Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I am 17 years old and talking to someone I want to marry; the feelings are mutual. He is a year younger and has asked me to wait two years, but I don’t think I can. I want to stop hiding it from my family, and I want to stop sinning. I also don’t think my father can afford to have a wedding for me; I don’t even know if he will approve. Please advise and give me a du’a that I can read for myself.
I pray that Allah blesses you and guides you through this time. Marriage is a delicate affair, but you must take the proper steps. Sinning with your potential husband is not one of the options.
Repent for what you have done with this man so far. It is not permissible to get close to a man emotionally and physically without a marriage contract (nikah). Looking at him and speaking to him lustfully is considered the fornication of the eyes and the tongue. You should distance yourself from him now and see if the interest lasts.
Pray Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance about whether this man is right for you. Ask Allah to guide you. Pray it for at least seven days. See, especially whether this man has qualities that suit you. Is he strong in his deen, and can he make you better in your religion too? Pray istikhara whether it is worth it to wait for two years. Plenty of good men can come along in two years. You must understand that any feeling you have toward a man before marriage is lust. Only after marriage is it, real love.
If you feel positive after istikhara, tell your parents about him. He should ask them for your hand in marriage and assure them that you are keeping your distance from him. Wait for their permission and accept what they say. They are concerned for you, and they know you better than anyone. Be patient and follow their advice. Remember that you are still young, and marriage is a fascinating prospect. You want to be sure you are making the right choice and not rushing into it because of emotions. Your parents can help you with this.
A lack of resources to throw a lavish wedding is not a reason to delay marriage. The tradition of Islam is to have simple weddings that are not postponed and not to spend one’s life savings on them. Encourage your parents to make a simple marriage contract (nikah) in a mosque and to have a reception according to their means. A person should have a wedding in moderation within their financial means, which is how he should conduct his whole life. This will result in the most baraka by Allah’s grace.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best of marriage is that which is made easiest.” [Ibn Hibban] And he (may Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “The best of mahr (dowries) is the simplest (or most affordable).” [Hakim]
Make sure to benefit from this reader:
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
May Allah guide you both and give you the best in both worlds.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, 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.