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Parents’ Strong Refusal of Reverts

Shaykh Jamir Meah answers a question about marrying a revert who has been deemed unfit by parents.

I am a 26 year-old born Muslim female who still strives to be a better Muslimah every single day and am currently interested in a revert 33 year-old brother of two-and-a-half years in Islam. We met on a Muslim dating app since we both want to get to know our half of our religion as soon as possible, because we all know that we are on the suitable age.

I am a nurse working in Saudi Arabia and he is a smelter in another region of the Middle East. We haven’t chatted much in the application since he prefers to get to know the potential spouse in personal and of course with the presence of my wali.

We set the date and place, and I had my mother, uncle from my mother’s side, and his wife at the dining table. He came alone all the way from another region to my current place to seek permission from my parents. Unfortunately, my father was in the Philippines and was not amused about meeting a revert.

However, my mom and I persuaded him that there is nothing wrong in trying to get to know the brother. At least he is meeting me with my relatives present and not alone. Mostly, my uncle and mom did the interrogation regarding how he reverted and why, and his family background, and such and such, and he honestly answered that yes, he was from a broken family and Alhamdulillah he had made his mother a Muslim.

He wanted a Muslim-born woman to marry since he wants to build a family that has a strong religious grounding. To be honest, it was also both our first time to gather folks in meeting or getting to know each other for the purpose of marriage to get away from the world’s fitnah.

At the end of the discussion or meeting, he once again thanked Allah and my parents and me for allowing him to be seen and that he wanted to state his purpose which is that he wanted me to be his wife, if permitted by my parents. And that he won’t force anything if it is against some laws of Islam.

Uncle advised us to pray istikhara first before deciding and we did. I usually don’t have signs but my heart is light when I think how inclined he is to Islam than to the Muslim-born men I have known. We were permitted to have a limited chat in messenger but never did. We call to hear each others’ voices or video call to see each other. Both our Facebook accounts are mainly all about Islamic reminders. No pictures of awrah shown too.

I wanted to pursue the marriage with him since what I have been praying for: a righteous man, disregarding the race or status as long as his love for Allah is much stronger than this dunya. The problem is, my father got angry when I told him that i wanted to do nikah with him.

The reasons both parents told me are, he is a revert. We don’t know his purpose. His family is still a Christian. Why can’t he find his own revert wife? He is from a broken family (the reason why he was 33 and never got married was because he was afraid of not being able to be responsible enough to be a father. That’s why he was lead to Islam and knew the importance of marriage). He was just a high school graduate. And my family’s ancestors only allowed revert sisters. Never a revert brother. That maybe he reverted because he wants many wives.

The brother was hurt and all he could do is feel hurt and said “It is only Allah who knows what’s in my heart, and mind and my intention in marrying your daughter is pure and clear. If I have the evil intention or you’re afraid i might go back to my own religion, then may Allah prepare the most severe punishment for me. I fear Allah for that.”

No matter how much I tried to persuade my parents and how the brother did too, never-ending sermons are received from my parents. What will people say, it’s not in our culture. You’re still young, don’t go to haste. All these are so worldly reasons. I was already prepare to get married to the brother and even had enough mahr to give in case they approved but no. My parents say never! Never a revert!

But he is whom I wanted my children to follow. Until the brother gave up and sent a long message to my parents asking for forgiveness for being only a revert and that we will be gladly to raise his hands and surrender me to my parent since he told me he don’t want the woman he wanted to marry to face having to break family-ties with my parents.

I cried but my parents only justify their cruel intentions by saying, “You see he is not for you.” I told them, he only respects you all, since it is not allowed to be judgemental and rude in Islam. We tried getting someone to persuade them but that only made it worse. How could such parents value culture and discrimination more than the teachings of Islam?

Now I don’t want to both lose my family and the righteous man I found but why does my parents told me that they only care for me? They say they don’t want my future children to be at the man’s side but the brother has already broken his ties with his non-believing families, for they are too engrossed in haram and could only send Islamic pamphlets and make dua. He was so in tears for Allah’s mercy to grant him his mother to become a Muslimah and next we want to stay connected with his father to let him embrace as well. Insha Allah. 

I need advice. Can a Muslim-born woman marry a revert even if it is against the rejection of the walis? Can I still pursue the nikah when I reach the age of 40 with the righteous man I have chosen? Since I am also willing to be a second or a third wife as long as I see the religion and religious man that fears and loves Allah.

Can I choose the man to get married with instead of my family, since they say they will disown me and kill us both if we both get married secretly? I was planning to wait until 30 and if he still inquires I would still, insha Allah, like to pursue the nikah with him in a far country and would still try not to cut connections since I fear Allah. Please do give me advice on this.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is obviously a very sensitive and difficult one. Normally, in these situations, we would advise that you get a third party involved to see if they can intercede. Perhaps there is a local imam or respected scholar who can speak to your family?  

While your parents may be being prejudiced against converts, I’m sure they are deeply concerned about your happiness and well-being. Older generations see culture differences as much more important than younger generations, and though this can sometimes be misplaced, their concerns should still be considered.  

I would also say that it is important to remember that you have only known this man for a short space of time and communication is limited. I am sure he is a good person, but it is very difficult to ascertain the good character and piety of a person until one has spent more time with them (such as having more arranged meetings) or at least inquired about the person’s character from others who know him well on a personal level. Ideally one would do both.  

Using religious words and speech doesn’t always translate to good character and suitable spouse material in private practice. Even when a person is practicing and comes across as having firm faith, it does not necessarily mean that they are ready to marry, to live with another person with love, compassion, and patience. This applies to men and women.  

Do you feel that you know enough about him to feel he is an ideal match for you? That he will treat you with kindness and make you happy? You may well do, but do consider these matters carefully before you set your heart on only one person and waiting years to marry him.  

Given that your family said that they will disown you and even kill you both, though this is incorrect and deeply concerning, it seems that not pursuing this offer of marriage is best at the moment, at least until you can talk them round.  

Lastly, do not forget that everything is in Allah’s hands. Whatever is meant to be will be, and if this man is meant to be your husband, it will be. Make use of the Prayer of Guidance (istikhara) often and the Prayer of Need (haja).  

Please also refer to these answers for further advice: 

Convert Marriage Archives

I wish you every happiness,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Parental Demands Scared Away Potential Spouse

Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja

Question: Someone asked to marry me, and I was deeply interested in him.  My parents agreed, but they set unreasonable conditions, so he refused.  I got my parents to agree to take away their conditions, but the brother still refused. My problem is I can’t forget about him.  Other people want to marry me, but I only want to marry him because he is a very good man.   Please advise me because I am having problems forgiving my parents for this.

Answer: Walaikum salam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Your parent’s actions in setting unreasonable demands in the first instance is problematic, however, the brother’s refusal to marry you despite your parent’s changing their minds is an indication that your marriage was not meant to be.

Whilst the first brother may be a good brother, Allah (Exalted be He), in His infinite Wisdom and Knowledge knows that which is best for us. Regardless of his character, it may have been that a marriage with him was not best for you in this life and the hereafter.

I understand that emotional attachment such as the one you formed with the brother in question can be difficult to break. However, comparing potential marriage partners with him is not begin fair to your self or to the brother’s who ask for your hand in marriage. When proposals come, you should make istikhara and ask Allah (Exalted be He) to make easy for you that which is best for you.

A full guide on how to make istikhara can be found here: The Reality of Istikhara

With regards to forgiving your mother, it is important that you remember our parents actions are often motivated out of love and concern for our welfare.

Allah (Exalted be He) has described the believers in the Qur’an as “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry they forgive” (al-Shura 42:37).

He (Exalted be He) also says: “And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah , and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” (an-Nas 24:22)

In trying to forgive others one should remember that we are all flawed, and all in need of forgiveness from human beings and by the Creator. In forgiving the wrongs done to us, we pray that we are in turn granted forgiveness for our transgressions.

May Allah (Exalted be He) grant you ease and facilitation in all your affairs.

Ma’salam

Bano

Related Answers:

Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage

My Parents Won’t Let Me Marry Before My Older Sister

Marriage & Dealing With Parents

Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I asked by mother to get married and she told be about a lady. She said I should speak to her and then marry her if I like her. Now she wants me to cut things off because she doesn’t think the lady’s mother is a good person, even though her mother is very pious and reads the Qu’ran often. Should I obey my mother, or follow my heart and marry the lady?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

It would generally be much wiser to marry with parental approval.

Parents can be convinced. However, realize that they have deep concern, and only want the best for you. It would break their heart if you went ahead without their consent.

If your mother is not keen on it, it may be that she has seen or noticed something which may be detrimental to the relationship in the long term. Women notice things that men don’t. Marriage is a coming together of families, and not simply of the husband and bride to be.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Your love of something blinds and deafens.” [Abu Dawud] It could be that there is an issue which you haven’t considered.

If you have done your homework on her, asked those worthy of consulting, prayed istikhara, and still feel that you should marry her, then continue to insist without any arguing.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Marriage & Dealing With Parents

Marriage & Obedience to Parents

My Family Doesn’t Get Along With My Spouse’s Family