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My Best Friend Is Non-Muslim and Respects My Islam, but She Is Openly Lesbian. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My best friend is non-Muslim and respects my Islam, but she is openly lesbian. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Honest Conversation

Dear sister, you are in a very challenging situation.

It sounds like your best friend values your friendship, and respects your Islam. As you would with any other sensitive topic, I recommend that you speak honestly with her. Talk to her about how stressed you feel, and how you do not want to lose her as a friend.

I pray that you can both brainstorm solutions together. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to show her the kindness and mercy so in-built in our deen.

Concern for children

It is natural and healthy for you to want to protect your children’s innocence. However, it is impossible to completely shield our children from the outside world. The best protection you can offer your children is a deep, trusting, and loving connection with you, Allah, and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

As your children grow older, they will probably come across same-sex couples and same-sex families with children. It is important for you to lead that conversation about how that displeases Allah, instead of avoiding it, and letting their peers/popular media/social media dictate their beliefs.

LGBTI

“And whoever submits himself to Allah and is good in deeds, he in fact holds on to the strongest ring. Towards Allah is the ultimate end of all matters.” [Qur’an, 31:22]

Whether we like it or not, in the West, your best friend’s life choices are accepted and even aggressively encouraged – this is the flood of our time. Please keep in mind that your friend’s disbelief is a much greater sin than her relationship with a transgender woman.

The reality is that in West and elsewhere, there are many Muslim men and women who are tested with this tribulation. That struggle is their road to Jannah.

Possible outcomes

I see a few options.

1) Explain to your friend that you are struggling, apologize, and grow distant from her.
2) Slowly distance yourself from your friend with no explanation. I do not recommend this, because it would hurt both of you.
3) Continue to be part of her life, hate her sins, but continue to treat her, her partner, and her future children with kindness and respect. Every step of the way, talk to your children about this topic. Use this as a teaching opportunity. This would take tremendous courage, patience, and perseverance on your part. Perhaps your good character with your best friend is what will soften her heart towards Islam. There is no greater good you can offer her.

Protection and prayer

I recommend that you perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward with your friendship.

Please see: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

I pray this helps.

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and 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 through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from the University of New South Wales.

My Wife Broke Ties With My Parents. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaykum,

My wife, children and I lived with my parents at the start of our marriage. My wife and mother faced many small problems that have escalated, and I was unable to solve these issues. Eventually we all had a very bad misunderstanding that led her to cut ties with my parents. What do I do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

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

Difficulty

Dear questioner, you are in a very difficult situation.

Living with in-laws requires a tremendous amount of patience, forgiveness, and a constant renewal of intention. If handled poorly, this living arrangement can literally break a marriage apart. Allah knows His creation, hence the wisdom behind A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws. However, the dunya is imperfect, and families find themselves in this living arrangement.

It sounds like over their time under the same roof, both your wife and your mother have accumulated frustration and resentment. It sounds like your wife lacks the skill of emotional regulation. You are right; what she did was sinful and disrespectful. She made a mistake, and I pray that Allah grants her the insight to make her repentance and ask your parents for forgiveness.

Practical steps

1) Prayer of Need

Please wake up in the last third of the night, even if it’s 10 minutes before the entry of Fajr, and perform the Prayer of Need, as regularly as you can. Pour out your sorrow and frustration to Allah. Trust that He is the Turner of Hearts, and He alone can lift this trial. If He wills, He can make your wife care deeply for your mother. Miracles can and do happen, every day, because of sincere duas.

2) Maintain a daily litany of duas.

Wird Al-Latif is an example, and/or you can look at these Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long. Insha Allah, nourishing your spiritual heart will give you the strength to be present with your family, even with all its difficulty.

3) Prophetic family

Lead by example. Like Anse Tamara Gray has described, the Prophetic family is always kind. You have every right to be saddened by what your wife did, but you have the choice to respond with compassion and forgiveness. Nourish your marriage with sincere and regular acts of love.

4) Communication

Please work on improving your communication with your wife. It may be necessary for both of you to see a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor. Both of you have contributed to your strife, but it may be easier for her to hear that from an objective professional. Your wife needs to learn how to better regulate her emotions, and you need to learn how to better communicate your unhappiness with her. At some point, you need to express how important it is for her to mend ties with your parents, even if she may react poorly at first. These articles may help:

Soften Your Startup
Repair Attempts
15 Ways to Calm a Fight

5) Mend ties

Call your parents regularly, especially your mother, and send them gifts. Do this with the intention of honoring your parents, and sowing seeds of forgiveness in their heart. I understand that you are living overseas, but please make an effort to visit your parents at least 1-2 times a year. Spend quality time with them, and prepare your wife to do the same.

6) Reflect

Sit down with your family and reflect on the stories of troubled families in the Qur’an. Allah revealed these archetypal stories to help us navigate our trials. Speak about how patiently and how beautifully Prophet Yusuf, upon him be blessings and peace, responded to his trial. His own brothers tried to kill him, yet he had a heart big enough to forgive them.

I pray that Allah mends the broken ties in your family, places deep love for each other in your hearts, and reunites all of you in Jannah.

Please see:

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

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and 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.

How to Avoid Cutting Ties With People and Bad Company at the Same Time?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

When is something considered cutting ties as opposed to avoiding company of people who may either cause you to waste time in frivolous talk or may lead to sin such as backbiting?

Answer: Wa alaykum salam

Thank you for your question

There are two important considerations regarding your question. The types of ties one may have and what constitutes maintaining ties.

Types of ties:

Muslims are encouraged to maintain good ties with all. However, the emphasis of maintaining ties differ from person to person. Keeping ties of kinship, by way of example, is compulsory; while extrafamilial ties do not share the same ruling.

What constitutes keeping ties:

Imam al-Nawawi defined maintaining ties as, “showing kindness to relatives according to your condition and there’s. This could be through financial support; offering your services; and at times by visiting or greeting and so forth.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Ibn Hajar explained it as, “the comprehensive meaning (of joining ties) is to offer all possible good and removing all possible harm. If however, they are disbelievers (apostates) or wrong doers, then severing ties with them for the sake of Allah, is the (prescribed) form of joining ties.” [Fath al-Bari]

Your question:

Avoiding the company of someone, family or other, does not constitute severing ties, as long as you are there to assist when assistance is required, and that you try visiting once in a while. In addition, avoiding the company of someone that may be the cause that you become sinful, is definitely encouraged.

However, given the sad state of the ummah, this may require one to go in seclusion which is not practical. What would be better for you, is to develop tactics when interacting with people. By way of example, if someone was to speak ill of another and you are able to state that this is sinful then do so. If you cannot, then try changing the topic. If you unable to do that as well, then excuse yourself, politely, and walk away. I’ve noticed that when people realize that you do not want to hear backbiting, they refrain from doing so when you are in their company.

May Allah protect us from all actions that are displeasing to him. May He guide us and make us a means for the guidance of others, amin.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.