In this counseling answer:
Anything that facilitates moving forward with a proposal to her could potentially be a sign. It does not have to come in the form of a dream. If obstacles seem to stand in the way of moving forward with the marriage, then this could, indeed, be a sign that it is not meant to be. At the same time, if you are serious about moving forward with a proposal then you do need to take action.
Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh brother,
Certainly, it is a difficult situation to be in when you wish to marry a girl whom you like. You feel like her feelings are mutual towards you and the signs seem to be there too. At the same time, however, there also seems to be some obstacles to this moving forward; she has gone through a messy divorce and her family is not keen on her marrying an outsider. She has also blocked contact with you so you don’t have such regular contact with her anymore.
Even though it might not feel ideal that she has blocked contact with you, it is perhaps for the best to some extent. This is because actually any relations between you, even just seemingly innocent conversations, can lead to haram. Given you are not married yet, such contact could easily lead to zina as clearly you have already developed feelings for her. Blocking contact with each other until you are married, if Allah (swt) wills, will be the best way to prevent your relationship taking the wrong turn – a turn that could ruin your future together if you maintained regular contact as you had.
“Behold! A man is not alone with a woman but the third of them is Ash-Shaitan.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
Most importantly, don’t give up on the istikharah. Be sure that you are performing it in the way prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (swt).
There is no prescribed amount of time that you should continue making istikharah for, except if a clear sign comes to you and the situation resolves itself. Keep in mind that anything that facilitates moving forward with a proposal to her could potentially be a sign such as the call you speak of. It does not have to come in the form of a dream. If obstacles seem to stand in the way of moving forward with the marriage, then this could, indeed, be a sign that it is not meant to be. In sha’ Allah, a clear sign will come through for you and the marriage will either move forward and be accepted, or too many obstacles will stand in the way of it happening at all.
At the same time, if you are serious about moving forward with a proposal then you do need to take action. Perhaps you could ask someone in your family to approach hers. This way, you will be moving forward in a way that is compatible with Islam. This will also help her family to see you are from a good family and that you will be a good, respectable Muslim spouse. It will, therefore, help to overcome their dislike of her marrying an outsider as they see the good side of a potential spouse who they might view as an outsider. From this point, you could arrange meetings with both families so you can meet again in halal circumstances with her mahram present.
You do also need to be compassionate to the fact that she has just come out of a messy divorce. She will need some space so you might think of waiting a little while to allow things to settle before taking the steps mentioned above or else take it slowly, for now, to not pressure her or her family. Once you have started to make a move on the proposal, you could perhaps give it a certain amount of time for her and her family to accept the proposal. Once this time has elapsed, if no progress has been made, then you can feel confident that you have been patient for a given amount of time that you have decided upon, but you need to move on now. If this is to be the case then understand that Allah (swt) has something else better planned for you and this is why He (swt) did not make this proposal move forward.
“Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed, that is in a Record. Indeed that, for Allah, is Easy.” (Qur’an, 22:70)
May Allah (swt) give you patience during these testing times and grant you a righteous spouse that will be the coolness of your eyes.
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Husband beats me up in front of the Children