Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Istekhara after Nikah, and Khula in Absence

Heart under shoe

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In 2011, I sent a proposal to a not too distant family of mine. They asked me for a formal meeting. In our meeting, I told them everything about me: age, educational level, profession, job, religious views (moderate), etc. They liked it and accepted the proposal. Soon after we were engaged in a formal (announced) ceremony. It was agreed that we would marry a year from the engagement. We used to have telephonic conversations, messaging, and formal meetings at her home. We also shared a little bit of intimacy. We also had little disagreements on social and religious views. However, we always agreed on the basic tenants of religion.

After 9 months of engagement, I told her that I needed to arrange for new accommodations post wedding. She told that she is not ready for it. Later she told me that she would go for marriage, but only after her elder sister gets married. During the same time, I was having some troubles at my job, and I decided that I would go for higher studies. I discussed it with her and her parents (I also told her this in our pre engagement first ever meeting). She agreed and committed to support me during this process. I applied at different universities around the world, and received a lot of offers. However, I do not have enough money to sponsor both the family and my education at the same time. I applied for scholarships along with this.

After about 15 months of engagement, we decided to enter into Nikah. My reasoning was that if I went abroad for studies (without scholarship - on my own) then I would take her with me afterward. She also had the same idea, and to purify her intimacy and thoughts insisted on the same. So we entered into Nikah in a formal public ceremony.

After some time, she got a job at her university. Actually, I am not sure whether she wanted to have a job or not. In the beginning she was very passionate to have a job (she has studied engineering), but later she became passive in her job search. I found out that while being at home she got frustrated. Therefore, I asked her to go for some work (at least teaching at her parent institute) for two reasons: she could get engaged, and the second was my fear- if something happens to me in life, she should have some skills (as we might have children).

So she got a job at her parent institute. Our relationship went on as it was. However, after some time (3 or 4 months) at her institute, one day she told me she was having an affair and she was sorry for that. I said I didn't believe it. After her insistence that she had, I got angry. Upon this, she told me not to be angry as she was just testing to see if I could get angry or not. I always believed in her. I said fine.

Meanwhile, I got a bit depressed and lost myself (due to my economic situation mainly), and I told her about it. She comforted me. My problems included: weight gain, depression, and little confidence about how will I raise a family, etc. Sometime I talked to her and she got worried as well.

After about six months of Nikah she started insisting to me to marry. I told her to just to wait for two month and if I didn't get a scholarship, I would abandon that plan and have enough money to start a home. And if I got a scholarship, we would marry and go abroad together, start a family, etc. Then I got a coveted scholarship for specialization in my area of interest. I told her and her family. I proposed to go as we planned and then marry. At that point, she told me she didn't want to marry at the moment. Instead she suggested I go abroad and first settle there, and then we would marry (i.e. have a wedding thing) after my first semester. I insisted to move on according to plan, but she convinced me of her thinking.

I applied for a Visa and got it. After I applied for my Visa, she told me that she wanted to marry now. I said "how is this possible now, as you know I have told my scholarship authorities that I will come alone initially and you will join me later?" She insisted to marry and I told her, "now we will go as per your earlier plan".

I left my country as the joining time approached. First I went to Dubai. I planned to stay there for two months, shed my weight, get rid of all the antidepressants I had been taking, improve my health conditions and join my program in the best state (I had started working on it in Pakistan, as well). While I was in Dubai, due to either rebound anxiety, jet lag, or abruptly stopping of medication, I got ill. I told her that I was sick, etc. However, despite the sickness I worked on the plans I had in my mind.

Soon I started recovering on my own. I fasted, started praying regularly, gave zakat, did exercises, etc. After about 15 days I started recovering. I told her everything was going to be fine. I wanted her to comfort me just with a nice chat on skype or the phone. She started behaving strangely. She did not talk to me properly, etc. I got angry and told her that I needed her. She told me that she had some confusion about me etc, and needed some time to think. I said fine.

After a few days, she told me she had resolved everything and now we could marry after my first semester. The next day, we were having a nice talk (I was also updating her that I was recovering from those physical conditions very fast), and she started another dispute with me. It was that she wanted to observe Islamic veil. I told her "fine, but you already cover yourself a lot and that is enough". She wanted to wear Abaya (at the time I did not know what exactly this was and If I knew about it, I would have agreed with her immediately). However, after a heated discussion (during which I suggested she give me some time to think and we could discuss it tomorrow), I agreed with her. I said "Ok, just do whatever you think good, there is no compulsion in religion", etc. However, she told me that she would also observe the veil (like hiding the face) in front of my younger brothers.

I was infuriated, and said to her that a person like me should not marry at all, and disconnected the phone. However, being at a long distance I did not want to spoil her sleep. I texted her, "Ok, Miss whatever you like, it's your choice and I have no problem". I called her, but she gave the phone to her father - I heard her crying, her mother saying something loudly, and her father getting angry with me that I made his daughter cry, etc. I disconnected the phone and thought I would talk to them after a while when they calm down.

After two days, I talked to her. She came up with a lot of allegations: I am not obedient to her parents. I do not pray regularly. I don't prefer to do Qurbani. I question established religious practices. I told her this is not the case: I obey parents as long as they are reasonable. I believe in the act of Qurbani, but I just prefer to pay the amount to some educational institutions. I don't question religious doctrine, but I just once had a thought about what to recite in prayer and whether it is not a kind of innovation, etc. Since I have not been praying regularly I hardly practiced (in terms of recitation), and I did neither innovate nor advocate my thinking process. Rather, I actually discussed it with her once, as Allah says in Quran to purify our prayers for Him. I wondered whether we should recite Darood Sharif during the prayer or not. My version was not: one could always recite  it after or before the prayer. Actually, I was discussing it with her so that I should get rid of my wrong thinking (if it was). Since I have started praying, I also discussed this with some other close friends to correct myself if I am wrong (as I doubted myself and my research, as well).

Anyhow, I tried to convince her that things are much better now. I have a scholarship plus money to start a family whenever she wants (or as planned). Second, my health etc is getting better each day. She said to me that she would do istekhara whether to marry me or not. After some discussions, I agreed with her (just for her satisfaction). On the 7th day of her Istekhara, she texted me to say that her Istekhara results are not favorable, and that they talked to a saint and he advised them to end this relationship and there is no turning back. I tried to talk to her. She changed her number, blocked me from email, skype etc.

I tried to talk to them over the phone, as by then I had joined my course and my studies had started. They said they were not willing to even take my call. I tried to approach them through close relatives, but they did not respond to anyone. My relatives said that they cannot help it. While I was in the middle of my semester, my family back in Pakistan received a notice of Khula filed by her. Again, I tried to talk with them (myself- by writing a letter) and through relatives, but they did not talk to me at all, not even a single word. I wanted to go to Pakistan in order to convince them that things have changed (that was also reflected in me on a physical and  emotional level, as during this time I truly did everything to bring the best out of me). But they would not listen. Despite that, I wanted to have a visit to Pakistan for a face to face meeting and reconciliation, but they outwardly denied every possibility.

As the time flew, I finished my studies (it was a one year program) and was contracted by a company to work for them for five months on a high profile assignment. I joined it. Now, two months are left to complete my assignment. A few days ago, I contacted her father through my brother to let them know I was coming back and wanted to talk with them. Her father again denied any chance of meeting and just having a talk.

Given all this:

I am in a state of emotional and psychological limbo and shock, as I dont know how all this happened. Maybe, if she meets me she will find I have changed a lot. I could convince her, etc. However, apparently there is no possibility of meeting with her as even her father does not allow the same. She was of the view that after her Istekhara, there was no possibility of return. They applied for Khula, but I dont know what happened then as I did not receive all the notices or documents which I am supposed to receive. I believe that for a valid Khula process you need to go through a proper and sincere mediation and reconciliation process. This also did not happen. I suppose she had gotten a Khula decree by handling the technicalities (which her father told my brother that they had). Is this Khula a valid khula? The trouble is: I still love her -as she is only one I had loved, invested in her by fulfilling her demands, shared my commitments, dreams,and my poetry. During my current stay abroad, I have worked day and night to bring out the best of me in all physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels and I find myself to be a more refined man.

Conclusion and questions:

1. I simply love her and believe I could make things just fine and ignore whatever they have done out of their love for their daughter, or even she herself. Noted: I dont insist or beg anyone to love me, I am just telling my version. I was sincere and extremely passionate about the relationship.

2. Is her post Nikah Istekhara valid? Can she rely on it to demand a divorce?

3. Can she get a Khula decree? I know legally and technically she can, but by avoiding the honest and sincere process of mediation and reconciliation?

4. Should I contact them, write them, or go there?

Please note, I have revealed the truest possible version of everything so that I could get some honest advice in this regard. I know this might be frustrating to read this long essay, but I just do not want to write my version of the story. Thank you for your patience. Pardon my grammar mistakes as this is my first draft 🙂


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9 Responses »

  1. salaam

    there is something very fishy here you need to be very careful the girl and or her family are hiding something

    and with regards to isthara if you wana do it read about it first understand it and then do it meaning asking allah for guidance

  2. Salamuaiaikum Brother

    My best advice is to focus on your deen and in my opinion I think you deserve someone who cares for you. I mean always look at it from a third person perspective if your brother told you this is the situation what would you advice? My best advice I think you deserve someone better than someone who wants to give up on you just cause of mere disagreements it makes no sense people argue all the time or don't agree on things it happens. No ones perfect I think you deserve someone who cares for you as much as you care for them, the whole family seems a bit much go for someone who's more simple minded easy going. Inshallah Allah will guide you and you'll get the best person out there I know it's stressful I've been divorced, and had a bad engagement these days it's complicated just take your time and have your family pick out a wonderful girl for you and don't worry no matter how alone you feel Allah always there at times I forget that but don't be sad. If it makes you feel better while I was reading just half of your story I thought ya this brother should cut her off she's just not good for you and I'm not saying she's a bad person it's a life long commitment marriage don't waste your time on people who can't even sit down and have a simple conversation it's not worth it. Those were the type of people I was married too complications, problems about every little thing, people like that don't make allow relationships too last for some reason my experience that's what happened to me. Inshallah kheir and have you family pick out a great girl for you inshallah kheir!;)

  3. OP: On the 7th day of her Istekhara, she texted me to say that her Istekhara results are not favorable, and that they talked to a saint and he advised them to end this relationship and there is no turning back.

    Don't marry her. Find another girl to marry. You seem to be an educated guy. Don't talk about religion with your potential wife in the future. Get engaged and marry within few weeks. These fights are supposed to happen after marriage.

    Psycholgically week people go to saints for advice or try to interpret their dreams.

    • They had a Nikah Ceremony which means they are married. 3rd paragraph, last sentence.

      "So we entered into Nikah in a formal public ceremony."

      How can not talking about religion be good advice? The first thing we are supposed to consider is deen when looking at potential suitors for marriage.

      I didn't know that Saints existed?

    • I think what he means by "marrying" her, are the cultural wedding ceremonies of "baraat/ruksati" etc., that are prevalent in South Asian cultures. They're already part of a marital covenant, Nikkah, and I don't believe that's something to be taken lightly.
      Also, I disagree with not talking about religion with his "potential wife in the future"; it's important to sort out any differences in views and opinions, rather than discovering these things after marriage and having yet another divorce etc.

      • Yes, it's true that in the South Asian countries they consider Nikaah to be an engagement--I just think that by saying "Don't marry her" only pushes that false notion--so if we suggest that they part, we are talking about a divorce, not breaking an engagement. I suppose that was my point--that we should be careful.

        To the OP,

        I personally feel that you need to talk to the local Imam because of the seriousness of the matter (the fact that it has reached to the point that she asking for a khula).

        Also, if she doesn't want to remain with you at such an early stage, it really makes me wonder why and if you really want to pursue a relationship where you are the ONLY driving force, then this is a very big challenge.

  4. salaam bro, I am asking to the sisters here, she said " I was having an affair, & i am sorry for dat" when he showed his angry, she said said she was lying?? wat was dat about??? bro, the time will take always ur love to her.. and get married soon as possible to a gud muslimah.. Inshaallah, i'l pray for u to get a gud deeni, loving & caring wife in ur life..

  5. She sounds like a lot of trouble and it's very dramatic to be with her...just let he go. Divorse and may Allah make it easy for you. Focus on your studies, deen and inshallah a healthy relationship should not be this complicated.

  6. I read the whole story. Our religion is very flexible. Im sure there is a way for you to get past this Khula thing and start a life. But i'd suggest 'don't'. She is not stable in her approach. Believe me, i have been in such a situation. You'll always regret that you had a chance but you still got back in this relationship. So just end it while you can.
    My suggestion to you is, you know that you should not go back. Still you want someone to back you on this so that you can get more reasons to take her back.
    So i would suggest that you do ISTKHARA for yourself. As it is better if you do it yourself. Or ask someone else of your family to do it. And then leave it on Allah.
    They are definitely hiding something. And an unstable person like her, would go back to her ways and abandon the veil soon. But then you'll be left out in the dry as you will change yourself and then she wont be the same. It will hurt more.

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