In this counseling answer:
• In Islam, there is also balance. We are to have a balance in our lives for us to be productive, caring members of a community, get married Insha’Allah, have a family if one desires, as well as build a foundation for ourselves regarding career, family, and serving Allah.
• Start a journal and write a little bit every day about how you were feeling when you knew the man you liked and how you feel now.
• Having chemistry with a future potential spouse is very important. There must be something there that we see or feel that attracts us to them.
• It is best to be honest about your feelings from the beginning, that way nobody can say that they were deceived.
As Salam Alaykum dear sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your heartfelt concerns and fears. My heart goes out to you, sister, as I feel the pain and longing-in your words. There seem to be so many things going on with you emotionally, that it is hard for you to sort out which way to go.
At the beginning of your question, you discussed that you did not want to get married. You feel that you “don’t want to be bound to somebody”. You stated that you’re not afraid of marriage, but you just don’t want to be married. You don’t like being close to people, not even your family or friends.
You also feel that close relationships are a waste of time and that they distract you from devoting yourself to Allah. You further talked about wanting to live all alone with your own life and your own rules, compromising only for Allah.
A Beautiful, Loving Heart
Despite your feelings of not wanting to get close to people, sister, you did say in one tiny little part that you want to help people. That is a tiny little voice coming out and it actually says a lot. Further down in your question you finally started discussing a man that you did like, but he had a terminal disease and you did not want to argue with your family about “why you did not mind him having a terminal disease”. It sounds like that you really cared for this person. You cared about him so much that the thought of him being terminally ill did not bother you. You still wanted to marry him. This is proof of a great and loving heart that you have, sister.
Disappointment & Hurt
Could it be that you are still angry, hurt, and disappointed that you did not get to marry the one that you did like? Is it possible that at some point when you were talking with him about marriage, that when you realized you didn’t want to argue with your family and you just gave up?
Sister, sometimes it seems like we can only like one person. If it doesn’t work out or we did not pursue the marriage, we are often left to wonder what could have happened. Could we have been happy? It is these thoughts and memories that can sometimes turn into anger or depression. In your case, it seems that you just want to withdraw from everybody and everything and serve Allah. Allah SWT is our stronghold indeed. Everything in creation is born to serve Allah and all that exists serves Allah.
Humankind is no different. Your love and devotion to your Lord are admirable and it is a level that many seek to attain. However, in Islam, there is also balance. We are to have a balance in our lives for us to be productive, caring members of a community, get married Insha’Allah, have a family if one desires, as well as build a foundation for ourselves regarding career, family, and serving Allah.
In fact, it is said that marriage is one half of our religion. With that said, I would kindly encourage you to really examine what you are feeling. Are you still wishing that you could have married the one that you did like? Are you actually feeling anger, heartache, pain, and depression?
Journaling as a Path towards Healing
Insha’Allah sister, please start a journal and write a little bit every day about how you were feeling when you knew the man you liked and how you feel now. Touch upon points in your Journal that you brought out in your question. These points in the question will help you begin to sort out how you truly feel, and what it is you do desire for your life. I am sure, sister, that you do desire a loving companion, someone to be married to for the rest of your life. It is a natural human desire to want to be in a loving relationship.
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I think, and I may be wrong (please forgive me), that you are just hurt right now. I don’t know how long ago this transpired with the man that you did like who was terminal, but it seems that it was very deep-rooted. You also discussed that you have talked to other men for the purposes of marriage, but you found no interest in them. These potential husbands were arranged by your parents, and they are the ones that you declined.
Rights as a Muslim
Perhaps once you work through your feelings and find out what it is that you truly want in a husband, you will be able to be a voice advocating for your own marriage. This is not to say that you would leave your parents out of your potential choices, but you do have a right to marry who you want.
As a Muslim, you don’t have to marry someone your parents pick out unless you like him and find him acceptable. You could meet somebody in a Halal way just casually at an Islamic event, if you go to the university, or even on the job. You may have a friend who has a nice brother. We never know what Allah has in store for us sister and I’m encouraging you to keep your options open.
Chemistry & Compatibility
You are currently engaged. However, you stated that after getting to know him for a year you have no interest in him. You acknowledge that he is a great person. He prays and follows Islam, but you just don’t like him. You’re afraid to say no because you are afraid that Allah will punish you. Sister, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that somebody is a good person or a good Muslim, but you just don’t have chemistry with them.
Having chemistry with a future potential spouse is very important. There must be something there that we see or feel that attracts us to them. If that does not exist that is not your fault. Allah wants you to have a husband that you are attracted to and feel chemistry with. Allah does not want you to get married to someone whom you already know cannot make you happy, nor can you make them happy.
Marriages are created to be successful Insha’Allah. That means common goals, an attraction to one another, similar lifestyles as well as feeling comfortable in each other’s presence. Marriage is to be comprised of kindness, love, and, mercy. It is a comfort. It is only natural that you would want to have some chemistry when you start to get to know someone for marriage.
I kindly suggest that if you do not feel any chemistry with him, and you do not like him, please do call off the marriage. If you get married to him and don’t like him it’s kind of like a little white lie, only it could have devastating effects on the future- namely, a failed marriage. It is best to be honest about your feelings from the beginning, that way nobody can say that they were deceived. It also lessens the chance of bigger hurt and problems down the line.
On the other hand, if you feel that you don’t like him because you’re angry or because you still like the other guy, then perhaps you haven’t really given him a fair chance.
Insha’Allah, you have two options. Both options, however, include self-exploration and healing. Once you have done that you will be in a better position emotionally to really get to know somebody for the purposes of marriage. You may want to put off this engagement until you have reached a point wherein you feel better. At that time, you may be more open to getting to know somebody.
It could turn out that when you are viewing the situation from a different perspective, this guy will turn out to be really nice and you become attracted to him and like him. But when memories of pain, anger, and depression cloud our vision, it is hard to see things for what they really are. I kindly suggest dear sister that you begin an introspective healing journey. Start with journaling, seek Allah’s guidance for ease and direction as well as seek out ongoing counseling to assist you on your path to happiness.
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.