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Q/A Counseling Session on Premarital Issues and Faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thanks for participating in the session.

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. Zina – follow up qs

Assalaamu waleikum

Recently I wrote a question on (Ask Counsler about family issue’s- Part 2)

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About zina, I got a. answer, but didn’t answer when I said that, “women can’t get over her past relationships”. Your answer was, “what about widows or legally married and divorced couples who were intimate prior to others” That didn’t answer the question that, do women get over her past relationships whether it was halal or haram. Maybe they got divorced because she was comparing her husband and her Ex, I know men can do this as well but, I am talking about women, because I am a man.

And also, I like to mention that you also said that, “I don’t know how long you have been in Europe”. I have lived in Europe my whole life, born and raised in Europe and the majority of women here in Europe I have seen have had sexual relationships with men before marriage (even Muslim women) and especially in my school the people who were doing dirty things with men were Muslim women (some of them wore hijab as well) and also majority of boys who did dirty things with women were Muslim boys.

And this has given me a negative view on women, not just Muslim women but women as a whole, because in school and friends telling me stuff and showing me videos of women doing dirty things with men.

I have also seen researchers that say that women tend to Never! Forget about their past relationship halal relationships and even haram relationships and she will most likely not be pair bonding with her husband if she has had multiple relationships with men (even if it was just 1 guy).

So, my question is that, can a women get over her past relationships even if it was halal or haram and do women compare their husband to their ex haram partner or halal partner and do they eventually get over it or never!

Salam alaikom wa ramatullah, brother,

Thank you for writing to us again.

Your question is: Do women (below: can women) get over their past relationships even if they were halal or haram?

My brief answer is: Yes, they can. They can get over their past relationship. While there are women (and also men) who haven’t been able, for some reason, to forget someone significant in their lives,.

It is about a particular life experience—you can call it a test—of a person and cannot be simplified to a yes-or-no answer. There is always a reason why a woman is not able to get over a past relationship. For example, attachment issues, unresolved emotional and psychological issues, idealization-unrealistic expectations, forced marriages, etc.

Kindly note that getting over and forgetting are not the same in this context. Look at a relationship as a life experience with memories and significant moments, either good or bad. Normally, people have memories about them. They remember, just as you remember any past events of your life that meant something for you.

This does not mean not being able to get over that relationship. Does not mean longing for or missing someone else.

People who break up marriages usually have a good reason for that, which means that the relationship did not work out and they had irreparable differences. So, I am not sure about the research you mention, but it would be good to examine what “tend to never forget” a past relationship refers to here.

Also, is comparing always something negative? Kindly note that comparison does not equal competition, like making a ranking and choosing a “winner.”

What I can tell you is that a successful marriage depends on trust, good communication, understanding, empathy, the ability to repent and forgive, and enough mercy and kindness towards each other. Furthermore, being able to adapt and accept differences and having matching core values and goals in major areas like parenting, money, etc.

You mentioned that you saw or knew about classmates doing “dirty things”—both men and women. I am not exactly sure what you mean by “dirty things.” But I would like to kindly point out that sexuality or sexual activity in general is not a “dirty” thing; it is our God-given gift to be able to enjoy the pleasures of this life. For us Muslims, except for a few things, it is permitted to be intimate with the opposite sex (in marriage). Even though it is considered sunnah! It is okay to have desires, attraction towards each other, and enjoy each other’s company if it is done in private between spouses.

If you mean by the videos pornography and pornography, I understand your concern. But porn does not reflect normal relationships, not even normal sexual relationships. The actors who act in these films are a tiny minority group, not the right sample to draw general conclusions about men and women. Read more here: How-does-porn-degrade-women?

Regarding your life in Europe, if you have spent your whole life here, you may have realized that the norms are quite different, especially regarding premarital relationships. In Europe, it is normal to have girlfriends and boyfriends and engage in sexual relationships before marriage. Those couples who fall in love and are intimate without marriage are not considered sinful, according to them. 

As I said in my previous answer: In Islam, we believe that Allah has prohibited extramarital relationships and adultery. The reason behind this is the protection of family, lineage, and, in large, the healthy functioning of the whole society. In marriage, duties and rights are clearly defined for both men and women, and it provides a framework for enjoying our God-given gifts of love, romance, and intimacy.

But when you look at Western women or men, you have to look at them according to their norms, not the norms of Islam. They are non-Muslims, may not know the commands of Allah, and therefore cannot be judged according to the laws of the Sharia.

There are certainly women and men in Western countries who are good wives and mothers and have values and morality—even not exactly the same as we have in Islam.

I hope this helps, brother. If you think that your views on women can affect your future relationships and marital life, kindly talk to a counselor or seek some form of help to gain back trust and respect towards them.

May Allah reward your efforts.

Question 2. Confusion on Who to Marry


I hope you can give me some light on my situation. I am 27-year-old female, born Muslim. I met a Christian man at university, and he expressed interest in Islam. He did his own research and took the shahada last July. He has been trying his best to practice. In September last year, I spoke to my mum about him wanting him to meet my family and I meet his. My mum shut this down and told me to never speak to him and she made me meet another man of her choosing. I ended it with my choice but my heart was and is still with him. He has experienced a lot of hate and unacceptance from my family that he is doubting Islam and he now thinks Islam will never accept him. And unfortunately, through my parents’ actions and their “use of religion” in this situation, it has made me dislike Islam now even though I have faith in Allah.

He is learning the deen but we do have our differences as I have been raised Muslim. I do feel we can grow together. He has not told his parents he has reverted which I am concerned about. I am trying to be patient with him and not overwhelm him with practices yet because he is still new. But I am a good practicing Muslim that prioritizes praying which he has not gotten the hang of yet. He prays 5 times but when convenient but he is still new to Islam. He also doesn’t eat halal meat as often but tries when he can find it. He has stopped his habits of vaping and social drinking. He stays away from pork. He has made such a tremendous improvement even before he reverted. I see this is genuine.

The other person my family want is 8 years older and born Muslim. His family and my family already accepted each other. He ticks all the boxes but I dread every meeting, I cry myself to sleep thinking about meeting this man, I have no attraction or connection to him. I am so relieved when he doesn’t reply and I feel my heart sink when he does respond or want to make plans.

I have prayed Istikhara and I feel my heart is led to the revert but my parents are dismissing this because “I have feelings for him and that’s clouding my judgment.” I did Umrah last year Alhamdulillah and returned with such excitement to marry the revert and progress things but my parents shut it down again.

The reason why my parents are saying no is because my dad is a revert. They said they went through so much pain and difficulty with each other and parents-in-law disrespecting Islam and leading us towards a Westernized way of living. They don’t want me to go through the same. My mum states “he will ruin your life” and “your kids will be diluted Muslims” if I marry the revert and not Mums choice.

I am so confused. Mum states that if I have ill-feelings towards her and if I break the family apart (by marrying the revert), then that’s all Shaytan and I have been taken by him. But I have sad feelings because mum is so unaccepting of my wants and my feelings.

I am so lost and I don’t know what to do. Any help please would be so useful. Thankyou

Wa alaikom salam, dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us and sharing your struggle.

Unfortunately, the first part of your letter is so common, and it makes the lives of many young Muslims so hard when it comes to marriage.

I wrote a short-fiction article about this some time ago, and it seems like it relates the same story, subhanallah. You can find it here.

The goal of that writing was to educate families about the importance of dialogue within the family, especially when it comes to major life decisions like marriage.

Families have to listen to their children, their needs, and their goals in life. And the conversations should start with the presumption that what parents want for their children may not be what their children need.

Children are not carbon copies of their parents. Neither their personalities, their likes and dislikes, nor their qadr. They have their own struggles, tests, and destiny.

I understand and assume that your parents want the best for you, and they want to protect you from any harm. Your mother had hard times with the family of your converted father. That was her life and her test, but who says that the same should happen to you?

I am not sure about their marriage, but who says that you will handle situations the same way as she did? That you will go through the same things she went through? It is an option, yes, that you will also have challenges, but does she have any proof that 1. they will be the same? 2. you won’t be able to solve them? Where is her proof that “he will ruin your life” and “your kids will be diluted Muslims”?

Furthermore, does she have any proof that, with a born Muslim, there won’t be any issues in your marriage? Does she say that all born-Muslim marriages are successful ones and there are no struggles with in-laws?

I can reassure you, dear sister, that is not the case.

That is why we cannot generalize and say that all converts have problems with their in-laws.

There are particular situations and particular lessons to learn.

It is said to hear that your mother is trying to pressurize you with threats about Satan and so on. As a Muslim, she should know that we cannot force our children to marry, and your consent matters. Also, she should know that enforcing your will upon others is a form of oppression, and Allah is not with the oppressors.

Yes, they can and should advise you regarding your marriage choice, but if they reject someone for unjustified reasons, Allah will hold them accountable for that.

If your first choice is this man, what you have to see is whether he has a real willingness to live as a Muslim, start a family as a Muslim, raise kids as a Muslim, and have a God-conscious life. Be honest with yourself when you try to answer these questions. Make sure that he chooses Islam for Allah and for being in love with you.

I am also sorry to hear that he questions Islam due to the behavior of Muslims he knows. And that you are also struggling with similar feelings. Allah is always there, and He is perfect and the Most Perfect and Most Just Guide, so we should never lose hope in Him, whatever happens.

You both have to know that Muslims are not perfect, and furthermore, many Muslims confuse religion with cultural or familiar traditions. If Allah is testing one’s faith through the unfair behavior of Muslims, one way to deal with that is to seek knowledge and be able to differentiate between errors and teachings.

If you see him as the right one, then there is no need to look for someone else in the first place. Also note that both Muslims and non-Muslims are on a life-long journey. No one, not even born-Muslims, is perfect and mistakeless by the time of their marriage. It is a process; our iman is fluctuating, and we all commit mistakes. There should be realistic expectations about his progress, keeping in mind his intention as prority.

If your mother made some mistakes in her marriage, hopefully she has learned the lessons by now. But if her fears still guide her choices and her outlook on life, and furthermore, on your life, I would advise her to seek support and counseling to be able to get rid of them and shift to a more balanced perspective.

So, with this being said, I advise you to keep talking to your mother and do not give up. If you are more inclined towards him, and he fulfills these conditions above, just try to thank your mother for her support and protection, but try your best to help her differentiate her life and choices from yours. If you have someone who can support you and mediate, that would also be great.

May Allah make it easy for you, ameen.

Question 3.Born Muslim but far away from Islam

Salamu alaykum, I’m a born Muslim but my parents never taught me about Islam. Since 7 years old, I have been far away from Islam and sinned a lot. My parents stopped praying and I had to learn about Islam myself but I find it so difficult since I have sins, I can’t get rid of like (backbiting, hurting others, fighting with my mother etc). I have hit my mother and made her life horrible. I live in a non-Muslim country so it’s normal for children to fight with their parents here. I did not know that we are not allowed to fight with them in Islam and I regret it more than anything. Will my parents get held accountable for not teaching me about Islam and keeping me away from sins? Or is it my own duty to keep myself away from evil acts and learn about Islam myself? JazakAllahu khairan

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Thanks for sharing your struggle.

As a child, Allah has granted you some rights: the right to be cared for, nurtured, educated, to be safe, to protect your lineage, your life, etc. Read more here.

Among these is the right to receive religious education, either directly from the parents or through some school or other teacher. This ideally should mean not only learning to memorize the Quran and how to pray, etc., but also about the teachings of Islam, about Islamic manners and virtues, about good behavior, and to differentiate between right and wrong. And this includes learning not to backbite, slander, hurt, disrespect, etc.

Of course, not every parent has the same abilities and background to teach their children, but Allah is well aware of their intentions, efforts, and means to provide you with that.

I am not sure about your parents, but you can be sure that Allah will hold them accountable according to the measure they failed, no more or less.

Children owe respect to their parents, but of course, parents also have the duty to provide for their rights. Also, both children and parents have to respect each other, but we are not required to endure unislamic behavior and attitudes. We can speak against unjust or unfair treatment.

And the same goes to you, dear sister. If you have committed sins in your childhood and teenage years, out of young age or ignorance, in sha Allah, you won’t be held accountable for them.

Also note that teenage rebellion is somehow a “normal” part of the development process. It is full of hormonal and emotional changes and attempts to find yourself as a young person, with ups and downs. This commonly challenges parent-child relationships, where disagreements can be expected. I am not saying this to excuse fights and disrespect. Rather, be aware of this fact and get ready to prevent major clashes and fights.

Allah does not burden anyone for something beyond their capacity, and this means intellectual capacity too.

Also, Allah does not hold anyone accountable for the sins of others; everyone is responsible for their own deeds in Islam.

Alhamdulillah, you have found Islam as a young adult, and you are learning alone about the deen. Alhamdulillah, Allah is guiding you; what a great gift! One sign that this is the case is that now you are aware of those things that you have done in the past and regret them.

With knowledge and understanding about right and wrong, and as an adult, you will now, on the other hand, be accountable for your own deeds. So, to answer your last question, now it is your duty to keep you away from evil acts and learn about Islam yourself.

I kindly advise you not to be distressed about this too much; we all commit mistakes and sins, even when we reach the age of accountability. It is okay to fall if you have the willingness to repent, seek forgiveness, and make a promise and intention to correct yourself. Allah is the Most Merciful and All-Forgiving, so trust in Him and in His Mercy. More about this here.

May Allaw reward your efforts, ameen!

Question 4. Negative thinking

Aslmo Alakume I am 16 years old teenage girl and I think about sex a lot specialty when I am in bed and I am not seeping yet I think about sex a lot and I don’t like when I am thinking about it and know I am not lowering my gaze and it’s so hard for me to do it what should I do please help me.

Wa alaikom salam, dear sister,

You are asking about what to do with your thoughts about sex, especially when you go to bed.

You titled your letter “negative” thinking, but I would like to make a small correction first. Sex and sexuality are normal parts of the human experience. Having or feeling desires is also something; there is nothing negative about that in and of itself.

You are in your teens. It is the time when, from a young girl, you will grow into a woman, with all the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes, including your libido too.

So, it is very normal that you find yourself more interested in sexuality and that you feel desires.

It is good to know that the more you try to suppress a thought, the more difficult it will be not to think about it. So, try to accept that it is okay and normal to have these thoughts, and Muslims also do have them.

However, for us Muslims, Allah commanded us to channel these desires in a halal direction to avoid the risk of extramarital affairs. For us, a marital relationship is the way to express and fulfill our desires. So, while having these thoughts is normal, feeding them is not recommended, and acting upon them outside of marriage is not allowed.

I understand that you are still young for that, even if, technically speaking, you can marry at a younger age.

What can you do until then?

Lowering your gaze is important, and this means lowering your gaze on social media and online too! If your feed is full of exciting images about love, romance, fashion, etc., it will be very difficult to distract your thoughts. Note that many images and short videos are not directly, but indirectly, sexualized through gestures, body language, etc.

Is this relevant to you somehow? If yes, kindly try to clean your social media account and get rid of those images and videos. Unfollow those accounts and follow other topics, such as Islamic ones, neutral ones, etc.

Also, before going to bed, put your phone aside and try to engage in a totally different activity, like reciting or listening to the Quran, saying the dhikr, etc. Something that helps clean your heart and fulfill it with the remembrance of Allah.

During your day, you can also find activities that help regulate your hormones, like sports, exercise, walking in nature, the arts, etc. Find a hobby to engage in—a project that occupies your mind.

Also, you can think about how to increase your imaan by engaging in more good deeds, like charity, sadaqa, and volunteering.

Find some more tips here.

I hope this helps,

Question 5. Proposal

My question is that, how can a man propose to a woman, if they both live in a western country, how can he propose to a girl (for example) in school, work or in a public place, because I have heard some sheikh say that it is forbidden to talk to the opposite gender (but then how can you even propose to someone if you can’t even talk to them let alone look at them) and some say it is permissible if it is done with the right intentions. I really like an answer for this issue.

Jazakallah hayran

Wa alaikom salam, brother,

Wa alaikom salam, brother,

Thanks for turning to us.

I am not a scholar but a counselor, so regarding the permissibility to talk or not to the opposite gender, kindly write to our scholar.

As far as I know, talking in and of itself is not forbidden. The point is to avoid falling into the traps of Satan and committing a major sin like zina. What is forbidden is zina, or adultery. And those conversations and actions that may lead to it should be avoided.

That is even more relevant in Western countries, where young brothers and sisters grow up in coeducation and are socialized in mixed interactions. In a school setting, it is practically impossible not to interact with each other. This is a risk, for sure, and that is why we, Muslims, need to be educated about the Islamic way of interacting with each other.

We should keep in mind this guideline and try to reduce or eliminate interactions, especially the private, informal, and friendly-flirty ones, and approach peer relationships with tawqa, with mindfulness of Allah.

When it comes to marriage, probably due to this mixed environment, you may know someone, and you may have interacted to some extent. You may have some form of sympathy for a girl; you may be classmates,  groupmates, etc.

This also means that you may know each other a little bit, although this should not mean hanging out the two together or dating, with the risk of entering into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.

If this is the case and you are thinking about marriage, you can talk to your family and get them involved. This is a bit different from Western norms, where couples do not involve their families anymore. But, as Muslims, the guardians, especially the woman’s wali, consent is a condition of marriage, so it is better not to go ahead alone and do things in secret.

Together with your family, you may gather information about her and about her family through other family members, neighbors, friends, etc. They (or together with you) can contact her family and propose marriage.

You may meet then in a group or public setting (not only the two together, in a closed place) and talk about more specific issues relating to marriage—your goals, your plans, your needs, your likes and dislikes, etc. It is okay to want to gather as much information as one needs in order to make a decision; that is a major one. It is okay to try to rule out red flags, dealbreakers, or imcompatibilities.

Yes, men are required to lower their gaze. More here:


Is eye-contact-allowed?

It is also okay to look at your future spouse, although, in Western countries, if she only wears a hijab, most likely you have already seen each other. At the same time, scholars say that it is not allowed to take off her hijab in front of you before marriage.

More about this, here.

Find more readings here: Are Muslims Allowed to Date?


12 Questions Before Marriage

Series on Happy Marriage

I hope this and the readings will help you to clarify it, may Allah reward your efforts!

Wednesday, May. 15, 2024 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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