41 Islamic articles on: Islam and Relationships

Table of contents for the topic Islam and Relationships
  1. She promised Allah not to talk to him then broke her promise
  2. Are failed relationships due to qadar or predestination?
  3. Dealing with heartbreak
  4. Is it written for us which person we will marry?
  5. She fears no man will find her attractive
  6. She rejected a suitor because she likes another man
  7. Is it haram to have a crush?
  8. Hanging out with a person of the opposite sex without doing anything haram
  9. Is it haram to have a crush on a man?
  10. Advice on missing someone after a breakup
  11. Is it permissible to marry someone if we do not love them?
  12. Is it haram to have a platonic boyfriend or girlfriend?
  13. Can a woman take off the hijab for an online suitor?
  14. Loving someone but sexually desiring another person
  15. Islam and having boyfriends or girlfriends
  16. How do you know the person is the one you should marry?
  17. Her secret romantic relationship cured her depression
  18. Fearing that you will never find your true love
  19. She rejected a suitor due to uneasy gut feeling toward the man
  20. Her intended is being forced by his family to marry someone else
  21. Proposing to a man as a Muslim woman
  22. Secret romantic relationships in Islam
  23. How to convince parents to agree to marrying that person?
  24. Her intended does not want to pay for the honeymoon
  25. How to have a halal marriage when there are so many haram outlets?
  26. Dealing with missing someone after a breakup
  27. She is engaged to someone but wishes to marry someone else
  28. Is it wrong in Islam to feel jealous?
  29. The appropriate way to approach and propose to a Muslim woman
  30. She keeps dreaming of a particular man she likes
  31. How do I find the one who is right for me?
  32. The Point of Marriage in Islam (and the Problem with Romantic Relationships Outside of Marriage)
  33. On reducing unnecessary physical contact with the opposite sex
  34. A man who refuses to marry the woman he had premarital sex with
  35. On giving up a sinful relationship
  36. Is it forbidden for a Muslim to fall in love with a Christian?
  37. Getting over an impossible love
  38. On stopping having infatuation for a person
  39. “He made me fall in love with his words, I crossed my line for him…”
  40. Dating and Relationships in Islam: What is Allowed and What is Not
  41. The Islamic way to getting over a breakup

IslamQA: She promised Allah not to talk to him then broke her promise

Asalam Walikum, I hope you are doing well. I really really need help 🙁 so i went through a heartbreak with someone i liked and wanted to marry. I made a promise to Allah about it, that ill stop talking to him until he is brought for marriage. He did come back after so many months and i dont know if my dua is accepted or not. He kept telling me he never moved on and etc. and i cant even respond, then i finally did to clarify why im not talking to him and my pain. i broke my promise what do i do?

I feel super guilty about breaking my promise I made. I really didnt want to break my oath to Allah at all. I really wanted to clarify and tell him that i also wanted to marry and etc but i am trying to keep the promise afterwards that conversation with him. Do I have to fast 3 days or help the needy? I feel so guilty I have no one to ask.

I just am also sad I really want to tell my parents about him but he isnt 100% ready for marriage and I don’t want to lie to them again of not talking to him when i already did that before. I just feel like a horrible person right now. i really don’t want them angry, they were tired of my heartbreak and if i tell them one day we fixed they will be super mad at me.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I apologize for the late reply. Sorry about your situation. It seems to me a good thing that you clarified the situation to him since it can cause a person a great deal of pain and turmoil to be left hanging without an explanation in such situations.

Regarding whether you should make expiation for breaking the oath, it depends on the nature of your promise and its solemnity. Either your promise was to put an end to regular contacts with him, or it was to never have any contact whatsoever with him. If it was the first one, then merely giving him an explanation doesn’t break the promise if you do not start talking to him regularly again. But if it was the second one, then it seems the promise is broken.

Note that breaking an oath can sometimes be a good thing, which is why the Quran allows it. The Prophet PBUH says:

"By Allah, Allah willing, if ever I take an oath (to do something) and later on I find something else better than the first, then I do the better one and give expiation for the dissolution of my oath."

Sahih al-Bukhari 6680

Merely promising God to do something and then not doing it is not the same as breaking an oath. But if when you were making the promise you had the intention of making a solemn oath (and from your description this seems probable), then breaking the promise requires expiation. What you should do is either donate enough money to feed or clothe ten needy people (you can do this online by going to Islamic Relief’s website and choosing “kafara” on the donation page), or if you can’t afford to, to fast for three days.

If you think the kafara is necessary and you perform it, then the oath no longer applies, it is like it wasn’t made in the first place, and there is no need to feel guilty about it anymore. The way forward seems to be to avoid contact with him (as I don’t recommend secret romantic relationships) as much as possible until he is ready to formally propose. 

Regarding the kind of romantic relationships that are appropriate in Islam, you may want to see my article: Dating and Relationships in Islam: What is Allowed and What is Not

Best wishes. May Allah make things easy for you.

References (regarding oaths):

IslamQA: Are failed relationships due to qadar or predestination?

My qs is regarding qadr. A woman has 4 broken relationships 2 engagement and now her 2nd marriage which is in doldrums. Everytime she desperately wanted it to work out but some mistakes she made n some were misunderstandings. She tried to hold on to the dying relation but it slipped outta hand eventually. For instance her current marriage is with a man who lives in a war torn cntry. For 2yrs they tried to meet but due to his financial circumstances he couldnt leave his countryn kids. He has 3 kids frm previous marriage. This time he told her that if she dint giv him money he will not be able to meet her for long time. She dint refuse but dint outrightly commit saying u can try for a loan frm ur cousin etc thinking they d discuss more n eventually she d agree to give him altho she had been telling him she d help cos he was in dire need. He accepted a job in his country n says now he will never leave it bcs he has gone thru v bad financial situation now he wont loose this chance of job. She begs him that she ll give him the money but he doesnt trust her n doesnt wana leave the chance of a job. She dint realize that just after telling her that he wont be able to com he wud go ahead n take a job. She dint kno wat he meant by saying he wont b abl to come for long time.This kind of situation happened one time previously too wen he dint get money frm her due to misunderstandings n went back to his country for a yr. She's a genuinely goodhearted person but due to these failures she lives a life of guilt. She regrets not understanding the situation n making mistakes again n again n now thinks she wont get any more chance. Some ppl told her if it was in ur qadr the relation d hav been successful n these small misunderstandings wud hav been corrected by God if it was meant to be. Pls pls reply as shes living in depression

As discussed in other answers on the Islam and Predestination page, God does not force our choices on us. God decrees the future for us based on our present choices, and as we move into the future and make more choices, God continuously updates His decrees regarding us. Nothing can happen without God’s knowledge and approval. But the more pious we are, the more He will make sure that things go favorably for us.

I believe your friend should put her trust in God, knowing that He has the power to completely change her life for the better. Her past failures have been lessons and can help her become a better person. By rededicating herself to God and always relying on Him, and by avoiding sins, she can inshaAllah have exactly the kind of life she desires.

IslamQA: Dealing with heartbreak

Assalamu alaykum. I am dealing with significant heartbreak. I had been dating a Muslim Lebanese American woman for two years. I am Anglo American and converted to Islam. We had discussed spending our lives together and getting married, but her family disapproved as I am not Lebanese. Her mother made her decide between continuing with me and losing her family, or breaking it off with me. She chose to leave me and I am devastated. Any advice to ease the pain or dua’s to heal? Thanks,

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I’m so sorry about your loss. May Allah make things easier for you. Heartbreak is similar to losing any other loved one. It takes our minds a great deal of time to get used to going on with our lives without them. There is unfortunately no way to avoid the suffering, this is just the stuff life is made of. I recommend reading the Quran daily for an hour or so, I find it to be the greatest consolation. You do not need any special duas, just speak earnestly with God in any words you wish, or even without words.

The best way to get over a breakup is to find someone new, although I know it can be very hard to make the decision to move on, since it feels like sacrilege toward our former love. If possible, I recommend spending more time around your family. Just their presence in the same room with you can be very comforting.

Best wishes inshaAllah.

IslamQA: Is it written for us which person we will marry?

Alslam alikum I have some confusions about the love stuff in alslam,we should believe that what ever is written for you will come at the right time,me as a Muslim girl I cannot approach the guy I like ,and also I don’t want Haram relationship so what should I do?be realistic or duaa , P.S I never talked to this guy but I know a lot about him I will be happy to hear your personal opnion Thank u

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

What is written for you can change, this is something that many Muslims don’t realize. You and God make your fate together, it’s like a team project. You choose, and based on that, God decides what happens next, and based on how you respond, He decides what happens next, and so on. For those who are pious, God arranges their circumstances in such a way that they have meaningful and joyful lives despite their hardships. But if these same people become impious and start sinning, they will run into all kinds of aimlessness and useless suffering, since God will stop arranging their circumstances favorably for them.

Regarding relationships, Islam doesn’t forbid women from approaching men. In the right circumstances you can ask a man to ask your family for your hand in marriage. Apart from that you can rely on your relatives, friends, and halaqa sisters to find you a match. Most social circles have women who love matchmaking. And if that doesn’t work, you can use sites like halfourdeen.com to find Muslim men. As long as your family is involved there is nothing bad or haram about using such sites.

Best wishes.

Alslam alikum I read what you answered the girl about love and Islam and destiny,I got confused too😂 Did you mean that if I don’t work for it or stressed out and started looking for a guy or someone to set me up with I won’t necessarily get married 😱?i always thought that what meant for you will come to you

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It’s like a team project, like I said in the previous answer. You and God manage your destiny together. You can leave it to Him and He will place the right things in your path. But you can also help matters along when the right opportunity is there. God helps you help yourself. If you are in a city where you never run into other Muslim men, then using a website like halfourdeen.com may be the way God wants you to find the right man.

IslamQA: She fears no man will find her attractive

Salam. Lately, I just find myself spending a lot of time seeking validation from guys. Maybe it's just this age or hormones, but I get really scared that if no one finds me admirable or attractive, then I might miss out on finding someone, and these thoughts consume my mind for longer than I'd like to admit. Do you think I might lack the ability to form deep, meaningful relationships because I'm shallow?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Life is like being inside a ship piloted by God. Your task is to react to what happens inside the ship in the best manner possible. It is not your task to manage where the ship goes next. If you are God-fearing, He will take you to the best places. Each time time you are kind, generous and noble, you improve the ship’s direction. You cannot directly pilot the ship, but God looks at how you behave and respond to decide where to take the ship. If you try to be a saint, you will have a meaningful and wholesome life. God will take care of the details. Try to have a deep connection with God (such as by reading the Quran for an hour daily), and then when the time is right, He will choose the right one for you and will force them into your life whether you want it or not.

I don’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything to better our lives. We should do everything in our power. But the wider story-arc is in God’s hands, and if we are good, He will ensure that we will get good results.

Some people mistakenly think that since God is in charge of the world, this means that there is nothing they can do about what happens to them. In reality it is like a team project, you and God together manage the direction of your life. You do it by passing tests and trying to be the best you can be in any situation, and He does it by deciding what happens to you next based on your performance.

I have had that happen to me many times. My life would seem to go nowhere for years, and suddenly everything would change without my having to do anything. Pass the boring test of being a good person everyday and He will take care of making your life interesting.

IslamQA: She rejected a suitor because she likes another man

Alsalm alikum There is guy who came to my dad and asked to marry me ,but I don’t want him although he is a good guy ,I just didn’t feel the chemistry was there ,I know it’s maybe silly but I’m waiting for some guy who I like a lot,we never talked but we see each other often I make duaa that Allah to choose for me I started to feel confused ,help

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

That’s all natural. If this is in any way appropriate in your family/culture, maybe find a way to ask the man you like to ask your family for your hand in marriage, although of course how the man will take this depends on his character and culture. If he is an honorable man, he will give you an answer and if it is yes, then great, and if no, then you can move on to other men.

IslamQA: Is it haram to have a crush?

Alslam alikum Is’t haram to have a crush on a guy?we have never talked but I like everything about him and I can’t imagine myself getting married to someone else ,or even started distracting me from my study and I ask god in my prayers to remove from my mind but that doesn’t help Any sisters advice

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is nothing haram about that. See the Islam and Relationships page on my site for many related articles. I’m a brother by the way.

IslamQA: Hanging out with a person of the opposite sex without doing anything haram

Salamu alaikum. Brother, is it okay if one asked the opposite sex to go hangout? Note that this person clearly likes you and that they stated they wanted to get to know each other first before going steady (to marriage). Is it sinful to go together with the opposite sex with such intention? I myself do not consider this a date, but a regular hangout.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is not good to spend time in private with a person of the opposite sex. Even if you feel it will be perfectly casual, you never know what will happen. And even if you go to a public place together, afterwards one of you may suggest going to a more private place and it may sound fine in the state that you are.

See my articles:

Secret romantic relationships in Islam

Dating and Relationships in Islam: What is Allowed and What is Not

IslamQA: Is it haram to have a crush on a man?

Alslam alikum Is’t haram to have a crush on a guy?we have never talked but I like everything about him and I can’t imagine myself getting married to someone else ,or even started distracting me from my study and I ask god in my prayers to remove from my mind but that doesn’t help Any sisters advice

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is nothing haram about that. See the Islam and Relationships page on my site for many related articles. I’m a brother by the way.

IslamQA: Advice on missing someone after a breakup

Salam. The first and only time I had done something haram with a guy was two years ago, this is someone who I had mutually feelings for. I think he lost feelings for me, or got bored. I'm not sure, I never got closure. But I can't help but always miss him and be sad all that time that I gave a part of me to someone who does not even care about me anymore. How can I stop feeling sad about him?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I’m sorry about your loss. I think the first step to getting over a breakup is to acknowledge that the pain is going to be there. It is like a wound that’s going to take time to heal. There is no avoiding the pain and there is no quick cure. This is the stuff that life is made of. Think about why God let it happen and why He is allowing you to suffer now. The Prophet PBUH suffered terribly in Mecca for 13 years before he went to Medina. God could have instantly given him success if He had wanted. Suffering is what builds our character, and there are two ways of responding to it. We either get bitter and resent God for not giving us a better life, or we accept our situation, knowing that this is where God wants us, and we leave it to Him to take care of our story.

The best cure for getting over a relationship is to get into a new one. Maybe God will make that possible some time. Until then you just have to be patient.

IslamQA: Is it permissible to marry someone if we do not love them?

Salam brother! As you always say that marriage is an individual's personal matter so cux of some valid reasons I think it's not appropriate for me to get married but at the same time I know very well that getting married is the only way I have, to escape from my toxic parents and purely because of this reason I'm getting married. What Islam says about this? Because if I continued living with my parents I would become severely psychologically ill.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Islam does not require us to marry for love. Many marriages take place due to the couple finding each other good fits due to coming from the same kind of family or having the same degrees. So if you want to marry to get away from your parents, that is perfectly fine. I believe a person is capable of falling in love with almost any person of the opposite sex as long as there isn’t something horribly wrong with the two persons. So regardless of what reason you marry for, as long as both of you are reasonably decent human beings, love always develops.

IslamQA: Is it haram to have a platonic boyfriend or girlfriend?

Is having a boyfriend haram? But you don't do anything haram with him. You just label each other as boyfriend/girlfriend but treat each other as best friends without doing anything haram

The right question to ask is: “Does it please God and my family to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, is it beneficial to my own soul, and is it good for my future?” If you read the Quran and the books of hadith, you will not find anything that explicitly forbids such a relationship. But there is a lot more to it than that.

First, note that I would be willing to accept the excuses of a person who involves themselves with such relationships. But that is the problem; such relationships have to be excused. They are not noble and admirable things to participate in, and all pious and self-respecting Muslims would do their best to avoid them except under the most extreme circumstances.

Imagine an irreligious culture where there is no marriage and all relationships are boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Then imagine that the people convert to Islam. What would happen next? If you think about it, you will realize that such relationships will quickly go out of fashion because people will start to demand more from their mates. Instead of randomly getting into relationships with whoever seems to be able to love them back, they will start to have a long-term mindset about relationships. A woman will not just want a random man’s love. She will want a man who doesn’t just love her, but who is also pleasing to her family, and whose family is pleasing to hers. Rather than acting on her animal instincts by jumping into relationships, she will act like a princess. Not a Disney princess, but a real princess who cannot just marry anyone. Her marriage is a very significant decision that affects the future of her country, so she has to choose someone who fits in within her very long-term plans. She doesn’t just think of her own desires, she has to think of how her relationship will affect the future of her dynasty. She has to think carefully about how being with a particular man will affect her future, the future of her family, the future of her country, and the future of her children and grandchildren.

If you think about it, a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is a very primitive, what we may call a barbarian, type of marriage. Religion comes to civilize it by changing relationships from something casual to something extremely serious. People go from wanting to please their immediate appetites to wanting to build a civilization through their relationships.

Muslims who are attracted by the boyfriend/girlfriend system are actually being attracted to something primitive and barbarian. It is like wanting to abandon civilization to join the simple life of a tribe that lives in the jungle where there is no marriage and everyone is free to love whomever they want. It may seem like an attractive and paradisaical arrangement, but it is not civilized. You cannot build a civilization where casual romantic relationships are the norm, and any civilization that is degraded enough to make that the norm will quickly suffer decay. We see this in the West where people are extremely irresponsible about their relationships and couldn’t care less about how these affect their families and societies. The result is extremely low-birth rates because everyone is too busy seeking their own satisfaction to think about the future of their families and civilizations. Countries like Portugal and Japan today are going through slow-motion collapse as villages and towns are abandoned because people do not think that continuing their families and civilizations are worth the effort. By embracing a primitive and barbarian system of romantic relationships, the result is that the countries become more and more primitive and barbarian. Nature starts to reclaim land that was in the past filled with homes and schools.

To a young person who is simply seeking to be loved, such concerns are of little importance. Religion, however, cares very much about these things, and it is for this reason that it creates a system of marriage that forces people to take their romantic relationships very seriously.

Religion wants to build civilization. The boyfriend/girlfriend system is out of place in civilization and it takes the country back to a primitive stage. And for this reason no one who has truly understood religion and who takes it seriously will want to participate in that system. For a faithful Muslim woman to jump into such relationships is similar to a princess from a royal family getting into a relationship with some random man and throwing away the future of her dynasty and country.

By calling someone your boyfriend/girlfriend, you mean that you have an exclusive romantic relationship with them. It is like pretending to be married without actually marrying and without intending to do the physical acts associated with marriage. The intention is to get the companionship and sense of being loved and supported that we get from a romantic partner without going through the difficult process of finding out if your life circumstances will enable you to be together, and finding out whether your family approves of the person and whether their family approves of you. You cut out their involvement, and the involvement of the rest of reality in order to jump right into the romance part.

It is almost needless to say how foolish and dangerous that is. If you are a woman, a husband is forced to be nice, kind and considerate toward you even when he does not feel like it, even when you do not deserve it, because he is not only responsible to you but to your family and his family. He has to live up to the image of a husband. But a random male with whom you develop a romantic relationship is not answerable to anyone but himself. Many people in the West who enjoy the freedom of being able to jump into romantic relationship after relationship end up being scarred for life by the extreme maltreatment (I do not mean physical abuse, but emotional abuse and negligence) of their partners, or end up being the abuser themselves without intending it, because there is nothing to humanize their relationship and control it as it happens in marriage.

Marriage is meant to be an election. You need to appreciate the purpose of marriage before you are able to realize what is so wrong with boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. See my essay: The Point of Marriage in Islam (and the Problem with Romantic Relationships Outside of Marriage)

An intelligent, self-respecting and wise Muslim woman will consider it extremely beneath her to grant her love to a man who has not gone through the process of proving himself to be a worthy husband. She would be giving something away for free that is meant to be extremely valuable and precious; a foolish decision that shows her lack of understanding. It is a sign that there is a serious problem with her that is making her desperate. Sometimes, maybe often, the blame is with her family. By depriving her of love and sense of having an honored status in her family, she is forced to seek that in men outside her family. But even in such cases part of the blame is on her; a better woman would put up with her family’s failings and lack of love and endure patiently until God enables her to have something better.

The same of course applies to some men who seek such romance.

I know such relationships can be a great temptation. But our task is to resist them the way we resist all other temptations until God changes our situation and we are able to enjoy the pleasures of romance in the normal way through marriage.

IslamQA: Can a woman take off the hijab for an online suitor?

Salam alaikum. Brother, what are your thoughts on a man who found a woman in an online dating site, whom wants to get to know of her, felt good connection after few conversations because they have lots in common, but asks her to take off her hijab before any agreements for marriage? He didn't force her, but he asked if she might consider his request. This happens to me and I don't know what to do, except sending you this question. Thank you for your time.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is permissible for a woman to take off the hijab for a suitor. However, to protect her dignity this should be done with the permission and involvement of her family, although according to a fatwa by the Qatari Fatwa Authority the permission of her family is not technically required, while Ibn Baz (representing a Salafi opinion) says that it should not be done in private, meaning that a family member must be present. The taking off of the hijab should only be done once, and when the man has seen her, she must continue to wear the hijab before him afterwards.

As for how much of the body she can show, there is some disagreement among the scholars, but the common opinion appears to be that she can show him what she can show to her own family members (maḥrams).


IslamQA: Loving someone but sexually desiring another person

Asalam Walikum, I have an issue. I feel that I can't stop having these intimate desires for this person, I can't stop feeling hormonal about it. I do like someone else but I like that person romantically not sexually. I do fear that if I end up with that someone else I'll still have sexual desires for this person. How can I stop?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Developing sexual desire for a person is something that our brains do automatically if we do not repress it from the beginning. We have instincts to always keep a lookout for eligible attractive mates regardless of our wishes. 

For now you may not be able to do much about it. When you are married to your intended, you can work to make them the sole locus of your romantic and erotic attention. This is something that will require active work on your part. Whenever you find yourself thinking erotically of someone else, you can actively bring your spouse to mind. In this way you can train your brain not to sexualize others.

Another and maybe more important way is to develop a close relationship with God. My way of doing it is to listen to the Quran for an hour every single day. If I ever find myself trying to think erotically of someone, or trying to appreciate a woman’s exposed body, God immediately comes to my mind. Since I do not wish God’s respect to decrease for me, I automatically abandon the thought. God is always present in the back of my mind and knowing that He is there makes me want to act in a way that pleases Him and gains His admiration. This means that I never feel that I have the privacy to think inappropriate thoughts about others in my mind.

Please check out the page Guides on Getting Closer to God for more information on achieving closeness with Him.

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Islam and having boyfriends or girlfriends

Assalamualaikum, I'm still a teenager and as teenagers do, I keep having intentions to have a girlfriend. I know its not the right thing to do at this age and at the because of the limitations between male and female in Islam. I need advice and a reminder from someone married and older.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Please see my answer Secret romantic relationships in Islam where I discuss the problem with having boyfriends/girlfriends.

Also see my essay: The Point of Marriage in Islam (and the Problem with Romantic Relationships Outside of Marriage)

Best wishes.

IslamQA: How do you know the person is the one you should marry?

How do you know the person is the one you should marry? It’s just that there are so many options and I don’t want to regret this major decision that is going to change my life.

There is no criterion that you can use to know with absolute certainty who the right person is. So the way I would go about it would be half intellectual and half based on my heart.

The intellectual part is to think clearly about the person’s attributes, his family and his life condition and to speak with your own family and friends and ask about their judgment of the person. This can help you form an idea of the men that are better fits for you than others.

Once you do this, you will likely still have multiple men that may be eligible and that you cannot easily decide between. This is where the heart’s part comes in. Pray, read the Quran, and try to get the person better, and see where your heart takes you. It may take many months of this before you are able to form a clear idea about the man you prefer.

If you eventually settle your mind on a particular man but remain unsure if that is the right man for you, you could consider going forward with an engagement (nikāḥ) without a wedding. This would enable you to date the man in a ḥalāl way without becoming his wife (as discussed here). Some Muslim cultures practice this form of dating, but others have no concept of it. But from an Islamic law perspective it is perfectly wholesome and permissible.

After that you can take things slowly. Create occasions for your family to meet the man and interact with him (for example by setting a particular day or two of the week for him to come to your parents’ home and have dinner there). You can also go out with him on dates with your family’s permission. Since you have performed the nikāḥ, spending time alone with him is permitted in Islam. This will help you gain an idea of what marriage to him would be like.

At some point you will likely feel content in your heart that this is the person for you and you can then plan the wedding. And if you discover that you do not like the man, you can break off the engagement. In such a case Islamic law only requires the man to pay half the alimony that is promised during the engagement if it is broken off before the wedding (i.e. before consummation of the marriage, i.e. sexual intimacy), but the Quran strongly recommends that the woman’s family should take no alimony from the man in such a case.

I hope you find this helpful. Best wishes.

IslamQA: Her secret romantic relationship cured her depression

AOA! I had severe depression for more than 2 years that I could neither focux on my studies nor on my daily routine tasks. My family wasn't supportive and I had no friend to talk to, as my father doesn't let me leave home much.I was a mere dead soul. So one day I started talking to a very nice guy online and we got into a relationship.After that I became much better.I know it's haram to keep a relationship but I know if I were not talking to him I could never get out of my depression.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Sorry to read about your situation. Such relationships are not clearly defined as haram in Islam as I discuss here. But they are disliked even if they have a great psychological benefit because while they can rescue you from one difficulty they can cause you fall into an equal or greater one.

Whether you should continue in that relationship or end it depends on the strength of your faith. God does not ask you to bear more than you are able. But the admirable and pious thing is to accept your situation as it is rather than working secretly to bypass it. It is your family’s fault, judging from what you said, that you have such a strong need for that relationship, so they cannot justly blame you (although they will do so if they found out). Ideally you should get medical help for your depression and avoid secret romances until you are ready to marry.

For now, try to dedicate yourself to God and get close to Him through Quran-reading and tahajjud. Ask Him constantly to help you and change your situation for a better one.

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Fearing that you will never find your true love

Aselam Aleikum I am a young sister who fears she will never find the right spouse in life 🙁 I believe it’s easy to find a spouse (if Allah wills) but it is hard to find the right spouse who in love with you. Your “true love”. Do you you have advice?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Men and women are created by God in a way that any reasonably attractive and decent man can fall in love with any reasonably attractive and decent woman if they spend much time together. So there is little to fear; as long as your spouse is not a horrible person, you will fall in love. I have seen couples who disliked each other at the beginning of their marriage, for example because they married for convenience rather than love and found out that their personalities did not agree with each other. But years later they started to adapt to each other and fall in love, so that now they are as in love with each other as most couples can be.

While love stories and fairy tales tell us that there is only one person who can truly make us happy, in my experience the reality is the opposite. Most people can make us happy. Love always develops if there isn’t a serious problem that prevents it. Humans are designed to fall in love, it is incredibly unlikely that a reasonably good man and woman can live together for years without falling in love.

Follow-up question:

What do you think about Quranic ayat 78:8? In your last post you said decent men and decent women can be happy with each other, but what about pairs? About the theory that each one of us has someone who complements them- a pair. Can you please explain this?

That verse may simply be referring to the fact that God created humans as male and female. I have read some people’s writing who believe the Quran supports the idea of soul mates. But there is no firm evidence for that; they just interpret certain verses in the way they like. The reality is that there is nothing in the Quran that clearly supports the idea that there is only one person for us.

IslamQA: She rejected a suitor due to uneasy gut feeling toward the man

I don't know where to crash and I think you're the one I could trust on this matter. I was in the brink of depression and don't know what to do to figure out my future. I quit university and went back home in 2016 and months ago found someone who asked to marry him, to which I agreed. I told my parents, they gave their blessings. Something happen months after and I broke his proposal that ended up canceling the marriage. I told my parents and them to my siblings and one of the big family 1/2

And I found out that all this time my parents are hesitant to give their blessings, for the man who asked for my hand (before he even got here and meet my parents) sounds suspicious, no matter how good I explained to them. We haven't met, but the thing that got me cancel the marriage is the uneasiness I've been feeling right after me and my parents went to my mother's older sister to tell them of the news and ask for their blessings. My aunt said things that offended me, some kind of I'm 2/2

Some kind of like I only want to get married to get away from my situation. My older sister also knew what my aunt said to me and she said that I'm not decent enough to get married. I know myself enough to think if I'm reasonable enough to get married. I took the decision because I have prayed tahajud one night and asked for a way out, and thought maybe marriage would change my current state. I was devastated, and I wonder if my decision that I based off of my gut feelings is justified? 3/4

I canceled my marriage out of the uneasiness I felt in my gut feeling. I felt like my family would look down on and despise me after having such decision. The man also asked to rush the marriage and promised to take me on an overseas honeymoon, but he himself delayed the appointment to meet me and my parents in my country many times, to which made my Dad doubt his commitment. Some of his attitude while chatting bothered me too, so that's also the reason why I broke his proposal. 4/4

Pardon me it got long. I intended to make a 2/2 ask, but ended up 4/4. Hope you don't mind reading it. I need your point of view about it. Thank you very much for taking your time. Bless you.

That is a complicated situation and I cannot really give any specific advise. I recommend that you wait patiently until your situation changes or a better suitor appears. I know it can be difficult to be patient when you feel stuck in your situation and wish to escape it, but keep in mind that God can change your situation in an instant if He wished. Realize that God is in charge and that nothing happens without His approval. Rather than trying to seek an escape from your situation by making major life decisions like marriage, seek the escape from God. He can grant you the best possible solution when the time is right. Dedicate yourself to Him and try to always have a close connection with Him and leave it to Him to take care of your future. Try to be content and find useful ways of spending your time and stop worrying too much about the future.

Also please check out these two essays:

God has not abandoned you

Islam and Depression: A Survival Guide

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Her intended is being forced by his family to marry someone else

Assalamu Alaikum. The brother who wanted to marry me had issues with his parents accepting me as they wanted him to marry his cousin. We remained patient and kept making dua asking Allah for help. Those parents have now forced him into a marriage with his cousin. Although there is no Nikah they are now “engaged”, even though he did not attend. He does not want to marry her but he is afraid he will lose his family over it so he accepted it. I feel devastated. Is this Allah’s decree? Can it change

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Sorry to read about your difficult situation. May Allah make it easier.

Everything in life is God’s decree. God is in charge and He can prevent anything from happening if He wishes. Whenever something bad happens in our life, it is always with God’s awareness. There is a deep lesson in this; God allows bad things to happen to us in order to shape our character. We could not prove our faith, patience and dedication toward Him if nothing bad ever happened in our lives.

Anything can change. Just because something bad seems to be about to happen does not mean that it will happen. And whether it happens or not, it is always God’s decree because nothing escapes Him. There is really no solution to your situation. Some things in life make us suffer greatly and there is no escape from the suffering. We just have to accept it, wait patiently and see what happens. Submit to God, knowing that He is in charge, and leave it to Him to take care of the things in your life that you have no power over. You never know what may happen a few years from now. What causes us great suffering now may be the beginning of a process that eventually gives us great happiness down the road. God can always arrange for you to marry a better person at some point if and when He wishes.

Please check out the following essay in which I discuss in more detail how to deal with such situations:

The Road to Maturity: On Dealing with Life’s Unsolvable Problems

Best wishes.

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