Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
There is a girl in our country I’d like to marry; I have known her for a year. She, her mother, her sister, and her sister’s husband are religious people. But her father doesn’t pray and drinks in private. She is looking for a religious person who prays, etc.
Her family seems to be the type that doesn’t interfere. Her brother smokes, but not in front of his father. I discovered that he sells drugs secretly, and his family doesn’t know. My father also found out from his sources that he is a drug dealer and told me that it was impossible for him to be connected to such a suspicious family. Would his drug dealing be a problem for us if I married her and bring her to Europe?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for trying to make the right decision based on religion and your father’s wishes.
When choosing a girl to marry, make a decision based on the Prophet’s advice (Allah bless him and give him peace), and this 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]
Regarding this hadith, Ibn Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him), in Fath al-Bari, said: “And it is taken from this that one with a noble lineage, it is better for him to marry one with a noble lineage, unless the lineage contradicts with a religious woman, or one with noble lineage contradicts a non-religious woman, then the religious woman is chosen. And it is likewise in the other three traits.”
I really cannot tell you what to do, as the girl herself seems pious and should not be punished for her brother’s deeds. However, the family of the bride will always have an influence and effect on her and, therefore, the marriage, especially when children come. These effects, of course, can be minimized if you are in a different country. You will have to set healthy boundaries, don’t cut them off, and deal with their problems with patience and perseverance over the years.
Please pray istikhara on the matter, consult elders and scholars around you, and speak to people in her community. May Allah bless your union, no matter whom you choose.
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 and completed her Master’s 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.