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What’s The Matter? | Confronting a Cheating Husband

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Question:

Salam aleykum. I just wanted some bit of Islamic advice on a very important matter.

Alhamdulilah, I’ve been married for nearly 4 years to my husband and we have one child. Recently my husband’ behaviour has changed. For example he would be mean to me and try to blame all his problems on me, he just wasn’t the person i knew anymore. He would spent less and less time with his family. This in turn made me very suspicious and pushed me to check his emails & social networking site.

SubhanAllah, I found something that broke my heart to pieces. I find out my husband was cheating on me. I don’t know the extent of it but I found a trail of messages of other women and him flirting! I never felt so sick and paralysed, as you would never expect that from someone you love dearly; and whom you sharing your life with. I feel incredibly hurt & betrayed and humiliated! Millions of questions went through my mind! Wasn’t I enough for my husband

So I find out my husband of years has been cheating on me ! I feel so betrayed and heartbroken. I know I’ve got to face him and speak to him about it although it makes me feel sick. I just wanted some advice on how to approach this calamity that has befallen on my family and I pray that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will help me overcome the state I’m in. I don’t know where to start and if I ever will be able to trust him.

Jazaka Allahu Khair,

Need to talk to him
[divider]

Answer:

No words can describe the pain and humiliation that comes with infidelity. May Allah grant you the strength and patience to do what is right for you and your family, and help your heart heal from the repercussions of this traumatic event.

Why did he do it?

Unfortunately infidelity has become a common occurrence, so you are not alone. Although every case is unique, there are four basic situations why people have affairs:

1.  A person has a sex addiction. Are they willing to go to a 12-step program to deal with their addiction?

2.  A person gets caught in a slippery situation, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they do something they never thought they would do. They usually have great remorse for what happened and vow never to put themselves in that type of situation again.

3.  A person seeks revenge or pay back because their partner had an affair.

4.  A person is hungry for attention or nurturing, so they connect with someone outside the relationship to fulfill their needs.2

What do I do first?

First and foremost, find a way to express and process rage, hurt, and often feelings of panic. Dr. Spring eloquently states:

What you are experiencing is a normal and appropriate response to an acutely traumatizing experience. You’re reeling not only from the loss of the integrity of your relationship but also from the loss of an illusion—that you’re special to your partner and that the intimacy you thought you shared with that person would last forever. If in the face of such shattering news, it would be strange if you didn’t feel lost.1

You can either speak with a trusted friend or colleague, journal about your emotions, or converse with the One who is The Hearer of All. It is important to be in a calmer state of mind in order to answer for yourself some very important questions. Moreover, it is crucial that you keep any children out of the pain of the situation to the furthest extent possible.

Every situation is different, and what works best for one family may not work best for another. At this point you must decide what it is that you want. Is infidelity a deal breaker for you? Or do you wish to stay in the marriage and try to work it out?  

How do I confront him?

If you choose to and are ready to confront your husband, my first concern would be about safety. Sometimes confrontations can get violent especially if he has been abusive in anyway in the past or short tempered.  I don’t recommend confronting him in front of friends or family, but definitely avoid a closed door, private place. Even if there is no history of violence, he can become very angry and defensive about getting caught.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, or any written rules, but I found these recommendations to be helpful:

1. Set up some time when you can sit and talk. You want a time when you are rested.

2. Have your questions written out. Some examples may include: What happened? How did this situation come into our relationship? How long has this been going on? What went wrong with us?

3. Make sure your partner is willing to talk, all phones are off, the children are taken care of and you are in a safe place.

4. Set a beginning time and an ending time. I would suggest no more than two hours. People get weary, exhausted and hungry if you go too long and things can escalate and become extremely ugly. 2

Please understand that all your questions probably will not be answered in one meeting and that you two may have to meet several times. This traumatic incident will take some time for you to process and to resolve.

How do I communicate my needs?

Some tips on effective communication may help the conversation be more productive. Two typical dysfunctional ways of talking include being in “Silence” or being the “Storm.”

If you remain silent in order to protect yourself from further harm or disappointment, you are also losing the chance to feel understood, having your needs met, admit your mistakes and reconnect. “For you to heal and forgive, you must be convinced that your partner grasps how deeply you have been violated. For that to happen, you must talk about the affair and how it has affected you on the most personal level” 1

If you have the opposite tendency to storm, understand that a full on outpouring of rage and anger will only breed more anger in both parties and put your husband on the defense and shove him away.  He is more likely to listen to you and feel your pain if you speak calmly and directly.

How will he respond?

Possible responses also vary from situation to situation. Your husband may beg for forgiveness, he may be in complete denial despite the evidence you provide, or he may admit to his cheating and then initiate a marriage dissolution himself; therefore, it is vital for you to have a system of support set up that can help you with both your immediate and future needs.

Is it possible for our relationship to heal from this?

The possibility of healing from infidelity rests on the willingness of both parties to rebuild trust and the relationship. If only one partner desires to recommit, then it will not work.

If both of you decide to work through this, in time, you might view this traumatic even as a wake-up call. You may discover that this soul shattering event is the reboot you needed to develop a healthier and more mature approach to relationships. “I encourage you to enter the process, to challenge the hurt, and to see what you are capable of producing together. In essence on the count of three, I invite the two of you to step into the center of the ring, remove your boxing gloves and join hands.” 1

In terms of regaining trust, “it must be earned, and not with verbal reassurances alone, but with specific changes in behavior.” 1 Your husband will have to demonstrate though bold, concrete actions that he is committed to you and that you are safe with him. And you will have to open yourself up to the possibility of trusting him again as well as reinforce his efforts to regain your trust. You will also have to “spell out exactly what your partner can do for you, and give this person a road map back into your life.” 1

Continue to seek guidance from Allah for the best course of action and outcome for you and your family. Do not forget to establish a support system for you and your child, including family therapy and, finally, I highly recommend reading the book “After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner has been Unfaithful” by Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD.

 

 

References:

1. After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner has been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD with Michael Spring, completely updated 2nd edition.

2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-c-jameson/how-to-confront-a-cheating-spouse_b_4534619.html

 

Afshana Haque is currently the executive director of her private practice, Muslim Family Support and conducts face to face and online therapy from Houston, TX. She is also Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Afshana received her PhD from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX . She has completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake and has previously worked in various hospitals and institutions including: DePelchin’s Children Center in Houston, TX, Methodist Hospital, and AIGB Diagnostics for a bariatric surgical group in San Anotonio, TX. She was also co-director of a non-profit organization, Hawa Center for Refugee Mental Health, now called the Center for Refugee Services. During her graduate career she had the privilege of being a part of the AAMFT Minority Fellowship Program and was granted over $50,000 in funding. This program provided her with rigorous training in therapy and research with minority families. Afshana has given platform and poster presentations at national and state conferences in her field. She has also presented at the Texas Dawah Convention, ISNA: Islam in America Conference, and was invited to give parenting workshops at ISGH NW Zone and Austin Peace Academy. Afshana’s research interests include exploring the challenges faced by Muslims in the American society, issues with acculturation and assimilation, raising children, incorporating the use of spirituality in family therapy, and most importantly formatting traditional therapy in ways that will be appealing to those who belong to collectivistic cultures in addition to those who view therapy as shameful. Her most recent research publications include: A Systematic Research Synthesis of Various Adaptive Strategies Utilized by Dual-Income Couples, and The Assessment of Marital Adjustment with Muslim Populations: A Reliability study of the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test when administered to the Muslim Population. She is also an apprentice editor of the Journal of Marital and Family therapy, the highest impact journal in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Miss Convert

    July 24, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Alhamdulillah…I found my husband cheating as well…very calmly and confidently, I showed him my proof, I told him break it up with the other woman, that I forgive him, let’s move on, and I turned my back to walk away from him…I left him in the bedroom…in shock…with few words and no more “whys”…Alhamdulillah, the problem was solved. May Allah make it easy for you. Ameen.

    • Avatar

      Hyde

      July 29, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Very dramatic yet it should not have given him a free card…would he have acted the same if the roles were reversed ? In fact how many men would be of forgiving nature, a sympathetic nature if they found their wives were infidelious ?

  2. Avatar

    Manna

    July 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Alhumdulillah that it worked out for you like that. May Allah subhana wata’Ala reward you immensely and make your forgiveness of your husband a sincere forgiveness and may it a means of you earning the forgiveness of Allah subhana wata’Alah and jannatul Firdaws.

  3. Avatar

    Shafkat Pervaiz

    August 29, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    As salaam alaykum.

    One way of ‘breaking the ice’ would be to post your worry on to a Forum ( without mentioning any names ) with All your Hurt and Dissapointment mentioned and the fact that you still Love him dearly and are willing to Forgive, Reconcile and move on with your life together…

    Then let him see the post … You could even ‘show’ it to him with the remark ‘ just look at this .. poor girl, how she must Love her cheating husband … Thank God WE are different … Alhamdulillah … etc etc ” .

    HIQMA !

    May Allah(swt) and His Messenger(sws) be our Guide always…

    Ameen

  4. Avatar

    Tabitha

    November 14, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    This is sad. However, I think one thing we have to be aware if when entering a marriage is that your spouse is a human being and humab beings will and can dissappoint you. Never put complete,blind trust on a human, that trust deservedly belongs to Allah.
    This is what I believe people especially women forget in their pursuit of Love and filling a void in their hearts.

  5. Avatar

    Abc

    March 23, 2017 at 9:41 PM

    Can you please write an article on regaining trust afterwards

  6. Avatar

    Theresa Piatts

    May 6, 2018 at 12:07 PM

    Hello everyone, Are you interested in a professional hacker who can help you spy on your cheating spouse in just one swipe. Get in touch with Williamsdhackghost (at)Gmail.
    Goodluck

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More Baby, Less Shark: Planning For Kids In The Masjid

Zeba Khan

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Of all the challenges that your focus can face in prayer, there are few as insidious as Baby Shark.

Doo-doo-doo doo. Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo. Baby Shark.

If you are not a parent, or have the type of amnesia that parents sometimes develop once their kids grow up, then you might assume that not having kids in the masjid is actually a solution to Baby-Shark induced distraction.

The inconvenient (and often sticky) truth is that not having kids in the masjid is a serious problem, not a solution. No kids in the masjid means an entire generation of the Muslim community growing up outside of the Muslim community.

Restricting the presence of children and assigning masjid priority to fully-formed, quietly attentive, and spiritually disciplined attendees – like adults – is a bit like restricting health club membership to triathletes. You’re already fit. So can we please let someone else use the treadmill, even if they’re not using it as well as you could?

The masjid is the center of the community for all Muslims, not a sanctuary for the preservation of reverent silence.  For a more detailed discussion on this, please see this great Soundvision article, Children in the Masjid, Making Space for Our Future.

For suggestions on how to help your children enjoy the masjid without Baby-Sharking the rest of the congregation to tears, I present the following recommendations.

Come Prepared

Rather than assume your child will be entertained by nothing but the carpet and how many weird faces they can spot in the bilaterally symmetrical patterns, bring them something to play with. One way to do this is to prepare your child a special bag for the masjid.

Stock it with as many things applicable:

  • A reusable water bottle: Select a bottle that your child can drink from on their own, preferably not likely to tip or spill onto the masjid carpet. No one appreciates a soggy sujood
  • A nut-free snack: If you think it’s too much trouble to be considerate of people with life-threatening allergies, consider how much trouble it is to bury a child who dies of anaphylaxis. Children share snacks in the masjid, and that’s ok as long as no one dies.
  • A small, quiet toy: The dollar store can be tremendously helpful in keeping your inventory fresh and financially feasible. Please be aware of swallowing hazards, since your child is likely to share the toy with others. One hopes.
  • A sweater or blanket: Sitting for long periods of time in an air-conditioned building can make anyone cold.
  • Art Supplies: Pack crayons, pencils, or markers IF you feel your child can refrain from drawing on the walls, or allowing other, smaller children from doing so. Magic Erasers don’t work on the prayer rug.

Reverie in Blue – Artist Unknown

Critically- and I do mean critically- don’t let your children access the special masjid bag unless they are in the masjid. The last thing you want is for your child to be bored with its contents before they even make it to prayers. Storing this bag somewhere inaccessible to your child can help keep its contents fresh and interesting longer.

Non-parent tip: Keep allergen-free lollipops in your pocket. Reward the kids sitting nicely (with parents’ permission) and you have killed two birds with one stone.

  1. You’ve  helped a child establish a happy memory and relationship to the masjid.
  2. Kids with lollipops in their mouths make less noise.

Do not pack:

Balls: Not even small ones, not even for small children. Your child may not have the gross-motor skills to kick or throw a ball at people who are praying, but there will always be children in the masjid who do. They will take your child’s ball, and they will play ball with it, because that’s what balls are for. Consider also the potential damage to light fixtures, ceiling fans, audio/video equipment, and the goodwill of people who get hit, run down, or kicked in the shins. The masjid is just not the place to play ball, even if the floor is green and has lines on it.

Not every green thing with lines is a soccer field.

Scooters: Do not bring scooters, skateboards, heelies, or other mobility toys that would turn your child a faster-moving object than they already are. Your child’s long-term relationship with the community can be fostered by not crashing into it.

Slime: Slime and carpets do, in fact, go together. They go together so well as to be inextricable of one-another. Please, do not bring slime to the masjid.

Gum: Please, for the love of everyone’s socks, no gum.

Toy Guns, Play-weapons: It should go without saying. And yet, I have seen nerf guns, foam swords, and toy guns in masjid. Apart from the basic indoor etiquette of not sword-fighting, nor launching projectiles in a house of worship, please be sensitive. No one wants to see guns in their masjid.

Non-parent tip: If children playing near you are making “too much noise” smile and find another place to sit if possible. It is not always possible to ignore or move away from disruptions, but glaring, eye-rolling, and making tsk-tsk sounds is not likely to effect long-term change in either the child’s behavior or the parents’ strategic abilities. At best, you will embarrass the parents. At worst, you will push families away from the faith and the community while confirming the opinion that masjids are full of cranky, impatient people who wish kids didn’t exist in the masjid while criticizing Muslim youth for not being there. 

Avoid Electronics. But if you can’t…

I am prefacing this suggestion with a disclaimer. Habitually putting your child on a smartphone or tablet so that you can “enjoy” the masjid without the “hassle” of you making sure they behave properly is not good parenting. A child being physically present but mentally absent in the masjid is not a long-term strategy that any parent should get behind.

Having said that, if you do give your kids a tablet or phone in the masjid, please disable Youtube and bring over-ear headphones.

Do not rely on YouTube Kids to take responsibility for your child’s content choices either. Long after Baby Shark has sunk to the depths of the internet, there will always be loud, inappropriate, or just plainly distracting and disturbing things that your child can access on it.

Instead of relying on Youtube at all, install child-friendly apps that you know won’t have external links embedded in their ads, and won’t lead to inadvertent, inappropriate viewing in case your child – or my child sitting next to them – click out of their app and into the great wide world. I highly recommend anything from the Toca Boca suite of apps.

Parents at Taraweeh – Making it Work

Non-parent tip: If you see a child on a tablet, do not lecture their parent. As a special needs parent, there are times when I too allow my autistic son onto a tablet to prevent a meltdown or try to get just 15 more minutes out of him so I can finish attending a class. Do not automatically assume laziness or incompetence on behalf of parents whose children you see on an electronic device. 

Reward for Success, in this life and the next

You show up in the masjid because you hope for a reward from Allah. As an adult, you have the ability to delay the gratification of this reward until well after you die. Your kids, however, don’t.

Motivate your kids with small rewards for small accomplishments as you remind them of the reward that Allah has for them too. You can choose to reward a child after every two rakah, or after every two days. How often you reward them, and what you choose to reward them for depends on their age and their capabilities.

Make dua for your kids when you reward them. If they get a small handful of gummy bears after a good evening at the masjid, pair it with a reminder of the bigger reward too.

“Here’s the ice cream I promised you for doing awesome in the masjid today. May Allah grant you mountains of ice cream in Jannah so big you can ski down them. Ameen.”

Non-parent tip: It’s not your job to discipline the children of others, but you can help praise them. Randomly compliment kids who are sitting nicely, sharing toys, playing quietly, or wearing cute headgear. Their parents will likely not mind.

Reinforce the rules – but define them first.

“Be Good In the Masjid” is a vastly different instruction depending on who you’re instructing. For a teenager, praying with the congregation is reasonable. For a two-year-old, not climbing the congregation is reasonable.

Define your rules and frame them in a positive context that your children can remember. Remind them of what they’re supposed to be doing rather than calling them out for what they are not. For example, no running in the masjid vs. please walk in the masjid.

Avoid saying this:

Try saying this instead:

Stay out of my purse Please use the toys in your bag
Don’t draw on the walls Crayons only on the paper
No yelling Please use your “inside” voice
No food on the carpet Please have your snack in the hallway
Don’t run off Stay where I can see you, which is from [here] to [here.]
No peeing the carpet We’re taking a potty break now, and we’ll go again after the 4th rakah’.
No hitting Hands nicely to yourself.

While it might look like semantics, putting your energy into “To-Do’s” versus the “To-Don’ts” has long-term benefits. If your child is going to hear the same thing from you a hundred times before they get it right, you can help them by telling them what the right thing is. Think of the difference between the To-Do statement “Please use a tissue,” versus the To-Don’t statement of “Don’t pick your nose.” You can tell you kid a hundred times not to pick his or her nose, but if you never tell them to use a tissue, you’re missing the opportunity to replace bad behavior with its functional alternative.

Plan for Failure

Kids don’t walk the first time they try. They won’t sit nicely the first time you ask them to either. Decide what your exact plan is in case you have to retreat & regroup for another day.

  • How much noise is too much? Do your kids know what you expect of them?
  • Where are the physical boundaries you want your kids to remain in? Do they know what those boundaries are?
  • For kids too small to recognize boundaries, how far are you ok with a little one toddling before you decide that the potential danger may not be worth it?
  • Talk to your spouse or other children and get everyone on board. Being on the same page can look like different things according to different age groups. A plan of action can be “If we lose Junior Ibn Abu, we’re taking turns in prayer,” or “If you kick the Imam again, we’re all going home.”
  • If your child is too small, too rowdy, or too grumpy to sit quietly at the masjid, please take turns with your spouse. The masjid is a sweet spiritual experience that both parents should be able to enjoy, even if that means taking turns.

Don’t Give up

If you find yourself frustrated with being unable to enjoy the masjid the way you did before your child starting sucking on prayer rugs, remember this:

Raising your children with love and patience is an act of worship, even if it’s not the act of worship you thought you were coming to the masjid for. No matter what your expectations are of them – or how far they are from meeting them – the ultimate goal is for your child to love Allah and love the House of Allah.

When they get things right, praise them and reward them, and remind them that Allah’s reward is coming too. When they get it wrong, remind them and forgive them, and don’t give up. The only way children learn to walk is by falling down over, and over, and over again.

Avoiding the masjid because your kids don’t behave correctly is like not allowing them to walk because they keep falling down. The key is to hold their hand until they get it right, and maintain close supervision until you can trust them to manage on their own, InshaAllah.

May Allah make it easy for you and bless your children with love for the masjid in this life and love for Allah that will guide them through the next. Aaaaaaaameeeeeeeeen

Children @ Taraweeh: Storm in a Teacup

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What Does Sharia Really Say About Abortion in Islam

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice, Islam recognizes the nuance.

Reem Shaikh

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The following article on abortion is based on a research paper titled ‘The Rights of the Fetus in Islam’, at the Department of Sharia at Qatar University. My team and I presented it to multiple members of the faculty. It was approved by the Dean of the Islamic Studies College, an experienced and reputed Islamic authority.

In one swoop, liberal comedian Deven Green posing as her satirical character, Mrs. Betty Brown, “America’s best Christian”, demonized both Sharia law as well as how Islamic law treats abortion. Even in a debate about a law that has no Muslim protagonist in the middle of it, Islam is vilified because apparently, no problem in the world can occur without Islam being dragged into it.

It is important to clarify what Sharia is before discussing abortion. Sharia law is the set of rules and guidelines that Allah establishes as a way of life for Muslims. It is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is interpreted and compiled by scholars based on their understandings (fiqh). Sharia takes into account what is in the best interest for individuals and society as a whole, and creates a system of life for Muslims, covering every aspect, such as worship, beliefs, ethics, transactions, etc.

Muslim life is governed by Sharia – a very personal imperative. For a Muslim living in secular lands, that is what Sharia is limited to – prayers, fasting, charity and private transactions such as not dealing with interest, marriage and divorce issues, etc. Criminal statutes are one small part of the larger Sharia but are subject to interpretation, and strictly in the realm of a Muslim country that governs by it.

With respect to abortion, the first question asked is:

“Do women have rights over their bodies or does the government have rights over women’s bodies?”

The answer to this question comes from a different perspective for Muslims. Part of Islamic faith is the belief that our bodies are an amanah from God. The Arabic word amanah literally means fulfilling or upholding trusts. When you add “al” as a prefix, or al-amanah, trust becomes “The Trust”, which has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one’s obligations due to other humans.

The body is one such amanah. Part of that amanah includes the rights that our bodies have over us, such as taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally – these are part of a Muslim’s duty that is incumbent upon each individual.

While the Georgia and Alabama laws in the United States that make abortion illegal after the 6-week mark of pregnancy are being mockingly referred to as “Sharia Law” abortion, the fact is that the real Sharia allows much more leniency in the matter than these laws do.

First of all, it is important to be unambiguous about one general ruling: It is unanimously agreed by the scholars of Islam that abortion without a valid excuse after the soul has entered the fetus is prohibited entirely. The question then becomes, when exactly does the soul enter the fetus? Is it when there is a heartbeat? Is it related to simple timing? Most scholars rely on the timing factor because connecting a soul to a heartbeat itself is a question of opinion.

Web MD

The timing then is also a matter of ikhtilaf, or scholarly difference of opinion:

One Hundred and Twenty Days:

The majority of the traditional scholars, including the four madhahib, are united upon the view that the soul certainly is within the fetus after 120 days of pregnancy, or after the first trimester.

This view is shaped by  the following hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما ثم يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثم يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثم يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الروح..

“For every one of you, the components of his creation are gathered together in the mother’s womb for a period of forty days. Then he will remain for two more periods of the same length, after which the angel is sent and insufflates the spirit into him.”

Forty Days:

The exception to the above is that some scholars believe that the soul enters the fetus earlier, that is after the formation phase, which is around the 40 days mark of pregnancy.

This view is based on another hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مر بالنطفة إثنتان وأربعون ليلة بعث الله إليها ملكاً، فصوره، وخلق سمعها وبصرها وجلدها ولحمها وعظمها…

“If a drop of semen spent in the womb forty-two nights, Allah sends an angel to it who depicts it and creates its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones.”

Between the two views, the more widespread and popular opinion is the former, which is that the soul enters the fetus at the 120 days (or 4 months) mark, as the second hadith implies the end of the formation period of the fetus rather than the soul entering it.

Even if one accepts that the soul enters the fetus at a certain timing mark, it does not mean that the soul-less fetus can be aborted at any time or for any reason. Here again, like most matters of Islamic jurisprudence, there is ikhtilaf of scholarly difference of opinion.

No Excuse Required:

The Hanafi madhhab is the most lenient, allowing abortion during the first trimester, even without an excuse.

Some of the later scholars from the Hanafi school consider it makruh or disliked if done without a valid reason, but the majority ruled it as allowed.

Only Under Extreme Risks:

The Malikis are the most strict in this matter; they do not allow abortion even if it is done in the first month of pregnancy unless there is an extreme risk to the mother’s health.

Other Views:

As for the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, there are multiple opinions within the schools themselves, some allowing abortion, some only allowing it in the presence of a valid excuse.

Valid excuses differ from scholar to scholar, but with a strong and clear reason, permissibility becomes more lenient. Such cases include forced pregnancy (caused by rape), reasons of health and other pressing reasons.

For example, consider a rape victim who becomes pregnant. There is hardly a more compelling reason (other than the health of the mother) where abortion should be permitted. A child born as a result in such circumstances will certainly be a reminder of pain and discomfort to the mother. Every time the woman sees this child, she will be reminded of the trauma of rape that she underwent, a trauma that is generally unmatched for a woman. Leaving aside the mother, the child himself or herself will lead a life of suffering and potentially neglect. He or she may be blamed for being born– certainly unjust but possible with his or her mother’s mindset. The woman may transfer her pain to the child, psychologically or physically because he or she is a reminder of her trauma. One of the principles of Sharia is to ward off the greater of two evils. One can certainly argue that in such a case where both mother and child are at risk of trauma and more injustice, then abortion may indeed be the lesser of the two.

The only case even more pressing than rape would be when a woman’s physical health is at risk due to the pregnancy. Where the risk is clear and sufficiently severe (that is can lead to some permanent serious health damage or even death) if the fetus remained in her uterus, then it is unanimously agreed that abortion is allowed no matter what the stage of pregnancy. This is because of the Islamic principle that necessities allow prohibitions. In this case, the necessity to save the life of the mother allows abortion, which may be otherwise prohibited.

This is the mercy of Sharia, as opposed to the popular culture image about it.

Furthermore, the principle of preventing the greater of two harms applies in this case, as the mother’s life is definite and secure, while the fetus’ is not.

Absolutely Unacceptable Reason for Abortion:

Another area of unanimous agreement is that abortion cannot be undertaken due to fear of poverty. The reason for this is that this mindset collides with having faith and trust in Allah. Allah reminds us in the Quran:

((وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا))

“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Israa, 31)

Ignorance is not an excuse, but it is an acceptable excuse when it comes to mocking Islam in today’s world. Islam is a balanced religion and aims to draw ease for its adherents. Most rulings concerning fiqh are not completely cut out black and white. Rather, Islamic rulings are reasonable and consider all possible factors and circumstances, and in many cases vary from person to person.

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice. These terms have become political tools rather than sensitive choices for women who ultimately suffer the consequences either way.

Life means a lot more than just having a heartbeat. Islam completely recognizes this. Thus, Islamic rulings pertaing to abortion are detailed and varied.

As a proud Muslim, I want my fellow Muslims to be confident of their religion particularly over sensitive issues such as abortion and women’s rights to choose for themselves keeping the Creator of Life in focus at all times.

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Why I Turned to Tech to Catch Laylatul Qadr

Make sure you maximize your sadaqah

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By Ismael Abdela

My life, just like yours, is sooo busy. So naturally, as the tech nerd I am, I turn to tech to help me manage my regular routine including project management apps to manage my daily tasks. I even have a sleeping app that wakes me up at the optimum time (whatever that means!). But even though tech has changed everything in all sectors and helped make efficiencies in my daily life, it had had little impact on my religious activities.

A few years ago, whilst I was preparing for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, it hit me – why doesn’t something exist that automates my donations during these blessed nights to catch Laylatul Qadr. Rather than putting a reminder on my phone to bring out my bank card every night and inputting it into a website – why doesn’t something exist that does it for me, solving the problem of me forgetting to donate. After all we are human and it’s interesting that the Arabic word for human being is ‘insan’ which is derived from the word ‘nasiya’ which means ‘to forget.’ It is human nature to forget.

So the techie in me came out and I built the first scrappy version of MyTenNights, a platform to automate donations in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (took two weeks) because I wanted to use it myself! I thought it would be cool and my friends and family could use it too. That same year, nearly 2000 other people used it – servers crashed, tech broke and I had to get all my friends and Oreo (my cat) to respond to email complaints about our temperamental site!

I quickly realised I wasn’t alone in my need  – everyone wanted a way to never miss Laylatul Qadr! Two years down the line we’ve called it MyTenNights, and our team has grown to 10, including Oreo, senior developers, QA specialists, brand strategists, creative directors and more. It fast became a fierce operation – an operation to help people all over the world catch Laylatul Qadr!

Last year alone we raised almost $2 million in just 10 days – and that was just in the UK. We’ve now opened MyTenNights to our American, Canadian. South African and Australian brothers and sisters and we’re so excited to see how they use it! We’ve made it available through all the biggest house name charities – Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Helping Hand, Penny Appeal, you name it! All donations go directly to the charity donors choose – all 100% of it.

Looking back at the last couple of years – it feels surreal: The biggest charities in the world and tens of thousands of users who share my need to be certain they’ve caught Laylatul Qadr. Although I hear many impressed with the sheer amount MyTenNights has raised for charity (and that excites me too!), it’s not what motives me to go on. What excites me most is the growing number of people who catch Laylatul Qadr because we made it easier.

I often tell my team that the number of people that use MyTenNights is the only metric we care about, and the only metric we celebrate. It makes no difference to us whether you donate $1 or a million – we just want you to catch Laylatul Qadr and for you to transform your Akhirah, because (after Allah) we helped you do it.

To catch Laylatul Qadr with MyTenNights, visit their website MyTenNights.com

Ismael Abdela is a Law & Anthropology graduate from the London School of Economics. He spent some years studying Islamic Sciences in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. He is now a keen social entrepreneur. Ismael likes to write about spiritual reflections, social commentary, and tafsīr. He is particularly interested in putting religion in conversation with the social sciences.

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