Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Marriage Advice – should I marry him?

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Half a year ago I met a practising Muslim man who I was impressed with and we both agreed to marry each other. However when he told his parents about me they disapproved as I am of a different culture and they feel I won't fit into the family. This was really upsetting but he said he would continue to try with his parents.

In the meantime I have asked him further marital questions to determine if we are compatible as otherwise there is no point for him to continue trying with his parents. Lately I have been feeling doubts which have been causing me anxiety and I'm not sure if this is an answer to my istikhara? (I did istikhara once months ago but didn't feel anything at the time)

The following are my doubts:

He is more religious than I am so I feel we have differing views on certain aspects such as wealth. I have always been brought up quite career motivated so feel working is important to have a good lifestyle, being able to support my family and being able to provide a good education for children (sending them to uni) and generally saving for children's future.

For him this isn't as important, he has an average job, hasn't been working very long so has no savings, which he is content with as he lives with parents so feels he can save and get by. His main aim is to provide an Islamic atmosphere for children and motivate them to become Alims and Aalimahs - so further education for children isn't that important to him.

I know his way of thinking is the correct way but I am struggling to fully agree with him as it means I am having to change my outlook and how I have always thought. Also he earns less than me and feels he can still support me and his family (if I didn't work) as he lives with his family so doesn't have any other expenses however I am struggling to understand how this will be possible in the long term. He feels this difference isn't major as our minds on such things could change later on.

Also he would like his wife to wear an abaya / not do her eyebrows and pretty much follow whatever he does Islamically. Again with wearing an abaya and not doing eyebrows these are things I am struggling with as they are things I had never thought about doing before and I am not sure how I feel about these expectations. Again I know these things are right and I wish I could see them like that but right now it feels like he has pointed out my flaws even though I know that isn't the case and he just wants the best.

He says he wants these things as if 2 people marry with the intention of pleasing Allah then their marriage will be blessed Insha'Allah.

I have told him these fears and he has now changed his mind and said he wouldn't put any pressure on me about the above expectations and it is up to me whenever I feel comfortable doing such things (I know he's not happy with it) and I am just really surprised at this as I know how important these expectations were to him (He had mentioned them many times) and I'm not sure how he can just drop them which I now feel bad about.

I guess my overall fear is that we are at different Islamic stages in our lives so I am worried this could affect our marriage ie. I could hold him back or I could do things which would displease him or I could take him as nagging me on things/pointing out my flaws when really he just wants the best. Also, I feel I could be nagging him about his career.

On top of this my doubt is living with his parents who haven't approved of me. However I have not met his family as of yet so I guess for this I would need to see them.

We are both intending to commence an online Alim/Aalimah course insha 'Allah and he thinks this may help shape our thinking for the future, which I would like to think so Insha'Allah but there's no certainty.

Please could you advise ?


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3 Responses »

  1. ASA Sister. Once in while I come across posts from mature, analytical minds. Yours happens to be one. Below are my observations and response:

    1 - Both of you have a true love for each other, and are open to some compromises at least (at this stage lets say)
    2 - Both of you are open about discussing all the differences, and listening to other side's point of view
    3 - This is safe assumption that both of you found lots of similarities too

    My biggest worry here is two different cultures. I am in mid 40s and have seen more marriages failing than succeeding when people from two different cultures marry .. and in case of success it is only the love and compromises that make you succeed.

    So the question goes back to you: What is your gut feeling how strong is your bond, and most importantly how strong your man is when it comes to keeping promises. Take a look back on all promises he made, big or small and try to get an answer. Believe me you can tell if a man is making every effort to keep his words or stumbles here and there. If this is the man who cares about you so much that every promise he makes he tries to fulfill with whatever it takes or he is someone who takes his commitments lightly .. only you can tell

    Once you have the feeling he is the man who keeps his words dont push him to wall but decide to open yourself for some change: See if you can compromise on maybe scarf in the beginning if you are not wearing one .. one step at a time .. and promise him only what you are going to be able to do comfortably. Deep inside I can see true spirit of a Muslim since you know what is right and what is wrong .. when you know this believe me correction comes happily and automatically .. I have a feeling your man knows about it too that he wont have to push a lady like you it is going to happen by itself .. that is why he asked you to take some religious classes.

    Career is a tricky question. I would recommend you look for a possibility of getting into a career that is aligned with his religious mindset. A religious person might not be against you teaching at an elementary school or working for a library but doing a sales or marketing job might very well be an issue. If you look around you'll see there are lots of jobs you can do with abaya/scarf/whatever your husband is comfortable with from healthcare to academics to working behind the scenes in back office type of setup.

    Sending kids to religious schools is not bad idea because there are all kinds religious schools. Sell him on the idea of sending kids to a school which makes them haafiz/alim AND provides them enough of conventional education that they can use their knowledge to support religion like professionals. Nauman Ali Khan's Bayyinah Institute is prime example. It is hard but do-able. Convince on him on idea of raising children with success in deen and dunya both.

    Thanks and good luck!

  2. Salam

    Whether or not you should marry him really comes down to whether you think this marriage is going to benefit your afterlife.

    I disagree that his way of thinking is the correct way. I'll try responding to each of your doubts:

    Career minded difference: There are people that feel just having Islamic knowledge is enough and that there is no need to learn anything else. I think there's a balance in worldy knowledge and Islamic knowledge. Unless the person is choosing to become an imam at a mosque as their career why not do both? Why not earn well so that you can give to others that can't earn well? Beyond that as long as the career doesn't drain your time to the point you can't fast or pray I think it's good to have ambition to get a better life for your kids and to provide to others.

    Average job and living with parents: I think this is fine for being single or getting married to someone that likes living with extended family. But there needs to be enough money to support a wife and kids and he should be offering that support. He shouldn't be getting support from extended family. It's up to you if you feel a room in a house is enough or that little money is enough for the kids you're going to raise.

    Raising Alims: I've learned this in my life that it is Allah that guides. One can try to raise an Alim or Aalimah by forcing the child to learn but ultimately they have to choose it for themselves and Allah has to guide them. It is very possible to provide a good Islamic environment and not get an Alim. Or have a kid that memorizes the Quran but doesn't live by it. I think worldly education is still important and both should be provided.

    I'm going to stop here and be more brief. I feel that although he is Islamic his understanding and implementation don't seem right to me. One can be career minded and have more ambition and get money and support parents, live separately, send kids to college, and still have them be Alims. It's like he's saying that just Islamic knowledge is sufficient, stay poor, learn more Islam, live on help through others and wait for the afterlife. That attitude lacks ambition and on the scale of relying on Allah and being self sufficient, I feel he is relying way more and not being ambitious enough.

    Overall it doesn't sound like you two are compatible. There are guys that sleep on the floor and earn well but spend all their money on the well being of others. Their goal is the afterlife only. And somehow, they are married to a woman that also sleeps on the floor with them and doesn't mind all the money going away to others but the thing is that match has to be there. The guy cannot force the woman to be this way as there is no compulsion in religion. So if he wants such a woman that voluntarily wears the abaya, as it is not required in Islam, is willing to live poor and spend all her time raising children or learning more Islam then he may get that woman. But that woman doesn't sound like it's you.

  3. This guy is wrong .....the devil speaks.....for learning online that's fine but it doesn't make you a true scholor.....Doctors don't become doctors unless there in environment of doctors with a professor. can be dangerous because of what they teach and from what sources...My wife is a scholor studied 7 yrs .....what did she learned and retained ....1st fear of Allah in salat halal haram.....Reading quran daily and daily some hadith......attend sisters taleem n bayan or lectures.....sometimes prays tahujjud. ....the point is she has a daily routine and thats what all learned people do .....To survive.......we are all weak n nobody is perfect except prophet Muhammad PBUH. ...who is the best role model we should adopt....There is plenty of fish in the sea..My advice is build your confidence character n be positive.....Also get involved with the sisters at the local sunni and be apart of the community Do charity work Help Allah's Deen and Allah will help simple n wise do not let people family friends say negative thoughts just be silent and let Allah take care of it....this is the key to success. ..besides what you eat what you watch what you wear what you listen too. .This all takes in effect....That guy needs to grow up and a relationship were he becomes a dictator becomes dangerous n worse.....Also you should look forward into a career were you can be financially independent and use your wealth to help poor.....think about what I say. ...Remember marriage is a bigger test if you haven't gave it thought or prepared for it.....I was 27 yrs already experienced in the world and found Islam I married at 31 to a 20 yr old Alima who just finished.....I was already mature and understanding...although she was patient and humble....we only met 3 times before we agreed to get Nikkah. ...and this was by family friends....I never thought I would find a person like this especially age to get married....This is because Allah does work in mysterious ways ..that's is a fact....and we need to put are trust in him fullfilling all requirements..AMEEN.

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