Successful Parenting in the West – Dr Yasir Qadhi

Successful Parenting in the West Shaykh Yasir Qadhi
4th April 2019 – Manchester, Read Foundation Dinner (Paraphrased)
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Family, family, family. The family is one of the greatest blessings given to humanity, if Allah didn’t want to give this gift He wouldn’t have. When Allah told the angels that humans will be created, he used the word Khalifa which is often mistaken for meaning vice-regent, but its technical definition means a generation that will keep on replicating, the regeneration of families, because the angels don’t have to have these, the angels don’t have families they don’t marry other angels and have children. The same angel that was created millions of years ago is the same angel that will exist till the end of times. But humans recreate a generation that regrows and looks after each other we are created differently from the angels. We are a nation of families, we are species that Allah has created in a different manner to angels, that why Allah mentions the word Khalifah. The talk today is short and significant about raising children in the west, I’m going to share some benefits that I have myself learnt and acquired from the experience I have.  I have 4 kids and three are teenagers so I want to share with you 7 rules from my own reading and research. Anything good I share is from Allah(SWT) and anything else is from Shaytaan and me.
First Rule – There are no rules.
Anybody that tells you they have the magic solution on how to be a better parent is lying, simple as that. Anybody that promises you that if you follow this piece of advice and I can guarantee that your children will come out like this, that advice is lying, miskeen. One famous child psychologist wrote a famous book about this, and that he had a PhD from Harvard etc. that before I had any children I had 6 theories about how to raise kids, now I have 6 kids and 0 theories. There are no rules to, nobody can guarantee or promise you that this technique will make your kids better, or more Islamic there is more educated. This also explains why the Quran and Sunnah don’t come with detailed manuals on parenting; there is more in our books about fiqh of wudu and Salah than about how to be a parent. That is not because astaghfirullah Allah intentionally left it out, it is because parenting is something you learn as you go along. It is child-sensitive and parent sensitive. It’s unique. How you raise one child will not necessarily be the same as how you raise the second child. It is something you learn on the job, and the training is your own life. So even the shariah does not have specific guidelines.
There is no massive book that can be written but because advice has not been recorded in prophetic traditions, also they are culture sensitive what works in one culture might not work in another culture, and what works in one neighbourhood might not even work in the house. So there cant be no manual, It’s just general generic advice, that can be universal, that you have to think about contemplate and adapt too, that’s the first rule.
2.        The second rule is responsibility begets actions and knowledge begets responsibility.
The goal is to be a better parent that’s conscious that you are responsible in eyes of Allah, every parent should want to study and learn. Knowledge of the deen and Dunya. Benefit from Islamic advice when your education will raise awareness that will raise responsibility that will create better parenting. Some parents spend time in one thing but neglect other duties fathers concerned about one aspect like making sure they work all hours and have money for their children which is important, and mothers are always worried about whether you are fed or warm and have a jumper on. Both are concerned about something else, who is concerned with the spirituality of their children most parents only realise when it’s too late then go to the mosque to the Imam asking what went wrong, the answer is what did you do for the last 15 years both parents mothers and fathers are responsible for the spiritual welfare of your child.
You need to have fear of God in your hearts that Allah will ask me and you about our children
If we don’t have love and fear in our hearts of Allah, If you truly love your children you would provide for their spiritual wellbeing
What did you do to uplift their spirituality? Our ancestors came from another country even if parents weren’t religious the society and culture forced you to practice Islam and go to jummah and there were safety mechanisms place, to ensure your child was looked after.
In this country, there are no safety mechanisms. We are so concerned about their physical upbringing but are we not concerned about their akhirah.
Rule 3 – Actions speak louder than words
Lead by example not by words. By helping your children you need to help yourself first. Exemplifying the values of our faith you need to embody them in yourself. Your actions have to be consistent in your whole life.  If there were to be a secret to who I am today, it’s my parents people want the kids to be like. Me I’m a nobody.
When I think of my parents I always see my mums face in the Quran, I remember her always reading the Quran as we were growing up. My dad always in the community, he built the first mosque in Houston in the 60s. I subconsciously grew up with this and took it in with me. They didn’t have to tell me to do this and that, I saw them doing it, I have the love of the Quran in my heart because I saw my parents with the Quran. It came with the home ambience that Allah blessed me with a child
When I was growing up sometimes, we lived where there was no mosque nearby. Typically one salah Maghrib my dad would lead in salah as a family.  10 years Mecca and Madinah I read maghrib and isha In the harams. But when I came back there were no mosques nearby.  Subconsciously, I started replicating with my kids with toddlers behind me what I saw my dad doing as I grew up, I started leading the Salah at home with my toddlers behind me. I realised then, this act came from what upbringing my dad gave me.
You need to show your kids what you want them to be in yourself. You need to change your life if you expect your kids to change. For the sake of your children lead a better life. Contemplate if you are truly a role model.  We are all sinners but we have to strive.
4.        Rule 4 – Your family generally needs your time. More than your money
I say this especially to those that work so hard and we leave the house for so long that we think in our promotions and paycheck that’s what my kids need, which is in important too but there has to be a balance, they need that but taking time out for their children is what they need the most.
Taking time out for your family, don’t trivialise spending time with your children. A book by Gary Chapman 5 languages of love for children. Strongly encourage you to get this book.
The child to be healthy and loved, that the physical touch of human nature is important. There is a hadith of the Bedouin seeing the prophet with his grandsons kissing and picking one and playing with them, and the Bedouin is shocked  because in culture you seem more macho and manly if you don’t show affection to your children,  and he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about this, and the prophet said:  ‘what can I do if Allah has taken mercy and tenderness from your heart.’
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) played with the kids several times. Even in Salah with the prophet, the Prophet made the sajood longer because a baby was on his back. The prophet Led in salah with a baby in hand and delivered the khutbah imagine your local imam or sheikh doing that.
Secondly, he says in the book to use words of affirmations we love putting our kids down, especially in some cultures. Words of encouragement are good, we should criticise our kids at home in private.
Don’t belittle. Also, they will be the actions of acts of service you show them and rewards them with gifts.
Rule 5 – Be careful who your friends are.
Your friends will influence your children. They will influence your children and their children will influence your children. Birds of a feather flock together. Islam isn’t just road, you don’t just memorise Islam, and it is a lived experience. What do you do in your spare time, connect with a community and mosque community.  Once a week twice a week they should know the mosque, they should know the mosque community. It should be the ambience of the home.
Rule 6 – Pray WITH and FOR your family.
Pray with your family as jamaah at least once a day, make a salah, you lead it doesn’t matter how bad your tajweed, or how you say waladhaleen. Allah will still reward you and give barakah to your family.
And pray for your family ask yourself when the last time you prayed for your children was that Allah guides them
The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) made so many duas from their tongues for the children, if they as Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) had to make dua for their children, then who are you and me.
It should be the regular and number one dua on your list. If you don’t make dua for your children, who else will. All these prophetic duas from Ibrahim etc are for you, that is Allah giving you the duas to make for your children.
Rule 7-  Do the best you can and leave the rest to Allah.
It’s Allah’s qadr look at Prophet Nuh (peace and blessings be upon him) was he a bad father no but look at his son, and look at Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and his father was Azhar but he had a son like Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him).
There are cases where kids are so away from Islam, for example, a family friend of ours, his son left Islam, which broke his dad’s heart, then after his father death then he repented and took the shahdah again because of the upbringing he remembered. That fathers dua was answered after he died.
The result is Allahs not yours.
Here we are talking about tarbiyyah of children and some parents don’t have the luxury to provide tarbiyyah of children in developiung countries, then someone has to or something has to take its place.CLoud
Question and Answers
1.      What do you do if your local mosque does not have a facility for women?
Not only having a section in the mosque a part of Sunnah, in this day and age, in this society not having it is problematic.
How do you expect women to prepare the next generation, if you take away the umbilical cords of community and Islam from them. Our women should be welcomed in the mosque, they are the future mothers of our next generation
Our women are going everywhere, shopping centres, university etc but the one place they need to be they aren’t allowed.  People quote hadith etc about them not being allowed in the mosque which is of opinion too but times have changed.  People should put positive pressure on mosques. Positive pressure is not negative. A number of the masjid in America have 4 halls, one major for brothers, one for sisters, one connected to the sisters’ soundproof room for women and children,  and one with brothers with children.
2.      My child suffers with anxiety and depression, what can I do?
Listen carefully, everyone has their speciality and people who study Islam, are not equipped to deal with anxiety, give everyone their right and haq of knowledge and only ask Imam and Sheikhs questions to do with their expertise
Go to a trained therapist, Imams will make matters worse, linking it to a child’s Iman, and this can lead to depression and suicide, which we know is increasing.  I speak as someone who trained for ten years at one of the best institutes in the world on Shariah and did not do one course on psychiatry.
3.    What is your advice on LGBT provision expected?
This is a deep and sensitive question that requires a lot of time that I don’t have.  As Muslims we are dealing with a crisis the like of which we have not dealt with before especially this issue.  As Muslims we lash with our internal and moral and external compasses
Outsiders of our faith accuse us of double standards when we want to we invoke the principle of mutual respect and tolerance but when it goes against we don’t like it.
There was a Christain mother in Alabama who didn’t want her child to study one chapter about Islam about the 5 pillars, we as muslims react with outrage what’s wrong with knowing about Islam and not reacting.  We always say live and let live.
Likewise, when our children are studying something we are critical of it.  Your child will live in a society where in order to live, it should have general knowledge of what’s going on. We are only reactionary we are not visionary, we only react. When emotions are so high intellect ceases to exist.  Our logic is integrally flawed. Our mosques and madrasah need to step up.  It’s not as though our children don’t need to learn about Sex Education. What provision are we providing them in this society and if we don’t agree with it, we need to think about where we are living and our surroundings.
We should engage and challenge things in an intellectual professional way and if not learn from those not of our religion but with similar backgrounds and beliefs on how to tackle these issues.
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Seven things you must avoid in your Waleematu-Nikkah

Written by Sadiq bin Mas’uudwed.jpg

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله والصلاه والسلام على رسول الله أما بعد:
1⃣ *Israaf*
You want people to eat Biryani, kebabs, Chinese rice, Hmmm!! So don’t do israaf (wastage)
وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِين
Eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance, certainly, He (Allah) likes not those who waste by extravagance).
(Surah Al-Araf, Verse 31)
2⃣ *Wedding pictures*
Must you show the world you have a beautiful spouse? Or you think keeping the wedding pictures to keep the memory alive is a nice and dandy idea? Picture this hadith in your mind first,
ﺇﻥ ﺃﺷﺪ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ ﻋﺬﺍﺑﺎ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻳﻮﻡ ﺍﻟﻘﻴﺎﻣﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﺼﻮﺭﻭﻥ
The most severely punished people on the Day of Resurrection would be the image-makers. [Bukhari and Muslim]
3⃣ *Music*
Planning on playing and inviting *Ayeloyun* to entertain your guests with Islamic Music? Think twice. Islam has no music.
” ﻟﻴﻜﻮﻧﻦ ﻣﻦ ﺃﻣﺘﻲ ﺃﻗﻮﺍﻡ ﻳﺴﺘﺤﻠﻮﻥ ﺍﻟﺤﺮ ﻭﺍﻟﺤﺮﻳﺮ
ﻭﺍﻟﺨﻤﺮ ﻭﺍﻟﻤﻌﺎﺯﻑ ..
“Among my ummah there will certainly be people who permit zinaa,
silk, alcohol and musical instruments…” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)
4⃣ *Tabarruj*
Looking good on the day of your nikkah is a good idea, but if you must make up, then use niqab
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the time of ignorance.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, Verse 33)
5⃣ *Inviting only the rich*
This will make your nikkah food to be the worst ever, because the needy people (poor) are prevented from it
ﺷَﺮُّ ﺍﻟﻄَّﻌَﺎﻡِ ﻃَﻌَﺎﻡُ ﺍﻟْﻮَﻟِﻴﻤَﺔِ ﻳُﻤْﻨَﻌُﻬَﺎ
ﻣَﻦْ
ﻳَﺄْﺗِﻴﻬَﺎ ﻭَﻳُﺪْﻋَﻰ ﺇِﻟَﻴْﻬَﺎ ﻣَﻦْ ﻳَﺄْﺑَﺎﻫَﺎ
 “The worst food is the food of a wedding banquet in which the rich are invited, but the poor are left out.” Source: Sahih Muslim
6⃣ *Ar-riyaa*
My nikkah must be the talk of the town, it must have no similitude!!! That’s riyaa (show-off), why not do it to please the lord of the world?
ﻳﻘﻮﻝ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﺰ ﻭﺟﻞ ﻷﺻﺤﺎﺏ ﺫﻟﻚ ﻳﻮﻡ ﺍﻟﻘﻴﺎﻣﺔ ﺇﺫﺍ ﺟﺎﺯﻯ
ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ: ﺍﺫﻫﺒﻮﺍ ﺇﻟﻰﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﻛﻨﺘﻢ ﺗﺮﺍﺀﻭﻥ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﺪﻧﻴﺎ ، ﻓﺎﻧﻈﺮﻭﺍ ﻫﻞ ﺗﺠﺪﻭﻥ ﻋﻨﺪﻫﻢ ﺟﺰﺍﺀ ؟
Allah the Exalted will say to them (who show off), on the Day of Resurrection when the people are being rewarded for their deeds: Go to those whom you wished to show off in the world and look for your reward with them.” (Musnad Ahmad Hadith 23119)
7⃣ *Imitating the kuffar*
Using a wedding gown, engagement ring, free mixing with the opposite sex, kissing in public, are all imitations of the kuffar and the Prophet SAW says,
َ ﻣَﻦْ ﺗَﺸَﺒَّﻪَ ﺑِﻘَﻮْﻡٍ ﻓَﻬُﻮَ ﻣِﻨْﻬُﻢ
“ْWhoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, Hasan Sahih)
أقول قولي هذا أستغفر الله لي ولكم
weddBarakAllahu feeh
We hope your waleematu-nikaah will be free of all those things.

Love Notes – Part 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Opinions on Marriage

  1. Marriage will make me a better Muslim
  2. Marriage will protect me from falling into fitnah and haram
  3. Marriage will make me live happily ever after
  4. In marriage, you cannot hate the person you love
    ○ One of the strangest things about love: the person you love the most…it’s a fine line between despicable hate and love
    ○ genuine love can transform into hate bc you’re investing so much love in that person
    ○ healthiest marriages: achieve equilibrium between love and hate knowing it’s okay to hate things the person does
  5. Marriage will heal all my past wounds
  6. Marriage is a piece of cake if you marry the right person
  7. Marriage benefits men more than women
  8. Love is enough to sustain a marriage
    ○ The economy is rough LOL – when the economy is rough, divorce skyrockets
    ○ Prophet (SAW) – One of the things we look for in marriage is “Malihah”, her wealth
  9. Religious practising Muslims have a perfect marriage FALSE
  10. Marriage is a natural process that you can figure out on your own FALSE

○ requires thought, DETERMINATION
○ Prophet (SAW) to Jabir (RA), a man who told him got engaged: “did you look into her eyes” – meaning did you find love in her eyes? Did you spend enough time looking into her eyes to know she’s the one? Marriage isn’t something you just come by!

Most of the marriages that occurred in the time of the Sahabah RA were not familial, rather they were cross-cultural.
Bilal RA did not marry someone from Habshah.
The Prophet Muhammad SAW married Mariyah RA she was from Egyptian background. He SAW married Safiyyah RA and she was from a Jewish background.
They did not always marry their cousins or within the family and the same caste.

○ 1. Optional love:

You lead yourself to love and you fall deeper in love. It can grow if you allow it to grow; you need to take concrete steps, not just sit back and wait.
■ eg: your love for your spouse gets deeper as the relationship progresses
■ there are things you didn’t know that you love today, and things you loved then that you love in a different way now
■ We live today in an era with a lot of “popcorn love” → it’s not how I met your mother; it’s how many people met your mother
● The types of love that we are fed is a vain type of imagery and people make millions off of it – it’s AN INDUSTRY
● eg: Adele’s Someone Like You – national anthem of a home wrecker. This is the kind of woman you want to keep away from your husband. — THAT’S WHAT’S PUT OUT THERE AS A LOVE SONG… but it’s actually the love of desire
● We raise a generation of people that think that a booty call is acceptable, that someone can ring her up at 9pm.

 

Surah Al’Imran:14
“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire- of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.”
■ “Beautified for people is the love they desire…”
● what they love is what they want to do with the person for a certain amount of time
● the guy/girl that compromises your relationship FSA, they don’t love you – they love, the desire (difference b/w love and love of desire): عشق andحب

Imam Ibnul Qayyim RH differentiates between ■ a was عشق whilst love noble and pure was حب says

He ● has forbidden, beyond the limits type of love. قشع is when someone goes to haram measures to be with the one they love outward same, set Allah boundaries the cross you – عشق ● characteristics as love
○ Anything you do in the name of love through sin/ compromising Allah’s boundaries is NOT love. Anything you do would you where love flaming that is عشق ○ for that person, that anything is what puts you in trouble
عشق as someone to love your explaining avoid to Try ○
○ If someone is willing to compromise their relationship with Allah swt, then nothing is stopping them from compromising you to have you why is that→ حب from your prevents عشق ○ heal and purify your soul from the love of desire
● The difference is simple, Allah loves when you love, بح , Allah loves that, but when you are upsetting Allah, that is قشع
● love is conciliatory, it’s being able to talk about the difficult things – “I didn’t like the way you said that”
○ you’re a tree that’s planted deep, not just fluff- you know the person is there to stay
○ 2. Non-Optional love
■ we’re asked to guard our gaze against the Haraam because we can fall for the unattainable
■ That love is not Haram, but acting upon it in Haram means is! The Sight/Eyes
● Hijab is not about the beauty of the women
○ if it WAS that, prophet Yusuf would need a hijab Lolz.(women cut their hands upon seeing him)
○ Yusuf, when they saw him they would “Akbar”, say Allahu Akbar, and they would cut their hands → if it was about beauty, then Allah would have put a niqab on him
○ that wasn’t the logical step
○ Cultural construct: Khateeb says something like “summer’s here bros, be careful” → cage them before they POUNCE 😛 → THIS IS A PERVERSION
■ sexuality and nudity was much more rampant at the time of Prophet (SAW)
■ At that time, if a woman was owned, a woman would be forbidden from covering above the navel… that is how pervasive nudity was
■ Paternity was so loose, that when someone was married they were married to the tribe, anyone from the tribe would lay claim to her
○ That is why we are told to guard our eyes → it is your duty as a man to run away from the Haram, it is inexcusable to say “I couldn’t help it”; it was much worse in other places
○ It is a sexist thing we have in our community is that we lower the standard of men; that is not Islamic
● One of the issues in marriage is a man who cannot guard his eyes – it is not embarrassing just for the women, it is embarrassing for him in front of Allah SWT.
● the sight is the quickest access to the soul/heart
○ Prophet (SAW) – that’s why you close the eyes of the deceased
○ Prophet (SAW) – The sinful glance is a sinful arrow of Iblis that strikes the heart
○ The eye is the easiest gate to the heart
○ There is no sinfulness in a man looking at a woman for identifying them, or doing something professional; the only problem is the fitnah in the heart
■ If you appreciate a person as a sexual being, then that is when you turn away
○ Prophet (ﷺ) telling Ali (RA) – the first look is for you. But if you return your gaze for a sinful reason (ie to “check them out”) then it’s sinful.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Abbas RA: Al-Fadl RA (his brother) was riding behind Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and a woman from the tribe of Khath’am came and Al-Fadl RA started looking at her and she started looking at him. The Prophet (ﷺ) turned Al-Fadl’s RA face to the other side. The woman said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! The obligation of Hajj enjoined by Allah on His devotees has become due on my father and he is old and weak, and he cannot sit firm on the Mount; may I perform Hajj on his behalf?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Yes, you may.” That happened during the Hajj-al-Wida (of the Prophet (ﷺ).
Sitting behind the Prophet (ﷺ)
○ Ibn Abbas RA said, “a woman of spectacular beauty came up to Prophet (SAW)”
○ Ibn Abbas RA noticed the beauty and restrained himself so Prophet (SAW) didn’t turn his face
○ However Al Fadl RA was, so he turned his face for him
● During the time of the Prophet SAW, segregation was not a rule,
○ Prophet (SAW) stood on a pulpit at a woman’s request – so she could see him during khutbas
○ the same pulpit is going to be beside Al-Kauthar on the Day of Judgement

**SIDE NOTE** We will all pass through the sirat through Jahanam, each at different paces (based on your answer regarding your relationship with Allah)
● When we walk through we will say “Praise be to Allah who saved me from your torture”
● Then you will walk through the qantara ( a bridge), and that is when you will have to make the recompense for the wrong you have done to others
● Those that will have most against us are those that we have spent most time with..it’s there you’ll find your wife, kids…
● not an easy journey to set balance straight with others Pornography
● one of the most proliferated vices
● technology is driven by this proliferation
● around the time of VHS, Sony tried to patent “Beta”
○ Sony was owned and operated out of Japan
○ Japan = very ethical
○ Pornography industry wanted to use Sony for filming…
○ execs said no thanks
○ VHS said “okay let’s do it!”
○ Sony developed Blu-Ray gave access to porn industry to
○ → the web applications you and I use are primarily driven by companies that want you to watch their porn
● sociologists say it’s impossible to escape your teen years without exposure to some kind of pornography
● Addicting – Mind has these synapses, you watch something and you want it more
● BUT luckily your brain has this “use it or lose it” function – if you stop watching this kind of stuff

Story of Mughith RA and Bareerah RA

Bareerah RA was a female slave and A’ishah RA was interested in buying her. She was married to Mughith, and Ai’shah freed her (they were married in slavery); a free woman cannot marry a slave man, so after she became free, she had the choice to keep this marriage or to ask for the dissolution of the marriage. She said, “Alhamdulillah, I’m tired of this marriage, I’m going to get out.” Mugheeth loved her so much, sincerely and
honestly. After she left him, he couldn’t take it, so he went into public weeping, chasing
her, asking her “Ya Bareerah just look at me or talk to me.” He went to sahabah and said,
“Please talk to her for me (to Abu Bakr and Umar and at the end, even to the Prophet (ﷺ) to ask him to intercede. So Prophet (ﷺ), (as the mercy for mankind) felt sorry for him, and he said he’d do it. When he went to Bareerah, she asked, “Are you commanding me or are you just interceding?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I’m interceding.” She replied, “If this is the case, then I don’t want him”, and since all else failed, he spent his life chasing after her and crying for her. “The husband of Bareerah was a slave called Mughith. It is as if I can see him now, walking behind her and weeping, with tears running down his cheeks. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to ‘Abbas RA: ‘O Abbas RA, are you not amazed by the love of Mugheeth for Bareerah, and the hatred of Bareerah for Mughith?’

And the Prophet (ﷺ) said to her: Why don’t you take him back, for he is the father of your child?’ She said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, are you commanding me (to do so)?’ He said: ‘No, rather I am interceding.’ She said: ‘I have no need of him.’ ”

 

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Two Major Theories on Love (according to marriage therapists)

  1. Bank Account Theory
    ● When a relationship develops, it is like you opened a bank account with them
    ● You deposit feelings and actions and emotions and you expect a reciprocation or “debit”
    ● It makes people feel like the person is drawing more than they are credited.
    ● ihdina siraat al mustaqeem
    ○ istiqamah – balance. So that if it shakes, you don’t fall over.
    ○ You don’t take out more than what’s in the bank 2. Gas Tank Theory
    ● most brothers don’t mind coasting with the yellow light on
    ○ in counselling: I didn’t know anything was wrong
    ● sisters – don’t wait till the breaking point
    ○ in counselling: I was giving him so many yellow lights
    ● we think about the same problems in different ways

A Husband’s Guide to Ruining a Good Marriage

  1. Show thankfulness to everyone for kindness to show you except your wife. Let your wife see you CAPABLE of saying thanks to others, but INCAPABLE of showing gratitude to the person who shares your life.
  2. Mention your wife’s faults. Keep them on file. Use the mistakes she’s made to cover your own stupidity.
  3. Randomly/unnecessarily spend time out of the house, for no reason…and when she calls you, don’t answer.
  4. Be connected to all your social media/devices simultaneously and ask her to make you a sandwich. Do all of that while the kids are up and she gets aggravated.
  5. Monitor her level of attire and conduct…all while watching mature content on TV (not just porn…just TV shows of people dressed inappropriately).
  6. Say things like “kids…what kids? Am I responsible for them?” Be that absent father
  7. Argue and fight in front of your kids because your kids need memories, those loving moments of tenderness.
  8. Say things like, “I forbid you” and “you’re not allowed” and “I command you” (because she’s 2 years old and you can’t have a conversation while sharing each other’s view).
  9. Strike, push, shove your wife – and then feel bad and say, “I’m sorry, but you’re the one who ____” as if it’s her fault as if there was anything that warranted your hostility.
  10. Spend a lot of your disposable income on luxury items…but refuse to pay AlMaghrib course costs because Islam should be for free.
  11. Put down your wife’s cooking, attire, shape, clothes…in front of your family and say “I’m just joking!”
  12. When you walk beside her in public, don’t lower your gaze. Instead, sleazily check out other women. Because that’s classy.
  13. Be insensitive, quiet, withdrawn, sarcastic all day…and at night expect intimacy
  14. Motivate her by comparing her to your own sisters, friend’s wives, etc …And keep her at the bottom of the list
  15. Never reconsider a decision you made after she advises you she’s wrong because she will never respect you thereafter so she should never win those arguments.
  16. Show how close you’ve come together by sharing your vulgar sounds and smells at random moments of the day and night.

 

A Wife’s Guide to Ruining a Good Marriage

  1. Forget that hijab begins within as an attitude and not just fabric. Act/talk in weird ways. Forget that hijab is not in the clothes that you wear but the attitude that you have.
  2. Tell your friends near and far about your family problems in detail and tell them “shh don’t tell anyone” because of course, they’ll keep it.
  3. Nagging is an art. You must perfect it. The more you repeat yourself, the better he will understand you
  4. When your husband is tense, stressed and had a bad day…push his button. You know the button.
  5. Your Motto: Treat them mean, so they’ll be keen. If you soften and they see it as a weakness, they’ll walk all over you
  6. When you’re upset with each other privately, make sure you let the kids know how horrible he is.
  7. RUIN – Intimacy is a weapon. Randomly/ for no apparent reason, restrict it, just to teach him a lesson.
  8. When your friends get a new TV, you get a Smart TV. When they get bling, you get bling bling. Keep up with the Patels.
  9. If your husband is having troubles with his parents/siblings, stick your nose in it. Everyone will love you later. a. if he asks for your advice…say you love them at least neutral/distant
  10. Get your father and mother to talk to him about problems you have with him that you never shared with him…surprise!
  11. The silent treatment IS communication. There’s nothing wrong with keeping him guessing.
  12. If your husband succeeds in something, don’t encourage him…you don’t want him to think he’s special but if he makes a mistake, bury him.
  13. Argue in front of your children. In fact, use vulgarity in front of your kids in front of each other.
  14. Say things like, “I don’t trust you”, “why are you late”, “where are you going” – without cause for suspicion…because no man can be trusted.
  15. TV-ing is a verb. Always have the TV on. It’s a good babysitter and it passes the time. Always let it be part of your home life.
  16. When you feel that spark of love is missing, by recalling past loves and make him feel that your thoughts are still with them

 

Love in the Sunnah pg 81
→ He didn’t just marry to help people, or just for sexual appetite.
→ Sometimes people asked him to marry them and he wasn’t interested, some of the prophet’s wives weren’t “sexually available” so that’s not why he married them

 

  1. When you eat, eat with her
    ○ it’s kind of a vulgar translation to say, “when you eat, feed with her”
    ○ Prophet (SAW) never ate from a plate alone
    ○ That’s why you can give even half a date
    ○ Way to a man’s heart is through his stomach
    ○ There’s comfort/barakah in food
    ○ Prophet (SAW) – make sure the people who have open access to your food (because of frankness) are people of piety

 

  1. When you buy yourself something, buy her something as well
    ○ it’s not about what you buy her – it’s about when you think about yourself, you think about your spouse
    ○ People wouldn’t gift the prophet without gifting Aisha (RA) a gift – other wives were jealous sometimes

 

  1. Seek her counsel
    ○ When Prophet (ﷺ) said “she obeyed her husband” – it’s qualitative. There’s no obedience to anyone unless there’s obedience to Allah
    ○ Day of Hudaibiyya – rumour spreads that Uthman has been killed. so they make a treaty under a tree to avenge his death…but it was a false alarm
    ○ …Prophet (SAW) took counsel with Umm Salamah

 

  1. Seat her where you sit=
    ○ sit together
    ○ Prophet (ﷺ) would have a cushion and when his wife/daughter would come in, he’d give it to her

 

  1. What you ask of her, be willing to give her
    ○ Surat Al Baqarah
    ○ Abdullah Ibn Abbas, one of the greatest mufassiroon, would get ready (clothes, smelling, looking nice) to go into his home – his students would be like why are you getting ready to go into your house instead of getting ready upon leaving
    ■ lahunna….(for her what u expect of her?)

 

  1. Say “I love you” often and show it through your consistent behaviour – Who do you love the most?
    ○ “don’t tell me you love me…why…because my parents”
    ○ ‘Aisha (May Allah Be Pleased With Her) would often seek reassurance from The Prophet (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) that he loved her. “How is your love for me?” she once asked. “Like the rope’s knot,” The more you pull at it and stress it, the stronger it gets. Many times after that she would ask, “How is the knot?” and he would reply:” “The same as the first day it was tied!”
    ○ Prophet (SAW) had sweat on his brow and…Aisha related it to the poetry about the blessed nature of his sweat… being like the pearls in the ocean. Prophet (SAW) came over, kissed her forehead and said “you’re more beloved to me than all of them” ♥
    ○ Ali RA came home and saw Fatimah brushing her teeth with miswak and he started spouting poetry to the toothbrush “no one got to that place before me like you, if you were a man I would have killed you, etc.”
    ○ Three qualities of being a MAN in Arabic folklore
    ■ courageous in battle
    ■ eloquent in words
    ■ passionate about family
  2. Be generous with your money on her and your children
    ○ spend on your family
    ○ Prophet (ﷺ) – charity with the greatest barakah is the money spent on the family
    ■ lan tanalul birr
    ■ Abu Talha upon the revelation of the verse said “I have these two gardens”…Prophet (SAW) said no, distribute it among your fam 8. Travel together
    ○ Prophet (SAW) always took along a wife on his travels.
    ○ There were 2 instances when Aisha (RA) lost her necklace.
    ○ Tayammum was a result of Aisha (RA) losing her necklace in a place with no water, and they spent so much time looking for it that they had to stay till morning, and everyone was upset because they couldn’t do wudhu, so Allah SWT sent the ayat regarding tayammum○ Everyone has heard of the hadith regarding Aisha and Prophet SAW racing, but it wasn’t an olympic style race…Shaykh Yahya would say that “they romantically frolicked through the sand dunes of Arabia”
  3. Let her feel your concern for her well-being
    ○ Safiyyah comes to masjid where Prophet (SAW) is doing i’tikaf to talk to Prophet (SAW)…and he left the i’tikaf to walk her home
  4. Show chivalry (mar’oo-a)
    ○ one of the things we don’t demonstrate enough – you do the best of what is right) – sense of honour that you’re the server (open door, serve food
    ○ Prophet (SAW) the server should always be the last to eat
    ○ Safiyyah RA – wanted to get on top of a camel but she was too short…so the Prophet (SAW) got the camel to come down but she still couldn’t reach. So he gets down on a knee and she steps on top of it to get on the camel

 

  1. Be flexible & Humorous
    ○ Aisha (RA) was younger – not much experience in housework, cooking.
    ○ Aisha (RA) once cooked something and presented it to Prophet (SAW)
    ○ When Prophet (SAW) didn’t like a dish, he never said no to it but suggested an alternative.
    ○ Prophet (SAW) suggested going over to Sawdah’s house
    ■ When Sawdah came out with the meal, Aisha (RA) was jealous so she smacked down the plate, it fell and broke.
    ■ Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Why don’t you try it, maybe you’ll like it?” – diffuses the situation, doesn’t call her out on her jealousy
    ○ Then when he got home, he said: “You liked her food, so why don’t you send her a plate of your food?” – This way, he subtly got Aisha to replace the dish she broke.
  2. Kissable & Hygienic
    ○ Prophet (ﷺ) was very affectionate
    ○ Prophet (ﷺ) would kiss his wives before leading prayer – but he had the strength of a 1000 men – it was to make them feel loved, out of intimacy, not sexually
  3. Nicknames
    ○ Prophet (ﷺ) had nicknames for his wives, he would call Aisha “Ya Eish” – that it is through her that he gets “Eish” (life)
  4. Closer than your garment
    ○ hadith about bathing from a bowl with dough residue in it
    ○ allowance to bathe with the spouse
    ○ Ibn Hajar RH derives a lot of fiqh from it
  5. Intimacy not just sexually
    ○ Aisha (RA) – Prophet (SAW) knew that I liked to touch his skin so he’d remove his shirt so my skin could be on his
  6. Allah is first
    ○ “When it was time for prayer, it was like he didn’t know us”
  7. Time away – 1 month can be 29 days.

Love Notes – Part 1

Love Notes –  Shaykh Yahya Ibrahim, Australia

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

love notes

  • A study looked at Muslim couples who get divorced:
  • Shaykh mentioned 68% of couples in the UK will divorce in the first 3 years of marriage.
    ○ Most of those who got divorced are educated
    ○ Many of them had the kind of jobs, where they intervene to defuse conflict
    ● The intent of the course is to speak about love to Muslims from a philosophical perspective
    ● We will talk about what makes you, you?
    ○ What does Islam offer, to make you the best of you
    ● Look at the words that are used to describe marriage and love in Islam
    ○ Imam Ibn Hazm coined the word soul mate – the first time westerners saw that a soul can love another soul

○ Imam Ibn Qayim RH has a book called Rawdat Al Muhibeen
○ Ibn Ul Jawzi RH – Said if a man does not know how to love, he should eat hay, because he’s a donkey
○ Muslims saw that we should cling onto one another and love one another so we can become khulafah on the earth → so that children can receive the earth in a way that is better than the way that we received it, that is the concept of khulafah
● There is no book of hadith that does not mention the love between the Prophet SAW and his wives
○ The year that Khadijah RA died, became the year of sadness
○ The Prophet SAW is a role model
● What the poster doesn’t show
○ Doesn’t show what’s behind them
● When the Prophet SAW talks about marriage, he says it’s half of your deen
○ You actualize a lot of the characteristics of Islam during your relationship with your spouse
○ The money that a man spends on his family is “sadaqah” [Muslim]

  • When you say the shahadah, it has conditions,
    ○ You begin to learn the importance of Allah when you gather knowledge [ilm]
    ○ The second step is [yaqeen] certainty
    ○ That leads you to [inqiyad] submission, which leads you to practice, in the way that Allah swt requested
    ○ Number 5 is [sidq] to be more truthful with Allah swt
    ○ and that leads you to [Ikhlas], having enough, other than Allah, put all my trust to
    ○ Last level, is love [hob] → you begin loving Allah too much to miss prayer.
    ● Love is the last level of worship, and some people worship things that they should, Allah doesn’t say worship he says love “yohiboonahu ka hob illah”
  • ‘Uboodiya (worship) → anything Allah loves for you to do, whether it is a word you say, an action you do, or a feeling in your heart
    ● We are not here just to talk about romance, we are here to talk about love, loving your dad, your mom, your country.

 

Definitions

● The origin for the word “husband” or “spouse” is very different in English and Qur’anic Arabic
● Husbandry: “convincing a bull to sire a cow”
● Other words for “spouse” in the Quran
زَ وج ■
● [2:35]
● two distinct, unique individuals that upon joining, become one so you don’t see the seam between them.
ِلبَاس ■
● [2:187]
● your inner intimate garment is called libas; nobody is as close to you as that garment
● “libas ul harb” the armour of war, she is the shield from the dunya
َصا ِحبَة ■
● 42 words for love in the Arabic language
● Sahib: the one that walks with you for life

ن
قُ رةَ أَ ْعُي
● [25:74]
● “fills the eyes of your husband”
● “there is no provision greater than that of a righteous woman. She is a women that when a husband sees her, he feels happiness in the heart” [Muslim]
ِحصن ■
● She’s your fortress, palace, castle
● You are the moat that surrounds her
بَعِلي ■
● [11:72]
● “My spring/fountain of all good”
● He is the one that showers me with good, with his words, his wealth, etc
● That is how Sarah describes Ibrahim (AS)
● He created the heavens and earth in truth. He wraps the night over the day and wraps the day over the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. Unquestionably, He is the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver. He created you from one soul. Then He made from it its mate… [39:5-6]
○ When Allah talks about all these dualities (heavens/earth, night/day, sun/moon), He inserts one singularity: one soul.
○ when you get married, you’re two separate entities that come together from one pairing

 

Opinions on Marriage

  1. Marriage will make me a better Muslim
  2. Marriage will protect me from falling into fitnah and haram
  3. Marriage will make me live happily ever after
  4. In marriage, you cannot hate the person you love
    ○ One of the strangest things about love: the person you love the most…it’s a fine line between despicable hate and love
    ○ genuine love can transform into hate bc you’re investing so much love in that person
    ○ healthiest marriages: achieve equilibrium between love and hate knowing it’s okay to hate things the person does
  5. Marriage will heal all my past wounds
  6. Marriage is a piece of cake if you marry the right person
  7. Marriage benefits men more than women
  8. Love is enough to sustain a marriage
    ○ The economy is rough LOL – when the economy is rough, divorce sky rockets
    ○ Prophet (SAW) – One of the things we look for in marriage is “Malihah”, her wealth
  9. Religious practising Muslims have a perfect marriage FALSE
  10. Marriage is a natural process that you can figure out on your own FALSE
    ○ requires thought, DETERMINATION
    ○ Prophet (SAW) to Jabir (RA), a man who told him got engaged: “did you look into her eyes” – meaning did you find love in her eyes? Did you spend enough time looking into her eyes to know she’s the one? Marriage isn’t something you just come by!

So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning. And
to Him is [due all] praise throughout the heavens and the earth. And [exalted is He] at
night and when you are at noon. He brings the living out of the dead and brings the
dead out of the living and brings to life the earth after its lifelessness. And thus will you
be brought out. And of His signs is that He created you from dust; then, suddenly you
were human beings dispersing [throughout the earth]. And of His signs is that He
created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He
placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the
diversity of your languages and your colours. Indeed, in that are signs for those of
knowledge.
Surah Rum [30:17-22]

– He speaks about light and day – He speaks about the lifeless earth coming back to life and thriving with vegetation – Then he talks about the soul vs dust – And in the middle of all these he talks about the relationship in partners, and it is no longer about the dualities, it is about the singularity

→ Someone from yourselves, mates He likes it to- “signs” His about talking by verse ends AND begins -إِ ن فِي َٰذَِل َك َلَيَا ت – saying, “pay attention” – Prophet (SAW) – when Adam was created, our souls were created “like ants” – there’s a moment where the soul is brought to life. you’re born into this life and your soul itself is not extinguishable – Prophet (SAW) (Hadith of Imam Bukhari) – The souls when they were created in the time of Adam, they were brought into groupings, and the souls became familiar with one another – A long essay is written about this hadith, and it says if there is a bright soul, and it enters into a room of 1000 dark souls, and one bright soul, that soul would attach itself to the other bright soul – souls gravitate to each other … or make you hate each other’s guts – The concept of soul mates for us isn’t just husband and wife – your bffs, your parents, your teachers – scent is powerful – sometimes you might smell something in the air, maybe Coco Chanel like grandma wore…sometimes it really takes you back to a certain time in your life – Your soul remembers people, just like your scent does, and it brings warmness into your heart he said he ,(soul) روح the about asked was SAW Prophet the When – couldn’t say much that is in the knowledge of Allah and we don’t know much about it – Sometimes our soul pushes back people we should be attracted to, and that is because we need to purify our soul effort requires purification – قد أفلح من زكاها – – we attempt to connect with people for marriage and on paper they seem like reasonable candidates…but at that moment when you push back someone who is good, his soul might be too clean, and your soul might be a bit tarnished – your soul might not be accessible to that righteous man/women Good the with up matched usually is Good The – الطيبون لطيبات –

When you are looking for marriage – you need to make sure your soul is accessible to pious souls – don’t always put it on the other person

 

Quranic Stories about Spouses

The Qur’an is a holistic document that outlines a lifestyle for us. There are many lessons and examples for us to draw from.
Adam (AS)
○ He asks for a “sahibah”, someone with him
○ Jannah is not enough. You need someone who loves you
■ Even the shaheed, looks behind and Allah gives him the news of them joining you
○ Allah creates for him and blesses him with his wife Hawa’
○ Allah tells Adam (AS) to not eat from the tree as Iblees is an enemy to you and Hawa [20:117]
■ (according to hadith, the greatest thing that the little shayateen can do to make Iblis happy is to convince a man and his wife to split up)
○ Iblis wanted to uncover the blessing that Allah SWT gave Adam, and expose their bad
○ Responsibility for the sin is greater on Adam (AS) (very different from other scriptures)
■ [20:121]
○ Adam AS and Hawa RA were separated when they descended to Earth
■ Jeddah got its name from Jaddah, the Arabic word for grandmother. It is where Hawa’ is believed to have descended
■ Adam AS ‘arafa-ha, or, “recognized her” a little before Maghrib and it is the same day we commemorate on ‘Arafa during Hajj
■ That is when Adam made that dua’a “Rabbana dhalamna anfusana…”
“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us
and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.”
■ That dua’a and that moment of worship commemorates a moment of love that millions of people recreate on Yawm al ‘Arafa
■ Then they came together, and worshiped Allah SWT The first place that a person made sujood to Allah SWT was Adam, inside the fortified walls of the ka’abah.
Ayyoub (AS)

○ Lots of time people say, we should have patience/endurance like Ayoub (AS)
○ For the first 50 years of his life, Allah gave him prosperity
■ (he had 7 daughters and 7 sons, wealth, the people who he was sent to preach to accept him)
○ After 50 years of prosperity, Allah began to test him.
■ The earthquake made his house collapse and children all died at once;
■ All his servants were killed and wealth looted;
■ people thought he was a false prophet, because “why would God do this to a righteous prophet? he must be cursed.” everyone left his side;
■ His body became decayed and sickly
○ His wife stayed. This man who had everything, lost everything, except his wife
■ The woman who was a mistress of the house became a servant
■ People did not want to be near her as to not “catch her curse”
■ She would ask Ayoub to make dua’a to Allah, and Ayoub said “I am shy to ask Allah after 50 years of prosperity, to ask Allah for relief after only 4 years of hardship”
■ His wife came back with food and when he asked where it came from she pulled back her scarf (she had cut her hair and sold it for food)
○ After seeing his wife suffer, this man (AS) of patience made dua’a “My lord harm has touched me and my family, and you are the most merciful of those who show mercy”
■ It was as if Allah was just waiting for him to ask…
■ A spring gushed forth and Ayyub (AS) drank from the spring, and became young and has been given their life again and everything returned to him
■ The thing that moved Ayoub was love, it is that he loved his wife more than his own patience
○ The right of the servant is to be put before the right you owe Allah CIRCUMSTANTIALLY
■ If your wife (or mom or dad etc) falls sick, and you were going to hajj and your ihraam is on and your foot almost out the door, you stay.

→ The right your family member has on you is greater than that obligation to Allah
■ Abdullah Ibn Mubarak RH – Went for hajj and saw a dream of those who made hajj and their hajj was accepted. He saw the face of a man and where he lived
● Abdullah immediately went to see him. Upon meeting the man, he found that he had not made hajj! The man said that he was on his when he saw an impoverished man. He realized that he that the wealth he had planned to use to go
Love Notes By Sh Yahya Ibrahim 5 to hajj would be enough to get the man in need on his own two feet. So he gave it to him and made dua’a that he would get to go for Hajj later. THAT is the man that Abdullah saw with a shining face.
● Prophet Dawood (AS)
○ King of his time, had many wives
○ Looked over his marketplace and saw a beautiful woman. He asked if this woman is spoken for? They said no, but she is promised to the general.
■ for a moment Dawud (AS)’s heart thought “if that man becomes Shaheed… Allah give him Jannah” lol
○ (In Surah Saad)
■ Allah sent two men (really angels) that jump in front of him and he reels back. One of them says “don’t be scared, we are two men that are quarrelling. He has 99 sheep and I have 1 (representing blessings), and he keeps desiring my 1 sheep to complete his 1 00.
■ Dawud says, he has wronged you to even suggest that he should give you your sheep.
■ Then it clicked in his mind that it was a test from Allah! It was a message indicating that he (AS) have been blessed with so much, and that generally is the one who has that one sheep…so Dawud (AS) fell in prostration
○ The stories of the Quran are full of love and passion
Nuh (AS)
○ Imagine you are some sheikh, and you are on the pulpit for Juma’a and you are telling it as it is…Then your wife walks out and says “It’s all nonsense! He is making it all up!” Your son is sitting there and saying, “PSHHH, don’t listen to this guy. He knows nothing.” (People would be like, when your family believes, then come talk to me lol”)
○ Your wife and your son become adversaries and they become leaders of those who disbelieve
○ Imagine that is you, just a sheikh – Imagine being the Prophet of Allah
○ Nuh AS never gives up
○ Nuh is on a ship on land that has been experiencing a drought for years and people are looking at him like he is crazy – until Allah swt orders the sky to let down its rain, and the sky gushes until the waves become the size of mountains
■ And Nuh asks his son, belief in God so I can let you on the ship, his son says, I don’t believe in you or your god or your ship, I’ll go up to that mountain and it will protect me from the waters
■ So he says, my son, none will be protected except those that are on this ship, and then he refuses and he becomes one of those who drowned
■ Nuh says to Allah “When you promise, it is true, you said you would save me and my family, he is part of me and he drowned” so Allah said, “he is not your family, forget him”
● The illegitimate is not to be loved, Allah will always get you out of those drowning waters and until the last moments Allah will provide you what is good – but he will never make the illegitimate, legitimate
● What makes you and I who we are? Why are the stories of the messengers something that still resonates with us?
○ Part 1: Jasad – 70% of us is water, 30% is organic
■ The difference between us and pigs is less than 1% (genetically speaking)
■ In the Quran: Those who know God, but do not accept God are like Cattle
○ Part 2: Mind
■ Rational being, we think and can anticipate what is happening
■ Allah has blessed the son of Adam with the mind, drugs and intoxicants are haram because they take away the mind
■ Don’t think that animals do not have emotions and feelings too
■ Sheikh plays this video
● Sometimes we think we are the only beings that actually matter
● Ibn Qayim writes 60 pages on Allah quoting the ant
○ Ant knows delegation & authority
○ Knows what is home & what isn’t
○ It knows name “Solomon”, and his troops (knows our functions)
○ And the ant makes an excuse (if they trample you then they don’t know)
○ Ibn Qayyim lists 11 types of language that the ant uses
■ Allah inspires the bees regarding how it can live its life
■ Don’t ever think that the world around you is meaningless, simple experiments show that there is so much more in the world that Allah created
■ They are a nation, just like you are a nation
○ Part 3: Soul
■ There are 3 components, and this 3rd part is what makes us insaan
■ The majesty of the soul lives in the heart – The heart is the throne of the soul
● The chest is what protects the heart
● Haritha (one of the sahabah) is walking and the Prophet SAW says how are you and he says I woke up a mu’min, Prophet SAW said why? He said when I pray it is if I see Allah but I do not see him; when I sin, I see the fire, but it is not
Love Notes By Sh Yahya Ibrahim 7 there; When I do good, I see Jannah, but I do not see it – So Prophet SAW touches his chest and he says you are a believer
● Hope, mercy, love of God is in your chest, it is important to keep that spirit true
● When Allah talks about Imaan he says Allah opened his chest to Imaan (that is the imagery given to us by Allah SWT)
● That is why the heart is so important to talk about love because the heart is what governs the rest of us
● When your heart is closer to Allah, it is easier to come closer to people à that is the beauty of the dua’ of Musa “’ishrahly sadry”, open my heart to people
● The premise of this class is to bring our hearts closer to Allah so that we can come close to his servants
■ The 3 levels are ascending levels
■ Islam also has 3 levels, Islam, Ihsan and Iman; Each of those 3 levels matches our 3 parts
● Islam (Jasad) – You must physically say the words of the shahadah, pray, fast, do Hajj, and give zakat, Islam matches the physicalness of you jasad
● Imaan (Akl) – Matches your mind, the 6 articles of faith cannot be qualified/rationalized, but they are believed. Iman came to subdue the rationale that pulls you away from Allah
● Ihsan (Ruh) – Even though you cannot see Allah in life, your heart is always aware of Allah. Everything you witness in life connects you to Allah
○ Imam Sufyan al Thawri is walking out of the masjid, and a man begins to abuse him, his students try to stop him, he says no leave him and he says “I know the sin that I did that brought this upon me”
○ Imam Sufyan RH would give his students 3 rules when teaching them:
■ Correct what is between you and Allah, and he will help you correct what is between you and mankind
■ Fix what is between you and Allah privately, he will make your public good with others
■ Remember Allah when you don’t need him, and he will know you when you need him
○ There are angels whose job is to catch our hadith (dua’a) and throw it back at us because it is not worthy of ascending – hadith of the Prophet SAWarmour

When You’re Gay and Muslim – Finding Allah’s Meaning in All of It

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2017/07/when-youre-gay-and-muslim-finding-allahs-meaning-in-it-all/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaignFBCP-MU&utm_content=altmuslim

Waheed Jensen is a Muslim male in his mid 20’s, struggling in this world with being young, open-minded and gay, trapped in a global community of Muslims who claim to follow Islam but lack the application of its most basic tenets. Working to make the world a better place for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A version of this article appeared on Altmuslimah and VirtualMosque.com.

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Ever since I began trying to understand life, one of the crippling realizations about the Muslim communities I reached was this: We tend to bury our problems in a dark hole, dismiss them and hope they will never come back to haunt us. But they often do. We overlook many of our familial, social and cultural issues until they multiply and are about to explode in our faces; at that point, we are notorious for pointing fingers and crying over spilt milk.

Our room is filled with elephants that we barely have an inch to stand, yet we remain oblivious and hope things will get better.

Allow me today to describe one of those elephants. A strange elephant. Allow me to dissect it and hand it over to you, that you may ponder and hopefully open your heart and mind.

Let me start off by saying these three words: I am gay.

Even though you do not know who I am, and maybe the mere fact that I just came out to you right this instant may offend you, confuse you or drive you away from reading the remainder of this article. Let me assure you, this is not one of those articles that tries to promote homosexuality or deliver an airbrushed and Islam-oriented version of all those pro-homosexuality arguments.

Yes, I am gay and I am Muslim, and I am here to offer you a small glimpse into a journey of struggles, passions and hopes. I do not intend to delve into the story of Prophet Lut and his people, talk about the evolution and progression of the LGBT community during the past century, present arguments for or against same-sex relations, or even try to prove my own opinion. I really hope you can read and reflect, and I pray that this small effort of bringing the picture a little closer to you might make the slightest bit of difference in raising awareness, and hopefully open healthy discussions on the topic.

I wholeheartedly believe, in concordance with Islam and its teachings, that sodomy is a major sin. I am against same-sex marriage and intercourse, and I am not in favour of any progressive movements that attempt to explain Quranic verses about People of Lut or sodomy from a modernist or post-modernist approach – in other words, arguments that try to find a leeway and claim that that is a legitimate Islamic perspective.

I hope that this will not drive away readers who are excited about the topic but may be uncomfortable with my statements. I have adopted this position after years of introspection, research, counselling and personal prayer, and I am coming forth today to share with you some of those experiences.

Why Am I Different?

Homosexuality has been present in humanity for centuries, and for as long as it has been there, homosexuals have been struggling with themselves, their families and society at large. To me personally, there was always something different. I could feel it in me from a very young age. Something that I could not explain to others because I thought they would not understand, let alone accept, or maybe because I was too young and immature at the time that I was not entirely sure what ‘it’ was.

It crystallized around puberty; when all the raging hormones started kicking in, those tendencies became obvious. And then the real struggle began.

The struggle led to an explosion of questions. “Why am I different? Why am I not like the rest of my friends or family members? Is this even normal? Am I sick?” Not finding the proper answers, I kept on putting these questions aside. “Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe it’s just a phase.” In my case, it never went away and it was not a phase.

With time I learned that this is something abhorred religiously, culturally and socially. So I tried to adapt. “How do I balance between the feelings and tendencies I have with what my religion, culture and social norms dictate?” So I began a journey of self-exploration and interacting with others, learning from religion, media as well as prominent persons, like religious scholars and major social figures. My schemas kept changing, and I kept on adapting.

Many of us may be brave enough to rebel against what others seem to ‘dictate’ on us, while others suppress their urges, often hiding their identities from those closest to them, generally out of fear, or maybe because they are not just ready to come out yet. I belong to the latter group.

To this date, I have never had the courage to tell my parents or close family members, but I have come out to a close friend of mine a few months ago, and he was extremely supportive Alhamdulillah (all praises to Allah).

One of the most dangerous pitfalls I have personally experienced was thinking that God hated me. He was mad at me. “I must have done something wrong in my life to deserve this ‘punishment’… If God does not accept homosexuality, then why am I a homosexual?” Whether Muslim or not, people struggling in silence can be more prone to deviating to dangerous paths.

So, you find many struggling homosexuals also dealing with bullying, drinking problems, substance abuse, domestic violence, poor academic performance, career problems, pornography or sex addictions, sexually-transmitted diseases, mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and many other issues. (1) I had my own share of bullying, academic problems and mood disorders. Our struggles multiply with time, and many even contemplate suicide.

This is especially true in cases where the individual tries to discuss the issue – often it is just those desires or thoughts that are tackled, not the actual act – with his/her parents or family members who are not receptive to those ideas. If not shown sympathy, care and love, he/she is often shunned, harassed, scorned and sometimes even tortured.

A lot of gay men and women are forced into arranged marriages, taken to local Imams to ‘heal them from their calamity and wrath of God’, or even killed. (2) Some of them take their own lives by themselves. Others live in constant torment while some flee their homes and families in search for a more welcoming environment. That and many have not even yet engaged in any sexual acts whatsoever.

Why We Have Difficulty with Other Muslims

This is why I, along with many fellow homosexual Muslims, find the Western alternative very striking: It offers acceptance and understanding. Things that we dearly miss in our communities, even though we may realize deep down that there is something terribly wrong, the fact that there is someone who accepts us and fights for us and not against us is incredibly more appealing. When we try to talk to other Muslim seemingly-pious and God-conscious brothers and sisters about our sexuality and are shunned by their lack of empathy, respect and understanding, would you find it surprising that we take comfort in talking to non-religious people about our struggles in hopes to find an open mind and a loving heart?

Ironically, the spirit of Islam is all about empathy, tolerance and understanding, yet the practice of Islam carried out by many Muslims shows the opposite.

Trust me, I understand that it is a difficult topic to open up with others, especially people coming from conservative backgrounds. It is difficult news for you to receive, just as it is difficult for me to handle, let alone share with others. However, the fact that I choose to come out to specific people means that those people are exceptionally special to me. To us.

It takes a lot of courage, incredible determination and a full dose of anxiety and fear to even think about coming out to someone, that you can imagine the damage we have to endure when the other person dismisses us or shows no empathy or mercy. It seems like a lot to handle if you ask me.

I remember the first time I decided to come out to someone, I was going through an overwhelming period in my life, yet Alhamdulillah I had some seeds of piety and religiosity inside me. I was around 18, and he was a non-religious psychologist and counsellor. I went to an appointment with him, tried to beat around the bush but ultimately came out to him. And, he was accepting. Later on, I found out that many struggling homosexuals came to him for advice and counselling.

I was hoping that, with the aid of therapy, my orientation would change – this is scientifically known as reparative or conversion therapy; while many studies have been conducted on it and some patients have reported success, a great number of psychiatrists and counsellors have reported failure and more harm done to the patients than good. The progress of my visits culminated in him putting forward the idea of accepting who I am and going all the way with it – in other words, experience my entire sexuality without restraints.

At that point I was really uncomfortable with his proposal, as it was against my Islamic beliefs and my own virtues.

During that same period, I was doing my own reading and researching, trying to find a proper Islamic “solution,” crying for help and praying that I am guided to what Allah pleases. One of the most heartwarming responses was given by a psychiatrist who also has a profound knowledge of Islamic shariah (legal rulings). He was hosted on a TV show, and he was speaking so graciously, so open-mindedly, that his words hit the right chord and I was immediately awe-struck. I cried after finally having found an answer with which my heartfelt ease.

That was pure bliss, Alhamdulillah.

Why Am I Homosexual?

The gist of the talk is the following: Homosexuality as an orientation is a disorder in one’s fitrah (human nature and disposition). “Treatment” of such a disorder involves therapy, familial and social support, personal discipline and a whole lot of other things. However, this therapy, which is tailored on a case-by-case basis, may or may not work. The mode of therapy is different between individuals, just like every case of homosexuality is different between people.

Mind you, the term “therapy” here is used loosely to mean dealing with the issue from different aspects rather than reverting one’s sexual orientation.

If many of us, homosexuals, dive deeper into our childhood and upbringing, we can pinpoint certain events that have taken their toll on us one way or another. Many of us have experienced child abuse, be it sexual, physical or intense emotional abuse that was brutally damaging to our body and soul, or lived in dysfunctional families that ultimately caused a lot of psychological damage. (3)

I, for one, had my own share of psychological and sexual abuse as a child from people closest to me and witnessed intense domestic violence that crippled my mind for a decent period of time. Such events were so incredibly powerful that they became ingrained in my psyche and took their toll on my thinking and behaviour.

Others have been desensitized to issues related to sexuality and gender roles from a young age, that their perception of masculinity and femininity is quite erroneous. I can recall several stories of struggling homosexuals I know who grew up in homes where one parent was more dominant in their life (e.g. present most of the time while the other was absent, provided greater emotional, psychological and social support while the other did the exact the opposite), such that either parent’s gender became more dominant on their lives and personas, and hence their perception of gender and sexuality deviated from the normal.

It is worth noting, however, that many people grow up in normal environments with no such issues during childhood, yet end up finding themselves attracted to the same gender. So there is no discrete thumb rule or cause as to whether someone will end up identifying as a homosexual or a heterosexual. It is not a simple black or white situation.

In addition to the above, it has been asserted that there are other acquired causes – we are bombarded on a daily basis with sensual and sexually-explicit material, from billboards, magazines and newspaper articles, to online material on social media websites. Sex and sexuality are heavily emphasized in TV shows, readings and discussions, whether openly or not. We have become accustomed to seeing semi-naked and naked bodies, our concepts of beauty, femininity and masculinity have radically evolved over time and we have become desensitized to these matters. (4)

There is an unbelievable amount of time and resources spent on creating better bodies: muscular, dreamy and good-looking men, and gorgeous women with “perfect” facial and body features. In addition, many of the inter- and intra-gender boundaries have drastically changed over time. Taken together, these matters overwhelm the human mind, and the effects are undoubtedly palpable.

Again, these and countless other events affect people’s heart, mind, body and spirit differently. People struggle to cope in different ways. Some people, like myself and countless others, may eventually find themselves with a specific worldview, having had a culmination of experiences, as well as a specific orientation that may or may not be modifiable. Just like these examples are struggling in and of themselves, homosexual thoughts and tendencies are no less than struggles as well.

Will I Have a Partner in Life?

When I see married men and women sharing affection, enjoying companionship and raising children, it hurts. A lot. Not the jealous I-hope-they-lose-all-that kind, but the painful realization that this is not something I can ever attain. Because of my situation, my ibtila’ (struggle in life), the idea of marrying someone from the opposite sex is not practical at all or even fair for me or my potential spouse. Many shuyukh advice homosexuals to get married for their tendencies to dissolve; while this may work with a handful of people, a large number of us does not find it physically or mentally plausible.

Many of the things other people, including those shuyukh themselves, take for granted – like relationships, marriage and having children – are the exact things we struggle with day in and day out. Personally, and unlike Muslim heterosexuals, I do not have safe and lawful options through which I can channel and fulfil those desires. Therefore, I try my best to remain steadfast and struggle for the sake of Allah. If that is not incredible Jihad, I do not know what counts as such.

While it may seem unfair and even preposterous to some people to keep struggling and not fulfil our desires, especially in this time and age, that is where the beauty lies. Within Islam, we are not held accountable for our thoughts, feelings, desires and tendencies as long as we do not act upon them. There are three ideas worth mentioning here.

First, Allah has promised in the Quran that He “does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity” [2:286]. Taken in line with Islamic teachings, this means that Allah knows how painful my struggle is and knows that I can handle it. Every time I ponder upon this idea, I am overwhelmed with incredible awe and gratitude. Of all people across centuries, He has chosen specific people for this particular test. Indeed, life is nothing but a few years and the True Life is in the Hereafter, so no matter how agonizing the struggle is, there will be an end to it.

Second, there is an immense reward and unimaginable blessings, both in this life and the Hereafter, by staying true to God’s decree and struggling for His sake. The greater the struggle, the more the rewards in sha Allah (God willing).

Third, and just like the popular saying goes, “when God closes one door, He opens another.” So, if issues like intimacy and procreation may seem like dead ends for Muslim homosexuals, we find openings in other aspects of life. Many homosexuals across history have been known for incredible gifts in writing, public speaking, music, cinema, scientific discoveries, literature and art. (5) Studies have reported that homosexuals exhibit high levels of empathy and compassion compared to heterosexuals. (6)

Because we have suffered and are constantly struggling, we have big hearts that know no boundaries. If we utilize our God-given gifts wisely and for the greater good, we can do wonders inshaAllah.

We All are Trying to Find Answers

Of course, there are Muslim homosexuals and pro-gay rights advocates who adopt a completely different perspective. Some try to balance between their religious duties while keeping in line with their orientation; in other words, they carry out their desires yet remain true to their duties. Others denounce Islamic rules altogether arguing that in modern times, such rules do not apply, hence they call for a reformation in Islamic laws taken for granted as solid foundations of religion.

Others are still struggling between balancing Islamic law and their own sexuality, searching for answers that provide them with ultimate satisfaction.

I am in no way trying to prove myself right and others wrong. This article is solely intended to highlight some of the struggles I go through as a Muslim homosexual, and I have taken the liberty at some points to speak on behalf of fellow struggling homosexuals because of our shared tribulations. Whatever your position is on this matter, I respect you and love you as a human being, your desires are legitimate and in no way make you less of a human being.

However, based on my beliefs, I do not accept specific actions that you may do which go against Islamic law. And there again, you are no less of a human being, and I still respect you as an individual. This falls at the heart of Islam – if someone like me who is struggling with his/her own desires can adopt such a stance, then so can everyone else. Maybe if we focus less on demonizing other people and concentrate more on helping one another, things would start to change for the best.

If you are a homosexual reading this, please know that my heart is with you. I of all people understand the daily struggles you are going through, and I salute your bravery and high spirit. Please remember that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving, no matter how much people tell you otherwise. Stay strong, and if you ever fall into the traps of Shaytan (the devil), repent to the Almighty with a pure heart and know that He accepts and welcomes the sincere. Pray to remain steadfast. Fasting is a powerful weapon so try your best to fast regularly.

Also, try to do sports and channel your energy in healthy ways. Surround yourself with the good company of pious people, and keep daily companionship of His Book. Pursue a higher purpose in life, for you are already on a high track. Trust me, I understand that the struggles may reach excruciating levels – it is at those moments that our inner cores are tested.

Make your struggles entirely for His sake, and they will be worth it. You will come out stronger and braver than before. With today’s explosion of sexuality and acceptance of same-sex relations, do not swallow the bait. Keep yourself in the company of Him for that is all that ultimately matters.

If you are a heterosexual reading this and assuming you may be uncomfortable with such a topic, I understand that this may be overwhelming for you at first glance. Take it easy on yourself, and certainly take it easy on others. We all have our own struggles, so let us make this journey we call life a little bit less difficult for one another. Let us shift our focus from pointing out each other’s faults and instead work together for more empathy, compassion and love.

There is a difference between respecting someone and accepting his/her actions; the former must be there at all times. If we disagree or have different lifestyles, and certainly if we make mistakes, please do not judge us. Bear with us. Listen to us, be there for us, for if you ever need us we will be there for you.

Even though we may not get the chance to experience what it means to have a spouse, be intimate or even raise a family in this life, I pray that Allah accepts our struggles for His sake and fulfil our desires in the Hereafter. Yes, I am a gay Muslim, and I am proud – proud that Allah has chosen me and many other brothers and sisters for this particular struggle in this life. And for that, and for all His countless blessings we say, Alhamdulillah.

“I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you… I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”
(V for Vendetta)

1. Lee, R. (2000). Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(6), 403–408.
2. Kesvani, H. (2015, April 18). Meet The Gay Muslims Living In Straight Marriages. http://www.buzzfeed.com/husseinkesvani/gay-muslims-in-straight-marriages
3. Schneeberger, A. R., Dietl, M. F., Muenzenmaier, K. H., Huber, C. G., & Lang, U. E. (2014). Stressful childhood experiences and health outcomes in sexual minority populations: a systematic review. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49(9), 1427-1445.
4. Qadhi, Y. (2009, April 13). Dealing With Homosexual Urges: Yasir Qadhi to Muslim Student. http://muslimmatters.org/2009/04/13/dealing-with-homosexual-urges/
5. Rictor Norton (compiler), “The Great Queers of History, Part 1: Born before 1800″, 1 May 2004 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/greatgay/greatgay.htm&gt;.
6. Salais, D. A., & Fischer, R. B. (1995). Sexual preference and altruism. Journal of Homosexuality, 28(1-2), 185-196.

Weddings

4562942571
Setting: Wedding Hall. Stage in the centre and draped with soft silks.

Music playing in the background. Six hundred eager people conversing and anticipating the arrival of the bride.

Enter the bride.

 A dazzling young beauty, laden with only the finest and softest materials enters the hall. Glittery ornaments sparkling in her hair and diamond earrings hanging low, result in some favourable murmurs and nods of approval amongst the women and leaves others baffled at how she managed to grow double her hair length overnight. She smiles, walks down the aisle, and approaches her husband who carefully hands her an exquisite bouquet of the choicest flowers and takes her seat next to him on centre stage. She holds her head and shoulders as a proper bride should—high and elegant. Some start making their way to the front for family photos, handing over gifts, and congratulating the newlyweds. The slideshow on the wall project family photos over the years and the live DJs engage the audience with some heartwarming tunes to get the mood rolling.  Asian-Wedding-set-up

Amidst the clattering of forks and knives enjoying the five-course meal, eyes focus on the young lady who has taken the mike on stage. The bride’s sister says thanks the guests for attending, despite the big derby game, City vs. United, drawing some laughs in the audience, especially amongst the brothers. She says a few words to embarrass the bride, wishes her well on her life ahead and jokingly threatens the groom to make sure he takes care of her (not-so) little sister. She proceeds by adding,

“We pray Allah makes her a wife like Fatimah (R) and him a husband like Ali (R).  May they live the lives of the Sahabahs before us and follow in the footsteps of Nabi ﷺ …”

I tuned out, too busy looking around me. Everyone clapped and happily resumed their meals.

Exeunt. Curtains fall.

images (6)

Was I the only one who found her speech a little pretentious? Ameen to the beautiful Du’aas and Allah is the sole judge of our hearts, but to make a mockery of the Sunnah like that? I was offended. Couples want to court before marriage; they want to choose a best man for their wedding; brothers want the best cars to take their new bride home; sisters demand a mind-blowing Mahr and want a henna ceremony dancing to Bollywood tunes, an over-night hen party (the list goes on and on and on) and then they expect a marriage like the queen of the women of Jannah? We have functions of rife as a public challenge to Allah, inviting his wrath and then expect His Mercy and blessings in it as if we have a right to it? The audacity! My beloved Nabi’s ﷺ life and his families’ lives aren’t there to flower our events and to tick the box for the more “religious” in the crowd; or to balance all the wrongs in the event by adding a few Islamic lines; or to appease our guilt in carrying out such an event. The life of Nabi ﷺ and the lives of the Sahabah (R) and Sahabiyaat (R) are there as examples for you and I to emulate in EVERY aspect of our lives including marriage. A marriage is a sacred union between two people, and it is our duty to keep it sacred. My beloved Nabi ﷺ said,

اعظم النكاح ايسرها مؤنة      

“The most blessed Nikah is the one with the least expenditure.” [1]

When my Nabi ﷺ asked his soon to be son-in-law Ali (R) what he had as Mahr to present to his daughter Fatimah (R), he replied that he only owned  a sword, an armour, and a horse. [2] He sold his armour for four hundred and eighty dirhams which was then presented as a very simple dowry to Fatimah (R). For the wedding feast, Sa’d bin Ubadah (R) offered a sheep and some Ansar offered some corn. [3] The simplicity and ease of their weddings was what put so much Barakah and happiness in their marriages. Nabi ﷺ instructed,

“Hold a wedding feast, even if only with a sheep.” [4]

Nabi ﷺ himself, gave simple wedding feasts to mark his marriages. Safiyya Bint Shaibah (R) narrates, “The Prophet ﷺ gave a banquet of two Mudds (3.5 kg) of barley on marrying some of his wives.” [5]

To consummate his ﷺ’s marriage with Safiyyah Bint Huyay (R), Anas (R) narrates, “The Prophet ﷺ ordered for the leather dining sheets to be spread, and then dates, dried yoghurt and butter were provided over it, and that was the Walimah of the Prophet.” [6] If we tried to emulate these Sunnahs of our beloved Nabi ﷺ in our weddings, then we’d see them naturally turn into beautiful marriages In sha Allah!images (5)

[1] Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih
[2] Kifayat at-Taalib, Bihar al-Anwaar
[3] Kanzul Umaal
[4] Sahih Bukhari
[5] Sahih Bukhari
[6] Sahih Bukhari

Zainab Bint Husain

Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

There is no doubt marriage is becoming harder for some people. And when you go to see a potential partner you may struggle to ask the right questions. Here is a list someone sent me:

tomoko-uji-633735-unsplash(Pick and choose the right questions, obviously you are not going to ask all the questions)

MARRIAGE
1. What is your concept of marriage?

2. Have you been married before?

3. Are you married now?

4. What are your expectations of marriage?

5. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?

6. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)

7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.

8. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.

RELIGION
9. What is the role of religion in your life now?

10. Are you a spiritual person?

11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?

12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?

13. What is your relationship between you and the Muslim community in your area?

14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?

15. What can you offer your spouse spiritually?

16. What is the role of the husband?

17. What is the role of the wife?

18. Do you want to practice polygamy?

FAMILY
19. What is your relationship with your family?

20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?

21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?

22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?

23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?

24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?

FRIENDS
25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)

26. How did you get to know them?

27. Why are they your friends?

28. What do you like most about them?

29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?

30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?

31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?

32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?

33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?

SELF
34. What are the things that you do in your free time?

35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?

36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?

37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)

38. Do you travel?

39. How do you spend your vacations?

40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?

41. Do you read?

42. What do you read?

43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?

44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?

45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?

46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favour for you?

47. Do you like to write your feelings?

48. If you wronged someone, how do you apologize?

49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want she/he to apologize to you?

50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?

51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?

52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?

53. Do your friends use foul language?

54. Does your family use foul language?

55. How do you express anger?

56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?

57. What do you do when you are angry?

58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?

59. When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the
conflict get resolved?

60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?

62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?

HEALTH
63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?

64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?

65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?

66. How do you support your own health and nutrition?

MONEY
67. What is you definition of wealth?

68. How do you spend money?

69. How do you save money?

70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?

71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?

72. Do you use credit cards?

73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?

74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?

75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?

76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?

77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?

78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?

79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?

80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?

CHILDREN
81. Do you want to have children? If not, why?

82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?

83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?

84. Do you believe in abortion?

85. Do you have children now?

86. What is your relationship with your children now?

87. What is your relationship with their other parent?

88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?

89. What is the best method(s) of raising children?

90. What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?

91. How were you raised?

92. How were you disciplined?

93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?

94. Do you believe in public school for your children?

95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?

96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?

97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?

98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?

99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?

RELATIVES
100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?

I will also add the istikhara dua, to pray after two rak’at nafl salah:

isti

Where the words “Hathal amr” appear twice (underlined) think of the matter you are asking for.