How Can I Convince My Parents to Accept a Suitor Who Is Estranged from His Father?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I have recently brought up marriage to my parents, I have gotten to know a person who, Alhamdulillah, is on deen and has good character. When I told my parents about him they wanted to know about him and his parents. I am a Somali and he has an Indian father and a Somali mother. His parents divorced when he was a baby and has never had any contact with him.

My parents are not willing to accept this person unless he brings someone from his father’s side, which is impossible for him. He was raised by his mother and classes his mother as both parents. What can I do? I love my parents but I want to get married and build a family in sha Allah.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and I pray that you find a compromise with your parents on this issue.

Marriage Contract

According to Islamic law, a suitor’s father is not required for a marriage contract. His knowledge of the contract or his consent is not needed. A nikah would be valid without his father being there or even knowing about it.

Culture

It seems to me that your parents require that there be a male figure present to vouch for the suitor. Also in case of any future problem, your parents want to have more than just his mother to discuss issues with. Perhaps your father feels that he needs an older man to be involved in this match, so that it feels more complete and balanced to him, especially if different needs arise in the future. Your parents seem wise to me, so if I was in your shoes, I would ask that an elder from the community or local imam get involved and play the role of your suitor’s mentor/ father. Hopefully, this will be enough for your parents.

Sit with Him

If it is not enough for them, then the best thing you can do is communicate openly with them and explain to them that you feel strongly about this match. Can you suitor try to find his father or an uncle? Might the effort be worth it? If not, tell your parents that the suitor is simply unable to acquiesce to their demands. Also, they might come to accept him if they spend enough time with him. Arrange for them to meet, often if necessary, to get to know him well, and their parental instincts will be enough to read him. Of course, employ istikhara all the while.

Turn to Allah

Turn to your Lord in the meanwhile with learning the religion correctly and applying it in the best way that you can. Pray on time, read Quran every day, pray istikhara and make dua in the last third of the night for clarity and guidance. Take a course on marriage with us and make sure that you are well-prepared for it. Guard your heart, and don’t get emotionally attached to any man, until you marry with your parents’ blessing. Be prepared to walk away from this man, or end up marrying him. Submit to that which Allah facilitates and leave that which Allah makes difficult, and you will find peace in the decision, in sha Allah.

Please see these links as well:
What Should I Do About Stubborn Parents Who Refuse My Potential Suitor?
Can A Father Refuse To Meet A Suitor For His Daughter?

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, 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.