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Ask the Counselor Marriage, Love & Work

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for turning to us with your questions.

Please find the 5 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.

Question 1. Scared and Worried

I am 16-years-old and I make dua but what Allah wants me to do or what he telling me to do I am not there yet sometimes I failed and sometimes I passed, like obeying him and I make dual to Him that I pass by permit test but I feel sad worry and scared.

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Thank you for contacting us. What you are going through is quite normal. We all strive to do it better, but sometimes we fail. Even when we know what is the right thing to do.

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What is important is to never give up, to have the attitude of keeping going and moving after we fail, and to keep turning to Allah, who is always there to guide you and help you out.

Remember, we are not perfect, and we do not even have to be. It is up to us whether we set realistic standards and what we can make.

Check yours and see whether your expectations are too high or not. If they are, please reconsider them and lower them. Give yourself the possibility of not making it. It does not mean that once you do not make it, you will not be able to do that or that you are a failure.

Keep an optimistic attitude, but at the same time, accept your feelings. It is normal to feel worried and scared before a test or when you face a challenge. It is normal, to an extent, and can even be helpful and motivating.

What matters are your efforts, so if you make efforts and try your best, whatever the result is, there is no need to despair. There is always a chance to correct and make it better next time.

Keep trusting in Allah and make dua to help you with it.

Here are some articles that might help: Between Anxiety and Trust in Allah How Optimism Will Change Your Life  8 Ways to Manage Stress with a Spiritual Boost  5 Tips to Take Your Dua to Next Level

I hope this helps; may Allah make it easy for you.

Question 2. Can a Muslim man and a Christian woman be married?

I am a Christian woman and my boyfriend is Muslim, we have been in a long-distance relationship for 6 years. We love each other deeply. We have talked about how the future would look like with us being from two different religions and cultures. I have not been a practicing Christian my whole life, it is something I chose by myself at the age of 12. My mother is a non-believer and my father is catholic however they have never influenced me with their ways. My boyfriend and I are planning to move in together next year when he finishes his studies, we plan on me meeting his family for the first time and then getting married the Islamic way so it is halal for him to move in with me. We have the same morals, the same ways of thinking and that is why we fell in love with each other. The things that have come up for discussion lately is the whole celebration of my holidays. I have never celebrated my holidays in a religious way, however it is very important to me because it is a part of my culture. According to my boyfriend he says that he cannot participate in we wanting to celebrate Christmas at home in the future with me and our future kids because it is haram. I do not celebrate Christmas religiously, but it is not something I can give up due to the fact that it is a big important part of my life, it has to do with the spending time with family, the decorating of the house with a Christmas tree which he says we cannot have. I would really like to know if this is something that can be solved? How can I live my life without him as a Muslim husband stopping me from doing what I have always done? To add to it, he has celebrated Christmas with me and my family for the past years. I am torn by this, because I love him so, but I want to know what is allowed so I do not marry him if this will be a problem in our lives.

Peace be upon you, dear sister,

Thank you for contacting us.

I am happy to hear that you are planning to get married. May God bless your union and family together.

As you say, you share a lot of common values with your future spouse, who is Muslim, while you are Christian. That is a great blessing, alhamdulillah. Between the two faiths, there are many common values, although there are also some important theological differences.

If you get married to a Muslim man, know that you have the right to practice your religion and that you have the same rights as a Muslim wife would have.

However, when it comes to family life and children, the Muslim husband has the obligation to raise his kids as Muslims. It is his duty, and he will be questioned about it on the Last Day.

It means that a Muslim household is centered around Islamic traditions and holidays, like Eid, Ramadan, etc.

This does not mean that talking or learning about Christianity is “prohibited” or is some kind of “taboo.” I would rather view it as an excellent opportunity to learn about tolerance, acceptance, and common things. But, with the default being “Islam,” when it comes to day-to-day practices like eating pork, alcohol, modesty, celebrations, etc.

Christmas and holidays are the common concerns of interfaith marriages, even of Muslim converts who face the dilemma of keeping or letting go of traditions that do not belong to Islam. 

Here are some rulings you might benefit from: 10+ Fatwas for Christmas Time

I am not an Islamic scholar but a counselor, but I know that there are some differences in opinion about the possibilities and boundaries of participating in holidays, like Christmas, as Muslims.

What we know for sure is that we Muslims cannot participate in the religious ceremonies and festivals of others. With others, we cannot get involved with those events, even if they are familiar ones. 

Read more about it here: Can Muslims Celebrate Christmas? There are some opinions that let Muslims participate in family gatherings without participating in any religious aspect or in prohibited actions, like drinking, with the right intention: 

Is It OK to Celebrate Christmas with My Non-Muslim Family?

So, with this being said, your future husband is right—as a Muslim—when he says that you will not be able to have a Christmas tree and create your own Christmas celebration at home.

We should and do respect the holidays of our Christian families and friends, and we do place a strong emphasis on maintaining family bonds, even with non-Muslims. I am not sure, but maybe he participated in your family gathering with the intention of maintaining bonds in the past. But when it comes to his own family holidays, it is understandable that he will have another opinion. 

Here are some more articles with rulings you might benefit from: 10+ Fatwas for Christmas Time

Another thing is that you, as a Christian, wish to celebrate Christmas with your own parents and keep your traditions alive, whether they are cultural or religious. You may write to our scholar to know more. 

What can you do?

Sister, I am myself a convert, so I can understand that this tradition means a lot to you. But try to consider and take seriously his stance. Kindly ask yourself whether you are ready to enter marriage and if you have to give up this custom, at least in your marriage.

It might seem unfair, but I would say that is not. Why?

First, because he is quite clear about his opinion on this matter and says it so BEFORE marriage, the question is whether you can accept that or not.

Second, I think all marriages and unions will require some form of sacrifice. When we join our lives with someone, there will always be things we need to let go of. Maybe he also sacrifices, for example, the “ease” of having a Muslim wife with common holidays and customs.

Of course, we all have our priorities, so what I advise is to think about what yours are. If maintaining the traditions is a main priority, maybe he is not the right one for you. But if your compatibility and love for each other are more important, you may be able to let this wish go, at least in the context of marriage and future children.

I hope this helps.

I wish you success; may God help you with that.

Question 3. Age Gap

Is it possible a women of 40yrs to marry a boy who is just 22yr r 23 yrs old ?? The boy was interested in her he thought that she is not more than 35 yrs but after that he distracted and have shown less interest. The lady who forbade her for his intentions at the start now involved deeply and she wants to marry him. But due to a huge age gap she is thinking that this is impossible because with passage of time the boy may loss his interest in her and will feel no attraction in her this thinking made her sad. She also has decided that he will be free to marry with anyone else of his own choice after some time when he wish to marry. But She don’t want to marry with anyone else now. what should she do? She is Disturbed. her mind is very disturbed.

Salam alaikom wa rahmatullah,dear sister,

Thank you for contacting us.

You are asking about advice for a sister, who is 40 years old and got a proposal from a much younger boy, who is 22 now. The boy had several attempts, even after realizing the real age of the lady, but then started to distance himself.

This is causing huge distress and depression to the last, who has changed her mind and now would like to accept the proposal.

I understand her struggle, and may Allah make it easy for her.

Allah places attraction and love between who He wishes, and sometimes in an unusual way. Sometimes it can be difficult to learn what the test is: following our mind or our heart.

In Islam, as far as I know, there is no indication of a maximum age gap between spouses. We know from the seerah that Khadija (RA) was 15 years older than the Prophet (pbuh).

So we should never doubt the plan of Allah, knowing that He is the best of planners and that He knows what is best for us. He already chose our partners, and we need to put our full trust in Him for guiding us towards him or her.

However, almost 20 years is a considerable age gap, especially if the woman is the one who is older. If we are talking about Islamic marriage, there are some duties and rights the husband and wife have to fulfill and also be able to enjoy. The right to intimacy, the right to have children, the right to maintenance, etc.

So, what I advise is to put aside any desire or attraction and think rationally about the possible obstacles to fulfilling these rights and duties, especially in the long run. I am not sure about their particular situation, but one of the main issues might be having children due to the advanced age of the woman.

What do both parties think about that? And about future family life in this setting? What options are there to solve any possible issues in an acceptable way for both of them?

Her fear that he might lose interest and want to marry someone else in the future—in this case, I would say that is a valid concern, but Allah knows best. What I advise them is to have an open discussion about it with the most sincerity possible and to take each other’s opinions and wishes seriously. Sometimes we do not want to hear those words that go against our deepest wishes. But it is better to have some “courage” and face reality sooner than later.

They may list some alternative situations. Both of them have to ask themselves about being able to accept these scenarios and what their own limitations are. What are they willing and capable of sacrificing, and what not? What goals and plans can they let go of, and what not?

They may make a decision based on these conversations, with the willingness to accept reality, even if it goes against their hearts at this moment.

She can also pray istikhara after making a decision and see whether Allah is supporting the decision or not. Read more about how to read the signs here.

May Allah bring clarity to this matter.

Question 4. Is it okay to love one side


I have very many questions because I am so confused on whether it ok to ask Allah to marry someone who I like.

I have not had any harm relationship ever very religious person and very shy to talk to boys but this person was my cousin I liked him when I was 11.

When I came back after 5 years and when I met him as cousin, I was too shy to talk and was nervous then suddenly I don’t know why I felt romantic way and starting to like him again. One thing happened that I told my brother when I was 11 that I like him (my cousin) and when we went to his house. My brother told him that I like him and there is a proposal for u. I denied it at that time when I met him again after 5 years, I still had in mind that he remembers that I like him or something. I am still in love it been 2 years we met many times but I have not talked to him only he did 3 times but I answered him very nervously and in anger way. He has done somethings that makes me doubt if he likes me back. But I still don’t think it ok to like someone.

Salam alaikom wa rahmatullah,

Thank you for turning to us.

Answering your question briefly: yes, it is okay to like someone. It is natural, and it is part of our human nature. Natural sympathy and attraction can be a good basis for marriage, for example.

What is not allowed for us, Muslims, is to act upon these feelings before entering into marriage and getting involved in a romantic relationship. We need to find a means to live and express these feelings within the boundaries of the marriage.

So, I am not sure whether this is an option in your case. If so, you may talk to your family about your feelings and see whether there is any chance of an engagement or future marriage.

If marriage can be an option, it is advisable that you go beyond your likes and make sure that you are compatible with him and that you will be a good match in the long run.

His religiosity, values, goals, and personality all matter. As family members, you have quite good chances to find out more about him and see whether you can be a good choice for each other.

And if marriage is not an option, despite your liking, it may be better to stay away or minimize contact with him in order to prevent any emotional struggles.

I hope this helps; may Allah make it easy for you.

Question 5. Work as an administrative in a casino company

Salam, Alaykom.

I have a question. Is it permissible to work as an administrative in a casino company and to online gambling?

I am a girl, we live in a small town. It has highest unemployment rate in the country.  I finished my studies quite some time ago, and since then I have not had any stable job, in this city. I have worked only in two jobs and both of very short duration. And I have not managed to find any other job, in this city have been installed many online gaming companies and casinos where they are looking for workers and have offered me administrative work, the administrative work would not be in the casino facilities, if not in another building completely different, and my tasks would be, back office tasks, administrative tasks, also offer me the possibility of remote work, I would only have to confirm the identification of people, and answer calls and email.

The problem I encounter also for all the jobs I have applied for in this small city, they never accept girls who wear hijab. And the option of remote work from other cities, I have always encountered quite a few difficulties. For example, many of those jobs require me to be living in the provinces where that telecommuting is offered.

And the option of starting my own business is an impossible option. I don’t have the resources, and I couldn’t either. In my house there are 5 of us. My parents are separated, and my father stopped taking care of us many years ago.  My mother doesn’t work, and neither do my siblings, my brother is still studying.

The government gives my mother a small allowance, but that allowance is not enough, and that government allowance is limited in time, in a few months she will stop receiving that allowance.

Sometimes my mother’s relatives help her with what they can. Alhamdulillah, we have never gone hungry, but the situation is difficult. The little money that comes into the house is to pay for household supplies like water, electricity and gas. And nothing else.

In my house there is a lot of damage that needs to be fixed but we can’t, there is no money.

And my situation I can’t go to other cities to look for work, or move to another country. I can’t leave my mother. My mother needs me and I would not have the resources to leave and start from scratch. So, I have been offered these jobs, I don’t know whether to accept.

Although I would accept this job, if it is permissible, I don’t want to stay in that job forever. If I am offered another job even if I am paid less, I would leave this job.

I am still studying, so that I can become a state official InshAllah. I am very frustrated, because even though you have my studies, I feel that I have not accomplished anything in my life.  I can never buy anything personal, or do anything, because in this life you need money for everything.

Anyway, I am very grateful to Allah, Jazāk Allāhu Khayran for your reply.

Salam alaikom wa rahmatullah,

Thank you for contacting us.

I am sorry to hear of your struggle. I know that in a country with a non-Muslim majority, it can be very challenging to find a good job that is in line with Islamic teachings. In some form or another, there is always some kind of compromise to make.

I also understand that it is very difficult if you are alone with your mother and have no support around. Your father should support you, children, after their separation. I am sorry to hear that this does not happen.

Masallah, you have studied and are currently studying to become a state officer. May Allah reward your efforts. Also, always remember that after every difficulty comes ease; this is what Allah promises us in the Quran. And that He is Al-Razzaq, the Provider.

Let me share some articles from our site regarding jobs in case of necessity:

You are asking about the ruling on this specific administration job, but I am not qualified to answer that, so please write to our scholar.

I am not a scholar but a counsellor, so my approach is to give you a bit of ease and comfort. The very fact that you are looking for advice and would like to do the right thing means that you do care about your faith and religion.

What I can tell you is that Allah sees your struggle and knows what is in your heart. All earnings we get, we get with His will and permission, and He sees our limitations and possibilities. Intention counts, and your approach to thinking about this job as a temporary one until you find something better is a good one, and Allah knows best.

All you can do is put your trust in Allah and have faith that He will help you out in this way or another. May Allah help you and bless you, ameen.

Here are some more articles with detailed tips:

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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