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Coping With Rejected Marriage Proposals

How can you overcome feelings of pain, hurt, and insecurity from a rejected marriage proposal? Read on to learn not only how you can overcome those feelings, but strengthen your closeness to Allah (swt) in the process.

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Marriage is a part of life people look forward to. Sharing those special moments with someone and craving companionship is part of the natural disposition Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has placed within us as human beings. Perhaps you have found someone you feel may be suitable to fit the role of your life partner; a woman you may have met at work, a person you saw at the masjid, a recommendation from a friend or family member. However, once you send a proposal over it is rejected for some reason or the other (perhaps the sister or brother is not interested, or if they are, perhaps the parents are a barrier), it may feel like all hope is all lost.

This article is the sister to ‘The Marriage Proposal in the Qur’an’, but viewed from the opposite lens: dealing with rejected marriage proposals.

The great scholar of Islam, Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzi said in a profound statement:

“If He [Allah Almighty] uncovered the cover of His kindness and righteousness and His making [or facilitating] for him (his slave), from where he knows and from where he does not know, his heart would melt out of love for Him and longing for Him and drop down in thanks to Him.” [Tareeq Al Hijratain, p.180]

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Rejection in any sphere of life is challenging to deal with –“The winds of life do not go your way”-, how many times have we heard this statement paraphrased to remind us that life will not always go the way we plan? However, as believers, we must understand that trials and tribulations are intended to bring us closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Rejection can be a way of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) testing us; do we begin to blame Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for things not working out or do we realize that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is in control of everything and submit? Without faith, a person can truly be lost in these words enveloped by sadness and depression, but when a person recognizes their iman in this matter, can this bring them closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)?

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us in the very first few verses of Surah Ankabut [Surah 29;1-3]:


“Alif, Lam, Meem”

“Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried?”


“But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.”

A Test of Iman: Rejected Marriage Proposals

One of the common crises of iman we face is not receiving the things we want from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) when we request it from him. Our mind is bombarded with a thousand thoughts.

If Allah loves me, why does he not give me what I want?” “If he wants good for me, why does he not remove the difficulties I’m going through?” “I practice Islam to the best of ability so why then do I feel that Allah does not listen to me whilst my friend or my family member who is distant from Allah has everything they could have wanted in this Dunya?

It is easy to theorize the fact that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) controls everything and that he will test us to see our level of faith, but our deficiency is highlighted when it comes to internalizing. When a believer goes through trials and tribulations, they call out to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) even more; that connection that was weakened now strengthens. Applying this to the context of marriage, perhaps Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) caused your marriage proposal to be rejected so that you can come closer to Him. After rejected marriage proposals, you continue to call out to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and He loves this. After rejection, you endeavor to make time to sacrifice sleep in order to wake up in the last third of the night to call out to Him in an intimate conversation. After rejection, you remain seated after the obligatory prayer in your place of prayer to supplicate, in comparison to before when you would rush following the tasleem.

Just look at how close you have come to your Lord. The believer is the one who does not stop and continues asking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), continues knocking on His door with perseverance for the one who knocks on the door of the King of Kings shall have that door open for them. Through continuous requesting, exerting all efforts and not giving up despite them falling over once, twice, or even three times, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is at the forefront of their mind. Their relationship with their Creator goes from strength to strength and then once the relationship is solid, this is when Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) answers the du’a of his slave. Did not our Prophet subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) say that the hearts of people are between the two fingers of Ar-Rahman and he turns them as he pleases (meaning he controls the hearts of every single human being) [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2654]? For Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), it is easy for the recipient of your rejected proposal to change their mind and in fact accept your proposal, because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) turned their heart towards you. That is the power of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)! Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can bring the recipient of the rejected proposal to you rather than you chasing them.

Do not see rejection as Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) closing your doors. A rejected proposal can cause a person to lose all hope whilst creating doubts in their minds, “Am I not good enough for marriage? Am I not tall enough or attractive enough?” These doubts that may arise do not necessarily mean that we’re bad Muslims but on the contrary, it can somewhat be considered good because once we acknowledge a weakness in iman, we know that our faith requires work. As our minds and intellects are deficient, we have no knowledge of what will happen tomorrow, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) through his infinite wisdom may deter us from a marriage proposal because it may harm us had we gone through with it.

Look at your life and think of all of those things which you had planned to do, but by the Qadr of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), it never occurred. Perhaps you became upset about the rejected marriage proposal but then later on, you felt relieved that you did not go through with what you had planned because you saw the possible repercussions that could have arose had you proceeded with what you wanted to do. Sometimes Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) closes one door for us in order to open up a greater door. But because we’re too busy crying over the closed door (i.e. one prospect), we fail to see the other open door (i.e. a better and more compatible prospect). Perhaps through this marriage proposal, there will be no barakah. Perhaps there will be no chemistry in the relationship and so, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) decreed that the marriage proposal be rejected. So, you propose and propose but each proposal is rejected till you are on the verge of collapsing emotionally, and then Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) through his might and power grants you a proposal to a sister who is loving, caring, and brings blessings to the marriage. You may have only seen one person whom you felt was the ‘one’, however, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows all of his Creation and who will be a good match for you.

So, hold onto the wise and beautiful words of Imam Ibn Qayyim when you find yourself struggling with a rejected proposal. If you are still struggling with worry and having doubtful thoughts after rejection (“Am I not good enough for marriage? Am I not tall enough or attractive enough?”), take comfort in the amazing speech of your Lord who has guaranteed for you a companion:

[Surah Adh-Dhariyat: 51;49]

 

 

“And of all things We created two mates; perhaps you will remember.” 

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ibrahim Khan was blessed to have been able to memorize the Qur’an in the UK and then went on to study Aqeedah, Fiqh, Hadith with different teachers and scholars (some from which visited the UK from abroad).

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Meena Malik

    December 22, 2021 at 4:52 PM

    This is such a timely article for many people I know! With the prevalence of online matchmaking services, I think the feeling of rejection, in small and big ways, is more and more common and something very difficult for many people to cope with. Something else to consider is also trying to make a clean break with the person who a proposal hasn’t worked out with, as much as possible, including not keeping up with them through social media networks.

  2. Anon

    December 23, 2021 at 2:14 PM

    Amazing! May Allah reward you for your efforts in publishing this!

  3. Ibrahim Khan

    December 25, 2021 at 8:13 AM

    Jazakallahukhair sr Meena Malik in helping to organise my thoughts and for giving the opportunity to write for muslimmatters

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