February 28, 2023
Q Assalamualaikum I am a person who has been suffering from mental health problems and depression for a long time and I still do not know the reason for the depression but I would like to share some of my concerns. Recently I have started taking my religion very seriously and have started doing research on various topics and for the most part I feel fine but there are some things that I find difficult to fulfill such as education and work for women. The terms and conditions state that there should be no free shuffling. But in my country there may be schools or colleges that are male-free, but male teachers are always there.
Most universities and medical schools are not free from admixture. So should I stop studying altogether because I know education is very important as in the future I don’t know I may need skills to get a job. In the case of job sectors, the situation is the same as it is very difficult to find a job free from admixture. Is it my responsibility to make sure that wherever I go it is free from admixture, for not everything is out of my hands, but life has its own needs.
When my elderly parents need my support, especially financial support. Shouldn’t I work for them as they have taken care of me since I was a child. The requirements that scientists say and reality are very different and they only say but cannot give us any realistic or alternative solution. I have heard scholars say that I cannot live in a non-Muslim country, but when I return to my country, no one will offer me a job, I have to rely entirely on my savings, it’s a good idea. I came here to a non-Muslim country because my father was ill and now the doctors of my country have done wrong treatment. If I return to my country he would intentionally risk his life and in my country the treatment is expensive and not free if I have to treat him there I have to sell all my property… it’s a good idea to do that ?
I can’t take credit for treatment because that includes riba and I heard from a scholar who said I can’t even get treatment from haram drugs even if my life is in danger. Now tell me what to do as a helpless person where there is nothing I can do.
I can’t work in a mixed culture I can’t live in a non-Muslim country I can’t help my parents I can’t go outside. How am I supposed to get out of a depression where I’m trying to find a solution but there is no solution?
In this advisory response:
In the west, mixed work and study environments are the norm, so finding something that’s strictly halal can be quite a challenge. With recent advances in technology, there are many more opportunities and options, both for work and study. Make sure you maintain healthy social connections with sisters in your local church so you can have a healthy face-to-face social life as well. Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
Her dilemma is very common for us sisters living in the West.
Mixed work and study environments are the norm, so finding something that is strictly halal can be quite a challenge.
I understand that for you, like for many sisters, life in the West is not easy to escape, especially if you have important connections and commitments there, such as family, especially parents, for which you are responsible, as in your case the case is.
Of course, the other option could be to get a loan, as you suggest, but as you also rightly conclude, it is also a form of haram, in this case riba.
So what do you do when all your available options seem to lead to haram and you are unable to meet your needs and responsibilities?
This will inevitably make you feel the heartache and depression.
However, there are some solutions that you should consider.
With the recent advances in technology, there are many more choices and options that would help you avoid some of the things that make it difficult to get your needs met.
As for learning, there are so many online courses now.
It is even possible to take professional courses up to a high level online.
Studying online allows for greater flexibility while reducing the required interaction between students and with their teachers.
Likewise at work. Many more jobs are now available online or from home, especially after COVID.
Again, opportunities like this give you a chance to make money without even entering a mixed environment.
Many sisters are even making efforts to start their own online businesses, which offers even greater flexibility and the opportunity to work in the area of your choice and to do something that you care even more about as your own boss.
Seek scientific advice
So as you can see, while you may seem to be in a sticky situation with no obvious solution, there are other options worth exploring where you can meet your needs while staying within the confines of the are Islamically acceptable.
Alhamdulilah, this should enable you to take your religion as seriously as you have until now.
Of course, if you have any doubts about new possibilities, seek scientific advice to ensure that what you are going to pursue is acceptable from an Islamic point of view.
On another note, make sure that while your work and study is possible in this alternative format, it can be quite lonely and isolating. So, be sure to maintain healthy social connections with sisters in your local community so that you can also maintain a healthy face-to-face social life as well.
This helps in coping and buffering any mental stress you have been through.
May Allah reward you for striving to live for the sake of Allah and being conscious of your actions so that it pleases Allah.
May Allah continue to guide you on the straight path, steadfast in your deen.
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