A guy asked for my hand in marriage and we talked for a month. He seemed nice, religious and was educated. I have been learning to read the Qu’ran and he said he would teach me. After speaking for two weeks he brought up that he would like the engagement and wedding to be in five months. Before talking to him I was fine with this timeline. However, what I think is my anxiety creeped in. I kind of decided that I was going to say no and then I prayed istikhara with the intentions that I was going to say no, and I did. Even though he seemed nice, thoughts of him being an unstrustworthy person or thoughts that he might cheat on me kept creeping in even though there was no red flags. He had a few friends that are girls in college but nothing major. I did go through a bad friendship break up in college and learned someone very close to me was being unstrustworthy. I think this may skew my judgement and affect how I see other people. Then five months passed and I started to regret my decision. Whenever I would talk to someone else for the prospect of marriage I kept thinking about him. I felt like the reason I said no was because I am afraid of intimacy. I grew up in a household where hugging was seen as immodest (I can count the few times my parents hugged me). I grew up modest and never really talked to boys and definetely never hugged them. I thought about it for two weeks. I then prayed Istikhara again and felt like it was a good idea to contact him. I talked to my parents and they told me that it would be a good idea. I contacted him and we decided to take it slow before planning the engagement/wedding. Before and as I talked to him I felt good about my decision. However, (what I think is) my anxiety is creeping in. I am afraid that I made a mistake contacting him again, and Allah (SWT) did not will it to be the first time. And by contacting him the second time I have went against Allah (SWT) wishes. I did make istkhara before contacting him the second time and felt that I was making the right decision.
As-Salaamun ‘Alaikum – peace be with you,
Thank you for reaching out to us. We know that it isn’t easy and we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us. May you be rewarded, Ameen.
It is normal to worry or feel anxious about some things in life, especially something as important as marriage. It is great that you have awareness of your anxiety because now you can take active measures to help overcome it. You can try and manage your anxiety by keeping your thoughts distracted through engaging in hobbies and working on your relationship with Allah (SWT).
Below are some more suggestions:
- Engage in activities such as reciting the Qur’an, listening to recitations of the Qur’an, learning the beautiful names of Allah (SWT)
- Try to get creative! Simple activities such as colouring, baking, arts and crafts may help you to de-stress.
- Talk to a loved one. Speaking with a trusted family member or friend may help in knowing you have people around to support you. It may also help hearing your story from a different perspective.
- Please do not forget to look after your physical health in this time. Make sure to eat balanced meals, do some exercise and try to get enough sleep.
- Accept that you may not have control over everything in life. Once you have made a decision or completed an action, step away from it (physically and mentally), take some deep breaths and try to maintain a positive mindset.
Choosing your life partner is an important life-changing decision so it is natural to worry when thinking about it. Istikhara (Prayer of Seeking Counsel) is a good way of seeking guidance on important decisions to be made in life, especially marriage. However, there are a few misconceptions that should be addressed. The purpose of Istikhara is to ask Allah (SWT) for guidance on things that you are unsure about, not for things that you have already made your mind up about. It should be done with a clear intention, neutral feeling and then you leave the rest to Allah (SWT). This is because if you already have an idea of the decision you want to make, your desires can influence your interpretation of the ‘answer’ to your ******Istikhara.
Secondly, contrary to what is commonly believed, dreams and/or feelings are not the ‘answer’ to Istikhara. However the case unfolds or whatever the outcome is itself the answer; we should not read too much into it and have Tawakkal (full trust in Allah) that He ******will choose what is best for us.
The past is something that cannot be changed and the future is something that only Allah (SWT) knows; so focus on the present. If this person is the right one for you, things will naturally fall into place – This is Allah (SWT)’s answer to your Istikhara.
“Rely upon Allah; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs” [Quran 33:3].
Additionally, you may want to consider rationalising your worries about intimacy and challenging your thoughts in this area. Sometimes, our minds and thoughts can be our worst enemies and we need to make sure we are giving power to rational and factual thoughts that have evidence. Inspirited Minds offers support services if you ever need someone to talk to. Furthermore, there are other articles (on anxiety specifically) on our website, so please have a look at these.
Most importantly, we strongly suggest talking to your prospective partner about your worries because this is the best way to ascertain the truth and dispel your worries. It is very good that you spoke to your parents about this, so reassure yourself that you have their support whatever happens. It sounds like you may be relating your own situation to that of your parents and expecting the worse. It is common to think this way because our parents are our role models in marriage for us . But we often forget that they come from a different generation where things were different and the same decisions led to different outcomes. Attitudes of marriage today, in terms of expectations are not the same – but you will never know unless you have those open conversations with your parents and prospective partner.
Furthermore, you could do research on the noble marriages of the Prophet and his companions on how they supported one another and try to implement that in yours. Its important to remember that no two marriages are the same because all humans are different. We have different personalities, preferences and ways of living, so it is easy to set your own habits in your marriage and base them upon that of our Islamic Role Models.
These are just some humble suggestions. We sincerely hope and pray that one or more of them will be suitable to your circumstances and help create ease for you, In Shaa Allah (if Allah Wills). If you would like to discuss anything else on your mind, we also offer more personalized counselling here at Inspirited Minds.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and we hope this helps In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills).
Du’aa (supplication) always,
IM Support Team
Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.
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