In this counseling answer:
•With that said, should you marry her, you may be in for a very long road of possible caretaking, mistrust, and traumatic experiences should she relapse during a recovery.
•If you want to help her, brother, please do suggest that she gets mental health and substance abuse counseling as soon as possible.
•As far as marrying someone else, currently I do not suggest that you marry someone from back home unless you are sure that you are compatible with that person.
•Break off the relationship and take some healing time for yourself.
As salamu alaykum my dear brother,
I am sorry to hear about the situation with the Algerian Muslim girl that you have been talking to. I am not sure of your relationship because you stated “we have been through a lot together”. This may or may not indicate that she is your girlfriend, please forgive me I am not sure. However, as you know in Islam we are not supposed to have boyfriend/girlfriend type of relationships. Nonetheless, you do care about this girl deeply.
Current Substance Abuse Issues
You stated she does drugs, drinks and has a dark past. Brother, it seems to me that the pain that she is in (according to you) may have resulted in her use of drugs and alcohol. This often happens when we do not correctly address mental health issues. People often seek relief from the mental pain through haram means. You stated that you want to help her change; however, the change has to come from within her.
Insha’Allah, if you want to help her, brother, please do suggest that she gets mental health and substance abuse counseling as soon as possible. I am not sure of the extent of her drug and alcohol use. However, if she has an addiction, it is often a long process to get clean. Additionally, there are relapses involved sometimes when one tries to get clean and sober. It is part of the process.
Suggestions for Intervention
If it all possible, insha’Allah assist her in taking these steps to get the help that she needs. Give her a list of mental health clinics and substance abuse treatment centers. Encourage her to go to the mosque for prayers, Islamic supports, as well as getting closer to Allah swt.
I understand she is an amazing person and I’m not judging her. However, I feel that her mental health issues may have existed for a long time without being correctly treated. With that said, should you marry her, you may be in for a very long road of possible caretaking, mistrust, and traumatic experiences should she relapse during a recovery.
To Marry or not to Marry
Brother, I cannot advise you to marry her in the state that she is in right now because I am not sure how she feels. Is she ready to truly commit and dedicate to her sobriety? Is she willing and able at the same time to fully open her heart up to Allah and follow Islam? These are important questions, brother, as you are to marry one who is on the path of Islam. If you do marry her now, I am wondering, if you have children, would she be able to take care of them? Would she be able to be a responsible mother and wife at this point?
These are just a few points to think about. I am sure she is a wonderful person brother I do not doubt that. If it were a situation where she had a history of substance abuse and/or mental illness, which she overcame, it would be different. If she had significant clean time in and was on the path of healing, was practicing Islam that would be a different story. However, she is right at the start of maybe trying to get help. This means she is just at the beginning. She has not really started yet and it is a big risk.
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You could also advise her to get mental health and substance abuse counseling and wait for her to see if she is successful with her efforts. This may take years. It would also mean not having any contact with her during this time, as you know it is haram.
As far as marrying someone else, currently I do not suggest that you marry someone from back home unless you are sure that you are compatible with that person. Compatibility in a marriage is of vital importance. If you marry one from back home and do not really like her, you may resort to thinking about or reaching out to the Algerian girl whom you do feel that you love. That would be most harmful to both you and your new wife. Insha’Allah brother, do not rush into marriage at either point.
Brother, insha’Allah provide this girl with referrals for treatment. Break off the relationship and take some healing time for yourself. It sounds like you too have been through a lot. It is not easy to care for someone who has an addiction and mental heath issues. It can be quite draining at times as we may feel helpless. Please do take time for yourself and draw close to Allah swt for guidance and blessings. There is no hurry to marry. Insha’Allah, once you have had time to reorganize your thoughts and life you will know what direction is best for you and your religion.
We wish you the 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.