Channel: Boonaa Mohammed
In this episode Boonaa Mohammed hang’s out with Sh. Mohammed Faqih to discuss Family Matters.
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This is another episode of hangout where we are literally hanging out. We have with us here today. Who do you think you silica, we have Sheikh Mohammed Rafi, who is going to be joining us on this episode. And we're talking, we're playing and we're talking right speaking. So when speaking so fast, why are you nervous? I'm not nervous. I'm just I'm trying to, oh, we're talking today about families and the different issues that people face living as Muslims in the West shift, as most people know, you're actually a full time man in the California area, correct? Yes, indeed.
And I know a lot of imams they spend, you know, a good chunk of their life studying the deen, there'll be overseas for many years on and studying fifth arcada, you know, all these things, only to come back home and become a family counselor, which is kind of not necessarily what they signed up for. Jeff, can you tell us some of the common issues you'll be dealing with in your office on a day to day basis? Okay, first of all, so, everyone?
know, you gotta play You see, when I was talking, you weren't trying to play? Yes. Well,
being any ma'am is, is really
it's a, it's a great privilege. And
it's a huge responsibility. But
it's something that many of us are not really, you know, fully prepared for, sometimes you don't know what you're going to face and what you're going to be dealing with. So there are a lot of things that you have to
basically teach yourself. And, you know,
face and and and it's just you deal with it as it comes in one of these areas that I don't believe most
programs, or most religious studies, institutions
prepare you for is family counseling. Indeed, you know, it's not you don't you don't get training, you're not a counselor, by training. So much so that it consumes a lot of our time.
And eventually, what happens most people either give up on it, or they they stop doing it, because it takes takes a lot of time. From from the person, it's actually a full time job being a counselor. Yes. So as a matter of fact, you know, some some of us, you know, would say that, you know, you might want to leave this for the experts, and have in your community, people who can who can provide that service for the community, or direct people towards resources that are much more effective. And instead of trying to handle it yourself,
what are some of the comments, each common issues you see come into your office? Like I know, you know, youth and family and divorce and marriage, but what what do you find are some of the repetitive issues, you keep seeing day to day, all of the above anything? Nothing surprises me anymore? I mean, we're, it's not unique to, to me, I think all communities they have.
They have all these issues that you mentioned in in common, including,
you know, I can't do two things at the same time. That's
why No, that's one time that we tell people when we do counseling is that when you're having conversation with your family, or you're trying to spend quality time, focus, don't try to do two things at the same time. Okay, sorry. Whoa. Okay. Sorry. You were saying? So.
Okay, I'll just give you so yeah, I mean, you know, the, and of course, some communities have some issues that may be unique to them, you know, that you may not be as prevalent in other communities.
But nonetheless, it's a very rewarding job. Of course, my advice would be for people who may want to consider this for the new generation that wants to consider this they're studying.
They're preparing themselves to become imams is Get,
get training, and counseling, if you can, if you can do that on the side. That would be great. There we go. That's how you play. I let you score, by the way, okay.
One thing I noticed that is that a lot of times, you know, you'll see very people who look very religious people who have this, you know, this outward religiosity and a lot of times their, their families will be complaining about them. So they'll say things like, you know, my husband, he's very mean to me, or he's very rude to me, or, you know, a lot of times we find domestic abuse is a issue, which is rampant in our communities that a lot of times it takes place between families that outwardly look Islamic. Can you comment on that? I mean, is that is that a trend that you would see happening a lot in your community? I mean, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam addressed this issue.
You told us a habit that the best in terms of
their man or religious city, as you put it, are those who are the best in terms of their character. And he said, the best of you and character are those who are the best to
their, their, the members of their household, and especially, especially, they're the women within their household, their wives, their daughters, their mothers, right, the ones that we take for granted. So,
and again, that's another another issue, another serious problem, you know, this dichotomy that we see in the understanding or the practice of the religion, right.
Islam is not only theology, it's not just a set of
principles, it's not only the belief, the belief has to manifest manifest itself in the individuals lifestyle and their actions, reactions. behavior pattern, right. So that's what really tells whether Islam is part of your
you're attempting something now? I don't know what kind of, well, I have to be very friendly here.
Is it possible for someone to be a good Muslim and still be bad to their family or have bad family relations? Is it possible for you to not according to the prophetic statements? No, not according to the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu sallam.
So somebody theoretically, who is, you know, trying to practice the deen, they're trying to uphold, you know, Islamic principles in their lives, but yet they have these bad relations with siblings or with family members, parents and so on.
You know, can they still feel safe, that they are people who are connected and loved by lost power, even though they have this, you know, issue?
The province of the law isn't until is that the most beloved people to have are those who are vested in terms of their luck in terms of their character. And, you know, mannerism, Allah subhanaw taala, does not in a hadith were told that Allah Subhana Allah does not love someone who is
abusive, especially, you know, someone who was verbally abusive, you know, so,
if someone is doing that, to those whom they're supposed to be taking care of, and treating Well, you know, imagine what their status might be with the last panel with Allah. Okay. But imagine somebody might say, you know, theoretically speaking that they have very wicked or evil parents, or they have, you know, family members, siblings that are, you know, very rude to them, they are very anti Islamic in nature. What's the scenario for someone in that case? I mean, obviously, you'll never be able to please them. And you know, you might go as far as saying, some parents would like you to, for instance, take off the hijab or shave your beard and so on and so forth. How can we
reconcile those two states we know we have to really be respectful and treat our parents very well and be patient with them. Right? And we have to, to listen to them obey them so long, what they're asking us is not something that Allah subhanaw taala prohibited us from doing. So you obey your parents, you listen to them, as long as what they're asking you is not is not something that would offend a loss of habitat, you have to always please a lot of lies that were top priority. But remember the example of Prophet Ibrahim, many of the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam had to deal with similar issues, right? So that does not give you ground two, reason to abuse
your parents, you still have to be respectful. You simply just don't obey them. As the law says. We're in Jeddah, Carla and Trisha can be malita can be here and will follow Tahoma. Also, I have never done a marathon. Don't listen to them. don't obey them, yet, simply don't obey them, but at the same time, treat them well. I actually got an email from a sister. You can go ahead. Okay, no, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, no, wait, who is going to further watch this shot?
Are you covered? I'm covered. Go ahead. Are you covered?
See that especially man trick that you learn to see that? Actually Allah Okay. Sorry, I was saying I received an email from a sister actually, who was telling me that she wanted to start wearing hijab, and her mother was, you know, kind of just discouraging her telling her you know, you're going to become an extremist, and you're going to be mixing with these people and those people and, and she was turning to me for advice. And I you know, I obviously was thinking the same thing that obviously there's no obedience to the creation over the Creator. But a lot of times practically speaking, that's very hard to implement, especially when you live under their roof. You know, you're you're
being provided by your parents, you know, the parents are giving you your food, your shelter your clothing, so to say outwardly I will not listen to you is almost risking your livelihood. What would you suggest for someone in that circumstance? I mean, what can they do to ensure that they won't be taking things out of you know, they won't be getting kicked out of the house for instance? Yeah, of course usually my advice in a case like this and and I know it's kind of awkward, you know, while you're relaxing and having fun, we're talking about serious issues of this nature. And no disrespect to anyone that might be going through something like that. Right. So so my my advice would be first
and foremost is for individuals to turn to Allah subhanaw taala and be very, very
You know, patience and be very devoted to a loss of a job. Because only a loss of power to Allah knows the extent of your pain, right? And the, and how severe this challenge might be only a loss of habitat. And so you always turn to a loss of habitat for help. Right? That's number one. Number two, at the same time, seek help local health, go get professional help you to talk to a counselor to talk to somebody that can that can help you. Usually, in these kind of cases, I do recommend people seeking counseling, go talk to somebody, if you can't talk to the parent, or the parents who are involved.
yourself directly, then you need to go and seek the help of someone who's trustworthy and someone who's capable of providing that kind of help. You know, the third advice would be
to exercise wisdom, you know, use use your best judgment, you know, don't do anything that you will regret later. So do not rebel against your parents. Of course, you don't need just us wisdom, sometimes, all you have to do sometimes all you have to do is just, you know, listen to them at the moment, you don't have to respond, you don't have to talk back to them. Right and listen to them. And, and, you know, just give them you know, give them a sense that you're at least considering what they're telling you. Right? When in reality, you're really there's no way that you would do it. Right. Especially if it's something that not only you don't, that you resent not only do you resent
it, but you believe that it will offend a loss of habitat, and so you won't do it. Right. But so these will be the three tips that I give people turn to a lot of soldier seek counseling, and exercise wisdom in dealing with them. You don't have to be confrontational, you know, nor do you have to be like totally passive, and do things that you don't feel right doing. And then have to deal with internal conflict later.
Okay. I know that
for myself, specifically. I know a lot of you. Oh, man, you didn't even wait till I was ready. What is the score? Right, now we're gonna reset this game, we're gonna go back to zero. All right, let's go back to zero back to zero, okay, yes, I know, for a lot of youth specifically, like myself, who grew up in the West and our families are from, you know, back home or a different country or cultural together, we find it difficult to relate to them. And a lot of times, there'll be various gaps, you know, whether it's a language gap, or a cultural gap, that prevents us from being able to communicate with our parents correctly. Any advice for out, you specifically can kind of, you know,
take those steps and, and bring peace into their homes without, you know, outwardly offending their parents, like you were mentioning? Yeah, language and culture are very key in communication. But sometimes it's not the only thing that we should look at. And consider, you know, there's, there are other factors, one factor would be the emotional connection that you have with your parents, that you're not going to have with anyone else, you know, so, and if your parents are decent people, and that's the essential, most, most parents are decent people, and they want what is best for you, and they love you, you should keep that in mind that they are really thinking about your best interest
there, they have your best interest at heart, right? So so you need to be very aware of that, but your parents are not asking you to do something just to make
just to make trouble. And to make your life miserable, make you miserable, right, they're not just trying to make things harder for you, they really care about you, they care for you. And this is just their way. Now, they may not be doing it in the best of fashion, they may not be, you know, the most experienced or the most positive, right, but you have to keep that in mind that they're doing it out of good, you know, they have good intention and what they're doing.
And then after that, try to basically improve the communication,
the communication, you know, style, or conflict resolution style that you have, and talk to your parents. I think most parents would appreciate, you know,
their children understanding or appreciating them and understanding where they're coming from. Right now, they may not, you know, handle it well, if the child doesn't listen to them. Right. Right. So like, for parents, I know, a lot of times, parents, I think need to be really realistic as to, you know, in terms of their expectations. And they have to understand that things are very hard, and in most cases, right?
Our children, you know, don't choose where we raise them. We choose that for them. So you can't, you can't bring someone up somewhere in an environment and then expect expect them not to be affected by it. Right. So we really need to, to, to assume full responsibility for these choices that we're making and deal with the consequences of these
choices. And okay, this is a really random question, but you know, back and ready for the Shut up. Okay, you better do something.
Okay, go ahead. But I'm serious about this one. I'm serious about
This is not going anywhere. I don't think you're gonna get past my solid defense. Okay. But now just just out of curiosity shift. Yes. You grew up in the States?
No, actually, I grew up in
Jeddah. Okay. Well, in Saudi Arabia, when you came to the states when you were quite young when I was about 17. Okay, so you can relate to this. I mean, being a young Yeah, I spent most of my life here. I mean, in the United States of America and the West, yes. Okay. So you can relate to this feeling. I mean, I know that a lot of times, specifically, like myself, I was mentioning that there is a gap between even religiously what's expected of us and what our cultures have to offer here in the West.
Even when, let me ask my question, that's my favorite shot. Sorry, sorry, for interrupting me to please go, what is it for for nothing? Forgot I lost count?
Is that better? A lot of times, like even myself going to madrasa in the West, and being, you know, an A student in Islamic school, you will find that even amongst the community, there's a lot of gaps. So for instance, something like, you know, hitting children. Okay, so there's a big debate now, people are asking, you know, can we discipline our children through physical force? I don't know, if you have, you know, particular experience with that, you know, being growing up here growing up there, but but what what, you know, what kind of wisdom Can you bring to the table, people are wondering if they can still hit their kids or not people are getting, of course, it's a
serious offense, you don't want to do that. Right, you know, you could actually,
you could be arrested, you know, something could go wrong, you know, seriously. And, besides the fact that it's not really the most Islamic thing to do anyways, all right, it's Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam in his own example, he did not, you know, strike a child or a servant or anyone, you know. So there are better ways to do that. And I really suggest and recommend to parents to consider positive parenting a positive way to, you know, positive reinforcement. There is plenty of research out there, that shows that that is a much better and healthier way of raising children. It's harder, it takes a lot of effort, you know, we need to learn how to do it.
That may not have been something that we, we were offered. Right, but that doesn't mean that we have to subject our children to the same methods that
that are no longer viable, you know, lohana, man.
Now, I hope this is not this next move Boehner. I hope this is not considered child abuse, what I'm doing.
I screwed up myself. Do you realize it doesn't count? Right? Was that I scored on myself? Yeah, it does count. I don't think so. I don't think that's fair. Okay, let it go. I'm not gonna count it. Do you think I mean, this is this is a fair question. Do you think some kids actually deserve to get beat though? No, I was.
Like, some kids or myself, I'll give you my example. I was a really bad kid. If I look, in retrospect, I can't imagine you ever being bad. Well,
above me, but I know that I, you know, probably times when I deserved it. But who didn't do bad things. I mean, even even a bad kid can turn out to be like you, right?
most important part is if you tell a kid a child, that you're bad, you're bad, you're bad, you're bad. Chances are they might buy into it, and actually turn out to be bad. If you tell them you're better than this, I expect you to do better than this, believe it or not, even if they don't get it now. Right, they will get it in the future. Right. And they will appreciate.
They will appreciate the fact that you didn't give up on them that you always were motivating and empowering and encouraging. Right that you didn't really come hard, you know, on them. So I think parents and I think we need to be nuanced. I mean, different techniques, work for different people. So we need to parents need to get to know their children and understand the details of the personalities and the sensitivities of their of their children, and see what would be the best way to handle that child. Generally speaking, I say with regards to children, children, especially girls, and women, right. handled with care. handled with care. Okay. Oh, any advice for our sisters,
I mean, as wives as daughters, as mothers. I don't want to get too much into marriage, per se. But, you know, there's a huge marriage crisis happening right now in the West and specifically in our communities, where people are getting married, and within two years, even even less, sometimes they're getting divorced. That's painful. My advice is for the ones who are married, seek counseling, right, don't give up too soon. Right. But, you know, what might be most you know, effective, would be
To tell the people who are considering getting married who are not married, please do your due diligence, right? Get premarital counseling. premarital counseling, yes. Okay, and, and figure out what you need to do before you say I do figure out what you need to do before you say I do. Right. So that would be my advice. Is that something you offer as well, like premarital counseling? So, you know, there are some, some emails, you know, I myself have my, you know, my own program. I mean, I recommend programs and services that are provided by professional certified marriage and family therapist, but if someone cannot afford it, or they don't have, you know, so the next best thing to
do would be to come to someone who has, you know, long experience who is giving you a very balanced,
who has a balanced approach to this to the subject, based on all your years of counseling. Let me give you a tip. Okay, you're not covered like this. Why is that you're not covered? He's He's bringing this bracket. Go back, go back back. There you go. Right, block, bring this back.
Okay, that's fine. You're not listening? Well, my, my biggest advice for people would be Listen,
you're told by someone who knows what they're doing. All right. Ready for counseling, go ahead.
This is my technique that doesn't work. This is now the odds of you getting it in are much less. Now out of all your years of experience of counseling, can you give me the number one Golden Rule of advice, only tip that you would give to families and couples on a regular basis that you think just us hearing about now would just maybe benefit people in the long run? golden advice?
one rule one rule, the thing that you most have to often repeat yourself and the thing that you find most people kind of locked within with regards to marriage and family? Yeah.
Of course, you know, needless to say that we all have to fear a lot. Be vigilant, be be aware of the Presence of Allah, he's watching everything that we do and say, right, and, you know, we can't get away with anything that we do that is wrong, that we know, is wrong. And I was not pleased with.
Having said that, right. You know, I often like to remind, especially married couples, or even members of any household of the terms of that
relationship that started it all. Marriage, when we get into, when we get married, we have we're making a sacred covenant, not only with the other party, but with a loss of Hannah to Allah. And Allah calls it in the enemy Falcon Halima. It's a serious commitment that we're making, making a commitment to Eliza. And many people somehow they forget, they even forget the marriage vows. Right? How did you two come together? A lot, you know, you have to basically say, repeat a statement make a commitment. Right. And state that commitment. And witnesses were there are people who are present in a loss of Hamlet, Allah, of course, you know, as always, you know, present. And people usually would
say things like, you know, I take you or I take your hand or I marry you, or I marry myself to you, in accordance to the book of Allah, and the prophetic tradition. So you have to make sure that your life is actually running in accordance to the book of Allah, and the prophetic traditions. And if and if things go, you know, if things don't work out, right, you have to make sure that you deal with issues or you resolve conflicts in accordance to the book of Allah, the prophetic tradition. That's not what I see, unfortunately, in most cases, people are actually violate the book of Allah, and the prophetic tradition, which makes me wonder if we really are serious, or if we really
understand or mean, what we say when we come to get married. You know, most, most, most, in most cases, people are just, they're rushing, they just want to want to get through the process. Because their intention is not really to honor these words in that commitment. So no wonder when that happens, things things don't work out and we suffer. So I urge people to remember that and understand what it means. And that's what why I think every email, anyone that does,
that conducts and officiates marriages should remind people of these terms, listen, and you don't do it on the day of their kneecap on the day of the marriage, right? You do it way in advance. When you set the appointment, you know, come in advance, I need to see you I need to talk to you. I want to make sure that you understand what you're getting yourself into. And these are the terms that we're going to use Are you willing and Do you promise and Are you aware of the you know, of the, of the seriousness of this of this commitment that you're making?
Well, ohana May Allah azza wa jal bless our marriages May Allah bless our families. May Allah subhanaw taala protect her shoulder and protect us all.
Now, okay, let's go.
What do you think?
Well, I just want to score at least one goal before we go because I think it'd be awkward if I
made you rethink your life. Can you think I should let him score? I don't think you have a choice. I should because I think right now Oh.
Okay, now you're getting intensive. Anyways, that that was a great episode we just had with Sheikh Mohammed faqih, who's, you know, gone through a lot of really great points for the family, if you're married or if you're not married, there's still a lot of gems that you can benefit from because like the sheikh was saying, you know, learning about marriage even before you tie the knot is a huge part of, you know, understanding the responsibilities of marriage for joining us at this level. Yeah, I'm going to score at least one goal whether he likes it or not, in shaba otherwise, stay tuned for next episode. See you then.