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Who Controls You? (Review)

Afshan Khan has been serving the community for 27 years in Islamic counselling and Mediation service for Muslim women. It was an honour for Nour to get hold of her as she shared her expertise in this field. The workshop proved effective through its interactive nature. Many sisters were able to engage with sister Afshan and disclose their personal feelings hoping to take something positive back home.

So the question is who controls you?

The question was thrown at the sisters who responded with answers such as emotions, lack of confidence, other people, the negatives, and the positives. Not one single person responded with ‘I AM IN CONTROL OF MYSELF’ Islam is so beautiful that it has wisdom for every little thing; the Muslim’s affair is always a win win situation. Our thoughts, actions, personality, and characteristics are all influences of TAQWA. Living between fear and hope we all know that Allah ultimately controls us, but we ourselves control that level of Taqwa that we attain and it is up to our Taqwa how we utilise it when faced with hardships.

Hardships are often what puts us at the bottom of the pile, we find ourselves making excuses, a vicious cycle that becomes hard to recognise as a drowning ship. We lack the confidence to say NO. To be in control one must EMBRACE the situation, not FEAR it, know that it is in your own hands and you are the only one that can confront the situation in order for it to become better. Accepting means to come to terms with reality and to accept this as part of your life, whereas embracing means you see this as a challenge, you have accepted it but you will also overcome it by dealing with it through necessary actions.

The only way we can accept there is an issue that needs to be dealt with is to REFLECT. There is a difference between SABR and SUFFERING. Reflecting is the stage when you understand that you do not have to ENDURE the suffering rather you EXPLORE your options.

To be able to accept and deal with the hardship it is important to differentiate exploring and dwelling. Dwelling is when you are in a fixated state and nothing progresses as you are still holding a sense of fear of confronting the hardship. However once we have accepted, we have to realise as humans that alongside certain situations we may feel a certain way, so it is alright to feel sad, it is completely normal. Upon reflecting it is when you explore through constructive thoughts as to what can be done to deal with the hardship.

So you eliminate the fears of expectations, sadness, regret, guilt, all that is eating you up because you have now come to know that you do are in control, you have explored the options which gives you that courage to fight and be control again of your life. Your own mind is a powerful tool, if you fear it you will not be able to control which doors to open and which doors to close. Remove the fear factor by accepting, embracing, reflecting and exploring.

We had a good discussion about loving ourselves and how we deserve to respect ourselves, as a wife and a mother the woman needs at least time for herself. A scenario of how a mother demands 15 minutes to herself and tells her children to not disturb, as this time is used to help her recharge her battery. Here she is demanding her self-respect, and saying no to putting others before her. This is not a selfish demand, it is what she has a right to and it is okay to have some alone time. She is in control, she is communicating her demands as others can’t read her mind and she is teaching her children to have strong self-esteem as low self-esteem can rub off onto children.

To conclude here is a beautiful quote by Abu ‘All Rowzbari who has said:

“Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death.”


  • Umm Mariam

    MashaAllah Sister Afshan was extremely helpful. It is sometimes hard to come to these workshops as it forces you to face what has really happened to you. Hearing the truth means one can no longer hide behind the sometimes comfortable cloak of denial. However, when the effect on children is brought into the equation we are forced to take action. For us to suffer is one thing, but for our children to suffer is unacceptable as we are accountable to Allah if we do not protect them.
    My veil of denial is slowly lifting and my term of being the victim has ended, alhamdolillah. InshaAllah I hope to be the pillar that my children can now lean on rather than the rock that kept falling and crumbling.
    JazakAllah Sister Afshan and Nour DV for offering such workshops and giving us the opportunity to rediscover the confident, respectable Muslims that we once were.

    July 29, 2013 - at 11:48 pm
  • shabnam merali

    i have been a victim of domestic abuse for 29 years and going through depression since. l have three sons and they have been victim too. my younger son is brave reported to school and school principal sent a social worker at home and i told her whats going on i have called the police twice and this morning the police came again i couldnt take it any longer. i was suffering in silence and taking antidepressant for last 13 years and they add extra anti axiety medication. everyday i was very scared and had panic attacts my husband was insulting me and kids since i was first married and i think i became dead inside saw my children suffering its made me cry alot didnt know what to do but ask for help from my inlaws but noone came for help was very frustrated. today i called the police and explained the situation, i have hope of going to family court tomorrow please pray for us this suffering should end me and my kids are in therapy and my husband would not come, he only came once and complained about me and the kids. today my eyes opened when the cops told me this is cultural its not a marriage. please advise

    August 12, 2013 - at 2:36 am
  • Zarah

    If any woman would like to tell me her personal story of domestic abuse, I am a health researcher looking at reasons why many South Asian women in Britain find it so hard to seek help. Please get in touch. Your story could help somebody else. Thank you.

    January 20, 2014 - at 9:59 am

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