Walaykum Assalam Wa Rahmat Allah Wa-Barakatuhu dear sister,
Thank you so much for trusting us with your question.
It is indeed a great and a beneficial question; many sisters have the same concerns and it is important that we discuss and answer this here.
Anyone May Reject Any Proposal
The short answer to your question is, no, you are not considered ungrateful for refusing a proposal. You have the full right to accept or reject.
Whether you reject a proposal because you are not comfortable with the idea of marrying a specific person, or you find that person repulsive in any way, shape or form, or there is no compatibility, or he doesn’t share your same vision and goals, etc., this is all completely fine.
Abu Hurairah reported that Prophet Muhammad said,
A woman who has been previously married should not be married until her permission is asked nor should a virgin be married without her permission. [Sunan Abi Dawood]
So it is your right to refuse to give permission to anyone to marry you.
A Case Study From The Sunnah
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the wife of Thabit bin Qais came to the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) and said:
O Messenger of Allah, I do not find any fault with Thabit bin Qais regarding his attitude or religious commitment, but I hate Kufr after becoming Muslim.” The Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) of Allah said: “Will you give him back his garden?” She said: “Yes.” The Messenger ((peace and blessings upon him) of Allah said: “Take back the garden and divorce her once.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i ]
Why is this important?
First, she was actually married to that person.
Second, there was nothing wrong with him.
Third, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) did not tell her that she is ungrateful for divorcing a man who was good and there was nothing wrong with him.
Fourth, she made a strong case saying that her feelings could reflect on her own religious commitment and degree of Islam.
Fifth, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) respected her wish and opinion and her concern about her religion and didn’t label her as ungrateful or try to make her reconsider her decision.
These are all lessons learned for us.
Purify Your Intentions in Seeking a Spouse
So, on the one hand, we tell you that it is your right and you are not ungrateful.
On the other hand, we remind you, like we remind ourselves, that we just have to be sincere in our intentions and reflect on why we do what we do honestly.
So reflect sincerely and ask yourself whether you feel you do have valid reasons for rejecting like the person’s religious commitment, manners, compatibility, etc., if so, then no problem at all.
But if you feel you have, let’s say, unrealistic expectations, then simply think about your priorities in life and your goal and your relationship with Allah here and in the hereafter, then make istikhara.
Sincerely ask Allah to guide you to the right direction in terms of your priorities and criteria.
It is always healthy to consult Allah and to reflect and have sincere intentions and honest pursuits.
In all regards, marriage is one of the signs of Allah and it is a means to get you closer to Him, and you should see your partner as someone who accompanies you and aids you in your journey to Allah and Jannah.
I advise you to read my previous article on The Marriage Proposal Checklist: Tips to Make the Decision Easier, as it will, insha’Allah, provide you with more context and tips.
He Works In A Tobacco Company?
As for the second part of your question regarding the person who works in a tobacco company, it is unlawful to work in/aid tobacco companies that essentially harm people, so yes it is a wise decision to point out this for the person as the reason to reject the proposal.
Allah Almighty says:
And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allah, in whom you are believers. (Qur’an 5:88)
So, him providing for a family, living and eating from money made through a source that isn’t halal or pure -like tobacco sales- would have negative consequences on you both here and in the hereafter.
If he is willing to find another halal means of sustenance, then that would be good. But, accepting what is unlawful is not something that would attract the blessings of Allah to your lives.
If he is willing to reconsider his means of sustenance and make it more halal, then this is good for him and it speaks positively about his taqwa (God-consciousness) and religious commitment.
But if he starts to be argumentative about it, then it isn’t a good sign, and you can graciously decline this proposal.
We praise Allah that He is helping you seek what is halal in all matters of your life, and ask Him to reward you with the absolute best in this life and the next. Ameen.
Hope this helps answer your queries. Please contact us again should you have any questions.
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