Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I am 19 years old, and I was in a relationship with someone I wanted to marry. He guided me to Allah and the Quran. He used to speak about religion, but I didn’t always listen. Did Allah bring him to me to teach me religion?
We stopped talking, then we started speaking again after some time, and this time he was distant. Then one day, he told me that he didn’t want to marry me because he didn’t see a change in me and that I was not right for him, and he isn’t right for me. I told him that I could and would change in order to marry him.
Can an impermissible relationship be part of your destiny? Did Allah know he wasn’t the one for me or was it our decision? I am brokenhearted. I want to live an Islamic life.
I know I partook in an impermissible relationship, but does it mean Allah doesn’t want us together?
Thank you for your honest question. My advice to you is that you forget about this brother. I tell you this because you are still young and because impermissible relationships usually end like this. When you consider marrying a man, you must not embark on a relationship with him first.
Repent and Look Forward
You should now repent (tawba) from your actions and ask Allah to send you someone that suits you. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman; may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper). [Bukhari] This hadith also applies to women who are choosing a suitor.
After coming out of a problematic relationship, you should put your priorities straight. First, mend things with Allah. Pray on time, learn your obligatory knowledge, eat only the halal, cover properly when you go out, give to charity and make du’a.
Then focus on yourself. Finish your education, and do exceedingly well in it. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (excellence) in all things. So if you kill, then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” [Muslim]
Take care of your mind, body, and soul. Keep away from the opposite gender, and increase your knowledge and worship. Spend time on beneficial hobbies and fresh air. Eat healthily.
Pray that Allah sends you someone suitable for you and your family in due time. Instead of getting close to any suitor, pray istikhara about him. Look at his religion. Discuss it with your family. Then don’t delay having a marriage contract (nikah).
In terms of destiny (qadr), Allah knows everything and always has. He knows all possibilities and everything impossible and absurd. There was never a time when He, Most High, did not know everything.
His knowledge, however, does not remove from your responsibility to make the right choices. Choosing to be in this relationship was a mistake that you made and is attributed to you. Repentance is required from you. Allah knows best who is the right man for you; it is already written. But you must not partake in anything outside of the shari’ah limits. You can only ask Allah to guide and bless you in your permissible decisions.
Most importantly, when you go through a trial like this and make the mistakes you did, in sha Allah, you will find tremendous benefit. I have Shaykh Faraz Khan’s advice below. Perhaps you will find some inspiration in it:
Do not lose hope because of the trials you face. Trials are either an expiation for sins or a means of raising one’s degrees in Allah’s sight. And scholars mention that our trials are filled with subtle blessings that we do not perceive but that are nevertheless there. Trust in Allah and accept His decree while fully striving to alleviate the situation. Allah Most High states, “Perhaps you may hate something, yet it proves better for you.” [Quran, 2:216]
Our Beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) confirmed this reality when he said, “How amazing is the believer’s affair! Allah decrees nothing for the servant except that it is good for him.” [Ahmad]
Our Master Umar highlighted some of the blessings of trials when he once said, “I was never afflicted with a trial except that with it Allah gave me four blessings: it was not in my religion; I was not barred from being content; it was not worse than it was, and I hoped for reward through it.”
Focus on being content with Allah’s decree, and remember that it could always be worse. Seek Allah’s reward, and be steadfast.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.