Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I am a second wife and my in laws hate me and my children because I am African

Islam strictly prohibits Racism on any basis

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

I really need help and inshallah i can find it here. Two years ago i married a kind amd gentle lebanese muslim from australia online. I am sudanese/nigerian from britain and he is lebanese amd raised in australia. We met online and he came to uk to visit and proposed marriage to me in front of my family. He did advise me he was married and he told his wife in arabic and she agreed she was ok with him remarrying. He gave me a beautiful walima at my family home and my parents agreed bcos in my culture,many men have second wives and he agreed to never marry another after me. I agreed to stop as a nurse and be a stay at home wife.

I got pregnant the first month we were married and now after two years we have two sets of twins already. At 30, he has been a loving and given husband and i have no complaints as he works hard to provide me with a separate home big to have more kids and he sees me everyday. The problem i have is his family. They hate me. They are religious on the outside. I moved to melbourne to be near him and since the day they met me i have been mistreated and verbally abused. I guess he never informed them i was african bcos the look on their face was pure terror! Right after we got married, i thought any preconceived notions his family had about me especially his mum would change after she saw how i never did. When the kids were born she wasnt the doting grandmum, she kept speaking how the newborns were gonna be "dark" after they were born and comparing them to her other grandchildren.

She never comes to babysit them as she does the others, and she tends to avoid conversations with me eventhough i have tried over and over to get her involved in our lives by being kind. To be honest, i have never met a woman so meanhearted.  She even alluded after we got married that my husband just married me because my family was well off and she even commented on how my "people" are nothing but servants and prostitutes in her home country! She has called me names in arabic alluding to me being dirt, a slave, and even have called my daughter "aswad abda" ..And all four of my kids are dark with his grade of hair and his mum says her other grand children are

It breaks my heart! I have always been respectful but even with his huge family no one says anything or takes up for me except my husband and he is getting tired of it as well. His first wife, whom he married as an "arrangement" as her family was poor and he stated that he married her of "charity" is hot and cold. Lets just say i wont leave my kids alone with her, as once i found out she wasnt feeding them a meal when they were with her alone at home when one day i had to run errands and their father was at work. My daughter was starving and the milk and things i gathered for her to eat was given to her natural children. I dont know if i can live my life this way. My children are not to be placed in 2nd place.

My husband is a great man , very religious, and he has spoken to his mum and aunts about not treating me kindly..however, they dont respect what he says! i will not let my children grow up around people that want to break them down and treat them less just becos of their skin family is accepting! and i expect them same! my family even welcomed his family to england to visit for EID and no response..even they are beginning to notice.. I at the point of leaving! And im pregnant again! My family treats him like a member but his treat me horribly. I cry during eid bcos the favoritism i cannot allow my kids to grow up around people that dont love them. Im upset also bcos myhusband never told me his parents were racist.




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23 Responses »

  1. Uhhhhh, my heart weeps wit u dear sister!! It's really a painful situation ur in. I feel u try too hard to be nice and u are fighting too hard to win their love. Try giving them their space and doing your own thing .thank God ur husband loves u and is not maltreating u. It's vey sad that as muslims , they behave the way they do. Love ur husband , take care of your kids and urself . As for ur inlaws, play ur simple part of hi hello and that's it. Greet them wit the Salam and offer them ur hand .Plan things for urself, kids, husband and whoever is interested. There must be one or two of his family who are not racist like his mum. Be friendlier wit them. Also u said ur a nurse. Are u still working since ur movt to Melbourne ??? If not I think u shld find something to do. Also get ur kids enrolled in a crèche, or nursery where they will make friends and hav fun. I don't know if there are Nigerians or Senegalese in Melbourne ? Try to make friends wit mums either from the parks or other women groups. U know what I mean. But u need to be careful. There's an online group on Facebook called " MIXED AND HAPPY". Its about married couples from diff parts of the world. try to check out the page and click "like". You might find a tip or two that will be of help. Since uv known the kind of people they are, then u should device means on how to live wit them. Be prayerful , give them space, never let them know ur feeling bad , hide ur weakness, put on a brave face, Look them straight in the eye, be bold, don't be sad, look good always , don't be afraid of them, don't act lonely , never cry in front of them, show them they are not the ultimate but don't b rude, don't complain too much to ur husband please, u need to stand up for ur self. Insha Allah they will be tired and come around. Hope to hear from u again how things are going on!!! May Allah make ur heart strong and bless u !!! Amin

  2. Unfotunately it is not the first time I have heard such comments from Arabs.I don't want to be someone that discriminates, but indeed they tend to make quite openly comments towards others, eg. african, asian, etc
    The people you describe wont change, but you have to find some solution so they dont upset you. Ideally your husband has to put his foot down- firmer this time- in order to stop them as they are his family.

  3. I feel so sooo sorry for you sister !! Their attitudes are terribly disgusting and they are a disgrace to humankind. I really pity you for having to face this horror. It is really physically draining to face this situation. If it wasn't for your husband, I would tell you leave him. But since you cannot divorce your in-laws, you can limit your association with them. Their attitude can never change no matter what, only you can avoid them. I envy your braveness and patience.

    I do not like to discriminate either, but racism comming from Arabs will not suprise anyone. This is the majority I'm talking about. This is their habit already. I'm talking with knowledge as I was born and brought up in Kuwait. There is even a whole page on ' Racism in Arab world ' on wikipedia.

    Sahih Bukhari-
    Narated by Zainab-

    "Prophet woke up from his sleep with flushed red face and said " None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe to the Arabs ! from the great evil that is nearly approaching them. A hole has been made in the wall of gog and magog." He was asked: " Shall we all be destroyed even though there are rightious people among us ?" He replied: "Yes, If evil increased ".

    This hadith talks about all the evil deeds caused by the Arabs.

    Racism is totally unacceptable in Islam. Your In-laws will be punished for their words and action.

    "O Mankind! Most certainly, it is We (God almighty) who have Created you all from a single (pair) of a male and a female. And it is we who have made you into nations and tribes, that ye may recognise each other (notthat ye may despise each other). Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is (He who is) the most righteous of you. "
    (Qur'an 49:13)

    “ All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action. "
    (Hadith, Sahih Bukhari)

    "O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames:Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness,(to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong."

    ( Qur'an, 49:11 )

    All you can do is distance yourself from them. It is upsetting to be in a company of unpleasent people. You need to tell your husband that you cannot stay with racist in-laws, he must be aware of this already. He needs to protect you from them. Don't let your kids stay with your grandmother even for a day. If however, you find yourself in their company, try to ignore their talks and keep in mind that Allah is all aware of their wrong doings. Or you can just walk away to another room. If it continues then you have to dramatically limit your association with them. Occasional hello would do good. Ask Allah to help you, for He will give you a way out. Your husband is doing great as a husband it seems but he really need to help you now in this situation.

    • Ali, your advice is good. But let's not respond to bigotry with bigotry. Arabs are also a noble people, the people of the Quran; and the descendants of the Sahabah. I disagree with you that "most" Arabs are racist. I think most Arabs are good, kind-hearted people. I have experienced much kindness from Arabs, and here in my city I see Arabs working hand-in-hand with African-Americans and other races at our local Muslim community center.

      Wael Editor

      • Its true. Having been among the Arabs and interacting with them, I would say that most of them are respectable and very kind hearted. They treat guest very generously, most of them.

        Muhammad Waseem Editor

      • Yup Arabs are the chosen people but then the Prophet himself warned of their future doings. Bro, there are differences ofcourse. Arabs residing in USA or elsewhere will obviously do good there and respect the local people. You might not realise what they do, and also they might be good to you as I believe that you are an arab yourself. But for the arabs in middleeast, they are in their home land and so they act like kings and everyone else are servants. I'll still stay firm when I say ' most ' as we foreigners in middleeast have seen what they have done. We have experiance racism to a high extent being asians or africans ( far-east, sub-continent, africa etc ). Their behavior especially towards domestic workers are inhumane.
        Ofcourse there are rightious kind hearted arabs, I've got many arab friends who are extremely great, They are normally from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt etc

        Even pre-Islamic arabs are exactly the same, our Prophet came and scholded them. There's a hadith when Abu Dharr had an arguement with Bilal, Abu Dharr got angry and became racist towards Bilal as he was an Ethiopian. Our Prophet condemend Abu Dharr. Abu Dharr weeped so much and he put his face on the ground saying that he will not move untill Bilal puts his foot on his head. Bilal cried and took him and kissed him on his cheek.

        • Salam,

          I think racism is international, by saying most Arabs are racist, you act exactly as racist people who generalize people. I am an Arab being born in europe, I can tell u, there is racists towards Arabs and especially African. Also When I went to USA for vacation, I was surprised to find how Arabs are so well amicably inserted with American community and how much people were racist against black American, many American were warning me not to hang out or talk much to blacks , they were saying they most into drugs.

          Even within the same country, you can find racism between cities.
          U should not become racist to Arabs lol


          • I live now in Kuwait and I know what you mean, they pay servants and they don't give them much attention, it's not racism , it's just their culture to have servants. I am married with Kuwaiti and I see community, you exaggerate when you say their behavior is inhuman, such statement will make new racists. What I have seen is lot of Kuwaiti donate to them beside their salary, and talking to them properly. Until now I have not seen inhuman behavior but I am sure it exists as everywhere. The worst was European during slavery period. This was inhuman.

            To ayatbinthamza, you must focus on your children and their education, ignore them, maybe its not your skin color, maybe cos they never wanted a second wife and maybe that's why he never told them. But personally I love this mix of races, I'm sure your children are cute and anyway all kids are like angels. I think still kid can feel differences their grand mom can make, better to talk to this with your husband, that u worried that your kids feels it.

        • in total agreement. The arabs in middle east treat foreigners like crap. Literally.

      • Sorry to hear abt ur situation but I can relate very easily to it...i read it and I felt that I had to write to U a second wife myself im Arab my husband is British Asian Muslim guy,he had his first wife's consent to remarry and here I am being very miserable ...his family hates me and don't have no contact with me,we been married for 4ys now,I have a one year old nobody comes to see or U,I gave up my job,agreed to stay at home 24\ depressed very U it breaks my heart to see my baby being treated differently,unloved and the reason why im upset is that the first wife is the cause nobody is dealing with or my baby,dropping my in laws from visiting me.cant speak to my family or complain koz dey never agreed to my marriage but I never listened so I have to be responsible for my actions.his culture is very controlling as well,can't go out or do anthg outside and enjoy doing anthg,I shuld just stay home everyday of the week being a good wife and mother.i have always been independent,studying working,had a social I am as miserable as U i have thought abt leaving but the dilemma is that my hubby is a very gd man and father,the most respectful religious fair husband ...but i am not happy the way i am being treated by his family,his culture and lifestyle is very controlling and boring...sister,i advise U to do what i do,stay away from them,they are shallow people and U dont need the negative energy in ur life,concentrate on ur home,kids and is hard i kno koz i live in ur shoes...but do it for the sake of ur babies and least U have a social life U can do things outside with ur little family and get ur mind out of the stress and each day as it comes and limit ur visits.keep in touch sister as i will be following ur

        • Salaam sis and thanks. It helps to knw im not the
          Only one experiencing this. I am really pushing tomove far
          Away from them. To maybe kuwait or the uk. Divorce to him i wont even mention he would separate from his parents if he knw it upsets me that much. I just dony
          Understand these
          Backwards ways as i wasnt raised this way

  4. Lol.... okay lets leave it be. It'll only get worse if I go on with reality.

  5. Sister Ayat bint Hamza, Assalamualaikim,

    My sister, these things are common all over the World. Racism is common, but has no place in Islam.

    Sister, this is the bitter truth, but I think you should request your husband to have a separate home for you, quite disconnected from his mother.

    I say this because if you wait for her to be good and let your children grow in this environment, they wil surely develop inferiority complex and will never be confident. But you know that this is not true. The color of the skin does not decide a person's position with Allah, Taqwa is what does...

    If you stay in a separate home, yoi can raise them per Islam and also enjoy the company of your husband whenever it is your turn, considering that he has another wife.

    I hope this helps. I pray that Allah gives you peace at heart and rewards you

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • I agree with Mohamed, racism is everywhere all over the world, you may have faced it before in uk, and will maybe face it in Australia but it hurts when it comes within family in law. I agree that better to get your children see family in law like once a week for example so they don't get affected, as Mohamed said, do your best to convince husband to live separately and as soon as possible, during childhood the in conscious get easily affected and can have bad effect in their futur.

      Wish u all the best sister

  6. salamu alaikum sister, first of all count your blessings that allah (swt) has blessed you with healthy children and also that you are alive and well to look after your children. do not trust this lady with your children AGAIN, move far way from your inlaws and only let the children see them once in a while so that your children dont grow up feeling that they are secound best. dear sister your children should grow up with confidence to believe in them selfs.
    you clearly tried with you inlaws but you do not have to kiss their ass, move on and rise your children.
    it must be hard moving away from your family in the uk as it helps having them around to babysite the children when you are ruuning earas if you can not go back to the uk then be 100% INDEPENDENT inshallah you can do this and put your trust in allah the almaighty. please do not let these people put you down it not worth it. may allah (swt) help you

  7. Sister you know they dislike you for the stupidest of reasons so never give their words one iota of importance, MashaAllah you have a good husband and you have been blessed with 4 children in 2 years 2 sets of twins MashaAllah, try to limit your time with the mother she seems to have to much time on her hands sad i feel sorry for her, i have seen the nasty side to some Arab people the first time i went to an Arab country i spent most of my time laughing at these black people calling me black pathetic and very sad, but Alhamdulilah not all Arab people are like that as you know,

  8. I am married to an Arab man, but I am white and have faced racist attitudes from the people in my neighborhood! You think they wouldn't be racist toward a white woman, but I have faced similar problems to your own. One family invited us for an iftar once and the father of the house spent the whole night speaking in Arabic to my husband how he should have married one of his own kind. Then, I had a lady babysit my daughter once who treated her like a mongrel creature because she was half Arab, half European. She wouldn't feed my daughter either and when I got home from work, my daughter was upset and crying for hours. It is disgusting. I typically only get along with the African and Indonesian sisters at our mosque because of this. The Arabs stay with Arabs and everyone else seems to just get along marvelously without them. Alhamdullilah, they are Muslim, but in everything else they are like the Arabs of Jahliyah.

    I commend your husband for being good to you, but he should have known their attitudes beforehand and should have warned you that they could be like this. Racism doesn't just "pop" up because of an event like when a child marries a person of another race, it is always there, latent and seething below the surface. If his family was racist, he should have been aware of this before.

    • Salaam maryam. Yes he knew they were racist but not as MUCH. Alhumdulilah he has sixteen bros and sis and for the most part all of them are either very good to me and my kids or atleast cordial. Its just his parents. Mum especially. His dad is coming around as i bloody near have saved his health by the grace of ALLAH swt.. But his mum and elder membersnof the family? No! But im washing my hands of it. Treating my kids unfairly and not feeding them is just wrong.


    Thanks to all for your kind responses. It has been quite difficult for me as im currently 4 mos pregnant with four young kiddies and dealing with this. I do and have always had a separate home but its literally across the street in a new property from his old home with his first wife. So i see her everyday but as i feel she probably is a reason for some

    of the drama .. I try to not run into her. My family will be
    visiting from the uk for the birth which will make me feel

    better alhumdulilah. The only thing that keeps me sane is when i see the two kids he has with the other wife and mine playing.. They hug and kiss and really love each other it warms my heart. My husband always has them together woth him when he isnt working. Its hard to be so far from familiairty and to be treated unkind. My husband has really been great subhanallah he never sleeps as is trying to settle it. Its so hard right now. I saw his mum take the kids to a gymboree and didnt bother to fetch mine. That hurted alot. His father is very sick so being a caring person and i nurse eventhough his wife speaks to me like a dog, i stikl go to the home to check on him and make sure he is taking his meds as a proper nurse should. I dont get it. He told his family before we married he was getting another wife and his brother is married to a non muslim italian and they adore her. I just dont get it? How can peoPle who go to masjid everyday and teach in islamic school be so mean hearted.

  10. Hi there

    My name is Jo and I am a Freelance Writer currently researching this topic. I wonder if you would be willing to speak to me about your issues with your in laws?

    (deleted by editor)

    Thanks and I hope to hear from you

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