The first one is regarding romantic fantasies. I've always been a romantic and a dreamer, and ever since my adolescence I've always liked to fantasize about being in a relationship with someone, whether it's a fictional character or somebody I know. During these fantasies, I picture myself being with someone respectful and loving and doing things like holding hands, hugging or kissing. My fantasies contained sexual content at times, but it was mostly romantic.
I've never had a boyfriend as I am saving myself for marriage, which is something that is dear to my heart. I want to build a relationship with someone that will help me better myself as a Muslim and I hope that inshallah our relationship will please Allah. These fantasies are my way of dealing with my sexual urges and desires while waiting for a real relationship (marriage).
I've read some articles that stated that fantasies aren't permissible but I don't know what to think. My intentions are pure, I think that my fantasies are just a healthy way to deal with my desire, but I don't know...
Is it really healthy? Is it allowed in Islam?
My second question concerns optimism. When I read Surah Al Kahf, I keep thinking of the man who entered his garden and said he would never lose any of it. When I try to be optimistic and have tawakkul, I tell myself things such as "Allah will always be with me, he will always help me. Allah will always provide for me as long as I am grateful. The future only brings good things to me inshallah."
Is it the proper way to channel optimism or is it pride if I think that Allah will always provide for me and forgive my weaknesses?
Thank you in advance for your help and may Allah bless you.
In this counseling answer:
• The fantasies that you are describing dear sister are common and normal fantasies that emerge as one begins to grow and develop into a young adult.
• Try to fill that time instead with other activities, such as studying, going for a walk, engaging in a hobby or an Islamic endeavor such as charity work or reading Qur’an.
• You may want to speak with your parents and indicate that you are ready for marriage if you feel that you are.
As salam Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your questions and concerns. You have put great thought and care into the issues that you are dealing with, seeking to please Allah. Your honesty and insightful observations provide a glimpse into the wonderful pious young lady that you are. May Allah swt guide and bless you abundantly.
Fantasies and Romance
Regarding your first question, you discussed your experiences with romantic fantasies. You stated that you have always been romantic and a dreamer since your adolescence and you always thought about being in a relationship with someone. You acknowledged that during these fantasies you pictured yourself being with someone and doing things like holding hands, hugging or kissing.
While at times there was sexual content, you tried to keep it respectful and focused mostly on the romantic aspects. The fantasies that you are describing dear sister are common and normal fantasies that emerge as one begins to grow and develop into a young adult. These fantasies, desires, and thoughts are of a human nature sister as most people do desire a connection with someone.
People usually do desire closeness and a bond with others and in the case of sexual-romantic feelings-with a spouse. This closeness may include activities such as sharing a cup of tea together, holding hands, taking a romantic walk, watching the sunset, and yes hugging, kissing and making love.
However, as Muslims, while we may have these thoughts, we also know that these fantasies and actions are confined to a marital relationship. It is healthy to desire a connection with someone else.
But it is also healthy to maintain our Islamic morals and values in regards to not following through with such desires.
Insha’Allah, I would kindly advise that you seek to reduce your time fantasizing. Try to fill that time instead with other activities, such as studying, going for a walk, engaging in a hobby or an Islamic endeavor such as charity work or reading Qur’an.
You stated that you’ve never had a boyfriend and you are saving yourself for marriage and that is something that is dear to your heart. Alhamdulillah! Your piety and desire to please Allah is a beautiful attribute and an asset not only for your current situation but for your future as well. May Allah reward and bless you greatly dear sister for your determination to stay true to your heart. More importantly, may He reward you that you stay true to what Allah desires for us and demands from us.
You seem very in tune with not only your Islamic obligations and your relationship with Allah but also in tune and connected to yourself as a young woman in a healthy way. You state that you want to build a relationship with someone who is going to help you be a better Muslim, as well as a relationship that will please Allah.
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This type of thinking is very conducive to our Islamic way of life. It is pleasing to Allah. These things are deeply ingrained in your heart sister and I am sure that insha’Allah, Allah will bless you very soon with all that your heart desires in a spouse. Until such a time occurs, I encourage you to remain steadfast in your vision to remain pious, focused and balanced with your fantasies and dreams.
You mentioned that you read articles that state that fantasies aren’t allowed. I am not an Islamic scholar and you may wish to consult our “Ask the Scholar” section regarding it.
It is my understanding, however, that we as human beings are naturally curious, imaginative, as well as avidly desiring affection. We like to be romanced, and of course, as human beings, we experience feelings of sexual desire and need. These are not negative feelings. These are human feelings, emotions, and needs that are quite normal but need to be fulfilled within a marital context.
Some may feel that fantasies can lead to Islamically prohibited behaviors or that fantasies may cause a person to think excessively about romantic ideals. They are valid concerns. While our fantasies and our feelings can be controlled to an extent, they are also natural and normal feelings that we do need to be aware of. We need to realize when we have gone too far with fantasizing, such as noticing that we spend too much time fantasizing.
Also, if we feel that fantasizing may lead us to commit haram, we should definitely try to eliminate or reduce our thoughts concerning the fantasies in order to protect ourselves.
Fleeting fantasies and occasional fantasies, such as thinking about what qualities we wish in our future mates, are not considered harmful as long as we don’t let our feelings stray into obsessions or divert into actions. Some do, after all, consider fantasies to be a more preferable outlet, rather than to be committing zina or getting involved in porn.
Seeking a Balance
Sister, it seems to me that you have a very balanced view on what you would like in a relationship when you’re married. As long as you are not committing haram acts (which you say you don’t) and as long as you are not spending excessive time fantasizing.
You may want to speak with your parents and indicate that you are ready for marriage if you feel that you are. Your fantasies may also be a way of letting you know that it is time to get married.
Please, do pray to Allah and ask for His guidance in this matter concerning marriage.
Seek out classes at your local Masjid or Islamic Center regarding marriage. Some Masjids offer classes for people who are considering marriage to help prepare them for marriage. These classes can help you gain insight.
Optimism vs. Pride
You discussed your concerns about optimism and gave the illustration of the man who entered his garden and said he would never lose any of it. You also tell yourself that Allah will always be with you and He will always help you. You believe that Allah will always provide for you as long as you are grateful.
As you know sister, these thoughts illustrate a total faith in Allah and are Illustrated in hadiths and in the Qur’an. We are to trust in Allah totally. We should know that Allah will be with us and He will help us. And yes Allah does provide for us.
Everything that we have is by the mercy and blessings of Allah. It is not prideful to put your full trust and faith in Allah swt. That is Iman- faith. Pride is when we think that we can accomplish things on our own. For instance, say you had a really beautiful garden that you carefully tended to and it had lovely flowers and plants that grow all year long.
You know that the blessing of this beautiful garden and its growth is due to Allah. You may have planted the seeds and watered them and took good care of them, but it is by Allah’s will and blessings that it has grown and flourished. If you would have attributed your blessings, accomplishments and other successes in life only to yourself, that would be pride. When we are thankful and acknowledge that it is because of Allah that we have certain things- that, is faith.
We are to strive to be successful in this life. Allah wants us to be happy and to attain marriage, children, jobs, careers, and other blessings. While we can acknowledge that we worked hard for something, we must always keep in mind that it is only because of Allah swt that we are able to accomplish it. We can be proud of our accomplishments, yet we know it is because of Allah’s mercy.
To put total trust in Allah regarding all of our affairs is faith. This is what Allah asks of us.
Focus on Allah
Sister, it is clear that you love Allah and strive to please Him. You have attained a high level of faith –not pride-which has enabled you to make wise decisions regarding your life by putting your full trust in Allah. You have remained pious and have your heart set on righteous goals for a future marriage.
Sister, please focus on these wonderful aspects of your spirituality and make duaa to Allah for your continued growth and closeness to Him. As you focus more on Allah, you may find your worries and concerns diminishing.
Also make duaa for a pious husband so you can insha’Allah, make your dreams/fantasies a reality.
We wish you the best sister,
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