Should I Acquiesce to a Suitor’s Request to Complete an ‘Alima Program?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I like a boy who is studying to become an ‘Alim. Recently we discussed marriage, and his mother said I need to do the ‘Alima course for compatibility. He also insisted on it. However, due to finances, my parents want me to study from home (online university), and the career that I want allows me to work from home.

While I am unmarried, I would like to fulfill my parents’ wishes. But even before this man proposed, he wants to make decisions for me. He makes me believe that if I don’t pursue the ‘Alima course, my Iman is weak. I don’t have an issue with him studying it, but it’s his goal, and it’s something that his mom wants from him, it’s not my goal. Please advise.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your open mind, but this doesn’t sound like the right guy for you.


I find it quite disturbing that this man is saying that you must execute such-and-such in order for him to marry you. You are not asking him to propose, and he should not be marrying you for some potential, but instead for the qualities that you already possess. If you have chosen a career that he already wants you to change, then it seems that he belongs with someone who is already on the path that he desires, and not you.


Of course, pray istikhara and follow your feelings. Most of all, implement the advice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), which applies to both genders, when he said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or her piety. Select the pious, or your hands will be covered in dust!” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Please see these links as well:
Marriage Decision: Following One’s Heart
10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person! 

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.