How Can I Be With My Cousin After We Have Loved Each Other for Years?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Since I was five years old, my cousin and I were very close and we became sweethearts. Regrettably, we did act on those feelings from time to time, but we always had to hide how we felt about each other because of our family. Fast forward to 15 years later, we’re still feeling the same way. It’s on & off in a way, we think about each other even if we haven’t met in years. We both feel as though we understand each other best, and the feelings don’t seem to go away no matter who came into our lives, or how much we prayed to get over each other.

I need guidance on what this could mean for both of us. I don’t want to sin anymore, I want him, and I want us to grow closer to Allah.

Answer

Thank you for your question. The solution is simple. If he truly is good for your religion, then you need to marry him and I pray that Allah facilitates that for you.

Religion

Being in love with him or having been physical with him in the past does not suffice as a reason for marrying him. You must first heed the prophetic advice: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!“ [Bukhari & Muslim]

If this man is truly someone who wants to fulfill personal Islamic obligations, repent for his past, gain knowledge and seek to improve himself, then you should tell your parents that you want to marry him.

Steps

Some of the steps that you should take in this process

  • Wholeheartedly repent for what you have done with him and tell him that anything illegitimate between you is over. He must seek your hand in marriage if he truly respects you.
  • Pray istikhara about marrying him, and follow Allah’s guidance on this
  • Take an Islamic course on marriage so that you know what you are getting into and what your rights and obligations are
  • Turn to Allah in the meantime, stay away from boys, and fear Allah as much as you can

Contact

Until the matter of marriage is settled between you, or if you realize that will not marry him for some reason, cut off all contact with him. Being close to him is outside the scope of Islamic gender interaction, and you will just be making it harder for yourself to move on if you have to. If you sincerely love Allah and want to do what is right, start now. Cut him off, be formally polite and cordial with him, and prove to yourself that you want to truly change for the better. Pray on time, read Qur’an daily with the meaning, learn personally obligatory knowledge, and surround yourself with pious people. Allah will certainly put ease and blessings in your life if you choose to transform yourself.

Please see these links as well:
Prayer of Repentance: Salat al-Tawba
What is Sincere Repentance?
How Do I Repent after Having Had a Boyfriend?
I Was in a Sinful Relationship. Will Allah Forgive Me?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, 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.