Husbands are Pre-decided, Do I Still Have to Look?

01 January, 2020
Q Salam, hope you are doing well.This is my second time writing to you, as I believe that your responses are not only logical but thorough and easy to understand.I would like to know what Islam's take is on love marriages. Because I know that if a person likes someone else, they should let their parents know and if all goes well, they can get married. But how does one begin to like someone based on their personality without getting to know them first? As friendships and the like are forbidden.My problem right now is that I have already been close friends with this person. And in a few month time our high school will be over and we'll be parting our ways. As a person, who tries to do the right thing based on her religious findings, I am completely perplexed on what to do.I, more than anything else, want to marry this man. He's so much things, but most of all he is the sort of person who talks about things that matter. He makes me a better person and moreover a better Muslim. We only keep in touch in school and outside meetings are out of the question.The problem lies in the fact that he has little to no idea of my feelings. I fear that if I lose touch with him, which is inevitable really, I will lose my chance. Islamically should I just move on? Or let him know? I should also mention that my parents have told me that they do not mind me finding someone for myself. But what can I do??The timing for now is not right, otherwise I would have straight up told him how I feel and what I want to do. But is it worth it now? I know that the person you will marry is already decided for you by Allah, but does that mean that we shouldn't look?If in fact he feels the same way. I can assure you that there will be no dating of the sorts. I'd personally prefer to lose touch now and just let him know, so that in the future when he settles down I might be someone he considers.My intentions, I assure you, are nothing but pure in this sense. I don't have any hidden agendas. But does that have any say in the court of Allah. Or is this just a test? I understand that spouses are pre-decided but does that mean we don't have to look? Regards,P.S: He is someone who believes himself to be unlovable. But he is so much more than that. I just want to help him. I truly love this man. Even if we don't end up together. If my telling him helps curb his inner demons, is any of this justified?

Answer

Short Answer: Firstly, it is permissible for a woman to show interest in marrying a certain man who is known for his righteousness. But this has etiquettes and boundaries to maintain a woman’s honor, dignity, and respect. We know from our tradition that our mother, Lady Khadija didn’t get to know The Prophet on her own or privately. She entrusted him with work and tested his honesty, truthfulness, and trustworthiness in business and the way he dealt with people around him. This is how she came to her conclusion. When she further heard from a reliable source who accompanied the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) in the trade trip about his truthfulness, manners and noble character with everyone, she then sent a reliable source to the Prophet to reflect her interest in marriage. The Prophet then along with his uncle went and proposed officially to her mahram.

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Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you so much for sending your question and for the trust you placed in us. We pray that Allah Almighty uses us to help you and guide you to what is good and pure for you in this life and the next. Ameen.

Regarding your questions, firstly, it is permissible for a woman to show interest in marrying a certain man who is known for his righteousness. But this has etiquettes and boundaries to maintain a woman’s honor, dignity, and respect.

We know from our tradition that our mother, Lady Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) entrusted our Noble Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) with a part of her wealth for trading. He then proved his great honesty, reliability, and trustworthiness with what he was entrusted with.

When she further heard from a reliable source who accompanied the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) in the trade trip about his truthfulness, manners and noble character with everyone, she then sent a reliable source to the Prophet to reflect her interest in marriage. The Prophet then along with his uncle went and proposed officially to her mahram.

Note here that she didn’t get to know him on her own or privately. She entrusted him with work and tested his honesty, truthfulness, and trustworthiness in business and the way he dealt with people around him. This is how she came to her conclusion.

His character was something that people knew and didn’t differ about. She didn’t get to know on her own. Their great love for one another and the intense bond that was created between them happened after marriage as we learn from the different narrations.

This is how love grows between a husband and wife. When they observe the limits of Allah and follow what is pure, Allah then descends His barakah and blessings upon them. In the end, it is Allah Almighty who is the Creator of hearts and Controller of hearts, His name is Al Wadood (The Source of Pure Love and Affection) so He is the One who is capable of creating this love and affection between the husband and wife who observe Him in all their matters.

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (Quran 30: 21)

This happens within the marriage, not before it. What one can seek before marriage is to be certain of potential spouse’s deen and character by inquiring about them and the way they carry themselves in different contexts (work, family, neighborhood…etc.).

One hadith mentions:

“If there comes to you one with whose character and religious commitment you are pleased, then marry (your daughter or female relative under your care) to him.” [Sunan ibn Majah. Chapters on Marriage]

So, character and religious commitment are key to finding the right spouse.

The problem with what you told us is that the person accepted to be close friends with a woman who is not his mahram. This doesn’t reflect strong religious commitment or observing of the limits of Allah (SWT). We’re mentioning this because you said that you are someone who “tries to do the right thing based on her religious findings.” So it is our responsibility to tell you what is lawful and what isn’t.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“No one of you should meet a woman in privacy unless she is accompanied by a Mahram (i.e., a relative within the prohibited degrees).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Another hadith says:

“Behold! A man is not alone with a woman but the third of them is Ash-Shaitan.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]

People sometimes try to put on certain personas/qualities to appear in a certain way to other people…this happens especially when a man and woman ‘hang out’ together, usually both try to appear in their best manner or in a certain way that makes them appealing to the other. Of course, these settings are not appropriate, fair or halal.

You may take a look at this video which is interesting and relevant to this point.Husbands are Pre-decided, Do I Still Have to Look? - About Islam

Obviously, strong feelings of attachment might have resulted already as a result of this closeness and this friendship. We’re just afraid this would blur your sound judgment of the matter. But since, alhamdulAllah, you mentioned you’re concerned about doing the right thing, then we’re sure Allah (SWT) will help you and guide you to the best path if what you’re really seeking is the Pleasure of Allah (SWT) and His Closeness… which is the purpose of observing religious duties in the first place.

We must remember that marriage and the affection that Allah (SWT) places in this special bond is one of His signs, as He (SWT) says:

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (Quran 30: 21)

A sign is supposed to lead one further to Allah (SWT). Accordingly, we can’t approach Allah (SWT) by disobeying Him. Right?

So, maybe what we can do is check our intention again. Check our knowledge of Allah (SWT), our connection with Him and our understanding of our purpose in life.

Right now, what you can do is:

1- Perform the prayer and dua of Istikhara. Allah (SWT) is The Only One who truly and fully knows what we don’t know and He knows what the future carries. So that’s why we must seek Him to guide us to whatever carries goodness for us in our future, our deen and our afterlife.

How to perform this prayer and dua?

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to teach us the Istikharah (seeking guidance from Allah) in all matters as he would teach us a Surah of the Quran. He used to say:

“When one of you contemplates entering upon an enterprise, let him perform two Rak’ah of optional prayer other than Fard prayers and then supplicate:

Allahummainniastakhiruka bi ‘ilmika, waastaqdiruka bi qudratika, wa as-‘aluka min fadlikal-‘azim. Fainnakataqdiruwa la aqdiru, wata’lamuwa la a’lamu, wa Anta ‘allamul- ghuyub. Allahumma in kuntata’lamuannahadhal-‘amra (and name what you want to do) khairun li fi diniwama’ashiwa ‘aqibatiamri, (or he said) ‘ajiliamriajilihi, faqdurhu li wayassirhu li, thummabarik li fihi. Wa in kuntata’lamuannahadhal ‘amra (and name what you want to do) sharrun li fi diniwama’ashiwa ‘aqibatiamri, (or he said) wa ‘ajiliamriwaajilihi, fasrifhu ‘anni, wasrifni ‘anhu, waqdurliyal- khairahaithu kana, thummaardinibihi.”

(O Allah, I consult You through Your Knowledge, and I seek strength through Your Power, and ask of Your Great Bounty; for You are Capable whereas I am not and, You know and I do not, and You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if You know that this matter (and name it) is good for me in respect of my Deen, my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs, (or he said), the sooner or the later of my affairs then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. But if You know this matter (and name it) to be bad for my Deen, my livelihood or the consequences of my affairs, (or he said) the sooner or the later of my affairs then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it, and grant me power to do good whatever it may be, and cause me to be contented with it). And let the supplicant specify the object.”[Al-Bukhari]

2- You can inform your father about the gentleman and see if he can approach him. It is best to let your mahram handle it to guarantee and maintain your respect and honor in this situation. If not, then maybe a trustworthy female relative can communicate with him/ his family/ his trustworthy female relative.

In this situation, one is reminded of the marriage of Prophet Moses (peace and blessings upon him). The story as mentioned in the Quran shows how the one he ended up marrying informed her father about Moses’ manners and trustworthiness.

Her father then offered his daughter in marriage to Moses, who in turn spent 10 years working for the father as dowry for this marriage. Moses (peace be upon him) also wasn’t ready in terms of finances, work and having a place to live. But he showed responsibility and decided to work for the father to earn this marriage. This shows the degree to which Moses (peace be upon him) was serious about this marriage and about committing and handling the responsibility.

“One of the women said, “O my father, hire him. Indeed, the best one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy. He said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters, on [the condition] that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be [as a favor] from you. And I do not wish to put you in difficulty. You will find me, if Allah wills, from among the righteous. [Moses] said, “That is [established] between me and you. Whichever of the two terms I complete – there is no injustice to me, and Allah, over what we say, is Witness.” (Quran 28: 26-28)

Note here in this story that the daughter didn’t befriend Moses (peace be upon him) before their marriage. She only witnessed his manners, respect, trustworthiness, and manhood in the way he helped and honored her and her sister. This was sufficient for her and then she asked her father to handle the matter in the way that best dignifies her. Husbands are Pre-decided, Do I Still Have to Look? - About Islam

3- We must also remember that we might judge matters by our emotions or our limited knowledge, “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Quran 2: 216)

So, please continue to make dua to Allah (SWT) to guide you to the purest paths that have the most benefit for you. Also, let your heart rest assured that Allah (SWT) would guide the true sincere believers to what is best for them in this life and the next. So, we shall be ready to accept Allah’s decree in any case, so long as we follow what is right and abandon what is wrong, then Allah will sooner or later make the outcome of our affairs beautiful in this life and the next.

May Allah help you and guide you and enlighten your heart with knowledge and wisdom. Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Superstitions Around My Marriage: Shall I Believe Them?

Prophetcy about Future Marriage: Shall I Consider It?

Does Belief in Qadar Justify Passivity?

About Dina Mohamed Basiony
Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.