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Halal Relationship at School

Ustadh Salman Younas gives advice on marrying against the wishes of parents.

There are sometimes you love a lady and the lady loves you too and is ready to live with you. but the problem is from both parents. They are not ready for you to get married since you are still a student and poor. And the parents of the girl want someone rich for their daughter.

Is there any possibility to make your relationship halal since parents are against it and two of us are true lovers? Due to fear of Allah we want to make the relationship halal, but due to parents avoidance it might lead to something bad as the barriers are only the parents not the two of us.

The dilemma that you find yourselves is understandable. On the one hand, you have found someone that you would like to marry, but given your age and status, it is proving difficult to convince the parents. 

In this situation, the default is that one should not go forward with a marriage that is kept secret from the parents. Rather, one should have patience, put the relationship on hold, and then have a frank discussion with their parents regarding the situation they find themselves in.

This is admittedly not easy, but parents have rights, and they are entitled to our respect as the Qur’an and sunna clearly affirm. To go behind their back and get married would generally be seen as a contravention of this. 

Similarly, marriage comes with responsibilities. One cannot simply rush into a marriage based on feelings alone without being able to fulfill these responsibilities. 

I would advise you to read the following answer for a more detailed answer on this issue, which relates to a case similar to yours: Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Having to Wait for Nikah

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat gives advice on marriage and the consent of parents.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I have met a practicing man I wish to marry. We have been trying to get his parents to agree for almost nine months now and, alhamduliLlah, by the grace of Allah Most High, they have finally started to come to terms with it and his mother has called my mom. Their only concern is that nothing should happen until we both graduate, which is what my parents want as well.

The issue is that he graduates in three years, and keeping ourselves free of sin is really tough. We were wondering if it was possible to sign a nikah without telling our parents, just to free ourselves from further haram as the desires we have are very great. We would not let anyone else know (aside from the ones performing the nikah) and we would let our parents take their time in getting to know one another while we finish school, while secretly married.

Please advise us on what to do. We were hoping to follow Hanafi fiqh in this regard due to the lack of wali needed in some cases.

Jazak Allah khayr.

I pray you are well.

Turn to Allah

It is a huge blessing from Allah that the parents from both sides have agreed to the marriage. You should thank Allah profusely for this blessing. Thanking Allah is a means to an increase, because He Himself swore an oath saying, “[I swear], if you show thanks I will certainly give you an increase.” (Sura Ibrahim 14:7) Thank Him for this blessing and all others and you will certainly see more of what you like coming your way.

You should also turn to Allah with dua, and ask Him to facilitate matters in the best way for you. Allah answers all prayers – but according to His schedule, not ours, and in the way He deems best, not what we plan (Ibn ʿAtaʾillah, al-Hikam).

The Sunna of Marriages

In Islam, the sunna is that once a suitable match has been found, the nikah should take place as soon as possible. All the necessary discussions should take place first, and then when both parties are happy to proceed the nikah should be conducted.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “O Ali, three [particular] things do not delay: the [obligatory] prayer when its [time] comes; the [funeral prayer over] the deceased when [the body comes]; and [the marriage of] a lady when you have found her a suitable match.” (Tirmidhi).

You should try yourselves, or ask someone of authority in the community to convey this point to the parents on both sides.  Perhaps they can be persuaded.

A nikah does not mean that you have to move in together. It finalizes the contract and shuts the door for the devil to play any games with anyone. The rest of the marriage plans can follow the schedule agreed upon by both sides.

Prolonged engagements go against this sunna.

No Secret Marriages

Secret marriages are not something which should even be considered. Marriage is more than the union of two individuals. Both families are bound to each other through it, which is a blessing from Allah.

Also, many parents would feel extremely hurt and betrayed if they found out that their child had secretly entered into a marriage – even if it was with someone they had already approved of. In many cultures parents see the marriage of their child as a responsibility, which makes this a serious matter. Do not go down this route.

In some cases, the agreement can be called off, and if the prospective couple have secretly married, they find themselves in a very difficult position: neither family approves of the marriage – yet they are married. Revealing the matter means risking family ties being severed, and keeping it a secret can only go on for so long.

I once came across a case where a couple performed a secret marriage whilst waiting for the wedding date the families had agreed on to come, and in the meantime the husband divorced his wife three times. Imagine explaining that one to the parents.

May Allah facilitate what is best for you. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Valid to Marry in Secret?

Ustadh Salman Younas answers a question about the validity and rightness of wanting to marry someone without the parents’ knowledge and consent.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I love someone and I want that relationship becomes halal. Right now I want to marry her without telling anyone just to make it halal, and it is not possible right now to take permission from my parents neither from her parents.

If we marry each other will it be legitimate? And if we do not get involve in any physical relation before the marriage with the permission of our parents will it be legitimate?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

According to the Shafi‘i school, in order for a marriage contract to be valid the following must be present:

    1. 1. The bride’s guardian (wali)

2. Two upright Muslim witnesses

3. The groom

4. The offer and acceptance.

Without these being present, the marriage contract would not be valid. As you can see, “secret” marriages executed without the knowledge and consent of the bride’s legal guardian are not valid in our school. (Tuhfatul Muhtaj, Nihayatul Muhtaj)

Hanafi School

Although the Hanafi school holds that the bride’s guardian is not a legal integral for the validity of the marriage, when there is no serious need to take this position, marriage without your parent’s knowledge and consent would be highly discouraged.

While your feelings towards each other are strong right now, please do not forget your respective mother and fathers, their feelings, and everything they have done for you both. Marriage is a huge step and one that takes a child away from the family home forever. Do your best not to break their hearts and cause them unnecessary anxiety, for in many cases, couples that do so later regret it and wish they had done things differently.

For more detailed answers to the Hanafi position and related concerns, please refer to these answers, particularly the second answer: What Are the Minimum Steps That Must Be Taken for a Marriage to Be Valid? and Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Relationships

Whether one is in a physical relationship or purely an emotionally attached relationship, either way, it would not be permitted to continue. Allah has commanded us:

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ

And do not come near to adultery. (Sura al Isra 17:32)

Coming near zina includes every inclination of the heart, every loving gaze, every touch, every word spoken with intent of affection, with someone one it is not permitted to do so with. These tender emotions are guarded and preserved for after marriage, which makes the marital bond that much sweeter and pure.

There is a saying in Egypt which goes something like, “The one who walks through the door is respected, the one who climbs through the window is not.” In other words, the man who does not go through the proper means of asking for a bride’s hand in marriage, i.e. the father or guardian, deserves no respect, while the one who goes through the correct channels, regardless if his acceptance is accepted or not, is still respected and his dignity and reputation remain intact.

Don’t forget, by marrying this girl, you are essentially taking someone’s daughter away from them. This is hard enough for parents when their child gets married with their consent, let alone behind their backs.

Conversely, from the bride’s point of view, she should not give her affection to anyone easily, rather she should deem herself worthy, and accept only a man who is respectful, dignified and who carries out his affairs with principles and correct conduct. This not only earns the respect of the family, but the woman herself will value and respect him more, and he respect her more.

Though it may be hard to put your relationship on hold until a solution can be found in regards getting married, put it on hold you must. You should take the lead and show strength and resolution.

In this time, I suggest that you both work on your relationship with Allah Most High, for whom your love should be more than anyone else. When you truly love Allah, step by step, you will both desire what is pleasing to Him, and naturally forgo what you want and accept whatever Allah has in store for you both.

Solutions

Marriage is a celebration of two people coming together lawfully, and it is important that it is made public for many reasons.

Try to resolve the issue by following the helpful suggestions mentioned in this answer: Can I Marry Without My Parents’ Consent?

Be patient and true, and you’ll find that Allah will open up things for you in ways you never would have expected.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Is It Right to Marry at 15 Without Our Parents Knowing?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

If a girl and a boy want to marry each other at the age of 15 or 16, is it right? If they do not inform their parents, Islamically, is that right or wrong?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Young marriage

Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure, and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.” [Tirmidhi]

I don’t know the specifics of your situation. The general rule is that secret marriage is strongly discouraged. There are exceptions, but these are very rare, and you must consult a trustworthy and knowledgeable local scholar before making any decisions.

Your father is your mahram, and you are under his guardianship. It would break his heart, and your mother’s, for you to marry in secret. Hurting them like that counts as a major sin.

If you were an older, divorced woman with knowledge about men and the world, then things would be differet. However, you are very young, have never been married, and I am concerned for your long-term well-being.

Solutions

It sounds like you are already in love and fear committing sin. I see four options:

a) End this relationship temporarily

Take a break from each other. Revisit the conversation about marriage when you are both older, calmer, and less emotionally attached. Be honest with yourselves. If you weren’t already so in love, would you both make a good match? Do you both resolve conflict well? Is he able to financially provide for you? Would he make a good father for your children?

b) End this relationship permanently

This will take a lot of self-control. Give this relationship up for the sake of Allah, and for your own long-term happiness. Heartbreak is devastating, but you will recover over time. Additionally, Allah has already determined who you are meant to marry. If he is written for you, then you will marry when the time is right. If he is not, then no amount of forcing the issue will make it happen.

c) Get married in secret

I strongly advise against this. In addition to deeply hurting your parents, you risk falling pregnant. No contraception is 100% effective. What will you do if you fall pregnant? Your child will be legitimate because of your marriage contract, but what will you say to your parents? That you marred in secret, are sexually active, and are unprepared to raise a child?

d) Get married with your parents’ blessings

This will take a lot of courage, but if written, will bring about tremendous khayr in your dunya and akhirah. Please speak to your parents, and be honest about how you want to get married. For young marriage to work, you will need the support of both of your families. Marriage is something sacred and beautiful in our deen, and is something that ought to be celebrated openly. The first year of marriage is challenging, so having your family’s support would be invaluable.

Prayer of Guidance

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times to help you reach a final decision. Watch what Allah unfolds for you. Whatever Allah makes difficult is not good for you, and whatever He facilitates is better for you. For example, if you speak to your parents and they strongly oppose the idea of you getting married, then that is your sign to end this relationship. However, if your parents are supportive, then that is your sign to get married.

Marriage

I encourage you both to complete this excellent course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

A successful Islamic marriage needs more than love. It needs a strong foundation of sincere concern for one another, for the sake of pleasing Allah. Young marriage, in particular, needs the emotional and often financial support of families. For example, a young married couple may not be able to afford to rent their own apartment at first. If there is enough room, then a more feasible option is staying with either the bride’s parents or the groom’s parents.

Youth

Dear sister, please choose wisely. When you are 15, it is harder to think long-term. Your frontal lobe, the part of your brain that is responsible for reasoning and long-term planning, is still developing. Studies show that the frontal lobe fully develops by the age of 25. That is still ten years away for you. This is why consulting with your elders is so important, until you are mature enough to make decisions more independently. My biggest concern for you is the long-term impact of making a rash decision now.

Young marriage can work, but with the combined effort of more developed frontal lobes, such as those of your parents, and your older siblings.

I pray that Allah grants you patience, wisdom, and acceptance of His Decree. When the time is right, I pray that Allah grants you a tranquil marriage, righteous children, and the blessings of your parents.

Please see:

Can I Marry in Secret With the Minimum Conditions for a Valid Marriage in Order to Avoid Fornication?
Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

Wassalam,

[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.

Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I am interested in marrying someone in my school who is also a practicing Muslim. We are afraid of falling into sin if we do not get married as soon as possible. However he is currently unable to bring up marriage to his parents.

Is a marriage that does not involve our parents permissible under Islamic ruling?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

As I do not know all the specifics of your situation, I can only provide some general guidelines that may assist you in deciding what course of action to take.

Respecting Parents

It is true that there are scholarly positions in our tradition that allow for two adults to get married without the permission of the woman’s guardian (wali). [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar] However, this does not mean that one is at liberty to go and marry who they wish without the knowledge of their guardian, who in the default case happens to be the father. In fact, despite the validity of such a marriage, it could be potentially sinful to take such a course of action without good reason as it entails disrespect of a parent, which is interdicted in the Qur’an.

Is Marriage Always the Solution?

Additionally, the solution to the problem you mention of falling into sin with someone of the opposite gender is not always marriage. Marriage entails rights and responsibilities. It is sinful for one to enter into a marriage if they are aware that they cannot fulfill the rights due to their spouse, which include the right to financial support, sexual intimacy, and so forth. [Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Ra’iq]

In many cases, it is best to simply maintain your distance from the individual you fear committing sin with and only reinitiate communication once both of you are ready for marriage. This may be easier said than done especially when two people are close and drawn to each other, but it is a pill that one must swallow to avoid sinful behaviour.

Further, you can try and speak to your parents with honesty, respect, and tact to get them to hear your proposal instead of assuming what their answer might be. Thus, for example, you can approach them by telling them you are seeking their advice and expressing your desire to be honest with them about the feelings you are experiencing, or if you’re siblings know your situation, they could perhaps assist as well in any discussion you have.

Conclusion

Again, as I do not know the specifics of your personal situation, I cannot give you a firm answer. However, I will say that marriage is a serious matter as it involves the coming together of two individuals in a spiritual, physical, and emotional partnership, which requires taking into account many considerations that differ from individual to individual and context to context. As such, I would not advise you to rush into anything but seek alternative solutions if possible as the consequences of rushing into a marriage may be extremely negative in the worldly and next-worldly context.

Please see also: Marriage & Sexual Relations Before Moving in Together (Video Answer)

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani