Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I have received a proposal from a young man. I have been advised to accept as he has recently qualified as a scholar.
However, I know that he is flirty and has had relationships with other women. Am I right to refuse him on these grounds? Am I being arrogant by thinking this?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people.” [Muslim]
The definition of arrogance is looking down on other people. Please reflect on this. It is sinful for you to consider yourself better than him because you are chaste and he was not. Repentance wipes his slate clean. In addition to that, the wheel of life is always turning, and we are all in need of Allah’s Mercy.
When registration reopens, I strongly encourage you to do this course: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. Before you get married, it is obligatory for you to learn the fiqh behind it. This course will also help you understand the qualities you need to look for in a husband, and inform you about the qualities you need to cultivate in yourself.
Being chaste is from the sunnah of our Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). I pray that Allah rewards you for living by this beautiful Prophetic virtue. However, Allah Most High is the One who continues to allow you tawfiq (enabling grace) in being chaste.
“A disobedience that bequeaths humiliation and extreme need
is better than an obedience that bequeaths
self-infatuation and pride.” [Aphorism of Ibn Ata’illah]
Remember to make plentiful shukr for this tremendous blessing from Allah. Focus on Him with humility and gratitude, and not on yourself or your good deeds.
I suggest that you perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times to get a clear answer on how to proceed. If it is a negative, then you know that he is not for you e.g. your heart continues to be turned away from him and you continue to hear negative reports about him.
If your istikhara is a positive, then that is a sign for you to give him a chance e.g. if your heart softens, or you receive good news about him.
It is extremely important for you to do your research about each prospective suitor, but please be discerning about your sources of information. Are the people who have warned you about him trustworthy? Or are they the kind who incline towards gossiping?
If this young man is still being lax in his behaviour towards women, then their warning you is a good thing. However, if he has made his repentance and is behaving chastely, then these tale-bearers have committed a major sin by spreading false tales about him, and by exposing his past sin. Please refer to this: Slander, Backbiting and Talebearing.
Leave all judgement of his character to Allah, who is the All-Seeing and All-Knowing. Your job is to keep an open mind, be honest with yourself, and pray istikhara. As it is extremely important to you to marry someone chaste, then it does not sound like he fits your criteria. Additionally, his character traits already seem to irritate you. People don’t change for the better after marriage unless Allah wills, so generally what you see is what you get.
If your family asks you why you do not want to accept his offer, just tell them that your istikhara is negative. I pray that Allah blesses you with a husband who has both good character and religion.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani