How Can I Marry the Man I Love When His Father Says I Am Too Old for Him?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I fell in love with a boy at work who is four years younger than me. I told him that our future was not guaranteed, but he said he would stand with me no matter what and we continued our relationship. We informed our families, and his mother advised him to study for now and think about this later.

Now he told his dad, and he is not agreeing with this because of the age gap. He said to focus on yourself and don’t get into girls for now, and never marry an older girl. My family is fine with him, and they are supporting us. We don’t know what to do, his education is pending for two more years.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, but when you embark on an illicit relationship, which angers Allah Most High, it is not uncommon to face pain, suffering, and refusal from the parents.

Nikah

The first thing you should do is repent for your relationship. It is unlawful to have a boyfriend or be physical with someone before a nikah. It is valid for you to get married to him as he does not need his parents’ permission, only your father’s permission is required for you. That being said, I can’t tell you that it’s a good idea. Your suitor needs to take the time to convince his parents and procure their blessing, as there is no point in satisfying himself while angering his parents. His parents must meet you, several times if necessary, and they will come to truly understand how important you are to him, and hopefully approve of you on your own merit.

Istikhara

In addition to this, you must pray istikhara, seeking Allah’s guidance that he is the right one and be sure that you are choosing according to the Prophet’s advice (Allah bless him and give him peace), which applies to both genders: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or her piety. Select the pious, or your hands will be covered in dust!” [Bukhari; Muslim]

In sha Allah, if everything works out, you should take a course on marriage to learn your rights and responsibilities and earn skill sets that will help you throughout the marriage.

Please see these links as well:
What Do I Do When My Parents Reject the Woman I Want to Marry Because She Is Older and a Convert?
Reader on Parents Rejecting Suitors for Marriage

May Allah give you the best of 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, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.