Monday, October 22nd, 2001
Dear Bilqis, As-salaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
Recently I met what seems to be a good Muslim brother through the matrimonial service. I am American and he is in another country.
He has been very honest with me concerning his situation. He is poor and does not have the best of things. It seems that although he may be poor he is rich in imaan. He is always respectful and very thoughtful of me. He is planning to come out to the USA for a visit to meet me and I have offered to help him with getting his passport since I know he does not have the means. However, he refuses and says he will make the necessary sacrifice.
When he comes to the USA he will look into the job situation out here. I have discussed with him my concerns about him wanting to marry for a green card. He told me he has no desire to do that and I do believe him. Sister Bilqis. I really care for him and he has touched my heart. I have a good job and can support myself and him on my salary with no problem. I never in a million years thought that I would ever want to marry someone coming from a poor background but here I am considering just that. I would like to know if it is permissible for me to marry a man who has not the means yet to provide for me? I think of him as my equal, and he is well educated. He is rich in imaan and shares Islam with me every time he writes to me. I am a new Muslimah, and I need some good advice as to what to do. By the way we are both in our 40's.
Jazaak Allahu Khair!
- Sister P.R.
Dear Sister P.R.,
As a new Muslim, I hope that you are frequenting a Muslim community, attending classes to increase your knowlege of Islam and getting to know some of the other Muslim sisters. Since you are a convert to Islam you need to try and find a reputable brother to act as your guardian (walee) in matters of marrriage, etc. Perhaps the Imam of a community you frequent can assist you in this matter. Your walee can get to the heart of the matter and try and assess the brothers character and qualifications for marriage "man-to-man".
I am in no way judging this brother, but you must be careful about approaching a marriage to anyone. I would like for you to read my response of Monday, June 25th, 2001. Similar situations have gone badly, while at the same time there are other marriages that have been successful. I want you to be aware of the possibilities so as to make an informed decision. There are some people who may only want a green card and be honest about that fact, while there are others who may not. Marriage is meant to last a long time; day after day with the wrong person can become a life of misery. Also, as a Muslim lady don't be too eager to begin a relationship being the "maintainer and provider". Allah (swt) gave this position to the man primarily for a reason, and when it is lost the proper order of the male/female relationship can become lost. Let him be the man he should be. That is not to say that a wife cannot assist with the maintenance of the family but allow him to show his mettle and his character in this regard. When tested by difficulties (poverty, hardship, etc.) the person of good character strives even harder. This is the type of brother you would want to spend the rest of your life with.
Please scrutinise this brother in every way, get a guardian to assist you and give you some advice in the matter. And always remember, it's never to late to change your mind if it doesn't "feel right". Ask Allah's guidance sincerely through prayer and then listen carefully for the answer to your prayer. My best wishes to you.