Wa alaikom Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you for turning to us with your concern. You write that you had a boyfriend – both of you are practicing Muslims – and decided to discontinue the relationship as it is haram. You also state that you are not ready for marriage, but you still love him, and want to get him back.
I understand your situation sister, and masallah for doing the right thing, and ending the relationship, knowing that in this form it is not permitted according to Islam. It is surely a difficult test from Allah to resist your desires, and put your faith and spiritual commitment prior to them.
This decision is not simple black and white, as you are having seemingly conflicting feelings: you want to follow the teachings of the religion and avoid haram; while you have romantic sentiments towards this brother, as some form of love and attachment has been created already between you two.
You ask how you can get him back. I would say that the only worthy path is the halal way, through marriage.
Actually, having a romantic relationship at your age, where you can experience and express these feelings of love, desire and romance, would be completely normal and healthy. So, you do not need to feel guilty for these desires; rather you should seek the halal way to live them.
You write that both of you are not ready for marriage yet. This makes me wonder about two different possibilities here.
First, what are the obstacles to this marriage? Studies, work, money? Or probably family issues? One of you -or both – may fear that the parents would reject the idea?
Now, imagine that these concerns suddenly are solved from one day to another. Would you like to marry him, and he would marry you?
I am asking these questions, because I think that if you really love each other, and both of you feel that you are meant to be together, you can make the decision to legalize this relationship, and get married. Sometimes the obstacles are only apparent ones, and the solution is to change your mindset and set up different priorities.
Remember this ayat in the Quran:
“Indeed, Allāh will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” Quran 13:11
If your priorities are in accordance with the Sunnah, you will experience in sha Allah ease in your affairs. Marriage is a halal option and has many benefits for the couple on a psychological, emotional and physical level.
At the same time, we people set up certain conditions for marriage that are not part of the Sunnah. Having a solid career, pursuing higher education, for example, do not necessarily have to be completed prior to marriage, as this does not equal the Islamically required financial capability of the future husband.
You both can continue with your studies or work if you wish, after the marriage is concluded. The same applies to the dowry, and to the costs of the wedding: do not need to be excessive and cause a financial burden on the husband’s family.
Same is the issue with some cultural expectations of some families, who have preference for a certain nationality, or status over the piety of the spouse.
Long Term Love
Sister, try to reflect upon the reasons why you say that you are not ready for marriage yet. Put aside the cultural expectations, and the “common customs” in your family and surroundings, and ask yourself whether you really would like to stay with this person in the long run and form a family with him. Of course, he can ask himself the same question.
If the answer is yes, for both of you, I encourage you to make steps to perform a nikah and make your union halal, as legitimacy is required and would be a blessing for both of you.
If the answer is no, it means that you are feeling attached to this brother, and have sentiments for him BUT you do not consider him as a suitable future husband for some reason; it is better to end this relationship and cut-off ties with him completely.
Waste of Time
If you do not think that he is the right person to form a family with, it means that it would be a waste of time making attempts to legalize this relationship. Separation is a painful period, which is completely normal, as you still have sentiments towards him. But with time these feelings will be less intense, as you gradually detach yourself emotionally from this relationship.
In this case, you have to remain strong and focus on something else. Try to make yourself understand that this person is not meant to be your partner, and certainly there is wisdom behind. With time, as your life continues, you will understand that Allah had another, better plan for you, so take it as a test:
“But they plan, and Allāh plans. And Allāh is the best of planners.” 8:30
You can try some new activities, join a sisters group, do whatever your hobby is, and spend enough time with great company. You can offer voluntary actions and worship to increase your imaan and gain more psychological strength to overcome this period.
There is one more thing: in case that the brother is the one who for some reason does not want to legalize this relationship, I recommend you stop meeting him completely, both on social media and in real life. If he does not feel committed enough to marry you, it is enough sign that he is not the right one for you in the long run.
Before concluding my answer, I recommend you to participate in an Islamic premarital course, with him or without him; online or in-person if available in your community – to prepare yourself for marriage from an Islamic point of view.
I wish you to find the answer easily, may Allah bless you!
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.