I am currently a second-year college student. I used to say, “Oh, I probably won’t get married until I’m like 30,” because I assumed I likely wouldn’t find someone who I would fall head over heels for. This refrain changed when I joined the Muslim Student Association at my school. Lo and behold, I fell for the MSA president himself! I am a frank person so I confessed my feelings to this guy, who happens to be an international student, hoping he would reciprocate them and we would tie the knot some time in the future. Things did not go as planned. While he didn’t outright reject me, he gently suggested we remain friends. When I pushed him a bit, he explained, again in the most kind way possible, that he didn’t see us as compatible. I felt devastated and did the only thing I knew to do—accept his decision and keep a polite distance from him.
Some time has passed and I have dedicated myself to strengthening my relationship with Allah. I pray more often now, supplicate, read the Qur’an, and make it a point to learn about the life and example of the Prophet (pbuh). In doing all this, I have also become increasingly involved with the MSA, which includes working closely with this guy. I have to confess that I have grown to care for him even more than before. I admire his piety and the balance he manages to achieve between the worldly and the spiritual. Simply put, he makes me want to be a better Muslim.
After trying to suppress my feelings for him for a long while, I have accepted them once again. Since I approached him, I have evolved, and while my intent was not to actively practice my faith to impress this guy, I do believe my present dedication to my faith would appeal to him. I have made istikhara on pursuing the matter. I am praying that this man is good for my future and that the path to marriage opens up. But please advise me on how to remain patient and control my emotions? How can I show him that I would make a good Muslim wife and we would be happy together without seeming pushy or indecent?
Assalamu Alaikum. It seems a great deal of good has come out of your journey so far as you’ve regained a closer relationship with Allah and with your faith. In deciding whether to approach this young man again, there are a few things for you to consider.
First, before you express your interest in marrying him, ask yourself if you can accept whatever his response might be. In this regard, your faith can be a great resource; place your trust in Allah and believe that He will only bring you what is truly best for you. If you are confident that you will not be devastated if this man gives you the same answer as before, that you will be able to use your reenergized faith to remain strong, then move ahead with the talk.
Second, keep in mind that this man is an international student whose future plans you know nothing about. Depending on his country of origin, he might have refused your interest in marriage for reasons that have more to do with familial and cultural constraints than with you. On the other hand, if this time around he does reciprocate your feelings, make sure his plans and yours for where and how you want to live align.
Continue to make istikhaarah and remember that in making this prayer, you are asking Allah to give you what you desire and make the path to it easy for you if it is good for you both in this life and the next. May Allah bring you all that is best for you.
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