How to Graciously Walk Away from a Girl I Was Getting to Know for Marriage?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I have been talking to a sister since May 2022. We initially had some compatibility, and even our mothers talked. She is a good person, but I no longer feel strongly about pursuing her. However, it appears that she still feels strongly about me. I even mentioned a while back that if our families meet in person, I would consider possibly proposing before the end of the year. But I have not proposed to her yet because of my doubts. I feel awful because it will hurt her. If I walk away, will I need to do anything to make amends to her or ask for her forgiveness?

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah Most High reward you for sincerely getting to know her in the right way and for being honest.

Promises

Although you were not yet engaged, you almost were and said that you would propose. It is recommended to uphold promises, though not obligatory. If you have a good reason to end this pursuit, it is permissible to finish it without dislike (karaha). In the future, you should not let it get so far or make false promises if you are not ready. Being a firm decision-maker is a positive trait, and you should strive for it, so people around you don’t get hurt.

Apology

Deciding that a girl is not for you requires no apology, nor really anything at all. You tell her that you no longer feel strongly about it, that you prayed istikhara, and you feel that Allah Most High has shown you that the two of you are too different. You can apologize for promising that you would propose when you didn’t; at least you acknowledge a mistake. You won’t be able to say much to make her feel better, so please end it soon instead of stringing her along and prolonging her pain and time wasted.

I pray that you can find someone suitable, and I urge you to follow the advice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), who said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or her piety. Select the pious, or your hands will be covered in dust!” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Please see these links as well:
Important Traits to Look for in a Prospective Spouse
What Advice Would You Give Me to Find a Spouse?

May Allah Most High 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 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.