Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Doubts / Tests on my faith


I convert into Islam and got married at age 39, got divorced after 1 month of marriage. My happiest moment was when my ex-husband lead us in prayer, and my saddest moment was seeing his back-view as he walked out of court after declaring "I divorce you with one ta'laq".

It was a hard time for me, but at that point, I never once regret converting into Islam. My mum, a non-muslim has been very supportive of my religion, she never once belittled me or put me down on my faith. Al'hamdulilah for blessing me with a understanding mother.

My step-dad, has a daughter who needed our help with looking after her child due to marital problems. We helped her took care of her 3rd child since the child was 3 months old. Both me and my mum poured all our love into that child and took care of her as our own. The child is aware who her biological family is, we organised family outings for their entire family during holidays so they could enjoy and be reunited.

Seeing them happy with their children, makes us all happy. For the past years after my divorced, it seems like all these had made my life worth living. When the child is 6 years old, her mother decides that she wants her child back, unfortunately, the child's father passed away on that same year.

We continued our duty as guardians and return the child back to the mother when the child completed her K2 education in Singapore. We return the child to her mother with the best of intentions, although it pains us - what gave us a peace of mind - was seeing the child reunited with her family, with her siblings, thinking that we could still visit her and bring her out for overseas trips during school holidays.

However, her mother wishes for us to be cut off from the child's life completely. She even went to the extend of telling her child to not hug and kiss us, not say ’I love you’ to us - “don’t keep calling ‘grandma grandma’ “, she even show displeasure when I try to call the child on WhatsApp. She said for the child’s best interests, we should let go.

The child is upset that we are leaving, she wants to follow us back, we have to lie to her saying that we will be back, but in our hearts we know her mother will do everything to alienate us from the child.

We are devastated. No one understands our pain, there is no legal recourse, my emails seeking help for child visitations, for justice was ignored. I even got reprimanded by some stranger when I wrote in seeking legal advice.

Suddenly, we are labelled by society as the crazy, selfish, narrow-minded and close-hearted people who are trying to snatch a child from her poor mother. The laws in Malaysia has no pity nor understanding for care-takers like us. My hands are shaking as I write this. I cannot believe what is happening.

My faith is indeed shaken now, I have done istighara, prayed to Allah for guidance, for a peace of mind - but in my house, I see memories of the child with us and how happy we were and how cruel her mother is to cut us off from this child’s life and how we may never see the child again.

Right now seeing my mum in pain, seeing myself in pain, I wonder what is there left for me. I am lost. I am 42 yrs old now, with no husband, no child and if loving someone’s child leaves me in such a depressive state, what is there left to believe that goodness will come out of goodness? All I have next, is to wait till I lose my mother as well - the final nail in my coffin.

Wouldn’t it be better if I am evil, and kept the child in Singapore even when her mother wants her back? Given that I was the appointed guardian, I could have ignored the mother’s wishes and selfishly kept the child in by continuing her education in Singapore. I am done with getting screw over again and again, thinking that there will be any justice in my life.

I tell myself that the child will be happy, but I get angry and wants justice when I think of the child being forced to be alienate from us. Cos we have no power, the child is powerless, her mother have all the rights to do this.

I don't know what is the point of writing in, it is pathetic of me to be seeking sympathy for my situation, seeking support and assurance that I have done nothing wrong. I am still look for help, spiritually, emotionally and legally. But I don't know how long can I hold on, I about to abandon all hope in this.


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2 Responses »

  1. I don't understand why you're upset and behaving like someone has ripped your newly born baby away from your arms. This is not your child, and it never was! You never adopted the child, legally, as your own, either, so you have absolutely no legal rights over him or her. Surely, you knew the child would go back to his or her own parent eventually? I mean, you do mention that you knew the arrangement to take care of the child was temporary when you accepted the job. But still, it sounds like it caught you by surprise that the mother wanted her child back...

    It sounds inappropriate for you to call someone else's kid on WhatsApp without having gained the mother or father's approval to call their child first - again, you're not the child's mother, what are you doing crossing boundaries like that? You're not even really an aunt to this child, because you're not a blood relative. Because you crossed some boundaries and have invaded some personal space, the mother saw it fit to cut you out of the equation. Which she has every right to do. Sure, it's really ungrateful and rude of her to thank you for your help like this, but...taking on the responsibility of other people's kids is usually an ungrateful job.

    It sounds like this child gave you a sense of purpose and distracted you from the realities of your life: That you are 42, unmarried and childless. I feel bad for you that you feel like your life is empty just because you don't have a husband or child. In this life, we're never guaranteed a spouse, and we are never guaranteed children. You have got to stop using these two parameters to estimate your success. So many people in this world do have a spouse and children...but they are in terrible and abusive marriages, and the children are problematic. So many people feel trapped in bad marriages and regret having children. The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, how about being thankful for what you do have? Your mother is still with know how many people would give everything they have to still have their mother by their side? If you have your health, you know how many ill and dying people would love to be you?

    Sister, it is indeed a test when life doesn't give us what we want, or take us where we want to be. But please trust there's a purpose behind everything, and that - in the end of the day - you have so much to be grateful for. Imagine how many people went to sleep last night and didn't wake up this morning. Be thankful you're not one of them. Imagine how many people woke up this morning, thinking it would be another normal day...and they got hit my a car on their way to work or school. Be thankful that's not you. A husband and child is not everything, Sister. There's nothing wrong with being 42, without a husband and children. That is just how your life turned out...

    It sounds like you have a lot of love and affection to give...I don't know what you do for a living, but I can imagine you could do some amazing work with children. Why don't you work or volunteer at an orphanage? Or become a foster parent? Or even adopt children? If you have the means for it, you could even open an orphanage for children that have nothing and no one...

  2. Assalaamualaikum

    I am sorry for what you are going through. To love and care for a child, and then have that child taken from you, is a painful loss. But legally, if you have exhausted all options, there is little else you can do.

    It is sad that the child's mother doesn't want you in the child's life at the moment. However, this might not always be the case. Rather than creating more of a rift between you and the mother, try to preserve some relationship, so that perhaps in the future you can have some contact with the family - if this leads to the mother hating you then you could lose any chance of having further involvement in the child's life.

    Maybe contact the mother one more time and say to her that you understand and appreciate that she wants time to rebuild her own relationship with her child (try to see it from her perspective - she's trying to reconnect with her child, who she knows loves another family). Explain how you feel about the child, how much they mean to you and your mother, and how much it would mean to you for you to still have some contact with both of them in the future, once the mother is ready. If it's too hard to say, write a letter?

    You might also find it helpful to write a letter to the child, and keep it with you. Write about how you love them, your memories of the time you had together, your hopes for their future, how much you miss them... Sometimes it can help just to write these things down, and if one day you are reunited with the child, they can read them and see how much you loved them.

    You also need to stop defining yourself and your success or failure in this life by marriage and children. Many good people never marry, or marry and it doesn't work out or their spouse dies... Many good people never have children, or have children and lose them. All things in this life are temporary - we cannot hold on to them forever, no matter how much we want to. I really like sister Lindita's idea of using the love you have to give to help other children - perhaps that could be something you could look into, inshaAllah?

    Midnightmoon editor

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