Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalaamu alaikum.
I converted to Islam over ten years ago. Since I am Indian, there was a lot of backlash and cultural drama within my family. I found a muslim boy who wants to marry me. My family disapproves completely.I am willing to accept my own suffering over my family’s but I hate that this brother must be hurt in the process. I don’t want to break up my family but I don’t want to forgo half my deen because of their prejudice. Please offer your guidance.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. I am very sorry to hear about the difficulty you are facing. Trials of the heart are often deeply trying, but they are also a swift means to Allah.
Your top priority is always the pleasure of Allah. The pleasure of creation, even our parents, is secondary. In particular, the life which your father wants you to lead is not pleasing to Allah Most High.
Just as some children use tantrums to get what they want from their parents, some parents use guilt-tripping tactics to get what they want from their children.
Unless Allah wills, your father will not approve of your Islam. Flowing from that, he will not approve of you marrying a Muslim man, and raising Muslim children. You are already very attached to this young man. Even if you do end this relationship, what’s the chance that your father will approve of the next Muslim man you wish to marry? It is likely that he will also reject your next Muslim suitor.
It is unrealistic for you to choose celibacy your entire life, just to keep your father content. This stance could breed resentment in you, especially once he passes away, and you find yourself living a life you are unhappy with. It is healthy and normal to want to get married.
Stay far away from sin
“And do not even go close to Zina! Truly, it is a gross obscenity and an evil path (to go down).” [Quran, 17:32]
I am concerned about the danger of you falling into sin with the young man you are in love with. I sense that you are both already deeply attached to one another. If you were to end your relationship, how would you both cope?
It is possible that you will both suffer from deep heartbreak, and lose your high hopes in Allah. Or, by failing to get married, you could both succumb to base desires and shaytan’s invitation to sin.
Pray istkhara about what the best thing for you to do. Be honest with yourselves, and be realistic about the possible outcomes. If you fear falling into sin with him, and you are content that he is a pious man of good character, then I would advise you to consider marriage.
If you fear falling into sin with him, but know, deep down, that he is not suitable for you, then I advise that you end this relationship before your feelings grow even stronger.
If you do choose to get married to him, be prepared for the inevitable fallout – your father’s devastation and the ensuing family drama. But, like all things in life, that phase will pass. The question is whether or not your marriage will be strong enough to withstand that level of stress and rejection.
It is normal and healthy for all newlywed couples to want the blessings of both sides of their families. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially given the context of your father’s disapproval.
I suggest that both of you listen to the Successful Islamic Marriage class on SeekersGuidance to help you come to a decision.
Maintaining family ties
Abu Huraira reported that a person said: “Allah’s Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness).” [Bukhari]
‘A’isha reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “The tie of kinship is suspended to the Throne and says: He who unites me Allah would unite him and he who severed me Allah would sever him.” [Bukhari]
It’s a blessing when converts have families who are open-minded enough to embrace their Muslim child and his/her spouse. It’s a great trial when the non-Muslim family is hostile towards Islam. Regardless, it’s still your responsibility to honour the ties of the womb. Whether or not you choose to marry this young man, strive to always keep in touch with your family, and be that embodiment of the mercy of Islam.
I pray that Allah will soften the hearts of your family members, draw them to Islam, and keep you steadfast and obedient to Allah Most High.
Please refer to the following link:
Marriage Decision: Following One’s Heart
Reader on Istikhara
Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.