Thank you for your question. It is an important question in regard to how young people at your age navigate the waters of young adulthood, particularly those in universities. Essentially, your question, in my humble opinion, boils down to a matter of intention.
This cat and mouse game being played between this young woman that you are fond of and yourself, and it has, according to your own question, resulted in a lot of confusion, pain, and misunderstanding. We know that Islam teaches us to avoid romantic relationships outside of marriage or prior to marriage and I think from a situation such as yours, it is not too difficult to see why.
It is not so much an issue of what is simply halal or haram. There is a lack of clarity in the area of intention between the two of you. You say you are fond of this woman to the extent that you are prepared to marry her. You have made that clear to her, however, she has given you mixed signals. Islamically, marriage is a straightforward affair.
To make matters easy, Islam teaches us to be straightforward and clear about our intentions toward marriage and the party receiving the offer is supposed to provide a likewise straightforward unambiguous response. Marriage is a very serious affair in Islam and is meant to be conducted in such a manner as to protect the dignity, feelings, and honor of all those involved.
At this point, it is imperative that you determine once and for all what your intentions are. First and foremost, ask Allah for guidance for what is best for you. Then, if you feel in your heart that it is what you want and what is best for you and you make a sincere intention to marry this woman, then approach her or her representative and formally ask her and tell her that you must have a definitive answer one way or another – give her a window of time if she needs it, but don’t allow the issue to drag out.
There can be no in-betweens or ambiguity in her response. She has to decide one way or another as to what she wants. If she declines, then I would suggest that you accept it as Allah’s decree and move on. Trust in what Allah has for you. Despite the strong feelings you have for this woman, Allah knows best as to whether she will be good for you in the end.
You cannot allow her to keep playing games and turning your heart in all kinds of directions. It is not fair to either of you and it will only create a lot of ill feelings in the end and could lead to other disastrous consequences.
In short, my suggestion is to be clear as to what you want, purify your intentions, be definitive in your invitation, request a clear response, accept Allah’s decree as His will and move on with your life. Do not allow this relationship and this situation to create any further turmoil in your young heart. Situations like this can cause much pain and take us away from ourselves, hence, the path of Allah unless we are sincere and up front about what we want and how we act.
This on-again-off-again relationship is not an answer or a solution. There must be a mutual decision on both your parts to either marry or go on with your lives and continue with your studies. However, you both must accept the fact that if marriage cannot occur at this time, that it is not fair for either of you to continue to pursue the other person, for this will only lead to tremendous frustration and heartache later.
In situations like this, I think we can begin to understand the tremendous wisdom of Islam that teaches us to be upfront and honest in matters of marriage. Although Islam often seems restrictive as compared to popular standards in matters of male-female relations, the wisdom of the teachings is an incredible mercy.
Love hurts and Allah knows it. But by following the teachings of the Creator that encourage us to be upfront and wary when dealing with the opposite sex, we are able to protect the most important aspect of our entire being and existence – the heart. Love of another outside of the safeguards and Divine sanction of the marriage relationship can really wreak havoc on our heart.
That is why we must, as much as we possibly can, obey Allah’s guidance in all matters and know without a doubt that there is endless wisdom behind what He has sent to us. The heart is for Allah and Islam is the means to which we can arrive at a heart pure enough to accommodate the Most Merciful.
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