Question: I am a 22-year-old female. My mother passed away unexpectedly three months ago. Since then my father has been worried as I’m his only responsibility. My father wants me to get married to my mother’s cousin who is 28 years old. He respects my father a lot and is willing to let my father stay with me after marriage as I’m a single child and there is no one else to take care of my father. He also knows everything about my life. My father likes him because he is educated, prays, has a good family background, and is someone my father can trust. Should I approve of this marriage?
Thank you for your question. I pray that Allah envelops your mother in His mercy and that you are reunited with her in the hereafter, in a place where there will be no fear or grief.
The first step to making any decision is praying istikhara. This prayer of seeking guidance help one to turn to Allah before anyone else and give you the peace of mind and ease to move forward, if it feels positive. Please check these links for details:
Check with the Prophetic sunna before you make your decision. Are you marrying him for his deen? The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!” [Bukhari and Muslim].
Don’t be blinded by what your father wants. Step back and make sure that you are marrying him for religion and for his suitability to be a father to your children. If it is just convenience or pressure that is drawing you in, I beg you to reconsider.
Ask yourself, if your mother was alive, would you marry this person? Would you even consider him? It is very honorable that your father wants to take care of you and fulfill his responsibility, but ask him if he is rushing this decision or whether he truly feels this is the perfect match for you. Although he is worried, this decision should not be rushed and he should be sure that this is not done in haste. Allah takes care of people’s affairs and we should rely on Him fully.
Live with him
If you feel that this person fulfills all of your criteria of a husband, and he has good character, then you should certainly pray istikhara, and if it’s positive, say yes. If there is truly no reason to doubt him, then don’t. However, I must caution you that living with your father after marriage, without your husband, is detrimental and it would be better for him to move into your house, so you can both take care of your father. Or you could both move into your own place and go to your father regularly to help him. A couple must never be apart and it can destroy a marriage. Neither party would be fulfilling their obligations nor getting their rights. This arrangement would be a disaster. Try to live together as soon as the nikah is done.
Please take this course on marriage before you jump into anything. Learn your obligations and rights and live a spiritual Islamic marriage as best as you can. Continue to help your father, but your husband’s authority will be above your father’s authority. Keep this in mind. I pray that Allah blesses you and gives you and your family the best in 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, 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.