I am engaged to this person, but I have doubts. I found out that we have different goals in life. I am more focused on pleasing Allah with this relationship and I want to better my relationship with Him. My fiancee on the other hand, is more focused on material wealth. I am not saying that I am not interested in material wealth. To a certain degree, it is a need in life. However, I prefer not to make material wealth the purpose of my life. From my observation, my fiancee seems to be preoccupied with material wealth.
I am conflicted. Should I marry my fiancee, if I know that we both have different goals in life?
Thank you for asking the question.
Generally speaking, an engagement is not a binding contract. Meaning, you are not obligated to marry the person you are engaged with. During the period of engagement, the relationship between you and the person you plan on marrying are similar to the relationship between any unrelated male and female (non-mahrams).
So the rules regarding ikhtilat (intermingling between sexes) still apply, even if you are engaged. My point is, the only special relationship you have with the person is that you plan on marrying him. That is it. Anything extra is cultural and/or unnecessary.
Therefore, an engagement can still be cancelled and it is not the same as a divorce. There is a reason why engagement isn’t supposed to be made public, because it is not a guarantee that you will marry that person. In the case that an engagement is cancelled, the emotional discomfort that might ensue can be minimized if the engagement isn’t made public in the first place.
I am not saying that you should be in doubt in an engagement that you are in. Surely, you should pursue the relationship until marriage and have good thoughts that it will work out in the end. Shaytan (the devil) doesn’t want you to get married, so he will do whatever it takes to prevent the relationship from happening. He wants zina (fornication), and he despises nikah (marriage).
So there is a balance that needs to be in place. Be optimistic that the marriage will take place, but at the same time don’t go into the marriage blindly. Meaning, you should still use your good judgment to see if the person you are marrying is the right fit for you or not.
Istikharah is not the only step you should take. In fact, istikharah is the third step in a 3-step decision making process. The first two steps are about the effort you put in. So, your effort does count and Allah asks that you try your best before putting your trust (tawakal) in Him. That is the process. To know more about this 3-step process, I recommend you watching this video: Istikharah: How To & Why? – Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda.
In brief, you have the right to choose whom to marry. Logically, you should marry someone who shares the same goals as you do. Otherwise, both of you might be walking towards a different direction.
Yes, you will disagree with each other on many things and that is a part of marriage. But your ultimate goal should be the same. That ultimate goal should be the foundation of your marriage, and both of you should stand on the same foundation, right?
I hope that helps. I pray that Allah give you what is best for you.
Allah knows best.