He Doesn't Have a Degree

>> Friday, July 29, 2011

I recently received a proposal from a brother that is said to be religiously practicing. His family is also known to us. My parents seem happy with the proposal and I am a little happy too, but there's something bothering me. He didn't go to university. I have a B.A. degree and I just feel a little weirded out by that. He does have a job though and is financially ready for marriage. Do you think I'm making a big deal over nothing?

Sister in Need of Advice,

Dear Sister in Need of Advice,
Boy oh boy...can it be seriously confusing when you get a proposal. It's like your whole world changes in one day! All of a sudden, you're thinking about being somebody's wife...

I understand your parents are happy with the proposal, but it’s YOU who is going to live with the guy. You are going to be his wife, so definitely if you have anything worrying you, it's best to address it....

So..let's take a look at this education thing...I do personally think that education is a factor in determining compatibility between couples but it's not the only thing. In other words: having the same degree level doesn't necessarily make 'two people' compatible; there are a lot of other things to keep in mind, including even the values 'behind' the education.

Huh? Think about it. When we talk about 'education level', we usually think of it as showing a person's ambition, their drive, their commitment..

What you need to think about is:

a. Does he VALUE education or not? Does he see a point in it? Do you agree? What if he says he doesn’t care about your kids getting college degrees? What if he won’t pay for that? Is it important for you that your kids have degrees? How important is education to you? How important are grades? What if he wants his children to be 'unschooled'?

The idea here is: Do you have the same outlook on life? Do you see the same things as being important? Do you agree on the definition and role of education?

b. What is the reason that he did not continue his education? Was it simply because he didn’t want to or was it circumstances? Has he shown any interest in pursuing a higher degree? If not, are you attracted to him MENTALLY? Can you accept him as he is, RIGHT NOW?

c. What did he study in school? What kinda of life has he led? Even if he didn’t’ pursue a B.A., you know he might be a LOT more educated than you in certain things….education isn’t only about books, right. You said he ‘works’. What does he work as? Do you respect what he works as?

In an ideal world, we would all recognize that a degree on the wall does not guarantee a person’s education…and a lack of degree does not reflect a person’s (lack) of integrity or a person’s character. This is the basic fact. I have met people without a degree who seemed far more advanced than others who got a degree….

But in our real world, we have to realize that people will ‘talk’. You will find people asking you ‘what did your husband major in’…’what does he do’….etc. Are you prepared for that? Will you be ashamed of him or will you be proud of him?

I believe that a marriage has to be founded on respect……do you respect him? Will you stand up for him?

Have you thought about what will happen 15 years from now? What if he’s still doing the same job? Is that okay? Or has he mentioned any plans/ shown that he has ambition to become something different…..? Again, do you respect him right now and do you think you will respect him 15 years from now?

IF you do respect him and you know that you have the same outlook on life….well why not? Our Prophet Mohammed salah alahoo alyhaee wa salam was an illiterate man…but he was the BEST husband out there!!

Remember, there are a LOT more things that are also important to consider :)

  • Would he make a good father?
  • Would he teach his children Islam?
  • Do you share the same goals/ or vision in life? You said he's practicing. What is his definition of practicing? What is yours?
  • Have you talked about whether he would allow you to work and all that yada yada? What does he expect from a wife? Who will be in charge of the financial stuff (you know Islamically it’s the man, right, hehe)…..

Yeah, you really need to talk to HIM…err, with a wali present and get some answers

Why? Well, let’s just say that BEFORE you talk to a suitor it can be very hard for you to decide..but once you talk to him (and not just ‘talk’ but discuss ‘marriage’ and ‘how marriage life is going to be’…who is going to do what and all…) things get a little more clearer.

What else? Well, have you tried istikharah? That is the most important thing to do. Ask Allah to let it happen if he is good for you and to keep him away from you if he is bad for you. Allah will never fail you :)

I can’t think of what else to write but I did try to search a bit for you..try reading this

I also found these two interesting quotes:

Compatibility does not hinge on some personal inventory of traits. Compatibility isn't something you have. It's something you make. It's a process, one that you negotiate as you go along. Again and again. It's a disposition, an attitude, a willingness to work. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200411/the-truth-about-compatibility?page=2
There is no such thing as a compatible couple. All couples disagree about the same things: money, sex, kids, time. So, it's really about how you manage your differences. If there is chemistry, then the whole courtship is about convincing yourself and others that you are compatible. But, really, you create compatibility. And then, eventually, maybe in 25 years, you will become soul mates. —Diane Sollee, founder and director, Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education

I hope these things help you out a bit. Remember, you're not saying that he's a bad guy because he doesn't have a B.A. or that you're better than him. You're just wondering if he is 'best suited' to you or not..

May Allah give you what is best!! Keep us updated girlie :)

And sisters..what do you think? Any advice for her? :)


Wanting a Child

>> Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am a revert muslimah married to a revert.
Alhumduliah, i have been married for 6 years but i dont have any child yet. I live alone and i am depressed my soul is dead.
I feel as if Allah (swt) is punishing me for choosing a basic lifestyle over Islamic studies (which i quited).
I love Quran and i want to learn to read and understand Quran so that i have a strong bond with Allah (Swt), and i want to do this before I have any children so i can teach Quran to my children.
I have tried to study online but it is imposible for those for are super orgainzed in life, for me it is only a dream.
I want your suggestions on weather to go for Islamic studies (abroad) & encourage my husband to have 2nd wife (while me still being married to him) or just stay with my husband and carry on fertility treatment? my IVF is due in about 2 years time or shall i go for 2 years and come back to do fertility treatment.


wa'aalykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,

Dearest Muslimah Revert.

My heart ached for you when I read your letter. SubhanAllah, what you and your husband have been going through can be one of the hardest and most painful trials any couple can face. 

I want to offer you a big hug RIGHT now. 

And I want you to understand something. There is no sign that this is a punishment for you. Prophet Ibrahim couldn't have children for such an incredibly long time. Zakariah in the Qur'an also couldn't have children until he was very old. These were both very righteous people, SubhanAllah. I mean, come on....Prophet Ibrahim!! Not having children is not necessarily a punishment from Allah, at ALL. It could very well be the opposite. It could be a trial meant to elevate your ranks and bring you closer to Allah. It could be that you are destined for a really incredibly amazing place in paradise but you're not going there by your deeds but patience...

 Remember- the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said: "If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials."  

The prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The greatness of the reward is tied to the greatness of the trial. When Allah loves a people, He puts them to the trial. Whoever is acceptant of it will have Allah's acceptance and whoever is displeased and unacceptant with it will gain Allah's displeasure." [At-Tirmidhi Kitab At-Tauhid]

I understand that you 'left/ quit' Islamic studies. But that doesn't mean that Allah is punishing you. Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala could have already decreed before you quit the Islamic studies that you wouldn't have children for a while....I know we sometimes want explanations and think it's easier if we can find 'someone/something to blame'-but that's really not going to fix the situation. 

The truth is, Allah says in the Qur'an:

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. (49) Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent. (50) (Surat Al Shura)

^You might think- how is that suppose to comfort me?

Well, I'm trying to let you 'release'/ 'free yourself' from self-hatred/ negativity. It was never up to you or under your power to grant yourself children. It was never up to the doctors either. It's all in Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala's Hands and He is the Most Merciful, Most Wise, and Capable of doing All things. 

Nothing is impossible when it comes to Allah subhanoo wa' Tala. 

The most important thing is to keep having hope and praying to Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala. My own uncle had to wait 6 years and several miscarriages before having a baby, alhamdillah. I'm sure if you check the Internet, you'll see many stories of couples who had to wait a long time but ended up having a baby :)

You can also do a lot of istighfaar because Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala says in the Qur'an:
And said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. (10)He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers (11) And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. (12)  (Surat Nuh)

You know Muhammad Al Shareef? He spent like 7 years also trying to have a baby. See here what he says:

AS for letting your husband take a second wife....that's very considerate of you, my darling. Are you sure you'll be able to deal with that, though?. If you feel that you could deal with it and would not resent his second wife/ the possible children from her, that's always an idea. You can bring it up with him and ask him what he feels/ wants. You can continue your fertility treatment and also bring up the issue with him. See how he feels. Talk to him about it. Tell him how you feel. Talk to people who have been in that situation. Do you know ANYBODY like that? Try reading blogs of women in polygamous situations. Get in touch with people who have gone through what you're going through. Ask them what it's like...prepare yourself with knowledge. Things aren't always rosy but it doesn't mean that it's impossible...

What else?

I want you to know something. You have a beautiful soul and it's time you nourish it :) You've got to fall back in love with YOURSELF. Your life should not revolve around waiting 'for the fertility treatment to work'. Try volunteering somewhere, kickstarting your own blog, joining support groups. Wake up and decide that today is your day. 

Remember: happiness is a decision.

You can also join a weekly halaqah at least if you want to continue some Islamic studies. Try going to the Friday khutbah and talking to more sisters..What about planning a Umrah trip with your husband? What about bringing toys to the orphanage? Talk to your husband about making some kind of goal together :)

I know this isn't too much, but I pray that Allah grants you the comfort of your eyes and happiness. May Allah make things easier for you. I hope the sisters can give us their encouraging words as well. 

Lots of love,


the Ex (Best Friend and Guy Friend)

I know you guys are on vacation but lately I have been so depressed and have no one to talk to, I thought I would turn this in and you could take your time to answer.
Basically, my story is simple. I was not a very practicing Muslim girl in my first year of university. I was lost but Alhumdullah, Allah showed me the way. I won't get into details, but I did have a guy friend and we were "unofficially" seeing each other. Then, SubhanAllah, I found Islam and I knew our relationship was wrong so I left him. I told him it had to stop and I gave him back all of his presents in one single day. He was really shocked. I felt bad at how I did it, actually, but I knew if I looked back, I would not be able to stop. Well, as time went on, I grew more committed to our beautiful deen but unfortunately, I found that my best friend and I were no longer getting along as well. We were drifting apart and there wasn't too much in common between us anymore. It was really difficult to see us going in different directions. I always thought we would be at each other's weddings and we would be sisters and friends forever. But the biggest problem is that a few weeks ago, a mutual friend told me that my 'ex best friend' is now going out with the guy I used to know.I was shocked to say the least. I don't know what to say but I felt really betrayed by them. I know I am the one who left him though and I shouldn't care, so that's why I want your advice. How do I get over these ridiculous feelings and move on....

Lost And Confused.

Dear Lost and Confused,

First of all, may I apologize to all the sisters who sent in questions during our vacation time. I know it's been like a month and we've been replying to your e-mails at an incredibly slow pace...Let's just say that so far, it hasn't been a 'vacation' in the real sense and we've been really busy... I sincerely apologize.

Anyways..on to this letter....

My darling! This STINKS big time that your 'ex-best friend' went with your *cough* unofficial ex-guy friend. Who can blame you for feeling jealous/ betrayed/ hurt? I can imagine how much it hurts. Now.... I could easily sit down and 'vilify' your 'x-friend's behavior'. I could talk about how that's not a true friend's behavior and all that stuff and how you're better off without the two of them and look how horrid they are. Nasty people who deserve each other.... But ....

Would that really help you? I can't really say. So instead, I'm going to tell you a different way of looking at it...

Perhaps, before you and the guy were 'you know together', she had feelings for him. Maybe she was 'jealous' the whole time you were together. I mean, think about it. You guys were best friends. You probably had the same taste in like everything....why wouldn't you have the same taste in guys? Or maybe they just kept hanging out and got interested in each other. I mean here's the thing. I get the idea that you changed and became more religious? But she didn't? So in many ways, she was still a lot like the 'old you'. Can you understand why they 'might have hooked up', then? Because they are still in that stage that you were- back in the beginning of university. They haven't progressed/ matured spiritually/ religiously as you have, ma'shaAllah...

BUT, I want to make it clear that I don't agree with their behavior. At all. Not even a teensy weensy bit.  I'm just saying that in order to get over it, you have to try and see it from their perspective. The truth is that we as humans are really weak. I mean, let's say that you had been Islamically married to the guy and she was your sister. You know that Isalmically she wouldn't be allowed to sit by herself with him? The prophet sallah allahoo Alyhee wa salam warned us that brothers in law are DEATH. If that's the case with married people, what about unmarried people? You get me? 

So how do you work through your feelings?

1. Accept that when you ended the relationship you might not have done it the best way possible but it was the best thing to do and that you and the guy were actually moving in different directions. You were no longer comfortable with a haraam relationship or with your parent's trust being broken. You and him were becoming different people...

2. Realize that any 'feelings' you have left for him are just the 'feelings' of nostalgia for 'funner times'. It's sorta like you are homesick for a country you left...But if you were to go back to that home country you would find that everything is different now. As we said, you are different now. So, you gotta make sure that you get rid of any e-mails, messages, etc. anything that you might have kept of him ...You can even write your favorite memory down, put it in a box, and bury it away and tell is goodbye.

3. Don't imagine what 'amazing' time they are having together. Don't let your imagination get carried away. For all you know, they might be arguing with each other all the time; or they might regret this relationship in 2 years time and look back at as their worst mistake...etc.

4. Think about how you were meant to be with someone else. Maybe right now, your Mr. Right for You, is dreaming of his future wife...wondering what great things you are going to do anything.

5. Make dua for a wonderful, pious husband and peace at heart. Ask Allah to reward your patience and sacrifice for His sake. 

6. Get busy. You know the drill. This is what we always say, right? :) Focus your energy and time on some project you've always wanted to start.

May Allah grant you someone who makes you laugh, loves you, treats you well, and helps you come closer to Allah =)

Lots of love,


Stand Up (Fida's Poem)

>> Friday, July 8, 2011

Asalamu aliakaum!

It's been a while since I posted one of Fida's lovely poems, but she's still been writing :) I hope you guys have visited her blog. One of her latest poems, called "Stand Up", celebrates the blessing of "Sisterhood"and is inspired by one of our posts :) Enjoy..and be inspired to take that step <3

Stand Up

Stand up
and be the person you want to see,
stand up
and be the person you want to be,
no more waiting
just stand up and walk.

You'll meet sisters along the way
ready to help
give you a hand
pull you forward, push you on

Yet take your time,
your own pace
to each decision

Just know
Allah is here and ready.

(written Jun 27, 11)
The original poem can be found here.



Wife beating

>> Monday, July 4, 2011

I'm really sorry im struggling with the whole " beating woman " is allowed in islam..
my husband can hurt me if he wishes ..my dad hits my mom but he will still get heaven but what if my husband hurts me... what can i do? in the muslim socitey a divorced woman is like trash.. and Aisha was 9!
and jihad ? killing non believers ?
im so sorry but all these things scare me i lot
i do not want to be disrespectful i am really not
im struggling to understand ..i am trying.. even when i pray i have the thoughts in the back of my mind...
n sister u might tell me its Satan but itd me not getting it .. i am sorry
im very depressed coz of this i get nightmares

Dear Struggling Sis,

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a hard time. InshaAllah, we’ll be able to shed some light on a few things because I do think there are several problems you’re facing. First of all, if your father beats your mom (and I really hope he doesn’t), your father is accountable for that. And no, he is not guaranteed heaven. For any action that we do- we are held accountable and will be judged on it.

The Qur’an says: And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant. (4: 86)

If Allah takes into account whether we return a simple greeting or not, He will certainly take into account whether a husband beats his wife or not, whether the husband is oppressing his wife or not. 

You see, Islam never said that men can go about beating their wives tyrannically. Instead, Islam makes it very clear that wives deserve to be respected, cherished, and treated gently with love. Islam has explained that both husbands and wives have rights on each other:

And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to those of their husbands) over them as regards to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.) [2:228].

Have I not heard that you fast all day and stay up all night in prayer?” ‘Abdullah said, “That is true, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa saalm) told him: “Do not do that. Fast and break your fast, sleep and get up. For your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, your wife has a right over you, and your visitors have a right over you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In another verse, the Qura’n says: And live with them honorably

In fact, the Prophet (sallah Allah alyahee wa salaam) said that the best people are those that are the best to their wives.
“The believer who has the most perfect faith is the one whose behaviour is best, and the best of you are the ones who are best to their women.”
Some women came to the family of the Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam.) complaining about their husbands. So the Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) announced to the men:
“Many women have visited the family of Muhammad, complaining about their husbands. Verily those are not the best among you.”
He also said that women are ‘fragile’ (delicate). How would you treat something 'fragile'? Would you beat it?
The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said: Treat women kindly, for woman was created from a rib. The part of it that is most bent is the top. If you try to straighten it you will break it, and if you leave it alone it will remain bent. So treat women kindly.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Quran makes it clear that we should treat our spouses with mercy and love.

 "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them , and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect." (Ar-Rum 30:21)
. . . live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good." (Qur’an 4:19)

Khawlah, the daughter of Hakim, who was the wife of ‘Uthman ibn Maz‘un (Radiya Allah Anhuma), came to the wives of the Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam.) wearing a tattered dress and looking unkempt. They asked her, “What is wrong with you?” She told them about her husband: “At night he stays up in prayer, and during the day he fasts.” They told the Prophet (Sallah allahoo alyhee wa salam) what she had said, so when he saw ‘Uthman ibn Maz‘un, he admonished him and said, “Do you not have an example in me?” ‘Uthman said, “Of course, may Allah (S.W.T.) cause me to be sacrificed for you!” Later, she (Khawlah) came back wearing fine clothes and with a pleasant scent. According to another report, the Prophet (S.A.W.) told him: “O ‘Uthman, monasticism has not been prescribed for us. Do you not have an example in me? For by Allah (S.W.T), I am the one out of all of you who fears Allah (S.W.T.) the most and keeps most strictly within His bounds.”

If the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam reprimanded that Companion and all he was doing was praying a lot and fasting and said that he wasn't giving his wife his rights in that way- what do you think he would have told someone who was oppressing his wife and beating her?

In fact, the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam made sure to remind people about the importance of taking care of women in his khutbat al wa'daa- the Farewell Pilgrimage. This is the khutbah in which the Prophet (S.A.W.) reiterated the essential points of Islam, when he realized that this was the last time he would stand and address the Muslims during Hajj.

“Fear God regarding women; for you have taken them [in marriage] with the trust of God.” [Mishkat]

Futhermore, in another event, the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam was even recorded as saying:
 Could any of you beat your wife as he would a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?" This hadith clearly demonstrates the Prophet's disapproval of beating wives.

Now, there is one ayah that you might be thinking of. However, we have to keep in mind all of
the previous verses and hadiths to understand this one correctly. Islam is a comprehensive whole- taking one verse and dismissing all the previous verses we have already mentioned and the hadiths, means that you distort Islamic teachings. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:

"…As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great." (An-Nisa’ 4:34)

First of all, what is meant by the word beating? Ibn `Abbas and several others said that the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it means, a beating that is not severe. It is a beating that does not leave marks or injuries on the body. No marks or injuries.

Second, we have to realize that this verse first puts other measures to be used and in the order they should be used: first, the husband is told to ‘admonish’ or reprimand his wife. IF that doesn’t work, then he can sleep in a separate bed from hers. As a final and last resort, it says that he may lightly hit here. It has also been translated as percuss, which is the way a doctor taps someone.

However, what is even more important about this verse is that this verse explains ‘when’ it is allowed. You see, the ‘default’ is that ‘hitting your wife’ is not allowed. This verse provides the exception-

Let us take a look at the tafsir of a classical scholar named Ibn Kathir for the verse 4:35

When the Wife Obeys Her Husband, Means of Annoyance Against Her are Prohibited
Allaah said,
[فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً]
“…but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance),”meaning, when the wife obeys her husband in all that Allaah has allowed, then no means of annoyance from the husband are allowed against his wife. Therefore, in this case, the husband does not have the right to beat her or shun her bed. Allaah’s statement,
[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّاً كَبِيراً]
Surely, Allaah is Ever Most High, Most Great.” reminds men that if they transgress against their wives without justification, then Allaah, the Ever Most High, Most Great, is their Protector, and He will exert revenge on those who transgress against their wives and deal with them.
[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُواْ حَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن يُرِيدَآ إِصْلَـحاً يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً خَبِيراً ]

In fact, once, a man went to complain to Omar Bin Al-Khattab about his wife. To his surprise, he heard Al-Khattab’s wife raising her voice over him. He started to slip away but Omar bin al Khattab came out and asked him what it is that he had wanted. He told him that he had come to complain that his wife would raise his voice over him but found that Omar bin al Khattab’s wife did the same! Omar bin al Khattab then explained that his wife took care of his house for him and his children and how she put up with him- he should also be patient and kind with her.

This is what the companions of the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam were taught. This is what Islam showed them. Think about it. Before Omar bin al Khattab was a Muslim, he was one of the men who had buried his daughters alive. But when Islam came, he realized the importance of women and honoring them- and he was teaching others the importance of being patient and kind with wives.

I pray your father learns the true teachings of Islam and he begins to treat your mother correctly. And I ask you for a teensy weensy favor- please don't judge Islam by what your father does because there are big chances your father is not following Islam correctly. May Allah ease your mother's hardship and guide us all.

As for your question regarding jihad, hunny, please check our article called "Kill Those Kaafirs".

And keep on writing to us and staying in touch. As always, we want this conversation to continue....and we'd love/ hope if the other sisters could also contribute with their own insights/ recommended videos and articles. We didn't have much time to answer this question as thoroughly as we wanted- you guys know we're on vacation- but we hope this helps reassure you a bit...

With love,


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