I want to get married to a Muslimah who studies medicine. I have just completed my studies at the university and am now working.
Her degree will take five more years to complete and is very taxing. We have met and discussed the issue of marriage and received the blessings of our parents in accordance with our faith.
I am worried as to when we should get married. Waiting for her to finish her studies is unrealistic.
Getting engaged for such a long time is also not proper. Please advise me. I am quite in a dilemma as I think getting married to her early might disturb her studies.
In this counseling answer:
• We want to remind you that frank communication and trust in Allah are going to help you come through this situation, and nothing else.
• We do not encourage prolonged engagements but suggest that you consider performing the nikkah (marriage contract) and waiting until she finishes her studies to actually live together.
Make the Istikharah Prayer.
Thank you so much for writing to us. We understand how frustrating it can be to decide whether to marry now or to have a prolonged engagement. We are glad to hear that you have sought and received the blessing of both sets of parents.
First, we want to remind you that frank communication and trust in Allah are going to help you come through this situation, and nothing else.
Remember that Allah Most High is the Best of Planners so that when all is said and done, you should trust in Allah and make du`aa’ (supplication) for the outcome you desire.
In your case, you need to talk to your fiancé and assess the situation with her. How does she want to proceed? Be patient as you deal with her and try to come to some mutual agreement on how you will proceed.
The key is frank communication. Do not hold back your feelings, encourage her to share her feelings with you. In sha’ Allah, if you both trust in Allah and seek His assistance, He will provide a way for you.
Second, because we do not know both of you well enough, it is not possible for us to suggest either marriage or a prolonged engagement. Our instinct is never to suggest a prolonged engagement, except in certain extenuating circumstances.
However, we can at least say that we know of young men and women who have gotten married while one or the other of the spouses was studying medicine or generally completing their higher education. Here are some thoughts for your consideration.
Would you be able to support her financially during her studies if you married now?
Would you be able to allow her the flexibility she needs to be able to concentrate on her studies?
Would she be willing to have the contract written now and perhaps delay your living together until sometime later?
Would you be willing to delay having children for at least the first five years of your marriage, and maybe even for some years after that?
Would she be willing to consider moving in with you mid-way through her studies?
Would you still be willing to delay having children when you both start living together?
The burden of most of the critical choices lies with you because she has made her choice—to study medicine, although she does wish to marry you.
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Finally, as we said before, we do not encourage prolonged engagements but suggest that you consider performing the nikkah (marriage contract) and waiting until she finishes her studies to actually live together.
Of course, under this arrangement, you will have to be absolutely clear with each other about family planning, and so on, so that she does not feel stressed or pressured to start her own family from you, her family, or your family.
Studying for five years is a major investment of time for her, and she needs to have your full support, as well as that of her family and yours.
Please, take the time to come to your final decision. Make the Istikharah Prayer (supplication for guidance in making a decision) and ask her to also make the Istikharah Prayer. In sha’ Allah, we wish both of you the best and urge you to continue seeking the help and guidance of Allah (swt) Most High.
Allah (swt) knows best.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.