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Please help... what should I do?

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  • Please help... what should I do?

    Salam sisters and brothers. If you could read my story and please advise me, I would be grateful.

    I live with my two older sisters in the US. We're all in our 20s... I'm 21, sisters are closer to 30ish. Up until recently, we have lived with our parents for our entire life. They are practicing Muslims and pretty conservative. In August last year, they moved overseas in order to raise our younger brothers in an Arabic environment. We regularly skype and keep in contact every day, which I'm happy about.

    My parents follow the Islamic school of thought that says you shouldn't play musical instruments. I'd always wanted to play the piano, but didn't want to go against their wishes. But after my parents moved overseas, I thought about it and eventually bought a used keyboard in around October last year. For a few weeks, I practiced on my own at home and it was fun. But after a while, I stopped playing because it was difficult for me to enjoy it knowing that I was doing something I shouldn't be. I never told my parents about it, but I am uncomfortable with keeping secrets from them.

    At the same time, recently I discovered that my older sister is dating a man from her college. I attend and work at the same university, and my boss and colleagues (who know that Muslims don't usually have boyfriends) constantly mention to me that my older sister is always to be seen with a certain man around campus. To put it in my boss's words, "She seems to be in love." Hearing it from the mouths of other people obviously is awkward, but then maybe I should have figured it out myself? She has always been texting late at night and hides her phones when any family member gets close.

    When I asked my other (middle) sister about it, she admitted that she had known it for awhile... a few years, actually, so she had known it since way before our parents had moved. My sisters are both adults, and what they do with their lives is their own business. But thanks to unintentionally finding out from other people, I'm forced to hide this secret from our parents, too...

    In this day and age, I'm sure I come across as a prude and goody two shoes... But when you have been raised a certain way since birth, and you look your parents in the eye and tell them everything is fine and there's nothing new going on, it creates a lot of stress and pressure for me.
    I have already been feeling guilty about hiding the fact that I played piano last year, and now I have this additional secret... I have been waiting to tell my parents about the piano, and now I feel like the window of opportunity has been lost to tell either "secret." It will look like I'm just trying to justify one or the other. Knowing my parents, they would definitely be more angered by the fact that my sister has a boyfriend.

    The reason it is such a big deal in our family is because we have all (I assumed all of us...) been planning to move to the same country overseas and "start our life" there. After our education in theUS, my sisters and I were going to find jobs and join our parents and brothers there. Now, as I near the end of my degree, everyone has been looking for jobs and planning for the move except for my sis with the boyfriend. My parents and I were always puzzled about why she seemed unhappy about moving overseas and why she never bothered looking for a job, and well I guess now I know why...

    My parents have often asked me if I know anything about why she's been so opposed to moving overseas with us, and I never knew why, but now I do... Saying "I have no idea" is no longer an option. In a roundabout way, by not telling my parents, I feel that my silence is an implied approval of what my sister is doing. I have so far kept quiet because I can hardly predict the chaos that will descend on my family when they find out.

    But the truth always finds a way to come out, and I can already hear my parents saying "Did you know that your sister had a boyfriend all this time?" There is no way I couldn't have known... she makes 2 lunches for work every day, always closes her phone or computer when approached... Maybe I just didn't want to put it together all this time, but that is beside the point. The point is that I know now, and don't know what to do about it.

    I don't want to lose my parent's trust... I know my parents will be miffed that I played piano briefly last year (a looong time ago, they bought us harmonicas, so it's not that groundbreaking), but my sister dating a (Christian) man will be received at a completely different level.
    sorry for the long post... I appreciate any advice.

  • #2
    Re: Please help... what should I do?

    Walaikum assalaam,

    When it comes to "revealing a secret", be it about yourself or another person, to another person, ask yourself: why am I telling this person this secret? Do they really need to know about this? What would happen if I decided not to tell them about this? Depending on your intentions and reasons, 'revealing a secret' can be a good deed or a sinful one. Some 'secrets' should be hidden or covered and other secrets shouldn't be (even Islamically).

    I think your secrets about playing musical instruments and about your sister are two different cases. Your sister's case should be addressed to prevent things from getting out of control and to help your sister. Instead of telling your parents right away about this, you should speak to the sister who's involved in the relationship first. Why is she seeing this man? Does she know Islam's stance on dating? Is she seriously considering this man for marriage? If she is, there's a more appropriate, Islamic way to go about dealing with her relationship and feelings for this man.
    Last edited by starrynight11; 10-01-15, 09:29 PM.
    Life's actually pretty simple: you just have to enjoy it, pray, do good, refrain from bad, and respect others. Being Muslim is not a disadvantage or an advantage - it's a responsibility.
    "So patiently persevere: for verily the promise of Allah is true" (Qur'an, Surah Ar-Rum - 30:60)

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