Monday, March 27, 2000
Dear Bilqis, Salam- ALeikum
I came across your column and I found it indeed interesting.
I have two questions: I am a 30-years-old female, muslimah (by
birth, not recently converted). I always rejected marriage proposals
because I haven't found the perfect match. I am (al hamdul'allah)
pretty and have an attractive personality, good position, Ph.D.
bla bla bla...etc.
The problem is that my desire for sex is growing like crazy,
but I fear Allah and fear having sex without marriage. I am still
a virgin, although I live in a non-Muslim society, where the
main thing which drives people is sex with all its normal and
abnormal practices. I sometimes feel it is not bearable any more.
I sometimes practice (self satisfaction) which I think haram.
I don't have special emotional feelings towards any guy but I
am thinking to accept a guy who is proposing to me, to fulfill
my physical needs in the first place. But I fear somehow, that
afterwards, if this thing fades away I might find myself not
in love with him which is not the perfect situation neither for
him, nor for myself. I am totally confused. However, I have to
admit that this guy is pleasant, a Muslim of course (non-Muslim
husband is not acceptable for me). But I don't love him. I even
don't know what is love. Last year I thought I was in deep love
with a man who was 16 years older than me, however, I found out
it was not real love.
Unfortunately, the attractive personality for me is always
the playboy sort of men, who are not suitable at all for the
accomplishment of a healthy marriage. These men are always selfish
and egotistical. Although I realise that and am fully aware of
it I cannot stop myself being attracted to them, and the good-willing,
religious guys appear boring to me. I am really totally confused
and would like to know your opinion as soon as possible, taking
into consideration that I have consulted the Qur'an in that and
know exactly which verses you are going to quote. Maybe I need
rather the advice of a good muslim woman, who can understand
those conflicting feelings.
To make a story short:
- is marriage for only physical reasons haram?
- if practicing self-satisfaction or minor physical affection
were the only ways not to lose one's mind, do they still have
the same degree of haram as Zena (non-marital intercourse)?
Waiting anxiously for your answer and jazakom allah kol kheir.
I have a question for you. Do you know
of anyone who has the "perfect match" for marriage?
The life of this world is about living and learning, trial by
error many times. This is the way of even a wise woman. There
is a tradition that states, there is no wise man who has not
made a mistake. My first suggestion is that you strive to develop
a realistic expection of marriage.
The important things, as you know, are
firstly a Muslim brother who is striving to practice his religion.
Try, to the best of your ability, to ascertain if he is striving
to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him), the best example to all mankind. As a woman you want such
a man. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was kind, helpful, industrious
and much more. A husband is intended as a life-mate, your companion,
your friend, your lover, and (insh'Allah) the father of your
children, while you are likewise, in your capacity as wife, the
same to him. When two people can strive with patience and perseverance
for such a relationship and attain the goal, it is one of the
most gratifying experiences of this life. It brings the peace
of mind that Allah (swt) intended for us and not the "confusion"
you now experience.
You seem to have worked very hard to
achieve material success (and may Allah bless your efforts),
but that is only one part of the life of this world. We were
made ultimately to love and be loved; first, to love and serve
Allah, then to love our families, spouses, and brothers and sisters
in Islam; we were made to be warm and caring people, and without
this aspect to our personality, we are not complete. This is
why Allah (swt) and His Prophet have encouraged marriage for
Marriage is the way of Islam, so seek
it wholeheartedly, with trust in Allah's wisdom (al-Hakeem).
If your current suitor is practising Islam and you feel there
are the qualities between you both for compatibility then I would
suggest you consider the situation seriously. As you say, you
don't really know what love is. If there is attraction and you
already like him, this is a good start. The strong sexual feelings
you are experiencing means you are a healthy Muslimah who needs
to find a suitable mate and marriage is the best outlet for these
feelings as opposed to other methods. Regarding the question
of "self-satisfaction", it is certainly not a sin on
the level of zinaa. As for its permissibility, this is something
best answered by a Muslim scholar. If you go to the homepage
for Zawaj.com you will find references to asking questions of
Love is many things to many people,
and for each couple it can be something different. Begin the
journey to find your "mate". Strive to know yourself
and cultivate yourself to be loving in all of its forms and insh'Allah,
you will find someone like yourself.