How Do I Tell My Family That I Won’t Join Their Family Business but Wish To Marry, Work, and Settle Abroad?

Question: I am about to graduate from my university soon, and my family wants me to join the family business. I don’t want to do that; instead, I want to get married and go abroad for my masters and try to settle there with my wife. My family does not know about my intention to marry (they might disagree), but they know about my intention to go abroad. I have known the girl I want to marry for four years now, and we have been waiting for this time to marry finally.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for safeguarding your religion and for taking steps to be independent.

Decisions

As a male, you do not require your family’s permission to marry whom you want, go abroad, work abroad or settle abroad. But with this independence and freedom comes responsibility and wisdom. Please pray istikhara about your decisions first to make sure they are the right decisions for you. Are you choosing this girl for her religion? How will living in a different country affect your religious life and your future children? Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/choosing-a-spouse/

Reflect on this Prophet saying and always intend to take care of them, however best you can. Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘(Honoring) one’s father may lead one to enter through the best of the gates of Paradise, so take care of your parents, (it is so, whether you take care of them) or not.‘“  [Ibn Maja]

Tact

You must be polite, kind, and respectful to your parents when you explain what you desire. You must try to come to some compromise of visiting them when you can, and perhaps sending them money regularly if viable. You should introduce the girl and her family to your parents properly, sit down, and discuss the matter without any anger or compulsion. Please don’t force your decisions down their throats but explain your reasons. Convincing them that your decisions are best for you is the most tactful way you can do it. Also, do tell them soon so they have time to digest your announcements.

Please see these answers in full about balancing your parents’ rights with your needs:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/abandon-life-build-abroad-take-care-parents/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/leave-parents-allow-wife-house/

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 aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.