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Doubting My Ability to Suceed Due to Insults from Family and Friends

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Asalaamu Aluykum

After failing to excel at school growing up, after a 2 year delay, I managed to get into a top ten University. Recently I failed one unit due to not studying something that was forced on me.   I have suffered a lot due to stress. The University acknowledged my situation and has allowed me to carry on and pick a suitable subject.

However i have doubts whether I should carry on. I am the only member of my family that has had problems with education. Ever since the age of 16 strangers, friends, and family have told me I am slow and stupid.

My self esteem is very low and I doubt I can do well at University after listening to what others say.  I feel sad and lonely at times. I want to study and do well so I can work for the ummah.  I regularly send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at night to help with feelings of sorrow and loneliness.

Answer: May Allah make things easy for you my dear brother. The situation that you are dealing with is not an easy one. When insults come from those who are closest to us they can hurt and damage us the most.

Rights of Parents

My advice to you first and foremost is to remain humbly respectful to your parents no matters what they say to you. Ibrahim alayhis salam had a father who told him that he would stone him. Yet in response, Ibrahim alayhis salam spoke very respectfully to him. You should consider taking our course on the Rights of Parents to help you guide your way through dealing with your parents.

Deen vs. Dunya

Another thing that you should be sure to train yourself to think about, is the difference between the knowledge and work of the deen (religion) and that of the dunya (worldy affairs). As long as you do not fall short in your religious affairs, then others do not have a right to blame you. The only exception is dunya that serves the deen, like working to support ones self and their family.

University Studies

In terms of carrying on with your university education, why would you stop it? As long as it does not take you away from studying the knowledge of this deen, then you should keep going with it. It will give you a standing to support yourself throughout your life and make learning and practicing the deen easier.

Insults

In terms of people insulting you in various ways, you do not have to stand for it. You should politely tell your parents that those words harm you. For others who hurl the insults, you can be more assertive in letting them know they have hurt you. You should also remove yourself from the place where you are being insulted.

This is a type of hijrah (immigration), even if it means just going to to another room. Do not sit there and take it. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, taught us to not allow ourselves to be belittled. So you must do whatever you can to protect your honor.

Dealing with the Pain

You have found a wonderful way of dealing with the pain that you are experiencing Sending prayers on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is a healing for the hearts. I would also encourage you to increase your reading of the Quran as well. Reading Sura Yusuf has been found to help heal sadness.

Abu Dom Dom

You should also implement the practice of Abu Dom Dom. He was a man in Jahiliyya (Days of Pre-Islamic Ignorance) who used to say every morning, “O Allah, I give my honor as a charity to the people.” He would intend that everything that he was owed, in terms of people slighting his honor, he would give away as charity. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, said, “Are any of you incapable of being like Abu Dom Dom?” This practice of “giving up” things is a time-tested healing.

As long as we hang on to the hurt that others have caused us, it will continue to hurt us. Even physiologically every time we think about the hurt our body releases cortisol and other hormones that cause stress similar to when we first experienced the pain the first time. Thereby leading to a perpetual hurt. The practice of Abu Dom Dom, approved and encouraged by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) can break this vicious cycle.

Please keep in contact with us here at Seekers and take our courses. There is healing and guidance in seeking knowledge.

Your brother,

Rami Nsour

Marrying a Man I Have an Illicit Relationship With

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I have been Muslim all my life but I have children out of wedlock. My oldest child’s father has become Muslim and we want to be married but he wants a job first. I have no problem with that but we are sinning by having relations. I don’t want to and often feel terrible after the act. I keep telling him it is best for us to wed in order to stop sinning but he insists on finding a job first, but he wants to continue the relationship in the mean time.  What can I do to convince him that marriage is the most important thing to do at this point and a job will come? He is worried about finances but I have a job. Two is better than one but I feel as though we should just get married and everything else will fall into place. Help!

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you well.

You need to work on your self-esteem. Allah has honored women by insisting that men not approach them unless it is within the marital relationship. You are demeaning yourself every time you agree to engage in fornication with this man. If he calls himself a Muslim, he ought to know better.

If we want men to respect us, we have to respect ourselves. He does not respect you. Why pay for what you can get for free? He does not value you. Do not marry this man. Is this who you want to raise your children and lead your household? Someone who cannot respect the basic boundaries of Allah? If you do get married, not only would you be marrying someone with whom you committed a major sin, but you’d also be financially supporting him while he continues to enjoy your companionship. What are you getting from this? There’s no way you can respect a man like this. You owe it to yourself to marry someone who fears Allah and has his business together.

There is also the issue of your children who you’ve indicated have different fathers. You must think about their future. Not only are they handicapped by being born out of wedlock (sadly, people who find out you weren’t married to their father will tease them even though they are not to blame), you don’t have a good male role model for them. If you are serious about your children being raised correctly and not repeating your mistakes, you need to choose very carefully who you marry and bring into your house.

May Allah Ta’ala guide you to what is correct,

Zaynab Ansari

How Can I Avoid Anxiety and Being Taken Advantage of Due to Being Too Nice and Always Wanting to Please Others?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: How does one know the limits of modesty and humbleness from being a push over. I feel as if I am too giving and modest and humble to the point that i get taken advantage of. I might even sin to avoid displeasing others.  This issue is in every aspect of my life, from work to finances to relationships etc. If someone gets upset with me I  even get panic and anxiety attacks. Why do i care so much about what others think of me? Maybe it’s low self esteem. How do i find a balance of keeping myself happy and others too?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this message finds you well.

Working on your religious self-esteem is really a matter of increasing confidence in the religion of Allah. Perhaps embarking on a good course of Islamic study along with keeping strong friendships is a good place to start.

If self-esteem issues are preventing you from functioning in your workplace and your relationships, you might want to seek counseling.

You should ask Allah for thabat (consistency and firmness) and say, “O Allah, o controller of hearts and eyes, make my heart firm upon your religion.”

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari