained confused about my faith, I have lost friends, and become more isolated. I genuinely believe women need a mahram to travel randomly around the globe if for pleasure and not for purpose.

I’ve become disheartened, disillusioned, for clinging onto things that others maybe don’t consider important. Please advise me.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Living Alone

Dear sister, please know that Allah knows the deepest contents of your heart. If you do not want to move out from your parents’ home, then please, by all means, remain there.

Please do not compare yourself to your sisters, as tempting as that may be. Three of you are completely different individuals, with unique strengths and challenges. Your responsibility is to measure yourself against the yardstick of what is pleasing to Allah, in this present moment.

Please refer to these links to clarify your confusion about the permissibility of an unmarried Muslim woman, living alone: Can I, as a Woman, Live on My Own? [Shafi’i] and Can an Unmarried Young Woman Live Alone?

Exception

The only scenario in which I would encourage you to move out from your parents’ home is this – if staying with your parents were harming you, in some way.

It does not have to be outward abuse, but if you feel that staying with your parents is contributing to feelings of stagnation, then perhaps it is time for you to make a change.

Caring for Parents

It is praiseworthy for you to take on the main responsibility of caring for your parents in their old age. However, please know that goodness to your parents remains a personally obligatory act for all of your sisters. Your commitment to caring for your parents does not lift the responsibility from their shoulders.

I suspect that because you live with your parents, then your sisters take you for granted. They know that you are there every day to be of service to your parents, so perhaps they do not try harder to be there for them, too.

I encourage you to complete this transformative course: Excellence With Parents: Muhammad Mawlud’s Birr al-Walidayn Explained: Your Parents’ Rights and How to Fulfil Them.

Father

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Sura al-Dhariyat 51:56)

You describe that nothing you do is right by your father. I am sorry – this is deeply painful, for any daughter. Please know that when a father is chronically displeased with his children, it actually reflects his own chronic displeasure with himself.

I encourage you not to live your life for your parents, especially not your father. This can be very hard to do at first, because it has become an ingrained habit. Live for Allah, and within the realms of permissibility, please do things that bring you joy. Find ways to nourish your heart, body, mind and soul.

Please know that perhaps creating some physical distance between you and your father may help you realign with your values, instead of always being drawn to what is pleasing to him.

You were created to worship Allah, and your journey to that includes working on your weaknesses and harnessing your strengths.

Life Coaching

I suggest that you look up one of the many Muslimah life coaches online. Find someone who resonates with you, and commit to exploring ways to improve your life. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What do you want to get better at?

Marriage and Possible Depression

You describe that you do not want to be married. Is this because you have been hurt before, or because you genuinely are not interested in marriage?

You have also described yourself as losing friends, feeling lonely, and being exhausted. Could your low moods and lack of interest in marriage be something you could explore, within the safety of a culturally-sensitive counsellor’s office?

Travel

Please refer to this link for clarification: Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram?

Spiritual Nourishment

Dear sister, your soul is yearning for relief. Please feed your soul with the the cool, sweet waters of dua, the Prayer of Need, reciting and listening to Qur’an, and other acts of nearness to Allah.

Clarify your confusion about your faith through seeking out healing knowledge. SeekersHub courses are in abundance, alhamdulilah, so decide which ones resonate with you most, and strive to complete them.

I pray that this has been helpful. Please keep in touch.

Please see: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Honesty towards Parents and Future Wife

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives advice on being honest to one’s loved ones.

Question:

Should I tell my parents and friends how I met my wife? Let’s say it was through a mutual friend. Do they need to know?

Does my future wife needs to know if have broken my legs three times, or lets say I had three bouts of depression but I’m fully functional and working full time? Does she need to know?

Answer:

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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

Parents’ Concern about Future Wife

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Avoid suspicion for suspicion is the most lying form of talk. Do not be inquisitive about one another, or spy on one another.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Dear questioner, I recommend that you reassure your parents’ and friends by saying that you were introduced to your wife by mutual friends. Any parent would be concerned, because they would like to know the background about the person their child wants to marry.

If you do not tell them the truth, then they may jump to incorrect conclusions that would cast your future wife in a bad light. I encourage you to cut off any suspicion by being honest. You have done nothing wrong by meeting your future wife through mutual friends.

I do not know your background, but are you concerned because your family prefers marriages arranged with cousins? If they do, then prepare yourself for that and stay calm, firm and respectful.

Speaking about the Past

Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah has appointed an angel in the womb, and the angel says, ‘O Lord! A drop of discharge [i.e. of semen], O Lord! a clot, O Lord! a piece of flesh.’ And then, if Allah wishes to complete the child’s creation, the angel will say. “O Lord! A male or a female? O Lord! wretched or blessed [in religion]? What will his livelihood be? What will his age be?’ The angel writes all this while the child is in the womb of its mother.” (Bukhari)

I invite you to reflect upon the question you have asked me. What would you like if your future wife were in your position?

I invite you to reflect upon the question you have asked me. What would you like if your future wife were in your position? I do encourage you to be honest with your future wife, and tell her that you have had depression in the past. Mental illness is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a tendency many of us have, because of past trauma and the complexities of our childhood in today’s fragmented world.

Marriage and then parenthood bring about stressors that may cause you to become depressed again. It is better for your future wife to know this, so you can work together as a team through that possibility. It is better for you to be vulnerable with your future wife, instead of pretending that everything is okay. 

If you do not tell her, marry her, and you become depressed again, then she will most likely feel betrayed. Trust that Allah will reward you for your honesty with her.

What are you afraid of? If you fear that she will not marry you because you have been honest about your past depression, then please know that she is not the right woman for you. The right spouse for you will accept and cherish you for all of your scars, because it is our scars that help to bring us closer to Allah. Trust that Allah has already destined the right wife for you, and your responsibility is to uphold excellent character. 

I pray that Allah grants you the courage, wisdom, and the gift of a loving marriage.

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

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Caring for Elders Suffering from Dementia

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked for advice on how best to treat an elder in one’s care, who suffers from dementia, within the bounds of Islam.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question. Where and how can I draw the line between what my religion has taught me, and what the doctors say in regard to caring for my elder with dementia?

Religion teaches I should not say an “uff” to my elders. The physiotherapist says I have to force her to do her movements – if she cries, so be it. She says I have to be cruel to be kind.

The intention is clear for me – I want her betterment and I want her to be independent for as long as it is possible. Can you please help to explain to me how to deal with this situation from an Islamic perspective?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Not Offending Parents

You are indeed in a very difficult situation. May Allah make it easy for you. In short, do pretty much what the physiotherapist says to keep her mobile – but use the nicest language, the softest tone of voice, and as much compassion as you can muster.

Allah has commanded the believers to be excellent to their parents, “And your Lord decreed that you worship none but Him, and [that you treat] your parents with the very best of conduct. If one, or both, of them reach old age with you then do not even express any frustration to them [literally, do not say ‘Uff’], and do not scold them. Use the very best choice of words with them.” (Sura al Isra 17:23)

Scholars mention that it is impermissible to use harsh language with one’s parents. This is understood from the first part of the verse, but Allah then explicitly mentioned it to further emphasize the point (Sayis, Tafsir Ayat al-Ahkam). Rather, the way of Muslims is to always try to be kind, merciful, and gentle with them — which is not always easy when they reach old age.

Practical Steps

Help her as much as you can with her mobility issues, but make sure you lovingly explain the importance and need for the movements, and that the physiotherapist requires a certain degree of movement. Make sure she understands the benefits of it, and the harms of neglecting it.

Support her through the pain with care and compassion, and realize the she has limits. Maybe pushing her to the degree you have been told to is not best for her. Try to strike a balance between what she wants and what she is capable of doing.

Also, you may want to look into alternative methods of restoring movement. Original Strength Restoration is a good resource on this topic.

May Allah make this test easy for you, and make this service a means for you to enter Paradise. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Mother and Husband Not on Good Terms

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked about a mother who vehemently dislikes the husband of a sister, and how she can best deal with the threats she faces.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Should I get a divorce because my mother doesn’t like my husband, and says she never will? She said that if I wanted to leave and go and be with him at my home, she’ll take my passport and social away because she knows I can’t survive without it.

Does that mean my marriage won’t be good because she doesn’t support it? Does that make me a bad person? She doesn’t want to make amends and is making me choose between him or her.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Mother

Dear sister, I am very sorry that your mother is putting you in this impossible situation. When parents are deeply troubled and fearful for their adult children, then they can behave in damaging and controlling ways. What your mother is doing is sinful because she is causing you emotional harm and trying to break up your marriage.

Please do not get a divorce just because of what your mother said. It can be so, so difficult to make your own choices as an adult when you have a controlling and disapproving parent, but it does get easier with practice, and distance.

Please know that you can still make choices to protect yourself and your marriage. Do not cut ties with your mother, but do work on setting stronger boundaries. Speak to a culturally-sensitive counselor if you need to. It is natural to want to please your mother, but not at the cost of your marriage.

Husband

Why does your mother disapprove of your husband? Is he hurting you? Or is he a good man who recognizes the harm your mother is causing you?

Dear sister, please know that you are not a bad person. Your marriage can still be a loving and rewarding one.

Self-soothe

I encourage you to use apps such as Calm and Head-space to help you make space for your feelings of stress, agitation and/or anxiety.

Please read and listen to Qur’an to soothe your pain.

Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Well-being by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Priorities

If your mother is threatening to keep your passport, then you must keep it safe, because that is your property. Please secure your valuables and keep them locked and away from your mother.

I do not know the logistics behind your situation, but is your mother keeping you away from your husband, against your will? Is there anyone you can call for help?

Please gather your belongings and when you are in a safe position to do so, please return to your husband. Please limit your contact with your mother, until your well-being and the safety of your marriage is restored.

Time

Time is often the best remedy for broken hearts. That being said, if your mother is determined to still have a poor opinion of your husband, then it is better for you to accept that she will not change.

You can still live a good life, have a loving marriage, and raise your children well. It is okay to feel sad that she disapproves of your husband – just don’t let this sadness overtake your entire life, and eclipse all of your other blessings.

Please keep in touch. I pray that Allah heals your heart, your mother’s and reunites you with your husband.

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

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


I Want to Marry Someone Willing to Revert

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked for advice from a sister who wants to marry someone with a bad past who is willing to revert to Islam.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am 20 years old and want to get married to a young man, but he is non-Muslim. He says he is ready to become Muslim, pray 5 times a day, and even go on Hajj. I do not think my parents will agree, as he has a bad past. How do I know if he is meant for me? What should I do?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Islam

“And Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” (Sura Aal Imran 3:31)

Please encourage this young man to embrace Islam as soon as possible. I pray that Allah helps him make good on his Islam, whether or not you get married to him. With sincere practice of the din, please know that all of his past sins are forgiven.

Marriage

In short, once he is Muslim, then your marriage contract to him will be valid. However, because you are young and have not been married before, I strongly suggest that you marry him only with the blessings of your parents. Young marriages are often better able to thrive with family support.

Please speak to your parents about how you want to get married to this young man, after he becomes Muslim. You are right – most parents would be unhappy about their daughter wanting to marry someone with a bad past. However, once he becomes Muslim, then Allah forgives all his bad deeds. The question is whether or not your parents can. In fact, it is obligatory for you and for him to hide his past sin, unless there is some kind of outstanding debt which he needs to pay.

Istikhara

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance as many times as you need to, until you get clarity about how to move forward. Your parents softening towards him could be a positive sign, whereas your parents being firm on refusing his proposal could be a negative sign for you.

Preparation

I encourage you to read Before You Tie The Knot and complete the Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages course.

Please know that love is insufficient for a marriage to work. Marriage thrives when it is within a bedrock of shared values and a commitment to treat each other well, for Allah’s sake.

Sensitive topic

Please forgive me for my bluntness, but if this young man has had previous sexual relationships, then I suggest that he get a blood test done to ensure that he does not have any sexually-transmitted diseases.

May Allah facilitate what is best for you and this young man, in this world and the next.

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

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


How Should I Tell Parents About Becoming Muslim?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I have a close friend who is 14 and has recently converted to Islam. He attends the Friday prayer in school but hasn’t been able to pray at home yet, due to his parents not knowing. How should he go about telling his parents? If their reaction is negative, how can he continue practising Islam at home?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well. Alhamdulillah, may Allah guide your young friend in the religion, and make his faith firm.

There is no one answer to your question, as the best way to deal with the situation depends on many variables. How and when to deal with telling his parents about his conversion, if to tell them at all, largely rests upon on his relationship with his parents, the parent’s personalities and outlook in life, their understanding and exposure to Islam and Muslims, and indeed, the parents own religious convictions etc. All of these factors have to be taken into account.

However, we can offer general guidance that can be applied:

Suggestions

1. Make Du’a: The most powerful means to overcome any difficulties is to turn to and rely on the One who is in control of all affairs, their beginnings and outcomes. Your friend should ask Allah to guide him in dealing with his parents, to make the situation easy, and to make his Islam a source of happiness and guidance for them all.

2. Assess the situation: Your friend alone knows whether he should tell his parents now or later. This depends on what he feels his parent’s reactions will be. If they are kind and tolerable parents, then it may be a good idea to tell them sooner rather than later.

At the same time however, he should give himself enough time to feel comfortable in the religion. Becoming Muslim is a big step, and is the first of many steps. After one has entered Islam, this is actually where most of the guidance is needed for new Muslims, as many issues can arise and finding one’s way in the religion and among the Muslims is not always very easy.

For this reason, he should allow time for himself to adapt and build confidence in the religion, understand more of it and how faith translates into practice. This may be good to do before telling others, perhaps including parents, because speaking with some knowledge and experience is very different to speaking with no knowledge and no experience.

In the meantime, he can pray in his room, and avoid certain foods at home. Other than this, during this period of self-adaption, he does not need to implement every rule by the book at home, thereby causing confusion and discord to his unknowing parents.

On the other hand, if he feels that his parent’s reactions will be hostile and even threatening, then it would be better he does not tell them, for now at least, especially given his young age. In this case, he must just go about as normal, and pray in his room without bringing attention to his new faith. Allah knows everyone’s situation.

3. Mercy and love: If your friend does choose to tell his parent now, then he should ensure that he is respectful and calm at all times, even if they show anger, or become upset. Being defensive or aggressive won’t win anyone’s heart.

We have been commanded to be compassionate and kind to our parents in all situations. If we have to stay firm for the sake of the religion and this means upsetting parents, we stay firm without breaking their hearts any more than what may occur unavoidably. We then do our utmost to console them by other means. For this reason, your friend should show even more care and concern for them now he is Muslim than ever before, so they can see that his religion elevates a person and orders goodness and does not debase the person and invites to evil and harshness. Loving actions shoot through the heart with warmth and engenders acceptance, while harshness pierces with coldness and creates hostility.

3. Keep the message simple: Whether they accept his conversion or not, ultimately, most parents want what is best for their child. It is normal to fear what we don’t know, and for most non-Muslims, lslam is an unknown or even a threat. Your friend should be aware of this and understand it, as respecting and allaying other’s fears and concerns is usually more effective than standing defiant and defensive. It is not the unfamiliarity of Islam that may unsettle them, but it is the uncertainty of whether they will ‘lose’ their son to Islam.

If he does tell them, he should just speak from his heart and explain what stirred him to take this decision, and what he feels the religion has offered him. This personal approach will have much more effect on his parents because they will know by own that it is their son speaking, and not the influence or voice of others.

While contentious questions about Islam may arise, he should avoid entering into detailed discussion on peripheral or politicized aspects of the religion, but rather, return everything to the pure essence of Islam, meaning believing in one God, all the Prophets, the books etc., and the 5 pillars.

The aim in this approach is to build upon what is common ground or familiar to them, rather than discuss the many unfamiliar aspects or issues in their mind connected to the religion. This way, we build on ready foundations, not having to dig out from scratch, bridges are built, not burned, and understanding can occur, not misunderstanding.

By doing this, the pure message of Islam will be made clearer to his parents, and they can begin to understand what is behind their son’s new faith without being distracted and their thoughts cluttered with other issues or previous notions they had in their minds. This simple approach will be easily and more readily processed and agreeable.

4. Speak according to their understanding: Also, he should speak with what according to his parent’s level of understanding. If he must discuss things in more detail, then he should use those things that he knows appeal to them or touches their hearts. For example, if they pride themselves in being tolerant, open minded people, then he should evoke the high principles they have always taught him to follow. If they are people who believe in doing charity and good works, then he should emphasise the Prophets charity and Islam’s stress on helping others. If they are neither of the above, perhaps even anti-religion or intolerant of others, but perhaps very family orientated, then he should focus on family and what the religion says about family ties and parents etc., or if they are material and money orientated, then he can put more emphases that Islam does not demand that we give up all our worldly life and comforts for the sake of faith, but rather it can be a balance of both, and so on.

5. Support: Lastly, it is important that you, as his friend, and others, continue to support him and guide him to clarity and ease in the religion. Do not overwhelm him with too much information, rather give him space, letting him get used to the absolute basics of the religion before anything else. Most importantly, keep him strong by being strong yourselves, and show him the beauty of the religion by being beautiful people.

May Allah make you and your friends among the strong believers and the next generation of leaders. Amin.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Parents Are Always Fighting. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am so embarrassed by my parents’ fighting – it is so loud that even the neighbours can hear. They’ve been fighting for years, and because they’re old now, it’s really bad for their health.

One morning, I got very angry and just exploded at them. I know it was wrong but they just don’t listen any other way. It’s been going on for years and for the past year it’s been almost every second day and first thing in the morning to late at night.

What can I do?Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

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

Parents

This is a very difficult situation. May Allah heal your parents and bless them with some peace in their old age.

Ultimately, please remember that only you can control your behaviour. You have no control over what your parents do. It looks like they struggle to have control over their own behaviour.

Realistically, because they have had such an unhealthy relationship dynamic for so long, it is unlikely for them to change. You will only frustrate and disappoint yourself if you want them to change.

Divorce

The irony is that although both your parents are deeply unhappy with each other, they have chosen to remain married out of habit, financially necessity, or some other factor. It is far healthier for them to go separate ways because all they are doing by staying married is hurting each other, and hurting you.

Could you consider bringing up the topic of divorce to your parents? Do so calmly, respectfully, and expect them to respond defensively at first. Change is difficult, especially for the elderly.

Trust in Allah

Place your trust and hope in Allah. Plead directly to him for ease in this test. Please perform the Prayer of Need.

Conflict resolution

Unfortunately, your role model for conflict management is an unhealthy one.

I suggest that you speak to a culturally-sensitive counsellor about your situation. A good therapist will help to teach you coping strategies.

It is important for you to learn how to better resolve conflict. All of us return to our default programming, especially during times of stress. As unbelievable as it may sound to you right now, when you get married inshaAllah, it will be very easy for you to fall into the exact pattern your parents are in.

Solutions

1) Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to help your parents and you.
2) Practice daily relaxation and mindfulness exercises. “Calm” is an excellent app.
3) Rehearse what you will do the next time your parents argue. You can set a firm boundary, such as “Please stop arguing. I’m worried for both of you. It’s bad for your health.” Then leave the room.
4) Invest in a good pair of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to help you cope with your daily life.
5) Reach out to your brothers for support. They may be married and living independently now, but it is still their obligation to care for your parents.
6) Consider speaking to a culturally-sensitive counsellor to help you cope better.

I pray that Allah grants you an opening and eases your difficulty. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

My Parents Tend to Fight Very Often: What Should I Do?
How Does a Child Deal With Parents Who Fight Each Other?

Answer:

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Is the Pleasure of Allah in the Pleasure of Our Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Asslamu Alaykum

1. Is it true that the pleasure of Allah is in the pleasure of our parents?
2. If so, then if we do something that makes our parents happy, proud and pleased, are we automatically making Allah happy, proud and pleased?
3. For example, if someone wants to pursue medicine as this will please his parents, does he also please Allah?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Allah’s Pleasure

Abdullah bin Amr narrated that: The Prophet said: “The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure, and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.” [Tirmidhi]

Yes, the pleasure of Allah lies in the pleasure of our parents.

Yes, if we do something that makes our parents pleased with us, then we can hope for Allah’s pleasure.

Yes, if someone wants to pursue Medicine as this will please his parents, then he can hope for Allah’s pleasure.

May Allah facilitate your desire to please Him through pleasing your parents.

Please see:

ADVICE: Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger – Habib Umar

[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.