Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My fiance’s mother has changed her mind at the last minute, and no longer wants him to marry me because I am “not family”. What do I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Certain cultures place a strong emphasis on marrying within family, especially upon migrating to the West. Even though the parents may think this way, often their children do not. This is a very common and painful generational conflict which plays out in the arena of marriage, over and over again.
In short, your future husband’s mother does not have a valid reason for disagreeing with his choice of spouse. It sounds like she is upset at the thought of losing her son, which is a common fear faced by a future mother-in-law.
For the sake of your future marital happiness, I strongly encourage you and your future husband to do your utmost in winning over his mother. Make copious dua in the last third of the night. Perform the Prayer of Need. Treat her with impeccable adab. Send her gifts. Speak to elders who can advocate for you. Be infinitely patient with her. She is, after all, the mother of the man you wish to marry.
I encourage you both to complete this course: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. Learn about the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage, and how to manage conflict like the one you are facing.
It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “There is nothing like marriage, for two who love one another.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
If you have exhausted all avenues and your future husband’s mother is still unhappy, then it is permissible for you to get married without the consent of his parents. However, please prepare yourselves.
Expect the fallout that comes with him marrying against his parents’ wishes. You and your husband must be strong, and brave. He must continue to maintain ties with them, even if they threaten to cut ties, and so on. It is important for you to also treat them with compassion and respect. If they treat you poorly, then excuse yourself, and limit interaction with them. Make dua for them.
Even in worst case scenarios, the birth of a grandchild often smoothes things over.
I pray that Allah blesses your marriage and softens the heart of your future mother-in-law.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.