Salaam Alaikum, I have just discovered your page and I would appreciate your help if you can advise me in any way.
I am/was planning to marry someone, he is a Muslim as well. My fiance was born into the faith. I am a revert of just over one year, so I am still learning and still have much to learn. This man has a good heart, is extremely kind and comes from an excellent family, who also like me very much. The problem is that I am finding out many things about him which are really worrying me and making me question whether I should call it all off.
Making me question his actual character and integrity. I recently discovered that he is drinking every night with his friends, usually in their apartment, and sometimes this drinking goes on until 3 am. He is also smoking weed every day. To make matters worse, now I think he could have a gambling problem. I noticed him betting every day on football. I closed my eyes to it. But then he started asking me for money and I was giving him money sometimes when I thought he had nothing to eat. Sometimes this would be £60, sometimes more, sometimes £10 here and there, I had thought it was for essentials, I thought he had no money for food etc., but then I started to notice he was spending it on £5 and £10 bets on football games. I saw him with the betting slips although he tried to hide them.
One evening I saw him vomiting after drinking alcohol, it was very upsetting. Another time he was offered a job and he did not go to it because he was so drunk the night before. I asked him and he didn’t even ring the employer to say he wasn’t coming. He has not worked in almost ten years. He seems to prefer to sit with his friends drinking and smoking than to even talk with me. I gently brought up all my concerns with him but he denies there is a problem with any of this behavior.
I have said that his habits are haram and I am worried about him and that the devil is there when you succumb to these bad things. I also said gently that it cannot be right to take your fiancee’s money, to tell lies to get that money and to then gamble it away. A couple of times he used the same lie to get me to “lend” him money. He also wasted a large amount of his Dad’s money on drinking and gambling which his Dad had given him for living expenses. I was even more upset about that as his family has no idea that he even drinks. I find it really worrying that he seemed to prefer a night of drinking over going to work. He became angry and defensive and tried to blame me when I brought these issues up though, and blamed me for always working, blamed his neighbors, blamed the area of town where he lives.
I sent him some parts of the Quran by email relating to what is haram and he agreed that I was right, but he still refuses to change his habits. I also notice when we see each other he always stares intensely at other women going by. He also denies he is doing this but sometimes he will stop to turn and look at a woman going by. He seems to scrutinize other women intensely. I am at a loss. I don’t know what to do and whether I should try to help him – but if he won’t acknowledge a problem exists, then he will not do anything about it will he? I care for him very much and I thought we would get married but I am ready to call the engagement off. Help! I am so sad and feel very lost.
Thank you and Jazakallah Khairan!
The Troubled Fiancée
Bismillah ir-Rahman-ir Raheem
You have brought up some serious issues and things you should question about a potential spouse in Islam. Outside of the many vices you have found out about, a very troubling fact you mentioned was his lack of working for the last several years. In the Muslim family unit, the husband is completely financially responsible for the marriage and his family. It is obligatory upon him to provide for his spouse and future children. It sounds like this may be a problem for your fiancé to maintain considering you are the only one working, and he is not and has not been for many years.
You also have found out about many bad habits and sins he is currently engaging in. One myth that many people often enter marriage with is that “he/she will change once we’re married.” Research shows this is simply not the case. People bring in their habits, patterns, and way of life into the marriage and hope their spouse will accept them. Coming into a marriage hoping to be able to change many things about your spouse is risky. There are a few things that can be modified or altered, but the majority of behaviors will remain the same.
You are a young Muslim, and I applaud you for trying to show him the error of his ways by proving it through Quran and sunnah. However, because you have only been in the faith a short time, you also have a lot to learn and to grow and develop as a Muslim. It will be difficult for you to work on improving yourself and learning the deen, and also trying to help someone else and make them better too. Allah knows best.
May Allah guide you to what’s best for you and him. Ameen.