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Pain Is an Expiation

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat advises on the pain of ending an illicit relationship and turning to Allah.

Four years ago, I was in a haram relationship with a female. We were both conscious of our din and so had wanted to end the haram and make the relationship proper.

Disobeying Allah and also keeping the relationship a secret from her parents took a toll on our emotional and psychological health and the relationship deteriorated.

At some point I felt that perhaps our fighting was due to us being incompatible not realizing that perhaps these were just relationship struggles that are normal for couples. There was also some dishonesty on my part and then on hers, about talking to the opposite gender during our time together which fractured the trust between us.

I ended the relationship thinking for the best but a year or two afterwards, reconsidered that perhaps I’d been mistaken. I know that she’s an amazing person and so I attempted to approach her again with little success. I regret having let her go and long dearly for companionship, sometimes to the extent that I become depressed and despondent, amd reach out to her. To the best of my ability, I’ve steered clear of dating, although I falter from time to time.

Sometimes I fear that leaving her was a mistake, and that I might never find a spouse who I consider beautiful, loving and deen concious. It makes me depressed and this affects my life and my studies.

How do I go about seeking a spouse and asking Allah’s guidance so that I can find a spouse who will be the coolness of my eyes

I pray you are well.

Pain Is an Expiation

You shouldn’t consider ending that relationship to be a mistake. If you did it for the sake Allah then both of you will be rewarded for the choice and the act. Perhaps the pain you both felt at ending the relationship was a means for the sins from that relationship to be washed away. Allah knows it all. Allah sees it all. Allah doesn’t “lose” any of the reward He has promised for struggling for His sake.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us that “The Garden is surrounded by matters disliked, and the Fire by pleasures.” (Bukhari). Meaning, that is it through struggling with matters one does not readily enjoy that Paradise is granted to a person. And the pleasures that are easy to attain through impermissible means are what lead to Hell.

Ask Allah

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the support of one’s relationship with Allah, and the light of the heavens and earths.” (Hakim) You’re in a situation of need. The only way to get out of that need is to express you need to Allah; show your slave-hood to Him by turning to Him and asking Him to fix the problem you have. Then leave the matter to Him. If He makes things go the way you want them or not, He will certainly bring about what is best for you.

I recommend you pray Salat al-Haja, on a daily basis, and ask Allah to facilitate a good marriage for you. We shouldn’t regret having stopped a sinful act. Rather, we should ask Allah for them ability to remove all disobedience from our lives, and for Him to fulfill our needs through means which are permissible. This is where the benefit lies.

I leave you with the words Allah revealed for us to ask Him with:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Our Dear Lord, grant us, through our spouses and offspring, peace of mind, and make us the leaders of the God-Fearing.

May Allah facilitate the matter for you quickly and easily.

Abdul-Rahim

My Parents Want Me to Finish My Studies Before Getting Married. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have been engaged to my fiancé for three years but he lives in a different country. My parents are insistent that I need to finish my education and get a job first. They feel my fiancé’s visa needs to be sorted first as being away from each other after marriage would be difficult. I really want to be with my fiancé. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Marriage

This is a difficult situation. On one hand, you feel ready to get married. On the other hand, your parents want you to wait.

It is important for you to handle this with wisdom and sensitivity. Consider this a test of your character.

Even though I do not know you or your parents, would it be safe to say that they are concerned for you and want to protect you from harm.

A woman has more at stake to lose when a marriage goes sour. Your education is incredibly important, and so is your ability to earn your own money. Marriage, especially when overseas, can be a complex and challenging situation.

I encourage you to read ‘ Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples
and listen to ‘ Getting Married with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Parents

I encourage you to do this course to better understand the rank of your parents: Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents

It may be difficult for you to understand their perspective, and this is a test for most children. Perform the How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)? for both Allah to soften all of your hear and for Him to grant you greater understanding of each other

Is there any way for you to work together with your parents to solve this together, as a team?

Mediation

Is there an elder in your community or your family who can help to speak to your parents on your behalf? Elders often respond better when they are given counsel by other elders.

Prayer of Guidance

Please perform the Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance as many times as you need to for clarity. Watch what Allah unfolds for you, and what He makes easier.

For example, a clear sign that marriage is good for you is your parents changing their minds. A clear sign that marriage is not good for you is continual hardship in your path to getting married.

Support

Who do you have for support? Do you have close friends and family members who can support you?

Is there a culturally-sensitive counsellor you can speak to? I urge you to wake up in the last third of the night and perform tahajjud. May Allah give you both patience, wisdom, and a way out of your tribulation.

Please see:

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

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.

Seeking Out A Culturally-Sensitive Counsellor, by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Working for the SeekersHub Question and Answer service constantly reminds Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil about the importance of looking after our emotional and mental health.

So many Muslims around the world are struggling with different forms of psychological imbalance. To name a few: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and so on. These inward fractures mirror the outward fractures we see in our troubled world today.
We live in stressful times, and many of our trials begin in our family homes. Many families lack the knowledge and training necessary to deal with these issues, hence, difficulties often escalate.
I feel like in almost every question I respond to, I encourage the distressed questioner and his/her loved ones to see a culturally-sensitive counsellor.
What does that actually look like? Does he/she have to be Muslim? Not necessarily. That would be ideal, but it’s not always possible.
Some aspects of a culturally-sensitive counsellor are:

Understanding

A counsellor who understands Muslims and what is important to us would be much more in tune with your needs. It’s exhausting to need to justify and explain your stance to an ignorant counsellor. Most people who are at counselling are already tired and stretched thin.

Open-minded

An open-minded counsellor is able to support you even if his/her values are different to yours. This applies to both Muslim and non-Muslim counsellors.

Empowering

Many people enter therapy believing that his/her counsellor will magically solve their problems. This does not solve the long-term issue of whatever caused the issue to begin with e.g. victim mentality, difficulty handling strong emotions etc.
The best kind of counsellor doesn’t tell you what to do. Rather, he/she will help you tap into your own values, and help you come to your own decision.

Good rapport

Trust your gut. If speaking to your counsellor makes you feel worse, then reflect on that. Is it because he/she is encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone? Or is it because she is being condescending? Not liking what a counsellor has to say can be a signal for growth, or it could be a sign of a mismatch. Be honest with yourself.

Empathy

The right counsellor feels for your pain, but does not do so from a place of sympathy and condescension. The right counsellor helps to hold you accountable for what you do, and believes in your ability to overcome hardship.

Finding the right counsellor

So now that we’ve covered some important qualities in a culturally-sensitive counsellor, how do we go about finding one? I wish I had an easy answer for that. The reality is that it’s a hit and miss process. Some counsellors will click with you, and others will not. Some people are able to find the right counsellor straight away, while others need to look for months, or even longer.
As with anything, start with asking Allah. Perform the Prayer of Need. When you do come across a potential counsellor, then perform the Prayer of Guidance. InshaAllah, Allah will make it clear to you.
To help you find the right counsellor for you, speak to Muslims who are working or volunteering in the mental health field. Ask your doctor. Do your research. Above all, place your trust in Allah, and in His promise that after every hardship, comes ease.
[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for seekers

What did Abdullah Ibn Masud leave his daughters?

Abdullah Ibn Masud and his Daughters

What did Abdullah Ibn Masud leave his daughters? This was the question he was asked on his death bed to which he gave an astonishing answer. Watch Shaykh Hamdi Benaissa as he emphasizes the importance of taking of spiritual means, along with the physical means.
Sincere thanks to the Rhoda Institute of Islamic Learning for this recording.

Resources for seekers:

Cover Photo: Heidi Lalci

How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?

Answered by Faraz Rabbani

Question: How does one perform the prayer of need (salat al-haja)?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his Folk, Companions and those who follow their noble way,

Abullah ibn Abi Awfa (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever has a need with Allah, or with any human being, then let them perform ritual ablutions well and then pray two rakats. After that, let them praise Allah and send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). After this, let them say,

لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ الْحَلِيمُ الْكَرِيمُ
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
أَسْأَلُكَ مُوجِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ وَعَزَائِمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ وَالْغَنِيمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ بِرٍّ وَالسَّلامَةَ مِنْ كُلّ إِثْمٍ
لا تَدَعْ لِي ذَنْبًا إِلا غَفَرْتَهُ وَلا هَمًّا إِلا فَرَّجْتَهُ وَلا حَاجَةً هِيَ لَكَ رِضًا إِلا قَضَيْتَهَا يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ

There there no god but Allah the Clement and Wise.
There is no god but Allah the High and Mighty.
Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
I ask you (O Allah) everything that leads to your mercy, and your tremendous forgiveness, enrichment in all good, and freedom from all sin.
Do not leave a sin of mine (O Allah), except that you forgive it, nor any concern except that you create for it an opening, nor any need in which there is your good pleasure except that you fulfill it, O Most Merciful!”

[Related by Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja. The hadith has some weakness, but it is slight: such hadiths are acted upon for virtuous deeds (fada’il al-a`mal) by general agreement of Sunni scholarship]

The prayer of need is very simple: It is essentially to raise one’s need to Allah Most High, by performing ritual ablution (wudu), praying 2 rakats (or four), and then making whole-hearted dua to Allah. If one uses the abovementioned Prophetic supplication, or other similar supplications transmitted from the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), it is best. [Ibrahim al-Halabi, Sharh Munyat al-Musalli; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The inward manners of supplication is exhibiting our neediness and absolute slavehood to Allah, consigning one’s matters to Allah, and knowing that the only one who gives or benefits is Allah Most High. With this, one should be certain that Allah Most High answers our duas, but in the way He knows is best for us.

When circumstances do not permit us to pray 2 rakats, one should still turn to Allah in supplication, raising one’s needs to Him, for He answers our supplications and loves being asked.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

جاء في الفتاوى الهندية: [1/112]
( وَمِنْهَا ) صَلاةُ الْحَاجَةِ وَهِيَ رَكْعَتَانِ .قال خاتمة المحققين سيدي محمد أمين بنُعابدين (رحمه الله تعالى) في رد المحتار:

مطلب في صلاة الحاجة . ( قوله وأربع صلاة الحاجة إلخ ) قال الشيخ إسماعيل:ومن المندوبات صلاة الحاجة ,ذكرها في التجنيس والملتقط وخزانة الفتاوىوكثيرمن الفتاوى والحاوي وشرح المنية . أما في الحاوي فذكر أنها ثنتا عشرة ركعة,وبين كيفيتها بما فيه كلام . وأما في التجنيس وغيره , فذكر أنها أربع ركعاتبعدالعشاء وأن في الحديث المرفوع يقرأ في الاولى الفاتحة مرة وآية الكرسي ثلاثا ,وفيكل من الثلاثة الباقية يقرأ الفاتحة والاخلاص والمعوذتين مرة مرة كن له مثلهنمنليلة القدر . قال مشايخنا : صلينا هذه الصلاة فقضيت حوائجنا مذكور فيالملتقط والتجنيس وكثير من الفتاوى , كذا في خزانة الفتاوى . وأما في شرح المنيةفذكر أنها ركعتان , والاحاديث فيها مذكورة في الترغيب والترهيب كما في البحر. وأخرج الترمذي عن عبد الله بن أبي أوفى قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليهوسلم { من كانت له إلى الله حاجة أو إلى أحد من بني آدم فليتوضأ وليحسنالوضوء ثم ليصل ركعتين , ثم ليثن على الله تعالى , وليصل على النبي صلى الله عليهوسلم ثم ليقل لا إله إلا الله الحليم الكريم , سبحان الله رب العرش العظيم , الحمدلله رب العالمين . أسألك موجبات رحمتك , وعزائم مغفرتك , والغنيمة من كلبر , والسلامة من كل إثم , لا تدع لي ذنبا إلا غفرته , ولا هما إلا فرجته , ولاحاجة هي لك رضا إلا قضيتها يا أرحم الراحمين } ” . ا هـ . أقول : وقد عقدفي آخر الحلية فصلا مستقلا لصلاة الحاجة , وذكر ما فيها من الكيفيات والرواياتوالادعية وأطال وأطاب كما هو عادته – رحمه الله تعالى – فليراجعه من أراده .

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