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My Fiancée Broke off Our Engagement. What Do I Do to Move On?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have a disease which makes it difficult to get married. I was engaged to be married to a woman, and we had the blessings of our families. They broke off our engagement 6 months later. In an enraged state, I swore by Allah that I would not forgive them. Not long after, I regretted my outburst and silently forgave them.

1. What is the ruling for the actions she and her family took, seeing as there was an established agreement between the two families?

2. What is the ruling on my swearing by Allah never to forgive them for their actions but making a decision to forgive days after?

3. What should I do to help assuage my anger and sadness?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive for my delay.

Engagement

Breaking engagements is permissible in Islam. However, if handled poorly and without sensitivity, like in your case, then it can be sinful.

Oath

There are steps that need to be taken because you broke your oath. Please refer to this article: Expiation for a Broken Oath. Excerpt from the article:

It is obligatory to perform expiation (kaffara) upon breaking an oath by:

1. Providing decent clothing for ten poor people

2. or feeding ten poor people two full meals each.

3. Free a slave (not possible in our times)

One can choose to do either of the two options above and give the appropriate money in cash instead of doing it in kind.

Anger and sadness

Please give yourself time to heal. I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Need as much as you can, and as consistently as you can. Ask Allah to heal your broken heart, and to replace what you have lost with far better. Find comfort in daily recitation of the Qur’an. Reflect on the meanings of Surah Yusuf, and how much your patience through this trial will be rewarded. Nothing is lost with Allah.

I encourage you to consult websites like Emotional First Aid and practice their mindfulness and somatic healing strategies.

Marriage

Please trust that if Allah has ordained marriage for you, then it will happen, regardless of your disease. If He has not, then I pray that you come to peace with that too. Make constant dua for contentment, because only Allah can place that peace in our heart.

I pray that Allah grants you ease, clarity, and comfort during your troubling times.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Reader on Patience

Wassalam,
[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.

Advice on Breaking an Unwanted Marriage Engagement

Answered by Saira AbuBakr
Question: assalamu alaikum!
I have a friend who got engaged some years ago. He never wanted to get engaged to that person but never directly said ‘no’. He tried to refuse by making other excuses like ‘ not now, etc’ but he agreed due to feeling pressured.   Afterwards he tried to show that he wasn’t happy and now he is directly saying that he doesn’t want to marry this girl. The parents got upset and said this decision will break many relations because the engagement is done. They say the girl is better than someone he would choose for himself and they only want the best for him. 
How should this person and his parents be advised?
Answer: walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah ,
May Allah make the situation easy. It would be recommended to ask your friend if he has any religious reasons for disliking her. Also are they compatible in-terms of their upbringing, education, social and financial class?
We have a great example in the Seerah of our beloved Messenger, peace and prayers upon him, of a marriage between two very righteous, but incompatible companions:
Out of obedience to the Messenger of Allah (peace and prayers upon him), Sayyidah Zaynab bint Jah-sh (the cousin of the Messenger of Allah), married Sayyidna Zayd (initially adopted by the Prophet). However Sayyidah Zaynab was from an aristocratic, arab clan (Bani Hashim) and Sayydina Zayd, a freed, African slave. As a consequence, Sayyidah Zaynab was very unhappy in the marriage and it was eventually dissolved with the revelation of ayahs that married the Messenger of Allah to his cousin and abolished adoption.
If it is not any of the above then the brother should assess if their temperaments are incompatible. That alone can cause tension between people.
However, if he has no Islamic reason for refusing his parents wishes, I would advise him to do istikharah about whether she will be a means of him getting closer to Allah. He should repeat the istikharah until he has clarity in the matter. He may also, if he so wishes, ask another (someone with an objective view) to perform istikharah on his behalf.
If the istikharah indicates that she will be help him grow in his religion and his parents are still insisting, then he should ask Allah to place compassion and mercy in his heart for this sister. This is the basis of a good marriage and he should know that Allah is able to turn a person’s heart towards anyone He wishes.
Suratul Baqarah; ayah 216:
Yet it may happen that you hate a thing and it is good for you; and it may happen that you love a thing and it is bad for you. (Taken from AlTafseer.com; Translation: Feras Hamza)
If the istikharah or a glaring trait in her character indicates that she is not suitable for him, then he should communicate this to his parents.
One would advise him to communicate properly with his parents, all the while maintaining the utmost adab. Arguments will remove blessing from the discussion. Often times mothers may be won over by speaking about ones feelings and how sad one would be if married to this person. It should not turn into an argument of who is right or wrong nor be laden with guilt-trips.
Also, advise him to try to communicate to his parents that he wants to treat his wife with love and respect. If he is married to someone whom he dislikes, it might be very difficult to treat her with excellence, as is the sunnah. A woman can sense if her husband dislikes her and if she is unhappy as she knows her husband doe not love her, her parents are sure to find out. This may eventually lead to bigger problems between families. A divorce or constant bickering between husband and wife will not strengthen the relationship between the families either.
Most parents ultimately do want their children to be happy but are sometimes entrenched in obsolete cultural practices/modes of thinking not based in the religion. Above all, he should make dua that his parents are pleased with him.
If it reaches an impasse, he should reflect on his life and remove anything that would be displeasing to Allah and His Messenger, peace and prayers upon him. In doing this one should begin with the impermissible. Scholars of sacred knowledge say that difficulties come for two reasons. Firstly, as an expiation for the wrong one is doing in one’s life and secondly to raise one in rank. In the end, if one has the proper intention, it can all be a means of getting closer to Allah.
Finally, if the brother has not fulfilled his religious obligations by taking the classes he needs, he should try to start this right away. If he does not know where to start then he needs to consult a scholar. He may email Seekers Guidance for direction in this regard.
Saira AbuBakr