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IslamQA: Proposing to a man as a Muslim woman

I am in love with a man who lives on the other side of the world and does not even know about my existence. He is a very good and God-fearing Muslim. Besides, he's a blogger. I can not just write to him because I think that this is not correct. What should I do?

Islam does not forbid women from proposing to men. If he is not married and if that is the only way a relationship can possibly be created then it might be worth giving it a chance (with your family’s knowledge if necessary), but you should take into consideration what I mention below. Proposing to a man puts you in a vulnerable position. Young and immature men would be likely to abuse such a trust and think lowly of a woman who approaches them, so it depends on the man’s age and maturity whether it is a good idea to do that.

Some families will be strongly prejudiced against the idea of you just finding someone on the Internet and wanting to marry them. It may take a very long process of gentle persuasion to make them consider the idea seriously. Other families will be open-minded enough to give such a relationship a chance. And while some families may approve of the idea of you politely approaching a man when there is no other way, others may think of it as a scandalous betrayal unless you fully involve them in every step. This is a case where culture is more important than religion for many. Families that are best educated about religion may be far more open-minded about this than families that merely judge things by how things are done in their culture, because they realize that Islam doesn’t really have much to say on these issues and leaves a wide space for doing whatever is necessary.

Depending on your specific family and culture, it may be best to get someone involved before approaching the man. You can perhaps speak with a family member you like and trust (mother, aunt or sister), let them know your feelings, and perhaps gain their approval of the idea of you approaching the man. In some cultures even this may not be sufficient and you may be expected to get everyone in the family involved.

As I have explained elsewhere, secret romantic relationships are never a good idea. Therefore if you contact him and find out that he is interested, you should get your family involved as soon as you can to make things official.

If you believe the relationships is impossible or fear there might be other issues, then the articles on my Islam and relationships page may help.

And God knows best.
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