Fiancé is Blackmailing Me; Help!

24 January, 2017
Q Salam. I am a 32 years old woman. I divorced a year ago and have a son. I want to re-marry and recently got a proposal of a single man who says he loves me and wants to marry, but the problem is that his family will not agree. It seems he will have to hide our relationship. In addition, he doesn’t have a good salary, thus he won’t be able to bear my son’s expenses as it is not his duty. So I need to continue working as he cannot support me financially. He also says I will not be allowed to use any media, even mobile phone, and cannot contact my family. He says females are made for the pleasure of males. He has even asked money from me. He threatened me if I didn’t marry him and didn’t give him money, he would come to my home and defame me in front of my family. I’m really depressed. Please guide me. Do you think his demands are right? Are they Islamic? I feel I’m imprisoned and have no value in the society or in the family as a married lady. What should I do? I am not a modern lady; I wear hijab and know very well about my religion, but I don’t know who he is.

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

SubhanAllah, from what you are describing here, this does not sound like a good type of person to marry. Certainly, these restrictions that he places on you are not Islamic. I don’t know the man so cannot judge him, that is for Allah (swt), but you know him better than I and can make your own judgements about whether he is the right man for you to marry. I can, however, comment on the things you have mentioned here.

Firstly, if the man loves you like he says he does, then he would want you to be happy. Posing such strict sanctions on you that are not part of Islam and threatening to defame you are clearly not going to make you happy and, therefore, will be unlikely to result in a happy marriage.

If his family won’t agree to the marriage right form the onset, then things might be difficult. Of course, marriages can still work without the approval of the extended family, but it places added strains on a marriage.

Banning you from media could be a potentially good thing due to the amount of fitna that can and has arisen as a result of social media. But if used responsibly, it can also be very beneficial.

As for demanding money from you, from an Islamic perspective alone, it is primarily the man’s responsibility to provide for the family. Any money you earn is yours, you can do with it anything you please, and he cannot take that away from you. If you chose to share it with him, then that is your choice, but if you don’t want, this is ok also.

Even outside of the Islamic perspective on the matter, the very fact that he is demanding it form you is another issue of control that he has over you. Allowing him to have such controls over you from this early stage will only set the stage for the rest of the relationship.

The same goes for banning you from speaking to your family. Something that again, from an Islamic perspective alone, is not allowed. Even if your family are non-Muslims, he should not be stopping you from seeing them at all. Your parents raised you as a child, and they have rights over you too and by not talking to them you are denying their rights and for him to expect you to do such a thing is not only setting a control on you, but is encouraging you to disobey Allah’s commands on you too.

As for the role of the woman to be to pleasure the males, sure, part of the woman’s role is to please her husband, but this is not her only role and should not be at the expense of forsaking contact with her family or indeed the rest of the world.

Sister, it’s important to know your worth. Do not think that you should go ahead with this just because you feel you might not get another proposal because you were previously married and have a child. You might feel like you might never receive another proposal, and so you feel you have no choice to go ahead with it, but there are plenty of other good men available for marriage. You need to be confident that as an Allah-fearing woman, with prayer, Allah (swt) will send another man your way if you chose not to go ahead with this proposal.

This man has placed you in a position where you feel you have to marry him in order to avoid the shame he wants to place on you if you don’t marry him. These are the acts of a man who is very much trying to control you and is making that clear from the start.

You also need to think of your son. Is this the kind of man you would like to see in your son’s life, potentially as a father figure to him? Keep in mind how much boys strive to emulate the male figures in their life.

All this said, maybe he has some good qualities too, and it is for you to think about whether these outweigh the negatives that you have presented here. Do you feel like you could live a happy life together? This is certainly a time when making istikhara would be very useful to you in asking Allah (swt) to guide you to make the decision that will be best for you and your son as well.

May Allah (swt) guide you to make the best decision that will be good for both you and your son. May He (swt) grant you a righteous spouse that will bring you happiness and contentment in your marriage.

Salam,

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)