Islamic marriage advice and family advice

It’s been 4 years, should I keep waiting for him to propose?



I have been friends with this guy X for 4 years now, close for 3. Initially I found him to be unappealing, a good looking guy, just not my type. As time went on I started to grow fond of him. He is Hafiz-e-Quran, a good Muslim at heart, very respectful to me, very kind, a very eccentric and fun person if a bit immature, but we all grow up eventually right?

2 years ago he asked me what I thought about love and relationships and I told him that if a man truly cared for me, I would expect for him to keep silent about how he feels, remain platonic friends with me until he could bring a proposal to my parents. Then one year ago, he asked me what I would say if he were to hypothetically ask me out.

I told him that i would have asked, if he was serious about me, to take a proposal to my parents. He asked if he did that, would I accept his hand, and I said I wasn't sure, but probably. 8 months ago he asked me out, and I refused. It was a needlessly hurtful exchange.

6 month ago we apologized for any hurtful things said and he asked that I let my guard down with him enough to be "non-physical, no commitments, no-strings-attached" and "see where it goes". I agreed to give it a shot thinking that he might need to know me a bit better to know if he was considering marrying me, and if he was i would need to get to know him better as well.

Since we agreed on keeping it non-sexual i didn't see the harm. After 2 months of a few good hangouts and rapidly increasing closeness, he started getting playfully, innocently flirtatious. Only in words, no physical advances, but i reacted badly and he got a bit offended. I disclosed to him that i was a child sexual abuse survivor, and that i have a deal of discomfort with sexuality in general, as well as trust on a non-sexual level. He pulled back a great deal. He didn't understand that it wasn't that i mistrust him specifically, i just distrust people in general.

He took a month to be normal again..  3 months ago we had a conversation  in which he stated that he stopped making advances because he didn't like hurting me or bringing up things from my past that were hurtful, that he was confused about me in that he finds himself getting closer to me and then pulling away, he refused to explain why, and that he was tired of relationships and just wants to get married now (he did not say he wanted to marry me)...

then he left the city for a month and completely changed. he ignored me, was demanding, was callous, and i began to think he was changing his mind about me. he came back after a month and said that he was really stressed, had a rough schedule, and his mother was pressuring him to marry another girl.

I decided to let bygones be bygones and didn't ask him where i fit into the equation because we both had exams and couldn't afford any distractions.  however his behavior didn't change. I was very hurt and very confused. exams ended a week ago and i tried asking him where i stood, and offered that we take a step back, and go back to being just friends so we wouldn't fight all the time, but he just said that we are friends, so why am i worried? It was a lackluster answer because he gave no clue as to his stance on me, are we going to stay just friends or will there be more?

He is close to a very close friend who has helped in chaperoning outings and clearing misunderstandings. but she lies about many things and there is a secrecy between them that i cannot decipher. she is in a friends with benefits situation with another man, though she feels guilt she does not view her actions as wrong. she has said she wishes she had never been physical with a man and i sometimes feel she envies the fact that X does not use me for my body. I was crying about all this recently, and fell asleep, i dreamt of lizards and roaches in my sugar. i was wearing a white silk slip and doing my hair. It seems to be connected to marriage.

Sometimes i think he might be flirting with another girl, as i do not flirt with him, and has taken preference to her. but then i cant bring my heart to believe it, because he may not be the most honest person, but i do believe he would have the dignity to clean up one mess before he starts another. but every time i drop a clue in conversation to see where he wants to go with our relationship he neither acknowledges or denies future plans. the doubt is eating me up.

This is all driving me crazy. I have feelings for him now and began to see a life with him. to lose him would hurt immensely. I don't know whether to confront him or keep waiting. He technically isn't an option yet so i don't think salat-ul-istikhara would be fitting. I had begun to pray that Allah see that we end up married. Now i don't know what to do.

Is there some sort of dua or wasifa that will clear confusion and conflicting thoughts, and bring the truth to light? Is it very sinful to flirt a bit, if you intend to marry? It would make me uncomfortable to do so but that seems to be where the problem started. Overall he makes me a better Muslim and better person, i just don't understand why i am losing him.

- survivorlaila

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14 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualaikam

    Sister, I'm sorry to hear you have endured so much. May Allah help you heal and continue to grow in your faith.

    Regarding this guy, honestly, I wouldn't waste any more time on him. He has had several chances to enter into a halal relationship with you but has not followed through on this - it doesn't seem as though he is treating you with the respect you deserve. It may be hard, but if I were in your situation, I would tell him to either commit to a halal relationship or break things off - he shouldn't be able to have his cake and eat it! You mention that he is a good Muslim and a Hafiz, but the actions you go on to describe don't reflect at all well on his character. You deserve a man who will value and respect you enough to ensure your relationship is halal.

    I think it might help you to learn more about Islamic guidance on interactions between men and women, and about the rights of Muslim women - maybe ask at your local mosque or community centre to find local classes, or visit an Islamic bookstore (I tend to prefer bookstores to buying online, as you can ask staff for recommendations and advice on relevant books)? If you don't already wear hijab, it might be worth reading a bit about the importance and role of hijab for Muslim women - I found that starting to wear hijab was one of the most empowering things I've ever done, and it gave me a lot more confidence to stand up for my rights as a Muslim woman.

    Midnightmoon editor

    • I found that starting to wear hijab was one of the most empowering things I've ever done, and it gave me a lot more confidence to stand up for my rights as a Muslim woman.

      MashaAllah Midnightmoon! It's rare to hear something like this coming from our sisters, though I have heard someone I know saying something like that.

      I'd suggest that you make a separate Hijab article, and then share much about what you have said above, together with some tips and guidelines. Perhaps our wives and sisters may benefit a lot from your experience, InshaAllah.

      What do you think?

      • JazakhAllah khair.

        Don't get me wrong, it can be really hard at times, but no one ever said that the right choice would always be the easy one, so it's important for us all to try our best.

        When I wear hijab, I feel more confident in myself, as I am being true to my faith and therefore to who I am. Hijab is also an outward sign that I am a Muslim - so, it enables me to give people a positive example of a Muslim woman in Western society, even if all I'm doing is picking up groceries or having coffee.

        Your idea of an article on hijab is a good one; inshaAllah we can discuss it amongst the editing team once we've got a bit of time to think about it. Thanks for the suggestion!

        Midnightmoon editor

        • midnightmoon: "When I wear hijab, I feel more confident in myself"

          Why do you feel insecure without hijab?

          • Assalaamualaikam

            It's not a question of feeling insecure, but of the confidence and peace that comes from following Allah's guidance.

            I reverted in my 20s, and before I did so, I wouldn't have considered myself insecure or lacking confidence. But once I started wearing hijab, I felt a completely different level of peace and security in myself. When we are actively striving to follow Allah's guidance, we are developing our own integrity and faith, which increases our confidence and belief in ourselves.


  2. Drop this guy like a hot potato. He is toxic and he's messing with your iman. Also I would advise you to drop your zina-practicing friend as well. Keep company with the poius.

    You say he is a hafiz, yet he has been trying to get you to drop your guard for the last couple of years. With him you seem to be taking baby steps towards haraam. He should make up his mind if he wants to get married or not, and now him mum is fielding a candidate she wants him to marry. If he can't make a decision now, what's he going to be like when you're married?

    You ask is it sinful to flirt with someone one you intend to marry, well you know the answer to that. But you need to ask yourself, was he really intending to marry you, or just flirting?

    You've wasted enough time on him. Occupy yourself with learning more about your deen like Mighnightmoon has said.

  3. saalamu aleykum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu sister may Allah guide u to take the right decision . u see when people display this high religioisty but not fallow u should be more carefull and see these people are players. they like play with women and think is ok cause is just small mistake. i saw many cases and if u fallow teh path with him u will find yourself leaving your islam behind and become his doll and play with you how he wants even haram. i know is taugh but is teh truth i know so many cases. are many stages of development in man life Alison amstrong have good videos you can watch.but honestl what you are looking for? if u look fo ra good muslim man and religious he will not guide u to haram so respect yourself and not let other manipilate you ,you are not alone and Allah is with you an di m near you and pls pls not let enyone put you down or interferre between you and Allah.if you are right in front of Allah he will give u goodness in shaa Alalh u will see. U decide what will gone be what path in shaa Allah. I hope this brother will realize what is important in life and may Allah increase his iman and guide him to right path.

  4. Assalam alaikum Sister Laila,

    When I read about your trust issues with respect to your child abuse that you suffered, a lot of things that you wrote became very concerning. You may not know or realize it, but the abuse you suffered can make you a little more vulnerable than you would ever want to be. Be thankful to Allah that He protected you and guided you to not engage in any haram activities with this boy. I would urge you to not pursue any relationship and for that matter, not consider this boy for marriage. As life carries on, especially after marriage, a person needs their spouse to be kind, supportive, understanding. Plain and simple, this young man asked you to let your guard down, test the waters with you with no strings attached (because he wants no responsibility if he hurts your feelings), does not display trustworthiness, and isn't capable of handling issues like your child abuse.

    You will be setting yourself up for dissapointment and pain if you pursue this. Instead of asking Allah to get you married to this man, ask Allah to heal your pain and pray to Allah for a righteous spouse--sometimes we do not know what we need and instead ask for what we want. These can be entirely two things.

    Please get some counselling for the abuse you suffered.
    Ask Allah for peace and tranquility.
    Surround yourself with good friends and please distant yourself from your "friend" who is involved in a haram relationship.
    Spend your time remembering Allah -- you need to center yourself and find solid ground again.
    DO not let your guard down with any boy - you did the right thing!

    I pray that Allah ease your pain and fill your life with tranquility and may you get kind, loyal and loving Muslim spouse, inshaAllah! Ameen.

  5. AsSalaamu Alaikum Sister Laila,

    In fact, your situation with him sounds very confusing to me. How could a Hafiz who is supposed to be a pious Muslim person with good Islamic manners, be interacting with a woman who is not his wife and hanging out together alone? Even if the intention is good, being alone together is prohibited.

    I'd suggest that you leave him (though I am still not sure if he is what you said he is), and repent to Allah for those interactions between you and him. If he is serious about marriage with you, he will eventually approach your family. Tell him you can't speak with him anymore unless in the presence of your parents. If this didn't make him approach your parents, then know that he wasn't intending to marry you in the first place, and therefore you shouldn't be worried about him at all. Pray for someone better than him.

    May Allah help you and us all! Ameen.

  6. He is Hafiz-e-Quran, a good Muslim at heart, very respectful to me, very kind, a very eccentric and fun person if a bit immature, but we all grow up eventually right? been friends with this guy X for 4 years now, close for 3...I let my guard down with him enough to be "non-physical, no commitments, no-strings-attached" ..He is close to a very close friend who has helped in chaperoning outings and clearing misunderstandings. but she lies about many things and there is a secrecy between them that i cannot decipher. she is in a friends with benefits situation with another man, though she feels guilt she does not view her actions as wrong

    what is non-physical, no strings attached friendship? you claim you have been close to him for 3 years/ what do you mean by close? you and your religious man friend are close to a girl who is in a friends with benefits mean your close guide friend is doing SEX for money..You have already flirted heavily I think. DON'T MEET him again, you may cross the limits because now you have started missing him a lot.

    Seems like you have psychological effects of sexual abuse controlling your life. Have you sought counselling for that? Does your family know about your sexual abuse?

  7. Wow!
    Ok first of all sorry I am so late. This thing took more than 6 months to be published, and I had stopped checkinog in... but now I am here!
    Thank you all so much for the kind and caring and wise responses, I'm grateful to you all and Allah swt for the support.
    Since its been some time I'll just pick up where I left off

    So very shortly after I wrote to this site the situation was affecting me negatively and I found myself yearning for old and harmful coping techniques. This was a red flag for me so I walked away from the situation as best I could... I say that because we are colleagues in a mixed gender institution so contact was a necessity. Immediately after I called it off he asked for a second chance: To try to get married, no games. After an istikhara I felt confident it will be a good step, so despite logic but armed with trust in Allah swt I agreed. It has been almost 10 months since then and Alhamdulillah, things are well. We meet on occasion but never alone, we are totally abstinent - not even hand-holding, in fact we are not in any more contact than we are with anyone of the other gender with one key difference: we support each other and intend on marrying. The mutual friend eventually got caught in so many lies that we had no choice but to distance from her.

    Now you may be wondering, gee 10 months, whats the hold up? Well the fact is my mother demands that any proposal have some certain professional qualifications that he is currently working to achieve InshaAllah.

    Midnightmoon, I was already in transition to hijab when I posted, in fact I still am as my mother does not agree with it and its a balance keeping our relationship peaceful for the sake of Allah swt and wearing the scarf. But I do whatever I can get away with without starting a yelling match. I would agree that Hijab is an attitude and MahshaAllah quite empowering, it has helped me immensely in not compromising on my fundamental beliefs. I may write a seperate post on my current struggles in wearing it.

    Thank you all again for your kind input! JazakAllah!

  8. Also. I have been recieving ongoing care for the repercussions of sexual abuse for some years now, for all who were concerned. My family is only minimally aware of the instances of abuse.. in fact I had repressed all the memories until another abusive situation (not a partner and he is gone now) reawakened my memories. X was and is very supportive to my recovery and after some basic communication very understanding to my particular needs in the healing process.

  9. dear sisters,
    i have a dilemma of a different type kindly guide me on the basis of Quran and Sunnah.
    There is a proposal for me in Pakistan,my parents want me to marry him.My parents were in fact forcing me to marry him.So my parents decided i get to know him through Skype I've spoken to him many times on Skype (of course without video)But i don't seem to like him at all.My Mom and Dad keep talking to him continuously as they both like him.My brothers also pressurize me to marry him whenever i discuss my after more than 12 years i'm going to Pakistan.I'm kind of worried everyone will force me to marry him again as he is a Hafiz-e-Quran.But there isn't any inkling of deen or compatibility that exists so i don't want to marry him.

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