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In the Name of God بسم الله

Brother has secret girlfriend

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Ya_Ali_110

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Salaams all,

I recently discovered that my younger brother (21 YO) has a secret girlfriend and I do not know if I should confront him about it or if I should tell my parents. Basically I was on my family's Verizon account online looking for different plans and noticed we as a family had been sending/receiving an astronomical amount of text messages and when I looked at the breakdown per line, I noticed about 90% of them were on my brother's line. It also lists the date and time of every message as well as the number to/from who the messages are sent/received. I noticed that the vast majority of his texts were to/from this one number and were sent/received between 10PM and 5AM every night. This is when I decided to call the number (I know, a complete invasion of privacy) and it went to this girl's voicemail. Looking back at previous months records, this has been going on for as far back as Verizon allows me to go.

So I need your advice. What should I do?

PS: we come from a very religious family and my parents would never tolerate such a thing.

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Does your 21 year old brother live with you or your parents?  He is an adult and he might be secretly married to her. I would not tell your parents. Just talk to your brother and casually tell him that you noticed he has a lot of text messages to one phone number, and wonder what is going on. He will probably tell you that it is none of your business, so just drop the subject. Let us know if he stops calling/texting that number. 

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Bismillah.

Salaam.

Just do your responsibility of Amr bi-l-Ma'roof wa Nahi-e 'ani-l-Munkar very kindly and let him decide eventually and be always reminded and minded of these verses:

فَذَكِّرْ‌ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُذَكِّرٌ لَّسْتَ عَلَيْهِم بِمُصَيْطِرٍ‌

"So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. (22) You are not over them a controller. (23)" (the Qur'an: 88)

وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُواْ وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِوَكِيلٍ

"Had Allah willed, they would not have associated. we have not made you an overseer for them, nor are you their guardian." (the Qur'an 6:107)

With Duas.

Narsis.

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Salam, why don't you just confront him about it? (and make sure that they're not secretly married as sister hameedeh pointed out).

Also, the confrontation should be done wisely and with kindness (as Narsis pointed out), so he doesn't just shut you off.

It seems like you're not that much older, so the way you can relate to him should be easier than if your parents confronted him.

Also, as the bigger bro, can you hang out with him more? Be his best friend. Good company/friends are the most important aspect during these years. Surround yourselves with the religious crowd, be around positive people, and engage in positive and fun activities while keeping it halal.

Also, talk about the repercussions, like how he's losing his chance of marrying a decent girl in the future. He's ruining his rep. Keep things in perspective. When you talk to him, tell him how you'll help him to get married. Give him something to look forward to if he's going to give this up.

Hope that helps, and I pray that this gets resolved happily Inshallah :)

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1 hour ago, hameedeh said:

Does your 21 year old brother live with you or your parents?  He is an adult and he might be secretly married to her. I would not tell your parents. Just talk to your brother and casually tell him that you noticed he has a lot of text messages to one phone number, and wonder what is going on. He will probably tell you that it is none of your business, so just drop the subject. Let us know if he stops calling/texting that number. 

He lives in a dorm, but he is home for Winter/Summer. I can only hope that he is married to her - I would have no problem with that, but parents definitely would.

 

1 hour ago, Sumayyeh said:

Salam, why don't you just confront him about it? (and make sure that they're not secretly married as sister hameedeh pointed out).

Also, the confrontation should be done wisely and with kindness (as Narsis pointed out), so he doesn't just shut you off.

It seems like you're not that much older, so the way you can relate to him should be easier than if your parents confronted him.

Also, as the bigger bro, can you hang out with him more? Be his best friend. Good company/friends are the most important aspect during these years. Surround yourselves with the religious crowd, be around positive people, and engage in positive and fun activities while keeping it halal.

Also, talk about the repercussions, like how he's losing his chance of marrying a decent girl in the future. He's ruining his rep. Keep things in perspective. When you talk to him, tell him how you'll help him to get married. Give him something to look forward to if he's going to give this up.

Hope that helps, and I pray that this gets resolved happily Inshallah :)

We are close in age and close as brothers, but this is something that would make for an awkward convo. Especially the part where I tell him how I found out, which may ruin our relationship. We do surround ourselves with some good shia people, but I personally no longer live with my parents and he lives in a dorm so hanging out with him more often is tough.

 

Thank you all for your advice.

 

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3 hours ago, Ya_Ali_110 said:

Salaams all,

I recently discovered that my younger brother (21 YO) has a secret girlfriend and I do not know if I should confront him about it or if I should tell my parents. Basically I was on my family's Verizon account online looking for different plans and noticed we as a family had been sending/receiving an astronomical amount of text messages and when I looked at the breakdown per line, I noticed about 90% of them were on my brother's line. It also lists the date and time of every message as well as the number to/from who the messages are sent/received. I noticed that the vast majority of his texts were to/from this one number and were sent/received between 10PM and 5AM every night. This is when I decided to call the number (I know, a complete invasion of privacy) and it went to this girl's voicemail. Looking back at previous months records, this has been going on for as far back as Verizon allows me to go.

So I need your advice. What should I do?

PS: we come from a very religious family and my parents would never tolerate such a thing.

It is understandable to be concerned for your brother but I agree with the other posters, confirm that it is or is not a secret marriage and if he says drop it, drop it but watch him like a hawk for any unusual behavior, then tell your parents.

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Dear brother, as a parent, here is my advice:

1. First talk to your brother that you know about the girl. You must not reveal how you found about her, you could just say that you know. His mind will find hundreds of ways in which you could have found out. So let it be his worry and not yours.

2. Second ask him if this is a halal relationship or a haram one, or a makrooh one. Based on the answer you could advice him what to do next. Forget about everything else, your first job as a momin and a family is to make sure no haram is committed by him in negligence or ignorance.

3. Depending on the who the girl is, what kind of relationship they are in, and how things move, talk to the saner and cool headed elder in your family and let your brother know that you want him to consult such adult. If this adult is your father or mother, all the better, but you be the judge of it. Parents do not always react with sensibility in such matters.

4. Advice or at least a consultation he definitely deserves from you as a family member. Other people like it or not, I as a parent deem it necessary for each memebr to know other's whereabouts and doings. No spying accusation from my end. Obviously everybody in his class or friends circle would already know, what's wrong in a family member knowing about it. Ignore anybody who tells you to quit snooping lol. You should snoop and be always in the know of your siblings, now, 20 years down the road, and always. If you quit doing this, how would you know, say 20 years down the road, your brother or sister loose their job, fall in financial trouble and need help without asking. Or what if they are going through some kind of abuse in marriage, or are falling into some evil trap, or getting into some bad habit, siblings and relatives need to know about each other so they could help before its too late.

5. As a parent, I can tell you, spying to me is putting cameras, tracking devices, hiring an investigator, etc. Everything else falls into the bucket of caring of the person. You cared which is good, now is the time to take action to be his confidant and channel his actions towards halal, and if needed, towards a permanent solution of affairs.  

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Don't do anything, it's your parents fault bringing their kids to the West. What were our parents thinking, bringing us to a place that is secular. Did they think their kids wouldn't embrace the culture? So how do they go about life? Isolate them selves? Your parents came to give their children good education. All Muslims parents expect is that we come out with a good degree. How do you know they care about personal life of child? If they did they wouldn't bring them here. They clearly value other things. This is one thing I never understood from my family, under any circumstance they would never leave this country. Because they enjoy the secular values/materialism here but want their kids to be religious. Teens can't deal with this pressure on their back, get them out or shutup and let them live like everyone else. It's your fault you value worldly things over religion. Not you personally OP, I mean Muslims families in the West in general. Hopefully God will forgive the children for their wrongdoings and the blame should go on parents. 

So in the case of your brother, leave him alone. He obviously is trying to find a way to channel his stress/repression and doing so through getting a girlfriend who can comfort him and give him psychological support. Let hime become who he becomes and recognize his mistake on his own. If he considers it a mistake. If he doesn't, it's your parents fault I'm sorry. 

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6 minutes ago, FalconofMisk said:

Hopefully God will forgive the children for their wrongdoings and the blame should go on parents. 

Don't think this is a fair conclusion, and neither is the rest of the post.

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31 minutes ago, magma said:

But even so, isn't it unfortunate most kids don't seem comfortable talking with their parents about these things? What if the kids have no where else to turn and approach the wrong people instead?

So true magma. Parents these days need to take on a friendlier approach to parenthood. I for one plan to have a very open relationship with my kids as they grow older - I'm not the sort of parent who'd spy on them. They need and deserve to have the confidence that they can come tell me or talk to me about anything in the world no matter how bad it is.

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Kinda surprised that no one has said this yet, but maybe you could tell your brother to sign a mut`a contact. Assuming he's already involved in haraam (which is uncertain), the quickest and easiest solution would be to make his relationship halal. Then later at another time you could talk about his life plans with or without this woman. Mut`a was created for these situations.

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You should not be snooping on your brother affair. What he does is his affair. Since he doesn't trust his family enough to share his private relationship, that means he doesn't want you guys to know. If you start to meddle then he will think he needs to hide it more or break  it off with the girl to make his religious family happy.

 

just act as if you know nothing. If the relationship gets serious then he may come forward to take it up a notch, and that's when you can shine.

Edited by Gypsy
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1 hour ago, Gypsy said:

You should not be snooping on your brother affair. What he does is his affair. Since he doesn't trust his family enough to share his private relationship, that means he doesn't want you guys to know. If you start to meddle then he will think he needs to hide it more or break  it off with the girl to make his religious family happy.

 

just act as if you know nothing. If the relationship gets serious then he may come forward to take it up a notch, and that's when you can shine.

I doubt he will shine at that time. If you found something by accident that can be a slip, then turn an eye on it. But if something is persisnat and wrong, i think the better approach is to be brave and face him alone without exploiting it.

 O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, 

There are multiple ways of doing it without looking creep.

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On January 1, 2016 at 9:21 PM, magma said:

But even so, isn't it unfortunate most kids don't seem comfortable talking with their parents about these things? What if the kids have no where else to turn and approach the wrong people instead?

Unfortunately, often "very religious" parents ,though they love their kids,can be difficult for their children to confide in. This is not confined to Islam.

Edited by LeftCoastMom
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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2016 at 0:18 AM, Qa'im said:

Kinda surprised that no one has said this yet, but maybe you could tell your brother to sign a mut`a contact. Assuming he's already involved in haraam (which is uncertain), the quickest and easiest solution would be to make his relationship halal. Then later at another time you could talk about his life plans with or without this woman. Mut`a was created for these situations.

Making it halal would be an acknowledgement there is a relationship. If confronted, the brother may say it's not a "girlfriend" but just a friend. Therefore a "leap" to formalizing it as a girlfriend, let alone a temporary marriage, would not likely be accepted readily.

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@Qa'im I doubt mutah will be a practical option in this case unless:

a. the girl isn't a virgin and independent in her affairs, seems unlikely that a 21 yr old boy would be dating an older independent woman in which case.......

b. he needs to seek her father's permission for mutah , also unlikely that the girl is a shia muslim who has a father religious and open minded enough to allow his daughter to do a mutah.

@Gypsy He came across the information by accident so it wasn't snooping.... even if he was it's still preferable over seeing a sibling getting involved in haram acts and looking the other way. 

 

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Starlight, what if she was a non-Muslim? Or a Muslima who had no guardian and/or was married before? It's worth mentioning mut'a regardless.

Magma, then he could just bring up mut'a without bringing up the girl or the texts. This is the best case scenario. Yes there is much we dont know and should not assume, but if the OP's suspicions are warranted, then there is nothing wrong with encouraging the halal.

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Thank you all for your comments.

@Qa'im and @starlight, based on her name I don't believe she is a Muslim. I would think that this would make it easier to do a Mut'a and my hope is that this is the route that he opted to go. The topic of Mut'a comes up constantly in our friends group so he is well aware of what it is and how it works. 

@FalconofMisk I don't think it's fair to put it all on the parents. My parents are from Pakistan originally and I don't believe that is a very religious country either. If you want to sin, you can sin from anywhere in the world.

@magma and @apofomysback it is truly unfortunate that our generation has such a hard time communicating with and relating to our parent's generation, but inshAllah we will learn from our parent's shortcomings and not make the same mistakes with our kids.

I've decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's doing it in a halal manner and not bring it up with my parents. I will talk to him 1-on-1 when I get a chance.

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2 minutes ago, Ya_Ali_110 said:

Thank you all for your comments.

@Qa'im and @starlight, based on her name I don't believe she is a Muslim. I would think that this would make it easier to do a Mut'a and my hope is that this is the route that he opted to go. The topic of Mut'a comes up constantly in our friends group so he is well aware of what it is and how it works. 

@FalconofMisk I don't think it's fair to put it all on the parents. My parents are from Pakistan originally and I don't believe that is a very religious country either. If you want to sin, you can sin from anywhere in the world.

@magma and @apofomysback it is truly unfortunate that our generation has such a hard time communicating with and relating to our parent's generation, but inshAllah we will learn from our parent's shortcomings and not make the same mistakes with our kids.

I've decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's doing it in a halal manner and not bring it up with my parents. I will talk to him 1-on-1 when I get a chance.

My point is overseas there are alternative lifestyles. Yes you can choose to sin, but there is big size of population that is traditional and you have large social circle to deal with. In the West, there is not two major lifestyles. There is secularism and that's it. You guys don't understand the peer pressure teens in general go through in the West. Even if they get past the peer pressure, they still feel regret/something missing in their life. Relationships with opposite sex are much needed. When everyone else has girl friends and you can't it is difficult to deal with. Most people want to finish school before marriage too. So they either keep thinking about opposite sex and can't control their hormones to point where it is disrupting their ability to be happy/focus or they break down and go get girl friend. So once again, I blame the parents. The second blame is on Muslim youth. Muslim youth that fall into peer pressure help the Muslims on the edge get into drugs/alcohol as well. Because those Muslims want to be social and have friends, and they realize they can't if they don't imitate others. Not every Muslim is a computer geek or likes reading books all day. Just because they don't drink or do drugs doesn't make them losers. So the problem is there is no Muslim youth getting together to support each other. It's mostly younger kids. So Muslim teens will seek comfort somewhere else. 

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3 hours ago, FalconofMisk said:

You guys don't understand the peer pressure teens in general go through in the West.

I was born, raised, and am still living in the West. Trust me, I understand. However, that's why we have this thing called Jihad an-nafs. You have to keep fighting the urge and fighting it will only make you stronger, not weaker.

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