Question: I’m a 24-year-old woman. My parents have been divorced since I was a child. I live with my mom who wants me to get married as soon as I can and is manipulating me into getting married. My father offered to help me finish my Master’s degree and will let me choose whomever I want to marry. My mom said if I leave she will never talk to me again. What should I do?
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are being coerced and emotionally blackmailed. It is not right to force or manipulate but rather to communicate.
Talk To Her
You have to change the narrative with your mom. There cannot be any coercion, compulsion, or manipulation when it comes to marriage. You must be honest, and sit down with her tell her gently that you love her and will certainly marry when the time is right and the right guy comes along. Ask her to please stop with the ultimatums and to give you a little room to breathe and a little time. There is no need for pushing and settling on marrying someone who is not the best for you. This is one of those times in life where you have to speak up.
Marry While You Study
Other than dealing with your mother, why do you not want to marry while you study? There are many ways to do it if you want to. You can have a nikah but not move in together. You could get engaged for a year and then have a nikah. You can even get fully married while you study if your husband supports and helps you. Please bear in mind that marriage is also critical to keeping your mind off the opposite gender and managing temptation. Be sure about your reasons for delaying marriage. See this link:
As for your father, be grateful to him and explain to him that you would love to take up his offer but you want to do it in a way where your mother is happy too. Tell him that both parents are important and you cannot do anything that might jeopardize one relationship.
If you really have to make a choice of whom to live with, you should pray istikhara and follow that. It is a big decision, and you do not want to hurt anyone nor be a victim. It is a delicate balance. Education is important, and you have the right to make a decision for yourself.
May Allah help you and make it easy for you to decide on the right thing for your future.
[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 Masters 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.