Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I really love her, she is not practicing, can I change her? Should I marry her?

Keyboard keys showing man and woman

I am in desperate need of advice on a potential marriage situation I have placed myself in.

I have never asked a question online before, and I have made dua for Allah to find me a solution or give me signs on how to proceed, like istakhara. But the signs have become confusing to me, perhaps because of my emotional involvement.

I would be very thankful to you for taking the time to read this, I will give a short explanation of the whole story from beginning to end.

For most of my life I have been god fearing, trying to adhere to what Allah has ordained but of course I have fallen astray a few times but I repented sincerely and hamdulilah Allah guided me back on the right path time and time again.

I reached a point in my life were I felt ready to pursue marriage and complete half my deen. I had just finished education and already secured a good job. I mistakenly used online dating site to find a suitable spouse, preferring to do it myself then consult my mother to find me someone. I don’t have many friends that I would want to ask, and I am very fussy when it comes to someone I think I could get along with.

I found someone I thought was perfect for me, we got along nicely and she told me she was Muslim but not very practicing. I told her my intention to marry and she was also interested. We dated for a while (I know this was haram) but I genuinely wanted to marry this girl and start a halal marriage. I thought because she was raised a Muslim and that we cared for each other deeply, a marriage would work. There were cultural differences that got in the way as her parents were European and didn't at all approve of Middle Eastern (my) ethnicity. This caused a great barrier for her in prolonging and delaying marriage, as she was reluctant to inform her family out of fear of being disowned or rejected (it was that bad in her eyes). I tried my upmost to convince her of the importance to marry and start a halal relationship out of fear of committing worse harams.

I realise I should have went directly to her parents first, but this was totally against her personal wishes and she didn’t want me too (I realised far later how big a mistake this was). Over a period of 8 months one thing led to the other and our attraction grew stronger as did our sexual frustration. We did wrong things of which I am greatly ashamed off and I have repented since. During my period knowing this girl I was led far astray, I stopped my daily prayers and I did not practice Islam well.

I had reached a point of guilt during our time together where I realised I was continually committing haram and that this relationship was not going towards marriage despite several heated arguments where she made excuses for delays, which I didn't find suitable. I provided her with a lot of logic and knowledge on why marriage would be better for her to protect her and us, and give her many rights. But her mentality is quite westernised in that marriage is a change of lifestyle and she isn't ready ‘yet’ - she wanted to finish her education and start her own business before marriage.

I left this haram relationship after this, and spent many prayers sincerely repenting to Allah. I began practicing much more than I ever did, and my life improved greatly, I attended Islamic lectures and Allah answered my prayers for guidance by increasing me in knowledge and patience.

Fast forward a couple of months, I was continuing on the right path, practicing prayers daily and making sure my life revolved around Islam and not the other way round. All this praying made me forget about her a great deal and Allah removed the lust in my heart that existed before. Although I did think about her from time to time and how we got along so perfectly, I wish I married her. I prayed to Allah throughout Ramadan to find me a spouse who is religious and with her qualities (the way we got along). I asked Allah, the same way you brought someone into my life that felt like a soul mate, he can bring someone even better who is more religious and will help me attain jannah. I had tried to guide this girl more into Islam previously, but I wasn't practicing myself then so clearly I didn't display the right image to her. Also I can only give messages but ultimately Allah gives the Hidiyah.

During Ramadan, this girl came back in to my life. She brought back old feelings of lust or love? As I knew her for a while and we became so close (I really deeply cared about her to the extent where I saw her as my wife already).

She had been angry that I ignored her and walked away from her, I explained it was for Allah and for the best that our correspondence remain halal, and that if she has no interest in marriage I have no interest in talking with her. I no longer wanted to fall into haram. I felt I’ll never find someone like her again, but her lack of faith and practicing in Islam really scares me.

This is because I have come to rely on Islam and Allah as my provider and it’s the only thing now that keeps me alive and mentally stable, so I need this in my life, and I need a partner who is the same level of deen or higher.

Now my question:

Given my immense feelings for this girl, which are overwhelming, and given my complete devotion to Allah and Islam:

Is there any chance in marrying her and guiding her on to the right path?

I have tried every approach to increase her knowledge in Islam and used logic whenever I can but it falls on deaf ears as she prefers to believe in romance more than the need for Islam or Marriage.

She is willing to marry me now, at great risk of upsetting her family, but now for me her religion is what is making me hesitant to have her as a spouse.

She has cried every day since I left her, she says, and has fallen very badly astray in a bid to try and ‘forget me’, her life has been falling apart and now I feel guilty and responsible and wanting to bring Islam back into her life. She has given up on Islam.

Do I leave her permanently as it’s not my job to fix her life? Only Allah can help her?

She loves me a lot and always finds a way to come back into my life and communicate with me.

Do I marry her and hope I can increase her faith?

She says she has only seen a bad side to Islam and I have no doubt contributed to that by having haram relations with her previously (we have both repented).

I feel I can marry anyone else, who is more religious, but I don’t feel I will ever have the same bond as it has already been developed with this girl (I know love grows after marriage) but I have already put myself in this dangerous situation and experienced it before marriage. Now I’m stuck.

Please give me advice.

Sorry for writing so much, forgive me and thank you.

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18 Responses »

  1. Asalamu alikum,

    My dear brother, whenever you are in a delima always look back at your purpose in life- and that is to worship Allah and to make Allah pleased with you.

    From that perspective I will try to look at your situation. if you have any doubts about her values and faith- then dont marry her. She may beleive but she may never beleive as well. If she never becomes a muslim, is she the woman whom you want your children to be raised? She will spend the most time with them and have a very very very large influence, if you want your children to become righteous do find yourself a muslim woman.

    Also, marriage is not based on guilt. I am sure she is a nice person, and a good human being, but dont marry her because you feel guilty. Guilt is not a good foundation of marriage.

    Brother, marriage is a life sentence, its meant to last for along long time. Will marrying her bring you closer to Allah or away from him? if she brings you closer, marry her. if not then let her go.

    She will be heart broken and so will you- but what you feel is lust. Sexual attraction does not last forever- find someone who shares your values and your life will be a lot less complicated. and you will feel a bond with another person, it does happen.

    and most importantly pray istikhara. Ask Allah for help, make lots of dua and Inshallah you will do the right thing- whatever that means to you.

    Its a hard decision, but make sure you marry her because you truly beleive she will make a great life partner and not for lust and guilt.

  2. OP: We dated for a while (I know this was haram) but I genuinely wanted to marry this girl and start a halal marriage..........She is willing to marry me now, at great risk of upsetting her family, but now for me her religion is what is making me hesitant to have her as a spouse. Do I leave her permanently as it’s not my job to fix her life? Only Allah can help her? She loves me a lot and always finds a way to come back into my life and communicate with me. Do I marry her and hope I can increase her faith?

    I have a feeling you don't want to marry her. Would you marry a girl who have dated another man and repented and have become very religious now?

    I don't think you left her because of religion (haram or halal).

    • SVS - Assalaumu alaikum Warahamtullahi Wabarakaatuhu.

      I pray this message reaches you in the best state of Emaan and Health.
      I don't think you are being fair with the brother. If you don't have any words of advice then please don't share you judgement on him. You did not open his heart and see it (Remember the Hadith about a Sahabi Killing a "Kuffar" in the battlefield and the Prophet(PBUH) admonishing him). Besides it is not like the brother is trying to blow off this sister, it is the other way around.

      Also I feel he is sincere, his problem is not whether he wants to marry this girl or not, oh no, that is a side effect, his main Question is if he marries such a girl will he be able to reach Allah through her. Yeah he dated that is Haraam, thanks for stating the obvious, but it does not help them now does it ?.

      I think our brother clearly knows what is Haraam and Halaal, He is just confused on the grounds of his deen, I really appreciate him for trying to get married for the Sake of pleasing Allah, not many can say that genuinely, yeah he chose the wrong path, I dont' care, if Allah forgives him, it is something that is between Allah and him.

      So please give good naseehah or don't share things that does not help anyone.

      Allah informs us in the Qur'ân some of what constitutes good in our speech and benefits other people. He says: “No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right, or bring reconciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking Allah's pleasure, then we shall grant him a great reward.” [ Sûrah al-Nisâ' : 114]

      When we have nothing beneficial to say, silence is golden. Once, Mu`âdh b. Jabal asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to inform him of some good work that would admit him into Paradise and distance him from the Hellfire. The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned to him the virtues of many good deeds, then said: “Shall I inform you of the foundation of all of that?”

      Mu`âdh said: “Certainly.”

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) took hold of his tongue and said: “Restrain yourself from this.”

      Mu`âdh then asked: “O Prophet of Allah! Are we held to task for the things that we say?”

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “May your mother be bereaved of you, O Mu`âdh! Does anything topple people headlong into the Hellfire save the harvests of their tongues?” [ Sunan al-Tirmidhî and Sunan Ibn Mâjah ]

      We should avoid speaking ill of others. We should rather remain silent unless we are seeking justice for some wrong that has been perpetrated against us. Allah says: “Allah does not like that evil should be mentioned in public except by one who has been done injustice. And Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing.” [ Sûrah al-Nisâ' : 148]

  3. I think you are hypocrite yourself.
    You wanted a practicing person yet you started on a haraam relationship
    My strong advise is leave her alone and find SOMEONE WHO IS PRACTICING which is what you want. You cannot change someone your on the cuckoo land dreaming!

    • Samina - Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabrakaatuhu,

      Really? And you would testify against him to Allah and stand witness he was a hypocrite based on one incident on his life. You dare call another believer a hypocrite based on just one incident and are ready to take on Allah about it when he questions you about this very incident.

      Please brother and sisters we are not here to pass judgement on one another are we ? What is wrong with us, the whole point of this website is to help people, not judge them for what they did, remember they are sharing with us what they won't even sometimes share with people who are very close to them, because they enjoy the anonymity and drown the judgement that comes from people they know, but here we are passing around judgment for a test which Allah tested our brother with.

      Do you think our beloved prophet called any of person a munafiq when he came for his counsel and advice even those who came with the most "disgusting" sins ?

      Beisdes I think you are reading what the brother wrote, he WANTS to get married, he WANTS to get a practicing sister not cuz she will be pure, who knows maybe she will also have a past but now has repented to Allah. He WANTS to marry a practising sister cuz he WANTS to get closer to ALLAH and I don't think anybody has any right to judge our brother or for that matter anybody for their intentions, we should give a benefit of the doubt to them.

  4. Assalam alaikum Brother,

    You appear to know that what you did was wrong and you are asking Allah swt to forgive you. I pray that Allah swt forgives you and forgives us all for our errors and misdeeds. Ameen.

    Back to your dilemma I see that you have feelings for her but you fear that she is not on the Deen as much as you would like. I completely agree with Sr. Samira that marriage is a very big commitment and you should marry her for the right reasons. If you marry her because you feel you owe her something, that will lead to problems.

    I suggest that you pray Isthikhara and only go through with marriage with her if you are 100% sure. I think you made it very clear to her eventually that you wanted a halal relationship in which you could give her rights--Alhumdulillah--she refused. A proposal isn't an offer that is open forever.

    If you do not move forward with her, don't feel guilty. If you do move forward with her, involve parents from both sides all the way. All the best to you, May Allah ease your difficulties, Ameen.

  5. I agree with Samina. Your behaviour is slightly hypocritical. You want a pious practicing muslim girl yet you have engaged in a haram relationship not once but TWICE even after you prayed, repented etc.

    I think you are confused about what you really want.

    Some advice for you: people never really change. They can change their habits, but the essence of who they are never really changes. That does not mean that this girl is a bad person. But if she is not religiously-minded, don't marry her on the assumption that you can infuse her mind and spirit with your degree of religiousity. You tried it once; it did not work.

    Let her go and stop obsessing over her.

  6. The people calling tthisperson a hypocrite really need to stop. If someone sincerely repents and changes, they are forgiven by Allah. Furthermore, this person is not saying he wants someone who has never committed any mistakes, that would be hypocrisy. He is saying he wants someone religious, after he himself has tried to become a better, more religious person. Sr. Samiras advise was perfect. Also, never marry "potential." You can't guarantee someone will change after marriage and you should never marry someone you differ from on such a huge topic, namely your beliefs and religion. Allah had guided you mA, now shaitan is trying to trap you. again. Best way to save yourself is to stay away from her. May Allah make it easy for you and grant you a righteous spouse.

    • @advise its the truth and yeah truth hurts unfortunately.

    • advice: Best way to save yourself is to stay away from her.

      That is what he is trying to do "stay away". He used her knowing very well that she was not a practising Muslim. Now is time to leave her and find a new..............

      • @svs totally agree 100% with you exactly the point!

      • SVS, it is true, and we have seen it in our lives or through the posts here, that some males use females, but if you re-read the post (the fact there is a post speaks for itself!) the brother is genuinely asking for advice. Had he used her with no remorse, do you really believe, would he posting this question here?

        I think the moment in which he moved on (even if he didn't know he did) was when he insisted on marriage, while she insisted she was not ready 'yet.'

        Mistakes, yes, he made them. The question becomes, should he repeat them? She repeatedly wasn't interested in marriage, furthermore, her parents do not support this marriage, so who then would be her Wali?

  7. i just wonder what men like you will think if a woman did the same.

    I think you should stop looking for a spouse for sometime, till you are clear in your head what you want. what made you think that it is justifiable to marry someone who is religious but you are not totally committing to her ( with all your heart and soul) .a pious religious muslima does not deserve this/you

    it always amazes me that muslim men who initially are portraying that they want a religious wife , then still they go for girls that are very obviously not following religion. so clearly they were not looking for religion in the first place.

    there was another post I was reading the other day, this religious guy was seeing a girl who he said was not practicing but now she is doing everything he has asked her like head cover, salat,clothing, even not plucking eyebrows ! thats all very good but then he found out that she wasnt a virgin! boom! a bomb fell on his head and he couldnt cope with the news. all i kept wondering was why did he consider seeing this girl in the first place when she was clearly not a practicing one to begin with.

    I still cant figure out who is more deceptive.... a guy who does not display religion ( i.e no beard ,no Kalifa clothing etc)and looks for a similar spouse like him then suddenly wants the wife to be perfect muslima or the one who displays it yet is still looking for the same criteria as his counter part.

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  9. Thank you all for your responses. I have read them all thoroughly and can tell you have all voiced your honest opinions from the heart and special thanks to the first response by Samira.

    I have already been following most of this advice hamdulilah, and have stopped looking for a spouse until I am clear in my head about what I am doing, and what qualities I should really be searching for in a partner. Hamdulilah this incident was a big wake-up call and I have ceased looking in the wrong places for any type of marriage prospect until the time is right, until I receive guidance from SWT and I fix up more.

    I understand many of you are quick to judge me, that is understandable I did make a big mistake. But I will follow Samira's advice in future and inshallah it works out.

    Thank you for reading my long post, I am far more clear about what I should be doing in future. It's still hard not thinking about her, and I can't help but think its still shaitan wanting to trap me again, my allah continue to increase me in strength and help me stay away.

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