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A friend is having some very serious marital problems and chose not to tell anyone about what is going on. However, from time to time she confides in me because she feels that keeping it all in is too much, and she has some genuine concerns about her own well being and the well being of her children that she feels she may need to consult someone about. Her discussing all this with me however does necessarily include speaking about her husband in a manner he would not care for, ghiba, and so I do not know whether or not I should prevent her from even speaking to me about her grievances and problems. How can I assist her, and what advice might I give her?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher

A friend is having some very serious marital problems and chose not to tell anyone about what is going on. However, from time to time she confides in me because she feels that keeping it all in is too much, and she has some genuine concerns about her own well being and the well being of her children that she feels she may need to consult someone about. Her discussing all this with me however does necessarily include speaking about her husband in a manner he would not care for, ghiba, and so I do not know whether or not I should prevent her from even speaking to me about her grievances and problems. How can I assist her, and what advice might I give her?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them with sincerity to the Day of Account.

You are right in being concerned about being a participant in ghiba. Your friend’s husband is not there to defend himself or give his side of the story.

That said; your friend obviously needs someone to talk to. Since she has chosen you, you need to steer her towards someone who can assist her. Continue to offer your love and support, but urge her to seek counsel. Preferably, she and her husband should seek the advice of a Muslim in good standing in the community, with a background in marriage and family counseling. If such a person is not available, they need to seek the advice of a trusted relative who can be neutral. If there are no Muslims who can assist, she can go to a non-Muslim marriage counselor, preferably one with an understanding of Muslim concerns.

One caveat: If your friend or her children are experiencing any type of physical abuse or trauma at the hands of the husband, immediate intervention is required. If this is the case, you should assist your friend in relocating to a safe place. Islam does not tolerate abuse, and if this is happening, your friend should not stay in a situation where her or her children’s lives or health is at risk.

Zaynab Ansari

 

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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