Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I like someone; what’s the right way to pursue marriage?


  As-salamu alaikum,

I have a feeling that this might turn out to be quite a lengthy post, so I thank you in advance for taking your time to read it.

A few years ago, my family went overseas to the UAE to visit a family that we have had very close relations to since the very beginning; they are almost like our own relatives for us, and there is a great deal of kinship and connection between our two families. Their son was getting married, so we attended his wedding; let’s call this man “M.” I had met M only a couple of times before when I was little and we’d gone for vacations to UAE to see his family; I remember that he has always been courteous, polite, attentive, and well-behaving to both his parents and mine. Overall, I believe that he’s a good Muslim man and comes from a proper family as well.

So we attended M’s wedding, and throughout this whole time, our family also stayed in the same house as theirs so I saw M. often (but never alone, i.e. the boundaries of Islam were respected). May Allah forgive me if what I felt was wrong, but I started to develop feelings for him. I noticed how funny and kind he is, a great and loving uncle to his nephew (who’s 2 years old), and regularly mentions Islam/Sunnahs in his conversation too. I noticed all the aforementioned in the days leading up to his marriage ceremony. After he got married (I know that the covenant of Nikkah is very serious, of course) I tried not to think much of him or notice him, tried to push my feelings specifically for him away, and just prayed to Allah to be also given a husband like him when I am older. When we came back to the US after attending his wedding etc. I kept praying almost 3 years for this, and now I am 18 (this may seem too young to some of you, but I feel ready for marriage etc. as I am quite mature and responsible for my age).

Now it turns out that he has gotten a divorce from his wife, as she was being very disrespectful to his parents, lying, posing false accusations against his brother etc.; and as a man who respects his parents very much, M. did not feel that it was right to stay with her. Also, she didn’t want to either and went back to her parents and didn’t ever contact him again. M’s family did try for reconciliation (even though it was his wife who was at fault) but in the end things just didn’t work out between them. I heard about them getting divorced from my parents (as his own parents had discussed this step with mine). Since he is single again, it means that there is chance that we could get married insha’Allah, right? But I don’t know how to make this happen. I keep praying to Allah, but isn’t there something I should do too? Like, should I tell my mother about what I want? His family and him are now in the process of finding another suitable wife, and it pains me everytime I hear my own mom say that she will help them in finding someone for him too. They always talk about his next marriage around me, but have never considered me, and this is really hard to listen to and cope with, but I am trying my best to be patient.

I’m also worried that my older sister is interested in him; she keeps asking random questions about him these days, like what his job is, why he’s working in the UAE instead of our home country etc. This also hurts me… she hasn’t even seen or met him in many many years (didn’t visit UAE with us for his first wedding), so how can she be interested in him? I also know that their personalities are not compatible at all, as I know what kind of a person my sister is. But I know that M. and I have many things in common, just from what I’ve observed. It might be that I am mistaken… but please, I would appreciate it if someone could tell me what I should do. What if my sister is less unsure of what to do than I am and tells my parents first? This thought makes me feel really uncomfortable.

I really want to marry M. and establish an Islamic household; I’m already very close to and loved by his parents too. I’m willing to postpone my university studies (even though I’ve always been a top student and interested in post-secondary education) to marry him and start a family etc. I also did Istikhara by the way, because I wanted to have a closer connection with Allah in this matter, and prayed for Him to makes things easy for me, give me what/who is good for me insha’Allah, and take away whatever is bad. I still had a good feeling after doing it, and still felt the same way. Should I tell my parents about this wish of mine? His mother? Or just wait because whatever is written in my “naseeb” will happen by the will of Allah, whether I do something or don’t do? I’m really worried that I’ll have to see and hear about him getting married to someone else again instead of me.

And if anyone of you do suggest to talk to my parents about wanting to marry him, what should I say even? I’ve never previously suggested to my parents that I want to get married early etc. so how do I make such a conversation less awkward and how should I even start it? And what should I do if they refuse? One factor that they might not like is that he is almost 10 years older than me; but in Islam shouldn’t we leave out these things such as age, race, caste, income, etc. and just focus on whether the potential spouse has a good character and Muslim and if two people will be compatible with one another? M. and I have talked to one another in front of others when we were in UAE, and it seems to me that we will get along perfectly fine insha’Allah. It never even seems to me that he is ten years older because he has such a youthful and easy-going personality. Also, because I heard so much discussion between our parents about why/how he got divorced, I know what his expectations of a good wife are, and know that insha’Allah I can meet those.

I appreciate all your responses,


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15 Responses »

  1. Assalam 3aleykoum,

    If Allah SWT meant for you two to marry then there is nothing on earth that could stop Allah's SWT decree.

    But you must involve your wali.

    Start with Istikhara.

    Talk to your mother/father in private and express your interest. Let them know that you are ready for marriage as you stated that you are mature. And if you are shy and worried about what others would say, ask your mother to handle it discreetly.

    Leave room in your heart for a disappointment just in case the results are not to your expectations. But remember that Allah SWT knows best what is good for you.

    "And it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you; and Allah knows while you know not". Al-Baqra Verse No:216

    MashaAllah you do sound very mature and wise for your age. And your aspiration are very much encouraged and admirable. I wish you all the best in this quest.

    Sister Zahriya

    • Jazaaki-llaahu khayran for taking your time to read about my situation and helping me out. I will talk to my mother insha'Allah, but I am not quite sure of the timing. I am currently finishing my last year of high school, and if I talk to my mother about it, and she tells my father, and they say "no", then I'm afraid of being upset and unable to concentrate on my studies. In that case, should I wait till June when school ends? I personally think that would be better because since I tend to get good grades each year, Alhumdulillah, my parents will also be pleased with me and be in a good mood to listen to me and see my perspective insha'Allah. In the meantime, I'm trying to do as well as I can in my studies, continuing to show responsibility and a caring attitude at home, and of course, continuously praying to Allah to do what is best for me.
      This might sound silly, but I'm wondering, is it right to make dua for M. to like me? I'm not saying that what I want is like a "magic prayer" that would automatically make him be interested in marrying me too... I know that's not realistic or right. What I mean is, can I pray to Allah for making him see/notice me in his search for a wife, if that is better for me and him?
      The other thing that I'm a bit concerned about, is that if my parents decide to talk to his parents, and they decline or something, then would it make the relations between our family awkward/uncomfortable? His parents and mine have been such great friends, like brothers and sisters almost, for such a long time now... I don't want to create any difficulty for my parents.
      Sorry for writing so much again! But thank you for your time and advice...

      • When there is fight between a girl and her husband (including family) you can't find out the truth by listening to one side only. Some one should talk to the girl to find out the truth. There could be other issues like low sex drive.

        Many people get married for love, but end up hating each other soon after marriage.

        If you are a US citizen, you can easily find a well educated professional younger guy from your country to marry you.

        It is important you get higher education and not go for this. All that glitters is not gold. Education is very important in the present times. More and more people are getting divorced.

        • I understand what you are saying... I know higher education is very important, and my parents definitely think the same way. But I also believe that marriage is an important way to stay away from other temptations, especially while living in the West. Nowadays, there is even possibility of completing university courses, towards degrees, online; if I do get married early insha'Allah, that is always something that I could do, and I'm very sure that someone like M. would support me in this.
          I replied to someone else's comment below, about his recent divorce; in summary, from what my family knows (and Allah knows best), there was no unjust action made in haste on his part. There's a lot more to it (about what the girl did), but I don't want to do any slandering/back-biting, by writing about it here.

  2. God u sound sooo smart for an 18 year old, probably more smarter than what grls 9-10 yrs older than u sound lol

    U cud have feelings for the guy but nothing is ever one-sided hun, it has to be both ways and neither can it be forced. If it is in ur fate and this guy is interested in u as well then Allah will help u proceed but I always look at both sides of being ready for a Y and N answer. good luck

    • Jazaaki-llaahu khayran sister, that's very nice of you to say 🙂 I thank Allah for any maturity that I may have...
      Thanks for your advice; I do keep trying to remind myself that he may not think the same way. But I've been wanting to marry someone like him since years now (it might seem strange, but I started thinking about marriage, and being good in my acts etc. in order to deserve a pious, caring husband one day when I was as young as 15); and ever since I realized that it might be possible for us to get married (since he is single once again), I've been thinking even more about it. BUT, I try to remind myself that whatever will happen will be according to Allah's plan, and His planning is always the greatest and always comes true. For some time, I admit, I used to think negatively that it's not fair that he got married etc... But as I've gotten older, I've realized that nothing is unfair, and insha'Allah, Allah will reward anyone of us who is patient and puts trust in Him.

  3. Sister,

    Pull your mom aside and talk to her. Tell her what you are feeling and ask her what her thoughts are. She in return will tell you hers. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Also keep in mind that no matter what you may have heard from your parents...there are two sides in every relationship.

    As far as you putting your University on hold, I personally think it is in your best interests to finish your education. A woman can be married and attend school and be quite successful.


    • Jazaaki-llaahu khayran for your advice, sister! You're right, where there's nothing ventured, nothing is gained; that's exactly why I want to disclose my intentions of marriage to my mother (whom I'm most comfortable speaking to) instead of missing this chance and later regretting it.
      I'm still interesting in university studies of course... He's well-educated and I'm sure that if we do get married (Allah knows best...) then he'll support me in my studies too. I just mentioned that I'm willing to put them on hold, if that's what he wants in order to start a family (i.e. children) right away or something, which I don't mind, I love children too. I do realize that education is important, and I'm interested in it not only for myself but for my future children too; for example, if I have a daughter insha'Allah, I would want to be a good role-model by being educated (and insha'Allah working as a lawyer) to show her that any good/halal/appropriate career opportunity is open for her if she sets goals for it etc.
      And thank you for reminding me that there are two sides to every story; I understand this... there may be things that I don't know. I'll remember to do Istikhara and make lots of prayers to Allah so that whatever happens will be good for me, and good for him too.

  4. Ms'A you sound like a lovely young lady! And if this works out it would be very romantic :). I think definitely speak to your mum as you will regret it if you don't. And yes wait until June so your grades are not affected in any way. In the meantime continue to make lots of dua especially at tahajjud time and ask Allah that if he is good for you to make things easy and if he is not the one for you to remove him from your heart and mind.
    Also keep in mind what some of the others have said, that there is always two side to the story (to his divorce). It could be that their personalities didn't match as sometimes two good people aren't right for each other and often ends up in divorce even tho individually they are very good people but together they aren't so great.
    I also agree age isnt relevant, its just a number. There is almost 11 years age gap between myself and my husband and alhamdulllilah i find him very mature and caring.

    All the best! would like to hear what happens and if ever it works out write in and notify us!

    • Jazaaki-llaahu khayran 🙂
      Reading all of your responses, and opinions, has given me much hope and courage to approach my mother about this. I'm somewhat shy and not exactly sure how to even start talking about him to my mother! But I will still pull her aside in June and let her know about my feelings, and insha'Allah she will guide me in this matter, and insha'Allah it'll all work out.
      I'm remembering to not take my expectations too high though; since the time I've posted this question, I've gotten better at coping with hearing that he and his parents are in search for someone more suitable for him; although my chest does seem to "physically" hurt upon hearing these things (even though I try to avoid hearing such things in the first place), I'm sure that whether we do or don't get married, I'll be a much more emotionally stronger person by the end of this insha'Allah.
      As for his recent divorce, there's actually a lot more that I know but didn't write as it would take too much space (and as you can see I already tend to write so much, haha). I know that he's a person of good character, and wouldn't just give divorce his wife for any small matter that can be solved. In fact, he waited MONTHS before making this final decision, and during this time... his family (and even mine) tried to make contact with the girl's family but they didn't appear to care so much about what was happening. The girl was his second cousin actually, and at first he didn't even want to marry her apparently (because she grew up in Pakistan, and he doesn't like much of the culture that stems from Hinduism there), but eventually gave in because of his parents' wishes. Anyway, we can't ever be 100% sure of anything, but insha'Allah there were no unjust and hasty actions on his part in the divorce, as far as I know. And of course, prior to any potential marriage, I'm sure my parents would look into such incidences more closely, before making anything final between us.
      I hope it works out insha'Allah! And yes, of course, age is just a number... people can be mentally more youthful, or mature, or serious, or anything! I'm glad that your marriage is going well and blessed masha'Allah 🙂
      I'll remember to write an update, insha'Allah in June after I speak to my mother.
      Thank you so much, again!

  5. NP And good luck...may Allah (swt) guide you to what is best for your deen and duniyah and if this doesn't work out may Allah grant you someone better in his place. Ameen!

  6. Dear healling ur feelings are quite natural and u are 100% correct to get married in 18 years.
    I think a girl's prime is in 18.

    but I suggest u that this should not be an emotional step later u would not find anybody there in UAE for your help instead u must search a husband in USA.

    I appreciate ur innocent feeling despite that u r living in USA where there is easy access to get pleasures.

    I think he who marrys u will be a lucky man.

    • Thank you for the advice; I agree that it is important not to be overly emotional in such matters and think logically as well when pursuing something as serious and life-changing as marriage. I've just got a month more of school left, and I'll talk to my mother then about what I want insha'Allah, and I'm sure she'll make me aware of anything else that I should consider with my mind (rather than heart) regarding this matter. In the meantime, I'm making sure not to get too attached to this idea and get my hopes high... only Allah knows what will be in my future and what won't be.

      I'm not quite sure what you mean by not being able to find anybody in the UAE for my help...? insha'Allah there won't be any problems because we've known his family since literally, more than my own lifetime. And of course, I'll keep praying to Allah to do whatever is good for me and protect me, and I think that's the best help I can ever get 🙂

      • Aoa. I hope you are in best of health and emaan. I admire your patience to do the right thing. May Allah be with you. I’ve heard that a lot of duas get accepted during Asar and Maghrib’s time. Read Durood and pray Hajjat Nafl and Surah Taha And Yaseen during daytime. InshAllah Allah will grant you what is right for you. In the meanwhile, don’t stress too much over it. (We as human beings have the tendency to get attached and call it love. Whilst sometimes it’s mere obsession or infutation only Allah knows the best.) Also, think about it from an objective perspective as marriage is not a game. Plus, you should indulge in your hobbies or acquire new ones. You know the saying “An empty mind is a devil’s workshop” Alhumdullilah, you are mature enough to persue the idea of marriage without falling into the haram, just keep asking Allah for His love, protection and mercy. If it’s meant to be, it will be! My Duas are with you.
        And yes, “the best thing to offer someone you love is marriage” -
        ^ Tell that to your parents as nicely as you can. Tell them about the Istakharas you made. And do tell them that nothing untoward happened between you two, God is your witness, Subhan’Allah. ( I caution you of that, because devil plays wicked tricks and create doubts in hearts of people.)


        • There are many factors that come into play whilst taking marriage into consideration. For instance, are they as financially settled as your family. Secondly, they have yet to consider you. And yes, he might seem perfect now. But, people change a lot. Nothing is set in stone. Put your trust in Allah (HasbiYAllah) and pray that He grants you peace and tranquillity.

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