Am I Ready to Accept Her Marriage Proposal?

19 November, 2016
Q As-Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rhamatullah. I'm a 20 year old boy who studies engineering. I'm currently in the third year. I've been approached recently with a marriage proposal by a classmate of mine. She didn't tell it straight up but sent me a text message. I was initially taken aback and asked her multiple times to scrutinize her thoughts again. I suggested that she might just be in a phase of infatuation, but she insists that it's not a simple college love and that all she wants is my hand in marriage. I find this situation very taxing and have been very restless lately. I find myself too immature and emotionally unprepared to make any decision or to give her any assurance. My initial replies were (true to my heart): "Well, I respect you, and I might be okay with accepting you as bride, but I can't make any assurances because I don't have the emotional resources right now to think about it or to commit myself to a relationship". Lately, I've started liking her and decided to consider the proposal and found myself digging out the potential problems trying to decide whether this would really work. I guess we are compatible when we take deen, beliefs, education, hometown, shared interests, and perspectives into consideration. The only problem (and a big problem indeed) is that she's only a year younger than me which can create a lot of complications because it's customary in my community for the groom to be around 5 years elder than the bride. We've been texting to each other on and off, but none of us has ever mentioned this to our parents. So there's this resulting guilt that has been tormenting us off lately, although we've both been careful enough to be modest. Nowadays, I find myself constantly anxious and disturbed thinking about this. I find myself visualizing future circumstances, making prognoses and making unnecessary reassurance for myself. I'd be glad if you gave me tips on how to move on with this. We've got two more years to graduate and her parents shall be searching for grooms soon after graduation. For me, it'd take around 2 years after graduation to settle myself down with a job and make myself an acceptable groom. So, am I better off getting our parents talking to each other soon, or should I hold on until both of us graduate and then show up –jobless - when her parents are ready? How can I get her to convince her parents to wait for me to get settled? Any other suggestions or advices? BaarakAllah.



As-Salamu `Alaikum dear brother,

Thank you for your question. First of all, I have to tell you that I appreciate your honesty with the girl and that you told her all about your capabilities emotionally and financially at the current moment. I also appreciate that you are seeking advice as to how to manage the situation in a way that is good for all parties as well as pleasing Allah.

My advice to you would be to involve your parents, both hers and yours, in the issue. This way you would be eliminating the guilt feeling you have due to your parents not knowing about your relationship. Also, you would be able to share the burden of your concerns and worries with other people and receive some answers for your open questions about the future of your relationship.

Maybe her parents would agree that you both get engaged until you graduate and be able to marry, if they see that you are a good potential husband for their daughter. Maybe your family and her family would be ready to help you financially in the marriage process after you graduate or even before that as some families agree that their children marry while still in college.

If the families agree that you get engaged until you graduate, this time could also be a good opportunity for you both to know each other better, to be sure you are compatible for each other, and make sure that you both really want to spend your lives together and it is not just a matter of infatuation or admiration.

Hopefully, in sha’ Allah through communication and sharing your issues with the families, you would be able to reach a situation that is good for all parties, and you will not have all this burden of worrying and over thinking all by yourself because you will have other people to help you through it.

As for the age difference between you and her, I have to tell you I don’t know to what extent that factor is a problem in your culture, but according to Islam there is no problem at all in such a factor. In practice, if there is high compatibility between two people in other factors, then the small age difference would not be an issue that comes in the way of a marriage. On the contrary; this small age difference could even be a good point in the relationship as the couple would feel they are close to each other in age as well as in the way of thinking and interests. Thus, they would be more like friends.

Of course, it is very important to make istikhara in each step you take and each decision you are about to make. If you decide to talk to your parents, choose the right timing and way you are going to open the issue with them. Maybe you can think about whom exactly you will speak to; both of your parents together or with only one whom you feel more at ease when talking about such a sensitive issue.  Then that parent would discuss the issue with the other.

In the end, you are the one who knows best about what suits your situation and can decide what step to take. These are just some advices and guidelines that may help you to some extent in your situation.  So, think and make istikhara, then take the decision and in sha’ Allah Allah will help you in whatever decision you take since you are keen to do what pleases Him and keep away from what He dislikes and forbids.

Make du`aa’ continuously, and make it an important part of your everyday life. In sha’ Allah, He will help you in all steps of your life.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 


About Layla Al Qaraqsi
Layla Al Qaraqsi has worked with since 2008. She has been the editor of the counseling section till May, 2013; then a counselor and writer since March, 2015. She has also worked in early childhood psychosocial development;and managed a support group in Egypt. Layla has been studying psychology and counseling since 2011 in the Islamic Online University (IOU) of Dr. Bilal Philips, University of North Dakota, and in several specialized psychological institutions in Egypt including Tawasol Center, one of the offline projects of Her studies also included group psychotherapy, psychodrama techniques, mindfulness.  You can contact her via: [email protected]