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My Parents are Closed on Some Subjects

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 02, 2017

Question

As-salamu `alaykum I have a problem that causes me sleepless nights. I am, al hamdu lillah, a religious 20-year old boy, trying my best to follow my great religion. I have good relations with my parents, but there are some topics we have never spoken about together, neither have they taught me, nor have I asked them about it because I don’t dare to e.g. sex, marriage, etc. It is a fact that I was and maybe still at the stage of puberty, and I admit that I fell many times in love with girls – it was out of my hand, but it was not love, just a crash. I, al hamdu lillah never dated or have done anything haram like this. Last time I fell in love with my second cousin on both my father and mothers side. She is 21. I thought it was a crush but no, it was real love and I wished really that she would be my wife and the mother of my children. But came some problems: 1.) I live in Austria and she lives in Egypt. I am only three months a year in Egypt (summer holidays) and there I see her. 2.) She has already finished her university. But I have still 5 years to study. So many men went to her parents and asked for her hand. About 10 asked for her hand, but al hamdu lillah her parents didn’t accept anyone. But what about the 11th or the 12th man. 3.) My parents only allow me to ask for a woman’s hand after university – that means in 5 years and I am sure that she will not wait 5 years and that during these 5 years 500 men will ask for her hand. 4.) My parents have a lukewarm or cold relationship to her parents (their cousin) and they had some quarrels with each other in the past. My parents even kicked me out for 20 hours because I once( when I was 14) accepted money from her father to buy some sweets. But now the relationship is a little bit better. When we are in Egypt they visit each other/invite each other, etc. 5.) When I told my mother about this girl and that I wished for her as a wife, she laughed and asked me to forget her ,as she is older, (but I don’t believe that this is the main reason, but because of the quarrels with her father). Well, I know that Allah has already determined my future wife. And if it’s this girl, I will still marry her even if my parents are against it, as she is older, many want to marry her etc. I daily make du`aa’ and make Istikhara (prayer for guidance) for Allah to grant me this girl, but even all of this has left me in despair. It’s logical that I will not marry this girl, because Allah made everything in this life so difficult that I can’t marry her – my parents, my age, she already finished her university and waits for a husband and I still have 5 years to wait, that means a hopeless wish to share the rest of my life with the girl I really love – my real first love. I chose this girl not because she is beautiful – she is not beautiful , she is normal, but I read the qualities one should seek in ones spouse. She is very religious – wears hijab, prays, learned the Qur`an by heart, etc. never lies, is kind, has great character, helps poor, visits handicapped people and make fun with them etc. She is funny, is intelligent and her views of life are nearly the same like mine. She has nearly the same opinion in all subjects etc. She is perfect for me! So it’s not a crush or blind love.

Counselor

Answer


parents

As salamu `alaykum,

Brother, my heart goes out to you. You clearly have a strong attraction to this young woman. However, given your current situation, it does sound difficult to marry at this time. From your question, there are appears to be four main factors that lend toward making the situation rather difficult:

  • You live in Austria she lives in Egypt
  • She’s finished with school while you still have at least 5 more years
  • Your family is not on good terms with her family
    She is receiving multiple marriage offers

As a young man, there are many things that you wrote about that we could call assumptions, that maybe you need to look a bit deeper into. For starters, you feel that you are deeply in love with your cousin. I appreciate your desire to want to marry this woman, but given your present situation, there are many things you have to consider. Would you quit your medical program to marry her? Marriage is not a simple affair. It is a very serious matter in Islam, as the Prophet (SAW) himself said that marriage was half of deen . There are many prerequisites that go with marriage such as having the means to support a wife and being emotionally and psychologically mature enough as well. Not implying that you cannot meet these prerequisites, but they are important to think about.

I understand how strong your feelings are for your cousin and that you wish to marry her but you must understand that everything is according to Allah’s plan. Don’t ever think that just because you have strong feelings for this woman that she is “the one.” That is a misperception caused from excessive romanticism that leads us to think that because of the way we feel about a person, that they must be ‘the one’.

Do you know how many ‘ones’ I had before I entered Islam? In all seriousness, prior to my life as a Muslim I was involved with several women about whom I was convinced were ‘the one’. However, Allah knows best – not us. Sometimes, people can be overly compatible too. You mentioned that you share the same opinions on everything with your cousin. Well, in all honestly, that’s not always a good thing and until you are actually married to someone you will never know, i.e. don’t use that to assume that this girl is ‘the one’.

Many times, people who are too much alike have difficulties in other areas. Sometimes two people who share important similarities along with differences in other areas make for a more interesting relationship. So don’t assume just because you have a lot in common with your cousin that it automatically means that you’re a perfect match for each other. There are many subtleties involved in relationships that you do not know about until you actually marry and live with the person on an everyday basis.

I think it is important that you look at the reality of the situation and think of how you would go about marrying this woman right now. For example, are you willing to leave medical school to do so? If so, what will you do for work? How will you support her? Do you know whether she is also interested in you as you are in her? Where would you live? What about your family, how would you handle them? These are all important considerations. Love, unfortunately, is not the only consideration when it comes to marriage.

Life is not Bollywood. In real life, marriage is hard work. It involves an enormous amount of self-sacrifice, compromise, trust, dedication, patience, humility and many others. This is where the test of true love comes in. Marriage is a tremendous test of love from Allah, especially in the age we are now living in. I don’t mean to burst your bubble or to make light of your feelings, but it is important that we separate the illusory romantic world of pop culture with the real world. There are many important things that require serious consideration and we cannot rely solely on our feelings.

Nevertheless, you do seem to acknowledge the fact that the situation is rather difficult for things to happen with this woman. You are also wise when you say that Allah has made them this way for a reason. Of course, we don’t know the reason, but it may simply mean that now is not the right time for you – or her. Or perhaps, despite what your feelings tell you, this is not ‘the one’ for you. Of course, not to say that we should ever give up hope, but always know that Allah is the best teacher and is always guiding to goodness. You are young, brother, be patient and listen and be open to what Allah has for you at the moment. Believe me, what we think is best for us often is not — especially when it comes to love and relationships!

We must always try our best to be at peace and surrender to Reality, as it is manifested by Allah, rather than the little reality we create in our heads. This is the work of the nafs /ego, and especially in situations like this, when we’re dealing with love, the ego can be your worst enemy. I know this from experience.
So please, be patient with yourself and trust Allah and trust that He is always guiding you to goodness, even if you cannot understand it or see it at the present time.

All the best to you…




About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah

Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.

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