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« Reply #25 on: Apr 17, 2008 12:59 PM »

Assalamo elikuim
Sr.Msulimah may Allah swt give you strenght to deal with this , Ameen. You are in our duas.

Sr.Fozia I didnt know what you were going through Sad . I have always read and enjoyed your posts, they were full of wisdom and wit Smiley Inshallah this will pass and as they say 'what doesnt kill you, makes you stronger'. You and your daughters are in our duas.


Wasalam
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Oh Allah, Guide us to the Straight Path.


« Reply #26 on: Apr 17, 2008 10:54 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt,


All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe.


Brother Timbuktu,


Islam applies equally to all people, there is no distinction based on race or gender.  Two wrongs don't make a right. 
If someone tramples on our rights, do we go ahead on trample on their rights too?  This is against the character of a Muslim, and against the character of our beloved Messenger, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

The solution is to apply Islam in all aspects of our lives, to attain the benefit that Allah intended for us.  As Muslims, we believe in the afterlife, and thus we take what is rightfully ours, and leave the rest for Allah.  We will be responsible for what we do, and others for what they do. 

What should be done is consultation with a scholar, who would sort out right from wrong.  We should not put deen on the back burner, it should be our utmost concern.  Shouldn't a person be concerned whether what they are doing is acceptable in the eyes of Allah?  Shouldn't they consult the Ulema, who know the religion and study the Book?

However, when it comes to disputes, people tend to take sides, anything perceived to be against one's interests is deemed the enemy.  For example, some people in Muslim countries villify anything having to do with the West, since saying anything good about the West would be seen as "helping the enemy".  The opposite is also true.  This type of polarization of morality is against Islam.  In fact, it leads to transgression against others.  Allah, Most High, says:

"'Oh you who believe, stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if it be against yourselves."


Sister Blackrose,

"ok she is not living in an islamic country so where is she going to find an islamic judge???"

A qualified Imam or scholar in the Islamic community can act as a judge, and should be referred to.




Anyways, my interest is to help anyone seeking knowledge, not getting involved in personal disputes, so this will be my last post in this thread.



And Allah knows best.


Shaykh Abdurahman

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #27 on: Apr 18, 2008 07:42 AM »

peace be upon you

While what you say is true, there are some observations that I will make.

I have seen gross injustice being done to weaker parties. Islam never did allow that. Unfortunately, most judgments of our scholars leave much to be desired, particularly if the stronger party does not live up to its responsibilities. What use is a judgment asking the ex-husband to pay for the upkeep of his children, if he does not honour that part of the judgment, and there is no way to get him to pay?

I have seen widows, orphans and divorcees having to resort to begging, stealing and worse, to make ends meet.

I dread going to the Masjid, or even living in a Muslim country. One of the reasons is the incessant flow of beggars, mostly women and children. Do you know that only a few years ago, 3.2 trillion dollars were invested in the US by the Saudis, and this does not include the money stashed away in Europe.

Does this money belong to the Saudi Royal Family? How come the scholars do not condemn this looting of the Saudi oil money, and the Royal bribes for construction work, and the fleecing in the name of Hajj? How come they do not condemn the rise in prices due to hoarding and black marketing? How come they do not condemn the wastage by the rich in Muslim societies?

I have seen scholars dining in 5 star hotels on, dressing in outlandish robes, justifying the looting of a nation’s wealth by its rulers, and getting share of that same wealth.

The weak in the Ummah get poorer and poorer, while scholars who uphold the spirit of Islam, are hidden in obscure places.

And this is true of scholars from all schools of thought.
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« Reply #28 on: Apr 18, 2008 04:28 PM »

asalamualaikum

Quote
If someone tramples on our rights, do we go ahead on trample on their rights too? 

you have extemely ignored my posts, about the justice, about how islam is just not clear cut, everyones situation is different, about islamically there is always justice and ihow 'islamically if you are not given your right you are suppose to take! It would be wrong to make someone a judge who hasnt studied in being one.  What I am telling you is that nobody is going against islam and looking at their interest because they dont have to! Islam again for the hundreth time is all about justice so I would say islamically she would be doing the right thing. Like i said if you want to go by the exact rules then this man should be punished physically for all the physical harm he gave and emotionally for all the harm he gave as islamically it would be eye for eye or she could forgive and get money which is the only option she has in the west, she is not only getting money for the abuse but also for her right (as in iddah it would be her right plus he is in debt plus he has to pay for her children so as you see she would not be really taking anything extra or going out of her bounds, she is  only taking in another way. )  And you are blind if you cant see that a man like this would follow an imams order , especially bc if he doesnt the imam cannot do anything. but the law can. And I am telling you brother that you should be careful when you say that 'islam sais this' because it may not be true. I may not be as learned as you are but what i am saying is not just coming from self interest or from my own opinions, I am telling you this from listeing to lectures and reading about islam so I did not come to this from my own conclusion.
And brother becareful what you say because she is already 'confused' and are you going to make her more confused my thinking that she may not be doing the right thing and she should go ahead without getting any justice and live in pain and suffering?Huh?/! Do you want to suffer the guilt that maybe what you said was not true. Huh?
I have not heard an apology , or a saying that 'maybe I am wrong' .. I am shocked atsome so called imams or scholars who may have plenty of knowledge but behind closed doors cannot admit when they are wrong , or admit if they might be wrong because pride overtakes them. (i have first hand experience with this) what happened to the prophets character about being humble and askin for forgiveness.
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« Reply #29 on: Apr 18, 2008 05:05 PM »

and she has three kids, which are his also so that means it would be their property also. And we are not talking about the afterlife, we are talking about now, she needs all the money she doesn tneed to pay off all his debts because she needs to raise her three kids properly.

salaam
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« Reply #30 on: Apr 18, 2008 06:12 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

I've been following this thread although busy the past few days.  It just breaks my heart that we find these types of problems in Islam because it is as if the problems or rather drama faced by non-Muslims has permeated and corrupted Islam the one thing that is supposed to be pure and free from corruption   (now shedding  :'(   as the bubble bursts). 

I'm never one to suggest that we as women walk away from what we have invested in yet by the same token the cost in fighting it is more than just monetary, it is emotional.  In the 7 years since my ex walked out and seemingly vanished I've received exactly $40 from him which was supposed to take care of our son.  Like that amount didn't even cover a week of day care expenses when he was 3 (which by the way is when I got that $40).  I'm blessed that the house was mine and that I never gave up my job when married to him because I and my children would have been in a serious pickle.  I learned that lesson - trust no man - when my previous relationship ended and I discovered that the idiot hadn't been paying the rent and so there I was with a 9 year old and an infant facing eviction.  When I called him in tears his only response was "what do you want me to do I'm no longer there".  I got so angry that if I had gone to where he was we would have needed the police.

So my sister, handle it through the courts, document everything, get statements from others that know of the situation as it was and as it currently is.  Stand strong but never lose sight of yourself in the process.

For me, the distrust that men have shown is probably what has caused my stone wall to be built that simply won't allow anyone in because everytime I do it's the same scenario.

This selective application of Islamic principles is digusting and disheartening and further - in my opinion - permits the continued problems and challenges we see being implemented against the larger ummah.  Is this something foretold; I've no clue but I do know it makes each day not an adventure but a real challenge and chore.

As salaamu alaikum

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« Reply #31 on: Apr 18, 2008 11:29 PM »


Asslamo Alaykum

Firstly my apology for such late replies to everyone, so much going on, children been ill and then I fell ill then had to go into court.

Sis Fozia - I have tried talking to the credit card company but as he was an additional card holder and I was the main a/c holder I have been told any debts on this a/c are my responsibility even if he has made them.  So I suppose nothing I can do there apart from struggle and pay them back!   My husband hasn't thought about paying for the children and I don't expect him to either, he doesn't think they may need anything food, clothes etc he has left me to provide for them but he still has the nerve to go around to people and say he misses his children, loves them and wants to see them!
You and your children are in my dua's may allah swt help you and may you be surrounded with love and happiness.

Sis Siham I will try and take your kind advice and apply it to my life, although each time I think like that something always brings me back down to square 0.

Bro Abdurahman Could you enlighten me what you mean by that I am not entitled to 50% of my husband's property? Firstly it's not his property but is jointly owned.  My mahr still remains unpaid till this date, when he lived with me he would laugh at it and say don't worry I will give it to you, and now a few years have passed of this marriage! Maintenance during iddah? What about throughout nikkah? Is it not obligatory upon a husband to provide for his wife and children through this time? I hardly got any when we lived together and since he has been gone he hasn't given a penny to support us so do you think I would get it through my iddah?! and a Mut'ah if he can't provide maintenace do you think he would give a gift after divorce to me? At present I am not in my iddah period as he is now refusing to give me an Islamic divorce.  You say something along the lines of if someone hurts us we shouldn't hurt them back as that is not what our prophet taught us, Is beating a woman, a wife considered right in Islam then? What has our beloved prophet said about this? What about the right's of a wife? If deen is to be applied to this then should it not be taught to them who make women suffer?

Sis Blackrose If punishing him physically was that easy for me I would have done it a long time ago or had someone do it just to take revenge I suppose although this wouldn't be right but I would want to see him suffer just as I have and the children have suffered.  Obviously I did not take this step.  He doesn't care about these children at all and wouldn't listen to what an Imam advises him of and if he did it would be for a very short period of time and then he would 'forget'.  I have to say 'no' the children over so many things that they ask for as I am just about able to provide food for them and find it difficult buying their clothes, even for these things I am having to use my overdraft which I had to get extended just so I can make ends meet.  As the government benefits is proving not to be enough when I need to pay for everything.

Sis Faizah I am behind you when you say that the cost of fighting is emotionally draining as I have figured that out now and so many times I just want to say I've had enough and don't have the courage or the strength to go on any more.  We had the hearing for 'contact' he wants contact with the children and applied to the courts for it, the judge decided he wants a facts and findings done where I have to submit a statement about all the violence I have suffered, It's going to be like reliving the whole past again not that you ever forget but you try to push some things away, on top of that the judge wants all my medical records submitted too. My husband wasn't very happy to hear all of this! I doubt I would ever get married again although I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone either but this experience of marriage has left me scared for life and I doubt I could go through it again.

I know I sound like a broken tape recorder most the time and I apologise for that, the past few days have been difficult I've been having a very disheartening feeling inside of me to do with the divorce, everything inside of me is telling me to stop proceedings.  Although I don't know if I would be able to as I am not fully conversed in this matter, I haven't been issued with my decree nisi as of yet, my husband has signed the petition and it has been submitted to the courts.  I don't understand why I am feeling like this but no matter what I'm doing it won't go away something keeps telling me I'm doing wrong by going through with it.

Walaikum Salaam
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« Reply #32 on: Apr 19, 2008 12:01 AM »

Assalamo Ailkum. Sister Muslimah,

I am so sorry that you are feeling disheartened...This is understandably....Do not give up now....you have come this far and have given this man so may chances to change....he will not or is not able to make this change...

You owe yourself and your children a happier life....It is hard on you financially but eventually Inshah Allah you wiil get there....Allah is with you. he will grant you ease....the debts will reduce albeit slowly.

The legal process is complicated but will eventually come to an end.....let him have some contact with the children preferably at a centre...you will not lose your children's love because of this...they know what sacrifices you have made.
You are in my Duahs.
Salaams.
JJ
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« Reply #33 on: Apr 19, 2008 12:05 AM »

Quote
If punishing him physically was that easy for me I would have done it a long time ago or had someone do it just to take revenge

my point exactly, I was just trying to tell brother Abdurrahman that we are not in an 'islamic' country. And if we were he would have probably got physical punishment according to Islamic law for assault,.

Another thing is if he refuses to give you an 'islamic divorce' you are still divorced islamically if you are divorced legally by a judge, im not sure who said it has to be an islamic judge? i asked this question and i was told if you are divorced legally , then you are by all means divorced islamically because you know in your case in an ideal islamic country and ideal judge would order the husband to give you a divorce and you would be still entitled to maher.
and Allah swt knows best, so I would go ahead with the iddah unless ofcourse you have to work  just do the neccessaties for those months and double check with scholars and imams also inshAllah

just something i read is that if you have a peaceful divorce then it is not as hard upon the children, so please dont fight wih him on the phone infront of them if you could avoid that and try not to be stressed infront of them, it will stress them out and by all means fight for all your rights for justice and get what you can because you would want your children to do the same and they will learn from you and because your ex will think twice before doing this to someone else again.

Aslamualaikum

take care
and salaam

ps talk to the lawyer about the debts! Im sure something  can be done,and if you cant afford a lawyer have your social worker hlep you! message sis Fozia , im sure she can help you but i would hat e for him to let him get away with the debts , you are also trying to provide for you children..
and he should be ordered by court to pay child support
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« Reply #34 on: Apr 19, 2008 12:12 AM »

do istikhara, it might help you not have second thoughts..
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« Reply #35 on: Apr 19, 2008 07:17 AM »

peace be upon you

ps talk to the lawyer about the debts! Im sure something  can be done,and if you cant afford a lawyer have your social worker hlep you!

I agree. The credit card company wnats its money, irrespective of where it comes from, so they will try to browbeat you into accepting that it is your responsibility. When you take the matter to the courts, it is a different matter, so let the lawyer try his best on this.
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« Reply #36 on: Apr 19, 2008 11:14 AM »

salam

Sis Muslimah, the credit card companies will always say this. My ex actually took out a loan against our house (so sweet of him no??), the company consequently told me as it's in joint names I would be held liable, I told them no way.
You have to be firm, if they think they can push you around they will, but they are insured against such eventuality, if you can't be firm on the phone write and tell them. Do not say 'oopsy I will find money', say 'I have NO money, I am on the breadline, I am barely able to feed my children, I am living off the goodwill of my parents and siblings' (in my case this is all so very true, and utterly ridiculous as I am thirty years old and have been working sice forever).

IM me I will email you a letter to send, heck I'll send it myself just tell me which credit card company. The important thing to remember (and this is also the saddest point), that you are not the only woman going thro this, men do this to their wives/partners all the time regardless of religion/age/colour/creed. What you do not want to do is to then spend the rest of your life paying his debts.
If you ring again, ask to speak to a manager or someone with authority tell them what has happend, be frank and then say you do not take responsiblity of your ex's actions as you had no idea what he was doing he hid it from you. You are on benefits, you are living on baked beans if it makes you cry while talking then cry at the person on the phone, the person on the phone is not going to lose or gain a penny from you, it's the company they work for who should either shoulder the debt, or send around big men with baseball bats to knee cap your ex. And for goodness sake go to the police as well. You will be amazed at the help and support they offer you. And do mention these debts to your solicitor.

I so wish I lived nearer you, I could sort out your paper work for you I know I could.

Take heart, and be brave, you're fighting for your children as well as yourself you know. May Allah give you so much happiness in return for this moment of sorrow.

Love & Duaas.
Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #37 on: Apr 19, 2008 11:22 AM »

salam

With regards the divorce, if you have fmaily back home, get a male relative to ask an imam in your community to grant you an islmaic divorce. I doubt any sane person would refuse it.

I'm waiting for my decree nisi to come thro and then we are applyig for a fatwa from an imam back home. Altho he gave me two divorces already, he thought it would terrify me into allowing him to behave however he wanted without complaint!! Our imam at our masjid has said that an english divorce counts as a divorce islamically as well, if he read and signed the paper then you have it.

But for peace of mind get it witten from an imam if you like as well.


You dont sound like a broken record you know, you sound like a woman who is terrified after years of being undermined and physically and mentally abused....


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #38 on: Apr 23, 2008 10:26 PM »


Asslamo Alaykum

I've sat here and stared at the screen for quite a while now and I cant seem to find the words that I want to say.  It just seems all mixed up so I just thought I would babble on!

I just want to firstly thank you all for your continued support that you have offered me through this post I am not able to express my gratitude to you all but it means alot.

Now I don't know what you want to call me after I tell you this but as you are all aware I am and have been very confused throughout this time and don't really know which way is right and which way is wrong.  A few days ago I spoke to my solicitor and asked her to put the divorce on hold as I am so confused as to whether I want to go through with it and whether I have the strength to cope with it.

When I applied for the divorce I did not ask Allah swt in this matter by doing isthikhara I was angry and went to see my solicitor and had the petition filed, now however I have been doing isthikhara and hajat prayers continuously for a while and since then I have been receiving a negative feeling about the divorce proceeding, thus I have now put it on hold.

I still don't know if it is right or wrong what I am doing, I'm terrified of the future of going through the divorce and living alone for the rest of my life, and I know it will be a hard life but on the other hand life wasn't easy living with my husband either.

I wish there was someone who could just make the decision for me that is how I feel.  I don't want to make this decision it makes me more and more depressed thinking about it.

As far as the credit card company goes I have yet to contact them again.

Walaikum Salaam
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« Reply #39 on: Apr 24, 2008 03:22 AM »

Asalamualaikum

hmm you have negative feeling after doing istikhara, but then there is the fact that your daughter is waking up with nightmares. .and to keep her in this situation would also be wrong.. . I am also confused, hopefully someone can help.. inshAllah
MayAllah swt do what is right for you
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« Reply #40 on: Apr 24, 2008 07:05 AM »

peace be upon you

Sister Faizah, Islam is not corrupt, it is the Muslims who have been corrupted.

Sister Muslimah! I cannot, and do not, argue against Istikhara. But if you want someone to make a decision for you, here is an example.

I had a junior colleague, who for a long time lived near us. Our families were also friends, and we occasionally dined with each other. He had children, and his wife seemed very devoted to him. Then one day she died. He said it was a heart attack.

He married again, and lived away from us for a good many years. He again cane living near us and as before, brought his wife and children to visit us often.

Then his wife turned up at our house, beaten blue. He came looking for her, and denied that he had beaten her. But the bruises were on her face, and he had to admit. Then he promised he won’t beat her.

He did not live up to his promises. His wife would come to us after many weeks or months, and complain that he hadn’t reformed. He would come and apologise and make promises, but all lies. I talked to his mother. At first she refused to acknowledge her son’s guilt. Then later she let slip something which showed that this was also his father’s practice, and the mother was rather proud of it.

Many years later, I learnt that he had also been beating up his children, and had even broken his son’s arm.

His wife’s parents tried several times to reason with him, but he did not cease his practice. He would act innocent, lie and cry and promise, all in order to get his wife home, but one home, he would threaten her and the children of dire consequences if any one ever got to know that he had been abusive to his family.

We heard nothing for a long time, and I assumed all was well. Especially as when I visited them, everything seemed normal, but perhaps I am not observant, because my wife later told me the family still had fresh marks of beating when we visited them.

The people at work, his own boss, the doctors, no one did anything beyond a mild mention that this was not good behaviour, if they said anything at all. In fact later I learnt that violence is more common than I could imagined.

To cut a long story short, his second wife came to us telling us she has to run away to her parents in Karachi. She behaved very cosily towards her husband. The phone at their residence was monitored by him (he had connections in the Telephone company, among others, and he had a listening device at the exchange), she used our phone to set up with her father and brother to come fetch her. One day they came and she ran away with her daughter.

Naturally, he came to see us, and search for her, and he even registered a false case of theft against her.

I do not remember whether he sent her a divorce, or she got khula.

One of his daughters ran away from home, because of the beatings and the atmosphere at home. She was found, but he did not reform.

He told me he wanted his children to do well at school and get double promotion so that they could be put in the same school. This would have enabled him to manage their schedule and continue work for a living at the same.

He married again, and this time his eldest daughter took an intense dislike to her recent stepmother.

His eldest daughter started chatting with men on the net, calling mobile numbers (which was quite costly in those days) from his home phone, and generally became rebellious. He hinted at his children’s behaviour, and I just could only tell him to be nice to them, as the eldest two were teenagers.

The eldest daughter ran away too, and took refuse in our house. Turned out his violence had never been controlled. She hid in our house for a few days, while he and I kept looking for her in the city. I took her to one NGO, which referred us to another which ran a secure facility for such girls and women. She became better, but it turned out she had become a lier, and an addict to long phone calls, irrespective of what it was costing and to whom.

She accused her father of murdering her mother. Turned out when he came home, he ordered his wife to wash up the verandah in that intense heat. She wasn’t well, but she was forced to do it. His younger brother also told him she looked very ill, but he said she was only doing “makr-deception”. As she was washing and mopping the floor, she collapsed, and died before she reached hospital.

The daughter told me: Once her father had hit his third wife, too, but she had hit him back, and after that he never hit his wife again.

When discussing what would cure his violence, I said jokingly that the daughter had herself provided the answer, as hadn’t she told me of the one and only time he had hit his third wife.

She went back to her father’s house, and when he tried to hit her, she slapped him in the face, called him unprintable names, and walked out. This time she did not come to us, but calledonr of the guys she often chatted with. Eventually, they were married and have a son now. Many years have passed, but he has not forgiven her, and does not speak to her. She came to us once and said she was doing it because her husband wants their children to be able to visit their maternal grandfather, but she herself had no particular attachment left for her father.

I helped his second wife to run away and to get divorce/khula. I helped his daughter to stay away from his house.

When there is violence in some home, and the society is unwilling to help, what is a person like me supposed to do?
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« Reply #41 on: Apr 24, 2008 03:57 PM »

salam

My heart breaks when I read this.

OK look, I am in the middle of court proceedings and I've received quite the most absurd letters from ex's solicitors. He's done the denying, tried the begging and is now making absurd counter allegations. It's tough, it's horrible, I want to fast forward to the point where it's all over.

Think about the whole situation calmly. Is there any point in remaining married to this man, is he a good father to your children, does he provide for you as a husband should, is he the kind of person you'd want to reetain a friendship with? If not then cut your losses.

Ex tried to get a third party to ask me to not divorce him but live seperate lives. I laughed at the suggestion, so like yeah, I spend my life working my arse off building up a decent life and he turns up when he's spent all the money he's stolen for me and demands half the assets I've worked to build up, I dont think so. And also I dont really want to be tied to him, I dont want to be known as Mrs x I dont want to be referred to as the wife of x.

It your life, you have one shot at it, this is entirely your decision, but try to choose the path that does not lead ot what if.

Speak to the credit card company, whether you divorce or not, his expenditure should not be paid for by you, islamically or not.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #42 on: Apr 24, 2008 05:06 PM »

salam

sr Muslimah, please continue praying istikharah.

I understand your current hesitation.  Word of advice, wait a bit and see how events play out. 

Don't let out to your family or your husband just yet that you want to patch up things . Be patient and make constant duas.  Wait until he makes a move to gauge his intentions. 

If you want to go back, you have to be strategic about it.  He should beg to be taken back and you may put conditions such as:

-paying credit card debt
-taking anger management counselling on a regular basis
-straightening up religously, going to masjid, attending halaqas
-apologizing in front of family,and  imam
-going together to couple counselling

Are his family being involved at all in this? 

Don't sell yourself cheap.  You are an honourable woman and he should know your worth.

And maybe you should keep your finances separate from him,  no matter what.  no joint accounts or lines of credits. that's one thing i would recommend to anyone.  Islamically speaking, this is more correct by the way.  This is what I do.  I don't have a joint bank account with hubby and I don't use his credit card even though I am an additional user.

It is tough, and you are in my duas.  Don't fel helpless or hopeless please.  Keep talking to us and others.  It will make you realize that some people actually care.  That's what friends are for right? 

take care

Siham
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« Reply #43 on: Apr 24, 2008 09:07 PM »

As-Salaam `alaykum,

Dear Sr. Muslimah,
Hopefully the following information will help you understand, what you are going through at the moment.

Please give yourself some time, insha`Allah everything will be alright.
W`salaam

Quote
THE STAGES OF DIVORCE
The hallmark of a marriage is the expectation at the outset that this is to be a permanent relationship, one in which the partners commit their lives to one another. Accordingly, the breakup of such a relationship can be devastating and life disrupting,

In addition to the emotional consequences, a divorce, like a legal marriage, represents a technical and legal process. Many of the features of a legal marriage that need to be legally undone through the divorce process don’t need to be undone when a common-law marriage breaks apart. However, with increasing litigation in general and an increasing recognition of the rights of both partners in unwedded relationships, there can be as many legal issues involved in the separation of the unwedded as in the divorce of the wedded. Where there are children, custody issues are just as relevant, important, draining, and critical in the lives of the parents and children. And the emotional issues in the separation of an unwedded couple are just as penetrating and devastating.

UNDERSTANDING DIVORCE
Although your divorce is highly personal and unique, it can help to know that you’re not alone in your confusion and despair, and that things improve over time. It can help to understand what’s typical in the divorce process, what to expect from your emotions and your life as your divorce progresses through the final decree and beyond, and the sort of emotional and practical issues that you’re likely to experience, as well as the order in which they are likely to occur.

These are the developmental stages of divorce—the sequence of things that divorced people typically go through.
You can help yourself by recognizing which phase of your divorce work is most relevant to your life now, understanding what emotional and life tasks are involved, and identifying and working through your feelings and experiences.

There are any number of ways to describe what people pass through from the first announcement of a divorce to the point at which they’re able to move on with their new lives, free of old emotional bonds. But there are two clear processes of divorce that coincide with and actively affect one another: the legal route to separation and the dissolution of the marriage and the emotional roller coaster that you’re no doubt already on.

Although these two aspects of divorce are separate from one another, they happen simultaneously in different arenas of your life, and one clearly and definitely influences the other. Divorce Counseling Homework Planner focuses strictly on the emotional process of divorce.

Nevertheless, like the legal side of the divorce process, there’s a predictable sequence of feelings and events you’ll experience and a set of tasks you’ll have to accomplish to deal most successfully with those experiences.

Despite the ebb and flow of feelings and the constant turbulence of the postdivorce years, divorced people do go through recognizable stages as they deal with and pass through the legal and emotional processes of divorce. Understanding these stages can help you to make sense of your feelings and accept them as a normal and expected part of the emotional process. Such understanding can aid you in working on the necessary emotional aspects of your divorce work, which include:

• Facing the reality of the divorce
• Working through painful feelings
• Experiencing the full range of emotions associated with the breakdown of your marriage
• Coping with the situational and lifestyle changes resulting from your loss
• Adapting to the change and reconfiguring your life

THE FOUR STAGES OF DIVORCE
Although everyone’s experience with divorce will be somewhat different, you can expect to go through four distinct stages, which combine an emotional reality that begins with the announcement of divorce and the practical considerations that follow your separation.

Although there’s a timeline—the sequence of things that will happen and the emotional phases you’ll pass through in a particular order—there’s no straightforward measure of how long it will take to progress through this timeline. Generally, you can expect it to take 1 to 3 years before your life resumes its course, in the main unaffected by your divorce—but, of course, this varies widely.

There’s no correct formula to tell you when you should feel a particular way or when you should stop feeling that way.  The concept of emotional divorce work is intended to help you understand and stay on top of your emotions, so your brain, not your feelings, shapes the path of your divorce and your life.

The first stage of the divorce typically passes the most quickly. It’s the quick hit and sometimes numbing shock wave as you realize your marriage is over. It represents the first phase of adjustment. The second and third stages represent the bulk of your active divorce work—covering the most substantial legal, practical, and emotional changes in your life during and after divorce. Most of the issues raised by and about the divorce will be addressed, worked through, and hammered home during these two stages. During the fourth and final stage you are moving away from the divorce and into your new life.

This stage really has no formal end and is marked by your full acceptance of the divorce, as well as the resolution of most of the practical issues and many of the emotional issues. This stage is characterized by your recognition that you’re capable of having a life—and, indeed, have a life—outside of your former marriage, and that you’re getting on with that life.

• Stage 1: Shock and disbelief
• Stage 2: Initial adjustment
• Stage 3: Active reorganization
• Stage 4: Life re-formation

Stage 1, shock and disbelief, begins as soon as the idea of a separation and divorce is introduced and sinks in. Sometimes during this stage people don’t really believe the marriage is over. Of course, sometimes this is true, and reconciliation does follow. But the emotional work of this stage can’t really begin until you accept the reality of the separation.

If you choose to believe that your marriage isn’t really over or that this is just a phase the marriage or your partner is going through, then you’re in a state of suspended disbelief, and your life will remain frozen while you wait for it to return to normal. But regardless of whether you believe that your marriage is really over, the work of Stage 1 begins with that first announcement of divorce, and it involves four major tasks and issues to be worked through.

Facing reality. You have to come to grips with what has just happened.  One of you  in the marriage has announced the intention to separate and get a divorce.

Self-esteem and inadequacy. One of the early tasks you face concerns how you see yourself, and the feelings of inadequacy, and even shame, that you might experience as you question what you did wrong.

Telling the world. This task is directly connected to self-esteem and shame, and involves letting others know what’s happened: family, friends, coworkers, and other people in your life.

Support and help. You’ll experience a full range of emotions in relation to the end of your marriage, and many practical obstacles and challenges will suddenly appear.  This task involves getting the emotional support and practical help you need from friends, family, and others who are part of your life.

As you work your way through this stage, you will pass from initial disbelief to a point of acceptance. You may still not believe that things are final and perhaps you still hope for reconciliation, but if you are successful in dealing with the issues and tasks of this stage, you’ll reach a point where you accept the facts of your situation and begin to actively plan for and accommodate the fresh reality of your new life.

Stage 2, initial adjustment, involves your ability to actively adapt to this new phase of your life. The initial shock at the end of your marriage has passed, and as the numbness wears off you start to feel the pain and squarely face the many real changes that have taken place in your life. The primary goal in this stage is to adapt and muster the personal resources you’ll need to manage the many emotional and practical changes you’re going through. Four major tasks of this stage are:


Functioning and responsibility. Even if it doesn’t feel that way, you still have a life. It’s important that you continue to function effectively, appropriately, and responsibly during this very difficult—and critical—time in your life.

Practical reality. Part of your adjustment will involve immediate attention to practical matters—housing, financial stability, child care, and so on. Initial adaptation very much means ensuring a stable base for your life as you tend to the immediate and longer-term emotional, legal, and practical tasks.

Legal matters. Even if you have a completely amiable and straightforward divorce, you still have to sever legal ties and the marriage itself. During this early stage, you will be involved in the first steps of your legal divorce. This will likely include your early search for or initial interactions with an attorney.

Managing emotions. Throughout this stage you will likely be inundated with powerful emotions of all kinds, from the self-esteem and shame issues you experienced in Stage 1 to feelings of anger, betrayal, and revenge. A primary task involves finding ways to cope with your emotions so you’re not swept away or overcome by them. At this time, you may decide to seek help from a counselor for yourself or your children, if you or they are experiencing emotional difficulties.

Stage 2 begins as emotional numbness and disbelief wear off, and you adjust to your new situation. It ends with your acclimation to the situation—your ability to live within this new life, even though you may not like or even accept it. Neither adjustment nor acclimation signifies your ability to control your emotions, nor do they mean that you’re on top of things—but successfully working through these tasks does mean you’ve accomplished a great deal and have laid the foundation for the work ahead.

Stage 3, active reorganization, centers around the way you’re living your life and how you’re coping with the tasks of being suddenly single—perhaps being a single parent— and the huge tasks of redefining yourself and your life. By now, you’ve become aware of some of the enduring changes that you’ll have to make (or have already made) and are addressing these very real issues. The issues and tasks you’ll face during this stage involve the following:

Lifestyle and practical affairs. This covers the issues that surround how you live your life and manage your affairs. Perhaps it involves moving to a new home or changing the locks on your existing home, or permanent child care arrangements.

Redefining relationships. By now, many of your relationships have been redefined to some degree—you’ve sorted out those people you can count on and those who have moved away from active involvement in your life. In this stage, you’ll more clearly define relationships with people from your married life, including your ex-spouse, of course, as well as former in-laws and friends you previously shared with your former
partner.

Reconstructing personal values and beliefs. After the experience of a failed marriage, you no doubt feel devastated. During this stage you’ll be thinking hard about yourself, what you want and what you don’t want, what’s important in your life, and how to find meaning in your postmarried life.

Concluding legal procedures. During this stage, you’ll pass through the most active elements of the legal divorce process. How you handle this will be enormously important— for many people, a great deal rides on the outcomes, including child custody, finances, and the splitting of shared property, as well as emotional consequences for both yourself and any involved children.

The beginning of the third stage is marked by the consolidation of your resources— your life is physically more settled and you know what’s available to you and what isn’t. Even though emotional, practical, legal, and lifestyle issues are far from resolved, your life has taken a clear direction. By the end of Stage 3, your life is more clearly defined, and things are beginning to fall into place.

Stage 4, life re-formation, represents the final steps as you pass through to the other side of your divorce—the worst is behind you, and you have the opportunity to build a new life. In this final stage, you’ll deal with the emotional issues and life choices involved in resolutely moving on with your life.

Constructing relationships. As you move onward, you’ll not only redefine but, in many cases, you’ll rebuild old and existing relationships, as well as construct new ones. These may be platonic, romantic, work-related, or social in some other way.

New interests. You have the chance to explore new interests or revisit old ones that were perhaps not viable in the past. These interests, like new relationships, provide part of the foundation upon which your postmarried life will be built.

Personal responsibility. As you work through this final stage, you’ll come to terms with the fact that you’re fully responsible for your own life—your emotional and physical health, your finances, your social relationships, and your choices. Where you go will be up to you.

Accepting your new life. In successful emotional divorce work, you finally reach the point where you’re able to fully acknowledge and accept that your marriage is over. Like it or not, you have a new life.

Stage 4 is characterized by a clarification of the way things are as you enter this final phase of your divorce work. Much of the work of fully defining your relationship with your ex-spouse has been accomplished. The successful conclusion to Stage 4 is recognizing your ability to set the pace for your own life, wherever it may take you.

Conclusion
The first stage of the divorce typically passes the most quickly. It's the quick hit, and sometimes numbing shock wave, as people realize their marriage is over. The second and third stages are the most active and represent the bulk of active divorce work, covering the most active legal, practical, and emotional changes in life after divorce. The final stage represents that time in life during which divorcees are moving far away from their divorce, and into their new life. This stage really has no formal "end," and is marked by the full acceptance of the divorce and a resolution of most of the practical issues and many of the emotional.

Of course, the reality is that many of the various tasks of each stage overlap. And things aren't as clean and neat as checking off one task and then moving on to the next. But helping divorcees recognize these stages and tasks can be an enormously useful way to help them see and understand the path that lies ahead for them.

References:

Burns B., & Whiteman, T. (1992.) "The Fresh Start Divorce Recovery Workbook." Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Engel, M. L., & Gould, D. D. (1992). "The Divorce Decisions Workbook." New York: McGraw-Hill

Kramer, P. D. (1997). "Should You Leave? New York. Scribner.

Rich, P., & Schwartz, L. L. (1999). "The Healing Journey Through Divorce: Your Journal of Understanding and Renewal." New York: John Wiley.

Schwartz, L. L., & Kaslow, F. W. (1997). "Painful Partings: Divorce and Its Aftermath." New York: John Wiley.

"Do not treat people with contempt, nor walk insolently on the earth. Allah does not love the arrogant or the self-conceited boaster. Be modest in your bearing and subdue your voice, for the most unpleasant of voices is the braying of the ass." [The Holy Qur'an, Surah Luqman - 31:18-19]
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« Reply #44 on: Apr 24, 2008 10:09 PM »


Asslamo Alaykum

Bro Timbutu - I think it was right what you did in respect of the wife and daughter and how you helped them away from the violence and I'm sure they appreciate your help too.  There are not many people out there who are willing to help others as you did.

Sis Fozia - I don't know how to answer your questions, he hasn't provided for me the way a Husband should and I don't know if there is any point in remaining married to him, I don't know if we can move on from what has happened and start again, clean slate and all that.  At times I wish I could think as you do.

Sis Um Aboodi - He has been constantly saying to me don't go through the divorce, he told me he was seeing a psychiatrist and getting help in anger management I didn't know whether to believe him or not but it was also revealed by his solicitor in court!  He has now been saying that he is prepared to go to marriage counselling and try again, but what still gets to me is, is it going to be enough to save this marriage? or is this the end of the road for us?  His family are not involved in any of this as in they do not talk to me, we have not spoken to each other for quite a long time they caused problems between me and my husband.

Sis Siham - Thank you for the article - it covers a large area of divorce issues which are helpful.

Please make dua for me and my children that we are able to make the right decision.

And one last thing thank you for caring.

Walikum Salaam
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« Reply #45 on: Apr 24, 2008 11:12 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

Okay, perhaps my use of the word "corrupt" in the context used was unclear and we should always strive for clarity.  Yes it is true that it is people who have been corrupted to whatever degree they may have been, however in being so, the ages have shown that their interpretation, practice, adherence, etc. of Islam has also been so; so much that this "new" format is presented almost as the norm, form, shape and practice of Islam with no mention nor notice and acceptance that this format is the result of people and therefore is not Islam in its trueness.

To attempt to reshape Islam to conform to the norms of contemporary society as it exists wherever the people exist is not correct.  Gleaning what strikes one's fancy from our belief and values system and rejecting or ignoring the rest is problematic and is sadly too evident.

As salaamu alaikum

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« Reply #46 on: Apr 26, 2008 12:29 AM »

Assalamo Ailkum.

Firstly may I say how noble Brother Timbuktu is, there are so may who turn their back at times like this...
this is the best form of charity to help those in need, particularly of refuge and protection.

Sr. Muslimah I am probably old enough to be your grandmother and I have seen all sides of life. I was orphaned at a very young age and was brought up by relatives not an ideal childhood there were times I was so unhappy.

However Allah was kind and led me to a good muslim man, who is kind and gentle. This was how Allah brought me to Islam  and the true path, Masha Allah I converted more than 43 years ago. Now enough about me.

I understand you will falter and think you are doing the wrong thing, you will feel lonely...but in my experience men like this do not change. You deserve better and so do your children...this violence, abuse and creation of debt will not cease. For a while it will be better but then it will start again. I have seen it so many times. Please stay strong.
You and your children deserve better. Insah Allah there are better days to come.
You are in my duahs.
May Allah give you strength.
Salaams.
JJ
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