Recently, I received a proposal through a mutual acquaintance, and the man and his family seemed to be good MashaAllah. They came at our place and approved me during our 1st meeting itself, but I needed time to think and pray Istikhara.
After praying Istikhara for 2-3 days, Alhamdulillah I did not feel anything negative, so I assumed it to be a good sign. I met with the guy twice afterwards in a halal environment to get to know each other, and I came to know that he wanted a working woman as his wife to financially support him in running the household.
I also wasn't against working, but I knew that I wouldn't want to continue working life-long. We discussed about this and he was fine with it. I also talked with him about my health issues as I didn't want to hide anything from him no matter how insignificant it may be. Alhamdulillah, he didn't have a problem with it, and he accepted me the way I was completely.
I was very impressed by his calm and understanding nature and things were going in the right direction, but the problem was I had not seen their household. They lived in a chawl system and the house was well furnished MashaAllah but was quite small. They had an upper space in the house which was used as the bedroom and the dining room.
That was spacious, but the living room and the kitchen downstairs was very small. I, too, belong to middle class but I have always lived in a flat system, so it came as a shock to me when I saw their house. I couldn't understand if I could live there or not. When my parents conveyed my concern, the guy said that he was ready to buy a flat by taking out a loan but then I would have to work.
Having a loan to repay meant I would have to work for quite a long period of time, maybe 10 to 15 years. As I had still not finished my thesis and started working, I was not confident about if I would be able to work for so long. I couldn't decide, and after consulting my parents and relatives, despite liking him and wanting to marry him I couldn't say yes as I wasn't confident about living this lifestyle.
That proposal couldn't materialize, but I still think of him and have been unable to accept this situation. I feel very sad and depressed these days. I prayed Istikhara a day before rejecting that proposal too, but my heart wasn't at ease. Some days I feel just because of a house I couldn't accept such a good man and maybe I have lost out.
Out of all the times I have been proposed to, this one was the best out. I know that I need to have reliance on Allah but somehow my mind was not at peace. I still miss him and feel maybe because of my fear or immaturity I lost such a good proposal. The fact that he accepted me despite my health issues and even agreed to postpone the wedding until I finish my thesis makes me sadder.
I feel like he was ready to adjust so much for me, but I couldn't do the same. Please advise me. Should I tell my parents to initiate contact with them again regarding the proposal or just move on in my life thinking that whatever happens is for our own good?
In this counseling answer:
•Don’t feel ashamed; one should look at the practicalities involved in the marriage as well.
•While it is true that Allah SWT is the Sustainer and the Provider of Rizq, but it is also important that the man of the house is willing to work and shoulder the responsibility.
•If a husband expects you to share his responsibilities, you should also make sure and clear that they are willing to share in your responsibilities in marriage.
•A happy marriage is based on spouses who are open to and willing to communicate.
As-Salamu Alaikum Sister,
First, understand that when we perform Istikhara, we leave everything to Allah SWT. We only have limited perspective – whereas Allah SWT is the Best of Planners, and He is the only one who knows what is best for us.
Perhaps, you are seeing his house before hand was a blessing in disguise – you got to know what your life could be like after marriage. It is absolutely okay to reject a proposal because you feel as though you cannot live in that lifestyle or work all your life to pay off the loan you decide to buy.
On the other hand, if you feel as though you are having trouble moving on – you may even perform an Istikhara again for a couple of days, regarding marrying the guy; just to be sure.
It is also true that you won’t get everything in a relationship/proposal. However, you also do not have to feel guilty about dismissing the proposal because you felt your needs would not be fulfilled in the marriage. One should look at the practicalities involved in the marriage as well.
When marrying, consider the following:
Taqwa / Piety
Taqwa or religion should be the most important thing to look for in a man when marrying. If the person fears Allah SWT, it will ensure that he will never usurp your rights, and your progeny will also be God-fearing and pious, InshaAllah.
According to a Hadith,
“A woman is married for four reasons, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her piety. So you should marry the pious woman otherwise you will be losers” (Bukhari & Muslim). The same is also applicable to men.
In another Hadith the Prophet Muhammd SAW said,
“If there comes to you one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry to him, for if you do not do that there will be tribulation in the land and great mischief’. They said: ‘O Messenger of God, even if he is such and such?’ He said: ‘If there comes to you one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry to him’, three times. (Tirmidhi, 1085)
The financial status is also an important factor when marrying – especially for women. Since the man is supposed to be the “qawwam” or the main provider of the wife as well as the family; therefore, it is important that a woman marries a man who is able to take care of her needs as well as those of her children.
While it is true that Allah SWT is the Sustainer and the Provider of Rizq, but it is also important that the man of the house is willing to work and shoulder the responsibility.
Responsibilities in Marriage
Sister, I feel that while on the outside the guy seemed to be very gentle and accommodating – he might actually not be so. Since the very beginning, he was imposing something or expecting you to do something that is not your responsibility in marriage in Islam.
Check out this counseling video
If you are a working woman, it is likely to affect your own responsibilities. All this can affect you and your relationship with your husband.Therefore, if a husband expects you to share his responsibilities, you should also make sure and clear that they are willing to share in your responsibilities in marriage.
Last but not the least, one of the most important things to consider in a happy marriage is a spouse who is open to and willing to communication. Many times, we can have great conversations with others, however, the other person fails to see our perspective. This creates a block in communication and ultimately leads to the relationship deteriorating.
Ask Help from Allah SWT
Sister, marriage is a lifelong relationship, and it is best to weigh all the pros and cons before selecting a partner. However, there are also things that are beyond our control. Therefore, it is essential that you continuously seek help from Allah SWT for His guidance and mercy. I wish you all the best in everything.
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.