Muslims and marriage counseling

Muslims and marriage counseling

Is your marriage in trouble? Have the virtually endless fights and arguments led you to a dead end? Are you seeking a solution?

One option offered to couples trying to save their marriage is to see a marriage counselor.

A marriage counselor advises couples with emotional or other personal difficulties. Counselors help them work out their problems by encouraging them to discuss and think about their problems. They also to try to find solutions that will help the couples deal with their problems.

On the surface, this seems like an arrangement that can work. But there are a number of considerations Muslims must keep in mind before seeking the help of a marriage counselor who does not have an Islamic orientation, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

Dr. Akthtar Raza is a psychiatrist and medical director of the Piney Ridge Center Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

In an interview with Sound Vision, he gave a general account of what happens in marriage counseling in the mainstream social services structure.

First, the marriage counselor talks to the husband and wife together, as well as individually.

Raza notes that the person who usually seeks counseling amongst couples in marital disputes is the wife. In come cases, husbands do not want to come in so the counseling cannot obviously take place.

During a session, if the counselor sees the couple?s marriage as salvageable, and both the husband and the wife want to commit to making it work, the counselor will continue the counseling, moving on to the next step.

If however, the husband or the wife shows indifference and s/he does not care if the marriage lasts, the counselor will drops the case and will make no further attempt at counseling. If the couple both agree, counselling starts.

The stages of marriage counseling

There are three main stages in marriage counseling.

1. In the first five to six weekly sessions, the couple openly express all negative feelings about each other. They can sometimes be very hostile to each other.

Raza notes that this can be shocking for one or both partners, since they never realized the other feltt so negatively.

2. The next stage is extremely difficult. As the couple has openly conveyed negative feelings to each other, they are usually very angry with one another. In a number of cases, they may completely end coming to counseling.

3. If the couple survives the second stage and remain in counseling, the counselor asks each of them if they are still committed to maintaining their marriage.

If they are, the rest of the sessions (about 10 to 15) are focused on that. Muslim couples face problems when seeking marriage counseling in the mainstream

One major problem for Muslims who seek this type of counseling is its immediate emphasis on divorce.

Raza notes though that a counselor who is well-trained will never recommend divorce. S/he will only present it as one of many options.

This approach to a marital conflict poses difficulties for Muslim couples seeking counseling from non-Muslim marriage counselors or even Muslim counselors trained in the mainstream counseling system.

"Over and over again the complaints that I have heard from these couples when they are sent to so-called Muslim agencies is that these people are trained in the mainstream. They see a family or marriage and domestic violence case and their advice is divorce," says Shahina Siddiqui executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association of the United States and Canada (ISSA). She has been a counselor in the Winnipeg, Canada Muslim community for over 15 years.

"Couples have said 'Sr. Shahina, if we wanted divorce, we would go to lawyer, why would we go to a counsellor?,'" she adds. Siddiqui explains that when most Muslim couples seek marriage counseling, it's because they want a resolution to their disagreements, whether they are minor or even if they involve abuse like domestic violence.

The difference in approach when it comes to Islamic marriage counseling versus the mainstream one is that the former makes a serious effort to find what is positive in the couple's relationship before dismissing it as a divorce case.

"We will try our best to take whatever silver lining there is in the cloud and work on it and work on it and help our clients work on it, because the majority of them do not want to break the relationship but they are helpless," says Siddiqui.

"They are now in a situation where they cannot see that silver lining, we find it for them. We help them see it and we help them try to keep that marriage together. Not at any cost but if they are both willing and we see that there is good in this marriage, that something can be worked on, we encourage that" she adds.



I have come here to discuss my problems related to the person i love. I am sorry that you guys have to read this long story. But this is about my life and death u can say and i only came here for your help.
I met this guy online name shakeel in fact he approached to me. He knew me through my first love, adnan,who i also met on facebook. However i broke up with adnan for good as he had a lot of affairs and was a womanizer. Anyhow so shakeel( my first lover's fri3md) approached to me asking how was i and how was everything. I was straightforward but my replies were not so kind as i knew he was closest friend of that betrayer. But somehow he suddenly began to enrage confessing how much he has been loving me for years and that how adnan and me have ruined his life, he even said that his elder sister in london and maternal aunt blames me for that. I asked him and was like shocked. I asked him what did i even do and i never knew he loved me. He told me that adnan has run away with his money and with the girl who used to like shakeel. shakeel was interested in marrying mE as he belonged to a big respectable political family and he felt i was compatible for him because i am educated medical student. But adnan prevented me from him by telling him a lie that i hate him and that i am not interested in him. From that day ,shakeel tried to move on from me and tied a knot wiith a girl in his city. But sooner he came to know the girl was greedy like adnan they both had their eyes on shakeel's money. So they both ran away. I was surprised and couldnt believe his words. I thought shakeel was just making me a fool and i told him so. He told me that he is not convincing me to be his gf but to marry him and he wants kids with me. Shakeel made me to talk to his maternal aunt and elder sis because his parents had died years ago. He even confessed he is married too but his marriage was forceful. He was forced to marry becausr after his father, his mother died. His elder sis is already married with two beautiful kids and she lives in london whereas shakeel was left alone .so his sis along with his aunt and his elder cousins forced him to marry a girl from their acquaintance. But shakeel was dissatisfied and never even talked to her much nor he has any kids with her. But he had to marry for the sake of people and the person behind his forced marriage was adnan. I even discussed this with shakeel's sis whether it was true. they said it was and they feel sorry that they forced him. They just wanted him to get kids and have a family but they were unaware that there was no compatibility between him and her. In many ways i didnt trust shakeel and his family i thought he was lying to me but his love began to get true to me when he sent his aunt to meet me face to face in fact his cousins and entire family came to see me. Through them he sent to me a lot of dry fruits so that i can give it to my mom. Even more surprising was that he chose a rescue job so that he can convince my mom to marry me. From that day i began to believe his love through his actions. In rescue training he had to stand from 6 am till 5pm under the scorching heat of the sun. His training is still in progress and he has been having a tough life out there, and all he is doing is for me. I began to cry because i cant do much. I mean i dont know how will i convince my mom that he loves me truly, because she will say that he is lying to me and that i met him online. And if i told her about his first marriage i dont know what she will say
I am so helpless i dont know what to do, i know there are bad people in the virtual world but by hearing all this do u guys think he could still be lying? I dont know how will i tell mom? I have already been through a lot because of adnan and now if i tell about shakeel i dont know what mom will do and how will she react Plz help me my brothers and sisters



I have been married for last 3 months. we are having issues in terms of family and finance. my husband left his job after marriage because i paid my parents bill out of my befor marriage income. he has not been working from last 2 months. i have been working and taking care of all our bill. now after marriage i have around $12,000 debt and i make $5500 still we are not able to save because my husband has one or the other expenses and also i pay half of my in-laws bills. he is on student visa and i am U.S. Citizen. i had my condition before marriage that i will give my half salary to my parents and he agreed to it after marriage he changed his words. he made me take quran in my hand and asked me to say i wont see my parents without his permission and i wont give any money to in family. his visa is in process. he used to work at gas station befor marriage. i have not told my parents that i am working and he is unemployed. my parents don't know his visa is under process. please help me what should i do. he is not even ready to sign post nuptial agreement. and he don't tell me where he goes and what he do. he withdraw money from account and dont inform me. I talked to him about all this but no change. Please advise.



This is totally wrong in 3 moths of marriage he's already showing his true colors don't trust him he seems like greedy and selfish if he's doing this now he will be worst once he gets his Greencard just move out of this relationship and go to ur parents


New York

Mere shohar ki 1st wife hai. Use aulad nahi hai. Main unki 2sri bivi hu. Mujhe 1 beti hai. Ab tak mere sasuralwalo ne mujhe ghar nahi le gaye. Hum rent pe rahte hai. Ab sudden meri sautan mujhe apnane k liye ready ho gayi hai. Main kya karo? Main uske saath bacchi nahi batna chahti. Main bahot mantally disturb hu. Pls help




I do not know what your financial limitations are or if English is an accessible language for you (I could understand party what you have written in urdu?) however there is a Muslim sister, Shazia Ali, that coaches wives through Laura Doyle's relationship coaching

Also, find Laura Doyle's books the Surrendered Wife (this means surrendering inappropriate control of others and only controlling what you can - which is yourself).

This book may be available in Urdu translation.

Also, The Marriage Place is a pro-marriage counselling and coaching service. They offer individual counselling as well

Don't move in stay where you are ....rented house is better ...trouble will start once you move in


New York

Hi everyone my name is Jack Howard, from UNITED STATE OF AMERICA, I'm so happy today of my life thanks to Dr Babaologun, My lovely wife was taken from me by another man, i was lost without her, i tried to explain my pain online until i met someone that introduced me to Dr Babaologun. I email him and he told me what and what to do, just two days after my wife came back to me and started begging that is the work of the Devil. Presently my wife lives with me in my house and my kids too. We are now even happy than before. All thanks to Dr Babaologun. Since then i have been introducing my friend to Dr Babaologun and he have been assist them with all their problems. I don't know what problem you are facing today, just give Dr Babaologun a try to change your life around for you. you can email him:



I am currently dating with a lady whom have a 3 yr old kid. Her parents accepted me and I am quite happy with it.Our relationship is so special. My concern is my dad, he seems not to talk abt it and wants to me to break up and i am seriously in love with her. I have pray that insyallah one day my dad would accept. Any advices how shall i talk to my dad?



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