In this counseling answer:
• Unless and until he approaches your parents alongside his parents, what you do is not at all his concern. He is simply trying to control you and ruin your life.
• I suggest that you seek to develop a strong relationship with your parents and that in the future you will not stray off the straight path.
• Women do have the primary responsibility of being good wives and mothers, therefore, if a woman is able to manage all three to the best of her abilities, then there is no harm.
Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.
I am truly happy to hear that the boy you were in an unlawful relationship with has left. This is a blessing from Allah SWT.
Regarding women being able to work or not is none of his concern as he had never approached your parents regarding your marriage with him. Unless and until he approaches your parents alongside his parents, what you do is not at all his concern. He is simply trying to control you and ruin your life. If he had been genuinely interested in marrying you, he would have done it the right way. Therefore, dear sister, please forget about him and seek forgiveness for your past and try to forget it by engaging in productivity.
Learn from the past
I understand from your question that you are seeking to please your parents. I am very happy to hear this realization that you have come across. Parents are an important part of every child’s life. Although generation gaps bring about feuds occasionally, the child must always resolute to humility and seek forgiveness from both the parents and Allah SWT.
I suggest that you seek to develop a strong relationship with your parents and that in the future you will not stray off the straight path. I am saying this because I have noticed a trend in teens and twenty-year-old individuals who steer themselves on the wrong path when they are distant from their parents and siblings. When our internal family ties are close, the outside will not be a distraction too easily accepted as we will be comfortable enough sharing and obeying what is right.
Women are an important part of the community
Dear sister, there is nothing wrong with women seeking education in Islam. In fact, if you research Islamic History after the life of the Prophet SAW and read about the life of Prophet SAW in Sariah books, you will see that there are many women who contributed a great deal to the growth of Islam and the growth of many fields of academia.
In Islam, women are not required to work, as Allah SWT placed this responsibility on men. However, many people, not only men, will use this to tell women that they should not pursue an education of any sort of work in demanding fields. Women do have the primary responsibility of being good wives and mothers, therefore, if a woman is able to manage all three to the best of her abilities, then there is no harm.
I also suggest that you read through various articles found on this website.
Guidelines for men and women
However, in Islam, both women or men must follow strict guidelines when pursuing education and later work. In Islam, it is prohibited for men and women to develop any sort of relationships outside of marriage. It is a sin. And, physical relationships are a greater sin to which Allah SWT warns to be a grave sin to which there will be a grave punishment.
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However, Allah SWT also lets us know that He is Merciful, but this certainly does not mean we can exploit this and continue to sin in hopes of being forgiven. We cannot guarantee it, like everything else in life. Therefore, as slaves trying to please Allah SWT, we must strive to please Him SWT by restraining our whims and desires and doing what will be beneficial for the life of this world and the afterlife.
Seeking forgiveness for sins to overcome the stress of the past
For you to overcome the sin you have committed, you need to strive to improve. You need to improve your relationship with Allah by sincerely seeking forgiveness. Seek His forgiveness in your own language and read istighfar (supplication asking for forgiveness) frequently. Not only will Allah forgive you, He will also deter your thoughts from further distracting you. However, you need to be sincere in your intentions and in your actions. In addition, you should also engage in trying to do good deeds to erase bad ones.
In the Quran, Allah SWT says:
“Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Quran 2:160)
The part of the above verse “correct themselves” is, in other words, meaning that the bad deeds should be forgotten and gone from an individual’s daily life and replaced with good ones.
Seek Education and Important Information in Islamic and Secular Studies
The Prophet SAW said:
“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘One Faqih (knowledgeable man) is more formidable against the Shaitan than one thousand devoted worshippers.'” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Of course, this is conditional that the scholar and the learned student act upon the teachings rather than being mindless about them.
Even if you are worshipping and praying, it is also equally if not more important to acquire information. For example, if you spend 30 minutes a day reading Quran without translation and understanding, it is better if you read the Arabic version for 15 minutes and then for the next 15 minutes read the meaning and the explanation of the verses.
I pray that Allah SWT changes your situation and helps you find peace and guides you towards what is the best for you.
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.