Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask BilqisASK BILQIS


Monday, June 26, 2000


Dear Bilqis,

I'm attracted to your advice column and interested to write to you about my curiosity. I'm a single muslim lady of 37 and came to know a married man through our work for a number of years. It was just a normal friendship as a colleague in the beginning and without my realisation turned into unexpected feelings recently. Since we no longer can meet often through our work after the project is over, I begin to think more of him and miss him deeply. Sincerely, I like his manner and someone whom I feel comfortable to act and to talk about anything. I've been avoiding the closeness and his invitation because I don't feel at ease going out with him knowing he has a wife and children. He don't look much like a married man nor did he act like one since he don't talk much about his family. Along the course when he had a chance to see me and chat, he often hinted marriage to me. I even received an anonymous note in e-mail about personal feelings which I believe it's from him.

I've always tell myself that if he were not married, I would definitely go for him because I believe we have a lot in common in terms of our interest and emotional compatibility. The thing is, I don't think I can live sharing my man, but I feel guilty at the same time if I had to cause him leaving his wife. I want to forget him but each time he calls me I can't help thinking of him and missing him all over again.

Why do married men go for another women and is that an indication that something is not right with their marriage or the men are simply womanisers?

I look forward to hear from you and thank you.

- curious & confused lady



Dear "Curious and Confused",

You raise some interesting points within your letter which I would like to answer. I am assuming firstly, that the man you speak of is a practising Muslim, as a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man. As a single Muslim lady, you should have a guardian or wali, i.e. a relative or Muslim brother of good reputation , who would serve as a go-between for you and any prospects for marriage. Usually this would be done by your father or brother, but if for some reason this is not possibe, then perhaps the Imam of a Muslim community that you frequent.

Things of this nature should be open and honest. It would be best to ascertain this brothers status, as either single or married, through your wali. You would need to know if he has sincere and honorable intentions of marriage in accordance with Islamic guidelines, e.g. can he maintain a wife (or wives), and is he capable of being fair and just in his marital dealings. As regarding the possibility of him already having one wife, you should in no way consider breaking up a lawful marriage already in existence. Likewise, if the brother is seeking another wife, you should not judge (negatively) his intentions for doing so, and especially not put a negative connotation on an existing marriage. It would be a reasonable question to ask of him though (i.e. why do you want another wife?), if you were to pursue the possibility of marriage.

The confusion you are experiencing seems because, from your letter, you (and the brother) seem to not be dealing with this situation with proper Islamic etiquette. Get a wali (the brother should know there is a third party overseeing this for your protection), find out the brother's intentions and current situation then you can make an informed and rightly guided decision about the matter and not waste your time second-guessing things. In the meantime, I would discontinue any communications with the brother until these things can be done, especially since you already have feelings for him. When we move toward Allah (swt), He in turn moves towards us and helps us with His strength and guidance.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials