Can I End My Engagement Even If It Breaks Ties of Kinship?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


From a young age, I was promised to my cousin, but now I am practicing and want a more practicing man. My cousin does obligations as far as I can see, and he has good character, but I want someone involved in dawah. My mother says I’ll be able to convince him to study Islam after marriage, but even now, he’s so busy with work. He works for more than 13 hours a day. I need a marriage where we strengthen each other’s faith. I told my mom to break this proposal, but she said it would break her ties with her sister because they are sensitive. What do I do? Should I risk my faith or family ties? Would I be sinful if ties of kinship were broken?


May Allah reward you for pinpointing what you want from life and putting your religion before anything else.


The most important advice you can follow is what the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, which applies to both genders: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or her piety. Select the pious, or your hands will be covered in dust!” [Bukhari; Muslim]

You absolutely must marry a man for religion and not let your parents make you settle for less. Don’t be forced into this marriage, and don’t put up with someone who is not on the same path as you. Never marry a man for potential but instead for how he is now. Your intention is good, so why not fly with it?


Ties of kinship should not be broken over this, if they are, it is their sin, not yours, and it indicates that your future with him might have been wrought with issues. First, pray istikhara to ensure how you should proceed. If it is negative, break it to them gently, take the blame so that your mother doesn’t get attacked, and let them work through their disappointment and pain; eventually, they will get over it.


Indeed, you will both end up with something better. Trust in the words of our Messenger: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.” [Ahmad]


My advice to every young suitor and bride-to-be is to prepare for marriage well. Don’t force anything, and always follow istikhara for a big decision like this. Also, pray the Prayer of Need and supplicate before dawn for a pious husband. Please take the following courses and learn what you must know to be a wife. Hone your communication and domestic skills. Until you find someone, supplicate for guidance, patience, and wisdom, and don’t make an emotional decision.

Course Suggestions:
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage
Advice on Breaking an Unwanted Marriage Engagement
How Can I Stop an Engagement Which I Am Unsure About?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.