Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have been dating someone for almost a year and we are both in our final year at university. We often feel guilt for doing sin and have gone through to periods of trying to avoid seeing each other but at times we fall weak and fall into sin. We have planned to tell our parents about the prospect of marriage after our final exams.

How one can be certain about the time being right for marriage?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Preparing for marriage

“And it is among His signs that He has created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquility in them, and He has created love and kindness between you. Surely in this there are signs for a people who reflect.” [Qur’an, 30:21]

Marriage is indeed a very big decision. Unfortunately, when you are already emotionally attached, it is very difficult to zoom out and objectively consider if the person you are with is actually good marriage material.

I strongly encourage creating some emotional and physical distance so that you can both reflect on whether or not you are both ready to be married, and whether or not you are both actually suitable for each other.

Often, the stress of keeping a sinful relationship secret creates a strong attachment. Once that stress is gone, there may be very little left to build a solid connection.

Please consult this link to help you decide how to move forward:

Should a Couple in a Sinful Relationship Get Married? [Video]

Moving forward

“Do not even go close to fornication. It is indeed a shameful act, and an evil way to follow.” [Qur’an, 17:32]

Feeling guilt is a good sign. I pray that Allah helps you make good on your repentance.

Both of you need to study the spirit and letter of the law before you commit to marriage. I strongly encourage both of you to complete this course: Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage

You will need to earn enough money to financially support your future wife, at the standard of living she is used to. Many couples who marry young need to start off living very simply, in order to make ends meet. Use these challenging moments as opportunities to turn towards each other.

I suggest that you both read Islamic Marriage – Initiating and Upholding and Before You Tie The Knot.

Parents

Have your parents spoken to you about their expectations for your marriage? It’s important that you speak to them honestly, and get them on your side. They may be upset, especially if they had someone else in mind for you to marry, so do your best to stay calm and give them time to come around.

It is important for you to perform the Prayer of Guidance to help you decide whether or not to get married. If Allah makes your path to marriage easy, then perhaps that is a sign for you to go ahead. If He places many obstacles, then perhaps it is a sign for you to not go ahead with it.

I pray this has been helpful.

[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.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)