Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle
Question: I want to marry a man and he wants to marry me. The problem is that his mother wants him to marry someone else. What can we do?
Answer: Bismillahi al-Rahman al-Rahim.
Your suitor should make a wise decision based on advice from outside his family and the guidelines of the Sacred Law. Whoever he sees fit, he should marry. His mother is not his guardian, and he has to make decisions for himself.
Obeying One’s Parents
Our moral debt to our parents, and especially our mothers is something great indeed, and seldom we do really grasp what respect, reverence, and gratitude are due to them.
Allah Most High says:
‘And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.’ (Qur’an, 31: 14)
That said, respect and reverence, and care and financial support do not entail allowing them to ruin one’s life. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Let there be no harm or any harming back.’ (Malik, al-Muwatta)
So as long as there is no harm, he should obey his mother. For more detail please from the Hanafi school, please see: When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?
In the Shafi’i school, it would not be obligatory to obey one’s mother or father in such a request. (Bulqini, al-Fatawa)
A wise and grateful son would navigate his way through such a problem taking both positions into consideration, and being respectful, loving, and polite to his mother. But he would not marry someone he knows he cannot ever live with.
Please also see: Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage
Many modern scholars of different schools of thought have warned of the over-involvement and control of parents, and particularly mothers, in their sons’ marriages. Sometimes, there is an all too close attachment between mother and son that is really not healthy. At a certain point, people have to realize that the married couple area new and independent family, and that the son is no longer a baby sitting on his mother’s lap filling her eyes with joy: he has moved on and has a life of his own.
Mothers may not take well to this realization, and it can sometimes require the son/husband to take the initiative and distance himself from his mother in order for the relationships to assume their proper mold.
Your husband-to-be should make his independent decision while being polite, caring, and respectful. He should also look at which of the two brides-to-be have the best character and religious practice.
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid DingleFarid
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.