Question: I am a 21-year-old Afghan woman currently in college in the United States. A week ago,, my mom and dad told me that I need to get married to my cousin whose family had asked them for my hand. I’ve been directly saying no to them,, but they were insistent that the family wants me,, and my grandfather and father have agreed,, and celebrated that I was given to them. I haven’t said yes at all,, and I’m afraid they will take me to my country and force in a nikah that I don’t want.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry for this predicament that you are in, and I pray that you can understand with your parents with mutual respect.
A girl cannot be forced into marriage, especially if the boy is not suitable, and you will have to be strong and firm, as you state your position, and you may have to do so repeatedly. Please see these links for some tips on this situation:
Try to sit down and explain your reasons to your parents, have open and honest communication. Tell them that you want to finish your degree and have certain goals you want to achieve. If they refuse to listen, at least tell them to wait until you graduate, so you can buy more time to talk to them.
Your other option is to consider this man. Have you spoken to him or seen him? Do you think that your parents actually might have chosen someone suitable for you, as they do care for your best interest? Is it possible that they know you better than you think? I urge you to speak to the boy before you say no, and see for yourself the reality of the situation. It would help if you had a basis for saying no since it is so important to your parents.
I recommend that you pray istikhara and actually consider him. Ask your parents and the boy in question to pray it too. Come back and discuss the results and feeling from your istikhara, then take it from there. Until then, ask Allah to help you, guide you and facilitate this matter for you. Turn to Him whole-heartedly, fulfill your duties to Him and rely on Him. By his grace, you will come out of this situation stronger and happier. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
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 Master’s 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.