Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’m a new Muslim and got a marriage proposal from my friend recently. My situation here at home is very bad and he’s my only connection to Islam. He doesn’t live in the same country as me. So, is it okay for me to talk once in a while, about college studies or Islamic topics? Is this going to be a problem? We both haven’t seen each other in person, I only saw a picture once. I don’t want to mess up. Please let me know the steps to be taken.
Thank you for your question. May Allah bless you on your new Islam, and may you flourish and find ease and much goodness in your life from it.
There is much wisdom in the gender interaction rules put in place by Allah Most High. Although you may feel that he is your only connection to Islam, you will have much more goodness and blessings in your life if you leave this man’s company. Ask Allah to send you sisters, elders, a local scholar, anyone that can help you learn. Also, consider taking free courses here on any Islamic science that you can think of, for free, and you’ll find a plethora of contacts this way. Discuss college and Islamic topics with them. And don’t forget that your constant connection to Islam is perpetually there: the Quran, and Allah Himself.
Allah Most High says, “˹They are˺ those who, upon committing an evil deed or wronging themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness and do not knowingly persist in sin—and who forgives sins except Allah? Their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens under which rivers flow, staying there forever. How excellent is the reward for those who work ˹righteousness˺! [Quran 3:135-136]
If you do feel that this might be the man for you, I suggest two things. Don’t marry until a year has passed on your Islam, for it will help you to live through the seasons of Islam first on your own, before committing to a husband.
Secondly, see if this man’s devotion to religion is right for you, and pray istikhara for guidance on whether to marry him or not. If you are seriously considering him for marriage, you would speak to him only as much as you need to, to make your decision, and nothing beyond that.
Please see these links for more details:
Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance
The Reality of Istikhara
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Keep this aphorism of Ibn ‘Ata’illah in mind; it reminds me of your situation. Perhaps use your lack of company to your advantage, as there is much that can be done when distractions are few.
Your desire for isolation,
even though God has put you in the world to gain a living,
is a hidden passion.
And your desire to gain a living in the world,
even though God has put you in isolation
is a comedown from lofty aspiration.
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.