Living with differences

islamic parenting Mar 01, 2024

By Umm Yusra 

During a friendly coffee date with a friend, the conversation became quite serious when she asked me, ‘You’ve been married twice, what would you have done differently?’

My brain immediately screamed, ‘Not married the first one!’ But I know, in retrospect, that the first marriage was absolutely needed for me to recognise where I needed the change. I had massive self-worth, people pleasing issues and the first marriage had been exactly what I needed to find my strength to recover from what had hurt me to begin with; childhood bullying, sexual abuse, and narcissism in the family.

The second marriage; we had both been recovering from the first and so came with twin mindsets and our guards sky high. The guards crumbled when we realised how much we hurt each other and ourselves; my ego was fighting to keep me safe by trying to find similarities between the first and the second.

But what happens when you start healing and recovering? Your...

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The Effects of Toxic Behaviour in the Household: Developing Adult ADD

islamic parenting Feb 02, 2024

By Umm Yusra

ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder, is characterised by the very word attention, or lack of. But the symptoms it produces can come across as the following:

 * Tardiness

 * Risky driving

 * Prioritizing/getting started, or finishing tasks

 * The severe inability to stay focused

 * Severe anxiety but it comes out as procrastination

I was going through my case studies from my small space running as a clinic where I practise Aafiyah Healing. There was such a paradigm between being in a highly toxic environment and showing ADD symptoms that I began to actually expect clients to say that they had the above symptoms after leaving toxic or being amidst high conflict relationships.

According to Dr Gabor Mate he explains that ADD needs to be looked at through the lens of genetic, lifestyle, environmental and social background (Scattered Minds -The Origins & Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder) but that one of the main causes is that the safety a...

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islamic parenting Dec 02, 2023

By Umm Yusra

I recently had a few cases of fertility issues come into the clinic where I practise Aafiyah Healing as a healing therapy for pain and other health conditions.

I’ve been committed to Aafiyah Healing for just over three years and it has become apparent that once parents are out of survival mode, and they’re well into their retirement, their offspring bear the brunt of the upbringing around a childhood home where emotional and often physical abuse was present.

A month ago I explored the effects of toxic behaviour on mental health. Depression, anxiety, skin and stomach disorders are very common. But what isn’t spoken about is the effects of an overbearing toxic parent or partner on women.

The issue isn’t apparent straight away. However, come the time of ‘I’m ready to conceive,’ women suddenly find themselves unable to. In come all the help today’s professionals can offer – homoeopathy, nutritionist, womb health coach,...

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Effects of Female Toxicity in Households

islamic parenting Oct 03, 2023

Recently whilst speaking to a fellow Psychologist, we touched upon the common ailments in households where female toxicity is present. These traits are but aren’t limited to:

  •  Manipulation
  •  Lying
  •  Controlling behaviour
  •  Coercive behaviour
  •  Negative financial behaviours
  •  Envy/jealousy
  • Constant lack of support: dismissive of your needs and only supports you in return for something of benefit to her.
  •  Resentment
  • Constant negative communication (sarcasm, passive aggressiveness, micro aggressions, contempt, silent treatment).

The main one being stomach issues – IBS, Crohn’s, gastroenteritis, lactose intolerance, bloating, diarrhoea, heartburn and vomiting.

On looking through my case studies it became apparent that the most common ones were bloating and excess stomach weight issues in houses where a dominating and toxic mother in law were present.

Another was where the child had witnessed manipulation and controlling behaviours and...

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Navigating Children Through Separation, Divorce & Alienation

islamic parenting Aug 02, 2023

Recently at my practise I had a mother bring in a very hostile 7 year old; he spat, scratched and kicked.

We worked on his anger; I asked mum to engage in some EFT to calm herself. The vitriol being spewed by the child was extreme:

‘You are the nasty person who broke our family up.’

‘I’m angry because Daddy can’t stay because you threw him out.’

I have worked with the family for just over a year and when I first met the child, he was bubbly, confident and innocent. Our most recent session, reflected a child who had been exposed to adult themes and conversations and a very angry, confused young individual who did not have -quite rightly so- the ability to navigate the weight of adult issues.

It was soon brought to light that his father, who had recently been evicted from the family home due to his gambling and alcohol problems, was projecting their hostility towards mum onto their child. The divorce had not been sudden- the boy had been aware that...

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The Darkest Side of Toxic Parenting

islamic parenting Jul 02, 2023

Recently at my clinic I encountered a young Muslim woman in her early 20s who came across very toxic.

From the onset, it was apparent that she believed herself to be unique and special and she held a very high importance of herself. She spoke of herself almost dreamily. ‘I am a dreamer, a farmer, a dancer, a lyricist, a wordsmith, an artist of many hats, a lover.’ 

She came to me with ‘childhood trauma’ and referred to herself as ‘Daddy’s girl.’ When I asked what the trauma was, she could not elaborate. Her recent recollection was that she had made friends with a boy on campus and he had ‘got the wrong idea’ that she was into him and she had no idea how to navigate his affections but they had somehow ended up alone and he had attempted some form of physical affection with her which made her realise she was not into men ‘but that I identify as a lesbian.’

As a faith aligned therapist, it is not my job to...

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Teaching Your Children to Recognise Abuse

islamic parenting Jun 02, 2023

A friend and I were speaking and she noticed that before I left my boy with her, I made sure my name was the first dial on his phone, that he had enough credit to ring me, that the tracking was running on his phone as a precaution and that he knew which postcode he was staying at and our address off by heart. 

She looked at me knowingly. We’ve known each other for the duration of two children attending school in the same years. She smiled at me with understanding and no judgement. ‘I read somewhere, that a mum who protects too much, was never protected enough when she was growing up'.

This ran so true for me that I went home and dug out the newspaper clipping that had brought me closure 25 years after my brush with sexual abuse. It was an article that highlighted how a man in our tight knit community had been arrested for over a dozen counts of sexual abuse and grooming. When I was ten, I had come forward about it and not one member of my family was equipped to deal...

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The Different Kinds of Family Conflicts and The Emotional Impact (Recovering From Conflict)

islamic parenting May 02, 2023

So far, in this written series we have explored the different kinds of issues families face. Financial, physical, intimacy, infidelity, blended families and toxic family members have all been covered. People are quick to talk and argue about conflict, how often do people speak of the aftermath or the resolution or even the recovery?

Conflict within families, whatever the reason, causes stress. The impact isn’t seen straight away; I had a client who advised me that following redundancy, in his pursuit of a job he had been fine. Once he had found another job, his back had suddenly given way- he had suffered a perforated disc. He was also prone to headaches- which he had never suffered before. Doctors diagnosed a sedentary lifestyle and pain relief. Psychosomatics spoke differently- the client was no longer in a role he loved and so his life’s work had been taken away from him that he had literally broken his back for. The loss of job...

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The Different Kinds of Family Conflict and The Emotional Impact (Toxic Family)

islamic parenting Mar 02, 2023

In dealing with toxic traits, I started recognising some within myself too.  I took a step back and against my own will – or even nafs – a mental self-awareness came into check.  I started to see all the times I had been wrong.  A sense of shame crawled up and I found myself not liking who I was or had been. 


It’s so easy to pinpoint toxicity in others, but when we notice this trait, pause and do an audit on yourself; did we notice it because we have recognised the same within us?


I recently started noticing things in my own immediate family circle that I absolutely abhorred and it clouded how I saw the other person and my behaviour towards them.  It also left me shaken because I was certain they had lied to me.  I forgot to follow through on my own advice; what can I change and what can I control?  It impacted me more than I liked to admit.  It took me a few weeks to centre myself and find myself again.  I...

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The Different Kind of Family Conflict and The Emotional Impact (Blended Families)

islamic parenting Feb 04, 2023

‘You make it look so easy.’

The observation came from a client who was in the process of introducing her children to her future husband.  The conflict was from her eldest daughter not agreeing to the marriage which caused much stress to the home environment.

I was caught off guard with the comment because I did not think -and never have done – that anything has come easy to me.  As a former divorcee with three very young children, marriage had been out of the question.  When Allah swt destined me to meet with my now husband, I was absolutely on a rollercoaster of the unknown.  Everyone warned me; why would a man want to marry a woman with three children? Etc etc.  However his interactions with my children were sincere and reassuring and now, six years later, we tend to swim collectively through the pool of situations that arise from having a blended family.

A blended family is the term given to a family consisting of a couple, the children...

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