Live Session on Engagement & Marriage

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Are you worried about what comes after your wedding? Or maybe your marriage stands at a crossroads?

If you have any question related to engagement, wedding, or marriage in general, our next live session on August 31th at 07:00 GMT/ 10:00 Makkah time is for you!

Feel free to submit your question during the session on our website or send it prior to  [email protected]

Questions get answered during the session by our counselor, sister Hannah Morris.

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 | 10:00 - 12:00 GMT

Session is over.
DISCLAIMER
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  

As-Salam ‘Alaykum. About a year ago, I was in relationship with a man, but it ended and I have repented for it. (May Allah accept my repentance.) It has been a very difficult and emotional ride for me, and I have been in depression for the past one year. Alhamdulilah, I have had the opportunity to be accepted in a PhD program abroad with a grant, and it has been a new chapter in my life. However, I do feel this emptiness inside me as if there is something missing. Sometimes, I think I do not deserve this opportunity because of my past, and sometimes I think I am not good enough for this opportunity. Most of the time, I miss the guy a lot, but then I fear that even thinking about him is wrong to do, and I may make Allah angry with me. I am not depressed like I used to be, and I have come closer to Allah by praying and trying to do good deeds, but I am still not fully happy. I do not want to sound ungrateful to Allah because this is an amazing and wonderful opportunity that He has blessed me with, and I cannot thank Him enough. To be honest, Allah has granted me with everything, and in some way, all my lawful prayers have been accepted. I just want to be happy and content with life, but even though I pray, I fast, I recite the Qur’an, and I try to do good deeds and be a better Muslimah, there is this emptiness and loneliness inside me that does not go away. Why do I feel this way? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.



Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam dear sister,
May Allah (swt) forgive you for your previous sins and continue to guide you on the straight path. Ma sha’ Allah, sister,  you are moving on the correct way by repenting and doing everything you can to get closer to Allah (swt) and by being grateful for the blessings that Allah (swt) has currently granted in your life with your PhD program.

 

There are many reasons why we are encouraged to marry in Islam, and one of those reasons is to provide that sense of companionship so that people do not feel this sense of loneliness you feel. Marriage completes half of our deen and, therefore, explains this sense of emptiness that a single person might feel.

 

If you are not in a position to get married right now, I would certainly encourage you to get involved in halal social circles that will provide you with some social support and help you to develop friendships with other like-minded sisters. Perhaps, there are some kind of sisters groups that run in your local masjid that you could get involved in?

 

Furthermore, according to researches, loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression, so feeling depressed the way you do is a perfectly normal response to this feeling of loneliness you have been experiencing.

 

You also say that you are completing your PhD abroad so you are away from your normal surroundings, and probably friends and family, too. This could also contribute to this sense of emptiness and loneliness that you experience. Thus, try to keep good contact with your family and friends back home to reduce the loneliness that comes from this aspect of your experience.

 
You should not ever feel undeserving of anything, otherwise you will not get the full sense of satisfaction and appreciation of your blessing. You have gone about repentance in the best way, the way we are told to. Remember that Allah (swt) is the All-Forgiving and will forgive all sins if the person repents. You should stay firm in this belief and continue to focus on the positives and blessings in you life.

 
May Allah (swt) accept your repentance and bring you the best in the blessings He (swt) has given you. May He (swt) continue to guide you on the straight path and bring you success and contentment in this life and the next.

Salam,


Salam Aleikom. My problem is about sex in my marriage. Or I would say myself and my lack of desire for sex. I have been married for 5 years. I do not desire having sex. I can be "convinced" by some hugs or kisses, and I do enjoy when I am finally in the mood, but from myself I would, I guess, never approach my husband. Even during the process, I need to focus hard and, to be honest, fantasize to finally reach orgasm. The problem is that even though I do not usually refuse my husband when he wants, but I am not a good actress, so it is clear on my face and whole body when I just do it out of obligation. He wants me to also want it and enjoy it, but I am completely fine if only he enjoys it and 'finishes" it. Sometimes, it is the fact that I need to make ghusl and wash my long hair which distracts me from having sex, sometimes I am sleepy, but usually I just simply do not desire it! Sometimes I even hate it, especially when my husband tells me that how bad it is that he wants and I do not. On avarage, we have sex once, maybe twice a week. I am trying, at least. I am a revert, so I had sexual relationships before marriage ( may Allah forgive me), and even since that time I have problems with sex. maybe I was too young when I lost my virginity and that has an affect on me? It was not a really lovely moment, to be honest, and I basically did it due to peer pressure. For ages, I was not even able to reach orgasm and I did not enjoy the whole process. I was a true victim of social pressure. Then I reverted to islam, I got married. I was very worried this standard will continue, but hamulillah I don't have this problem. The only problem is that it is really really hard to "heat me up". Nothing works. No different places, positures, massage, romantic bath, or else excites me. On the contrary: they distract me and make me feel uncomfortable! We reached the point when we were even thinking of watching some porn, thinking it might help me get heated up, but as it is haram, we do not really want to try it out. What shall I do? I know in general women are less "sexual" than men, but is this normal that I feel I am almost a frigid? I do love my husband dearly, and he loves me too, so I am not sure what the problem is. I feel stressed out sometimes, or depressed due to work and the many other stuff I do, but I try to take the time out for my husband and relax. Nonetheless, I have this problem. What shall we do? Thank you for your advice in advance!



As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

This can be an uncomfortable thing to talk about, so you have done a brave thing to seek assistance with the matter. It certainly shows that you love your husband enough to try and do something about it to please him more and to increase satisfaction for yourself. This issue is a very common one, so make sure you are not alone, sister.

 

Like you say, generally, men do tend to have a higher drive than women, and this is the first difficulty. I think you located the problem right at the end where you say that you sometimes feel depressed and stressed due to work. Often, the problem is not due to a lack of love between the couple. Certainly, in your situation, you make it very clear how much you do love your husband, but other external issues impact on your psychological health which then spills over into other aspects of your life, in this case your sex life with your husband. Once you are stuck in this routine with negative feelings towards sex, you will only continue to reinforce these feelings. You become stuck in this cycle. The key is to break out of this cycle and find some enjoyment in sexual relations.
You say you have tried experimenting with various things to increase your drive (but do not delve into porn as it is haram and can be damaging in a relationship), but these have proved to be unsuccessful for you. I think this further indicates that the root cause of the problem is probably more likely something outside of the relationship such as stress due to work. I would, therefore, suggest that you begin by addressing these issues.

 

Naturally, when people feel stressed or depressed about anything, the last thing in their mind will be intimacy. Stress can also lead to the tiredness and fatigue that you speak of which, again, will not assist you in desiring any kind of intimacy. Think about what it is about the work you do that makes you stressed and do what you can to work on this. Do something to improve your situation and to make you enjoy your work, or at least be content with it. This is something you could speak with your supervisor or colleagues about. Once you improve your work situation and feel more happy at work, in sha’ Allah, you will feel more relaxed generally which will also have a positive impact on your relationship and intimacy issues.
There is also no harm in engaging in other things that would usually be recommended in cases where the love has become lost between the couple such as rekindling the relationship, going out on dates, and engaging in fun activities that bring you closer as a couple.

 

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to address the issues that bring stress to you. May He (swt) continue to place love between you and your spouse that you can work successfully through this issue and improve your intimacy issues so that it brings contentment for you both.


My question is: for a female Muslim looking to get married, and parents are searching for matches, how much should she compromise on her practice of Islam for the sake of getting married?Background: After receiving many proposals of men who did not pray or had some other issues, my parents have engaged me to a man who prays (but not always in the masjid), fasts in Ramadan, sometimes attends halaqa in the masjid, has a halal job, and appears to have good manners. My concerns are: he watches TV shows, goes to the cinema to see movies, does not have a beard, and says that only wearing headscarf is fine and that too can be removed if one feels threatened in the West. However, I cover my face (niqab) and wear a jilbab (outer garment/abaya) as well as proper headscarf. Also, I do not watch TV, listen to music, or go to the cinema. Mainly, I am worried that I will be expected to compromise on my haya by not being allowed to observe full hijab, along with being exposed to unIslamic media which I left years ago. His family has arranged a male photographer to cover the unsegregated wedding, including making a photo album and a wedding video (against my wishes). My parents tell me that I should be content with him being a Muslim and praying Salah. He is 32 and I am 26. He has been living on his own in the West for the past 6 years. I can still try to break off the engagement, but then it may be that I do not even get a man who prays Salah, and I end up even worse off. I have done istikhara, I understand it is a supplication and if things proceed in favour of the wedding, then it means that is Allah's will? My mother says that marriages are predetermined and written in our destiny. I still think I have the right to refuse a man if I think I can't respect him and raise children with him because hijab and unIslamic media are valid concerns to me. Then I think that I can compromise, remove niqab, tolerate music and movies, for the sake of maintaining my chastity and fulfilling the Sunnah. I am very confused. Please advise or at least make dua for my situation. Jazakumullah khairan katheeran. Wassalam.



As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

 

Certainly, this is a situation many sisters end up in when they arrive to the life stage of seeking marriage. There are two issues to contend with: firstly, meeting a good pious man who is committed to his deen and weighing up if he is pious enough. The second issue is the fear that if you don’t take an offer, maybe no one else will come along, and you’ll be left without a spouse. Or that no one who is pious enough will come along.

 

This can be a stressful time because we are encouraged to marry in Islam as marriage completes half our deen and protects us from sins. The person we chose will be a companion for life and the father to our children, so we obviously want to be sure we pick the right one. But at the same time we have to avoid being too picky, otherwise no one will meet our criteria.

 

The definition of piety can be varied from only maintaining one’s obligatory duties to maintaining all voluntary acts of worship and completely abstaining from all things that fall within the grey areas, too. This definition varies from person to person. Ma sha’ Allah, you seem to be a practicing sister who has left behind things that can potentially take you away from the deen, and you fear that the brother’s habits of watching TV and attitudes towards hijab may make him ask you to compromise your own deen. As you have not yet formally married and are only in the engagement stage, you certainly are in the position to call it off before the nikkah, if you wish to. But, like you say, there is the worry that you may not even find anyone as good as he is, if you do.

 

Certainly, when it comes to marriage, comprise almost always needs to be made to some extent from both the man and the woman. But this compromise should never be that goes against the principles of Islam. Keep in mind that the perfect man who meets all your personal requirements – who always prays, fasts, attends the masjid, as well as abstaining from things such as TV –  is difficult for any woman to find since, due to the importance of marriage, we understandably set our standards very high. This is likewise for the man, too; he struggles to find the woman who meets his own individual personal requirements. So, think about what the most important requirements are for you and how well the brother meets these standards. And those he doesn’t meet, are they those that he may be able to compromise on?

 

In marriage, the couple are to compliment each other, and as they grow together, they prepare to start a family. As the love grows between the couple, and they prepare to start a family, they can be a positive influence on each other. So, there is every chance that upon marriage he could change his ways through your positive influence on him.

 

However, as you say, your concern is that it may happen the other way round, and he, instead, may force you to move away your deen. It is for you to consider these possibilities and the possible consequences should it head either way, But it could be useful to also find out from him to what extent he is willing to compromise, too, including perhaps the mixed ceremony and male photographer.

 

You may also find that once in marriage, you become more involved in better activities together that he becomes distracted from the things you dislike. This is something that can be done with your support. For example, there is much for us all to learn about Islam, so it may be that you could study Islam together, take a course together that provides a more halal distraction than music and TV. You say he is practising already, so it seems the foundations to begin are already there.

 

This is, however, a very important decision for you to make, and you are the only one who can ultimately make this decision under Allah’s (swt) guidance. I hope the points I have made here will make your options a bit clearer.

 

You have started the process in the best way by asking Allah (swt) to guide you to make the right choice. May Allah (swt) guide you to make the best choice in a spouse and make him the coolness of your eyes whom you will grow together as a couple and get closer to Allah (swt). May you both be content in your deen and with each other, and be good for each other both in this life and the next.

 

Salam,