My main problem is that I want to marry her, but I fear to propose to her. I know that she deserves a better person than me.
My friend does not know about my feelings, so this is also a major issue. I cannot afford a counselor because of my lack of time. Is this feeling real love or just lust?
In this counseling answer:
• In psychology, a western scholar stated that a man and a woman could not be “friends” without thinking further ahead of their lives together. This is an innate feeling of men and women.
• Marriage is a Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed SAW. However, this certainly does not mean that we need to rush into it. We must first seek Allah’s help and direction, the network for finding the right individual, ask questions, consult people for advice, and then seek Allah’s guidance again.
• If you are sincerely interested in marriage, then I highly suggest that you answer those questions below and learn more about what you would like in a marriage.
• Pray the Prayer of Guidance (Istikhara).
• Make yourself busy.
As-Salamu Alaikum dear brother,
Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.
Friendship with the opposite gender is a NO
Dear brother, the simple solution to your current problem is that in Islam, friendship with the opposite gender is forbidden. The reason, I am sure you can tell at this point.
In psychology, a western scholar stated that a man and a woman could not be “friends” without thinking further ahead of their lives together. This is an innate feeling of men and women.
Even in western culture, many girls and boys who have male and female friends tend to end up in relationships with them. However, their culture or religion does not forbid it.
When in certain cases marriage is not an option, individuals tend to sin and fall in the trap of Shaitan and go down the road of mental health illness due to the rejection or ignorance from the person.
Meaning of marriage
Marriage is a very important milestone in our lives and a very important part of Islam. Marriage is a Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed SAW and even Allah SWT addresses the importance of marriage and the blessings brought about it in the Quran.
However, this certainly does not mean that we need to rush into it. We must first seek Allah’s help and direction, the network for finding the right individual, ask questions, consult people for advice, and then seek Allah’s guidance again.
If you are sincerely interested in marriage, then I highly suggest that you answer these questions and learn more about what you would like in a marriage. Perhaps answering these questions will make you consider the girl in more details, to see if she fits well under all these characteristics.
- What is your concept of marriage?
- What are your expectations of marriage?
- What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
- Identify three things that you want to accomplish soon.
- Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
- Why have you chosen me/another person as a potential spouse?
- What is the role of religion in your life now?
- Are you a spiritual person?
- What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
- What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
Acknowledge the root of your feelings
I am certain that you feel this way because you are at a point in your life where such feelings and thoughts are bound to occur. Most of the time these feelings are not feelings of true love but rather they are infatuations and desires, and a part of growing up and seeing things differently.
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In addition, it is also possible that these feelings are stemming from your past problems. For example, you mentioned that you had a tough past with your parents, and as a result, I think it is possible that you are considering a happy life with this girl, without understanding that marriage is not just fun and games.
Prayer of guidance
If you are genuine in your feelings towards this sister, I ask that you pray the Prayer of Guidance. I want you to pray it for continuously 7 days or 14 days, without speaking to the sister. There is no number of days that is recommended religiously, but I am simply speaking about something that I’d do.
I would give myself time when consulting Allah because praying simply for a day or two will not make me think deep enough or without bias.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah said,
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to teach his companions to perform the prayer of Istikhara for each and every matter just as he used to teach them the Suras from the Qur’an He used to say, “If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two rak`at prayer other than the compulsory prayers, and after finishing it, he should say the supplication.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Essentially, the prayer will guide you towards what is right and will deter you from what is wrong. This will not be in the form of a dream or anything. What is right will become easy to pursue and what is wrong will be removed from your pathway.
However, when you are seeking Allah’s counsel, you must not be thinking of preferring one direction over the other. You must simply seek to attain what is sincerely better for you for this world and the afterlife.
Also, after the seven days, you feel inclined towards this sister, and the feelings are stronger, you need to get someone you trust involved. It can be your mother or father, a sibling you trust or a cousin, older preferably. Because if you move in this direction without the guidance of an elder, then things might get out of control. Whether or not she is written for can only be determined through serious and decent communication guided by an elder.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment and its success is dependent on compatibility, attraction, and personality flow.
Dear brother, sometimes, when we feel the urge to get married to prevent the possibility of falling into sin, then we become biased towards any potential individual because we are not capable of thinking straight and rationalizing. We are only interested in getting married to prevent ourselves from sinning. Know that these feelings can be directed by considering the importance of worship.
When feelings of sinning enter our mind, we must remind ourselves that we are placed in this world to worship Allah SWT. Marriage should be a means to get there. We should not consider the sole purpose of our existence and seek satisfaction only through marriage.
Occupy your mind
Until circumstances change, I suggest that you not overthink them and focus on developing yourself as a person by investing time in hobbies (reading, sketching, writing, painting, biking, etc.) and being productive. If you do not try to think about what is important before you get married, your married life will not be fruitful.
Dear brother, consider what is important for you. You need to become self-sufficient; you need to become properly educated so that you can work a professional job and be able to be financially independent. You need to learn about Islam and the meaning of life as a Muslim. You need to take of your health.
When you spend too much time thinking about what is not in your control, you will sacrifice the quality of what is in your control, such as your studies and your health.
May Allah guide you brother to what is best for you, amen,
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.