Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Torn between my family and my husband

Young Muslim woman making dua

Salaam alaikum.

Please I got married to my husband 4 years ago. Though we have our ups and downs. I was schooling before we met and we decided to get married. Though our families were against it initially but they later gave in. But my family gave in on the condition that my husband will allow me to continue schooling after the marriage. He agreed.

But few months after the marriage I got pregnant and due to the morning sickness and other problems, I had to defer my course. We have 2 kids now. A boy and a girl. Though its been 4 years since I deferred my course I was given another chance because of the kids I have, even though you are not supposed to defer for more than 2 years.

My husband went on the path of allah for 40 days. So whilst he was away, he always called the kids and me daily. So I told him about my impending education and he said he wasn't going to allow me to continue. I was very shattered and did not know what to do so I decided to talk to him but he was proving difficult so I took him to 1 of our imams.

He was spoken to and he agreed so whilst we were about leaving, I had a call from the kids school that our was son wasn`t feeling well. There and then he flared up that he wasn`t going to allow me to go to school. And when we went there, I was told it is my right to attend school and my husband can not stop me from going to school.

So I started the school on Monday. He was annoyed but I was not perturbed because I thought I was only fulfilling my rights. Tuesday he gave me a strong warning, I didn`t fight back and the next day being a wednesday, he sent me a text message whilst in lectures but I ignored him. The message was that I should go back to my father`s house until after I am done with the schooling then I can come back to the marriage.

When I returned from school that day, he had changed the lock to the room that he wasn`t going to allow me enter the room he took the kids from me and sent me away from the house. So I had no option than to call my uncle first because he stays closer to us. He came and according to him my husband insulted him by sending him away from the house.

So we decided to call a meeting between the two families. Alhamdulillah we met. My family asked me what I wanted to do but since I was very hurt then, I told them that I wanted separation. But their intention was to divorce the 2 of us. His family begged them to reconsider. But now the problem is I am torn between my family and my husband and my kids. My husband has been begging me to come. In sha allah I want to go for Allah`s sake and am afraid my family will stop sponsoring my education. And they have threaten me not to call them again in case any problem arises.

I fear for my hereafter and I don`t want to die in this state too. Please advice me on what to do? Because my kids are with my parents too. Please I don`t want to do anything to incur the wrath of Allah.


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18 Responses »

  1. I personally think that while it is unfortunate that your husband is being so difficult about you returning to school, and he should not be so belligerent, at the end of the day you should not be sacrificing your family in order to pursue your course. Look at everything that has happened - the fights, the lock-out, now the talk of divorce --- all over your desire to pursue your education.

    Don't get me wrong, you SHOULD be allowed to pursue your education, but the reality is that this issue is interfering with your marriage, your children's stability, and your motherhood. Why don't you go back to your husband and children, and live your married life, for now. Then see if you and your husband can resolve this issue about you going back to school.

    • Precious STar: at the end of the day you should not be sacrificing your family in order to pursue your course. Look at everything that has happened - the fights, the lock-out, now the talk of divorce --- all over your desire to pursue your education.

      There could be disagreements in future about other issues and husband may divorce her. She should complete her education she may need to support herself in the future

  2. Assalamoalaikum sister for a person like me this would be a no brainer. Do what your husband says sister and inshaAllah Allah will reward you. Yes education is your right but then you are married and have two kids mashaAllah you have other responsibilities also. If I were in your place I would have done what my husband says with the neeyah of doing it for Allah swt inshaAllah.

  3. Salaam sister. Sorry for the situation your in. It sounds like your husband is quite controlling and irrational - he's demonstrated this quite clearly when he changed the locks and told you to go back to your parents house because you didn't do as he said. It's a little abusive and disrespectful especially since he is breaking a promise that he made to you prior to the marriage.

    I guess only you can really decide the best solution. The things to think about would be whether he is a good husband otherwise. Does he take care of you and the children, does he love you and protect you, does he recognise his responsibilities as a father and husband etc etc.

    It's a tricky situation because if you give in he will probably walk all over you and try to control you for the rest of your marriage. If he doesn't get his way he will most likely resort to extreme behaviours to get you to agree with him. If he is begging you to get back with him perhaps a possible solution would be that you will come back on the condition that he lets you complete your training? Perhaps even talk to him and identify why he is so reluctant for you to complete your education? Does he think it will effect child care etc? If he is islamically inclined then remind him of the benefits of seeking knowledge, Islam does not forbid women from getting an education.

    On the other hand, if he has good qualities and generally a good husband, then you could comepeltly ditch the idea of going back to school and just focussing on your marriage, but as I said earlier the only danger with that would be that he may try to control you in all other aspects of your life.

    I pray Allah swt puts mercy in his heart and guides you to make the best decision for both you and your children, Ameen.

  4. Assalam alaikum,

    There is no right answer in your situation and no matter what you decide, you will be in a tough situation.

    Your husband agreed that you should get an education. You shouldn't have to sacrifice that and this shouldn't be an issue. If he backtracks on his word, he is not a man of his word. It is that simple. Tomorrow, if there was a need for you to have that education, you wouldn't have it and you would have to struggle a great deal for no reason. Just because a woman is educated, does not mean that she has to work--but education is critical. After having worked with widows and single mothers and seeing their struggles, I can see why education is so important.

    On the other hand, your family is going to the other extreme and using you as a weapon. They shouldn't be giving you ultimatums. They should remain involved and try for reconciliation in a way that gives you support without pressuring you. You should be making the decision and they should be supporting your decision even if that is returning to your husband as there are 2 children involved. Your husband and his family should know that your family is there for you.

    Perhaps you may return to your husband, but I can tell you that after two children and being with you for this long, his behaviour isn't normal. It isn't normal to change the lock on the door. It isn't normal to do that to one's wife. I understand that you have a daughter. Does he want someone to treat his daughter like this one day? If he is not interested in your education, is he not interested in his daughter's education? This doesn't make sense.

    Try to involve the Imam one more time to speak to your parents and to create dialogue between the families once more. If it doesn't work, speak to your husband once more and tell him that you will come back on the condition that you have the option to study when you will be able. You can worry about funding it on your own or between the both of you--the time has come to make a decision and stand by it if you believe in it. May Allah ease your difficulties, Ameen.

    • Sister has told her husband went for 40 day Tableeghi jamaat and after that he changed .
      Or you can say he become more religious and what he saw some thing as Normal before sees as problematic now .He might feel attending colleges ,interacting with non mehrems might lead to fitnah

      .Also in the same forum we have seen how so called pious ,Hijabi and namazi married women slept with non mehraem men and committed Zina repeatedly only to relaise the mistake after some years ..And as per some people repentance made them pious again ...Such is the state of imaan ...

      Overall ,it is a conflict between deep inclination towards religion and complex world ...And her family is further destroying it ...
      Please note when you become more religious it is more challenging in this world people who see mix environment as normal but other sees it as fitnah ....

      • Most likely we will have to agree to disagree.

        You mentioned that her husband went away for 40 days, but you failed to read the next part:

        "He was spoken to and he agreed so whilst we were about leaving, I had a call from the kids school that our was son wasn`t feeling well. There and then he flared up that he wasn`t going to allow me to go to school. And when we went there, I was told it is my right to attend school and my husband can not stop me from going to school."

        And frankly, I am ever so tired of hearing comments regarding Hijabi and namazi women (I assume you are from the Indian Subcontinent from this particular lingo) and them being "so-called" women. Your argument would have weight if you also referred to the men they had an affair with as so-called Muslims--however, whether it be a man or a woman, I would not prefer this wording either way--but seeing you refer to these women again and again in such a way only further illustrates your bias against women.

        As for whether they are pious again, I would ask you, are you pious? Are you 100% sure that you will go into Jannah? Are you 100% sure that Allah swt will forgive you? Allah says in the Quran:

        "Say: 'If the Last Abode near Allah is for you purely, short of all people, then make a wish for death, if you are true." But they will never wish for it because of what their hands have sent ahead. And Allah is all-aware of the unjust." (2:94-95)

        As we know that the Jews and the Christians used to say:

        "They say: The fire will not touch us but for a few days" (2:80), "And they say: No one will enter Paradise except he who is a Jew or Christian." (2:111), "And the Jews and the Christians said: We are the sons of Allah and His close friends" (5:18).

        And then they used to take great comfort in this. Why was Allah swt mentioning this in the Quran? Is this not a message for all of humanity and even moreso for those who read the Quran, namely Muslims?

        No Muslim, whether they live in the East, the West, in a Castle, in a hut, by the Equator or in Antartica will go to Heaven or Hell based on where they live. And nor would any Muslim take lightly any sin another had committed and nor is forgiving another way of saying that the sin was taken lightly. If so, are you saying that if Allah swt forgives someone's major sin that He, our Creator, our Maker is taking the sin lightly? No and no and no. He is not taking it lightly, rather it His Greatness that has no description that frees us from the shackles and heavy mountains of our sins.

        As for women going to school as opposed to staying at home--you are mistaken if you are suggesting that women cannot attend mixed gatherings but men can. And if this is the case, you should be advocating all brothers to not move to countries in the West so that they do not put their families at risk that puts their imaan in such a state as you say--but I would rather leave the judging of Imaans to our Creator as I do no feel worthy to even mention or talk about someone's emaan so comfortably as others do. If you do feel they should move to the West, I would love to hear your solution for the growing number of female reverts to Islam and how they should cope or the women are widowed or divorced. I suppose they should only take up education when it becomes a necessity--in other words, wait for disaster and then react--prepare, no.

        And, yes, I agree that the girl's family should not do as they are--as I have mentioned in my post. But, if her family is not doing the right thing, how decent is it for a man to change the locks on his wife, the mother of his children? Did he learn that on his 40 day religious trip too?

        This rhetoric of Muslims who live in the West and so-called Muslims is getting old and rather frightening. Just because we have a forum to ask questions, does not mean that Muslims in the West are running around wildly and committing zina like there is no tomorrow. No, the Muslims I see help raise money for orphans, victims of disasters like the earthquake in Nepal, fly overseas to provide free healthcare for refugees in Syria..and they use their education for good. This is a site for helping those in need. And if we dare to judge all Muslim women by this site, we could very well use the same "logic" to Muslim men and say "Oh, the Muslim men have no shame in committing zina and then no regret after they use a girl and move on--they don't even repent because I don't see their posts here" OBVIOUSLY, I don't mean that and am writing it for impact, but hopefully you can see why I am strongly opposed to what you continue to write again and again.

        Finally, it is not per anyone that after repentance a person is pious again--this is misconstrued. Allah is the judge of that--not you, not me--but if you believe that there is no such thing as them being forgiven--what hope do you have? what hope do I have? what hope do any of us have with our small sins and major sins?

        May Allah guide us all and help us to help one another to heal and do what would please Allah swt. May we leave our egos in our shadows, repent quickly for our numerous errors, and commit good deeds in greater quantity than our misdeeds, Ameen, Thummah Ameen.

        "If a person falls into sin because of a desire, I fear not because Adam ate from the tree, repented and was forgiven. However, if a person sins because of arrogance, I fear for him because Satan sinned in arrogance and was cursed." Sufyān bin 'Uyanah

        • Thank you for this sister Saba. I would also point out that Islamically, yes, we should take the repentance of our brother and sisters at face value as long as we have no reason to doubt it. If we know that someone has repented and appears to be avoiding sin, we must assume that their repentance is sincere and accepted by Allah. Islam teaches us that suspicion and doubting people's words creates only fitnah and mistrust in society. If some chose not to associate personally with someone they know has sinned then that's their prerogative, but no one has the right to cast aspersions or doubts on the repentance or piety of a fellow Muslim. Let's not forget that prior to accepting Islam, all of the Prophet's companions were sinners - if nothing else, they committed shirk, the greatest sin. But today we hold them in great respect despite their past. Let's also not forget that during the Prophet's time there were many hypocrites, but we never see that the Companions cast aspersions or doubts on one another. Let's try to emulate their manners and assume the best of our brothers and sisters, and encourage them to make repentance and make it easy for them to come back to the right path inshallah. May Allah accept the repentance of all Muslims and forgive us our sins, Ameen.

        • Sister Saba ,

          I see your anger because my post was referring to women .If i was bashing some men probably you would have taken it easy ..If you read my posts i have referred to both in my earlier posts ..I think you were sensitive to this reference only so is your response ...

          Please note my first and important point from male point of view was to communicate to the OP that how men might get changed after attending 40 day tableeghi jamaat ...
          I know people when they came back from tableeghi jamaat they started avoiding looking at girls ,stop talking to girls ,stop watching TV ,stop movies ,stopped mixed gatherings etc etc ...One of my relative who married a girl and went to Australia and there got involved with tableegi jamaat and when he returned back he was a changed person with long beard ..That girl was shocked ... And this deep inclination is going to have conflict with the current complex world .........That was my main point to communicate to that sister ..I don't know who is right or wrong in her case but i just highlighted this point because the term tableeghi jamaat caught my attention ...By the way i like them for their good work ..

          Nobody knows who is good in sight of Allah and Allah only knows about it but you stay in this complex world and you need to deal with people .You can't simply trust anyone just because he or she looks religious , or they have sincerely repented .You need to be aware of this world and need to be careful .....My second point about religious looking girl too might indulge in bad actions was to highlight that because of so and so cases in this world(what we see in this forum) he might be further disturbed even if you are religious ..

          You are talking about whole world and you can't help it out .This is a complicated world and real pious people will be rewarded by Allah ..

          Islam encourages a design of a system which can separate both sexes .If it is not possible in some places doesn't mean you need to encourage it in other possible places ...Your support of mixed gatherings by highlighting some hadith is not convincing ..If you ask any islamic scholar they would advise you to avoid mixed gathering .

          Your question "Are you Pious?" can be thrown at any one and nobody has answer for it .
          By using this counter question the people who are indulged in zina or other sins becomes less sinfull ? Or this question is easy way to justify some thing or escape some thing ?

          If you read carefully my posts i never advised any one to disclose anybody's sins or backbite about any one as this will be a terrible sin ...
          My intention is to tell people to be very very very carefull because there are people who looks so good but you never know how hypocrites are they from inside and you might get trapped ....

          I don't consider myself as pious but i feel myself lower than everybody when we stand for Salah ...But having said that i will suggest people to be very carefull because they are people so called so and so who looks so and so and so but will screw you some day if yout get trapped ...I believe in tit for tat in this world .

          • Some usefull islamqa link regarding mixed environment in education .

            1200: EvidenceProhibiting of Mixing of Men and Women
            My husband and I wanted to know if it were permissable to take Arabic classes at a college where the classes are mixed (men-women). We understand that there is no mixing between the sexes, but confused about the definition of "mixing". Please tell us what is permissable, what is not and give proof
            Praise be to Allaah.

            The meeting together, mixing, and intermingling of men and women in one place, the crowding of them together, and the revealing and exposure of women to men are prohibited by the Law of Islam (Shari'ah). These acts are prohibited because they are among the causes for fitnah (temptation or trial which implies evil consequences), the arousing of desires, and the committing of indecency and wrongdoing.

            Among the many proofs of prohibition of the meeting and mixing of men and women in the Qur’aan and Sunnah are:

            Verse No. 53 of Surat al-Ahzab, or the Confederates (Interpretation of the meaning); "...for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs..."

            In explaining this Verse, Ibn Kathir (May Allaah have mercy on him) said: "Meaning, as I forbade you to enter their rooms, I forbid you to look at them at all. If one wants to take something from them, one should do so without looking at them. If one wants to ask a woman for something, the same has to be done from behind a screen."

            The Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) enforced separation of men and women even at Allaah’s most revered and preferred place, the mosque. This was accomplished via the separation of the women’s rows from the men’s; men were asked to stay in the mosque after completion of the obligatory prayer so that women will have enough time to leave the mosque; and, a special door was assigned to women. Evidence of the foregoing are:

            Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said that after Allah’s Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) said "as-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullah’ twice announcing the end of prayer, women would stand up and leave. He would stay for a while before leaving. Ibn Shihab said that he thought that the staying of the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) was in order for the women to be able to leave before the men who wanted to depart." Narrated by al-Bukhari under No. 793.

            Abu Dawood under No. 876 narrates the same hadith in Kitab al-Salaat under the title "Insiraaf an-Nisaa’ Qabl al-Rijaal min al-Salaah" (Departure of Women before Men after the Prayer). Ibn ‘Umar said that Allah’s Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: "We should leave this door (of the mosque) for women." Naafi’ said: "Ibn ‘Umar never again entered through that door until he died." Narrated by Abu Dawood under No. 484 in "Kitab as-Salah" under the Chapter entitled: "at-Tashdid fi Thalik".

            Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: ""The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first." Narrated by Muslim under No. 664.

            This is the greatest evidence that the Law of Islam (Shari'ah) forbids meeting and mixing of men and women. The farther the men are from the women’s rows, the better, and vice versa.

            If these procedures and precautions were prescribed and adhered to in a mosque, which is a pure place of worship where people are as far away as they ever are from the arousal of desire and temptation, then no doubt the same procedures need to be followed even more rigorously at other places.

            Abu Usayd al-Ansari narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) say to the women on his way out of the mosque when he saw men and women mixing together on their way home:
            ‘Give way (i.e., walk to the sides) as it is not appropriate for you to walk in the middle the road.’ Thereafter, women would walk so close to the wall that their dresses would get caught on it. Narrated by Abu Dawood in "Kitab al-Adab min Sunanihi, Chapter: Mashyu an-Nisa Ma’ ar-Rijal fi at-Tariq."We know that the intermingling, mixing and crowding together of men and women is part of today’s unavoidable yet regrettable affliction in most places, such as markets, hospitals, colleges, etc., but:

            · We will not willfully choose or accept mixing and crowding, particularly in religious classes and council meetings in Islamic Centers.

            · We take precautions to avoid meeting and mixing of men and women as much as possible while at the same time achieving desired goals and objectives. This result can be achieved by designating separate places assigned for men and women, using different doors for each, utilizing modern means of communication such as microphones, video recorders etc., and expediting efforts to have enough female teachers to teach women, etc.

            · We show fear of Allaah as much as we can by not looking at members of the opposite sex and by applying self-restraint.
            There follow some of the results of a study on mixing undertaken by some Muslim social science researchers.

            When we put the following question: What is the Islamic ruling on mixing as far as you know? The results were as follows:

            76% of respondents said “It is not permitted.”

            12% said, “It is permitted” – but moral, religious, etc. restrictions apply…

            12% said, “I don’t know.”

            Which would you choose?

            If you had the choice between working in a mixed workplace and working in another where there was no mixing, which would you choose?

            The responses to this question were as follows:

            76% would choose the workplace where there was no mixing.

            9% preferred the mixed workplace.

            15% would accept any workplace which suited their specialties, regardless of whether it was mixed or not.

            Very embarrassing

            Have any embarrassing situations ever happened to you because of mixing?

            Among the embarrassing moments mentioned by respondents in this study were the following:

            I was at work one day, and I went into one department where one of my female colleagues who wears hijaab had taken off her hijaab in front of her female colleagues. My entrance took her by surprise and I was very embarrassed as a result.

            I had to do an experiment in the lab at university, but I was absent on the day of the experiment. I had to go to the lab on the following day, and I found myself the only male among a group of female students, in addition to a female teacher and a female lab technician. I was very embarrassed and felt very awkward with all those female eyes glaring at me.

            I was trying to take a feminine towel out of one of the drawers when I was surprised by a male colleague standing behind me, who wanted to take something from his own private drawer. He noticed that I was embarrassed and he left the room quickly to avoid my embarrassment.

            It so happened that one of the girls at the university bumped into me when turning a corner in a crowded corridor. She was walking quickly, going to one of the lectures. As a result of this collision, she lost her balance, and I caught her in my arms, as if I was embracing her. You can imagine how embarrassed I and this girl felt in front of a group of careless young people.

            One of my female colleagues fell on the stairs in the university and her clothes fell open in an extremely embarrassing fashion. She landed upside down and could not help herself; the young men standing nearby had no option but to cover her and help her to get up.

            I work in a company and I went in to give some papers to my boss. When I was going out, my boss called me back. I turned around and saw him with his face turned away. I was waiting for him to ask me for a file or for more papers, and I was surprised by his hesitancy. I turned away to the left side of his office, pretending to be busy with something, and he spoke to me at the same time. I thought that this boss would say anything except what he actually said, which was to point out that my garment was stained with menstrual blood. Can the earth open up and swallow a human being at the moment of making sincere supplication? For I prayed that the earth would open up and swallow me.

            Victims of mixing… True stories

            Lost hope

            Umm Muhammad, a mature woman over the age of 40, tells her story.

            I lived a life of modest means with my husband. There was never any closeness and harmony, and my husband did not have the kind of strong personality that a woman would hope for, but his good nature made me overlook the fact that I was the one who was responsible for most of the decision making in the family.

            My husband often used to mention the name of his friend and business partner, and he would talk about him in my presence, and I often used to meet with him in his office which was originally part of our apartment. This went on for many years, until circumstances led to us exchanging visits with this person and his family. These family visits were repeated and because of his close friendship with my husband, we did not notice how the number of visits increased and how many hours a single visit would last. He often used to come on his own to sit with us, me and my husband, for long visits. My husband’s trust in him knew no bounds, and as days passed I got to know this person very well, and saw how wonderful and decent he was. I began to feel a strong attraction towards this man, and at the same time I began to sense that the feeling was mutual.

            Things took a strange turn after that, when I realized that this man was the kind of person I had always dreamed about. Why had he come along now, after all these years? The more this man’s status increased in my eyes, the more my husband’s status diminished. It was as if I had needed to see the beauty of his character in order to discover how ugly my husband’s character was.

            The matter between this person and myself did not go beyond these persistent thoughts which were occupying my mind night and day. Neither he nor I ever voiced what we felt in our hearts… until today. Yet despite that my life is over and my husband is little more than a weak man with no self-esteem. I hate him and I do not know how all this hatred towards him started to boil over. I wonder how I put up with him all these years, bearing all these burdens by myself, facing life’s problems on my own.

            Things got so bad that I asked him for a divorce, and he divorced me at my request. After that he became a broken man. Even worse than that is that after my marriage was wrecked and my children and husband were devastated, problems arose in this man's family. His wife, with her feminine intuition, realized what had been going on in his heart of hearts, and his life became hell. She was overwhelmed with jealousy to the extent that one night she left her house at 2 a.m. and came to attack my house, screaming, weeping and hurling accusations. His marriage was also about to collapse.

            I admit that the lovely gatherings which we used to enjoy gave us the opportunity to get to know one another at a time that was not appropriate at this stage in our lives.

            His marriage has been wrecked and so has mine. I have lost everything, and now I know that my circumstances and his will not permit us to take any positive step towards coming together. Now I am more miserable than I have ever been, and I am looking for illusionary happiness and lost hopes.


            Umm Ahmad tells us:

            My husband had a group of married friends, and because of our close friendship with them, we used to get together with them once a week in one of our houses, to enjoy an evening of chat.

            Deep down in my heart I was never really comfortable with the atmosphere in which we would have dinner, sweets, snacks and drinks of juice accompanied by waves of laughter because of the jokes and chit-chats that often went beyond the bounds of good manners.

            In the name of friendship, the barriers were lifted and every now and then one would hear suppressed laughter between a woman and the husband of another woman. The jokes were too much, dealing – with no sense of shyness –with sensitive topics such as sex and women’s private matters. This was usual and was even accepted and regarded as desirable.

            Although I indulged in these things along with them, my conscience made me feel guilty. Then the day came when it became quite clear just how ugly and filthy this atmosphere was.

            The telephone rang, and I heard the voice of one of the friends in this group. I said hello to him and apologized that my husband was not home. He replied that he knew that, and that he was calling to speak to me! After he suggested starting a relationship with me, I got very angry and spoke harshly to him and cursed him. All he could do was laugh and say, “Don’t try and show these good manners to me; go and check on your husband’s good manners and see what he is doing…” I was devastated by what he said, but I pulled myself together and said to myself, this person is only trying to cause the break up of your marriage. But he succeeded in planting the seeds of doubt concerning my husband.

            Shortly after that, the major disaster struck. I discovered that my husband was cheating on me with another woman. It was the matter of life or death as far as I was concerned. I found my husband out and I confronted him, saying: “You are not the only one who can have a relationship. I have received a similar proposition.” And I told him all about his friend. He was stunned and absolutely shocked. (I said:) “If you want me to respond in kind to your relationship with that woman, then this is for that, tit-for-tat.” This was a huge slap in the face for him. He knew that I did not intend to do that in reality, but he realized the great disaster that had befallen our lives and the immoral atmosphere in which we were living. I suffered a great deal until my husband finally left that loose woman with whom he was having a relationship, as he admitted to me. Yes, he left her and came back to his family and children, but how can I ever feel the same towards him as I used to? Who will restore respect for him in my heart? This huge wound in my heart is still bleeding out of regret and rage at that filthy atmosphere; it still bears testimony to the fact that what they call innocent get-togethers are in reality anything but innocent. My heart still begs for mercy from the Lord of Glory.

            Intelligence can also be a temptation (fitnah)

            ‘Abd al-Fattaah says:

            I work as the head of department in one of the big companies. For a long time I admired one of my female colleagues, not for her beauty, but for her serious attitude towards her work, her intelligence and her excellent achievements – in addition to the fact that she was a decent and modest person who focused only on her work. This admiration turned into attachment, and I am a married man who fears Allaah and never misses any obligatory prayer. I expressed my feelings to her and she rebuffed me. She is married and has children as well. She sees no reason why I should have any kind of relationship with her, whether it be friendship, as work colleagues or based on admiration… etc. Evil thoughts come to me sometimes, and deep down I wish that her husband would divorce her so that I could get her.

            I started to put pressure on her at work and put her down in front of my bosses. Perhaps this was a form of revenge on my part, but she accepted it with good manners and did not complain or comment. She works and works; her performance speaks of her quality, and she knows this well. The more she resisted me, the stronger my infatuation grew.

            I am not a person who is easily tempted by women, because I fear Allaah and I do not overstep the mark with them and go beyond what is required by my work. But this woman attracted me. What is the solution?… I do not know.

            Baby ducks know how to swim

            N.A.A., a nineteen-year-old girl, tells us:

            At that time I was a little girl. My innocent eyes watched those evening get-togethers when family friends would meet in the house. What I remember is that I could only see one man, who was my father. I watched him as he moved about the room, how his glances would devour the women present, looking at their thighs and chests, admiring this one’s eyes, that one’s hair, the other’s hips. My poor mother had no choice but to take care of these get-togethers. She was a very simple lady.

            Among the women present there was one woman who would deliberately try to attract my father’s attention, sometimes by coming close to him, and sometimes by making enticing movements. I would watch this with concern, whilst my mother was busy in the kitchen for the sake of her guests.

            These gatherings stopped suddenly and I tried, young as I was, to understand and make sense of what had happened, but I could not.

            What I remember was that my mother collapsed completely at that time, and she could not stand to hear my father’s name mentioned in the house. I used to hear mysterious words whispered by the adults around me: “Betrayal… bedroom… she saw them with her own eyes… despicable woman… in a very shameful position…” etc. These were the key words which only the adults could understand.

            I grew up and came to understand, and I bore a grudge against all men. All of them were treacherous. My mother was a broken woman and accused every woman who came to us of being a man-snatcher who wanted to make my father fall into her trap. My father hasn’t changed. He is still practising his favourite hobby of chasing women, but now he does it outside the home. Now I am nineteen years old and I know lots of young men. I feel great pleasure in taking revenge on them, because every one of them is an exact copy of my father. I tempt them and entice them, without letting them get anywhere near me. They follow me in gatherings and in the marketplaces because of my movements and deliberate gestures. Sometimes my phone never stops ringing and I feel proud of what I do to avenge the sex of Hawwa’ and my mother. But sometimes I feel so miserable and such a failure that it almost chokes me. My life is shadowed by a huge dark cloud, and its name is my father.

            Before it is too late

            S.N.A. tells of her experience:

            I never imagined that my work circumstances would force me to be in contact with the opposite sex (men), but this in fact is what happened…

            In the beginning, I used to cover and screen myself from men by wearing niqaab (face-veil), but some of the sisters advised me that this dress was attracting more attention to my presence, and it would be better for me to take off the niqaab, especially since my eyes were somewhat attractive. So I removed the cover from my face, thinking that this was better. But by continuing to mix with my colleagues, I discovered that I was the odd one out because of my antisocial attitude and my insistence on not joining in the conversation and chatting with others. Everyone was wary of this “lone-wolf” woman (as they saw me), and this is what was stated clearly by one person who affirmed that he would not want to deal with such a snooty and stand-offish character. But I knew that I was the opposite, in fact, and I decided that I would not oppress myself and put myself in a difficult position with my colleagues. So I started to join in their chats and exchanges of anecdotes, and they all discovered that I could speak eloquently and persuasively, and that I could influence others. I could also speak in a manner that was determined yet at the same time was attractive to some of my colleagues. It was not long before I noticed some changes in the expression of my direct supervisor; with some embarrassment, he was enjoying the way I spoke and moved, and he would deliberately bring up topics in the conversation where I would see that hateful look in his eyes. I do not deny the fact that I started to entertain some thoughts about this man. I found it astonishing that a man could fall so easily into the trap of a woman who was religiously committed, so how must it be in the case of women who adorn themselves and invite men to commit immoral actions? In fact, I did not think of him in any way which went beyond the bounds of sharee’ah, but he did occupy a space in my thoughts for quite some time. But soon my self-respect made me reject the idea of being a source of enjoyment for this man in any way, shape or form, even if it was only psychological in nature, and I stopped getting involved in any kind of work that would force me to sit alone with him. In the end, I reached the following conclusions:

            1- Attraction between the sexes can occur in any circumstances, no matter how much men and women may deny that. The attraction may start within the bounds of sharee’ah and end up going beyond those bounds.

            Even if a person protects himself (by marriage), he is not safe from the snares of the Shaytaan.

            3- Even though a person may be able to guarantee himself and he works with the opposite sex within reasonable limits, he cannot guarantee the feelings of the other party.

            Finally, there is nothing good in mixing and it does not bear fruit as they claim. On the contrary, it corrupts sound thinking.

            What now?

            We may ask, what comes next, after this discussion on the matter of mixing?

            It’s about time for us to recognize that no matter how we try to beautify the issue of mixing and take the matter lightly, its consequences are bound to catch up with us, and the harm it causes will have disastrous results for our families. Sound common sense refuses to accept that mixing is a healthy atmosphere for human relations. This is the sound common sense which made most of the people included in this survey (76%) prefer working in a non-mixed environment. The same percentage (76%) said that mixing is not permitted according to the sharee’ah. What makes us sit up and take notice is not this honourable percentage – which indicates the purity of our Islamic society and the cleanness of its members’ hearts – but the small number who said that mixing is permitted; they number 12%. This group, with no exceptions, said that mixing is permitted but within the limits set by religion, custom (‘urf), traditions, good manners, conscience, modesty, covering and other worthy values which, in their opinion, keep mixing within proper limits.

            We ask them: is the mixing which we see nowadays in our universities, market-places, work-places and family and social gatherings, taking place within the limits referred to above? Or are these places filled with transgressions in terms of clothing, speech, interactions and behaviour? We see wanton displays of adornment (tabarruj), not proper covering; we see fitnah (temptations) and dubious relationships, with no good manners and no conscience and no covering. We can conclude that the kind of mixing that is happening nowadays is unacceptable even to those who approve of mixing in a clean atmosphere.

            It’s about time for us to recognize that mixing provides a fertile breeding-ground for social poisons to invade and take over our society without anyone ever realizing that it is mixing which is the cause. Mixing is the prime element in this silent fitnah, in the shade of which betrayals erupt, homes are wrecked and hearts are broken.

            We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and to reform our society. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

  5. I agree with sister Bucks. The problem here is not that you're disagreeing over whether you should continue your education, the problem is how your husband chooses to deal with disagreement. It is one thing to argue over something, but it is an entirely different thing to lock your wife and the mother of your children out of her home. I can only imagine how scared you must have been when you came home and couldn't get in. Honestly, this behavior is manipulative and completely unacceptable. Since you don't add details about the state of your marriage otherwise, you need to think about what this incident means. If you believe that this a one-off thing, that your husband understands and admits that his behavior was wrong, and that it will not happen again, I would encourage you to work through your issues together - perhaps you could study part time so that you are home more if that is his concern. However, if this is just the latest in series of unreasonable and cruel overreactions by your husband, you really need to think about whether you can stay in a marriage where every time you disagree with your husband you run the risk of being kicked out of your own home.

  6. OP: So we decided to call a meeting between the two families. Alhamdulillah we met. My family asked me what I wanted to do but since I was very hurt then, I told them that I wanted separation. But their intention was to divorce the 2 of us. His family begged them to reconsider. But now the problem is I am torn between my family and my husband and my kids. My husband has been begging me to come. In sha allah I want to go for Allah`s sake and am afraid my family will stop sponsoring my education.

    So your husband is begging you to come back. Is he ready to let you complete your education? If so go back? Not much difference between seperation and divorce, they both will lead to break up.

  7. Salaam Sister,

    You are in a very tough situation. I agree with some of the comments about your husband being controlling and irrational. Who changes the locks on their spouse over a small spat??? He should definitely let you complete your education. You have only one course left? I agree with SVS, a woman should always have an education in her hand that will allow her to support herself and her children (b/c lets face it, men don't always carry out their responsibilities (children), even Muslims) if something horrific does occur. Not only that, but i am sure you want something that is more than just your husband and children. Something for yourself and about you.

    Now b/w your family or your husband. We know as Muslims we are suppose to do everything we can to preserve our marriage, as shaytan rejoices when one is broken. However, we also know Islam does not advocate for an unhealthy relationship. Your husband has not and is not creating a healthy environment. In the end your children will be affected. Because this is such a huge decision, one we cannot make for you, nor can your family, you should really DO SALAATUL ISTIKHARRAH. Let Allah guide you to what is better for your deen, duniyah, akhirah. Remember your children when you make the dua.

    If you and your husband do stay together, I will tell you from experience that he is concerned about his children and only his children with you going back to school. But he did initially make a promise to you and you may have to remind him. You will also need to notify him that you are not going to let your studies negatively impact your family. And then you are going to have to show him. I know in Islam it is not only the woman's responsibility to cook, clean, and take care of the children. However, we also know that our families are more cultural. It is unfortunate and we deal with it and pray that our deeds are accepted as sadqa jariyyah.

    Once in school, you will have to make sure to prepare the meals for the children and husband. Make sure you are able to pick them up when sick and etc. If your parents cut you off for a little while (they'll forgive you, they love you) if you stay with your husband, well there is always grants and scholarships to pay for your education. Study at night, put the kids to bed early and study, or go to sleep with them and then get up after a couple of hours and study before the morning begins. Once your husband sees you putting in so much hard work and handling all your business with success, iA his heart will soften.

    I hope you follow up with us and let us know how what you decide and how you are doing.

    -your sister in Islam.

    • Actually if things do workout with your husband, then make istikharrah about continuing your education and then talk and show him you can do both.

  8. Lightbulb: your husband .......initially make a promise to you and you may have to remind him. You will also need to notify him that you are not going to let your studies negatively impact your family. I know in Islam it is not only the woman's responsibility to cook, clean, and take care of the children. However, we also know that our families are more cultural........Once in school, you will have to make sure to prepare the meals for the children and husband. Make sure you are able to pick them up when sick and etc

    I have feeling her husband is insecure and does not want his wife to become better educated than him. Also he does not want his wife to go and meet other men in college.

    Reaction of girl's parents shows this couple has many other problems. It is not just about kids.

    Well a good husband can also contribute to taking care of kids and household chores.

    Most Muslim women in USA work outside the home.

    • SVS,

      I'm from the U.S. Born and raised. My parents are from Pakistan my husband is American born and raised and has parents from India. I am educated and have worked. Most of my American born paki/Arab friends are also American born... Most of them choose not to work b/c our husbands do not contribute--this is reality. So they say I'm not going to work out the house and then come and work inside the house too. If men do help they help minimally. They are raised, after all, by FOBs. The only thing we can do is raise our own sons to be better. Really teach them Islam and the true worth of women. Yes, good husbands/men can contribute, but the reality is that they don't.

      You're right they got a lot of problems. Poor girl. Her parents probably saw it and were against it and are afraid now they'll get even worse. It's is about the kids too because he also got mad when the school called about her son being sick in the middle of the day. But the problem is definitely deeper. None the less, she has to do salatul Istikharra. In the end Allah knows best.

  9. Asc sister. May Allah ease your pain. I hope Allah grants you all the good in this world and the next and blesses you and your children. Forgive me if I sound harsh but I want to advice you as your sister in Islam.
    I dont think its worth breaking up your family and leaving your husband just to get an education. yes being educated is important but being a mother and wife is more important. You might think that you are hearing this from an uneducated women but that is not the case I know how important education is to us women but in this situation is not the most important. Just sacrifice it for the sake of Allah, atleast for now and Allah will reward you and give you something better in sh Allah.

    With love A.

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