Question and answer details
|As-salamu `alaykum. I would like to begin by showing my appreciation to the scholars that so inspiringly answer the questions of people with these common issues. I am seeking advice from this website because I have recently gotten a marriage proposal from this man who lives in another country. He is educated and seems like a good person. We have been texting for a few months now and I feel no attraction towards him. After expressing my doubts about him to my family, my mother arranged for my uncles to go visit him. They were pleased in the way he presented himself and claimed that it was a very good proposal. Being born and raised in America, it is very difficult for me to accept an arranged marriage from someone who doesn't share the same culture as me. Although he seems like a good person, we bump heads a lot and we eventually stopped texting as much in order to avoid a fight. None of my friends want me to marry someone from Pakistan because of the culture clash. I’ve never seen him in person but I have seen a few pictures. The more I look at his pictures, the less attracted I feel towards him. Although I've been talking to him for about four months already, I don’t have any feelings for him. I can’t imagine sleeping on the same bed as him. I know that a woman denying her body to her husband is not Islamic but I think that this will end up happening. I don’t know what to do. My parents keep telling me that it is my choice but I can't decide. It is not fair to him for me to deny him after all these months so I have to decide now. I don’t want to miss out on a good proposal but at the same time, I'm not sure that we are compatible. I can’t seem to leave my relationship on chance. I am aware that Allah knows best and all I can do is pray for him to guide me on the right path. Though this is true, I still have doubts about this possible relationship. I think I am scared of spending my life with someone I don’t know. With the guidance of Allah I have saved myself from any inappropriate relations with any man. Therefore, I would not be comfortable with living with someone that I don’t know and barely get along with. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know if I will ever be attracted to him. How can I spend my life with someone that I don’t like? Thank you for your time and I would appreciate any advice that you can give me.|
You stated that your uncles went to visit him and they felt that it was a very good marriage proposal. However, you mentioned that your friends do not want you to marry someone from Pakistan and you do not feel that you can relate to this person culturally. You also stated that it is difficult for you to accept an arranged marriage from someone who doesn't accept the same culture as you. Although your family is comfortable with him they stated that it is your choice whether or not you want to marry him. Throughout your explanation it seems that you are not comfortable talking to this person and you are not attracted to him as well.
Taking these factors into consideration a great question to ask yourself is what is holding you back from making a decision when the majority of what you have stated about this person has not been favorable. It seems that everyone among your friends and family has made it clear what they would like you to do but at the end of the day Islamically it is your decision to say yes or no. Taking time out for yourself to reflect and explore what it is that you are looking for in a husband and what you would like your marriage to be like may contribute to making your decision clearer.
You also made the statement that "I know that a woman denying her body to her husband is not Islamic." Islamic marriage is about companionship, love, friendship, sharing, and being partners on the same team. You both have rights and responsibilities to fulfill to each other so my question to you is why would you consider marrying someone that you already know before marrying him that you have no sexual attraction towards him? This will have a significantly negative impact on your marriage long term.
Other questions to ask yourself include: What qualities do you look for in a prospective husband? Why do I feel guilty about not being interested in this guy after speaking to him for 4 months? Do I feel pressured to marry this guy to please other people sacrificing my own happiness? If my family is not pressuring me to marry him why am I delaying ending this relationship if there is no love or emotional attachment towards this person?
Honesty is always the best policy. As a result, ending a relationship with a prospective husband before further emotional attachments and commitments occur is much better than ending it after making the decision to marry the person. I hope that this information was helpful.
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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. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.