Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Should I marry someone I am not attracted to, just because he is good in his deen?


 Assalamu alaykum,

I have an issue that has recently arose in my life. I am scared that i will make the wrong decision and that this could ruin my prospects in the future. I am only 19 and i feel like it's too early for me to marry, i have told my family that 21 is a reasonable age for me, but this situation has put me in a position and i feel like i am too young or naive to make a decision like this just yet.

A little while ago my parents informed me of a marriage proposal, the man who is asking for my hand is a man i have never met before, communicated with or any forms of contact and I have always been a firm believer that i would marry a man i knew either from work or through a friend, someone that i have come across before in my life and i know of him; but this man i know little to nothing about.

This factor had me quite reluctant at the start, as i have seen many marriages fail because their partner turns out to be someone they never knew them to be. Aside from this factor i tried to keep an open mind, because if it was gods will then it will happen.

From what i have been told by my parents is that he is interested in me because he has seen me before, another reason is that our families know each other from our home country and are very fond of each other, this is another factor that encouraged his proposal. As i said before even though our families know of each other, i have never met the man, i only remember briefly seeing him and other guests enter our house for dinner earlier this year, but i never spared him a second glance, i have kept an open mind, because a few people have spoken highly of him.

A key thing for me has always been that the man i choose to marry is committed to his deen, someone i can look up to and so will my children, someone who fears Allah and will never treat me unfairly because of his fear of Allah. I also look for a man who appeals to me physically, of course i understand he may not be models material etc. I don't want an insanely handsome man, just someone i find slightly attractive, someone i can see myself spending the rest of my life with appearance wise and personality wise and being happy  with my choice, other than those two things i have been very open on my idea of a man.

This specific man happens to be very into his deen, never misses a fajir prayer, which i was very happy to hear, the way they described his looks to me seemed like the type of person i'd find attractive, someone who's taller than me, dark hair etc. i didn't really fuss much about these things when they told me, i kept a very open mind and he also has a very good job and comes from a wealthy family, which was an added bonus since i wasn't too worried about the money factor.

The more i learnt about him the more i found out things that would complicate this engagement or future marriage. For starters we live in different countries, he is from my home country, but as you can probably tell i have been brought up in a western society, i was born and raised here so this is my home and i don't plan on leaving, but i feel with time he might want to return to his and i don't want this to be a problem in the future. He has been to the UK for studies, he did a language course but he has been struggling with getting to grips with the english language and even though i am quite good at speaking my mother tongue, i am more fluent or so to say find English easier. This seemed to be a problem for me also, but i still tried to keep an open mind, believing he would pick up the language with time.

Due to the fact we were brought up in different societies, i feel like we would most definitely clash in our way of thinking or how will live our lives, i also found out he is a very shy and closed of person, while i am a very loud and confident person, but besides these points i still kept an open mind. My parents told me that opposites usually attract and being different was a good thing.

As time went on i started to have bad dreams and an uneasy feeling about this person, i tried to brush it off, for all I know he might just be using me for a permanent visa since i am British, a lot of boys from my home country have done this, but you never know a persons true intentions, only what they want you to see. I did tell my mother about the bad feeling i had, but she told me it was all in my head, but i am a firm believer that we have gut instincts or hunches for a reason, i still felt like there was a reason i had a bad feeling, but i tried to brush things off and since i haven't yet prayed istikara i decided to believe my mother.

Throughout all of this i still had no idea what he looked like or what his name is, i recently learnt his name and i have seen two photos. First glance at the photo i recognised him from the guest dinner i mentioned earlier and i told my mum straight up that i was not attracted to him. Due to all the other factors piling up i started to feel like i couldn't go through with this.

My mother obviously disagreed saying he was a good looking person and that i should be happy because i am not beautiful enough to get the model look alikes i've had crushes on. I know i am not that beautiful, i am not ugly either, but it still doesn't changed the fact that i should or shouldn't settle for someone i am not the least bit attracted to.

My mother started to tell me if i rejected his proposal without giving him a chance that i would be cursed by allah because he's a really good muslim and people like him are hard to come by these days, at this point i started to cry out of frustration because i didn't know what to do, i know myself and i know that even if this person has the best personality in the world, i will still feel withdrawn from them, i can't imagine i will be happy the rest of my life just settling for him, because i don't want to take him for granted.

I have no idea what to do, i'm scared if i say no, then i'll never get someone with a good deen like him and i'm scared if i say yes and settle, that i will never be happy and might commit a sin by looking at other men i find attractive, the only thing he has that is good for him is deen & a good job, but they're making me feel as though I am being selfish to ask for more. I literally don't find him the least bit attractive, like zero and i feel bad because he has some good qualities, but it does nothing to attract me to him.

I am scared and i don't know what to, all of the negative factors have started to outweigh the positives and i'm scared if i give it a chance i won't be able to back away and in the future i won't be happy. I feel like we clash in so many ways that it won't workout even though he's a good muslim and i don't want to end up getting a divorce because of it.

My parents told me they need my decision asap, even though they say they'll never force me, i can feel them scrutinising me and being disappointed with me if i refuse him, i've already had massive arguments with my mum about it and i just feel frustrated and hopeless.

He has made it very clear that he is attracted to me, but I am not one bit attracted to him, I know I have only see photos or seen him breifly outside but I know I am not attracted to him, but my mother does not seem to understand that. I hate the fact that if he did not find me attractive or a man in general they are usually allowed to refuse on that basis, but when it comes to women or me personally I get critisied for that being my final drawing point, especially with all the other factors I spoke about earlier, my mother doesn't seem to understand and I am so confused on what to do, I don't want to settle.

I have asked for some time, but they seem reluctant saying he wants his answer asap.

Please help me and advise me as to what i should do? should I agree to meet him or not? Will i get another person who is good in his deen, or will i be cursed, i don't know, HELP?!

Oh allah guide us on the right path and grant us patience during difficult times.




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24 Responses »

  1. Salaam sis mashaAllah for your age you sound very smart. Allah allows us to choose for a reason, its not a punishment to say no to a brother and yes deen is important but so is attraction. i rushed myself trying to think 'islamically' (ie give him a chance) and like you said it can have bad consequences. Your parents cant force you and you will be the one who sees him everyday sleeps next to him every night so in my opinion it doesnt matter how highly they think of him if youre not even attracted to him. Trust me there are so many men out there you sound like you know what you want and your demands dont sound bad - to want someone religious is great alhamdullilah and im glad you are looking for that but yes you deserve someone you like the look of. marriage is a once in a lifetime thing in sha Allah so be patient and choose for yourself what makes you happy and is in the bounds of islam if you have a bad feeling (i have had those before and with good reason like you said) dont go ahead with this. You sound unhappy and anxious and thats no way to start a life with someone its good to keep an open mind but not so open you dont even like the person. Be patient, Pray istikhara but I feel youre not ready and you have every right to say no, islam allows in its wisdom for women to say no in order to prevent families from forced marriages and then dealing with the consequences is worse than if you just say no in the beginning or if the parents just listened to their children a little more. Look for deen but look at character attraction etc there have been divorce stories on this very site because a man has said yes to a woman he didnt like physically then later didnt like her after marriage - dont upset yourself this way. In sha Allah your parents will come around.

    • thank you so much for your kind words, they've helped put my heart at ease, i thought i was going crazy with everyone telling me to do this and that, but you've helped me clear my mind. my dad has come around and told me he won't force me into anything, my mum just wants me to meet him, but i'm even sure about that just yet, i've prayed istikara once and i still felt bad about it, so i'm going to pray a few more times and see how it goes from there.
      thank you so much again for reading this and commenting!

  2. sister ,

    You are in Dilemma .

    If you go ahead with your marriage you will regret .If you don't go ahead with marriage then also you will regret .

    So choice is yours .

    There are lot of positives about this man but as look and sex seems to be your priority so it looks complicated for you .

    Your mom is right .To get a model kind of man you also need to be quite beautiful and attractive .

    What in future if your husband doesn't find you attractive and leaves you ? So this possibility is always there .

    Most of sisters in this websites have very bad experience with men who were less religious or non practicing and wishes for a man with good morals ,characters and deen .

    Just see if it is possible to talk to him and get some more idea about him so that you can take firm decision .

    • i am definitely in a dilemma, but alhamduillah i feel more at ease now, i have gotten more information about him, but i think if i just pray istikara a few times, i'll see where god guides me.
      thank you for taking the time to read this.

  3. I agree with others that you do sound quite mature and you have a good attitude.

    You are from two different cultures, speak different languages, and have different ideas about marriage. You are 19 years old - take the time to finish your education and learn more about life. If you are looking for someone religious, there is no need to cross an ocean to find that person. There are a lot of muslims in the UK - a lot who were born and raised there too.

    You will not be cursed for rejecting this fellow whom you have never spoken to before. Your mother should never have said that to you nor made you feel bad about your looks. Very few people are model-beautiful. So what? I'm sure you are a nice, attractive, intelligent girl.

    • thank you so much for your kind words. they have helped me feel more settled, i have spoken to my parents and my dad has left it up to me, but my mum still wants me to meet him.
      i let myself forget about the situation recently and i felt more at ease without him on my mind, i already feel i know the answer after praying istikara once, but my mum is still unconvinced as she keeps saying i went in with intention against it from the start, but i disagree. just to keep her happy i think i will try to pray it again and see where it takes me.
      but thank you so much for confirming the cursed thing, it was the major point as to why i was so indecisive, my mum seems to hear a lot of things and believes them, so i was confused with what was the right and wrong thing to do. but it's good to hear from someone else that it is not true, so thank you for that.

  4. I dont like to read long stories just get to the point ! Just because you hear good things about a person you still have to meet him and ask questions as to likes and dislikes and get a feel of his soo called kindness.The question can he tolerate pressure or will he snap? My opion is that your not ready and fixed arrange marriages are old fashion .Islam doesnt teach or promote this..You must tell your parents how you feel before you make a big mistake.First focus on your courier and then learn your deen properly from ulema.I feel that your not mature and a easy pray for predators. Dont be scared of your parents.You have a right tooo

    • i am sorry i did realise it was too long, but i didn't know what i should or shouldn't cut out, but thank you for reading it all.
      i feel you're right in some way, after this whole situation happened, i felt in my heart that i was definitely in no way ready for marriage just yet. i think focusing on my studies and career as you said is the main thing for now and then when i feel ready i will make my decision.
      but thank you for your comment, it has reassured me in some way.

  5. I agree with the advises above MasAllah BUT if something is not right speak up don't ruin YOUR LIFE TO PLEASE YOUR PARENTS. Marriage is for life deserves dedication love, trust and compromise something unfortunately isn't happening in today's society.

    Think things thoroughly and think about whats right for you, you still have a choice.

    • thank you so much for you're reassuring words! i definitely feel like i should stand up for myself, my parents have bullied me into a lot of things in my life, but this is going to be one thing they won't dictate for me, as you said marriage is life and i can't just marry whoever they pick just because they like that person.
      i am still going to think it through, but thank you again for reading this and commenting.

  6. Salaam sister
    If your not 100% happy and have made your mind up then just say no.
    You wont get cursed as you have a right to marry who ever you want and yes attraction is important when looking for a spouse. You are not saying anything wrong. Dont feel you have to say yes just because your getting pressure from your mum. At the end of the day its your choice.

    You dont want to look back couple of years down the lane and wish you would have said no.
    Best thing to do if you still want to give it a chance is to do istekhara and make dua. If you can try and talk to him and get to know him a bit to see if your both on the same page. I dont agree with your mum on opposites attract. I married someone to complete opposite and i get really frustrated with the diffrences and sometimes wish we could share same thoughts.
    Any way its your choice think about it if your not happy then just say no and thats that.

    • thank you so much for this comment!

      i do feel my mum is pressuring me a lot because she likes this guy, but i am still unsure. i think she herself has started to realise that i really am not attracted to this person and can never see myself attracted to him, she scared me with the cursed thing because i didn't know what to do, but now alhamdulillah a lot of the comments have reassured me that it is fine to refuse if i feel no attraction, which was one thing i was worried about. He has tried to contact me through phone and facebook, but my parents weren't happy with that as he isn't a person i know personally and if things don't work out, i don't want to be connected to him through something like that. i think i am going to pray istikara again and see where it guides me.

      but thank you again for reading this and commenting.

  7. I would say no to your parents and not worry about what you can get in the future. There is no compulsion in marrying him and Allah will not curse you. If your mom thinks he's great have her marry him. But she isn't the one that's going to fulfill being his wife, it's you. The second you marry him he has rights over you and you are already saying you won't be able to fulfill those rights. Why put yourself in a position where you are failing at marriage and you're only 19. There will be other guys and even if there weren't you can't fulfill this one.

    • thank you for saying this. these are the exact words i was thinking myself, i did tell my mum if she loved him so much then she should marry him when i was upset, because i felt i wouldn't get on with this person or be able to fulfil my duty as his wife when we clashed so much. i think my mum just learnt a few things about his reputation and was hooked on him, she herself knows he isn't attractive, but she won't admit it because of the good things she's heard, from what my brother has told me, he isn't as big as people made him out to be, so i feel she should step back. but like you said i really don't feel ready, i did before but now the moments come and with this person i really don't feel i am anywhere near ready for marriage and i want to stay far away from it right now.
      but thank you for commenting this, it's good to know i wasn't the only one thinking like this.

  8. That is rubbish-tell your mother to cite a SINGLE ayah or authentic hadith which confirms her lie.

    There is NO evidence you will be cursed for rejecting him even if his physical appearance is not attractive to you that is completely fine.

    • thank you so much for confirming this, i think my mum has just heard this and was reciting it to me, because i myself couldn't find anything about, which was the sole reason i wrote this, but thank you for confirming this and taking the time to read it as well.

  9. Assalaamu Alaikum.

    Have you performed istikhaarah dua? I recommend you doing that. Please see the links at the top of the page on how to do it properly.
    However the fact of the matter is, yes deen is the most important. But you need to be attracted to your spouse. There should be something there in terms of attraction. If there truly is nothing then don't marry him.
    How will you consummate with a husband you dont find attractive?

    It can lead to lots of problems. If it feels wrong to marry him then don't. Do istikhaarah first though then take the action you feel is best after that. Respectfully reject this proposal, you owe your mother respect but you have the right to reject a proposal you think is unsuitable.

    Sara Editor

    • thank you for your comment it has helped me a lot.

      i have prayed istikara but my mum says that because i was upset from the start my heart wasn't in it, but i know i left it up to god and it still didn't ease my heart, how many times do you recommend i should do it?
      the only thing that has eased my heart is me forgetting about it and not mentioning it to my parents or discussing it with them, is that also a sign?

      thank you for confirming this, because i did state to my mum, although deen is the most important i have to be attracted to the person also, or else i may commit sin in the future or not be able to fulfil my duty or live in regret for the rest of my life. i think the fact that i can't really say no to my parents, no matter how much of a fight i put up, their word is usually final and i end up agreeing made me nervous about this, because i felt the same pressure from them here and i didn't want to forced into this kind of marriage, as it will be my marriage not theirs.

      thank you so much though for your guidance, it has helped me a lot and thank you for reading this.

      • Asalamu akeykum warahmutallahi wabarktu I’m literally in your SAME situation right now lol I know this is old but What decision did you make ? I want to say no to him but there’s a part inside of me thinking about my parents pressure and what if he’s a good guy. I don’t even like him a little just think he’s a nice guy, from what I’ve heard. There’s no attraction Alhamdulilah. And then my moms like “do you want the evil eye from his mom?” Lol crazy things like I just read SubhanAllah crazy how similar our events are.

        • As Salaam Alaikum.
          I am also in the same situation right now. How are things with you now?

        • Salam I am also in the same situation lol, but I said yes and went ahead with it. I believe I was very immature and still am for marriage and so I thought everything would work our after marriage but here I am almost 2 months into it barely able to look at him. I feel so bad because I know he deserves better and I’m trying to form some sort of connection but there is just noooo attraction on my part I absolutely haaaaate being intimate with him which is not how it’s supposed to be. I live with my mom too and she shames me so much for not giving him the love he deserves and she says she’s gonna start her depression pills again because of me, so now I have her happiness to think of on top of my husbands and everyone else’s. I really regret marrying him but at the same time I’m praying that Allah will put love and affection in my heart for him so that I can fulfill my Islamic obligations as he is such a good guy and I don’t want to be inappreciative. All I see is terrible marriages around me so it’s a blessing that I found a good guy but I feel bad because I am not able to love him the way he wants me to.

          • Salam alikum sister, I am also in the same situation but my parents and all my family is beside me, and says that if you are not happy with him and don’t want him, you can end it and divorce him. I am so confused I don’t know what decision to make, I am scared of gods punishment, and what if I regret it one day?. The guy is a good, have a good character, and is religious, but have no affection for him at all(0%)
            Just want know how your life is? Are you happy with your decision?

        • Salam alikum sister, I am also in the same situation. I didn’t want to say yes from the very first time they asked for my hand, but my parents put pressure on me, that Allah will be mad at you if you said “No” so out of pressure I said yes. It’s been 2 month since we did the Nikah and still don’t want him at all, and I have even told my family that I don’t want to go any further with this marriage. Allahmdulillah my parents and all my family is beside me, and says that if you are not happy with him and don’t want him, you can end it and divorce him. But they also says that it’s good if you just give him a chance for a while and see if things changes better. But I believe that it won’t change any better even worse it will be. I am so confused I don’t know what decision to make, I am scared of gods punishment, and what if I regret it one day?. The guy is a good, have a good character, and is religious, but have no affection for him at all(0%).
          What decision did you made? What do you advise me to do?

          • Allah is not going to punish you or be mad at you for saying no to a proposal and divorce. There is no forced marriages in Islam. They didn’t give you a chance to ask you or to get to know him and went with the nikkah- that’s force marriage. You didn’t have a wedding ceremony I am assuming. They are tricking you and joking with you that you get married, get a chance to know him and then divorce him, if you don’t like him. They will treat you like a child and say divorce is harm and Allah will punish you, or have a kid then you will be fine. This is what desi/ south Asians people say all the time. It’s suppose to be the other way around, you should have gotten to know the guy, and then decide if you want to pursue or not.

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