Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I am an educated Muslim woman and have kept my distance from men. I am biased against Subcontinent husbands as my own father was not a very good one.
I am attracted to someone in my office who is a gentleman. I do not flirt with him but whenever I think about the qualities I would like in my future spouse, I think he fits the bill.
Can I pray to God to make some way towards a marriage with this guy?
Please don’t suggest sending my guardians with your proposal. Where I live, doing so will cause me to be labelled as a promiscuous woman for my life and my proposal would be rejected.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
It is unfortunate that in your country, women are labelled as being promiscuous for sending proposals to suitors. Please know that this is an ignorant practice which goes against the honour accorded to women in our deen.
Our Lady Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) sent a marriage proposal to the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) through her trusted servant, Maisarah. She was twice widowed, had three children from her previous marriages, and was the most sought out noblewoman of her time.
That being said, it is wiser to work with your reality, rather than against it. I suggest that you speak to your parents and say that there is someone you may be interested in for marriage.
If they agree, then I suggest that you speak to a trusted mutual friend/colleague, and discreetly arrange for this third party to ask him if he would consider you for marriage. Please find out sooner rather than later, because he may be already engaged to another woman, or not interested, and you would be pining for someone who isn’t meant to be for you.
If your parents disagree, then I strongly advise against you pursuing this. Win them over with good character and patience.
Before considering marriage to anyone, I urge you to learn more about it. When registration reopens, please enrol in Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.
Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times about the potential of marriage with the young man you are interested in. Watch what He unfolds in your life, while being unattached to the outcome. I know this is difficult, when you are interested in someone, but you must try to remain objective.
For example, if Allah puts difficulty upon difficulty in any attempts to get to know this young man for marriage, then please take heed and let this go. On the other hand, if Allah facilitates the process, then that is a sign for you to pursue it.
Prayer of Need
“Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [Qur’an, 2:216]
In the last third of the night, please perform The Prayer of Need for a righteous and loving husband. Trust that Allah has the power to bring about what is best for you, and it may not be exactly what you imagine.
Ask for someone who can be a source of comfort for you, as you will be for him. Ask for someone of deen and good character. He may be from the subcontinent, or he may not. The point is in trusting Allah’s choice for you.
Narrated `Abdullah: I asked the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” I asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents” I again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” `Abdullah added, “I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) would have told me more.” [Bukhari]
I am sorry to hear that your father was not an exemplary husband. Even so, please do not make the generalization that all men from the subcontinent make poor husbands.
Please try to keep an open mind and heart when your parents suggest marriage prospects to you. They may surprise you with someone who is a good fit for you.
If you truly doubt that, then Is it possible for you to talk to your parents? It sounds like there is a big mismatch between what you are looking for, and what they are looking for.
Even if you disagree with your parents about their choice of spouse for you, it remains your responsibility to treat your parents with good character.
Dignified restraint is an important quality. Please continue to exercise restraint in your actions as well as your thoughts. Try not to think too much about this young man in your office. Outwardly, he may look like he ticks all the boxes, but you do not know his inward state.
Occupy your heart with dua, dhikr, and recitation of the Qur’an.
Your rizq is already ordained. There are things you can do to make things easier for yourself: having a good opinion of Allah, trusting in His Wisdom, and keeping an emotional distance from non-mahram men. There are things you can do to make things more difficult: having a poor opinion of Allah. getting excessively attached to a man you may not end up marrying or arguing with your parents.
I pray that Allah blesses you with the best of both worlds, and grants you the wisdom to exercise contentment with His Decree.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.