Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives advice on being honest to one’s loved ones.

Question:

Should I tell my parents and friends how I met my wife? Let’s say it was through a mutual friend. Do they need to know?

Does my future wife needs to know if have broken my legs three times, or lets say I had three bouts of depression but I’m fully functional and working full time? Does she need to know?

Answer:

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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

Parents’ Concern about Future Wife

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Avoid suspicion for suspicion is the most lying form of talk. Do not be inquisitive about one another, or spy on one another.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Dear questioner, I recommend that you reassure your parents’ and friends by saying that you were introduced to your wife by mutual friends. Any parent would be concerned, because they would like to know the background about the person their child wants to marry.

If you do not tell them the truth, then they may jump to incorrect conclusions that would cast your future wife in a bad light. I encourage you to cut off any suspicion by being honest. You have done nothing wrong by meeting your future wife through mutual friends.

I do not know your background, but are you concerned because your family prefers marriages arranged with cousins? If they do, then prepare yourself for that and stay calm, firm and respectful.

Speaking about the Past

Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah has appointed an angel in the womb, and the angel says, ‘O Lord! A drop of discharge [i.e. of semen], O Lord! a clot, O Lord! a piece of flesh.’ And then, if Allah wishes to complete the child’s creation, the angel will say. “O Lord! A male or a female? O Lord! wretched or blessed [in religion]? What will his livelihood be? What will his age be?’ The angel writes all this while the child is in the womb of its mother.” (Bukhari)

I invite you to reflect upon the question you have asked me. What would you like if your future wife were in your position?

I invite you to reflect upon the question you have asked me. What would you like if your future wife were in your position? I do encourage you to be honest with your future wife, and tell her that you have had depression in the past. Mental illness is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a tendency many of us have, because of past trauma and the complexities of our childhood in today’s fragmented world.

Marriage and then parenthood bring about stressors that may cause you to become depressed again. It is better for your future wife to know this, so you can work together as a team through that possibility. It is better for you to be vulnerable with your future wife, instead of pretending that everything is okay. 

If you do not tell her, marry her, and you become depressed again, then she will most likely feel betrayed. Trust that Allah will reward you for your honesty with her.

What are you afraid of? If you fear that she will not marry you because you have been honest about your past depression, then please know that she is not the right woman for you. The right spouse for you will accept and cherish you for all of your scars, because it is our scars that help to bring us closer to Allah. Trust that Allah has already destined the right wife for you, and your responsibility is to uphold excellent character. 

I pray that Allah grants you the courage, wisdom, and the gift of a loving marriage.

Please see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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