Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for participating in the session.
Please find the 4 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.
Thank you for your understanding.
Question 1. Selecting a compatible spouse
I’m in love with with someone since 6-7 months around, and we decided to get married soon.
Since he is from different caste( considered as low caste) and I am from a different caste ( considered high in the society)
We have educational match, both are doctors and also understanding good, but after wedding I might have to go his place to live, in that situation I won’t be able to take proper care of my parents in their old age.
These are my major worries, first different castes ( will I be facing issues for it ?) And another for my parents
Rest I found him a very gentle person who’s practicing Islam better than before, for us
Should I marry him or not?
Salam alaikom dear sister,
Thank you for sharing your doubts regarding your future marriage.
Your main concerns are being from a different caste and taking proper care of your parents once you get married and move away from home.
Regarding the first point:
I understand that culturally, you come from a place where the caste system is present.
However, Islam does not have this categorization. You might know that the Prophet said in his last sermon that there is no difference between us, humans, except in terms of taqwa, God consciousness. Check this out.
So what matters is the awareness of Allah in our lives and decisions, and to live according to the deen as much as possible, seeking Allah’s pleasure.
On the other hand, yes, status is something that is present in every society, and even the prophet mentions it when he advises about marriage: “Choose the one for her religion, not primarly for status, beauty, or lineage.”
So, again, religiosity and determination for the deen are what are most important when it comes to marriage.
And, additionally, compatibility in terms of character, values, and goals in life.
So with this being said, I would focus on this and check whether he is the one for you.
On the other hand, if you mean “caste” as status, as having wealth or not, there are some things to consider. If you are from a wealthy family and you are used to a certain lifestyle, you can reflect on it and see what, standard you would like to maintain after your marriage. Considering this is actually not against Islamic teachings, especially if your priority remains religiosity.
Conflict might arise in the future if you are not satisfied in the long run with the standards of living your future husband can provide. Money is one of the top factor contributing in marital problems and seeking divorce.
So please think about it, and most importantly, talk about it before marriage with your future husband. Make sure that you have a mutual understanding and agreement in terms of expectations regarding.
Try to see the bigger picture: imagine your life in the long run and some scenarios regarding your lifestyle. What are your basic necessities—the ones you would like to keep in the future also? Not only food and clothing but, for example, travels, social gatherings, etc.
Talk sincerely to him about this without pressure, and see how he sees your marital life and possibilities.
2. I would advise the same regarding your parents in the future. Talk to your future husband and discuss how you could maintain contact with your family after marriage.
What are his expectations? How could you practically manage to see your parents regularly?
At the same time, know that normally, after marriage, you will be able to spend less time at your parents house. And while it is our duty and pleasure to take care of them, it is also part of life to start your own family and spend time with your husband and future children.
So, it is a matter of realistic expectations from each side: your parents, you, and your future husband.
Of course, if you live together or are close to each other, it will be easier, while it will be more difficult in other scenarios. But there are always alternatives and solutions for those who seek them.
The key is open, sincere, and kind communication about your needs and being willing to compromise.
So, my overall advice, dear sister, is to get a clear picture of your needs and talk about them with your future husband. Both regarding your status and your parents. Do not be afraid to bring up these topics, as it is really better to speak about them in advance than after marriage in order to avoid conflicts.
May Allah make it easy for you.
Question 2. I’m doubtful to get married to a girl I like
I got to chat with a girl in an online game who lives in some other city. Since then, we have chatted a lot but we never met for real. We have seen other via pictures. The girl proposed me for marriage and then I accepted her proposal after 1 year. After few months of accepting her proposal, she told her parents about us but they didn’t agree yet. I agreed my parents to talk to her father but before that my parents asked me that how do I trust a girl whom I never met? She had told me much before that she had 2 relationships in her past. I ignored this fact as she had repented to Allah for it. But now due to my parent’s doubt on her, I also got doubts on her. So, I asked her straightforward about her past relationship and if she had any sexual relationship or not? She answered me that she had kissed and hugged (not sexual intercourse) to one of his exboyfriend. I don’t know about the other ex. After listening to this I instantly refused to marry her as I thought that I won’t be able to see her the same way as I used to do before. I thought before that she was a pious girl in her past. She also said that her ex forced her to kiss and hug. I’m not sure if it’s true or not. I have completely refused to marry her now but knowing that she had repented for her past I’m still confused if I am doing right or not. The only reason that I think of not marrying her is that I’m afraid that I may not be able to trust her in future, so might not have a happy married life together. She’s feeling devastated for this. I want to know if I have done the right thing or not? I feel bad too to make her uncover her past sins for which she had already repented. Please answer me as per Islam.
Salam alaikom brother,
Thank you for writing and sharing your story.
As I understand it, you met a girl online. You decided to get married, but when she talked about you to her parents, they rejected the idea.
And your parents asked why you would trust her if you’d never met. This made you doubt. You asked her about her past and found out that she had 2 relationships where she kissed and hugged one of her ex-boyfriends.
You feel you cannot marry her after knowing this, as you may not be able to trust her anymore. At the same time, you are not sure that you are doing the right thing, as she repented of her past, and it was you who made her uncover her past sins.
Well, brother, let me break it down:
- About her past:
What she did in the past has already gone, and it is something she cannot change. It happened, and probably that was a test for her, and she was not strong enough at that time to resist. But if she genuinely repented and sought the forgiveness of Allah, she did the right thing, and it is fine that she move on. Especially, if she has not repeated that behavior since then.
Brother, we all make mistakes and sin, so we should not be treated according to our past; we all have the opportunity to change for the better. Check out this article.
Imagine that if Allah did not accept forgiveness and repentance, we would be unable to develop through our lives and reach Jannah just because we committed something wrong once.
- About trust:
The same goes for whether you can trust her or not. Is she a trustworthy person now? Do you find her honest and sincere? This is something you might know more about, but for example, the fact that she shared her past wrongdoing with you and responded honestly shows sincerity, in my opinion.
Also, you know, rejecting her because of this might not teach her a “good lesson” about the worth of being transparent. I know that you stepped back because of what she confessed, but think about it for a moment from this point of view. What did she gain from her sincerity? That you decided not to marry her.
Actually, some are on the view that she did not need to uncover her past sin, even if a future husband asks about it, and that does not mean lack of sincerity. Check this and this out.
In relation to this, please think about what you will handle better next time: the truth from someone’s past or that if it remains uncovered.
I am not sure what you were thinking prior to her possible reply. Were you prepared to receive an answer like this? Did you decide that if she confessed to a past relationship, you would not proceed further? Was this a fix for you?
I mean, you have the right to feel that this is something crucial for you. It might be your criteria in your marriage search. But bear in mind that you may miss good opportunities if you close doors because of someone’s past mistakes.
In terms of trust, I think the most important thing is to have sincere, transparent communication, show responsibility for our own actions, and have the ability to acknowledge our mistakes. I think that even if you have not met in person but have talked online and seen each other, you can determine whether someone is trustworthy or not.
At the same time, of course, face-to-face contact before marriage can help to get an overall impression of each other, even if it is not a condition. Check this about how to gain back trust.
- How she is now
I think you need to see her as she is now, in the present, as you want to marry her now.
Check her actual qualities: her righteousness and piety. Furthermore, to see whether you are compatible, you must share the same values and goals in life in order to be successful as a couple.
Evaluate her according to her present qualities, not what she did in the past.
So, brother, if you are still unsure what the right thing to do is, try to reevaluate your decision in light of these tips.
If you feel that she is the right one, do not miss the opportunity just because of her past.
But if you feel that you are not a good match, then just trust in Allah’s plan and timing. He will bring you the right one once you are ready, in sha Allah. You might explain to her that this is something you cannot let go of, but she does not have to feel guilty about something she already repented of and left behind.
If you decide to proceed, one more thing: you mentioned that her parents disagreed with her marrying you. What were their reasons?
Are there any valid obstacles on their part?
Try to look more into this and ask for the help of your parents.
You might ask first for a face-to-face meeting with your family in the present to be able to get a better picture of it. That would be good not only for you but also for your parents. They can know each other and both of you as well.
May Allah help you on your way.
Question 3. Do I Wait for a girl and continue making duaas
I met this girl and ever since the day we met we had a special connection and we were very flirtatious and we connected, but I had also gotten out of a bad relationship when I met her so I was very damaged.
After a month of knowing each other, we met face to face for the first time and it was a very happy moment. That same day she confessed her love for me but I made the mistake of reciprocating the love back even when I didn’t fully feel it. I was hesitant and unsure how to get into that relationship so I distanced myself from her and I hurt her. She would cry for months but we still talked and remained friends.
5 months after that I realized my emotions for her and I fell in love and I confessed my feelings to her but she didn’t share the feelings anymore. She had already grieved me. So, to make things clear we decided to meet face to face one more time and see how she feels when she meets me. So, when we do meet she says that she is really in love and she wants to be with me. After a couple weeks after not having seeing me face to face for a while, she says her feelings are gone. but I still hold a very special place in her heart and she cares for me unconditionally.
I strongly believe our connection is like no other it just started off in a bad way and I made the mistake of hurting her. but now she tries her hardest and she says she can’t get herself to feel the same way like she did before. But she is open to the fact that her feelings could change in the future.
I believe this was a right person wrong time but her beliefs or expectations are confused or hesitant. Do I keep praying to Allah SWT to write her in my will so we can get married and do things right and halal. Or am I holding on to something that isn’t there and I should move on.
Salam alaikom brother,
Thank you for writing and sharing your story.
As I understand it, brother, you think that you made a mistake and hurt her, as when she had feelings for you, she still did not. You did not enter a relationship at that moment but distanced yourself. Months later, you realized that you do love her, but she said she does not feel the same way anymore.
You believe that she was the right person at the wrong time, so you want to know whether it is good to keep praying to Allah for her.
Well, brother, one thing I would like you to know for sure is that if it is written that you will be together, it will happen. And if it does not happen, it won’t happen because of wrong timing, but because it was not decreed for you by Allah.
I also would like to remind you kindly but firmly that Allah created boundaries for a relationship between a man and a woman. And this is marriage, so actually, we Muslims are not allowed to date or enter a relationship with someone we are not married to.
Of course, feelings can arise, and we can develop love for someone, but in this case, we need to seek the halal way to unite.
You might not have entered that time into the relationship because you had no feelings, but actually, this has prevented you from falling into a major sin, alhamdulillah.
You might be grateful to Allah for protecting you. Please think about it, repent, and draw your conclusions. Make sure that you try to avoid a similar situation in the future, for your own sake and to avoid receiving baraka in your relationships.
You are in your teens, and I assume that this girl is too. What happens is that at this age, feelings can be present very intensely, but they can also change very intensely.
So, you might feel strong love for someone, but this feeling can disappear. It can return. This is normal.
At the same time, making life-long decisions, like marriage, should not be based only on feelings but on a rational, stable element of compatibility of values, attitudes, and goals too. Read more here.
Exactly because feelings are always changing and cannot hold a relationship together. Please check this video out.
So, when you really want to be with someone you are compatible with, this conviction should ideally remain stable and not depend on whether you see each other or not.
Of course, when you spend more time and bond together, you will develop some form of attachment, which is why you will miss the other person.
But real partnership goes beyond an “appetite” or feelings of love for each other. It is based on a sound decision, which requires commitment, whether at one moment you feel love for the other or not. Even in a happy marriage, there are moments when our feelings are more intense than at other times, but we do not jump into decisions and end our marriage accordingly.
I hope you understand my point. What I try to say is that your possible relationship won’t depend on how she or you feel when you actually meet face-to-face.
It rather depends on compatibility, mutual understanding, and willingness to accept each other and treat each other well, all of which are part of a commitment and within the boundaries of a marriage.
So, with this being said, I advise you to:
- Think about what your real intentions are for this relationship. Is there something else besides the feelings of attraction?
- Think about whether you can imagine her as your future wife and even the mother of your children. Do you think she is someone you could be committed to in the long run?
- If you cannot imagine that, then, brother, it is time to move on, even if it hurts now.
- And if you think that maybe in the future, just be patient and trust in the perfect plan of Allah. Change your focus and make yourself busy with something else. Keep up with your studies and build your future. Try to get ready for a future marriage.
- If you think that she is a threat to keeping halal boundaries, it might be better to distance yourself until you are ready to commit yourself. Always think about the fact that Allah will unite you if that is meant for you, so being patient for the right time is actually good for you.
- Try to learn about Islamic marriage, the rights and duties of the spouses, and how to prepare for a marriage.
- You can make istikhara and ask Allah for guidance after you make your choice whether to wait for this marriage or let it go for the sake of the future.
I hope these tips helped. May Allah grant you a successful marriage in the future, ameen.
Question 4. Marriage Search – a Detailed Question
I am a Muslim (man), originally from a Muslim country, currently living in a major Canadian city. I came to Canada in my mid-twenties for graduate school and then continued to live and work there. I am now approaching my mid-thirties with two graduate degrees and a well-established career as a senior engineer. On the outside, I am a successful guy; smart and funny and enjoying my life. On the inside, I feel something is missing, and I know what it is: I miss a life companion.
When I left home for Canada, I was so much into my studies and research that I didn’t think at all about marriage—and it wasn’t that late at the time. A couple of years after coming to Canada, I met a European lady, a medical professional, whom I felt attracted to. This was a reminder to me that I’m not a robot. I was happy she was interested in learning about Islam, but it later turned out to be only because she was interested in me not in Islam itself. Long story short, she decided she cannot accept Islam, but she tried hard to figure out a way for us to get married while she has no religion. For me, this was out of the question. I ended the discussion, took a break and thought it’s probably about time to start looking for a life partner.
For a long time, I thought that one day I would just meet someone who’s good for me and I am good for her, we will get married and be happy. However, I’m heading to 35 and this hasn’t happened yet. Given where I live, all I’ve met are western women. I have no problem at all with that, but I want to marry a Muslima, not even a Christian whom I know a Muslim is allowed to marry. Actually, one time, a Canadian young lady who was a neighbor of mine, that I knew for years, was interested in dating me. I explained to her that as a Muslim the only correct form of relationship I can have with a woman is marriage, and that I want to marry a Muslim woman. To my surprise she came back to me later saying she did some research and found that Muslim men can marry Christian women, and that she was baptized as a baby so she’s somehow Christian and we can get engaged to get married!! Another thing that was out of the question.
To avoid all this absurdity, I realized it seems I cannot avoid actually searching. Even though it does make me feel as if I am desperate. Am I..? I mean, I live pretty well and happy, and have lots of friends, but subhanAllah, as He said in surah Ar-Rum, ayah 30: “He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them.” SubhanAllah, it is exactly that that I miss.
Starting to look around: I have no Muslim neighbors and no Muslim coworkers. The mosques? Well, I go regularly to a few mosques, but I know no one in person. I tried a few times to gather up the courage to go talk to the imam, who probably knows me by look, but I just couldn’t. I felt super shy discussing that in person, and again not wanting to seem desperate.
Muslim friends? Most of them are acquaintances-kind-of-friends, not that I would feel comfortable sounding desperate with, even though I did try to casually mention it to some of them. but at the end of the day, they’re like me: came from a Muslim country to study and then work in Canada. Those of them who’re married are married from their home country.
My home country then? I talked with the few friends I have in Canada who come from my home country. Conclusion: They believe I should find someone who grew up here or at least lived here for a while, or otherwise I won’t be happy with the lifestyle. And I honestly agree. I don’t want to seem judging, because I am not. I respect everyone’s lifestyle, but I also know what I don’t want for myself. I don’t want to marry someone who spends evenings and weekends watching Arabic TV drama, and go out only for food, shopping or on summer’s weekends for the kids to play in the park. My friends during their 8+ years in Canada never went hiking once, never tried one winter activity at least once, and never basically went out of the city they arrived at in Canada for the first 5 years. I’d like to meet someone who maintains a boundary with the haram, not a boundary with the whole country we live in.
I talked with my parents too. They made the argument that their social connections are not too many, which is true, and asked me to search myself. Nevertheless, they tried and had a couple of suggestions, but they were around 10 years younger than me, which is a huge age difference in my opinion. I believe that’s because back home most women older than early twenties will be already married.
A friend suggested a matrimonial website for Muslims. I gave it a try, but I met either young ladies who don’t seem to follow the basics of Islam and are interested in friendship and chatting; or decent ladies but not compatible with me (either there’s no attraction or having kids, which is something I am not sure I can take at the moment).
Finally, I don’t want to give the impression that I live in a city without Muslims, not at all. It’s just that I am not able to meet someone within my circle. Sometimes I see Muslim young ladies who look nice and dress modestly; I see them on the street or in a restaurant/mall, but I have no clue what to do. I’m sorry if that sounds weird, I understand that I don’t know them, and that they may even be married or engaged. But what I’m trying to say is that there are Muslim young ladies at the age of marriage in my city, among whom there could be a good match for me, but there’s no connection that would make this a possibility.
I am sorry for the long message and for sounding judging in some parts of it—it’s not my intention at all.
Time is flying and I am not anymore, the young guy in his mid-20s, but an older man approaching mid-30s. I feel my life isn’t complete subhanAllah, even though I am very grateful for the blessings Allah has bestowed on me. Any advise?
Thank you and jazakum Allah khairan.
Salam alaikom wa rahamtullah brother,
Thank you for your detailed letter. It comes across that you have carefully reflected upon your options and also that you know what you want and what you do not want, subhallah.
And this is very important as a first step because it can really prevent disappointment in your future marriage.
Actually, you paint a quite clear picture of what your preferences are and why. I really understand your points, and I would agree with them. I would agree, but I would also point out that these are general tendencies, and there are always exceptions in almost all of these scenarios you mention above—who knows, your case can be one of them!
So, I would advise first to keep an open attitude and not close the doors to possible ways of finding the right one.
I think it is very good to have an analytical approach and use your rationale when it comes to searching for a partner—someone you want to share your life with. It is really great when you can clearly list what your red flags are and what lifestyles are not for you in the future. So, masallah, brother, you are doing it well.
Many people do not spend enough time reflecting on their own needs and limitations to accept certain traits or situations. They might pass the responsibility to their parents or follow others in the marriage search without actually thinking about what they actually want and need.
Then, there are others who meet someone and the attraction and love they feel make them “lose their mind,” and they end up making irrational choices regarding their marriage that they regret soon. Check out this article about love marriages.
So, brother, again, it is very good that you are carefully thinking about it. But, at the same time, when analysis and rationale are overly present, it can also be counterproductive. Why?
We should not miss the elements of our heart, our instincts, and our emotions. There should be a balance. And when we overthink, we might miss options that would have worked for us.
You might set up some criteria that close the door early. For example, the question about the age you mention. You say, for example, that being 10 years younger is too much for you. Maybe in general, while there is the possibility that you find a more emotionally mature girl who is 10 years younger than someone who is just 2 years younger or the same age as you.
Also, it is good to listen to your friends’ experiences, for example, marrying someone from your home country, but, again, know that your case won’t necessarily be the same, especially since you are already aware of what you want to avoid.
So, I would keep the doors open both in terms of conditions and in ways to find the right one.
And this is connected to another thing: in marriage, we will have to make sacrifices. That is almost a guarantee, brother.
This also means giving up some of your expectations and being prepared for the fact that you are going to share your life with someone else who won’t be the same as you in terms of hobbies, interests, preferences, etc.
Even if you are compatible with your spouse, there will be no 100% compatibility, or at least I haven’t seen any in my life. But I have seen many happy marriages, alhamdulillah, despite this.
Marriage is a union of two individuals, and subhannallah, we have the opportunity to learn so much from our differences. It can be a blessing, not necessarily something to avoid.
So, some of your expectations probably won’t be met, and that is the reality. What you can do is make priorities of your most important values that you do not want to miss in a marriage while trying to accept that you might have to be more flexible with others; otherwise, you might miss very good opportunities in life.
One more thing: with time, you will adapt to each other and influence each other. So, there are many things you like that you can actually bring into your marital life with someone who, at this point, does not have them (for example, weekend activities, hiking, certain types of food, cultural interests, etc.). What you can do is ask about these things when you are talking to a possible candidate and check her attitude toward them.
So, I suggest you make a list of the top conditions you do not want to miss. Find your core values that you want to have present in your daily life as a future husband and father. Try to see the differences between core beliefs or values, and likes or attitudes. It is more important to match in core beliefs and values than in likes. For exmaple, you might like hiking while she likes museums. This is something easier to balance than if you differ in core values, for example, regardig the religious upbringing of your future children.
For example, you said you are looking for a Muslimah, someone who maintains boundaries with the haram and not with the whole country in which she lives. Someone who is possibly flexible enough to be able to adapt to a Western lifestyle with confidence.
These are just examples based on your letter, but please make your own list.
Once you are done, try to figure out: where can you find someone with these criteria?
If, for example, good faith and modesty are important, consider looking around the masjid, an Islamic center, and the gatherings they hold.
If tradition is what you prefer, then consider the connections in your local community or your home country. And so on.
When there is a potential candidate, we also need to ask, What does our heart say? Is this what we need? And furthermore, can you acknowledge that what you want might not be exactly the same as what you need?
You say you do not approach your Muslim friends because you do not want to look desperate. But actually, exploring options for a major life decision is not desperation.
You also said that you were a bit shy about speaking with the imam. But I would kindly reconsider this option, as well as the possibility of approaching righteous brothers in the community and hinting at your willingness to marry. Again, it does not mean that you look desperate. Again, it rather means that you have fewer contacts and are looking for more.
You may find it a bit uncomfortable at first, but know that there is nothing wrong with that. Especially in the West, where there are fewer family members and communities around, please think about it again.
I would also spend more time around the masjid and Islamic gatherings, as if you see some suitable women there, it will be easier to find out more about them with the help of the community members than in the mall, for example.
I would also consider convert Muslimas, and seeking ways to approach them. As they are probably more confident in navigating local culture while willingly chose Islam, they have a strong interest in living according to the deen too.
They also have a hard time finding suitable partners, as they also lack Muslim families and even walis. Your local community leaders can probably help you with that. You can also explore a bit further away by visiting Islamic gatherings, lectures, and other masjids.
Check out these articles: This, This, This series, This series,
I hope these tips help you. May Allah bring you success.
Saturday, Apr. 29, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT
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