Arranged Marriage to Someone I am not Attracted to

Question: I am a 24-year-old British man who got married 4 months ago in Bangladesh. I have been going through depression since I felt like I got pressured in getting married. I have been feeling very stressed and I am back in the UK now after my marriage. She sends me photos on occasions and I just don’t find her attractive in any way. I feel it’s my parent’s stupidity that led me to this because they didn’t even let me see the girl. My own mother agrees she is not that pretty but says I should be grateful because she is at least at my level of looks and I shouldn’t dream too high. I am really slowly starting to hate my parents for not giving me the option of seeing her before getting married. She has a good heart but she not attractive. I have married her now so I can’t undo this.

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you have gone through this hardship and unfairness. It is an established sunnah to see the girl before marriage for this very reason.

Seeing the girl first

Please see these links about the sunnah of seeing a girl before marriage and why it was encouraged by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace:

Hating your parents

As for hating your parents, your blame is misplaced. You are responsible for your decision and you should have insisted on seeing the girl. You should have followed the sunnah, no matter how much your parents objected, and you should have known that it is the sunnah to see her. If you are a man that is responsible enough to care for a woman and provide her with a home and children, are you not man enough to insist on looking at her once? In addition to this, did you prepare for marriage? Did you take a course? Do you know your rights and obligations? If not, then you must learn them now.

Moving forward

I know it seems like your world is collapsing around you, but I guarantee you that you will be all right. A woman’s beauty shines through from many different things and I believe this girl’s heart might win you over. Good character, kindness, her smile, her goodness toward you will go a long way and will not fade away with time. Intimacy will also help a great deal. After she is living with you, you can also encourage her to dress up, wear make-up, send her to a Muslim salon to get her hair done, all of these things help. Consider taking this course:

Trust in Allah, rely on Him, and look forward to a happy life with her. I ask Allah to give you every success and goodness and a marriage filled with iman, taqwa, and blessings.

[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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Do I Get Rid of My Desperation to Get Married?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am a single 28 year old woman. I have not dated anyone before. It is so upsetting that I have ended up feeling unwanted at this age. How am I supposed to be happy knowing that no matter what happens, my singlehood persists? My mind keeps going back to how nothing ever really happens despite asking God.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah lift this turmoil in your heart and replace it with tranquility.


A shaykh once told me to make this dua: “O Allah, make me want what You want.” Make this dua as much you can, to help you surrender to the Decree of Allah.

Read Surah Yusuf to help lift your sadness. Make daily istighfar and send salawat upon the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace).


Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said:
The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: “I supplicated but it was not granted.” [Sahih Muslim]

Please continue to make dua for a righteous and loving spouse. Trust that Allah will send you what you need, at the best possible time. In addition, please perform The Prayer of Need before the entry of Fajr. It is not our place to demand Allah to hurry – instead, beg Allah to soothe your heart, for He is the Turner of Hearts.


Dating in the Western sense (flirtation, being in seclusion with a non-mahram man, engaging in physical contact etc) is impermissible. Alhamdulilah for you not having committed this sin before. May Allah keep you steadfast on this, despite the rising trend of young Muslims going down this troubling path.

It is tempting for you to believe that because you have not dated, you are not wanted by anyone, therefore inherently unlovable. This is nothing more than waswasa by the shaytan, who wants to fool you into despair. Don’t buy into his lies. Never place your worth in the hands of your romantic partner. This puts you in a very vulnerable position.


When registration reopens on February 8th, please complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. This will give you a clearer idea of what marriage calls you to.

Hajj and Umrah

Have you performed Hajj and Umrah yet? If not, please save up and go with a trusted mahram or a group of trustworthy women. When you first see the Ka’bah, make the dua of Imam Malik and ask Allah to answer all your duas. Then proceed to ask Allah for a righteous husband and children. Alhamdulilah, that’s what I did when I was in my twenties. I’m in my thirties now and have a husband and a baby daughter. Once, this was unimaginable for me. Truly, Allah is Generous and Wise.

Good opinion of Allah

Trust in Allah’s Wisdom. There is a reason why He is delaying marriage for you. Perhaps there are still character traits you need to develop. Developing patience with Allah’s Decree will serve you well throughout your marriage. You may find yourself tested by common trials such as finances, in-laws, communication difficulties, children, health issues etc. Use the time you have right now to practise gratitude for what you do have, and work on the parts of yourself that need refining.

I pray that one day, you will have the blessings of a husband and children who love you dearly. In the meantime, trust that you already have the love of your Creator.

Please refer to the following links:

Why my Singlehood Seems Endless and Why is it So Difficult to Bear?
Difficulty Getting Married Leading to Resentment and Depression
Advice for Those Who Are Still Single After Trying to Get Married for Years
Single Muslims – Why Can’t We Get Married?


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Single Muslims – Why Can’t We Get Married?

Single Muslims

Why are single Muslims having difficulty finding a spouse? What do they bring to the table when looking for an ideal marriage? What is the Islamic backdrop to this search?

This open, flowing discussion took place in SeekersHub Toronto, in the company of Imam Tahir Anwar and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. Chaired by Dr Bano Murtuja.

..but first, further resources for single Muslims:

Listen to the Podcast now

‘They Are Your Garments And You Are Theirs’: Marital Relation and the Metaphor of the Garment by Maulana M Mansur Ali

Marital Relation and the Metaphor of the Garment
Reflections on surat –al-Baqara 2:187
هن لباس لكم وأنتم لباس لهن
By Maulana Dr M Mansur Ali
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain. (Khalil Gibran, The Prophet)
Marriage is the oldest traditions known to mankind. It is a continuation of that holy communion that took place between our first parents Adam and Hawwa (May Allah’s peace be on both of them) in the garden of al-Firdaws. Adam (as) enjoyed the bounties of his Lord in paradise. He knew no needs. However, as time passed by he yearned for human company. For love and warmth, for someone to share his thoughts with, to be intimate with, someone who can understand the beatings of his heart and deepest of his thoughts. Allah created his wife Hawwa (as) for him and thus filled the void in his heart. Together they roamed around in paradise, eating from its many delicacies when and whatever they wished. However, due to a momentary lapse of judgement caused by the whispering of the devil, together, they violated the only one restriction that Allah has commanded them to refrain from. As a result of this trespass divine Grace left them and they became acutely aware of their nakedness.  It is then that both Adam and Hawwa felt a second need, the need to cover themselves up.  They ran to the trees of paradise and started covering their innocence with its leaves. ‘Where can you run away from me Adam?’ said his Lord to him. ‘I’m not running to get away from you my Lord’, he replied ‘I’m running to hide from you out of shame and modesty’. (al-Tabari, Al-Araf: 7:22). The need for company and the need for clothes were two of the first needs that Adam (as) experienced in paradise, it then comes as no surprise that Allah refers to the relationship between a husband and wife using the metaphor of clothes and garments.
‘They (your wives) are your garments and you are theirs’ says Allah in the Qur’an. The metaphor of the garment is a very powerful one as it brings home the message. It creates in the mind a crystal clear picture of the relationship needed for a happy and healthy marriage. Clothes are a basic necessity for humans. They are used for warmth as well as beauty.
Clothes have many qualities and functions. One of its qualities is that it keeps us warm. The sign of a healthy marriage is when the husband and wife feel warmth in each other’s company. Their very presence brings tranquillity to the hearts of their spouse, and the whole world feels like a cold empty void without the other.
Our clothes are physically the closest object to our bodies. They trespass beyond the boundaries of what is socially accepted as ones comfort space. The husband and wife should be close to each other like the closeness of the garment to the naked body.  They should be able to share the most intimate of thoughts with each other without the fear of being judged by the other. They should be open and transparent with each other and should be able to communicate their feelings, frustrations, desires physical, spiritual and emotional with honesty and without embarrassment.
Clothes are also a form of protection. They protect from harsh weather conditions as well as conceal physical imperfections such as a scar on our body. Here the analogy is three-fold: first and foremost the husband and wife should physically protect each other not only from outside threat but also from themselves. It defies all laws of human compassion and dignity that a man beats up his wife and then comes onto her like a beast for no other purpose than his gratification. He further adds insult to injury in the process by saying ‘I love you’.
Furthermore, it is the duty of the spouse to make sure that people are not bad mouthing their spouse, at least not in their presence and if they do then they should put them straight. That marriage is in a sorry state when one of the spouses is the centre of ridicule in the presence of the other and he/she does nothing about it. Even worse is when the spouse starts divulging intimate details and imperfections to others. It is in line with Prophetic practice that the spouse should conceal each other’s imperfections. Like the way our clothes conceal our physical imperfections, similarly we should conceal the imperfections of our spouse.
Similarly, our clothes function as a barrier from toxins and other harmful bacteria from coming on to our body.  Marriage is about faith and trust, it is a commitment made in the presence of God and in the presence of the community. A couple should not let any third party come between them and pollute their holy communion. Indeed it is one of the devil’s greatest triumphs to cause a split between the spouse by casting doubts on their fidelity and honour.
Obviously being human one will have ups and downs in their marriage. There is nothing un-human about this. ‘Marriage is a bed of roses’ says sister Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood, ‘but a bed of roses with many thorns.’ However, it is a test of character as to how one rises up from these problems. Once in a while our clothes get dirty. We wash our clothes in order to clean them. We may also add fabric conditioners for extra softness. Conflict resolution is an art one needs to master. One needs to have an understanding for the other’s point of view, listen to them attentively and try to understand their grievance. It won’t do anyone harm if a dollop of love conditioner was added in the process. People wash their own clothes in their homes. Similarly the first call of duty should be to resolve any problems amongst themselves without resorting to any third party. A common problem amongst some women is that they get their families involved in every little argument that they have with their husbands. This at times will only make the situation worse rather than better. It is only when the stain is really stubborn or the blanket is too big that one needs to take it to the laundry. When all avenues of conflict resolution have been exhausted only then should one resort to close ones and elders for help. And if the argument is about who is to do the next laundry, just remember the fabric conditioner.
Remember our clothes are ours, they are made to fit us, even if someone else wears exactly the same clothes it’s still not our clothes. Couples should take great care that they don’t drag their parents in to their arguments. Husbands should not search for their mother in their wives and wives should not search for their father in their husbands. ‘My mother used to do everything for me’ or ‘my father used to treat me like a princess’ are common sledgehammers used against each other.  If you really want to make a comparison with your parents [???], then it is better to make a horizontal comparison rather than a vertical one. How does your father treat your mother or vice versa? Accurate results will only yield when the comparison is being made between two husbands or two wives and not a father and a husband or a mother and a wife.
Many people boil down marital disputes to clash of personalities. However, unless the clash is severe, why should we see it as something detestable? Don’t we have differences and tensions in all phases of life? Shouldn’t we be celebrating our differences and respecting the other person’s likes and dislikes. Difference (ikhtilaf) in Islam is never seen as a bad thing, it is a part of the divine design of the cosmos to which we belong. What is abhorred is dispute (khilaf), antipathy and animosity. What is the joy of living in a monolithic world where everyone looks and thinks the same? Where is the challenge in this? A little bit of chilli and pepper brings out the kick in the curry and only enhances its flavour. The fabric in a cloth is made up by weaving strands of yarn vertically and horizontally. Although the fibres go in different direction they interlock at the intersection. Without the horizontal-vertical weaving the fabric will not exist. Their differences make the fabric. Without any differences there won’t be any spark in the marriage. Like the fabric our differences should be viewed as complimentary and not contradictory. As the Persian poet says: har gulera digar rang wa bu ast (every flower has a different colour and fragrance).
From time to time clothes need repairing. It’s the little stitches that keep the clothes intact. Presenting one’s spouse with a big present at valentine whilst being neglectful towards her the whole year round will not mend the already big hole in the clothes. It’s the everyday little appreciations, coy remarks and playful gestures that will keep the stitches of the marriage intact.
Despite being so close to us, we still need to take off our clothes and hang them in the closet at night. Similarly, despite being intimately close, we should give our spouse their own space lest they feel suffocated by our love. ‘Loving to death’ may not cause one to die, but it can result in a very unhappy spouse who needs time to herself. We need to understand that although we are bonded together as a couple, however we are individuals. And the sooner we understand this human condition the happier we will be in our marriage. As Gibran says:  And Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music … stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
There now remains one piece of analogy which will throw the whole metaphor of the garment in jeopardy. What should one do when it is time to change their old clothes? If this is your case then it is high time that you buy your wife a new SAREE.

Advice to Single Sisters Entangled with Married Men – Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi

Advice to Single Sisters Entangled with Married Men – Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi

The man you claim to “love” and are eagerly waiting on the sidelines for in the hopes that he’ll see you, is keeping you in the periphery for a reason. He knows perfectly well that he can go on enjoying his game on the field and you’ll still be standing there waiting around when everyone else goes home. You see, he loves the attention you give him. He relishes every minute of it. He loves the power he has over you. He loves that you are so eager to please him. Come rain or shine, he knows that you’ll always be standing there, eagerly waiting for him to just give you a glance…and no matter how difficult the game is he’s playing, unlike everything else he’s got going on, he knows you’re a sure shot. You may be the only guarantee he has in life, which is why his grasp on you is so tight.

He may say all the right things, he may go out of his way to make you feel EXTRA special. Maybe he has a nickname for you and “only” you. He has you convinced that YOU are an exception above all other women, even his wife, which is why he can’t stay away from you. If he’s really good, he’ll periodically pull the “I’m feeling guilty” card and disappear for a while. Then, in poetic fashion, he’ll reappear and tell you how “impossible” it was to forget you, how he thought of you every day and just needed to see you again!

Sounds so amazing doesn’t it? After all, what woman doesn’t want to believe that she’s irresistible? What woman doesn’t want a man to make her feel that she has a special power, above all other women in his life, to make him weak?

He’s figured out that by sticking to this solid script he can manipulate you to do pretty much anything he wants you to and believe anything he tells you.

Now, I know it’s hard for you to hear these things about the man you “love”. After all, he’s so sweet and such a good man otherwise. He has a good heart, he may even go to the masjid, help raise funds for charitable causes, and be an all-around “good guy”. How can such a man be capable of intentionally manipulating you? He’s not evil! He loves you…you know it, you feel it…he just can’t be with you because his life is so difficult. He’s sacrificing his own happiness (which is being with you) because of his family, his children, his parents…you feel so sorry for him but it makes you love him even more that he’s so noble…

Hold up…let’s rewind for just a second.

No one is saying that he’s evil. Being a man who is caught up in this toxic situation and one who is otherwise a relatively “good Muslim” are not mutually exclusive. Throughout history, even in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), men (and women) have fallen into this dangerous trap of shaitan. So, no one is denying that he has virtues. He is caught up in the addictive cycle the same as you are, just for different reasons. But that’s a whole other topic all together. We’re focusing on you right now.

Now, I want you to indulge me for just a moment and consider the possibility that what you perceive as “love” for this person is not as pretty and romantic as you think but it’s actually something else, something that is actively harming you. How many nights have you cried yourself to sleep because of the loneliness, the feelings of neglect? How many times have you beaten yourself up wondering why he’s not with you or why he didn’t choose YOU as his wife? How many times have you felt sick to your stomach over the guilt? Is that what you imagined you’d feel when you met “the one”? Or did you imagine someone who RECIPROCATED your feelings, and not just by word, but by action?

Didn’t you imagine that when you found the person you were created for that he would be loyal to you, be there for you when you needed him, take care of you when you were sick, honor your friends and family, wipe away your tears when you were down, and be proud to walk side by side with you, just as you were proud to do so with him? If you did, then you were right. That is how a man and woman who are in love behave with one another.

I’m certain you didn’t imagine that being in love meant that you would be hidden, like someone’s shameful secret. Unfortunately, despite the intensity and authenticity of your feelings for him, despite the fact that you already have and would probably continue sacrificing yourself, your principles, your reputation, your family’s honor, your spiritual health, etc., for him, he is not willing to do what it takes to be with you.

That would take honesty on his part. It would take for him to sacrifice many things that are part of the life he’s created…but he’s not willing to do that, which is why his promises to you will most likely NEVER be fulfilled. He is not willing to lose it all for you…if he was, he’d already have done it and wouldn’t be stringing you along as he has been.

Trust me when I say that a man in love will move mountains to be with the woman he loves. A man in lust, a man addicted to the attention his ego gets from such relationships, a man who cannot control his desires, will NOT. He will just continue to fulfill his desires. He will keep the addiction going as long as the supply is there and he can continue getting whatever he wants out of it. The moment his needs are no longer being met he will disappear completely. What does that mean for you? It means that the moment you stop giving in to him, the moment you stop showing up at the games, the moment he no longer sees you on the sidelines, he will dispose of you without a second thought…and unless he gets help, he’ll move on to his next conquest.

So, please my dear sister, do not be someone who lets ANYONE treat you like you are disposable. Do you realize who you are? I know this relationship has probably worn down your self-image and self-worth, but let me remind you that you have been honored by Allah (swt) to not only be a Muslim, but to be in the ummah of the Best of Creations (peace be upon him). Much of the Prophets life mission, even up until his last moments on earth, were to fight for YOUR rights as a woman, to be honored, to be cherished, to be loved, to be respected. You deserve better than this. You were not created to be used by someone and have your rights and honor stripped from you in the process. Would he ever allow someone to do this to his sister, to his daughter? Of course not! So what gives him the right to do it to you? It’s because what you risk losing is not as important as what he risks gaining from you. He does not care that you are in a state of perpetual heartache, that you cry when you are not with him, or that you have possibly missed out on so much of your life being caught up in this vicious cycle.

Please get out and seek help. There are professionals who can help you, people who will never judge you or ever expose you. They will do whatever they can to guide you out of this, inshAllah. You just have to believe that with Allah (swt) anything is possible. If you are sincere, in the blink of an eye, he can remove these feelings from your heart and set you free. Return to Him. He loves you, He loves your tears of repentance more than you can ever know. I promise you, if you surrender to Him, you can and will overcome this inshAllah. You just have to value yourself as much as He (azza wajal) has valued you and take the first step.

Allah (swt) said: “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself. And if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Hadist Qudsi: Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)


Lasting Love: What Makes for Successful Marriage?

Lasting Love: What Makes for Successful Marriage?

Seminar with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani looks at the key elements of a successful marriage. By looking at the the Qur’an, Prophetic teachings, and scholarly wisdom, Shaykh Faraz shares clear and practical guidance that we can uphold to have marriages that fulfill the worldly and spiritual potential of what the Prophet (peace be upon him) referred to as “Half the religion.”

SeekersHub Toronto (, a new Islamic learning centre in the Greater Toronto Area, committed to providing a wide spectrum of free learning opportunities and spiritual activities that are open and welcoming to all individuals.
Help us continue to provide education without barriers through your ongoing monthly support or a one-time donation: