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Afraid to Tell My Boyfriend the Truth

23 February, 2024
Q This is related to my self I am the youngest in my family living in an Asian country. I am an undergraduate, my problem is about fear. When I was at the university my friends had boyfriends and sometimes I have to stay alone where they go out with them. I had so many proposals and was very scared to look into any of them because I didn’t want to hurt my parents, and at this instant my elder sister got a divorce and my parents were blamed by her, so my parents were fine with me going and choosing my partner. At this occasion one of my friends told my that a guy was interested in me and after chatting with him for two weeks I understood that he was very much older than me and also my parents always wanted an educated partner where else this person was not, so I started encouraging him to study etc. My biggest problem with him was that he used to speak a lot about religion but there were days that he didn’t bother to even pray, sometimes he even cuts Jumu`ah ( Friday) prayers. I am a person who doesn’t cover my head, but I respect my religion and obey the five pillars, and "he" tells me to cover etc. I was a bit sad as he doesn’t pray but he comes to dictate to me, but still I just kept things going. Since I am an educated person I wanted to have a job, but he said that he doesn’t want me to work, I told him that in Islam there isn’t a hard and fast rule for females not to work, but still he was being very narrow-minded . After around 11 months, I ended this relationship and stopped seeing him (just met around three times for 10 minutes each time in a library). I told him that my parents knew about this relation and they were not happy with it ( I lied to him). I had so many calls from him afterward but I just ignored and carried on with my life. After around two years I met a friend who was very religious, educated and also broadminded, he asked me out, everything seemed fine with me and with my parents who knew about it, but my problem was that when I used to speak with my current boyfriend about my ex-boyfriend he was not that interested, so I just kept quiet. But now (after 2 years of our relationship) he says that he hates girls who have had previous relationships, not that he suspects me but I feel guilty as he thinks that he is the first man in my life. Now I don’t feel like telling him, but then he will think that I was hiding things from him and that only now as we approach marriage, I am coming up with it. I am so scared - will I be punished by Allah in the Hereafter for hiding this? Will I be punished for leaving my first boyfriend the way I did? I am suffering a lot and have nobody to speak to, please help me, how could I be free from these sins?


As-salaamu alaykum,


I am puzzled by the use of the term “ boyfriend.”  This type of relationship does not exist in Islam.  If you are close to a man and share moments and details of your life with him, he must be your husband.  If you are not married to him, then you do not have the right to be very close friends with him.

You’re in a difficult situation, but I want you to understand that you have created the problem by leaving yourself open to having a “ boyfriend” in the first place. Whether you are talking about the old boyfriend or the new one, this type of relationship is not based in Islam.

I believe you need to have your parents involved in your search for a marriage partner.  Your father is your guardian, and he has the right and responsibility to protect you.  The fact that your sister’s marriage did not work does not mean that your parents are unqualified to help you.  There can be any number of reasons why your sister divorced.  In fact, your sister’s divorce should make you more cautious in dealing with the opposite sex.  And your parents—especially your father—can help you in making these important life decisions because they have the advantage of both age and experience.

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So, first of all, you should not become involved with the first “ boyfriend.”  You realize that now.  The problem is that your second “ boyfriend” will be unhappy with you when he knows you have been involved with someone before him.

My advice, first of all, is that you do not stay alone with any unrelated male, especially the man you consider to be your current boyfriend.  The Prophet (S) said,

{Whenever a man is alone with a woman, the Devil makes a third.} ” (Al-Bukhari, 25: 5403 and At-Tirmidhi #3118  )

Since you are already involved with this man, the temptation will be greater when you are with him.  But it applies to any man.  And if your current “ boyfriend” is as religious as you say he is, he would also avoid this.

The second thing you should do is talk with your father and ask for his help in finding a marriage partner.  As I’ve said, he has more experience than you do.  And as a male, he is better able to judge the character of a man.

If your current “ boyfriend” is the person you should marry, according to your father’s judgment as well as your own feelings, then you should be honest with him.  You know how he feels about women who have had past relationships, and if you marry him with this secret hanging over you, it is bound to come out eventually.  The repercussions will be worse after you are married, especially if you have children.

You stated that you want to be a good Muslim and follow the principles of Islam.  I urge you to do this.  Maintain your five daily prayers, especially, because these will help you be closer to Allah.  And I would also strongly recommend that you wear the hijab (Islamic dress code for women ).  It can affect how men see you.  And it may also affect how you respond to men.  The hijab can be a constant reminder of your identity as a Muslim.

You admit to having made mistakes in the past.  Turn to Allah, sister, and ask Him for forgiveness and guidance.  When you work to strengthen your relationship with Allah, this will help you in all of your other relationships.