Question: I am a 24 years old girl. I fell in love, no dates, no meetings involved, pure love to a pure religious person. He promised to marry me and asked me to wait for him as his circumstances are difficult. I do not remember that he called me more than once. I asked him not to call me; because I feel this is wrong, although I love him. I felt that our love started going in the direction, he agreed to this feeling, and respected my opinion. He just sends me E-mails every so often via internet, so that I know his news. We have been in this love relationship for one year. I know this person and his family, and they know us well as well. I love him for Allah’s sake and sure he loves me as well. The problem is that I started receiving proposals, about 8 so far. Every time I refuse because I promised to wait for him. Now I am confused, is what I am doing halal or haram? I pray, Alhamdulillah, all obligatory and optional prayers, and pray qiyaam in the night as well; I fear I lose my good deeds because of what I am doing. Is a pure chaste love haram? Is my love to him halal or haram?.
Answer: Praise be to Allaah.
First of all I ask Allaah to guide you and grant you happiness, and I ask Him to increase the numbers of girls like you who are keen to maintain chastity and purity and adhere to the sacred limits of Allaah in their affairs, among the most important of which are emotional relationships that many people take lightly, so they overstep the mark and transgress the sacred limits of Allaah, and Allaah tests them with problems that we read about and hear of, in which there is a lesson for every Muslim and for every wise person.
You should note that correspondence and contact between the sexes is one of the doors that lead to fitnah (temptation). Sharee’ah is filled with evidence which indicates that it is essential to beware of falling into the traps of the shaytaan in this matter. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw a young man merely looking at a young woman, he turned his head so as to make him look away, then he said: “I saw a young man and a young woman, and I did not trust the shaytaan not to tempt them.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (885) and classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Hence you did well to cut off contact with this young man, and we hope that you will stop corresponding too, because correspondence is one of the greatest doors to corruption that have been opened for people nowadays. This has been discussed in a number of questions.
This does not mean that it is haraam for a man or woman to like a specific person whom he or she chooses to be a spouse, and feel love for that person and want to marry them if possible. Love has to do with the heart, and it may appear in a person’s heart for reasons known or unknown. But if it is because of mixing or looking or haraam conversations, then it is also haraam. If it is because of previous acquaintance, being related or because of hearing about that person, and one cannot ward it off, then there is nothing wrong with that love, so long as one adheres to the sacred limits set by Allaah.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If love develops for a reason that is not haraam, a person cannot be blamed for that, such as one who loves his wife or his slave woman, then he leaves her but that love remains and does not leave him. He is not to be blamed for that. The same applies if he glances accidentally then looks away, but love may settle in his heart without him wanting it to. But he has to ward it off and look away. End quote.
Rawdat al-Muhibbeen (p. 147).
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
A person may hear that a woman is of good character and virtuous and knowledgeable, so he may want to marry her. Or a woman may hear that a man is of good character and virtuous and knowledgeable and religiously committed, so she may want to marry him. But contact between the two who admire one another in ways that are not Islamically acceptable is the problem, which leads to disastrous consequences. In this case it is not permissible for the man to get in touch with the woman or for the woman to get in touch with the man, and say that he wants to marry her. Rather he should tell her wali (guardian) that he wants to marry her, or she should tell her wali that she wants to marry him, as ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) did when he offered his daughter Hafsah in marriage to Abu Bakr and ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with them both). But if the woman contacts the man directly, this is what leads to fitnah (temptation). End quote.
Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh (26/question no. 13)
Our advice to you is that it is essential to stop corresponding with this young man, and tell him that he has to propose to you through your wali, if he really does want to get married. He should not regard his material circumstances or anything else as a barrier. The matter is simple, in sha Allaah, and if a person is content with little, Allaah will make him independent of means by His grace and bounty. He should at least contact your wali and do the shar’i marriage contract, and if the consummation is delayed there is nothing wrong with that. But if it remains as a promise to get married, ande correspondence continues between you on that basis, this – according to the rulings of sharee’ah and the experience of real life – is a wrong path that opens the door to sin and corruption. You can be certain that you will never find happiness except by obeying Allaah and adhering to the limits set by his sharee’ah. The permissible ways are sufficient and there is no need for haraam means, but we make it hard for ourselves and the shaytaan takes advantage of that.
Your delay in getting married is very harmful for you. You are getting older and this young man’s circumstances are not improving; you are not marrying him and you are not marrying anyone else. Beware of delaying, for that will only cause harm. You should realize that one of these men who have proposed marriage may be more religiously committed and righteous than that young man, and there may be far greater love with him than there is between you and that young man.
And Allaah knows best.
Some people make a great deal of du’aa’ but receive no answer.
What is the reason for the delay in response to du’aa’? Some people make du’aa’ but they do not get any response; they ask for a long time but do not see it having any effect, so you find the Shaytaan starting to whisper to such people and making them think badly of their Lord.
Praise be to Allaah.
The one to whom that happens should believe that there is a reason and great wisdom behind the delay in the response. Allaah, may He be glorified, is the Sovereign of all and none can put back His bounty or overturn His ruling or object to His giving or His withholding, if He gives by His bounty or withholds by His justice. We are His slaves and He does with us whatever He will.
“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they (in any matter)”
How can a slave fall short in honouring his master’s rights and then demand his rights in full?
It is His right to be obeyed and not disobeyed, to be remembered and not forgotten, to be thanked and not to be shown ingratitude. If you look at yourself and how you are carrying out your duties, you would think very little of yourself and you would feel humility and would realize there can be no salvation except by His forgiveness and mercy. So look at yourself as being a slave, for Allaah is the Creator and Controller.
Allaah has great wisdom and He does not give or withhold except for a reason. You may look at something and think that it is good but by His wisdom He does not decree it. A doctor may do things which appear to be painful but they are in the patient’s best interests. And for Allaah is the highest description. (cf. al-Nahl 16:60).
Attainting the thing asked for may cause hardship to the one who is asking. It was narrated from one of the salaf that he used to ask Allaah to let him go out on a military campaign, but a voice called out to him: “If you go on a military campaign you will be taken prisoner, and if you are taken prisoner, you will become a Christian.” Sayd al-Khaatir, 1/109
Ibn al-Qayyim said: Whatever Allaah has decreed for His believing slave is a blessing even if that is in the form of withholding; it is a favour even if that is in the form of a trial, and the calamity decreed by him is fair even if it us painful. Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 4/215.
No one knows how his affairs will end up. He may ask for something which leads to bad consequences, and may even harm him. The Controller knows best what is in his best interests. “and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you” [al-Baqarah 2:216]. One of the meanings of this verse is that we should not wish that the decree of our Lord was different or ask Him for things of which we have no knowledge, for perhaps that may harm us without us knowing. So we should not choose anything different than what our Lord has chosen for us, rather we should ask Him for a good end in what He has chosen for us, for there is nothing more beneficial for us than that.
What Allaah chooses for His slave is better for him that what he chooses for himself. Allaah is more merciful towards His slaves than they themselves or their mothers are. If something happens to them that they dislike, that is better for them than if it did not happen, so His decree is all kindness and mercy. If the slave submits to Allaah and has certain faith that all dominion belongs to Allaah and all things are under His command, and that He is more merciful to him than he is himself, then he will find peace of mind regardless of whether his need is met or not.
See Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 2/215
The response may be delayed because the person himself has done something which is an impediment to receiving a response or a cause of delay. Perhaps there is something haraam in his food, or perhaps there was some negligence in his heart at the time when he made the du’aa’, or perhaps he had committed a sin, as a consequence of which his du’aa’ was not answered. So when the response to the du’aa’ is delayed, this may prompt the person to check on himself and examine how he stands before his Lord, so that he will take stock of himself and repent; if the answer to his prayer came sooner, perhaps he would become heedless and think that he was doing fine, then he would develop a sense of self-admiration that may lead to his doom.
“Delay or withholding of a response may be because Allaah wants to delay the reward for him until the Day of Resurrection, or Allaah wants to divert an equivalent evil from him, but he does not realize that.”
Whatever the case, the fruits of du’aa’ are guaranteed, even if you do not see the response with your own eyes. So think well of your Lord and say: Perhaps He has answered me in a way that I do not know. It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim who does not offer any du’aa’ in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allaah will give him one of three things in return: either He will answer his du’aa’ sooner, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it.” They said: “We will say a lot of du’aa’.” He said: “Allaah is more generous.” Narrated by Ahmad, 10749. al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb: it is hasan saheeh.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why a du’aa’ may not be answered or the answer may be delayed; we must ponder this and not stop making du’aa’, for du’aa’ will always be of benefit.
And Allaah knows best.