Alsalam AlaykumI have a non-mahram friend who I have met through the social media app, Instagram. We are getting to know each other as friends. He's currently living in Mali, my homeland because of money problems on coming back to America. We always kept it friendly and halal. Now being 5 months into the friendship, I feel like this can be the guy I can see myself marrying. I am a little bit younger and I wanted to finish college before thinking about marriage. I'm graduating this year In Sha Allah. Even if we were to get married when I graduate, there is a lot of financial issues to worry about. My question is how I do go with this? Should I forget thinking? I haven't met him.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
It is impermissible for a woman to be in a relationship with a non-Mahram man outside marriage. Thus, it is incumbent on you to end this relationship because it may lead to Fitnah (temptations), evil, and corruption.
As for marriage, if it is possible, then it would be a good thing. It was narrated in Sunan Ibn Maajah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is nothing better for those in love than marriage.”
However, you should not hasten to such marriage until you verify the righteousness and good moral character of this man first, being the criterion of the Sharee‘ah-acceptable compatibility between spouses. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “If there comes to you a suitor with whose religious commitment and moral character you are pleased, marry off (your daughter or female relative under your care) to him, or else there will be Fitnah in the land and widespread corruption.” [At-Tirmithi]
Meeting someone on social media is not enough to know his true character. You should rather ask those who know him and who have interacted with him personally about him. A woman may be deceived by what a man pretends to be, which may be contrary to the truth, and accordingly, it may lead to discord and insincerity (in the future).
If you can know his true character and believe that his religiosity is acceptable to you, and if his financial problems can be solved, and if you hope that your marital life would most likely last, you should accept the marriage proposal if he proposes to you. Otherwise, you should turn away from this matter and ask Allah, The Exalted, to bless you with someone who is better than him.
Allah Knows best.