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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Photi

a girl searches for Truth & Self, her rebellion

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This is my first post!!!

Salam Alaikum,

I have a dilemma right now with a girl that I am pretty sure I would like to marry. I've had an alim do istekhara for me, and it comes back good that I should pursue her despite all the things I am about to tell you. I have known her a long time as I am good friends with her father. Her dad is older than me, and I am older than her. She is still young, 19.

Six weeks ago I told her dad that I was interested in seeing if something could work between his daughter and I. He was pleased at the idea. A week later or so, he brought it up to her, and at first she seemed to seriously contemplate our compatibility. When I would come over, she would make an effort to sit down at the table and join in on the conversation.

The problem however is that she has this non-Muslim boy friend (two words or one?). She says she is 'very good friends' with him, but everyone around her knows it is more than that. Her (Sunni Muslim) dad is quite upset at this friendship, but every attempt on his part to persuade her that this guy is no good for her is met by her with the need to defend the guy. The likelihood is that the dad has inadvertently strengthened his daughter's relationship to this boy.

Her upbringing has been anything but straight forward. Her parents divorced when she was still a toddler. Her mom has now passed, but only very recently. Her mom was Christian and wanted her to be a Christian. Her dad is Muslim and still wants her to be a Muslim. In a reality almost hard to believe, somehow her dad got custody of her and her sisters. I think that had to do with some serious problems on the mom's part, as if she was normal any American court would have given her custody.

For all of this girl's life up until now she has considered herself Muslim. Then she met this non-Muslim guy, and as she started to explain her beliefs to him, she realized she actually didn't know too much. She came to the conclusion that the only reason she is Muslim is because her dad says so. So now she has her mom's legacy and side of the family who wants her to be Christian, and she has her dad and his family who wants her to be Muslim. In her mind, neither of these options are satisfactory. If she says she is Muslim because her dad says so, she is not a true believer. If she says she is Christian for her now dead mother, then she is not a true believer. She wants to follow Truth according to what God says it is, not because someone said so.

Isn't that how Muslims are supposed to believe? I don't have any direct quotes at the moment, but I seem to remember in the Qur'an, especially when Ibrahim a.s. is being talked about, where he says 'Do not follow the religion of your fathers, follow the religion of God.' or something to that effect. So as Muslims, it is not good enough to believe because that is what our family wants, we have to see it as Truth.

There is a dilemma here. We raise our children to be Muslims. When they are children, they don't really know right from wrong, they believe whatever their parents tell them and their parents tell them they are Muslim. For a lot of people, they take these parental "truths" for granted into adulthood and don't ever question them. Even if a Muslim's beliefs are correct word for word, if he believes for his family and not for Allah, then he is not really a true believer, right?

The girl in question intuitively understands this, so it is hard to find too much fault in her thinking. She is being honest and sincere with herself, and she believes these qualities will allow God to lead her to the Truth. From a rational perspective, it appears she is on the road to True belief. It also gives me hope that she would be open to the Shia side of things.

how does a person make the transition from being a child to being an adult? isn't there a lag time of uncertainty? I am a convert, I was raised for the most part without religion, but I remember searching for something since before puberty. I don't know the experience of a raised Muslim when his or her own 'aql starts operating. Did any of you wake up one day and realize that the only reason you are Muslim is because your family is? how does this girl switch from believing for her dad to believing for Allah? This is a very critical time for her. The problem is confounded because of this other guy. She says she is just friends with him, but her emotions have definitely developed. Although she says she is in control, i don't think she is.

Even if not on the conscious level, I think she understands that the question for her right now is "is it going to be this guy, or is it going to be Islam?" If the guy could be removed from the picture, then at least her emotions are not getting in the way. What are the rules here? Can I pray for Allah to drive a wedge between them two, or does that violate free will? Is there a dua that might be effective for this purpose?

When all is said and done, if she is honest to herself and if she gives Islam a fair chance, she will not be able to turn away from it. She is still relatively young and right now it seems the most important thing is to get this guy out of her life. Her dad has tried, but in his disliking of the boy, the girl is forced to stand up for him, and I think this only strengthens the bond. The father-daughter relationship is at an all time low. I look at it, and definitely the loyalty towards the boy is attractive, it is just misplaced. If we can get her to place that loyalty onto Islam, and eventually onto a legitimate husband (i still hope that is going to be me), then I think we will gain a strong and rightly guided believer.

how does one go about convincing a person that another in her life is unhealthy? from her perspective, she never had an identity outside of her family until this boy came along, now she is starting to think for herself and so she probably feels that she owes a great deal to him. from a cognitive psychology perspective, my guess is that it was only a matter of time before she started to question her beliefs, the boy got lucky by being in the right place at the right time. She may or may not be in love with him, but regardless he does not give off good energy to the rest of us and it seems he is just waiting for her to abandon Islam.

I think her and I have a subconscious understanding of each other that will be conducive to love and a healthy marriage, however it will be impossible for her to see this until this other guy is out of the picture. Even then, she will still have to explore her beliefs so she can arrive at the Truth herself. I would love to help her with exploring Islam, but after writing me one fairly informative email she has decided to stop writing to me.

basically, i think in order to protect the relationship she has with this other guy, she has said she does not want to get to know me (we 'know' each other, but we don't really know each other). i don't have much room for manuever. if her heart can be detached from him, i am pretty sure she will change her mind about me. at least i think she will take the time to get to know me better, if not actually marry me.

I would especially like some comments from the sisters on here. Any ideas on how to detach her heart from this spiritually unhealthy relationship? I do believe Allah wants me to pursue her, I had a Hujjat al-Islam do the istekhara for me. Should I just take a step back and wait for that other relationship to run its course? From her immediate family's perspective (the immediate family is the Muslim family), this guy is leading her somewhere she should not go. if her emotions were not involved she would be able to see that. from the girl's perspective, the guy is the only one in her life that is not telling her who she should be. She is spiritually ambivalent at the moment and so his sentiment is exactly what she wants, affirmation that it is ok not to be Muslim. He has the freedom to say to her "be whoever you are, don't stifle yourself and your spirit because of what your family wants. find the truth and bloom and then tell me what it is." probably for her he is the only "true" friend she has.

I understand the need to find True belief, but it seems like she is not giving Islam a fair chance. In her mind i think she is experiencing it as a distancing of herself from Islam or an aversion to Islam, but in reality maybe this drama is more of a rebellion against her father. Her dad was/is the primary caretaker, the primary love object, and so as she starts to become an individual, the boy is providing the new object on which to place her love, opposite the dad, thereby giving her space to grow and to become independent.

any ideas? action on my part seems like it could backfire.

thanks and salams.

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Salam

i think , tell her if she needs helps , u are there. for discussions and all.

pray for her

and let her decide what is the best for her

no forcing religion

MAY Allah SHOW HER the right path for the sake of Mohammad(saw) and his progeny(a.s) Ameen

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(salam)

Even if not on the conscious level, I think she understands that the question for her right now is "is it going to be this guy, or is it going to be Islam?" If the guy could be removed from the picture, then at least her emotions are not getting in the way. What are the rules here? Can I pray for Allah to drive a wedge between them two, or does that violate free will? Is there a dua that might be effective for this purpose?

:o No, you should never do such a thing. This is really mean-spirited and unkind. It may even have an opposite effect than what you intended. You are thinking irrationally.

You cannot force yourself on her. She has accept to you willingly. Right now, her heart and mind is already occupied.

With that being said, I still think you deserve a chance. But forcing yourself on her is not the way to go. You have to be an adult here. If she sees your good side and if she changes her mind in the future than I see a way for both of you. Otherwise you need to be patient and let everything take it course. There is no harm talking to her about Islam and I would encourage you to do so ..very politely.

The second option is to walk away and look for someone else.

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(salam)

:o No, you should never do such a thing. This is really mean-spirited and unkind. It may even have an opposite effect than what you intended. You are thinking irrationally.

You cannot force yourself on her. She has accept to you willingly. Right now, her heart and mind is already occupied.

The second option is to walk away and look for someone else.

really, you think it is mean spirited to pray to Allah to remove from her life someone who might be taking her away from islam? wouldn't this be praying for her to be protected?

i agree with you, it would be wrong to force myself on her. i only want to marry a free thinking individual. or rather i want to marry someone who has freely chosen islam. right now, i think the last thing she needs is an emotional attachment, neither with the other guy nor with me. what she needs is to figure out her beliefs first before she can decide who would be a good life partner. her dad and i are worried that her attachment to the other guy means she will not give islam a fair chance.

i thought i was going to walk away and look elsewhere. then i thought that if it could work out it would bring practical benefits to the both of us. we have the same hometown and muslims are quite sparse here. i had the istekhara done for me today and it came back good for focusing on this option at the exclusion of cultivating other options. it is 'wait and see' at the moment i suppose.

i guess what i was hoping to find out is what can be done to help her see that this other guy is not healthy for her. like, does her dad have any options? he is quite stressed over everything. i don't have an emotional investment in her, so it is easy for me to stand back, but for him, he has no clue what he should do as her father. he is charged with protecting her, but if she doesn't listen to him, what can he do? personally, i like her approach to faith. when and if she ever accepts islam, it will be because she knows it is true. that's attractive. the other guy is the pressure point.

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Nothing you can do will help her to see that this other guy is no good for her, first, she has to learn what Islam is and what it is not, then she will see the truth, if and when she acknowledges Islam. You are correct to say that she has been raised by a muslim father yet still has no understanding of the religion, you see this everyday. The majority of muslims have no real understanding of their faith, so, she needs to learn Islam, you can help her father to encourage this research and this time in her life where she will make a choice, she needs guidance in religion however, not guidance in choosing a husband, once the religion is there she will make the right choice.

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She's young, unsure of her religion and attached to another guy. Were you already leaning to 'yes' or 'no' before the istikhara? Because its only meant in matters where you're truly unsure.

Btw, just because the istikhara was good does not mean you two will have a successful relationship, but there maybe be certain reasons that only Allah swt knows where He blesses the union. One reason could be pious children will be born from the marriage, even if the parents end up divorced one day, get me?

I think you two shouldn't rush into anything just yet. Ideally, sit with a good sheikh or a counsellor and explain to him your situation.

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i was not raised muslim, so i don't know what it is like to transition into adulthood as a muslim, i was 25 when i converted. How do you go from being Muslim because that is what your family wants, to be being Muslim because you see it as Truth? Is that a gradual process, or do young adults who are Muslim wake up one day and say "wait a minute, i never decided this for myself, let me investigate it."? Allah wants us to believe for Allah and not for our parents, but kids are seriously not like that. they don't have aql like that, Mom and Dad determine Truth in childhood. in a sense, then, all muslims, even the raised Muslims, have to convert to Islam at some point in their adult life. i think this has to be conscious, doesn't it? If a raised Muslim doesn't ever ponder that, then it is like he is not really Muslim in the eyes of Allah. He submitted to his parents will, not to God's.

i guess i saw the purpose of the discussion as partly dealing with that, how to make that transition from believing for the parents to believing for Allah? in that discussion i thought maybe something could be applied in my situation. it would be easier to be chill and sabr about everything if that guy wasnt in the picture, but with him in the picture it seems like the shaitan has his foot in the door and is waiting for the right moment to steal her away. thus the other question, is there a way to convince one person that another person in her life is unhealthy? is any attempt to do this going to feel patronizing to her? the more i think about it, and considering what some ^^^^up there have said, i think this is a closed door. it is important to focus on islam with her, but she is not really open to me at the moment. that leaves me with dua, but i find myself resisting the urge to 'do something.' probably not much i can do unless she chooses on her own to turn toward me. at what point do i forget about the idea? there are seriously no other muslims around, so even if i forget about it, i am still single.

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How do you go from being Muslim because that is what your family wants, to be being Muslim because you see it as Truth? Is that a gradual process, or do young adults who are Muslim wake up one day and say "wait a minute, i never decided this for myself, let me investigate it."?

Salam,

I am also a revert (accepted Islam at 21, raised as a non-Muslim in the U.S.), however, I would like to address your question. Remember that, from an Islamic point of view, the transition from childhood to adulthood is much more clear and occurs much earlier then in modern, Wester socieities. It is not a gradual process, as when a person become "balagh" ("mature", an adult) Islamically they become fully responsible both for the consequences of their choices. Although they may still live with their parents, they are adults. This occurs at the time of menstration for females, and the ONSET (not the end) of puberty for males.

Because their is a known and clear time when childhood ends and adulthood begins, the parents will begin the "transtional" period with their children while they are still very young (by Western standards) so the they will be prepared for adulthood when it arrives for them.

In contrast, in modern, Western socieites their is no clear and bright line that seperates childhood from adulthood. As a result, parents spend little time or energy preparing their children for adulthood, and the twilight of childhood is extended far beyond it's proper bounds. This the root cause of many of the social problems we see among our youth today.

This is not to say that all (or even most) Muslims have "choosen" their religion. As in most socieites, the majority of Muslims (in my experiece) have not conciously or deliberately made a choice. This is why most reverts I have known are much more serious (and often more knowledgeable) then the "average" Muslim. However, even for those Muslims who have not conciously "choosen" their religion, they are aware of when they become responsible for the consequences of their actions and seem to take things more seriously earlier then their Western, non-Muslim counterparts.

Edited by Abu Ali 2

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really, you think it is mean spirited to pray to Allah to remove from her life someone who might be taking her away from islam? wouldn't this be praying for her to be protected?

(salam)

Of course you may pray that she is guided to Islam or she finds a good partner when she is ready. You may also pray that you will find a good partner yourself. But you need to remember one thing ..In the Quran, Allah swt say: He sometimes don't answer your prayers because it is bad for you and sometimes Allah swt gives you good stuff which you never ask.

Love and relationship is not a one sided activity. It has to be from both side.

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Puhleazzze!!!!

The man is as old as her DAD!!! Hello!!! She sees him as her UNCLE!!! He is like a father's brother!!! She grew up seeing him as an UNCLE!!!! He is 35 and she is 19!!! Why on earth would she be interested in an OLD man, who has been in a fictive kinship relationship with her father??? That's like committing a haram!!!

How many people here have married their mother's friend or father's friend whom they grew up calling auntie and uncle??? Who cares if it is technically permitted in Islam!!!

Puhleazze dude, find someone your own age!! Stop bothering the girl from having her fun!!

:realangery:

Edited by rhizome

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^ don't you think you're a bit too harsh there..

Marriage is not about age.. it's about maturity. But from the story I think the OP should just find someone else that is more at his level. I don't think she's mature enough to be married (and it has nothing to do with her age at all), and she's still figuring out about her own religion.. the relationship will be like father-daughter relationship..

I'm not against huge age difference in marriage, although I think it is ideal if the gap is not more than 5 years.... since people grow to have different interest as they grow older.. and it sucks when your spouse doesn't enjoy things that you do enjoy.

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Puhleazzze!!!!

The man is as old as her DAD!!! Hello!!! She sees him as her UNCLE!!! He is like a father's brother!!! She grew up seeing him as an UNCLE!!!! He is 35 and she is 19!!! Why on earth would she be interested in an OLD man, who has been in a fictive kinship relationship with her father??? That's like committing a haram!!!

How many people here have married their mother's friend or father's friend whom they grew up calling auntie and uncle??? Who cares if it is technically permitted in Islam!!!

Puhleazze dude, find someone your own age!! Stop bothering the girl from having her fun!!

:realangery:

i don't think she sees me as her uncle. i am friends with her dad, but the connection was through her cousin, him and i were best friends for years. the cousin is more like an older brother to her. her dad is like 15 years older than me. as i said above, there are not many options here in this town. we can talk about shiamatch or whatever, but that usually involves someone uprooting from a place they are already established. with this girl, we are from the same hometown, and there is tremendous practicality to that.

rhizome, i don't know what your problem is. you have some serious emotion in your response. i mean a 'real angry' emoticon. you are kidding me right? maybe you are some girl who has been pressured into something you don't want to be a part of, whatever, don't project that onto me. you make so many assumptions about me in your post it is ridiculous.

you act like i haven't actually thought the age thing through or that i am following my lust. this "fun" you say she is having, she has followed this not-so-christian christian guy right out of islam. we can choose to get all arrogant about that and say that that's her fault and let her deal with it, but i am not like that. i have more loyalty to the people i care about. we are an extreme minority in this town and if you turn your back on one person, you have turned your back on a big chunk of our muslim population. our main concern right now is trying to convince her to abandon her "fun" so she can make a serious unbiased attempt at finding Truth. She has only an inherited religion at this point, her present emotional attachment is precluding her from Islam, you (rhizome) may call that attachment "fun" but we think rather that the shaitan is sitting in her lap. do we turn away meekly or do we try to give her a flying chance? without her emotional attachment, at least she looks at Islam unbiased, and when she learns the soundness of our Faith, when she discovers the Prophet's loving and lovable nature, she will be moved inside and she will feel the Truth. at that point we have a righteous believer, at that point she turns her eye towards the akhira and at that point age disappears. that is who i want to marry. i don't care how old she is. i know for a fact that i would have married a woman 10 years my senior, i would marry a black, american or african, and i would marry a mother. i would never expect my would-be wife to be a virgin. i would evaluate who she is in the present and who she wants to be in the future. i would care to know of her past, maybe not the details, but in general so that i could help her and support as she prepares herself for Judgment Day.

there would be many benefits to marrying a girl my own age. is my marriage any safer from divorce then? i don't think so. i have thought about the pros and cons, from her angle and from my angle, and compared that to a hypothetical scenario where i was marrying someone closer to my age and she someone closer to her age, and have come to the conclusion that all marriages regardless of age have their trade-offs.

i choose to marry a Muslim. that leaves me one option in this town. her. why shouldn't i pursue that? should i remain single? it leaves me wondering how you would react to our holy prophet as. He was old enough to be her grandfather. or she was old enough to be His mom and He (as) loved her dearly, non-Virgin though she was.

rhizome, i don't know what your issues are, but you have some serious anger that has been provoked here, maybe you need to analyze that? i don't know if you are a brother or a sister, regardless, akhlaq is not what you want it to be, it is how the Prophet and the Ahl Bayt (peace be upon them) have shown us it is. age is only one consideration among many. salam alaikum.

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Salams Photi,

I read your posts word by word and see the wisdom of the person you are today...your concern is rare and not many people would bother to be so worried. In Islam if you change one person you have changed a nation. I believe it is the approach we must first anaylse, in your situation its a litte difficult, however there are ways of going about it. Usually in a discussion the debater would not flood his ideas and then wait for the opponent to reply, but using logic and reasoning would get her at least to contemplate. The way I see it, its not about convincing but rather challenging her ideaologies. She will come through once the clouds start dissapearing. Sometimes we don't like to be told why we follow a certain pattern, therefore the question of her belief should put things into perspective. Age is just a number, don't mind the comments by some members, its just lack of understanding. All in all at the end of the day, we know that nothing can happen without the will of Allah swt, and if you believe that you will make a difference in her life than you are also in my prayers.

All the best!

Fi Amanillah

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(salam)

Nowadays, some society and even some people don't accept a significant age difference in partners. This seems to be a modern trend. Because we know that there was a significant age difference in the Holy Prophet(sa) with his wives. Some wives were younger and others were very much much older than him. So, age difference in partner is not an issue in Islam. Though, you may want to see how the girl in question feels about it.

Like I said in my first post. You do deserve a chance. InshaAllah everything will turn out good for you.

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