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Lack Of Sexual Intimacy In A Marriage : Raising Awareness In The Muslim Community

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By Umm Ayoob

It is any woman’s worst nightmare to find out that her husband is not attracted to her. It so happens that I am that woman. I am in an intimacy-starved marriage with my Muslim husband and have stayed in the marriage for 10 years. To be “intimacy-starved” means that we as a couple lack intimacy in terms of touch (something my husband dislikes), kissing (which does not  appeal to him), and sex.

The Husband 

From my description, you may understandably assume that my husband is a loner who is shy and asocial. However, quite the contrary is true. He is a charming, charismatic person, active in the Muslim community, and widely respected both at work and among his brethren for his integrity, hard work, and vision. I am very proud of him.

The Wife 

With this, people may assume a number of things about my appearance and personality or situation. I will be brief by saying that everyone has personal preferences regarding looks. However, my husband chose me for marriage, knowing how I look and I didn’t feel that he was being charitable in asking for my hand. I have a postgraduate degree, speak several languages and I would describe myself as flawed as anyone, but not generally unappealing.

How did we get here? 

We were young when we got married and this was the first relationship for both of us. We were (and still are) best friends. We laugh and have similar world views and goals. I love him and I have no doubts that he loves me. Our cultures encourage spouses to remain married, so divorce wasn’t an option I had initially considered. And why would I leave him? I loved him intensely and still do. However, intimate moments steadily declined. I initially blamed it on the stress of living independently and his long working hours. Weeks turned into months and I tried reasoning with him. I asked him what was wrong and if I could change something; he eventually opened up about superficial matters. I took care of them, but that changed nothing. I explained women’s needs for feeling loved. I cited studies and explained chemicals released during the interaction that promote good feelings, but to no effect. I tried to seduce him and was rejected. I encouraged him to come with me to couples counseling without success. And when all else failed, I made dua’a.

Months turned into years and the problem persisted. I started to blame myself. I wasn’t beautiful enough, thin enough, appealing enough. All of my insecurities were at full throttle. My self-esteem tapered off until nothing was left. Who would want me anyway? I stayed in a dead end job because, although I had a postgraduate degree, I wasn’t smart enough to move ahead in a career. My depression, a diagnosis that had previously been mild, became severe. I was sick all the time. I had thoughts of killing myself. My husband and I still enjoyed each other’s company but I was noticeably miserable. My husband became upset at me for being miserable, and asked me to cheer up. I was lacking in everything including social upkeep, home upkeep, exercise routines, career moves, you name it. I threatened to leave him over this issue and formally asked for a divorce once. I went back on my own word however because I couldn’t imagine my life without him; I loved him deeply and couldn’t let go of the connection.

I was in the process of grieving and I didn’t know it. I grieved the life I wish I had. I grieved at my own inadequacy of not being enough for him. My heart was broken and to a large extent, still is.

Why am I telling this story? 

You may experience a difficulty and not realize how much it is affecting your life. The well-known sources of grief and difficulty in our communities include, among others: death, child concerns, handicap, financial worries and health problems. It is, to a large extent, societally acceptable to discuss these matters and highlight their hardship. However, I have never seen a sheikh, or a learned religious person publicly speak about my experience or the idea that gender stereotypes aren’t always accurate. Lack of intimacy is an intensely private matter and likewise, an intense source of grief.

Difficulties and Stereotypes 

I have written this article in the hopes that others may realize the enormity of this issue and identify how harmful it is. I also wish that we would realize that stereotypes of any gender, including the sexuality of men aren’t always true.

In my case, believing the stereotype that all men are extremely sexually inclined damaged me extensively because I expected my husband to display those tendencies, and when he didn’t, I believed that something was wrong with me. I cannot lie and say that I feel adequate, even 10 years later. I haven’t figured out my way yet.

Postscript

If you are a woman finding yourself in my situation, let me reassure you: what is happening to you is not exclusive to you. Many women have struggled silently with this issue. Shame has prevented many from speaking out or even seeking counsel from others.

It is most assuredly a difficult test, and with difficulties, shaitaan is ever present. You will be tempted. If you have not decided where your relationship is headed and are “waiting it out” several things may happen. You may want to start looking more attractive when you go out. You may look things up on the internet to satisfy your urges, or even look for sexual outlets such as an affair. I am suggesting that this could happen to the most pious and proper of people.

Therefore, I advise you, my sister, to make a decision about your relationship for the sake of your deen. You have two options. Either you will decide to leave the relationship, or like me (for now), decide to stay.

In either case, I strongly suggest that you seek religious and psychological counselling. Counselling will help you deal with your emotions. It will also help you in identifying what intimacy actually means to you, and help you decide (with guidance) if it is something that you can live without.

From personal experience, your counsellor does not need to be a Muslim to be able to help you. If your husband is willing to come with you, I would strongly suggest couples’ counselling.  From a religious point-of-view, know that if you decide to leave, this circumstance warrants the rights to a divorce, or a khula’. Consult with the imam of your community to arrange this.

If you choose to stay, you are certainly not alone in your decision. In this situation, it is essential that you continuously nurture your connection with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Remind yourself that this life is temporary. Live your life solely for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and He will help you throughout your difficulties. Become active in other areas of your life and do your best to excel in them. This will give your life meaning as well as give your self-esteem a boost. I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to strengthen you as He strengthened Ayoob 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) in his intense difficulties.

Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the Most Merciful, and verily with hardship there is relief.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nuqra furquan

    October 25, 2017 at 6:16 AM

    Assalamualaikum
    I will pray for you dear and for my aunt too..
    She is facing the same problem from past 14 years …..
    ?

    • Avatar

      Anon b

      October 27, 2017 at 10:13 PM

      I am a guy in this situation. I no longer feel attached to my wife.

      She put on weight and refuses to go to the gym. How much can I tell her to lose weight? I give up. There is no intimacy left in this marriage.

      Perhaps other commentors should reflect on whether they are ignoring warning signs from their husbands.

      • Avatar

        SY

        October 31, 2017 at 10:45 AM

        Salam, I am happy you shared this I have one issue. U never outlined any hope for the man, u never put anything about repairing or rectifying a relationship. I dislike articles like these because you practically gave one option which is divorce, and ur right it is the right of a woman, but the only other option u gave is stay with misery. As a man you haven’t given me any hope that I can improve that part of my marriage if that is suffering and for that I dislike this article. U also didn’t talk about the pornographic society we live in, and how men often turn to this and this is part of their oppression against the intimacy rights of their wives. It’s a very one sided, depressing, and hopeless article that just puts people into more depression esp if they want to do good, and as a man my wife deserves the best inshAllah I can overcome the negativity of this article and please my wife and please Allah in the process.

        • Avatar

          Anon

          October 31, 2017 at 4:59 PM

          You have the right to dislike whatever you wish. This article IS a one-sided view and there is nothing wrong with that. It is written from a woman’s perspective for women in the same situation. After 10 years of trying to change things. If you’re trying to find solutions to change your situation, this isn’t the place to look. And it isn’t the responsibility of the wife (or author, in this case) to figure out the situation for the husband; that’s his job. This article is an account of how a wife feels after 10 years of this type of treatment and after exhausting all means to change things. Why does it fall on the wife to find the solution to a problem that isn’t hers? This could be a good means of encouragement to change for those who love their spouse. May Allah make things easy for us all.

    • Avatar

      Dr Ali

      October 30, 2017 at 1:17 AM

      Disagree; I am male married for last 8 years. From male perspective the reason of lack of intimacy is that husband force to stick with one wife thinking polygamy as taboo in even “religious” wife . Imagine if you have to eat single food every time for last 10 years. definately you will get bored ..

      if writer or any muslima wants to solve this issue lets their husband to get more wives , i bet it will improve..

      /Ali

      • Avatar

        Shamsia

        February 19, 2018 at 12:39 AM

        I have been married to my husband who is 26 years older than me for almost 24 years. We have two boys 23 and 20. My husband never paid any attention to me. I am the bread winner of the family. It always bothered me. I used to to cry and asked him to sleep in our bed, but he rarely slept with me. He smokes too much and lately has been addicted to proscription medication. I always felt lonely. My family is totally against divorce. I started an affair with someone at work 4 years ago. I am emotionally and physically vey close to him. He is married. I know that it is wrong, but it’s not all about sex. I need someone to talk to. Someone to make me feel wanted and important. Someone who appreciates all my hard work.

  2. Avatar

    BISHONNOMAHMUD

    October 25, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Dear Sister:

    I am not saying that your husband is not attracted to you, and even if he is not attracted to you, he may not admit that you. It is such a taboo to admit that to your wife. I got into a marriage where I did not feel attraction to my wife, and I ended the marriage after three months. Yes, I was sure in my heart that I would not able to overcome that and I made the decision. I would rather love what I cannot have than have what I cannot love.

    I believe many Muslim men are often unable to marry woman of their dream or actual choice for many reasons including (1) inability communicate our choices and wants to our mothers or rishta aunties who look for us, often due to haya (2) family or society or parents dismissing us or totally abandoning us if we want to marry into different ethnicity (3) settling for less than ideal when it comes to look (and look is in the eye of the beholder) hoping that deen will make up for it, but it never makes up because we never have that strong eeman to begin with and on top that we are bombarded with beautiful looking women everywhere

    The result is: mediocre marriage with lack of intimacy. I personally have reached a point where I have almost given up hope of re-marriage because I have found that there are so many constraints to find the right girl that it often feels not worth it.

  3. Avatar

    Anonnymous

    October 25, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    I faced something… ND still facing something similar. I was also pregnant continually. It turned out my spouse was cheating on me. I’m still in the marriage for the sake of my kids.

  4. Avatar

    Anon

    October 25, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    In the same boat for years now. I think we’re together for the kids but not admitting it.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 25, 2017 at 3:25 PM

    JAK Sister for writing this. I know how you feel. I have decided to divorce my husband of 10 years not only due to lack of intimacy and rejection no matter what I tried; but he has been abusive, and does not provide financially for me and our 2 kids, putting all the burden on me and making me go into credit card debt. I tried to be friends but failed. It’s a no-brainer to divorce – I should have done it sooner. Marriage is supposed to protect us from temptations, not cause them . I thought he was gay but he denies it and recently told me he wasn’t attracted to me. While the divorce finalizes, I don’t know if Allah has another husband for me or how to seek him.

  6. Avatar

    Banago

    October 25, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    From the description of your relationship, it does not seem he is not attracted to you. It’s either he is fulfilling his needs elsewhere or he has a medical condition.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous me

    October 25, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Now I know am not the only one. This stereotype is really terrible. Believing all men who love thier wife/-wives most be sexually active. My husband loves me I am very sure and doesn’t cheat on me. He just doesn’t get really interested in intimacy so he goes months without nothing. Initially was worried. But i am no longer worried one bit. Our marriage is going to 12 years now. And we still standing. I have kept really busy with school and career so don’t feel lonely much. Some times I slip into grief but bounce back quick by doing CBT on myself as I am a psychologist.
    This article has given me some succour you won’t understand.
    I guess with time people will start speaking up and facing the grief becomes less painful.
    Thanks again for this article.

  8. Avatar

    Brother Anon

    October 25, 2017 at 5:26 PM

    Not specific to this situation but generally it would be very informative to hear why the Husband is like this? Is he talking to someone else? What’s made him lose attraction, as a man my only suspicion being the problem is himself rather than the wife.

    As a man in the process of getting married, this has become a big fear of mine all of a sudden. Losing interest in my wife, I’d feel like garbage.

    Now if I have to choose one or the other, do you go with piety over beauty? inshAllah both but that’s also scary.

    May Allah put the love back in your hearts for one another as if you just got married again.

    • Avatar

      Anon

      October 25, 2017 at 8:08 PM

      The reason that sexual intimacy declines is not something that the initiating partner can fully know. It is something that the other partner needs to decide for themselves and get help for on their own. It leaves the other partner feeling powerless, but that is the essence of the problem. I’ve stopped looking for answers. Your mind goes through all kinds of scenarios to explain the situation (it’s human nature). But when nothing you find actually sticks, you realize that it’s a pointless activity. This realization took a long time.

      Brother, if you feel that something in your history may make you averse to foreplay or intercourse, try to talk to a professional about it. If there is nothing in your past, your worry may be satanic whisperings. It could also stem from the fact that you’re in the beginning of a relationship and your feelings may not be fully developed for your fiance yet. This is a woman’s perspective, so it may not apply, however, I became much more attracted to my spouse once I got to know him. There must be some level of attraction to your spouse, and it can’t only be based on personality or beauty. There has to be a balance of both. Wanting to spend time with your spouse is as important as wanting to sleep with them.

      In terms of the reasons this happened, my husband told me a few things. He said that he got bored of intimacy quickly, that I’m not the most attractive woman to him, along with a number of other things. It sounds harsh to the outside reader, and it stings, but I, personally, always appreciate honesty, even if it is hurtful. Of course, it would be better to be diplomatic and I do not suggest that you tell your future wife any of this outright (if God-forbid, you ever feel this way), because you can’t take your words back. In any case, I do think that there are other issues going on with him and I don’t fully buy all of his explanations.

      As for me, I’ve always found him attractive and regularly tell him that. I think this is more of a norm than not, to find your spouse attractive. I feel the same about him today as I did the day we were married. I’m still as attracted to him regardless of how he’s changed over the years. In all honesty brother, he is the perfect spouse with all and any of his flaws, minus this issue.

      I suggest the following:
      Never forget that duaa changes destiny. Use it to sooth your soul. Make istighfaar. Remember that rizq is already written for both you and her. I sincerely pray for you and I ask Allah to make your relationship happy, ameen.

  9. Avatar

    Aasma Maqbool

    October 25, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    It seems this man is gay.

    • Avatar

      Anon b

      October 27, 2017 at 10:17 PM

      That is quite an inappropriate thing to say without knowing all the details.

  10. Avatar

    Mariam

    October 25, 2017 at 6:41 PM

    Our religion is clear about it, get a khula because you are miserable also imagine if it was a woman who can satisfy him! Never stay in such marriage for the sake of kids because they see everything and later it will affect their life. As you tried everything my sister move on but stay friends

  11. Avatar

    Y

    October 25, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    As a married man, I know this starts to happen when you get too busy with making a living and your mind is mostly preoccupied with everything else so you don’t feel any physical need. An ideal solution would have been to get home after Isha and leave EVERYTHING out of mind and enjoy each other’s company. But this may not be possible in the world we live in today. So, an advice for someone who is newly married or going to be married, make a habit of getting intimate on a regular basis even if you don’t feel the urge, because if you lose the habit, you will lose intimacy even though you may not lose the urge. And be happy and be in a positive frame of mind always and don’t let the struggles of life get in your way of enjoying conjugal life.And it’s not easy.

  12. Avatar

    Siti

    October 25, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    Jazakallah for sharing the story dear confessor. The purpose of a married life is to find contentment with each other, when you don’t get it, ask yourself why should you stay? From the many efforts you did, it showed me that the much love you have for your husband doesn’t match with what he has for you. Despite whatever you did to improve yourself, his affection to you remains the same. Leaving you discontented and hoping for equal treatment and affection like how you showered him. Does he do anything about it? If he doesn’t, that means he may be an ignorant/arrogant/selfish man. Or, it could also be that he doesn’t know how to express his feelings/desires to you. You went to a counsellor and checked your emotional states. Why don’t you try coaxing him into checking about his physical health and condition with an andrologist, maybe he’ll open up. I’m just talking through my own experience and assumption here. As we age, our sexual desire declines. Our appearance too, so be it as a wife or husband, we should be at par with our spouse’s expectations to please them. Both of you must prioritise open discussions on how to solve this matter. Working alone wouldn’t help. Wallahua’lam. Assalamualaikum.

  13. Avatar

    Golden eye

    October 25, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    Did anyone consider the problem could be sehr or hasad or Ayn or all of the above?
    Try listening to a rukyah diagnosis recording on YouTube it rukyah for marriage problems and see if there’s a reaction.
    Some people can take days to react and some people straight away. Listen to a recording for 21 days.
    If you react then you know it’s a spiritual attack.
    If you have no reaction then recite albaqarah v223 x3 after every prayer and Surah room v21 x3,Surah taha v39 from Wal alkaytoo elayka…. X3
    And the most important dua Surah alfurquan v74 x11 after every prayer.
    For those who have problems with numbers ( above) read these verses until you feel satisfied.
    Remember the Qur’an is a healing and a mercy and so the answer will be in the quran in shaa Allah.
    These verses cause a gradual change upon the person reciting and the person it is recited for. Nothing happens over night , just a gradual change so stick to these duas. For proof of this method, refer to hadith surrounding recitation of dua from Quran.
    The answer to these duas may either strengthen the relationship or make the spit bearable and the new partner is the answer to the dua.
    May Allah give you all where the khair is. AMEEN

  14. Avatar

    Reader

    October 25, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    Most people don’t realise that every individual has varying levels of sexual need–shaped by physical conditions as well as past experience. The chemistry between two individuals is also a determining factor. There are two wonderful books by a sex therapist–‘The men on my couch’ and ‘The women on my couch’. There are all sorts of situations described in the books and lack of sexual interest from the male partner despite deep feelings of love comes up again and again. The therapist mostly unearths hidden fears and past memory to get to the bottom of it. I suggest, sister, you read these two books. While you read, mark chapters that you think is similar to your situation. Underline and highlight parts. Then read them with your husband. Even if this doesn’t change the sexual intimacy situation between you two, inshallah this will bring you two together in a different may–may help with your grief.

  15. Avatar

    Xxx

    October 26, 2017 at 1:16 AM

    jazak Allahu khair

  16. Avatar

    Ali

    October 26, 2017 at 1:35 AM

    There are number of reasons why this may happen. Some are the men’s fault, other times its either the wife or the man’s female relatives faults;

    1) Men indirectly forced to marry girls they are not attracted to, by being told over and over again by insecure female relatives that “looks don’t matter, piety , pretty girls tend to have loose character”

    2) Wives who treat her in-laws horribly, and the expect the husband to treat her like a wife as if nothing happened.

    3) Wives who refuse to indulge in certain foreplay citing cultural reasons

    4) Refusal by one partner to adapt to the birth control preferences of the other.

  17. Avatar

    anonymous

    October 26, 2017 at 3:44 AM

    I am also in the same situation. i am totally confused of what to do as i got divorced once and this is my second marriage to him. i got into this with lot of dreams and hopes. But now, I am really depressed more often and had almost lost my hope. But, i am praying to Allah ..in shaa Allah..May Allah help us .

  18. Avatar

    John

    October 26, 2017 at 8:01 AM

    Don’t forget to take a hormone blood test!

    He could have a condition that is affecting him, and he doesn’t even know it.

    Check testosterone levels, prolactin, oestrogen etc.

  19. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 26, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    If we only do things that we ‘feel like doing’ or ‘want to do’ or ‘have urge to do’ then where is the love? Things that I want to do, I can do them for ‘anyone’. But for people ‘I love’, I’d do things even if ‘I don’t feel like it’ because it’s ‘not about me’ but about ‘what pleases the one I love’.

    I can’t say I love someone but at the same time I don’t mind them feeling disrespected, insulted, rejected and refused when they expect to be touched and wanted. This is not lack of love, its even lack of multiple values in a human being.

    1) It lacks empathy: when we see the pain, we want to help the other person
    2) It lacks love: when we love someone, we want to make them happy
    3) It lacks iman: spouse has a right over us and we’re obliged to fulfill that right

    Why do we kiss and hug babies? Because we find them cute and our natural expression of ‘love’ is kiss and ‘hug’. Intimacy is ‘natural’ expression of ‘love’.

    There are certain things that can turn off a man
    1) A wife that complains a lot
    2) A wife that hates her inlaws
    3) A wife that wastes money
    4) A wife that is disrespectful or rude or argumentative
    5) A wife that keeps pointing out mistakes like a parent

    There are things that turns on the man
    1) A wife that cooks good food
    2) A wife that dresses up for her husband
    3) A wife that is usually in good mood and smiles
    4) A wife that is grateful and thankful
    5) A wife that is proud of her husband and makes him feel accomplished/successful/hero.

    When we’re living with a dog/pet for years, we even feel love for that pet and hug and caress it. If we don’t feel that for our spouse then there is physical, psychological problem or simply no love.

    If the person loves the other person but has physical or psychological problem then they would desperately want to get professional help to overcome this issue because they want to make their beloved happy but if they are not interested in resolving the issue then they simply don’t love the other person.

    I can’t say honey I love you but I don’t care if you are living a life of misery because I don’t like intimacy and I don’t want to get help because you won’t feel like trash but I still love you.

    There is no love in that relationship, it’s only a matter of convenience in that case, you have someone to take care of the house (wife) or you have someone to earn money for you (husband). One person is using the other to get through the life.

    Yes this life is test and it is short and life in Jannah is infinite but that doesn’t mean that it ‘has’ to be miserable. Sabr is something we do when there is ‘nothing’ in our control. We have sabr if we’re born with disability but if Allah has given us tools to solve our problem, then we should use those tools.

    In Surah Mujadila, when a man refused to be intimate with his wife and didn’t care for how she felt, she came crying and pleading to Prophet (S), she didn’t sit down and have sabr. Allah responded to her in Qur’an.

    One of the wives of Prophet (S) did not desire intimacy so she gave away her night so He (S) can be with another wife. If a woman has an issue with intimacy, she can ask the husband to marry another wife and like Prophet (S) he can be with both of them and treat them both with kindness.

    But in husband has that issue, wife cannot do a second marriage, he should fear Allah and either let her go or get professional help.

    A person who had tied a cat in the house and didn’t nourish the cat properly got thrown in hellfire as a recompense. A human being has feelings and needs that Allah has recognized in the Qur’an (Surah Mujadila).

    In our society both divorce and second marriages are turned into taboo but there is nothing Islamic about this. The discussion of divorce has happened in life of Prophet (S) (Surah Tahrim). Islam doesn’t recommend us to live a life of misery with a person when the other person ‘doesn’t care’.

    Finally for the person in this situation following are the resolutions

    1) Do self-inspection i.e. what is the problem in you that could be turning off your spouse
    2) Do what pleases your spouse
    3) Explain to your spouse your need clearly and how hurt/insulted/rejected/worthless you feel
    4) Explain the possibility of divorce
    5) If they are unwilling to get help, involve a family member
    6) Make dua, pray tahajjud, say lots of istighfar

    Heart of slave is in hands of Allah. Allah can turn it either way. It is Allah who puts love and mercy between the spouses. Allah is turner of the hearts. If you take all the measures and nothing changes, it may be for your own good and you can move on with life i.e. get divorce and ask Allah to replace your spouse with someone better.

  20. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    May Allah help you and me!
    I just got married 8 or 9 months ago and I feel like this is my future because similarly both my husband and I are best of friends and I love him dearly, he does too but… we lack intimacy. I don’t understand how or why.

    • Avatar

      anna

      November 14, 2017 at 4:45 AM

      I have been in this situation for 11 years now, highly educated have all means but have kids. Husband is exceptionally good person otherwise, tried and did whatever I could but the response was not good.point is it’s not only that one spouse should try and do everything just to sleep with her husband. Many will say don’t involve egos, but this is a matter where the other spouse is kind of constantly rejected its hard for the victim to come up with all the courage all the time to beg.I am at a stage where everything is finished, something died inside me, even when confronted now my husband wants to straighten up everything the hurt and break is so deep it cant be ignored. Even if we start again inside me I know he doesn’t want me he is pretending.We have kids who are happy they need both parents so I am living. God knows everything I might leave sometime, but this wasn’t the life I wished for.I have all these feelings about who would want me thing, though people say I am good looking I am so doubtful of myself .It kills you slowly… lacking in everything including social upkeep, home upkeep, exercise routines, career moves, you name it. Seriusly thinking of an affair

  21. Avatar

    abc

    October 26, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Dear sister,

    This kind of thing can not be forced. The desire if there or it is not.

    If you do everything from your side to arouse him and there is still nothing, you should say that this is the will of Allah. This is not your fault.

    If Allah did not provide you with his desire, maybe this is a sign that he is not fit for you.

    But, before you go to this conclusion, do the maximum you can to arouse him.

    I can give you some tips.

    My husband is very attracted to me, this is a gift form Allah, but I can say that, after His help, I work very hard for that.

    I always prepare myself very well, on specific days (every two or three days). I take a shower, I put cream, perfume, the nicest of clothes (I have a lot of sexy clothes that I change all the time) makeup, and henna.

    I also make sure the environment is adequate like the children are at sleep, the house is clean, there is nice smell in our room and candle lights.

    Also, the most important, I always maintain the best attitude during theses moments, smiling and say nice words. Make sure he is happy with me (because if he is angry against me, it does not work).

    If he is in a bad mood because of something outside, at his work or with his family, I listened to him before, and make douas that everything will be ok, but if he is too much preoccupy, I leave him alone… You have to be smart and understand the psychological state of your husband and the limits.

    If he is in a good mood, I arouse him the way he likes to be arouse, by dancing in front of him, making him a massage, touching the part of his body he likes to be touched, saying the words he likes to hear. I let him take the control when he feels he wants to, or when he can not longer resist.

    Many sisters are shy and think that this is the husband who should arouse them, not the contrary. This is not the case. The man should be arouse. They actually need more than us.

    Many sisters feel that if they are active lovers, they are like prostitutes. But in fact, the prostitutes, they just try to imitate loving wives…

    Think deeply of what you can do, improve one thing at a time, but know that you can not make come something that is not there. You can only fix the problem between you and him (if there is a problem) and improve and entertain what Allah has provided you.

    May Allah bless you and make you successful in this life and the next.

    Your sister in Islam.

  22. Avatar

    sa

    October 26, 2017 at 11:05 PM

    I am having the exactly same problem with a non-muslim, Indian – to be more specific, husband. As sister cited, “He is a charming, charismatic person, and widely respected both at work” for his soft behavior to the women. But with me he is quite rude. He lies all the time. He pretended that he accepted Islam – in reality he did not. He is very different in public and when I am alone. I have been living with him for 23 years. Always think, “I will wait to see if he changes … until next year…”. But can never take that final step.

  23. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 27, 2017 at 6:26 AM

    When you want food and spouse doesn’t give you then you can make it yourself or buy it outside and its halal

    When you want money and spouse doesn’t give you then you can earn it yourself and its halal

    When you want intimacy and spouse doesn’t give you then you can neither do it yourself nor but it from outside because both are haram

    This is why the person feels suffocated and depressed and feels like getting a divorce. No wonder angels curse the spouse all night for refusing to be intimate.

    A person has to be heartless to not realize this.

  24. Avatar

    Sister in deen

    October 27, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Salams sister, I completely understand your situation. It’s tough. My husband and I’ve been married for 9 years with three beautiful kids. Recently, my in-laws came living with us. He remains busy at work, doing long hours, and I, after the days house chores and kids, am so tired by night that we just can’t find time to get intimate. Privacy is another issue with in-laws being home all the time. But, we have a mutual understanding allhumdolillah of knowing each other’s needs. I think many of you need to take a few day vacation, just you two, to reconnect with each other. Expressing our intimate needs is sort of a taboo in our culture/beliefs and thus many at times it can be cause of broken marriages. So, please seek help, talk to each other about an out your problems. Marriage is a very sacred bond and it’s the foundation of all relationships. Adam (as) and Hawwa were first husband and wife, then became parents, then grand parents and so forth. My duaas are with you.

  25. Avatar

    Bint N

    October 27, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Salaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu dear sister, someone might have commented this but I don’t have time to read all the comments, so I want to share something I thought about during my read of your article: there are a lot of incidents of brothers (most likely also sisters) that have been affected by sihr I.e black magic, where a husband might lose all intimate interests of his wife, which will cause a lot of damage in the marriage and eventually divorce. The reason for this, is often becuse of jealous people who wants to break the marriage of someone they know, so they either themselves perform magic upon the couple or they pay others to do so and the husband will become possessed and the shaytan will mess up his mind. It even happened to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam; It is proven in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was bewitched until he thought that he had had intercourse with his wives when he had not done so, and that is the worst kind of witchcraft.” (https://islamqa.info/en/68814). Therefore I suggest that he and you will be treated with ruqya, because there could be a chance, that someone has done magic on you and may Allah give you both sabr and shifaa Ameen.

    Another thing I want to say, which kinda bugged me, was that you state that you haven’t come across any Imam or sheikh talking about this issue of yours from a woman’s perspective and I have to say, well you might not have been looking deep enough because it IS talked about and it IS mentioned in Islam – physical attraction, fullfilment of the spouse’s needs etc are upon both the husband and wife and I heard about this a lot :)

  26. Avatar

    Musafir

    October 27, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    As’salamu Alakum wa rahmatullah
    Please read this books if you are in difficulty in your relationship.
    1) The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace, By Doyle, Laura
    2) read online free
    Marriage – The Making & Living of it
    by Mirza Yawar Baig.
    May Allah success our marriage and put lots barakah in our marriage

  27. Avatar

    Assiya

    October 27, 2017 at 5:33 PM

    This was an eye opener, may our lord bring a way out for you

  28. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 27, 2017 at 5:56 PM

    AA, Sister I am married from 12 years and I have 3 kids. My husband has medical condition but he’s so comfortable he doesn’t even want to or motivated to fix himself. My needs doesn’t concern him, when I spoke to my mother about it, basically want she said was there’s no way out of marriage, she doesn’t want me to bring embarrassment to family. When I tried to speak to a friend they say if that so Howcome I conceived. I started staying sick all the time. I also support my family financially and try to keep super busy to Shaitan’s waswasa don’t get me. It’s like a deadend road for me. I’ll pray for you and for everybody else who’s going through this year but it’s invisible to everybody else.

  29. Avatar

    Ummu 'Abdilaah

    October 27, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    Excellent resource on a situation like this:
    ‘I want sex, he wants fries’ by Rebecca Watson.
    Available on amazon.
    She also runs a website and a coaching practice at http://hightmarriage.com/
    Excellent coach for sisters in such a situation because she’s a woman and she also comes from conservative Christian environment and has 5 children herself.
    Hope this helps.

  30. Avatar

    Kay khan

    October 27, 2017 at 11:56 PM

    Has he ever gone all the way with you sexually and how did that feel? Well, if he isn’t being intimate with you maybe he has a problem, tell him to go see a doctor – or maybe he doesn’t know what to do in bed seeing as it’s both your first relationships!

    You can’t live like this tho, either he fixes up or let you go and be witb someone else who can give you sex

    Also in your own room what are you doing to turn him on?? Put some lingerie on turn him on

  31. Avatar

    Fiza

    October 28, 2017 at 1:15 AM

    Hmmmm…. Sad but truth about the men of our Muslim community or maybe every community. Even I have had a bad marriage. I was hardly 18 when I got married there was zero intimacy so I decided to quit. Now I’m 22, our society does not understand that we women also have sexual desires and we want our spouse to fulfill them. But once the khula is taken our society treats women even more worst than we could ever imagine. Do you think we could get a better man for next marriage? Unfortunately, no infact we get men double of our age or even more gone cases than our previous ones. But a divorcee man can marry a spinster. He is allowed to have every right. What about us? After all Allah Swt created us to fulfill each other’s desires. But here in our society our desires our partners are decided by our parents and especially if a guy is willing to marry someone his parents will try every possible way to stop him. Haha, I could not really understand what has happened to our Muslim ummah? When our prophet saw has married a widow hazrat khadijah. He created a big example for the ummah but still we go with the society. May Allah guide every muslim.

  32. Avatar

    Javed

    October 28, 2017 at 6:17 AM

    All those who these type of problems …consult a good homoeopath doctor ….. Homoeopathy has a cure for not attracted towards the opposite sex and it is because of many reasons homeopathy cure the mind …….i m also homoeopath so I m telling u…it is better than counseling………It will help Insha Allah…..

  33. Avatar

    Jasmine

    October 28, 2017 at 7:13 AM

    This is more prevalent in Muslim Asian countries, were care and concern is given to males in such issue.
    Moreover in such countries the husbands usually works overseas leaving their wife and kids with inlaws..
    The wife is expected to take care of husband’s family as well as her kids..she suffers in lack of intimacy as well as emotional support ending up in loneliness and tears at night.

    It’s like she’s living a life of a divorcee/widow but yet she’s still considered married.

    When such husbands return to their families during holidays , neither their wives nor the kids gets attached to them nor do they share feelings of togetherness like a family supposed to be …those husbands are treated like VIP guest in their own family then they return back to work.

    Years pass by like days..kids grow up without help of upbringing of their fathers, due to which disciplinary issues prevail…if at all kids arent good the moms are to be blamed ,not the father…. her life gets encompassed in loneliness with sole responsibility of the family .

    My advice to sisters..
    Don’t compare your life with others who are above you.
    But compare your life with those below you as our beloved prophet Mohammed (pbuh) has mentioned in number of hadiths.

    I could understand the pain and the thoughts which emerges and interupts our daily lives.but atleast you are blessed with husband while there are many who aren’t.
    Even if he is not good at this , he must be having other good qualities like a perfect dad for your kids etc…enhance those qualities and belittle this one..as no human is free of faults.
    “A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another”. (Muslim).
    This applies to both genders.

    This dunya is designed for test and trials hence it can’t be perfect in fulfilling all our desires,if it was so then it would be considered jannah and not dunya.

    Hence my dear sisters be patient..walking away from a marriage can be done easily but the consequences of it is mostly falls upon the kids and wife.

    As my grandmother says:
    If in your house lights go off.do you walk away from your house or do you mend your lights and continue staying in it..
    Same parable applies in our lives also…so we need to work hard with a lot of sacrifices to built up a successful family for this dunya as well as aakhira. As we are questionable for it in the day of judgement.
    Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.”
    Ma salaam.

  34. Avatar

    anonim

    October 28, 2017 at 7:26 AM

    Sister, you are in the same problem with me. And I don’t know that maybe my problem is worse or yours is, because I found, just couple months after marriage, that my husband is gay. The worst is, I found it my self. It is not he who told me honestly, it is me who found that. What made me curious about who he is, was actually his way to treat me is not like a husband treats his wife. Even I feel that he is more intimate with his friends than with me. He also has some friends (male friends) that seems like too close for a man’s friends. He then told me that he apologized and told me some reason why he could be like that. However, he is not open enough to me. I really ikhlas to be treated like that. But I just don’t want him to cheat me. I just want him to tell me about everything honestly. only he can really do that, it will really okay for me. I know being like that is not what he wants and it is, basically, not his mistakes. I was about to divorce once, but as you sister, told here, I realized that i can not imagine my life without him. The more problems I am facing now, because I am now in the middle to achieve my phd degree that makes me have a long distance marriage. Everyday I think about my husband and wondering what he is doing like crazy. My long distance communication with him is really cold, and flat. Previously I was annoyed and depressed with communications matter. But since I knew who he is, I understand that I can not force it now. I am not an ambitious woman, but since I married him and know him in the middle of my study, I really have to finish my study with all I faced in my family life. Being a wife of a gay is not a wonderful thing. It gives me motivation to really finish what I am doing now no matter what. Giving up with my study will just add more problems for me. But with this consequences, I have to really struggle in this relationship. Your story and all other women comments really motivate me to be stronger because I know that I am not alone. And I am sure no matter what happened in the future, I have to do all my best now to make everything goes well without sacrificing one of them. I am trying to keep positive thingking about my husband and motivate my self that there maybe something good in the future waiting for me, hopefully, with him.

  35. Avatar

    Hblq

    October 28, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Assalamualaikum sister.
    I am someone who is going thru the same problem.
    So many things from this article are similar to my life.
    I have 2 children and i am not very independant.
    There have been times when iv thot of breakng free. Because the emotional pain is too much sometimes. Like you said we are good friends and he loves me n i do too but over the years it has reduced bcs of this and in laws have played their parts well too.
    I want to take a break from him, some time away from him. But our children. I feel very trapped in life at the moment.

  36. Avatar

    Waqas

    October 28, 2017 at 11:30 PM

    Solution for this problem is so easy. You may not believe but its 100% effective. ASK YOUR HUSBAND TO MARRY ANOTHER WOMEN and see the results with in few weeks

  37. Avatar

    MuffinMan

    October 29, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    Not to deflect from the theme of this article. Personally, if she has tried all possible routes (therapy, biological testing, etc.) and still nothing comes up then I would strongly advise divorce, as it may seem silly for sexual reasons but every marriage has 2 parts. One is emotional and the other is sexual. When there is lack of sexuality then the marriage is doomed to fail.

    However, I am getting the feeling that those who comment on this article are missing some key details. Look, this is an anonymous sister who reported on the details of her marriage. Of course, she cannot reveal everything lest she should break her privacy. But I am sure there are key details that she is not mentioning that could change this scenario and how we think of it. So let us not generalize muslim men. If this situation sounds similar to yours understand that there are probably a bunch of nuanced details this article does not mention and how even your situation has its nuanced details that require the help of a behavioral health specialist.

    Also, why is it that I have yet to read an article on this website that shows the reverse phenomenon occur? In fact, as far as I am aware the opposite phenomenon that the wife frustrates the hubby occurs way more often than the reverse. Not that the hubby frustrating the wife does not occur and it does but to also understand that the rate of its occurrence is not amongst the majority or slight majority of muslim men. But, on the contrary in terms of numbers muslim women frustrating their hubby’s is more than hubby’s frustrating their wives. So let us not lose sight of how BOTH genders do things to cause problems in their marriage, again I am not referring to the case in this article specifically and the case in the article may actually have a biological base as it were, but in general.

    Ironic that when the wife frustrates the hubby the muslimahs that I have talked to about this issue love to place the blame on the guy for not “doing enough”, this a dangerous assumption, and the article above points out that often times when frustration occurs it is due to the selfish behavior of the spouse that does not want intimacy and many times no matter how much one “does enough” many times things just do not work out. I have literally met a large amount of muslim guys whose wives frustrate them so much that they even want to do things like put in the nikah contract that the wife has to “put up” as it were a certain number of times a week. Again, attention needs to be placed on why BOTH genders in, again not the case in this article, tend to frustrate the other in terms of sexuality. And since I and many muslimah here agree that the wife should divorce her hubby for her trying everything to get him to do intimacy with her but failing. In the same vein of thought I think that, and this occurs more often, when a wife frustrates the hubby and he does everything he can to engage in intimacy but she does not listen then I would also say the hubby does not deserve to suffer in such a marriage and ought to divorce.

    I don’t mean to be prejudiced, but I can guarantee that most of the commentators here would agree to a wife divorcing a hubby due to sexual frustration but would hypocritically not support a hubby divorcing a wife due to her sexually frustrating the hubby.

    I care about solving this issue for BOTH genders, and that means not picking and choosing which side, but giving similar advice to both genders and not pushing all the blame of bad sexuality in the marriage on the hubby if he is the victim, and when he is the perpetrator we learn to give the same advice to the victim wife as we would give to the victim husband if his wife was the perpetrator.

    Again, I am not deflecting from the issues in this article. But trust me I know of a decent amount of real life examples wherein the opposite occurs but there is no sympathy for the muslim man and he has to “control his bestial desires” and rewire his sexuality to fit the wife’s “unique condition”. I honestly cannot give full support to the same people who will yell from the rooftops to divorce the guy in this article but then these same muslims will hypocritically not even mention divorce as an option should the reverse occur, which does occur more often. Heck oftentimes the victim husband does divorce, but he will be forever vilified in the hearts of some but not all muslimah.

  38. Avatar

    MuffinMan

    October 30, 2017 at 4:36 AM

    Moderators, I am sure I made a comment here, why did it get deleted?

  39. Avatar

    Dr. A Adnan

    October 30, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    Salam,

    The opposite is true as well of course.
    There are many women who do not desire intimacy, or have issues consumating the marriage due to vaginismus or other mental and health issues.

    In your case, I have seen this increasingly common in my practice.
    In many of the cases the men are actually homosexual and have married in order to conform to their cultural or societal norms.
    They do not show outward manifestations of homosexuality, but in private have confessed to me their disdain for the situations they are in. They will not divorce and would rather stay in the marriage and meet other gay men outside.

    There have been some cases of men being abused or having low testosterone, but the vast majority I have found to be homosexual.

    I would highly recommend women in this situation to seek divorce as their are many other straight men who desire intimacy who would marry and take care of your needs.

    You can still be best friends after if you so choose, but sexual intimacy is part of a healthy, normal, loving relationship and you should not delude yourself into thinking otherwise.

    People above have quoted Hadith and Stories, and they are well intentioned, however, we must address your specific issue here.

    Please leave the situation and exit the relationship.
    It will be difficult. It will be hard.
    But you will be better off for it and find a man who wants to be with you in a full, normal, healthy and loving relationship.
    Your marriage is abnormal and should be exited.

  40. Avatar

    trying22

    October 30, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Salam sister,

    I am going to be frank with you, and perusing through the comments, you have been advised various things in a gentle mannered way so I will spare the molly-coddling and, as I said, be frank.

    First of all. Your mention of having a postgrad degree, you mentioned it twice. Where I am from, women in their hundreds have postgrad degrees and more, and so no one really needs to mention it – but the mere fact you mentioned it twice in this article (as well as what you said about staying in a dead end job) demonstrates the severe lack of self worth and self respect you have for yourself.

    Perhaps this marriage is a test from Allah. Can you be strong enough to give yourself the respect and rights you deserve? You have a right to intimacy the same way it is incumbent upon you to avoid intimacy outside the marriage. You are like someone who has to fast even outside of the sunlight hours – no one is asking you to do that, and indeed suhur is recommended!

    I know counsellors and psychologists aren’t allowed to tell you what to do, just help you work through your own feelings, so I hope you get that kind of help but remember all the work is going to have to be done by yourself. Yes, your husband needs major self-reflection too, perhaps a hidden ordeal from his past, or perhaps he is getting his needs fulfilled elsewhere. I am sorry if this comes across as accusatory but I have spoken to wives with similar situations whose husbands were either cheating, or cheating with men i.e. they were gay. I am not particularly persuaded that humans can be fully assexual but that is something of consideration as well.

    Nevertheless even though he is the catalyst for your depression I don’t want to make this about him.

    Depression is sometimes your own mind and soul throwing you red flags that you are not living the life you want to be living. You have one life, and you will be judged on judgement day. Regardless of our best appraisals of how we think we will do on the day, the truth is you or I could end up in hell forever, or heaven if Allah judges us to be worthy. Only Allah knows.

    But the reason for me mentioning this – you only have this one life, are you willing to living a life you deny yourself not only worldly joys but also deny yourself god-given rights?? We are Muslims of a middle nation, we are not taught to become nuns and prescribe to a life of celibacy.

    You cannot deny it is affecting your deen and weakening you and making your husband’s affection (or lack thereof) your main focus in life. Turning your back on that affection and making Allah your focus again can be one way to get out of this – the fact you reversed your decision to get a divorce shows me you are enslaved by this marriage. We are only the slaves of Allah.

    You are going to constantly run back and forth from your husband until (you hope) he caves and gives you the love you desire. Have you sent him a link to this article/shared it on your facebook in hopes that he sees it? There is no one in the world we can ever change…except ourselves. And how you change yourself can affect your hereafter.

    My advice to you is, it is not selfish to put yourself first. You clearly feel like you have been handed the short end of the stick in life with marriage and career. What if I told you, you are holding the short end of the stick and staring at it and crying, but if you wiped away your tears, and pulled yourself away as hard as it is, be “stickless” for a while as you race towards where sticks lay aplenty as Allah is the provider of all sustenance, and there you will find sticks that are long and fulfilling.

    You’ll become (if you haven’t already) fixated on this issue until it takes over your life. When it came to describing your looks you were so hesitant and diplomatic. Woman, you are beautiful but you stopped believing it so how can others believe it? Please, use your ONE life well, become the woman you want your daughter to be. Would you want your daughter feeling the way this marriage makes you feel and still stay?? Really?

    Treat yourself the way you want your loved ones to treat themselves. In a way you are a role model to your children perpetuating the myths that when men do not get what they want in a marriage they can drop everything and leave but women have to stay till the bitter end.

    Please, strengthen yourself and do what is right by your soul. I know I have rambled but I would love for happiness to come by your way, in the form of a fulfilling relationship, career or both. Stop selling yourself short.

    Gandhi once said, you are 100% responsible for everything in your life and everything not in your life.

    And before anyone leaps up saying we aren’t responsible for what is in our life, then explain why we are judged on the day of judgement? Because indeed, we are 100% responsible for everything in our lives, and everything not in our lives.

    You are saying you do not have a fulfilling relationship in your life….

    So what are you going to do about it?

    • Avatar

      Project illumination

      October 31, 2017 at 12:07 AM

      MashaAllah everything the sister above said…please consider.

      If you need assistance in getting out of your NEED of any human being and beong dependent on Allah only, please please pleasd consider life coaching. You need someone trained to hold a mirror and show you your reflection AND SHOW YOU THE POTENTIAL you have inside that YOU DIDNT EVEN KNOW YOU HAD!

      Please take the first step…pray istikhara, ask for guidance from the Creator of the heavens and the earth…and pls reach out.

      I would love to direct you to people that can help. But as the sister mentioned, YOU AND ONLY YOU have to decide you are ready to try something new. No one else can make this decision for you.

      Projectillumination1.0 (at the google mail) <- wont allow me to write it out (basically ATGMAILDOTCOM)

  41. Avatar

    Project illumination

    October 30, 2017 at 11:56 PM

    Anyone facing such issues, I humbly suggest that you seek help through therapy, counselling or thru a life coach.

    You may reach out and we’ll direct you:

    Projectillumination1.0 AT (the google mail) <- they arent allowing me to post the address correctly.

    But Allah swt is Kareem and Wadud, and He doesnt want us to suffer. If He doesn't send a disease without a cure, then surely, there isn't a problem without a solution.

    And the most amazing thing about life coaching is, it doesn't have to be both spouses. You just need to decide, I am ready.

    May Allah swt grant us all that which is best for our dunya a d akhirah. Ameen.

  42. Avatar

    Sis

    October 31, 2017 at 7:25 AM

    I was in a marriage once where my husband had erection problems. It took him one month to consummate fully after he would spend hours everyday. I startef doubting myself, but I reminded myself to remember Allah and trust Him.

    These things are not publicly spoken about…. istighfaar and dua and gratitude helps a lot

  43. Avatar

    Ahmed

    November 1, 2017 at 1:52 AM

    Funny how easy it is to comment by many people that the only way is DIVORCE. Of course we are allowed to but how can we go about just by reading an article and jumping to an advice that DIVORCE is the best solution. I suggest our brothers and sisters not to advice breaking up of a family without knowing the person or the family personally. I mean can you imagine the person you still love and had intimate moments he or she opens up to an other man or woman!
    The sister just shared her side and wanted us to know that everyone with intimacy issues is not alone. If you can advice good then please do so and leave the negative side and gay accusations and the divorce side alone that is best for the sister to decide as she is a muslimah and knows her rights.
    I believe this was an important share because a happy couple=happy family=happy society=happy ummah= happy life in this and the next.
    I also don’t believe that our sisters or brothers facing issues in their marriages that the only option for them is to stay or leave. What about giving your 100%! The sister in the article said “Become active in other areas of your life and do your best to excel in them” In the whole article I didn’t come across the same excellence in terms of working towards the intimacy part. A sheikh once asked me for an issue I was facing did you give your 100% to which I replied I tried! He asked me again, if YOU stand in front of Allah one day and your Creator asks YOU did YOU give your 100% and your answer in your head is 99.9% and there was still room for that .1% then u failed to give your 100% . This shook me as this was the first time someone questioned about ME, the sheikh didn’t care about what the other person did it was about ME!
    I believe many people don’t realize that we don’t come trained on how to be a husband or a wife we learn from how we deal and react when living together as husband and wife on a daily basis and this reactions forms the skeleton of our married life. Many times in our marriages we always end up how dare he or she said this to me, why do I need to ask or say it! doesn’t he already know it. I am sure you can relate to it. Many times when we are discussing issues and are blunt on the face or we don’t like something we hear we get sad and moody just because he or she said it. Later you realise that I shouldn’t have said it. And this reaction becomes the basis of your married life you end up not saying and doing things because you don’t want to hurt the other partner. Then comes the part where you don’t wanna talk or say anything because if u do there will be a sad face and no talk for days so u just suck it up and days goes by, months and years and we fail to realise our reactions to each other was responsible for what was constructing the marriage tower. Our reaction to each other left cracks on the pillars which never got repaired and left the whole building weak which can fall any time. Which can be repaired if you realize it.
    This question is to all men and woman. When was the last time you took off time off work to do things for your partner? When was the last time you took a long break from work to spend time with you partner? When was the last time you worked out to look fit for your partner and a healthy life and healthy intimacy life? When was the last time you took few days off away from children to build back your married life? When was the last time you broke all boundries to try to love each other in a halal way? When was the last time when you come from work or had a long day you come home you see the sofa but u go to your partner held his or her hand and just went for a long walk? When was the last time you asked each other what works out in bed…..what he or she likes, does it arouse? When was the last time you discussed with your partner on having a climax? When was the last time it mattered that your partner had the big “O” ? When was the last time you humbled your self and actually gave a hearing to your partner on what he or she has to say? When the last time u kept your mobile on off mode because u only thought of being with your partner? When the last time you were leaving for work but wanted to stay to be with your partner? When was the last time you wanted to hurry back home because you miss him or her? When was the last time nothing mattered except the smile on your partner face?

    When was the last time you gave YOUR 100%? And EXCELLED!

    • Avatar

      sigh

      November 1, 2017 at 8:19 AM

      No one said Divorce is the best solution but it is *A* solution, I mean there’s a whole chapter in the Quran named divorce. Not to mention there was a sahabah who divorced (witnessed by Prophet Muhammad SAW) simply as she was not attracted to him. This madness to stay in a marriage when there is a lack of compatibility is not part of Islam, no one says to stay in a marriage if it starts to affect your mental health. Khadijah RA was divorced twice by the time she married the prophet SAW can you imagine if she never had divorced.

      Exactly.

      In terms of giving 100%, this is how we should all give our lives. But you can argue giving 100% in a marriage, at the expense of your mental health or even your FAITH is not a deal that as worthwhile as a divorce, plus 100% effort in keeping strong through the stormy waters after the divorce.

  44. Avatar

    M

    November 5, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    Assalam Alaikum Sister

    Have you considered the possibility that your husband may not be straight and might have realized this later on in his life?

  45. Avatar

    Sadia gill

    November 7, 2017 at 11:40 PM

    I have been married for 19 yrs and have the same problem My husband took two years to consummate the marriage.After initial treatment we had two kids by the grace of Allah (swt).But he stopped taking interest in intimacy and I am suffering.I desired to have more kids but it never happened.

  46. Avatar

    lost soul

    May 26, 2018 at 7:43 PM

    What if this reversed and the husband takes care of financial matters, cooking and cleaning. While the wife whatever she makes she keeps and some food only she likes. In the past two years we have been fully intimate 3x And all my wife can say is whats the big deal.

  47. Avatar

    Blue Eyed Brownie

    January 8, 2019 at 12:07 AM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I can relate on some levels.

    Male, 14 years married to a beautiful, loyal and very pious woman and we are in love. When we are “together” it is perfect and we are very happy and satisfied. Unfortunately as we aged she became obsessive with her weight and looks. Things that people wouldn’t even notice. Partially triggered by terrible comments her parents made to her as a kid when she gained some weight. She also developed an eating disorder which creeps in from time to time because of those parents.

    Anyway, her experience makes her feel fat and ugly and embarrassed to be with me because I’m in good shape. Truth is I have never mentioned her weight as an issue because I’m very aware at the unrealistic pressures on women and the constant bombardment of perfection they are faced with in the media. I’ve always told her how attracted I am to her / her body and it’s no lie. I go out of my way to provide her with extra attention and pleasure in the bedroom which she greatly enjoys but we constantly fall back into dry spells when she’s feeling fat/ugly. It took me a long time to realize this wasn’t about me. That’s what makes it so hard to resolve…it’s nothing I can fix. She has to fix it because it is an internal struggle for her. Unfortunately I don’t believe in her ability to fix it.

    Maybe your husband is having a similar internal struggle and it’s not about you at all because God only knows I’ve tried so many things. At times I wonder if I could be a therapist with all of the reading and strategies I’ve implemented.

    So I sit here tonight, frustrated and praying to Allah. I can feel myself losing control to address my urges alone with myself after making towba to Allah and stopping previously. Although I’m frequently approached by women it never crosses my mind to cheat. I am starting to lose attraction for her because I’m giving up but she has no idea yet. Eventually it will show as such a thing is impossible to hide no matter what you think. I am heartbroken with this existence because I really enjoy intimacy but she is the one that Allah wanted for me.

    If we didnt have children, as much as I love her and am attracted to her I would have left. However I remind myself that this is no different than a spouse getting sick and that my reward will inshallah be in the hereafter. Who knows why Allah placed me in this nightmare. Is it punishment that is meant to test me / cleanse me? Only Allah knows and He knows what is good / bad for us and we dont.

    Marrying a second spouse will not work as I’d lose her and I don’t want to for the sake of my children and my promise to be with her.

    Remember to constantly hug and nurture your children being aware of words you say to them and their mental state. Also be aware of the media they are consuming because it has an impact on their self image. This is for both boys and girls as they’re all getting hit with media. Otherwise, you can create a beautiful, religious human being who is broken because of words, who will also break their spouse.

    I hate my life but Alhamdulillah for everything. It can always be worse.

  48. Avatar

    Ammar

    February 27, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    we need to talk on such issue in public

    I appreciate you sister and understand your feelings very well.

    I am so happy to know that Muslims women are so strong to stay away from evils and sins in this age where having extra marital affairs is not illegal.

    I am so happy that Your eemaan is strong and you are an example for Musim women.

    May Allaah grant you Jannat-ul-firdaus

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#Culture

How to Teach Your Kids About Easter

Don’t tell my dad this, but growing up, I was sure I wanted to be a Christian. It had nothing to do with the theology though, it was – really and truly – all about the chocolate.

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Don’t tell my dad this, but growing up, I was sure I wanted to be a Christian. It had nothing to do with the theology though, it was – really and truly – all about the chocolate.

Don’t get me wrong, I did not grow up in any sort of conservative, chocolate-deprived bubble. My mother was – and still is – a Christian. My father was – and still is – Muslim, and our home was a place where two faiths co-existed in unapologetic splendor.

My mother put up her Christmas tree every year.  We children, though Muslim, received Easter baskets every year. The only reason why I wished I was Christian too, even though I had no less chocolate in my life than other children my age, was because of the confusing guilt that I felt around holiday time.

I knew that the holidays were my mother’s, and we participated to honor and respect her, not to honor and respect what she celebrated. As a child though, I really didn’t understand why we couldn’t celebrate them too, even if it was just for the chocolate.

As an adult I’ve learned that I’m not alone in this conflicted enthusiasm for the holidays of others. Really, who doesn’t like treats and parties and any excuse to celebrate? As a parent though, I’ve decided that the best policy to use with my children is respectful honesty about where we stand with regard to other religions.

That’s why when my children asked me about Easter, this is what I told them:

  1. The holidays of every religion are the right of the people who follow them. They are as precious to them as Eid and Ramadan are to us.
  2. Part of being a good Muslim is protecting the rights of everyone around us, no matter what their religion is. There is nothing wrong with non-Muslims celebrating their religious non-Muslim holidays.
  3. We don’t need to pretend they’re not happening. Respectful recognition of the rights of others is part of our religion and our history. We don’t have to accept what other people celebrate in order to be respectful of their celebrations.
  4. The problem with Muslims celebrating non-Muslim religious holidays is that we simply don’t believe them to be true.

So when it comes to Easter specifically, we break it down to its smaller elements.

There is nothing wrong with chocolate. There is nothing wrong with eggs. There is nothing wrong with rabbits, and no, they don’t lay eggs.

There is nothing wrong with Easter, but we do not celebrate it because:

Easter is a celebration based on the idea the Prophet Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was Allah’s son, who Allah allowed to be killed for our sins. Easter is a celebration of him coming back to life again.

Depending on how old your child is, you may need to break it down further.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Created the sun, Allah is not a person whose eyes can’t even look directly at the sun. Allah Created space, Allah is not a person who can’t survive in space. Allah Created fire, Allah is not a person who cannot even touch fire. Allah is not a person, He does not have children as people do. Prophet Jesus [alayis] was a messenger of Allah, not a child of Allah.

Allah is also the Most-Merciful, Most-Forgiving, and All-Powerful. When we make mistakes by ourselves, we say sorry to Allah and try our best to do better. If we make mistakes all together, we do not take the best-behaved person from among us and then punish him or her in our place.

Allah is Justice Himself. He is The Kindest, Most Merciful, Most Forgiving Being in the entire universe. He always was, and always will be capable of forgiving us. No one needed to die in order for Allah to forgive anyone.

If your teacher failed the best student in the class so that the rest of the students could pass, that would not be fair, even if that student had offered that. When people say that Allah sacrificed his own son so that we could be forgiven, they are accusing Allah of really unfair things, even if they seem to think it’s a good thing.

Even if they’re celebrating it with chocolate.

We simply do not believe what is celebrated on Easter. That is why we do not celebrate Easter.

So what do we believe?

Walk your child through Surah Ikhlas, there are four lines and you can use four of their fingers.

  1. Allah is One.
  2. Allah doesn’t need anything from anyone.
  3. He was not born, and nor was anyone born of Him. Allah is no one’s child, and no one is Allah’s child
  4. There is nothing like Allah in the universe

Focus on what we know about Allah, and then move on to other truths as well.

  1. Christians should absolutely celebrate Christian holidays. We are happy for them.
  2. We do not celebrate Christian holidays, because we do not accept what they’re celebrating.
  3. We are very happy for our neighbors and hope they have a nice time.

When your child asks you about things like Christmas, Easter, Valentines, and Halloween, they’re not asking you to change religions. They’re asking you for the chance to participate in the joy of treats, decorations, parties, and doing things with their peers.

You can provide them these things when you up your halal holiday game. Make Ramadan in your home a whole month of lights, people, and happy prayer. Make every Friday special. Make Eid amazing – buy gifts, give charity, decorate every decorat-able surface if you need to – because our children have no cause to feel deprived by being Muslim.

If your holidays tend to be boring, that’s a cultural limitation, not a religious one. And if you feel like it’s not fair because other religions just have more holidays than we do, remember this:

  • Your child starting the Quran can be a celebration
  • Your child finishing the Quran can be a celebration
  • Your child’s first fast can be a celebration
  • Your child wearing hijab can be a celebration
  • Your child starting to pray salah can be a celebration
  • Your children can sleep over for supervised qiyaam nights
  • You can celebrate whatever you want, whenever you want, in ways that are fun and halal and pleasing to Allah.

We have a set number of religious celebrations, but there is no limit on how many personal celebrations we choose to have in our lives and families. Every cause we have for gratitude can be an opportunity to see family, eat together, dress up, and hang shiny things from other things, and I’m not talking about throwing money at the problem – I’m talking about making the effort for its solution.

It is easy to celebrate something when your friends, neighbors, and local grocery stores are doing it too. That’s probably why people of many religions – and even no religion – celebrate holidays they don’t believe in. That’s not actually an excuse for it though, and as parents, it’s our responsibility to set the right example for our children.

Making and upholding our own standards is how we live, not only in terms of our holidays, but in how we eat, what we wear, and the way we swim upstream for the sake of Allah.  We don’t go with the flow, and teaching our children not to celebrate the religious holidays of other religions just to fit in is only one part of the lesson.

The other part is to extend the right to religious freedom – and religious celebration – to Muslims too. When you teach your children that everyone has a right to their religious holidays, include Muslims too. When you make a big deal out of Ramadan include your non-Muslim friends and neighbors too, not just because it’s good dawah, but because being able to share your joy with others helps make it feel more mainstream.

Your Muslim children can give their non-Muslim friends Eid gifts. You can take Eid cookies to your non-Muslim office, make Ramadan jars. You can have Iftar parties for people who don’t fast.   Decorate your house for Ramadan, and send holiday cards out on your holidays.

You can enjoy the elements of celebration that are common to us all without compromising on your aqeedah, and by doing so, you can teach your children that they don’t have to hide their religious holidays from the people who don’t celebrate them.  No one has to. And you can teach your children to respect the religions of others, even while disagreeing with them.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are bound by a common thread, and there is much we come together on. Where the threads separate though, is still a cause for celebration. Religious tolerance is part of our faith, and recognizing the rights of others to celebrate – or abstain from celebration – is how we celebrate our differences.

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#Society

MuslimARC Releases Guide for White Muslims By White Muslims

Bill Chambers

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“As people who are both white and Muslim, we straddle two identities -one privileged in society and the other, not. We experience Islamophobia to varying degrees, sometimes more overtly depending on how we physically present, and at the same time we have been socialized as white people in a society where white people hold more social power than People of Color (POC). The focus of the toolkit is to provide resources and information that will help guide us toward good practices and behaviours, and away from harmful ones, as we challenge racism within the Muslim community (ummah) and in society at large.” MuslimARC Guide

As part of our mission to provide education and resources to advance racial justice within the Muslim community, the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) is producing a series of community-specific guides to be a resource for those who want to engage in anti-racism work within the Muslim community.

The first in this series, the MuslimARC Guide for White Muslims, has been written specifically for white Muslims, by white Muslims under the guidance of the anti-racist principles of MuslimARC. It is a tool and resource for engaging in conversations about racism and provides guidance in how to truly be a good ally to Muslims of color in this anti-racism work.

The Guide was developed by two white Muslim members of MuslimARC, myself (Bill Chambers) and Lindsay Angelow. The experiences, approaches, recommendations, and resources are based upon our own experiences, those of other white Muslims we have encountered or spoken to, and research and analysis by others who have been cited in the Guide.

We cannot always be aware when we say or write something that reflects our own white privilege and need to be open to feedback from Muslims of color. In our own experience in developing this Guide, we worked to practice that approach when we received feedback from other MuslimARC members and incorporated their analysis to strengthen this work.

My own personal process of helping to develop this Guide made me aware of the many times I was in discussions with Muslims of color especially women, when I had to not only check my white privilege, but also the white male privilege that comes with it. It is difficult not to feel defensive when you realize you may have said too much and listened too little on a topic that is really not about you. As one behavior the Guide suggests we avoid, “Don’t assume what People of Color need and try to swoop in to deliver. Instead, ask what you can do.”

For the white Muslim audience of the Guide, in reading this you will automatically feel defensive either that others may do these things but not me or that none of this behavior is based on racism or white privilege. Our advice is to examine that defensiveness and take the opportunity not to act on it, but instead, consider some of the alternative approaches we recommend in the Guide. 

The Guide provides a review of our role in addressing racism in the ummah; description of some of the ways white Muslims perpetuate racism; and specifically, how to be actively anti-racist in our work. A list of educational resources is provided including available training; articles on white Muslims and allyship; and guides to anti-racist parenting. A last and very important part of the Guide is organizations like MuslimARC that you can be involved in to do this anti-racist work.

“People, We have created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should get to know one another.” (49:13) One of our most important purposes is to really “get to know” the different races and groups Allah has put us in, all the time knowing we all come from the same source and will return together. If this Guide does anything, let it inspire self-knowledge about our white privilege as Muslims and help us to get to know how to be better allies to our brothers and sisters of color.

You can find the  #AntiRacismGuide for White Muslims at http://www.muslimarc.org/whitemuslimguide

Further reading:

White Activism Is Crucial In The Wake of Right-Wing Terrorism

Beyond Muslim Diversity to Racial Equity

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#Life

Are You Prepared for Marriage and Building a Family?

Mona Islam

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High School is that time which is ideal for preparing yourself for the rest of your life. There is so much excitement and opportunity. Youth is a time of energy, growth, health, beauty, and adventure. Along with the thrill of being one of the best times of life, there is a definite lack of life experience. In your youth, you end up depending on your own judgments as well as the advice of others who are further along the path. Your own judgments usually come from your own knowledge, assumptions, likes, and dislikes. No matter how wise, mature, or well-intended a youth is compared to his or her peers, the inherent lack of life experience can also mislead that person to go down a path which is not serving them or their loved ones best. A youth may walk into mistakes without knowing, or get themselves into trouble resulting from naivety.

Salma and Yousef: 

Salma and Yousef had grown up in the same community for many years. They had gone to the same masjid and attended youth group together during high school. After going off to college for a few years, both were back in town and found that they would make good prospects for marriage for each other. Yousef was moving along his career path, and Salma looked forward to her new relationship. Yousef was happy to settle down. The first few months after marriage were hectic: getting a new place, organizing, managing new jobs and extended family. After a few months, they began to wonder when things would settle down and be like the vision they had about married life.

Later with valuable life experience, we come to realize that the ideas we had in our youth about marriage and family are far from what are they are in reality. The things that we thought mattered in high school, may not matter as much, and the things that we took for granted really matter a lot more than we realized. In retrospect, we learn that marriage is not simply a door that we walk through which changes our life, but something that each young Muslim and Muslima should be preparing for individually through observation, introspection, and reflection. In order to prepare for marriage, each person must intend to want to be the best person he or she can be in that role. There is a conscious process that they must put themselves through.

This conscious process should begin in youth. Waiting until marriage to start this process is all too late. We must really start preparing for marriage as a conscious part of our growth, self-development, and character building from a young age. The more prepared we are internally, the better off we will be in the process of marriage. The best analogy would be the stronger the structure and foundation of a building, the better that building will be able to serve its purpose and withstand the environment. Another way to think of this process is like planting a seed. We plant a seed long before the harvest, but the more time, care, and attention, the more beautiful and beneficial the fruits will be.

 

Sarah and Hasan:

Hasan grew up on the East Coast. He had gone to boarding school all through high school, especially since his parents had died in an unfortunate accident. His next of kin was his aunt and uncle, who managed his finances, and cared for him when school was not in session. Hasan was safe and comfortable with his aunt and uncle, but he always felt there was something missing in his life. During his college years, Hasan was introduced to Sarah and eventually they decided to get married.

The first week of his new job, Hasan caught a really bad case of the flu that made it hard for him to get his projects done. Groggy in bed, he sees Sarah appear with a tray of soup and medicine every day until he felt better. Nobody had ever done that for him before. He remembered the “mawaddah and rahmah” that the Quran spoke of.

Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding:

The process of growing into that person who is ready to start a family is that we need to first to be aware of ourselves and be aware of others around us. We have to have knowledge of ourselves and our environment. With time, reflection and life experience, that knowledge activates into understanding and wisdom. This activity the ability to make choices between right and wrong, and predict how our actions will affect others related to us.

Preview:

This series is made up of several parts which make up a unit about preparation for family life. Some of the topics covered include:

  • The Family Unit In Islam
  • Characteristics of an Individual Needed for Family Life
  • The Nuclear Family
  • The Extended Family

Hamza and Tamika

Tamika and Hamza got married six months ago. Tamika was getting her teacher certification in night school and started her first daytime teaching job at the local elementary school. She was shocked at the amount of energy it took to manage second graders. She thought teaching was about writing on a board and reading books to kids, but found out it had a lot more to do with discipline, speaking loudly, and chasing them around. This week she had state testing for the students and her finals at night school. She was not sure how to balance all this with her new home duties. One day feeling despair, she walked in her kitchen and found a surprise. Hamza had prepared a beautiful delicious dinner for them that would last a few days, and the home looked extra clean too. Tamika was pleasantly surprised and remembered the example of our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

The Family Unit in Islam

We always have to start with the beginning. We have to ask, “What is the family unit in Islam?” To answer this we take a step further back, asking, “What is the world-wide definition of family? Is it the same for all people? Of course not. “Family” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people across the world. As Muslims, what family means to us, is affected by culture and values, as well as our own understanding of Islam.

The world-wide definition of family is a group of people who are related to each other through blood or marriage. Beyond this point, is where there are many differences in views. Some people vary on how distantly related to consider a family. In some cultures, family is assumed to be only the nuclear family, consisting of mom dad and kids only. Other cultures assume family includes an extended family. Another large discrepancy lies in defining family roles and responsibilities. Various cultures promote different behavioral norms for different genders or roles in the family. For example, some cultures promote women staying at home in a life of luxury, while others esteem women joining the workforce while raising their kids on the side. Living styles vary too, where some cultures prefer individual family homes, while in other parts of the world extended families live together in large buildings always interacting with each other.

 

Layla and Ibrahim   

Layla and Ibrahim met at summer retreat where spirituality was the focus, and scholars were teaching them all day. Neither of them was seriously considering getting married, but one of the retreat teachers thought they might make a good match. It seemed like a fairytale, and the retreat gave them an extra spiritual high. Layla could not imagine anything going wrong. She was half Italian and half Egyptian, and Ibrahim came from a desi family. Soon after the nikah, Layla moved across the country into Ibrahim’s family home, where his parents, three siblings, and grandmother lived.  Come Ramadan, Layla’s mother-in-law, Ruqayya, was buying her new clothes to wear to the masjid. It was out of love, but Sarah had never worn a shalwar kameez in all her life! Ruqayya Aunty started getting upset when Layla was not as excited about the clothes as she was.

As Eid approached, Layla had just picked a cute dress from the department store that she was looking forward to wearing. Yet again, her mother-in-law had other plans for her.

Layla was getting upset inside. It was the night before Eid and the last thing she wanted to do was fight with her new husband. She did not want that stress, especially because they all lived together. At this point, Layla started looking through her Islamic lecture notes. She wanted to know, was this request from her mother-in-law a part of the culture, or was it part of the religion?

Marriage

The basis of all families, undoubtedly, is the institution of marriage. In the Islamic model, the marriage consists of a husband and a wife. In broad terms, marriage is the commitment of two individuals towards each other and their children to live and work together to meet and support each other’s needs in the way that they see fit. What needs they meet vary as well, from person to person, and family to family. The marriage bond must sustain the weight of fulfilling first their own obligations toward each other. This is the priority. The marriage must also be strong enough to hold the responsibility of raising the kids, and then the extended family.

How are we as Muslims unique and what makes us different from other family models? We are responsible to Allah. The end goals are what makes us different, and the method in which we work. In other family systems, beliefs are different, goals are different, and the motives are different. Methods can especially be different. In the end, it is quite a different system. What makes us better? Not because we say we are better or because we automatically feel better about ourselves due to a misplaced feeling of superiority. But instead it is because we are adhering to the system put in place by the most perfect God, Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds, the One Who knows best what it is we need.

Family Roles:

Each person in the family has a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has meant for them to have, and which ethics and common sense tell us to follow. However, our nafs and ego can easily misguide us to live our family life in the wrong way, which is harmful and keeps us suffering. Suffering can take place in many ways. It can take place in the form of neglect or abuse. In the spectrum of right and wrong, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that we are a nation meant for the middle path. So we should not go to any extreme in neglect or abuse.

What are the consequences of mishandling our family roles? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) calls this type of wrongdoing “transgression” or “oppression”. There are definitely consequences of oppression, abuse, and neglect. There are worldly consequences which we feel in this life, and there are long term consequences in the Akhirah.

Razan and Farhaan

Razan and Farhan had gotten married two years ago. Since they were from different towns, Razan would have to move to Farhaan’s hometown. On top of the change of married life, Razan felt pangs of homesickness and did not know many people in the new town. However, Farhaan did not realize what she was going through. He still had the same friends he grew up with for years. They had a die-hard routine to go to football games on Friday night and play basketball on Saturday at the rec center.

Razan was losing her patience. How could he think it was okay to go out with his friends twice on the weekend? Yet he expected her to keep the home together? Her blood started to boil. What does Islam say about this?

Mawaddah and Rahma

The starting point of a family is a healthy relationship between the husband and wife. Allah SWT prescribed in Surah 25: verse 74, that the marriage relationship is supposed to be built on Mawaddah (compassion) and Rahma (mercy). A loving family environment responds to both the needs of the children and the needs of parents. Good parenting prepares children to become responsible adults.

Aliyaah and Irwan

Aliyaah and Irwan had homeschooled their twin children, Jannah and Omar, for four years. They were cautious about where to admit their children for the next school year. Aliyaah felt that she wanted to homeschool her children for another few years. There were no Islamic Schools in their town. Irwan wanted to let his kids go to public schools. He felt that was nothing wrong with knowing how things in the real world are. However, every conversation they started about this issue ended up into a conflict or fight. This was beginning to affect their relationship.

Parenting

Two significant roles that adults in a family play are that they are married and they are parents. It is important that parents work to preserve and protect their marital relationship since it is really the pillar which supports the parenting role. Parenting is a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) directly addresses in our religion. We will be asked very thoroughly about this most important role which we will all play in our lives.

There is a hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) reminds us,

“All of you are shepherds and responsible for your wards under you care. The imam is the shepherd of his subjects and is responsible for them, and a man is a shepherd of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and is responsible for it. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s belongings and is responsible for them. A man is the shepherd of his father’s property and is responsible for them”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has placed a lot of importance on the family unit. A family is the basic building block of Islam. A strong family can facilitate positive social change within itself and the society as a whole. The Quran asserts that human beings are entrusted by their Creator to be his trustees on Earth, thus they need to be trained and prepared for the task of trusteeship (isthiklaf).

Asa youth, it is important to make a concerted effort to develop our family skills so that we grow into that role smoothly. Proper development will prepare a person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically for marriage and family life.

Mona Islam is a youth worker, community builder, motivational speaker, writer, and author. For the past 25 years, Sr. Mona has been on the forefront of her passion both locally and nationally, which is inculcating character development in youth (tarbiyah).  Sr. Mona has extensive knowledge of Islamic sciences through the privilege of studying under many scholars and traveling worldwide.  An educator by profession, she is a published author, completed her masters in Educational Admin and currently doing her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Sr. Mona is married with five children and lives in Houston, TX.

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