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Loneliness: How to counter it?

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 17:40

Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

We seem to a problem in the Ummah where many people are lonely and in order to seek companionship and to alleviate loneliness they often commit Haram.

I am a nobody but I have observed a lot of this in Muslim women particularly older Sisters who are maybe not in a relationship and loneliness affects them considerably.

Loneliness affects men as well but at least they can hang around the Mosque or attend talks etc.

What are the some of the steps which can be taken for both men and women to alleviate loneliness?

Jazakaullahu Khairun

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 18:09
Waalaikumussalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu:

For non-Muslims and those who don't practice the deen - this is actually a huge problem that affects everyone, young and old, man and woman. This is also part of the reason why older people encourage dating, and why younger people date. Especially in the west, friends are afforded time and effort whereas families and neighbours are not as much.

The whole mind-set needs to change but you really can't tackle this problem without getting at the heart first... without imaan, all the words in the world won't mean anything and the norms of the day rule. Sad but true. Not many are willing and able to stand up to such devastating, disastrous cultural practices such as dating, etc.

As for practicing Muslims - I agree, it is really very difficult especially for older women with children. Adjusting to the lifestyle is very difficult. Alhamdulillah, most are fine but really, this is a struggle and alhamdulillah for it as well. Solutions? Practically speaking: families need to spend time with them, sister's circles and groups would be very helpful as well... but I think ultimately, marriage is the best solution if at all possible.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 18:22

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I get a lot of queries from different people including Sisters and at the heart of many issues is loneliness and many of them fall into sin due to it. They are looking for attention and some brothers (practicing) gives her attention and these Sisters fall for it.

They email, text or skype or phone really because they are lonely and some guy makes a few comments which makes their day. A lot of these people (men and women) are practising believers but just getting tempted. I get so many emails and I actually wrote this long ago as a first generic answer!

The world is becoming a horror show with available Sisters and brothers exploiting them!

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 18:29
To me, Salaah is a cure for loneliness. Many non-Muslims including atheists have found "worship" to be a solution to loneliness and feeling lost.

I have been in situations where I was alone (due to work) for a more than a week and believe me it drives you crazy. The only thing that helped alleviate that was Salaah. It naturally created this feeling that I wasn't alone.

I really don't know of a better solution as this is something that occurs five times a day not giving a person a chance to lack any form of communication as it's the lack of communication that builds loneliness.

Yes, there's deeper loneliness beyond this but the very first step would be Salaah in my opinion. Many verses and Ahadeeth on the virtues covers this point too.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 18:31

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Subhanullah!!! Ajeeb...

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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 18:46
Alhamdulillah, yes, salaah makes such a difference!
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 18:52

Personally, I am very alarmed at the current trend in our communities. Having looked into and worked with so many families. Marriage isn’t easy especially with a Sister with previous children so in my opinion she should stay single unless she is absolutely cast iron sure that marriage is the better option. It is better to stay single and maintain the status quo then to marry for the sake of it in our times.

So marriage is “a solution” but not always possible or practical and in my opinion many who encourage Sisters to get married (or even become second wives) are really doing injustice and not giving them a chance to consider the matter carefully.

I will let Maulana Yasin Saheb correct me.

 

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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 19:07
Agreed, this definitely not an easy solution especially for the women. Often, the woman has been alone for a while and so it is not easy to adjust to a different way of doing things. If there are children, they were not disciplined by the man so there could easily be friction there. Marriage with a woman with children, especially women who've been alone for a while, is a test not for the faint of heart... and who better to know this than the woman herself? Insha'Allah.

It is crucial that women (regardless of status) keep away from direct/private communications with men as much as is practically possible.

With regards to salaah, when a person is alone for a few days and feels how easily a person can go astray but for salaah... doesn't that also highlight the immense blessing of human companionship? I think it does. Alhamdulillah for companionship.

That brings us back full circle to the fact that often women aren't totally alone in that there are others in their families and communities with whom to connect with but... those others need to be sensitive to this and actually make time to spend with them. So, for instance, an older woman with adult children who've all left the home - those children need to be there for their mothers. Communities should make it easier for women to connect with women - perhaps a reliable driving service to shuttle them to and from meetings with others... or even something as simple as exercise - walking groups would be fantastic. And helping women re-locate where there are more community members... though this could lead to negative interactions as outlined in OP too so care needs to be exercised.

Sorry for rambling, just trying to get thoughts out in hopes that insha'Allah they'll help generate solutions.

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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 19:10
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So marriage is "a solution" but not always possible or practical


That's right. Matters differ so hugely from person to person that there's no general solution but there are options. Only the people involved with a knowledgeable scholar can determine if it's the right solution. We were taught very clearly that marriage is one those deeds that can have so many rulings for each person. Overall it's an essential Sunnah but to each person it can become Wajib as well as Haraam. Same goes with second and third marriages.

But for loneliness I'm not sure if it's the primary solution
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 19:13
Otherwise... I don't know if women who are older and alone are actually more vulnerable than say young reverts trying to start a 'new' life away from their non-Muslim families. Insha'Allah older women have some more wisdom.... but it really makes me sad to read/hear about young reverts who can't wait to get out of their parent's homes and often going it alone (better to stay with their parents in my opinion, unless they're being subjected to unimaginable cruelty). Really very vulnerable.

Then, who isn't vulnerable? So... men, work on yourselves - more to add to your broad shoulders.

I believe that if women are displaying unimaginable behaviours/actions, it is a symptom that not all is right in the community as a whole and as their guardians, men are actually failing their duties towards their women. If we scratch the surface where that blemish is, we'll uncover a nasty infestation eating away at it - alive!
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 21:02

Asslamo Allaikum,

We need older Sisters who are pious, practising, mature and wise to offer guidance to the younger ones. Same goes for young boys.

Actually, we need Sisters offering guidance to other Sisters but this matter is severely neglected. In UK we have issues with finding places for Sisters to pray let alone galvanise a community or setup walks or other community initiative. In UK, most of the active women Dawah is from Salafi or Ahl-e-Hadeeth and now increasingly Barelwee Sisters.

Our woman are attending other events and turning to others because the oppurtunities from their own are just not there.

There has to be a massive rethink on the Masjid front in the west because if Masjid won't provide the facilities for these Sisters then who will?

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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 21:42
Muadh wrote:
We seem to have a problem in the Ummah where many people are lonely and in order to seek companionship and to alleviate loneliness they often commit Haram.

I am a nobody but I have observed a lot of this in Muslim women particularly older Sisters who are maybe not in a relationship and loneliness affects them considerably.


It's not always about seeking companionship. Many a times the spouse is left all alone and neglected. I think that both the men and women need to be educated, especially during Ramadhan about the effects this could have on their Iman and relationship. (ramadhan because this is the only time people are in josh and spend a bit more time with the family and listen to lectures)

When the husband is neglectful and not giving time to the wife, the wife feels lost and that's when shaitan walks in. Here the wife finds opportunities to contact someone who might just know why the husband would behave in such a manner. Sometimes that wife feels like she just needs a shoulder to lean on or cry on (metaphorically)

The same can happen the other way round too. The wife is neglecting the husband and the husband then simply prefers to stay away from her and get company else where. For example, staying at work for longer, staying in the Masjid for too long, going in jamaat when it's not the best thing to do etc.

When these things happen, contact is made with the opposite gender. When contact is made then it could all be over for them both. And one of the reasons, In my honest opinion, is the kick they get out of secrecy. It will also depend on who contact is made with. If it is someone who only guides towards the straight path, then they might be lucky, but if it's not then their desires start to play with them and they create a virtual relationship. The relationship can lead to love without them even knowing or seeing each other. And when this happens, then even Salah may not help because all they would be thinking of is their new found partner.

I have seen marriages break just because the husband could not find time for his wife and vice versa.

Many husbands are also guilty of neglecting their wife due to the pressure of their mothers. Yes mothers have a right, but so do wives.

If Jannah is beneath the feet of the mother, then it is also with the wife that men complete half of their Iman.

The problem is not only with single men and women, it's for married couples too. Young and old.

Allah help us stay away from being neglectful.

Another problem is those fools who prey on women on the internet and disguise themselves as being a woman and getting to know everything they want and then they pounce. These people need to be exposed and shamed.
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2013 21:46
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In the UK Deobandi books, this is taboo. You're asking for trouble. The UK Deobandis can't sort out the Salah times and moonsighting due to in fighting, you really think they will spend a moment thinking of the women?
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 17th September 2013 11:53

 

[3:14] It has been made attractive for people to love the desired things; that is, women, children, hoarded heaps of gold and silver, branded horses, cattle and tillage. That is an enjoyment of the worldly life; but with Allah lies the beauty of the final resort.

When it comes to women we need to realise that Shaytaan beautifies a woman (beyond what she actually is) for a man and makes her feel attractive (when she actually may not be). A wife at home maybe 90% what we want and 10% what we don’t want. Shaytaan will put 1% of a stranger woman in front of us and make us focus on that particular quality when 99% of this woman is either hidden or incompatible.

When married men have affairs, you subjectively compare the woman whom they are having an affair with the wife and they are often inferior to the wife. In fact, I have sisters tell me that brother I don’t know why he was attracted to that woman, I honestly fail to comprehend that!

So you know that its Shaytaan who got in the middle and made this woman appear larger than life (when she isn’t).

This was relayed to me through a Bayan of Shaykh (Maulana) Umar Palunpuri (RA) that Shaytaan will always make a strange woman “worth” more than what she actually is!

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