Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Married and losing faith as a result

Exposure to negatives is affecting my faith

I am married to a very decent Muslim man, it has been just over two years now.

When we met, I was not a very observant Muslim – actually, I have since realised that most of my behaviours came from Christianity – showing love to all, being a good person, being kind and praying when the desire or need came, to thank God, or share with God (praying before bed for example and things like this) although I always called myself Muslim as my race and culture have always been that way and there has never been pork,  or alcohol in my family, and we have always observed Ramadan.

I thought Islam’s knowledge was in the Quran – the same way that Christianity’s knowledge is in the Bible, and I thought the difference between them was very minor – believing all religions are equal.

When I met my husband, I was impressed with his good manners and discipline.  I liked it that he avoided women, and that he didn’t drink or gamble or swear, and I saw him as very spiritual – I felt that his five-times prayer meant that he was a contemplative and spiritual person who loved God, believed in the soul, in heaven, Earth – being a good person. When he told me that his family also prayed in this way, I was amazed at the level of spirituality – thinking how beautiful it was that there was a family tied together in the love of God, and I believed that such spiritual people would surely be good, and kind, that they would uphold forgiveness and decency and that their company would be the safest, kindest and most loving of companies – and that they would be good people.  I believed that this is what a Muslim believer was.

Since getting to know my husband’s family, I  have learned about these things called Hadiths, which mean that I cannot be who I am, I have to dress different, speak different, behave different. I am expected to use Arabic words in place of English ones, I cannot say “thank God” I have to say “elhamdulilah”.  I was surprised to learn that getting into the Islamic community means that you will be barraged with critics and complaint from day one and then onwards.

I have found them full of hatred towards others – they have not one good word to say about anyone. They are benefit thieves; they take from the government and do not invest in their own homes and businesses (because this is haram?).  They lie to each other, and they say horrible things about each other behind their backs. They say horrible things about their managers, their neighbours, their cousins, their shopkeepers.  They are dirty – their home is always unclean, their children are miserable and neglected, the youngest daughter is an emotional wreck from the treatment she gets. The father is violent with the mother and has battered the daughters into hospital.  The house smells.

They overcharge when they sell, they are miserly when they spend. They do dodgy deals, they sell used and broken goods and they avoid paying taxes whilst they file for government housing.  There are 7 of them living in a tiny flat – refusing to invest in anything. When we got married, they did not help, give money or anything at all. When we visit, we sit on pillows on the floor in a empty room – what is this? Why are 9 people sharing wet food from one bowl with their hands and fingers, sitting on the floor? Apparently this is the Islamic way.

Since this time, I have observed more and more and more habits and behaviours and lack of morals that repulse me and repel me from Islam.  I am repulsed at how a person can pray, and then stand up and say evil about their sister. I am repulsed that someone can give me a speech about the Almighty Allah and then go and collect their benefits and fill in a form and lie (saying they are disabled when they are not) to get more from the government that they detest and hate.

Their habits and behaviours repulse me with the lack of hygiene and dirt. They are so evil to each other and say such awful things to each other that I can’t stand to hear it. And their greed and hate just makes me wish I never met them.

And now, I just feel that Islam is responsible because these people feel that they are living according to the Islamic rules. Their reasoning for everything they do and say is that it is Islamic, it is Sunna. And In my heart is a continued growth and grief because I don’t want any of this in my life. I just want my life to be a moral life – a life where spirituality and prayer results in the best kind of human being one can imagine, full of love and compassion not hate – not force, not violence, not resistance to the world, not resistant to progress. As I meet more and more people who are real and practicing Muslims, what I meet is people who are just judgemental, unkind, rude, misogynistic and dirty.

I don’t want to feel this way. I love my husband, and I want us to have a long and successful life together – a progressive life together. I don’t want us to live this way.

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8 Responses »

  1. Dear Yameen,

    I greet you with the Islamic greetings: 'Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh'. Meaning: 'Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings'. How beautiful, Allah has shown us how to greet those we know and those we do not know with such a warm and peaceful welcome.

    Yameen, I am sorry that you are having this unpleasant experience with your husband and his family. My reply to you is somewhat lengthy, but I hope you will have the patience and tolerance to read it all inshaAllah (God willing). I want to tell you something about a man I have been told about. Unfortunately I have never met him in person but his personality shines out so much, that I can't help but fall in love with his beautiful character.

    As a baby this man was breast fed by another woman; he was with her for only some years of his childhood but he respected and loved her like a mother. So when she came to him asking for help for her whole community during difficult times, he gave them whatever they needed. He was always smiling, kind to others and had a cheerful face, even if people were bad to him. He was a very good and loving husband, he always took part in house chores, i.e cleaning, mending his torn clothes etc. He never spoke harshly to his wife. If he asked someone to do sometnhing for him, he never questioned them as to why they were taking too long to do it. He never criticized food given to him, if he liked it, he ate it; if he disliked it, he left it, no fuss. When his first wife died, he was very upset, he always praised her and looked out for her family members. He was very generous towards his relatives. He used to pay attention to his children and listen to them. He also loved his grandchildren so much and would play with them.

    He never lied, he never spoke obscenities, he never gave taunts. He was humorous and told jokes but his jokes were never offensive, he always spoke the truth. When faced with two options, he always took the easier option as long as it was not haraam (Islamically forbidden). He was easy in his approach, he tried to find solutions not create problems. He forbade the killing of daughters and said both sons and daughters should be treated equally. He looked after orphans, the elderly, the oppressed and said we should give part of our earnings to help these people. He was so concerned about his neighbours and said that we should not go to sleep on full stomachs knowing that our neighbours are hungry and that we should share with them. He said we should like for others that which we like for ourselves. He never spoke badly about someone, saying that we should look to our own flaws first.

    This man was very honest in his business dealings, which is why his first wife proposed to him. He was so honest and sincere that amazingly even his enemies trusted him with looking after their valuables. When he was in a position of authority, he would sit with his people in a humble and loving manner. When he walked in to a room, the people would stand out of respect for him, but he asked them not to treat him as though he was a King, he wanted to be treated equally despite being in a position of authority. When this man saw someone in the street, he would stop and speak to them making sure to give them full attention and time, he wouldn't just say: 'Hi how are you?' and walk off with out waiting for an answer like many of us do today.

    This man said that 'cleanliness was half of faith'. He placed great importance on being clean, spiritually and physically. For example he would always have clean and trimmed finger nails as if they are left untrimmed, they will collect dirt and can easily spread germs. He promoted the removing of the pubic hairs because they are usually very course and thick and after using the toilet, traces of faeces and urine may be trapped between the hairs or on the skin. He put emphasis on genital cleanliness and on that of wearing clean clothes and underwear. He advised us to use the left hand to clean ourselves after using the toilet and to use water to wash away any traces of dirt - as if left uncleaned would breed germs and infections. He said that men should trim their moustaches and not let them grow over the mouth because that could cause food to get stuck in the hairs and could turn to bad smell if not cleaned. He recommended removing armpit hair as this area of the body easily sweats and collects grime and bacteria if it has hair, combined with darkness and moisture and also causes bad body odour. In fact these things are so important in personal body hygiene, that this man said we should do them (remove pubic hair, armpit hair, clip nails and trim moustache) at the very least every forty days.

    This man also recommended entire hygiene of teeth, gums, through tooth brushing and washing mouths by water three times. This was actually the first time in the available literature of his time that someone had recommended maintaining of oral hygiene.

    Some people did not like this man, because he spoke about a way of life different to theirs; and unfortunately he was ridiculed, taunted and beaten for this. I'll share a few examples of this with you:

    - For many years, one lady would throw her rubbish bins from her window deliberately over this man as she saw him walk past her house every day. But he would never say anything to her. Instead one day when she did not empty the bins over his head, he became concerned about her, so he enquired about her well being. She had fallen ill, so this man went to visit her. This woman was overcome by his kindness and hence apologised for her bad treatment of him.

    - Once this man was beaten badly by a group of people, he was in a position to have them killed for their treatment towards him, but instead he questioned what he may have done himself to have received such treatment. Furthermore, he forgave them and prayed for them to come to good faith. Hence, he won over their progeny with his kindness.


    Yameen, I could tell you so many more beautiful things about this man whom I love, but I would be writing forever. This man was none other that the Prophet Muhammed (may the peace and blessings of Allah(swt) be upon him) and he was the best of mankind and was sent to us by Allah to guide us. He is that very man (peace be upon him) whom you say is responsible for 'this thing called the sunnah'.

    If you are repelled by any of the things that the Prophet(peace be upon him) preached or that Allah(swt) instructed in the Quran, then please speak up. But from reading your whole post, I see that your frustrations are not with Islam, but are with the people who are mis-using Islam. I am sorry that your husband and his family have turned out the way you describe, but please be clear that the things you have described are not from Islam. Anyone who gossips, is unclean, backbites, lies, is dishonest, frauds the benefit system etc is not seen highy by Allah and these people are weak in their faith. Infact Alllah warns us in the glorious Quran of the great punishments for those who do such things. He(swt) also speaks of the great reward for those who are kind, caring, gentle, loving, honest, loyal, clean, patient, humble etc.

    I know many people who are practising Muslims and are not backbiting, evil, cheating, lying, trouble makers etc. They are peace loving, hygienic, kind, caring and hard working and striving to help all of humanity. As a Muslim myself, I believe in Allah and all the Prophets including the Prophet Muhammed - peace be upon them all. When I was young, I did not know much about Islam apart from what I had blindly been brought up in. I saw people around me saying 'Alhumdulillah, MaashAllah' and I found it strange. But since I have learned more about Islam and I have grown to love Allah and His beloved Messenger Muhammad(pbuh); I have also come to love the things Allah teaches and the way of life shown to us through the example of the Messenger (pbuh). So when I use these recommended ways of praising Allah, I am doing nothing but saying something good and inshAllah attaining reward from Allah for doing so. These words are very light on the tongue but very heavy in value. Apart from the spiritual benefits and rewards of reciting Allah's praises, there are also scientifically proven health benefits too.

    You will only grow to love these things if you allow yourself to learn and appreciate the 'real' teachings of Islam, instead of allowing yourself to be brainwashed by the false perception of Islam portrayed through the media and weak Muslims.

    You seem like an intelligent woman Yameen - so all I can say to you is do not judge Islam by the people. Judge it by its source and that is the Quran and the authentic Sunnah. Likewise, if I were to judge Christianity based on 'Hitler' or Judaism based on the oppression of the Palestinians, then this would be a gross misjudgement of the religions. The first word Allah revealed in the Quran was 'Iqra' - meaning 'Read'. So Yameen, do just that and read the authentic sources, understand them with help if need be. Then feel free to judge the religion, not before that.

    With regards to your marriage, I would like to say that as Muslims we have been recommended to choose a spouse who is of good religion and good character, because just fulfilling the rituals of worship is not enough. One has to be honest, sincere and kind in conjunction with worshipping Allah. If you were to carry on being a good person and highlighting that in fact your character is what Islam promotes, you may help your husband become a better person and hence a better Muslim. You can try to win him over through carrying on being a good example. At the same time, I will also emphasize the importance of worshipping Allah through the obligatory rituals of Salaah, Fasting, Zakah and Hajj.

    The Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) said; The Musim is the person whose tongue and hand do not harm others. And the Believer is he whom others trust about their blood and wealth." He further said: "Verily Allah ordered me to keep relations with those that cut me off, to forgive the one who does an injustice with me and to give to those who withhold from me.".

    It would be a great injustice for me to complete this reply without mentioning some of Allah's words as it is HE(swt) who has blessed us with everything. Hence here just some of His (swt) words regarding our characters, Allah(swt) says in the Noble Quran:

    "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." (Surah 49, Verse 11)

    "God loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for God is He who heareth and knoweth all things. (Surah 4, Verse 148)

    "The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) Loveth not those who do wrong." Surah 42, Verse 40

    "Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel (evil) with that is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!." (Surah 41, Verse 34)

    "And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: 'To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.'" (Surah 28, Verse 55)

    "It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)." (Surah 3, Verse 159)

    Yameen - the above are just some descriptions of what Allah (swt) and His beloved Messenger (pbuh) promote. So if everyone followed these principles, wouldnt the world be better place?

    The great Prophet said: "Convey from me, even one verse." [al-Bukhari]. So I hope and pray that my humble attempts have been fruitful in clearing some of the great misconceptions you have been shown of this beautiful religion of Islam and that what you have learned today helps your marriage to flourish inshaAllah.

    I pray that Allah guides us all to the 'real' Islam and that we live and die as true practising Muslims inshaAllah.

    Best Wishes


    • Dear Sister Z

      Alhamdollilah , That was the Best Answer.
      May Allah Subhanawtallah give you reward for that and May you always be happy here and thereafter.
      Thanks to all of you (Brother Wael ,Sister Leyla,Sister Z) , Because today if I am standing its just because of this website,I read mostly each and every post of this website in last 2 months and Alhamdollilah it really helped me in each & every aspect of my life.

      With all my Best wishes


      • Dear Sana, Walaikumsalaam

        Thank you for reading our replies and thank you for appreciating them. I too learn from all of you who write in - truly I do Alhumdulillah.

        But remember that Allah(swt) is the one who gives us our knowledge and understanding and Allah is the one who has brought you here and He(swt) is also the one who is keeping you and I standing - Alhumdulillah.

        May Allah be with you,


  2. Assalamu alaikum sister Yameen,

    I feel your pain. I am a revert to Islam also. I came to Islam many years ago after reading about the great character of Muslims. Muslims are honest and loving and are the best of all people. I read about Prophet Muhammad(PBUH), and how kind is was to everyone he met. He was a very good husband to his wives and he always had a kind word for all that he met. I read about how he loved spending time with children.

    All of this is true. I love my religion and my Prophet(PBUH). There is nothing in this world that can make me turn my back on Islam.

    Now that I have said that, here is where I feel your pain. With most new Muslims we have this notion that every Muslim we meet will be following the example of our Prohet(PBUH). We gravitate towards those who were born Muslim and are from Muslim countries. If they speak Arabic that makes them even better Muslims. Then as we begin to grow and we gain knowledge in Islam we begin to see that many of these people really don't know that much about the religion. It's no different from when we were Christains. I know many people who are Christains but they don't know much about the religion outside of what their parents taught them. In many instances they are just going through the motions. Some of them only go to church on their holidays. Unfortunately, some Muslims do the same things.

    What I will tell you is this, and I believe that SisterZ said it earlier, "Don't judge the religion by what the people do, always turn to the Quran and Sunnah(Hadiths). Believe me, if you just look to the people for good examples of what a Muslim should be, many times you will be dissapointed.

    I have a good friend who I have known for many years. I met her and her family when I was in the US military in Germany. She is still like a sister to me. After coming back to the US after my tour was over she called me to say that she had gotten re-married. I said that was great. She was marrying a Muslim, I said Alhamdulillah. She was Catholic at this time. A couple of months later she called and said, Assalamu alaikum, I am Muslim. Here is where her situation is like yours. She would call and tell me that she didn't understand why the Muslim's that she was around were not acting with proper Islamic etiquette. Why were the women not dressing modestly, why did the men drink alcohol and curse? All I could tell her was that not all Muslims practice as they should and many of them are ignorant about the religion. You would be surprised about how many people don't even have Islamic books in their houses. So my suggestion to her was to educate herself. Buy some books on Islam. Get the hadiths, Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, which will give you a better understanding of why we as Muslim do certain things. If you have questions find someone who is knowledgable. If someone gives you information don't always take it on face value. Do your homework work and check it out for yourself.

    I have been where you are now. But you have to stay strong and continue to read and expand your knowledge about this beautifull religion. Don't let what some people do and say turn you from your deen.
    If you have questions there are people on this site who can help.

    I know that your experience has not been a good one so far, but I would say don't give up, there are many Muslim's who are good and kind and have excellent character.

    Turn to and trust in Allah.


    Your Brother in Islam

    Abdul Wali

  3. Brother Abdul Wali Carter,

    Thank you for you personal insight! It always helps maashAllah :O).


    • SisterZ,

      Thank you for your kind words. To tell you the truth, I never intended to submit anything to this site but, but it appears that Allah(swt) has guided me. Insha allah, I will do my best to assist those in the community and also take advise from those who are more knowledgable than myself.

      Abdul Wali

      • Brother, I too never intended to submit anything to this site, but over a year ago I stumbled upon this site per chance and Alhumdulillah, now I love it.

        May we all learn good from each other.


  4. -Sister you are also permitting yourself to jugged others and wronging others!
    -on the other hand I agree that some Muslims are doing that and even more but No Muslim represents Islam, so Islam cannot be held responsible for mistake of a Muslim as Jewish or christens are not held responsible for a mistake committed by member of the faith.
    -Please help yourself and your husband and forget all othe Problemes

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