Conflicting Feelings: Shall I Give Up My Relationship?

15 November, 2020
Q As salamu 'alaykum .

Since I began school, I have been in a co-educational school. During my 11th and 12th grade of schooling, I worked real hard with a female non-Muslim friend of mine who was in my class. We were basically friends and since she was my partner in all my academic works, we became best friends. After 2 years of knowing her, all of a sudden I fell in love with her.

We did not have any pure sexual relation although we had some hugs and kisses (May Allah forgive us for what we had done). I was not in a state of mind at that time to turn back to Allah. Rather, my religious practices declined and I became more arrogant than before.

The following year, my parents came to know about the relationship and I could see that both of them were very much hurt by my explosive approach despite them raising me with the utmost kindness. The thing is that I got from my friend the love and affection that I longed to get from home. She was so caring and alive. This may be one reason why I stuck to my love.

My parents didn't allow the relationship, and so I had to promise them that I would stop the relationship then and there. From then onwards, my life was full of obstacles as I had nothing alive in my mind and all of a sudden I became an introvert.

I cried at odd times and I wasted a lot of time thinking about her. Though I haven't talked to her for about a couple of months, she lives in my mind and heart. Even though I tried to stop it, it had gone too far beyond reach.

Last week, I just happened to realize the seriousness of my mistake and then I started to repent. I confessed to Allah seriously from the bottom of the heart and then I wanted to be as I was before a good Muslim. I wanted to be in the way of Allah, and have his Jannah, paradise, as the ultimate reward.

I cannot stop my memories of her, for I don't know If you realize, love is blind. Whatsoever is the reason for disapproval, one fallen in the real love, can never recover completely.

What am I supposed to do? For Allah Almighty's blessing and help, and the reward in tomorrow's life, one should not win the hatred of one's parent's right? So does it mean that I don't have a chance to live together with my friend? I know that in the first case itself, I am a sinner, but regretting that sin doesn't make me free from the love that I have for her.

What am I supposed to do? Can I live with her? If I wanted, right now I could move on to be in a job and live with her. She agreed to accept Islam, but I doubt its sincerity. She is just saying it to be with me. What shall I do? Jazakallah Khayran

Answer


In this counseling session:

“It is totally understandable and proof of Allah’s warning to us about engaging in romantic relations with the opposite sex outside of marriage. The heart is so susceptible – as is in your case – to this kind of loving attachment. “

As salamu ‘alaykum,

Dear brother, I think your situation is a good example of what happens when we engage in intimate relationships with the opposite sex and how things can develop beyond our control. Naturally, after being in a ‘working’ relationship with this young woman for 2 years, you developed feelings for one another.

Illicit relations

This is totally understandable and proof of Allah’s warning to us about engaging in romantic relations with the opposite sex outside of marriage. The heart is so susceptible – as is in your case – to this kind of loving attachment.

In your case, I find it very interesting that you sense that this woman provides you with certain things that you do not get in your own home such as loving kindness, as you say. It makes some level of sense and I applaud you for your perceptiveness and self-awareness.

The deed is done at this point, so for you, the question is how are you going to deal with it now. You appear to have two conflicting forces to deal with. One, your love for this young woman, and two, your desire to return to the path of Islam full-heartedly. I don’t doubt your sincerity in either case.

Conflicting Feelings: Shall I Give Up My Relationship? - About Islam

You mention towards the end of your question that this young woman has expressed an interest in Islam that you say is not sincere. It may not be right now, but perhaps you might want to pursue this course with her and feel her out to see just how ‘insincere’ she is.

Dawah

You may want to explain to her the situation, and your competing interests and let her know that being Muslim and living life in Islam is a big part of who you are and that if she really wants to be a part of your life (i.e. as your wife), then she will have to either embrace Islam and marry you, or break off relations once and for all. There really is no other choice that I see at this point.

From here, if she agrees, you can begin to educate her about Islam and then see how she reacts. See if she is sincere in making an effort to learn about Islam and follow the path herself, or if she is just saying it to be with you.

It might be more the latter at first, but once she gets a taste of the commitment that is required you may get a better idea of how sincere she is. You must make it clear to her throughout, however, that Islam is a big part of WHO YOU ARE. And that to be with you, she must realize that it means being with you in a way that is in agreement with the command and will of Allah, i.e. as husband and wife.


Check out this counseling video:


Expectations

Keep your expectations at a minimum at this point and go slowly with her. Give her time to digest whatever information/knowledge you share with her, but at the same time be crystal clear with her about what it means to be Muslim, what is required and of course, what is so wonderful about being Muslim.

Teach her about all the beautiful elements of the Islamic way of life, starting of course with her own path and relationship with God. Again, the most important thing is that she realizes that Islam is a very big part of who you are and that to ‘have you’ so to speak means having you within the context of the Islamic way of life, which begins with lawful marriage.

Sincerity

In sha ‘Allahafter all these things have been made clear to her and she sees your level of sincerity and determination she will make a sincere effort and choice one way or the other. In sha ‘Allah if she chooses to be with you as a Muslim she will make a sincere effort to learn and practice Islam. At first, it may be more to be with you, but in sha ‘Allah over time, with your help and guidance, her faith will grow and she will fall in love with Allah and His deen just as she has fallen for you.

At this point, don’t simply write her off as not being sincere. Yes, she may be interested in Islam for your sake, but you can use this interest to teach her about Islam and make da’wah, an invitation to Islam. It is an excellent opportunity to help her return to fitrah and better herself. Don’t be narrow-minded – think of the opportunity this creates and how you can help her to develop her own faith.

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About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.