I have received marriage proposals from men in the US and Canada, but I am not keen on moving to these countries as I have been brought up in a Muslim country and practice shar’i hijab. The common things in these countries such as open LGBTQ make me feel depressed to think of moving there. My iman remains at its best when I am in an Islamic environment. Am I sinful for omitting these countries in my search for a pious spouse? Should I not limit myself?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting, first, what is best for your religion and making that your priority. If everyone did this before they marry, there would be much fewer problems in the world.
It is absolutely not sinful for you to only consider suitors who want to stay in the East. Having lived in the East myself I can agree that it is wonderful for one’s faith and that you will find certain aspects of the Islamic lifestyle that just cannot be found in the West. That being said, I also respect and understand those Muslims who say that their faith and identity is stronger in the West because of da’wah (calling others to Islam), etc.
You should get in the habit to pray istikhara about any serious suitor and if Allah really wants you to live in the West, he will make it plain to you, through whichever means He chooses. The most important thing is that you submit to what comes your way and accept what is written for you. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and bless your union with whomever it may be.
[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.