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The Girl I Love is Getting Married

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 09, 2017

Question

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister. First of all, thank you for giving your precious time to solve problems of many. May Allah reward you with the best. A couple of months ago, I asked you regarding an issue of mine with my university school mate. We both are graduating in the same college. My issue was that she had some feelings for me and I too had some for her. We just met once but did not express our feelings, and before we could meet again, I just reminded myself that it was wrong and I never talked to her again, although she tried two or three times. I was very ashamed of myself that whether I did something wrong or hurt her. I tried to apologize to her later, but she turned away this time and this remained unsolved. Sister, you suggested me just to forget this incident and not to think that she was still thinking about me. Alhamdulillah your suggestion helped me a lot. But today I feel I am just so negative. Few months ago, I came to know that she was engaged with one of my good senior friends. Even though everything seems fine Alhamdulillah, I am a practicing Muslim and that girl is also of high morals, and she is among the top students, but I don't know why many times I get worried whether she was happy now. Why is that? The other problem of this same issue is that girl's brother lives near to my home. I never talked to him, not because of any hatred, but because of the feelings toward his sister. But last year when the above incident with his sister took place in the college, I met her brother coincidentally in the mosque. I wished him salam with a nice smile as if he is my future brother-in-law. Next day, he starred at me with doubtful eyes as though he wanted to tell me not to come in the way of his sister. I got panicked because I heard a lot of bad stories where bad things happened, and I am very much concerned about my and my family's respect and honor. After that I never looked at his sister again. Although the guy shook my hand in an apologizing manner later, I still feel very bad and I feel panicked when he passes by me. The senior to whom his sister will be married will surely invite me to the wedding. What should I do then? Give some helpful suggestion sister. This has been really disturbing me a lot. JazakAllah kahyran.

Counselor

Answer


The Girl I Love is Getting Married

Answer:

Wa ’Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Alhamdulillah, I am glad that I was able to help before and I hope I can help again, by the will and guidance of Allah (swt).

It is not a sin to feel. What we feel is not within our control. Sin is reacting to a feeling in an inappropriate way, not according to Allah’s laws, for example, cuss, hit someone out of anger, say something hurtful to get back at someone. However, there is a feeling that happens between the feeling which was the impetus for our behavior (the desire) and our actual behavior. This feeling usually goes unnoticed in terms of our consciousness of the “system of feelings” that is going on inside us, in our minds and hearts, before we do a behavior in reaction to our feelings. For instance, if someone mistreats us, we feel the pain of their mistreatment first because that is the feeling that gets a reaction out of us that something is wrong. Then, we react to that feeling with another feeling, e.g., anger, fear, frustration. It takes work to sort out the difference between what we feel initially and what we feel in response to that feeling. We have to learn what the relationship is between our feelings and our internal reactions to them (before a behavior) to be able to identify which is which. When we can, we gain access to the ability to “decide” how we want to react, what action/behavior we want to take in response to our feelings, which were a combo or an initial feeling (e.g., the pain of a mistreatment) and our feelings about that feeling.

When we are conscious of how this system works, we can gain the insight we need, by Allah’s (swt) guidance, to understand how to turn off our desire to do a bad behavior before we do it. That desire is usually Shaitan corrupting our thinking with his evil suggestions of how to act.

So, what could be a sin is how we respond to our feelings, not our feelings themselves. From what I can tell, you did nothing wrong; to feel love is not a sin. To feel desire in response to that love is not a sin. You did not do an unlawful behavior (zina) in response to your feelings, so you did nothing wrong. So, please stop “beating yourself up”, so to speak, for feeling love, and even desire, for someone.

No, I would not recommend that you go to the wedding! You can make an excuse that is not a lie but is not telling the whole reason why you do not want to go. You can say that you don’t feel well. People will assume that you mean you don’t feel physically well, but you can mean that you don’t feel mentally well and you won’t be lying. Their assumptions about what well means is not your fault.

As far as your worries about her happiness go, I think I can safely say that her happiness is now beyond your realm of rights in relationship to her. You have to let her go, completely. Her happiness, or lack of it, is not something that you can do anything about at this point. I think you know that you need to leave her in Allah’s (swt) care now.

The same applies to your continued feelings for her. You have got to let go of her, in Sha’Allah. As I said, you cannot control what you feel, but you can control what you do about your feelings. Rather than just pining over her, perhaps finding another area of life that you love to think about would take your mind off of her. Or, try to find another sister who you think would be good for you on your path to Jennah, In Sha’Allah.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you.

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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