Monday, June 26, 2000
I'm attracted to your advice column and interested to write
to you about my curiosity. I'm a single muslim lady of 37 and
came to know a married man through our work for a number of years.
It was just a normal friendship as a colleague in the beginning
and without my realisation turned into unexpected feelings recently.
Since we no longer can meet often through our work after the
project is over, I begin to think more of him and miss him deeply.
Sincerely, I like his manner and someone whom I feel comfortable
to act and to talk about anything. I've been avoiding the closeness
and his invitation because I don't feel at ease going out with
him knowing he has a wife and children. He don't look much like
a married man nor did he act like one since he don't talk much
about his family. Along the course when he had a chance to see
me and chat, he often hinted marriage to me. I even received
an anonymous note in e-mail about personal feelings which I believe
it's from him.
I've always tell myself that if he were not married, I would
definitely go for him because I believe we have a lot in common
in terms of our interest and emotional compatibility. The thing
is, I don't think I can live sharing my man, but I feel guilty
at the same time if I had to cause him leaving his wife. I want
to forget him but each time he calls me I can't help thinking
of him and missing him all over again.
Why do married men go for another women and is that an indication
that something is not right with their marriage or the men are
I look forward to hear from you and thank you.
- curious & confused lady
Dear "Curious and Confused",
You raise some interesting points within
your letter which I would like to answer. I am assuming firstly,
that the man you speak of is a practising Muslim, as a Muslim
woman can only marry a Muslim man. As a single Muslim lady, you
should have a guardian or wali, i.e. a relative or Muslim
brother of good reputation , who would serve as a go-between
for you and any prospects for marriage. Usually this would be
done by your father or brother, but if for some reason this is
not possibe, then perhaps the Imam of a Muslim community that
Things of this nature should be open
and honest. It would be best to ascertain this brothers status,
as either single or married, through your wali. You would need
to know if he has sincere and honorable intentions of marriage
in accordance with Islamic guidelines, e.g. can he maintain a
wife (or wives), and is he capable of being fair and just in
his marital dealings. As regarding the possibility of him already
having one wife, you should in no way consider breaking up a
lawful marriage already in existence. Likewise, if the brother
is seeking another wife, you should not judge (negatively) his
intentions for doing so, and especially not put a negative connotation
on an existing marriage. It would be a reasonable question to
ask of him though (i.e. why do you want another wife?), if you
were to pursue the possibility of marriage.
The confusion you are experiencing seems
because, from your letter, you (and the brother) seem to not
be dealing with this situation with proper Islamic etiquette.
Get a wali (the brother should know there is a third party overseeing
this for your protection), find out the brother's intentions
and current situation then you can make an informed and rightly
guided decision about the matter and not waste your time second-guessing
things. In the meantime, I would discontinue any communications
with the brother until these things can be done, especially since
you already have feelings for him. When we move toward Allah
(swt), He in turn moves towards us and helps us with His strength