Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you for submitting your question to our website.
I’d like to commend you for your effort to give up sin, turn back to Allah, and intend to start practicing Islam. It is a step in the right direction. I ask Allah to grant you steadfastness and further guidance towards the Truth.
Start Tapering off From This Relationship Totally
You have done the right thing by intending to henceforth abstain from adultery outside of/before marriage, and by also informing your boyfriend about this decision. You have taken a courageous and righteous step by doing this.
His reaction is a normal one that is to be expected in the given situation. It does seem as if his feelings for you are genuine, and that he intends to marry you one day. However, no matter how good a Muslim’s intentions are, he or she is still not supposed to do any action that is forbidden by Allah.
In your case, even if you both have the good intention of getting married to each other eventually, and thus making your current relationship halal, you should abstain from premarital sex at all costs, and at all degrees/levels. There are many levels of committing adultery or sex outside marriage, and a Muslim is obligated to abstain from them all.
You have to realize, sister, that even though abstention from actual sexual relations (zina) is commendable, Islam has also forbidden all the small steps that lead to it, such as talking in privacy, kissing, holding hands etc.
Which means that you are also not allowed to talk to your boyfriend, meet him, be alone with him, or send him written messages.
While Allah will not call you to account for your lustful/romantic thoughts, fantasies and feelings for this man, He will call you to account for any actions,- written, verbal or physical,- that you do as a result of these thoughts and feelings.
Educate Him About Your Decision, In Words or In Writing
In order to make your boyfriend understand why you have decided to stop having sexual relations with him from now on, you should try to educate him about why you made this decision.
You can do this by sending him written materials, such as books and pamphlets on the subject, and/or recorded video and audio lectures of Muslim scholars, which explain why adultery is forbidden in Islam, and which also provide the evidence for it’s prohibition from the Quran and sunnah.
You can also put your decision briefly in writing to explain your feelings and to convey to him why you have made this decision, and where your ‘relationship’ with him – which is in and of itself also totally prohibited because he is not your mahram– stands from now on.
Sister, I hope and pray that after doing this, you will be able to successfully taper off all communications with him for the sake of Allah, in order to totally wean yourself off from this haram relationship.
Be Patient, As You Might Be Tested
Sister, it is my duty to be totally honest to you and to inform you that, as a result of your decision to end this prohibited relationship, your boyfriend might eventually dump you i.e. leave you and decide to not even marry you, eventually, to make your relationship halal.
This happens often to one of the Muslim partners involved in a romantic relationship, when one of them becomes more religious and tries to end the relationship for the sake of Allah; i.e. the other partner leaves them altogether.
This serves as a further test of faith from Allah: to see if the dumped one remains steadfast and patient after being left by their romantic partner, or do they resist submitting to Allah, and go back to the haram relationship that they tried to end?
Remaining patient and putting one’s complete trust in Allah, that He will eventually compensate you with a love in the form of a much better, more righteous, and more loving spouse, who will go the distance with you in life through marriage, is a very difficult thing to do, considering how easy it is to resume a romantic relationship nowadays.
Sister, do you think you are up to this challenge for the sake of pleasing Allah, in case your boyfriend ends this relationship with you, and doesn’t marry you in the future, even after you both graduate?
Make It Halal Now
Lastly, I’d like to suggest that you both talk to each of your parents and have yournikah contract done right now, whilst you both are at university, with the intention of starting married life (living together and having conjugal relations) only after your beau is able to permanently take on the responsibility of supporting you financially.
You both should do istikharah and hasten to take this noble step, since you have said that your parents already know his.
However, if your parents do not agree to this, please do not disobey them or cause them distress by rebelling against them or disrespecting them. Rather, explain your situation to them as lovingly and respectfully as possible, and appeal to them to help you make this romantic relationship with your boyfriend halal for the sake of Allah.
At this point, I want to stress that your boyfriend will need to really ‘man up’ in order to accomplish your nikah with him. It is the man who takes on the responsibility of his wife in Islam; who supports her and takes care of her by providing for her, maintaining her, and protecting her – not vice versa. Bringing about your nikah will depend more on his efforts for this cause, than yours. And Allah knows best.
So if your boyfriend doesn’t seem eager to hasten his nikah with you, – even though after just the nikah contract, he will not be maintaining you financially, and you won’t be living with him until the actual wedding – and instead, he makes excuses about approaching his parents and convincing them to allow his nikah with you, you might need to cut off all contact with him until he is able to marry you. This will require you to be immensely patient and strong.
Once again, be warned, that doing the right thing is often very difficult to do, whereas sinning is so much easier in comparison. That is what faith and submission to Allah is all about.
I pray that Allah guides you to permanently give up doing what displeases Him, and to remain steadfast upon your sacrifice. I also pray that Allah compensates you with much better than what you gave up for His sake, and grants you pure love through matrimony that is immensely blessed, long-lasting, uplifting, and fulfilling. Ameen.
I hope this answers your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.