Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Hopeless in Marriage

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Asalaam Alaikum,

I'm writing to hopefully get some advice In sha Allah. I've been married for almost a year now to an individual whom my family and I thought was a good guy. For the most part, he is a good individual, but as time goes by, I'm really bothered by our differences. I fear that these differences will get in the way of raising a family, and there is a child on the way, In sha Allah.

I feel that he customizes Islam to better suit his desire, i.e. he only prays twice a day - once when he wakes and once when he returns from work - and these prayers consist of 2 rakaats, of which I'm not clear on. He does not go to the masjid, not even during Ramadan, but he does keep his fasts. At first I told myself, instead of talking to him about this, it's best to leave it between him and Allah (swt), but it still does bother me, as I feel that I have nothing to feel connected with him. Also, I'm worried this will make it difficult to raise a child and teach him/her about Islam, when he does not practice like I do.

Another thing is his family, with whom we don't live, has a pet dog, which they keep inside of their home. On the other hand, I was raised with no pets and was taught that they keep angels out and are impure. Although before we got married, he told me that they supposedly keep a separate prayer room, but I later found out that this makes no difference, as their dog would even go into this room. While visiting for the weekend, on more than one occasion , it has come in front of me on my janamaaz while I was praying. Needless to say, I always feel out of place when we're visiting his family, as I don't want to sit on their sofas, as I know their dog is all over the furniture, and I don't want to make my clothes impure for when I need to pray throughout the day. Recently, their dog has been suffering from poor health, and my husband went to visit to help get it treatment. When he asked me if I'd want to join, I had simply expressed to him that I wasn't sure if I'd be of assistance because I'm still torn over why they have this dog in the first place. He got upset and went without me and said that I was not showing compassion. I don't think I did anything wrong, by saying what I believe to be right.

Our most recent argument was over giving Fitra, as it was just Eid ul Fitr. I suggested that we give it to a masjid or to an Islamic organization, but he suggested that we give it to a scholarship fund he had started at the school he attended, because his preference is to stay away from anything religiously affiliated. This makes no sense to me, as fitra is given for Eid, which should go to a place that is religiously affiliated, and also the places I suggested, I feel are more deserving, as they help those in dire need in the world.

Some background on him worth mentioning is that his mother was a convert to Islam from Hinduism, when his parents got married. He told me that he admired and respected her for this, and I thought rightfully so, as she had to learn about the religion while teaching her children. However, while spending some time and talking to her, I'm not sure she's still knowledgeable about Islam, nor have I seen her pray or practicing. I worry that if our child spends time around her as he/she grows, they will be misguided and learn the wrong things about Islam.

Overall, I fear that these differences have led us apart, when we weren't very strong in our relationship to begin with. I agreed to marry him at first because he seemed to be a good, honest, person from a good family Alhumdulillah, but now I question if this was enough to base such a big decision on, and instead, if I should have looked for more religious similarities. I feel alone and very distant from him, and like there's nothing we can bond over. We usually don't agree on much in everyday life either, i.e. the types of food, tastes in home items, clothes, etc. I don't think this is how a happy marriage should feel like and have been very troubled...divorce has crossed my mind, because I don't know how we can be happy for a lifetime, experiencing these issues.

Your guidance would be greatly appreciated.

JazakAllah Khair.


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7 Responses »

  1. I should have looked for more religious similarities.

    so why didnt you????

    what did you and your family looked into???

    a man with a job and a house ,who looks reasonable. but didnt bother checking what his religious practice was! but now want him to b the perfect ever muslim on earth!

    you were not sure from the begining but decided to bring in a child anyway????

    this dog business- well you already knew there was a dog in the family, so why sound so surprised! you could have easily asked /requested for dog to be out of the praying area. you could have easily gone to see a sick dog ! its not harram my dear, i am sure you would have been rewarded for gained the confidence of the family that you actually dont hate the dog its only when you are praying in interferes.

    your husband was not totally wrong in avoiding giving money to religious affiliation as they have gained a bad name for one reason or the other. you could have easily avoided the conflict by saying why dont you pay fitra to mosque and i pay a similar amount towards scholarship ! after all its for a good cause. you could have easily saved money from the budget for that.

    for slat- why dont you pray together so you can encourage each other. from the begining you kept him out ....its between him and Allah ... i think its our responsibility as another muslim to guide each other... bet remember guide not force/order

    from my eyes you are more of an issue than this guy who is actually trying to be good.

    stand back and analyse where you can improve and be gentle and work together rather than picking mistakes in him.

  2. you comtemplated divorce because of such petty issues which are easily addresable do know its the most hated thing by Allah ...what will you asy to your child after its born.... my child you are in a split family because i couldnt bother working our relationship and instead took the easy way out of divorce!

    • Divorce is hardly easy.


      The hadeeth has a corroborating report from Mu’adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), which was narrated by al-Daraqutni in al-Sunan (4/35) and Ibn ‘Adiy in al-Kamil (2/694), with the wording: “Allah has not permitted anything more hated to Him than divorce.” And there are other versions, but its isnad is da’eef jiddan (very weak) and it is not valid to be quoted as evidence.

      But although it is most likely that the hadeeth cannot be soundly attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), its meaning is sound.

      Al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

      It is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” This hadeeth is not saheeh, but its meaning is sound: Allah hates divorce, but He does not forbid it to His slaves, so as to make things easier for them. If there is a legitimate shar’ee (religiously legislated) or regular reason for divorce, then it is permissible and depends on the likely outcome of keeping this woman as one's wife. If keeping her will lead to something that is contrary to sharee’ah (Islamic law) which cannot be avoided except by divorcing her, such as if the woman is lacking in religious commitment or chastity, and the husband cannot set her straight, then in this case we say that it is better to divorce. But if there is no shar’ee reason or ordinary reason, then it is better not to divorce, rather in that case divorce is makrooh (disliked). End quote.

  3. Assalam alaikum Sister,

    You have mentioned that your husband for "the most part" is a good individual who is honest. He gives in charity. He prays, though it could be more regular. Sister, the strength of our faith lies on a spectrum which has extremes on weak and strong. I am no one to judge your husband's faith, but I don't think the differences you have cited are worth ending your relationship over even if no child was in the picture. In other words, I do not think you should stay with your husband for the sake of your child, you should stay with your husband for the sake of him and yourself. He sounds like a very pleasant man with whom you may grow, learn and flourish with spiritually.

    The matters that you have mentioned are things that you can discuss with him and like a mature adult, you can find solutions. No marriage is void of them and even if we give you an exact solution for his relatives with a dog--still other issues may arise and you will have to learn to communicate effectively and lovingly with your husband. While I may agree with you that having a dog in the house is not appropriate at all, at the same time, it isn't your house--you were there as a guest. Furthermore, it appears that since his mother was a revert, most likely not all his relatives will be Muslim. I am sure you can discuss the best solution to deal with this situation so that you practice Islam as you like while understanding the challenges you are faced with.

    There are many good qualities in your husband which can not be found in other men. There are some negatives in your husband which also cannot be found in other men. However, the positives in him are certainly great and should not be overlooked. Rather you should cherish him and not despise the differences. Even if you married someone that you got along with perfectly, it doesnt mean that you wouldn't face challenges 10 years into that marriage. The bottom line to understand is that challenges cannot be altogether avoided in marriage--so accept them, work through them as this is the road that will help you bond with your husband inn shaa Allah.

    May Allah ease your difficulties, Ameen.

  4. Salam sister,

    I don't see anywhere you mentioning your husband abusing you or mistreating YOU! Yes you have some differences and arguements over this. But these petty arguements are common in any marriage. No two human being will have everything in common!

    If he is a kind compassionate and reliable person and treating you well the I don't see where the problem is. The issues you have with the dog can be sorted out by mutual arrangements.

    Also your husband not being religous and not praying properly is not solely your concern. As you say its between him and Allah. That's right! You'll be more happier if you think like that and let him get on with it and you just concentrate on becoming the best muslima you can be. You don't need to answer for your husband. Your concern is how your husband is treating YOU! Think about number one. Husband is a worldly thing its not for akhira. Just like how a muslim man is allowed to marry a Christian women, I mean he doesn't care if she prays or not, if he did then he would marry a practising muslima. She is only a worldly item just to fullfill worldly purposes.

    My opinion is that there are some men who claim to be practicing. They have long beards praying five times a day, going hajj etc etc but then they beat their wife's, treat them worse then servants etc etc! Then they argue its allowed in Islam! So whats the point marrying someone like that?

    What if you did marry a really religous guy how do you know that he will treat you better? He might have been worse! I think its better marrying a less religous man with good character, morals and values who respects you and treats you with love and dignity then marrying a highly religous man who has bad character and abuses you.

    Just talk about normal stuff and become closer and compromise on your differences. Be more compassionate to your husband and lay off him about Islam, leave it to Allah to guide him.

    Hope everything works out Insha Allah

  5. Sister please Don't be so narrow minded. I feel little bad for your husband who probably feel torn between his pre married and post married life. he might be the one regretting this decision of marriage with you.
    Dog is God creation and he was his family dog. You behaved with lack of compassion.
    Straighten up and cherish this relationship by fulfilling your duties as good wife instead of contemplating divorce.

    If you will concentrate more on how you could be better wife, human and muslim instead of critically analyzing your husband all the time, you will feel happy and lucky.

  6. I agree with most replies but I also think you guys need to stop labelling this girl 'as the problem'. She came here for help and guidance.

    First off you are pregnant and with pregnancy come a lot of hormonal changes which make you either depressed or in my case make you think so much of the 'negatives' about your relationship with your husband and in-laws. Allhamdolillah I have a wonderful husband and we sorted out our differences and we still do as they arise (our main differences are cultural).

    When you are praying at your in laws you should just close the door so the dog doesn't enter the room. If that is not possible then you need to make it clear to your husband that you don't want the dog in the room while you are praying.

    As for your mother in law being a bad influence on your children is not a big deal since you don't live with them and just visit them. I was born in Bahrain and raised in Canada when I got married I moved to Pakistan in hopes that I will hear the Azaan five times a day and will pray regularly and also raise my children in an Islamic way but unfortunately I have a father in law who refuses to turn down the TV to even hear the Azaan. So now I spend most of my time in my room with my kids. Also the first two years of my marriage when I would wake up and go downstairs I'd say Salaam to my mother and father in law with them never responding. Now I have stopped saying 'Salaam' (which I know is wrong) but when my children wake up even from nap time I say Salaam to them and encourage my son to say it as well.

    You also need to stop judging your mother in laws and husbands faith. Leave that up to Allah as Allah is best of all the judges. You just need to discuss with your husband how you two will raise your children.

    I would also like to request for prayers for myself. I wont go into detail as this post is not about me but will give a little bit of background. When I got married I was treated like a servant even when I was sick and falling I would be doing one thing or another for my in laws. I never discussed all this with my husband for the first seven to eight months of my marriage. He would be at work all day and would come home tired so I didn't want to disturb him. Eventually over the past three and a half years of my marriage I have opened up to him and Allhamdolillah he has been understanding. After I had my first child I really changed. I started to literally ignore everyone else and prioritizing my husband, my son, and now my daughter. Now my mother in law is going through cancer treatment and she feels really weak after chemo and out of humanity I want to help her in every way I can but I always remember her treatment towards me and my children which is still ongoing through her sickness and I back away. Please pray for me that I can ignore her treatment towards me and my children and be helpful to her in whatever way possible. Even if I don't have the heart to treat her like family at least I should be able to help her out of humanity.

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