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Should I Rely on Allah to Send Me My Marriage Partner?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: As-SalamuAlikum. What duas can I make to Allah to enable me to be paired with a Spouse? I am of marriageable age but I am reluctant to find someone for myself or ask my parents for help in this regard due to previous bad experiences.

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you are well insha’Allah. I’m sorry to hear you have had hardships in your life. May Allah turn them into moments of strength and increase in faith.

The correct way to seek a spouse is to first rely on Allah as the sole source of happiness and goodness, supplicate to Him, and then take the means which are available to you in choosing the right spouse, which means making decisions based on your own judgement and the advice of your parents and others, whilst seeking further guidance through Istikhara.

Marriage for the sake of Allah

Before one gets marriage, one should try to ensure that they are grounded in their own practice of the religion, the meaning begin observing the obligatory duties of the region.

One should also make sure that seeking Allah Most High’s Pleasure is the most important purpose of marriage, in that one desires companionship and intimacy from a lawful relationship, in which two people help each other increase in faith, practice and their journey towards Allah.

Supplication

You may recite the following supplications for a spouse anytime,

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَاماً

‘Our Lord! Grant unto us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.’ [Qur’an, 25:74]

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

‘My lord, I am in absolute need of the good You send me’ [Qur’an, 28:24]

Taking the Means

A man once asked the Prophet ﷺ, ‘O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?’ To which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ replied, ‘Tie her and trust in Allah.’ [al Tirmidhi]

Like wealth and other blessings, marital spouses are part of one’s decreed provisions. However, just because they are decreed, it is a mistake to believe that one should not take the means and necessary action to gain the provision. Rather one relies on Allah and then takes action. This is the way Allah Most High has commanded us to live, and to do otherwise is blameworthy.

Taking action here means actively looking for and meeting potential marriage partner, each step weighing up the situation and advice of parents, elders and good friends. Then, one seeks further guidance from Allah through praying Istikhara and supplicating for what is good in each affair.

Bad Experiences

Hardships and bad experiences happen to us all. In such times, we have to find a way to turn these negative experiences into positive outcomes by learning from them, being patient, relying on Allah alone and being thankful to Him for everything.

At the same time, it is right to be precautious, especially when marrying. Therefore, I suggest you take the steps described above, but be sure to asses each person and situation properly. Do not be afraid to say what you want and what you expect, and ask whatever questions you feel you need to in order to feel absolutely confident you are making the right decision. Similarly, do not be afraid to take a step back if things do not seem right or comfortable to you.

You may also find the following answers useful:

Supplication for a Spouse

Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance

I wish you all the best and that Allah grants you a pious and loving spouse, and protection from harm.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Guidelines for Interacting With the Opposite Sex

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: Being put in situations with women leaves me confused with no idea about how to interact with them.  I know the issues of khalwa and modesty are important, but I don’t really understand what they practically mean or how to put everything together.  Could  you provide some detailed guidelines on how brothers should interact with sisters in a way that is completely in line with the shariah?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Praise be to Allah. May His peace and blessings shower upon our beloved Messenger. May Allah reward you for seeking knowledge of His deen.

In Islam, interactions between the sexes are permitted within certain limits specified by the Quran and the Sunna. To some, these limits might appear to be very strict. However, there is a divine wisdom underpinning the limits set down by the Shariah. In adhering to the boundaries set by the Sharia, we can uphold the Quranic command to the believing men and women to be awliya of one another, or protecting friends, while at the same time maintaining the modesty and purity of heart that come from obeying Allah and His Messenger in this regard.

In brief, when interacting with a woman who is not a member of your unmarriageable kin or your wife, you must avoid khalwa, or seclusion; guard your gaze; and obviously, avoid any physical contact.

In more detail:

Khalwa

Khalwa takes place when one man or more than one man are alone with one woman in a place where no one can see them or enter. If there are two women and a man, for example, this is not khalwa. However, when there is only one woman, this situation is considered as seclusion, and becomes unlawful. Obviously, this is for the protection of the woman and the man (or men) so that a situation will not arise where the male becomes tempted and the woman possibly harmed.

If you are in a situation where you are in a room with two or more women, this is not khalwa and there is no need for you to be uncomfortable.

Guard Your Gaze

Guarding your gaze is a good practice that fosters modest interaction between the sexes. The Quran commands both believing men and women to guard their gaze. Unfortunately, many Muslims have lost this practice. What guarding the gaze means is that you should refrain from staring at a woman’s face (if she’s not a member of your unmarriageable kin or your wife). It does not mean keeping one’s eyes glued to the ground. In Western societies, guarding one’s gaze can sometimes be interpreted as a lack of assertiveness or respect for the other person.

However, with Muslims, guarding one’s gaze indicates respect for the other person’s space and modesty of intention. Our scholars have said that looking at a woman’s face is permitted in certain occasions. For example, if you are seeking a woman in marriage, it is permitted to look at her face. If you work in any type of job that requires you to look at people and interact with them, looking is permitted as long as you don’t look with desire. If you are a teacher, looking at your female students is permitted as long as you don’t look more than necessary or with desire. In short, be modest and respectful.

If You Can’t Look, You Can’t Touch

According to the Shariah, where looking is not permitted, then touching is also unlawful. This can be a sensitive topic for Muslims living in the West where handshaking is commonplace and is considered a polite thing to do. Shaking the hand of someone from the opposite sex is unlawful.

According to our scholars, the Prophet, peace be upon him, never shook the hand of a woman who was not a member of his unmarriageable kin or his wife. So you should do your utmost to avoid shaking hands. But try to do it in a way that does not offend the other person. For many non-Muslims, if you simply explain to them that your religion (or culture) does not permit shaking hands and that you mean no offense, then usually people are okay with that.

Covering the Awrah (Nakedness)

Covering the awrah or one’s nakedness. Another requirement of interaction between the sexes is that everyone should observe Islamic modesty or covering the awrah. For men, this means covering what’s between the navel and the knee. For women, this means covering the whole body except the face and hands. Obviously, this is possible in a Muslim gathering. But there are very few places in this world where you will encounter women who are always covered. Obviously, if you live and work in the West, everyday you will see women who are not properly covered. What you need to do here is to simply be modest, behave respectfully, and avoid looking at women without need.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when you find yourself in a situation with women, Muslim or otherwise, simply be modest and respectful. There is no problem with talking to a member of the opposite sex or working with that person when there is a need. As long as we adhere to these boundaries, inshallah everything should be fine.

There is no need to be uncomfortable when there are women around. I have seen some Muslim brothers who when they sight a woman or hear her voice, immediately start scowling or act very tense. This is unnecessary. I have also seen Muslim brothers who feel very comfortable chatting with non-Muslim women, but as soon as a Muslim woman comes around, they ignore her and won’t even give salaams. This too is unnecessary and looks very strange to the non-Muslim observers.

What’s important to remember here is the example of our Prophet, peace be upon him. He was modest, respectful, and kind to everyone. He also interacted with women when there was a need to do so. He is the best example for us.

I hope this is helpful to you.

And Allah alone gives success. And Allah knows best.

(Umm Salah) Zaynab Ansari