Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I was engaged to a guy and my family later found out that that he has a past. My parents have refused to let him marry me, but I am already emotionally attached to him. I tried to convince them but it’s not working. Can I still marry him without my parents’ consent?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, this is a difficult situation to be in. I pray that Allah facilitates a way out for you.
The most favourable situation would be for you to marry this man with your family’s consent. In Islam, marriage is about two families coming together as well as a husband and wife. Women who marry without their family’s blessings are often in vulnerable situations because they lack family support. The first year of marriage is challenging for everyone, especially when they no longer have the bedrock of their family to lean on in times of hardship.
Although the exception to the rule is marriage without your parents’ consent, it would be a very, very difficult path to tread.
1) Pray Salatul Hajat and ask Allah for ease; Pray Salatul Istikhara and be open to taking the path which Allah opens up for you. This will be difficult because you are already emotionally attached to this man. The truth of the matter is that whatever Allah has written will come to pass, and this may or may not mean marriage to this man.
2) Consult with a trusted community elder, family member or family friend, and ask him/her to advocate for the man you wish to marry. Choose someone who is kind and fair, and who will help reason with your parents. It helps to pick someone whom your parents already trust and respect.
3) Take the time and effort to exhaust all means to win your family over. At the end of the day, they love you dearly and want what is best for you. Perhaps because of his past, they are reluctant and afraid to entrust you to him.
4) Remember to always treat your parents with respect and compassion, no matter how they treat you or the man you want to marry.
If you do decide to marry him against your parents’ wishes, then be prepared to cope with the fallout. If they disown you, ban you from visiting etc, then be steadfast and continue to reach out to them with respect and kindness. Your responsibility is still to keep ties with them even if they do not wish to keep ties with you. In most cases, the passage of time will smooth things over. If not, then the arrival of grandchildren will, inshaAllah. If you do not have the support of your immediate family, then ensure you have support from close friends, extended family etc. Adjusting to marriage is challenging, even in the most ideal circumstances.
May Allah guide you to whatever is best in both worlds.
Please refer to the following links:
What to Do When My Parents Reject My Choice of Spouse Because of Cultural Reasons?
Are There Any Legal Leeways to Get Over the Refusal of a Guardian Regarding an Interracial Marriage?
Obeying Parents In Matters of Marriage
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani