Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I fear falling into sin with a young woman. What can I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
You and this young woman have made your choices, and now it is time for both of you to take responsibility. You have two choices – either get married, or end your relationship.
Doing a marriage course is praiseworthy, but it is only the beginning of your preparation. You describe yourself as being mentally and emotionally ready for marriage. Is she? Are you financially ready for marriage?
What is your plan for nikah, and after it? Have you completed your studies? If not, are you able to work part-time while studying, and earn enough to support yourself and your future wife? Where will you live? Can you afford to pay rent?
If you cannot afford to live on your own, will you be living with your family? Will your future wife be happy with that? Alternatively, if she wants her privacy, is she willing to work and contribute to your living expenses, even though her financial upkeep is your obligation and responsibility? These are some of the important questions you will need to ask yourselves.
To give yourself better practical solutions, I strongly encourage you both to read and apply what you learn in this book: Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples.
You need to consider a few different things:
1) Her family: You describe them as being unhappy about her Islam. It is important for you to tread carefully here. Try your very best to maintain good ties with her family. As much as possible, it would be better for you to win her family over. Technically, because her father is not Muslim, then you do not need his consent in order to marry her. However, it is far better for you to marry her with her family’s blessings, than without it. This effort that you put in before nikah will pay off, inshaAllah.
2) Her wali/guardian: I suggest that you find a trustworthy, wise and kind community elder who can take on this role.
3) Your family: How happy will your family be about you getting married to the young woman you have in mind? Do they have certain cultural expectations of your future bride, for example? All families do, to some extent. You must begin persuading them from now, with wisdom, gentleness and respect.
4) Gender interaction rules: It is important that you make an effort to reduce the time you spend with each other, until you are actually married. Please make an effort to meet in public, preferably chaperoned. Once your families, or at least yours, are involved, then it will be easier.
It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: “There is nothing like marriage, for two who love one another.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
If it is written for you, then I pray that this marriage will be a blessing and joy for both of you.
That being said, I advise you to put in great effort to win over your family and hers, for your long-term happiness. The arrival of grandchildren softens hearts, but it is far better for both of you to be on good terms with your respective families before that happens.
When you are young, it may seem that love is enough. However, the pressures that come from an isolated young wife and/or a financially strained husband can wreak havoc on a new marriage.
The first years of marriage, especially the first year, is a tremendous adjustment. In many ways, it can be harder on converts, because they often lack family support and the cultural knowledge about how to best interact with their in-laws. Please be patient with each other, and please always be on her side. Many things in your family are second nature to you (the food you eat, the titles you call your elder family members etc), but it is most likely very new to her. It will be a steep learning curve, there will be many mistakes, and these are all opportunities for you to grow closer to each other.
Equally, these differences can also cause you both to pull away from each other. It is a choice you will both make. Communicating well with each other is a lifelong skill.
I pray that Allah blesses you with marriage if it is good for your deen, dunya and akhirah.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.