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How to Save Your Relationship

It was Mike Martin’s affair that finally led him and his wife, Katie, to my office for couples counseling. But the betrayal was a symptom of a deeper problem in their 19-year marriage. “He felt like he wasn’t getting his emotional needs met at home,” says Katie, 45, a teacher in Richmond, Virginia. “Maybe that’s because he was never here! He was a workaholic and didn’t come home until midnight every night–for years.” When Katie told Mike she wanted to spend more time together, he would pull out his calendar and say, “How’s lunch next Thursday?” Katie recalls. “I felt neglected and over time I withdrew emotionally. Between his not being there in person and my not being there in spirit, we just stopped being able to get close.”

The Martins were perfect candidates for EFT, an approach to marital counseling that seeks to re-create a sense of connection between partners. Unlike the traditional cognitive-behavioral approach, which focuses on teaching communication skills, EFT hinges on getting partners to recognize that they’re both emotionally dependent on the other for love, comfort, support and protection, much like a child depends on a parent. In my sessions with couples, we get to the heart of the matter: the need for emotional security. Because without that security, asking troubled couples to trust and confide in each other is like asking people standing at the edge of a cliff and staring down a 2,000-foot drop to use their skills of listening and empathy–they can’t, because they’re too busy feeling afraid.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).