I have a cousin who is residing back home in India. She’s really close to me but she’s still in 9th grade. She recently told me about a guy who is indirectly proposing to her, and these days she started having a slight feeling of interest towards him.
I gave her my advice about the consequences she’s going to face by entering a haram relationship, even more so if our family came to know about it. She says she can't help herself being attracted to him and can't resist him even though they have never talked to each other face to face but through friends.
She’s asking me for advice, but I gave her the best I could. I told her to make duaa and pray a lot so she could be closer to Allah, but she just doesn’t understand. I have no idea how to guide her, please help me. Thank you.
In this counseling answer:
• You need to let her know that what she is feeling for that person is not “love”. Her feelings are a result of the surroundings she sees. “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī)
• I suggest that you advise your friend to attend a mosque and seek the company of girls who are trying to please Allah.
• Introduce new friends to her.
• Spend time with her and discuss her school, her grades, her ambitions.
• I encourage you to make du’aa’ for her and also tell her how du’aa’ can really change hearts, by the power of Allah.
Assalamu alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for your question.
The teenage brain is not fully developed.
If your cousin is in grade 9, she is merely 14 or 15. The teenage brain is not yet developed. The feelings she has for this brother are a result of his attempt to talk to her.
She needs to know that at this age, these feelings have no value, and that if she takes a wrong step, her life may be ruined. Marriage cannot legally take place until the person reaches the age of 18.
You need to let her know that what she is feeling for that person is not “love”. The world in which we live in is surrounded by haram. Her feelings are a result of the surroundings she sees. She sees many girls her age with boyfriends, and as a result, she feels an indirect inclination towards such relationships.
You Reflect Your Friends.
If you are surrounded by someone who works out on a regular basis, eats healthfully, and has a healthy lifestyle, you will be inclined to live a similar way, and even if you had never done these things before, you will start to see a change in yourself.
The Prophet Muhammed SAW said,
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī)
This is the exact application of the saying. Dear sister, companions/friends have a huge role in the type of life we will live. I suggest that you advise your friend to attend a mosque and seek the company of girls who are trying to please Allah.
I also see a huge change in myself when I visit the mosque and sit around women and girls who are trying to improve themselves. Dear sister, no one is perfect; we are all trying.
Therefore, I suggest that you keep an eye on her friends and try to change the types of people she spends time with. Introduce new friends to her. In addition, if possible, she might change schools.
If she attends the same school, it may become difficult for her to concentrate on her studies if she sees him around. This is not a necessity, but a suggestion.
Focus on Academic Goals
Sometimes, distractions such as “feelings” can get in the way of our academic goals and careers. Talk to your cousin about her goals in life. Let her think about her future career. Take her to academically inspiring places like museums, science centers, etc., where hopefully her focus will change.
In high school, kids are mentally developing, and sadly, many kids in the western environment are eager to start a relationship with the opposite gender more than they are to explore their career pathways and dedicate their times to what is worthwhile.
Many of the kids will eventually go through multiple breakups, and unfortunately, some will be unhappy, depressed, and lack productivity because their minds are not in the right place but rather entirely focused on what was never meant to be permanent.
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Although hard, I suggest that you spend time with her and discuss her school, her grades, her ambitions.
Let Her Rationalize
Dear sister, ask your cousin about why she thinks that he is a good person? What is it about him? Does she want to marry him eventually? Or is she trying to follow the footsteps of the people she sees?
I am not certain. I know that some people know whom they want to marry as early as in their late teens, and others not even until their mid-twenties. Even so, some people get divorced. The world is full of many circumstances.
Let her think about this: is she certain that he is a good person? Is she mature enough to think about marriage past the immediate satisfactions? Does she know what marriage means? The compromises, the tolerance, the hard work, the sacrifices, the disciplining, and the lifestyle?
While it is not haram to discuss marriage with a person, I believe that your cousin may be too young and too influenced by her surroundings. It may be that she has no feelings for him but is deceiving herself because she knows a little too much about what she sees around.
Punctuate Your Time with Her with Stories of “Bad Endings” People had with Boyfriends
I personally know of a girl who was in a relationship with a boy and considered marriage with him after 2.5 years. Unfortunately, they went on trips together, ate out together and even moved in together. However, when she considered marrying him, she was shocked at his response.
He did not want to make a “commitment”. What does that even mean? That if someone much better comes along, this girl will no longer be a better choice? or that if something tough happens on the girl’s side, he will leave her as he does not want a burden? or if there is something he dislikes about her, he will leave her without a moment’s consideration?
Dear sister, this is the reality of many people. In today’s world, serious and committed relationships are found after one’s heading is a serious and a hardworking career field or is meeting someone through elders or family members.
Make duaa’ for her
Dear sister, nothing will have an impact on her mind and her actions if we do not make duaa’ that Allah change her heart. So, I encourage you to make du’aa’ for her and also tell her how du’aa’ can really change hearts, by the power of Allah.
May Allah help you,
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