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Two Worlds

I have three issues I would like to resolve, or at least receive some input on:

I am a twenty-one year old Muslima who was born to a Hispanic mother, but raised by an Arab mother whom I consider my mom, and my father is Arab as well. My family life has always been amazing alhamdulilah, but I have a younger brother who knows nothing about my past. Should we ever tell him? when is the best time?

Secondly, I recently received a message from a family member notifying me that my biological mother is out on the streets, eating garbage from restaurants, and wandering off in an unstable mental state. How should I proceed in the most cautious manner to help her? I want to send her money but have this fear that it will go to the wrong people.

Thirdly, I am stuck between wanting marriage and working on my medical career. I am at a point in my life where I feel ready to start a home, but at the same time I’m not sure medical school fits this puzzle. Can anyone give me some tips?


Salaam,

I am so happy to read that you are happy with your adoptive parents and that your family is amazing Alhamdulilah. That is truly a blessing in this life.

I wanted to write firstly about you finding out about the state of your biological mother. That must be really heart-breaking for you and it is but natural to want to help her out in any way possible. My recommendation would be (if possible) to talk with your adoptive parents if they are 1) that open-minded to see that you want to help her and 2) that they themselves would be able to help you out by either doing more research about ways to financially help her out without the money going to the wrong people (as you mentioned). However if you choose not to involve your family in this decision, then that is completely okay too. In that case, I would ask you to research any charitable organizations in your area that help/assist people who are either homeless or have other problems. Because there are a lot of charities that do such a thing. And you can even look up ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) or ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) websites if you are wanting the organization to be Muslim-based. I hope this helped inshAllah.

Now, coming to the part of telling your younger brother about your past… That is a decision that you would have to make. You did not mention his age so I will assume that he is younger than 18. If he is, then he might not understand anything about your past and might become more confused and conflicted when and if you decide to tell him. My recommendation would be (and the decision is totally yours) to wait till he is old enough to understand. I would also recommend that you have a conversation about this (again, if you think this is right) to talk to your parents about this before proceeding. They will definitely provide you insight and guidance. Also, you need to ask the following questions of yourself:

1) Telling my brother about my past, what makes it so important for me to tell him? What is my motivation behind that?
2) How will I handle if my brother’s relationship with me changes after I disclose to him about my past?

I am sure more questions will arise in your mind as you make your decision. I would highly recommend seeking out a Muslim counselor in your area that can help you process this. Trust me, counseling helps a lot!!

About wanting marriage or working on your medical career… There are people who I personally know that have gotten married and pursued their careers after marriage. And then there are those who wait till they are established in a career to get married. Again, you need to figure out what is more important to you. You never know what Allah SWT has planned for you. I pray that you find a caring, and understanding spouse who will be supportive of your medical career because there are people out there like that. This is also something that you can process and explore further with a counselor.

I wish you all the best and pray that Allah SWT helps you always. Ameen.

Sincerely,
Your sister in Islam,
Fatima “U”

2 thoughts on “Two Worlds

  1. Salaam sweet sister,

    Thanks for trusting us enough to ask us our suggestions for the various circumstances in your life. InshaAllah, I hope you find the suggestions on this website beneficial and alhamdulillah it’s a blessing that Allah surrounds us with good people who care to offer their insight. I hope you also realize that ultimately you will find your true answers in your own heart.

    My two cents (especially because I’m not a professional counselor but just your sister in Islam who cares about you) regarding your questions are as follows…

    1) I agree with Fatima that it’s worth asking yourself some questions before you decide if/when to tell your brother about your family of birth. I might ask myself why am I inclined to tell him? Is it because I’m so close to him that I talk to him about everything else in my life so I want to speak to him about this as well? If not, is it because I feel I’d like someone to speak to, look to for support? I can imagine it might feel nice talking to someone you are close to about your situation, since it is always beneficial to have someone we trust to care about us and give us the support to process our feelings about so many situations in life.

    Maybe you could pray istakhara (here’s a link if you’re not familiar with istakhara http://www.iqrasense.com/dua-from-quran-and-hadith/dua-and-prayer-for-istikhara.html) and ask Allah for insight on the best way to proceed?

    Also, if you just want to talk about your feelings about having been raised by amazing parents who aren’t your biological parents, I hope you will repost on this site to find friends who can support you through that as well.

    2) Regarding your biological mom, I also agree with Fatima that it might be easiest to try and find some support ideally through an Islamic organization who is used to supporting those who need help. Which city do you live in? Some cities actually have shelters specifically for Muslim women who also help them get jobs etc so they can begin taking care of themselves. Maybe it’s worth checking with your local masjid as well?

    I also hope you find support, peace and comfort for your feelings about your mom’s situation. If you don’t have someone close you can speak to, I hope you know you can turn to your friends here on this site. InshaAllah, Allah will help your mom find the best ways to have a beautiful life.

    3) As far as your medical career, I might be a bit biased because I always wanted to be a doctor but never pursued it because my dad thought I should focus on marriage, etc. However, as I’ve become older, I’ve realized that we can be successful in life by balancing so many aspects if we really are passionate and choose to do so. If you really want to help people by pursuing a career in the medical field, I think it’s very possible to have an amazing family, be an awesome wife and mom and at the same time pursue education and a meaningful career. Of course, this requires true dedication and hard work so you can balance all these aspects, but if you choose to, I believe you can. Maybe once you have children you might decide you want to work part time or take some time off so you can be there more for your kids as well, but if you haven’t even gotten the education and pursued the career than how can you have that option?

    Just a side note though, I would speak to a few different current doctors now and see what they feel about their medical career …I’ve just heard some say that it’s not as fulfilling as it used to be, but definitely worth getting opinions.

    Even if you decide medical is not the way for you, you can decide to educate yourself in something else. This way, at least you will have dedicated yourself to pursuing aspects of life that are meaningful to you, including marriage, family and other things you like.

    I also agree with Fatima that it is important to find a spouse who will support you in your ambitions, and someone you can support in theirs, including your joint ambitions to form a happy loving Allah conscious marriage and family inshaAllah.

    Also, it might be worth praying istakhara for this as well.

    Good luck in all your decisions and your life journey!! May Allah bless you in all your decisions!

    Your sister in Islam!

  2. Yousuf Parvez Khan

    Asalamo alaikum Sister,

    How old is your younger brother ? If he at least 10 years old, then he is old enough to know that your biological mother was Hispanic.

    Ask the family member who notified you about your mum to find out her exact whereabouts and then try to meet your mum yourself. Try to put her in a safe place, like a home or something. Arrange for a caretaker to take care of her and you can pay the caretaker. In this way you know that your mum is benefiting from the money that you are giving and you can visit her whenever you want to see if she is doing ok.

    I am glad that you asked the question about becoming a doctor and getting married, because I am a doctor too. So I know what you are talking about. If you find a potential husband who is willing to support you throughout medical school and even after that, then there is no reason for you to delay your marriage. Before you get engaged or during your engagement with your potential husband, discuss this issue. Your husband has to be extremely understanding and supportive with your plans of becoming a doctor. Make sure that you are marrying the right person who is willing to make sacrifices because becoming a doctor is a big commitment.

    If you have any further questions, just click on the reply button next to this message.
    I pray that Allah helps you in your efforts.

    Sincerely,
    Dr.Yousuf Parvez Khan