Islamic marriage advice and family advice

When is it appropriate to express interest and share feelings with a view to marriage?

islam nikahAssalamu Alaykum

I am currently following the legal process to divorce my Buddhist wife (I live in the USA), which I started last year.

I was raised as a christian but converted to Islam at the beginning of the year.  Part of the reason for my conversion was my feelings for a Muslim woman met through work.  This woman was not the reason for my divorce.  I am learning how to submit to the will of Allah, praying at least five times a day. I have struggled with my motivation for conversion, wondering if I did it partially because of this woman.

My path so far is that I am praying to follow the will of Allah, reading the Quran, praying, going to lectures at the Mosque, and I must be sure I am coming with the proper motivation.  My feelings for this woman may be a tool of Shaytan.  But I have become a better person, and working hard every day to follow the will of Allah, to become a pious Muslim man, so I think that while this was part of my initial motivation, I have taken so many steps beyond this.

I occasionally see my friend from work in strictly acceptable situations, we are never alone, and I take care not to do anything that would dishonor her or myself. She is also going through a divorce. Neither of us are young, we both have children, and we are both in established lives. She goes to a different Mosque than I do. I am sure she knows that I have some affection for her, and I think she has some for me.

Is it acceptable for me to tell her I am interested in her as a possible wife?  She is also reverted from being a christian (and is divorcing a non-Muslim man) so I cannot ask her family, or should I ask them first?  I think I should at least express it to her before I go to them. Or should I put her out of my mind?

~AmericanMuslim

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12 Responses »

  1. Salamu'alaikum brother,

    I congratualte you for choosing the Path of Guidance which is the passport to the Paradise.
    The woman you are married to has more rights on you if she accepts Islam, than any other woman, except if you choose to make her your second wife. But if she refuses to accept Islam, then she dows not remain your wifw anymore according to the Sharee'ah (for a woman, she waits for the 'Iddah, but I'm not sure if a man has to wait). If there could be legal complications, please complete all the formalities of divorce.

    Now regarding the Muslim girl. You like her because she is a practicing Muslim, right? Then it is right for you to approach her and ask if she wills to marry you. Because that is the best course of action, insha Allah.

    But make sure she is totally free from her marriage. That is to say, her current husband has more rights on her than any other man. So, when she has accepted Islam, she should invite him to Islam, too. If he agrees, then there is no reason for a divorce. Otherwise, she waits for the 'Iddah, then she is free from ther relationship. Again, if there are possibilities of legal complications, then she should complete the legal formalities of divorce.

    After this, insha Allah, you can marry her.
    May Allah bring tranquility in your life
    Aameen
    Wassalamu'alaikum
    Muhammad Waseem

    • Wa 'Alaikum as Salaam Kabdunafi,

      You are right about the fact that directly approaching the woman is wrong. But considering this situation, I presumed that the sister was alone (If she has a Wali, who is a Muslim, then he has to be approached, insha Allah) In such a case, who would one talk to, in order to take the matter forward? This is why I said what I said, and this was my opinion an may not be a ruling, and Allah knows best. As far as having a Wali for Nikaah is concerned, then in can be any 'Aadil Muslim man if no responsible Muslim relative of the girl is available.

      Wassalamu'alaikum
      Muhammad Waseem

  2. As-Salaamu alaykum, Br. Waseem. Am I understading your response correctly? Are you advising him to approach the sister and talk about the possibility of marriage? If so, please expand on that portion of your response as I thought that was the wrong thing to do. Jazakallah khair.

  3. MashaALLAH!! Such a wonderful thing you accepted islam. May Allah guide you and make you die as a muslim... Your issue is not that complicated... You said she reverted to islam,, then the ruling in islam is that there can be no marriage between a muslim woman and a non muslim man (following what Allah said in koran60:10).. The very minute she reverted to islam, then she has entered her iddah (waiting period). And this period would only last for 3 month (koran65:4).. Then within this period, she has to convince her husband to become a muslim., if he refuses and her iddah is over, then the marriage is automatically terminated ... She is now free to leave the ex in good manner and marry whomever she wish (as long as he is a muslim)... Also within the iddah, she wouldnt allow the husband to have any physical relations with her, though they can leave under the same roof... . . . . . . . So my dear brother in islam, following what you wrote in your article, then i think there is no problem if you meet and tell her about your interest of marrying her... And if her family are not interested in getting her married to you, then both of you can go to an imaam in a near by mosque and he could islamicaly get you married.. He could also serve as her wali.. May Allah give us the knowledge of understanding His religion.

  4. Thank you for advice, Muhammad. I am in the middle of legal divorce proceedings form my current wife. Each day I pray a dua for my current wife that Allah chooses her to join us in submission to His will.

    However, she is very anti religious. One of the many reasons I am getting divorce is that about a year ago, my ten year old daughter said "Mommy hates God". This penetrated to my soul. That, combined with the peace quiet comfort I have seen in practicing Muslims over the years, was a major motivation in my investigating Islam, and in the end reverting. Allah's will is accomplished in many ways. Alhumdulilla.

    My friend's husband has refused to consider Islam. So, she is now required to wait for the required period before her marriage is considered invalid or over? I just want to make sure I do nothing to displease Allah in this matter. I do not want to in any way be a tool of Shaytan. I don't feel it is my place to ask her such personal questions, I have just observed some of her conversations and tried to understand her situation. And she does have a good support group of Muslims around her. I assume that the best thing would be to approach one of them, or an Imam at her mosque.

    Since the time I wrote the post, I prayed Istikhara and concluded it was the will of Allah that I needed to wait until I was legally clear of my current wife, and the situation for my friend was more clear to me. I read in Al-Barqara 235 regarding this issues, and I want to make sure I do not do anything that would be considered a secret promise before everything is settled for her. So I am now also praying dua that Allah chooses that her husband joins us in submission to Allah, which would be best for her and her son. But Allah knows best, so I am leaving that to Him.

    Am I proceeding correctly to please Allah?

    • That's good, brother. Just have patience, until you are done with the legal proceedings, in order to avoid any problem.

      And you have a better solution in the light of the Qur'aan. You can approach the Imam of the Mosque where she goes. This will help you insha Allah, in knowing if she is willing to marry you, and will also help ypu in knowing her situation. And this will make things a lot smoother.

      If the prescribed period mentioned in the Qur'aan has passed from the time your friend accepted Islam and her current husband is still unwilling to accept Islam, then insha Allah, according to the Islamic Sharee'ah, she is free from the relationship. The issue that remains is the legal one which might have to be taken care of, first.

      I pray that Allah showers His Blessings and a lot of Patience on you and keeps you steadfast on His Deen

      -Muhammad Waseem

    • And brother, also keep doing Itikhaarah with complete faith in Allah, so that Allah makes it easy for you if it is good for you and gives you Blessings in it.

    • Asalaam alaykum brother,

      Welcome to Islam! May Allah (swt) guide you surely and easily.

      She needs to observe the proper iddah/waiting period as a means for her husband to embrace Islam during this time. Since it is likely that he will not, then once this term is over, she is Islamically free to marry who she chooses of Muslim men.

      The legal aspects of her marriage through the civil process may take longer, so you may have to wait for this civil scenario to end, as is such the scenario in your own case. This is more a legal aspect to avoid complications in civil court matters. It's a matter of practicality, then.

      Insha'allah, asking her friends may be the a good course, if they are trustworthy people. You need to be careful that her reputation is not put in danger and to be discrete in the matter since you work together, as these issues can sometimes get out of hand in the wrong minds. If I were you, attending her masjid would be the first course of action and inquiring through them would be completely appropriate.

      However, there is nothing forbidden in initially asking her, once she is free from her marriage, if she is seeking a husband. If she replies positively to you, then that is the time to ask to ask for her wali so that you two may converse about the issues of marriage. If she replies negatively, then do not speak of the matter any longer.

      Of course, always respect the boundaries of Islam regardless of the answer.

      • wa-alaykum Salam, ProfessorX

        Thank you, my Brother, for taking the time to advise me.

        You hit on one thing that should be a major concern. I do not want to do anything that would put her reputation in question, as people do like to talk. I want to make sure my actions glorify Allah both in public and private, and impacting her reputation is something that is not worth risking. She is a fine person with strong faith and a good example to non-muslims. She truly glorifies Him. She certainly effected me and helped me choose to submit to Allah (alhumdulillah), so I realize that reputaion is very important. I would see it as a major failure on my part if I acted inappropriately in a way that impacted her negatively, at work, at her mosque, or with her Muslim friends. And in any case, although I suspect it, I don't even know if she is interested in marriage right now, let alone me. Could be Shaytan tricking me.

        My istikhara makes waiting and patience seem to be the easiest and best course, so that is what I will do, inshallah. Allah knows best, so, inshallah, my growth as a Muslim over time can only help me understand His will more clearly. Shaytan might be taking my affection for her and trying to turn it into something haraam.

        Inshallah I will pass this test. No matter what happens, the best thing is that I am now a Muslim with millions of brothers and sisters beside me! Alhumdulillah.

        • Walaikum salaam,

          Once your situation is clear of your divorce, if you ask the imam of her mosque, rest assured that he will be discrete and will bring the proper guidance. As I said discreteness is the way, but there is no reason if she is free to marry that you should hesitate to ask. Approach everything as a gentleman of Islam and your intentions will shine through.

          Also keep in mind that when we put too many obstacles up that is also the work of the Shaytan because marriage is an allowed decree of Allah (swt). To inquire properly is allowed while respecting the boundaries. I know you may be worried, but don't let it turn into a situation where you later find yourself in a haraam situation because you didn't exercise the halal first.

          I also want to stress that the sexual desire is not a bad thing per se, but we must express it within Islamic guidelines of marriage. Too often many people feel guilty about this part of them self, but it is merely a signal from Allah (swt) that it is your time to be married. Remember that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) loved prayer and his wives, so seek this happiness in your life, as well.

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