Question: I love a man, and he loves me too. We were in a serious relationship for a year and wanted to get married. He is religious and has a good character, but we decided to give up the sins for the sake of Allah and hope that He makes a way for us to marry since we are from a different caste. My parents will never accept his proposal. Please can you give me advice on what to do?
Thank you for your question. First, please see these answers about marrying someone in a different caste:
The best method for making big decisions is the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (Istikhara). Forget about your father for a minute and ask yourself whether you followed the Prophetic advice. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A woman is married for four reasons: for her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her religious inclination, choose the one who is religious (or) you will be ruined.” [Bukhari & Muslim] Please pray istikhara, and seek Allah’s guidance on the matter. Being in an illicit serious relationship with him for a year does mean that he is good for you. But I do commend that you both stopped the sin for His sake.
Once you have prayed it, and if you have found it positive to pursue, you must face your father and ask him to compromise. I know it is difficult, but try to read him and see if he will ever budge. You could wait it out, or you could get a third party to speak to them, such as a relative, imam, or elder. Try to have them meet and let him judge for himself. Tell him that your istikhara is positive, and ask him to pray it too. Explain to him that religion is the most important criteria and he fulfills that. Be gentle and kind and press on as long as you feel is right.
Or Walk Away
Your father loves you and wishes for your well-being. He may feel that a different caste will cause you difficulty, and the reality is that you might need to walk away. Ask Allah to help you heal and time will help. In the future, try not to become emotionally attached to a man because heartbreak is difficult to endure, and this is the wisdom behind the rulings of gender interaction, even when considering someone for marriage. Read these du’as to help you through this:
Also, remember that you must repent for the illicit relationship. This will bring you blessings, by the grace of Allah.
Turn to Allah during this difficult time, and ask Him to help you do the right thing. Be the best Muslim that you can be by praying all your prayers on time and reading some Qur’an with the meaning every day. Make sincere du’a to Him to guide you, and pray the Prayer of Need.
Caste is a big problem in the sub-continent and I pray that Muslims can understand Allah’s words, “Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware. [Qur’an 49:13] Although compatibility is a factor in marriage (kafa’ah), caste is not, see the details here:
Learn and Prepare
Either way, the best thing that you can do for yourself and your marriage is to take a free course at Seekers about marriage. Learn your rights and responsibilities and intend to uphold an Islamic marriage with whomever you marry. May Allah help you through this and give you 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.