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A Girl with Drug Problems; I Want to Help by Marrying Her

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 21, 2019

Question

Salam. How are you? I am a Sudanese Muslim born and raised in America. I love my religion. I love my people. I also fell deeply in love with an Algerian Muslim girl. We have been through a lot together and she has a dark past. She has been through a lot of pain while living in America. She has demons. She is fighting. She does drugs and alcohol. She also has tattoos but slowly since she has been with me, she has been trying to change. I want to help her change and help her to get rid of her tattoos. I want to help her stop drinking and doing drugs. She hates her tattoos and regrets them so much.

I love her and I think I want to marry her, but she has to change if I take her to my family. Now they would deny her, I told my mom about her. She has no problem me marrying out of my race, but she does not know about her problems. Please do not judge. She is an amazing person and she loves Islam, but America has corrupted her and I want her to become the good Muslim girl that she is meant to be.

My question is, should I help this girl and be there for her because I am in love with her and I want to marry her? Or should I go find someone back home? The reason why I say back home is because this girl will be my last relationship, I do not want anyone from the US, but I really love her. What should I do?

Counselor

Answer


A Girl with Drug Problems; I Want to Help by Marrying Her

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.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

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.

Conclusion

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.

Read more:

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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