Islamic marriage advice and family advice

His cousin said حياتي to my husband..

My husband is Syrian (24 years old) and a very honest and trustworthy man. I do not doubt him. His cousin seems very nice and and seems like a big sister to him (she is like 2-3 years older than him). He respects her and praises her and says she is one of the strongest women he knows (she did not have a great up-bringing and has been through a lot). When they do speak it's usually with family around and sometimes they text. From what I know their texts are halal ie family, recipes for us and legal advice (she is a lawyer).

With that being said I do not speak Arabic but I do know some words and I would like to know if her saying hayati to him is proper. I know people express love in soooo many ways in Arabic and in beautiful ways compared to English.

I just want to know if hayati is used like habibi (often used between familial and friends like dear)?

Or is hayati (especially in Syrian Arabic) reserved for more romantic talk?

(She said it to him at the end of their conversation, like instead of saying goodbye)

I really believe that their communication has been halal but if romantic phrases are being used then a line has been crossed and I want to address it. But I don't want to look stupid if it is just innocent term like dear.

I asked on other websites but received a many different answers some saying this is romantic term only, some saying it depends on the context and some saying it's fine. Can someone give a more definitive answer please?


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11 Responses »

  1. Asalaamualaikum sister ,
    As far as I know hayati means my life very similar to Indians calling their romantic partner Jaan which also means life hence I understand your concern. Well whatever the context is I believe any relationship outside of marriage should be kept either professional or within the limited boundary of friendship especially when it’s opposite sex. I believe the right thing for you to do would be to stop assuming as it’s mentioned in Surah hujurat : verse 12 - O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

    With that being said The right thing for you to do would be sit down with your husband and have an open unbiased heart to heart conversation in respectful non judgemental tone rather than
    Make assumptions and listening to hearsay of the people. Hope this helps. Wasalaam

  2. As Salaamu Alaykum

    First of all in Islam a Cousin-Boy can marry his Cousin - Girl so allready one have to be carefully about talking in a sweet way.
    About that Habibi matter.Like you says, some says it can uses between lovers or normal People if you like one.(Like a Brother) but again Cousins a no Brothers or Sisters,so he can only talk to her what is necessary.Like how are you and of Course if she is a Lawyer,Business matter and that kind but no sweet-talk and the cant call each other Brother or Sister because that is wrong.The will never be Brother or Sister,so one have to be carefully if he or she talks to a Cousin and if it make a Husband or Wife jealous ,than Of Course,the have to stop to talking in that way.

  3. Salam,

    sis, don't be disturbed by this term. i know so many arabs they say habibi hayati etc.for everyone they meet. It's ok ~ Don't ruin your marriage - think positive

  4. Bismillah,
    My opinion, you asking so many people is going to end up ruining your marriage. So you should talk to your husband, ask him what it really means and what his relationship is and what he thinks of her.

  5. If they had wanted each other they would have Married before you came . I am a Muslim girl I say Hayaty and Habibty or Albi to those I love like my cousins close girlfriends . I text my cousin once in a while to check on him with life . And they have a relation he doesn't have with you . Good friends, Family . You probably are suspicious but please if you haven't seen Romance holding hands and anything . At least this girl is Family you know . She's his family instead of some other girl . You will sound crazy if you talk to him about this . Once in a while when I check on my cousin I tell him " haven't seen you so long, how have you been? Miss you long time no see. Take Care Hayati . It isn't anything

    • Habon Hajira ,

      What you are doing is haraam .
      The cousins are mehrem to you and you using that lines are improper.This will invoke fitnah one day .
      You need to do hijaab with cousins as per islam .

  6. Salam sister,
    I’ve asked my husband who is Arab and he says many Arab use this word like saying dear to us, don’t be bothered by it as it used not only for their spouse.
    Whoever seems like you don’t quite like how close they are if it botheres you, maybe you should talk to your husband about it rather than looking for alternative ways.

  7. If you sense something its probably because youve seen more than just this and its so awkward. Communication is essential, does he mention his cousin texts? If not then there can be an underlying reason. Try talking with him and. Express your concern, its your husband there is no mistake in raising concerns because you want unity in your marriage. If you feel in your soul there's funny business pay attention to it. Address it in a calm nice way. After all whom ever doesn't owe anything, doesn't feel discomfort or fear towards it so anger shouldn't be involved. Be wise, for we are all human and made equal.

    • I AM syrian and I can tell you hayati can be used by many like any other word. It's meaning becomes baseless when it gets used so much.

  8. حياتي ...... is not that serious

    it has so many meanings... but between cousins is just like dear .. a casual word .. not romantic or anything

    sometimes it can even be a sarcastic comment, showing anger, or frustration with someone.

  9. I submitted this question in Sept and just now logged back in, thank you for all the replies. I had already concluded not to bring it up To my husband. I initially asked because we had only been married for 4 months at the time and I think I was just feeling insecure especially because his culture and mine are very different including language. I did not want to seem petty so i never said anything and just let it go-you know like an adult.
    Of course I would speak to him if it was a bigger incident but I'm glad I didn't over the one word. Again thanks everyone.

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