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How Do I Deal With Parents Forcing Me To Marry a Man That I Do Not Like?

Question: 

How do I deal with parents forcing me to marry a man that I do not like and cursing the convert that I love?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Nobody can force you to marry anyone, and I pray that you can come to an understanding with your parents. The best advice that I can give you is here, please read the link in full:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-father-is-emotionally-blackmailing-me-to-get-married-what-do-i-do/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-to-do-when-my-parents-reject-my-choice-of-spouse-because-of-cultural-reasons/

 

Communicate

The best and only way forward is to communicate your feelings to your parents. They feel that they are better equipped to choose a spouse for you, but they should not be ignoring your feelings. Please have an elder, relative, or local imam speak to them on your behalf, perhaps they will listen. The reality is that you might not end up marrying either man if you and your parents do not come to compromise. Be prepared for anything. Rest assured, that what was always meant to happen will happen, and you have to navigate it in the best way that you can. May Allah make it easy.

 

Istikhara

Ask your parents to pray istikhara, at least, so they can have some direction from Allah, and not just from themselves. Pray istikhara yourself as well, and tell your parents how it turns out. Ask Allah to open everyone’s heart to what is right for you and to facilitate the whole process. You should also pray the Prayer of Need and supplicate before dawn, asking Allah to help you through this.  Keep a distance from the man you want to marry so you do not fall into any sin.

 

Turn to Allah

In the meanwhile, turn to Allah, give in regular charity, even if only a little, be the best Muslima that you can be, and build your relationship with your Lord. There is no problem that Allah sends down that He can’t solve, so ask for His Mercy and Kindness.

I am quite concerned about your thoughts of suicide, and I pray that you can seek out a helpline, therapist, or even speak to your doctor about the matter. You should not be spending time alone right now and please stay in the company of loving friends and family. Get fresh air and exercise daily and take your vitamin D regularly. Please read the advice here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-son-is-suicidal-what-can-i-do/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/how-can-i-deal-with-fears-and-suicidal-thoughts/

[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.

Am I Sinful For Always Making Mistakes That Displease My Parents?

Question:  I have been making my parents displeased with me since I was little. I used to be very rude. Was that a sin? I always seem to get on their nerves. I have tried to do things right, but I figured I will always get things wrong. I stopped making a concerted effort to make them happy. Is that a sin? I have tried again, but I keep on getting things wrong. When I get some things right,  I get other things wrong. I have a reputation for this now, can I change?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through this difficult time, but I urge you not to give up on yourself. The devil has a way of dissuading a person from good, don’t let him.

 

Mistakes

People are not born perfect, and we make mistakes all the time. I, personally, make mistakes every day of my life. Everything that I do, I most certainly could do better. I do not want you to think about your mistakes, but I want you to be grateful to Allah for everything that you have, and I do not want you to feel guilty. Listen to this for more details:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9tzjqtSYvA

 

Intentions

Your intention is what matters. If your intention is to please Allah and your parents in everything that you do and if you take a little longer to learn to do things than others do, your reward will be commensurate with your efforts.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your forms or your wealth, rather He looks at your deeds and your hearts.” [Ibn Majah] Please take this hadith to heart and know that Allah is only interested in your sincerity and not how nimble you are.

 

Sin

It is not sinful to “stop trying“ or “to put less effort“ in what you do, but it is sinful to despair in Allah’s mercy. Believe in yourself, do not tire of good works, and leave the rest up to Allah. Please see this excellent answer for more details:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/everything-going-wrong-life/

May Allah 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.

How Can I Convince My Parents to Accept My Desired Spouse?

Question: I told my parents who I want to marry, but they immediately rejected him because he belongs to a lower caste. My grandparents spoke to him and his parents and then tried to convince my parents. My mother said that the guy’s family is from the same city as us, so what will we tell people about marrying her to a lower caste? He is from the same city, but he has been living in Canada with his family for a very long time. He is becoming a surgeon there. His family is decent and gives me much respect and love.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The absolute best answer that I can give about marrying someone for their caste is here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/do-i-have-to-marry-someone-within-my-caste-to-please-my-family/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/should-the-decision-for-marriage-be-taken-only-considering-somebodys-caste/

 

Istikhara

The single most useful and trustworthy method for making big decisions is the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (Istikhara). I pray that you do not take this gift for granted and ask Allah if this man is right for you and worth pursuing.

Forget about your parents for just a minute and ask yourself whether you followed the Prophet’s 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]

On what basis have you chosen him?  It is looks or love? Is it religion? If you feel that you have followed the Prophet advice, please pray your Istikhara with the etiquette mentioned in these links and go from there:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/the-reality-of-istikhara/

 

Compromise

Once you have prayed it, and if you have found it positive to keep trying, you must be able to face your parents ask them to compromise. I know it is difficult but try to read them and see if they will ever budge. You could wait it out, or you could get a third party to speak to them. Either way, you need their permission.

 

Ask Allah

Turn to Allah during this difficult time and ask Him to help you through this. Be the best Muslim that you can be by praying all your prayers on time and reading a bit of Qur’an with the meaning every day. I know that caste is a big problem in the sub-continent, and I pray that people 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]

 

Learn and Prepare

If your parents do agree, or even if you find someone else, 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:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

[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.

What Can I Do About Parental Abuse?

Question: I am having difficulty concentrating on my studies because of parental abuse. It has completely damaged me, and it makes me feel to seek revenge against my parents who ruined my life. It is mentally and emotionally affecting me and my studies to a point that I want to either commit a homicide or suicide. I am extremely scared to know Islamic solutions to my problem because Islam is biased towards parents and neglects children.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Please do not think that Islam is biased towards parents, rather it is merely culture that has made you think that children can be neglected, in reality, there is a perfect balance.

 

Abuse

I am sorry that you have gone through abuse and suffering from your parents. Rest assured that they will be asked about this and must repent. It is not permissible to insult, humiliate, neglect, or abuse children of any age, in any form whatsoever, and any parent should be ashamed of doing so unless he is ignorant, careless, or a fool.

 

Revenge

I am concerned that you are considering committing a crime from what you have gone through. Revenge, generally speaking, is reserved for Allah, Most High. His name “Al-Muntaqim“ means The Avenger,  The Disapprover,  The Inflictor of Retribution, and He seeks revenge for us so that we do not have to. I ask you to leave it in the hands of Allah, because if you take this matter into your own hands, you will never be satisfied, let alone the fact that it will be criminal and you will be wrought with remorse.

 

Healing

Instead of revenge, take the road to healing. Please consider some kind of therapy that you are comfortable with. Start with talking to a friend, an elder, an imam, and work up to a psychiatrist, or another professional that might help you. It might even make you feel better to communicate with your parents about it. Give them a chance to apologize or at least recognize that they hurt you.

Writing down your feelings can help reduce the intensity of your feelings, and help lessen your deep-seated desire for revenge. If you do not like to write your feelings down on paper, try talking to someone about your emotions.

Take steps to get yourself into a better situation. Can you live apart from them? Can you spend more time with religious and positive people? Can you find a tutor to help you get past your problems with your studies? Can you find a way to argue with them less and spend more time focusing on self-care, such as exercising, or taking up a beneficial hobby or skill in your free time?

 

Goodness To Parents

Ibn Mas’ud, Allah be pleased with him, narrated, “A man asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, ‘What deeds are the best?‘ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said,‘ (1) To perform the (daily compulsory) prayers at their (early) stated fixed times, (2) to be good and dutiful to one’s own parents, (3) and to participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.’“ [Bukhari]

It is your personal obligation to be respectful and kind to your parents, and I urge you to find the ability to do so. This does not condone what they did to you, but it shows Allah that you fear Him and that your parents cannot come in between you and Allah, no matter what.

 

Turn To Allah

One of the best things that you can do in your life, especially when you have big problems, is to turn to Allah with your mind, body, and soul. Ask Him to help you, pray to Him regularly and on time, and channel your emotions into supplicating to Him. Verily, Allah does not neglect a victim.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.” [Tirmidhi]

May Allah help you through this difficult time and may you use it to empower yourself and make you stronger.

[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.

What Can I Do if My Parents Do Not Accept the Person I Want to Marry?

Question:  I am really in love with a kind-hearted, pious gentleman whom my parents are not accepting. His parents are divorced and remarried to other partners, and he is not wealthy. What should I do?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through this pain and frustration with your parents. It is never easy to convince your parents when they feel they know what is best for you. I pray that you come to a compromise.

 

Two options

Your options are very simple but difficult. You might wind up hurting someone either way. Your first option is to persist with your parents, even if it takes time. You will have to be patient, kind, maintain good etiquette and character, and pray every step of the way. Ask Allah to facilitate the matter for you and let them get to know the man. You may face rejection, but at least you tried instead of wondering if you tried hard enough.

Your second option is to trust your parents, walk away, and not look back. Moving on will be difficult, but possible, and every day is easier than the last. Know that marriage is an institution that you enter into for the sake of Allah, and it should be easy and blessed from beginning to end. If you are already facing the obstacle of consent, without which you cannot marry, then perhaps you should reconsider the whole thing.

 

The reality of financial constraints

I want to mention that numerous couples that I know have split due to financial problems, so it seems to me that your parents are protecting you from a very big problem in the future that they foresee, but you do not. Living in a situation where there never seems to be enough money for school fees, groceries, and good quality items or services takes a huge toll on health, spirituality, and marriage. Your parents genuinely understand this, so try to see it from their perspective.

Can your suitor go back to school, or can he change his career, or get more training? Can he get higher education in order to better support you? Please consider these options.

 

Istikhara

Before deciding whether to pursue or not, pray the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (istikhara) about what to do. Also, pray the Prayer of Need:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/how-does-one-perform-the-prayer-of-need-salat-al-haja/

 

Prepare yourself

It is very easy to get married but not easy to be a good wife. My advice to all single Muslims, such as yourself, is to take a free course at Seekers on Islamic Marriage so that you can learn your rights and responsibilities and act accordingly. Preparing oneself for marriage is the greatest thing that you can give your spouse, and I hope that Allah sends you what is best for you and that you place your trust in Him.

May Allah give you tawfiq, ease, and happiness in your marriage process, with whomever it may be. Please see this course:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

[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.

My Non-Muslim Parents Want Me To Marry a Non-Muslim

Learn a Short Surah

Question: Idolatrous parents don’t approve of their daughter’s marriage because her suitor doesn’t believe in idol worship. Instead, they want her to marry an idol-worshipper. She does not currently believe in idol worship and believes firmly in Almighty God. What should she do in light of the Quran and hadith?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.  This must be a difficult time for you since your beliefs are very different from your parents’ beliefs. I pray that you can reconcile with them with ease and good character without undue pain and hardship to either party.

Marrying a non-Muslim man

Please see this answer about why a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, there is simply no room for it in the shari`ah and there is unanimous consensus about its impermissibility.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/muslim-woman-not-allowed-marry-non-muslim-man/

Non-Muslim father to act as a legal guardian

If your parents are non-Muslim, while you are Muslim, your father may not act as your guardian for your marriage contract. In such a situation, you would ask an imam or other reliable legal upright Muslim man to act on his behalf.

In addition, you would not need his permission to marry the man of your choice. Please see these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-am-a-convert-and-ready-to-marry/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-overcome-the-hardships-of-getting-married-as-an-hidden-convert/

Family and Wisdom

With the understanding of the above rulings, you should proceed with love, tact, and wisdom. Your parents brought you into this world and they should be involved in attending the wedding and being informed every step of the way. Explain to them gently that what they want from you is not possible.

Respect their views and hear their advice, even if you disagree and will not act upon it. Tell them that you appreciate any marital advice that they can offer after the marriage has taken place and that you hope and expect that they will be active participants in your children’s lives.

Du`a

Ask Allah after your daily prayers and during the last third of the night to facilitate this matter and that your parents be patient and accept your differences. It may take time, but I am certain that they will continue to love you and respect your choices in life. Read some Qu’ran every day with the meaning and learn your obligations in your daily Islamic practice and as a Muslim wife.

Consider taking these free courses:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/introduction-to-islam-what-it-means-to-be-muslim/

[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.

Marrying My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I was born and raised in UAE and lived there for 14 years with my family and then we shifted back to Pakistan. Now that I am 18, my family is planning to shift back to the UAE. I have been in a relationship for 3 years here and when I told him about us shifting, he proposed a nikah so that our relationship would be accepted and halal. I want this, too, but how do I talk to my parents as they won’t let me marry at 18 years old.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I commend you for willing to make your relationship halal and for wanting to step out of the sin that you are currently committing. May Allah reward you for your intention and open a way for what is best for you.

Talking to parents

There really is no way around it. You will have to speak to your parents and tell them that you have found someone that you believe suits you and your family. You don’t need to reveal your illicit relationship to them, as that would break their hearts, and Muslims may not reveal their sins to others.

You may even consider asking a third party to sit down with your parents and recommend this boy to them so that it’s not only coming from you. Another option is for the boy to come directly to your parents with his father, and they officially propose. Or, his mother could call your mother and tell her that she would like to propose marriage. Involving the parents would be the most honorable way. Of course, his parents would have to be convinced, first.

Then if your parents were to accept, both parties could agree on a timeline for a nikah and wedding reception. An immediate nikah would be optimal so that the relationship becomes halal, but you would have to wait for your parents’ permission. A delayed nikah is better than nothing and you should consider yourself blessed if they agree, even if they make you wait.

If they refuse

If your parents refuse this official proposal, first discuss the reasons with them. If they want you to complete university, promise them that you will. Perhaps you can meet halfway. Complete half of your degree, and then marry, and then complete the other half. If they feel they don’t know the boy, perhaps you can have them sit down and get to know each other. If they have some other concerns, try to address it and use politeness and good character to convince them.

If they refuse, even after many discussions, then you are left with no choice. You will have to move on and allow your heart to heal and find someone else at the right time and in the right way. If this happens, don’t ever tell your future spouse about him.

For now

For now, you should repent and cease all physical contact with him. You both have to make a major decision and there is no sense in dragging this on if it will not lead to fruition. Get serious, stop seeing him, make a good intention, and start working on convincing your parents. If it doesn’t work, make the painful break and start the healing process. Don’t ever allow yourself to be used and disrespected in this manner again. May Allah make it easy for you and guide you to the best decision.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better” [Musnad of Ahmad].

Please see the link below:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-am-in-an-impermissible-but-healthy-relationship-what-should-i-do/

[Ustadh] 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.

Promise to one’s parents

Question: 
Without my consent, my mum made a promise that I would pay for a poor person’s Hajj if certain things happened. My mum believes those things have happened. It’s actually difficult to pay for a person’s Hajj as I do not know anybody personally who would be eligible for this charity. Is there an alternative I can do to fulfill her promise?

Answer: 
Assalamu alaykum

Thank you for your question.

Obedience to one’s parents has a high position in Islam. Allah says in surah al-Isra, “And your Lord has decreed that you do not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [Qur’an, 17:23] Accordingly, good treatment of one’s parents is the best of actions after belief in Allah.

Nonetheless, there are instances where one is not obliged to show parents obedience.  The 18th-century Shafi’i jurist, Bujayrami, listed some of these instances:

1. when they instruct one to leave an act of worship;
2. when they tell one to sin;
3. when they instruct one to divorce a spouse that he or she loves; and
4. when they instruct one to sell one’s property (Hashiyah al-Shirwani).

The fourth example establishes that one is not under an obligation to fulfill the financial instructions of one’s parents. Accordingly, you are not obliged to send someone for Hajj in the first place. If, however, you wish to fulfill the promise made by your mother, you could do so, and in turn, you will earn a great reward from Allah.

If your only concern is identifying someone who is eligible for this charity, you may speak to your local imam or contact us at Seekersguidance, and we will gladly put you in touch with a worthy candidate.

Dealing With Difficult Parents and Keeping Promises

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Doubts About Marriage

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 

Mama’s Boy

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.

Conclusion

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.

Am I Wrong to Not Want to Speak with My Parents?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Am I wrong to not want to speak with my parents?

Over the years I have found myself increasingly becoming emotionally distant from my parents. The reason this is, is partly because of the way things have occurred in my life growing up and the response/behaviour of my parents has made me feel stressed, guilty, inconfident and at times, unloved.

As I have grown older, I see the shortcomings of my parents in retrospect to the way that they raised myself and my siblings and this makes me question why they behaved in certain ways. I especially recall them being extremely over-protective and over-powering to the point that was unhealthy and could be seen as confidence depleting.

I even question my parents love for each other as I remember growing up as the older sibling, I had to listen to or break up my parents constant arguments, or hearing one parent talk bad about the other to me as a way for them to vent(making me feel very confused as to which parent was good/bad). I know I should love my parents by default, but I think I loved them more as a young child, being naive and not understanding things. I can’t communicate with them properly anymore and our conversations are always short and awkward. I still try to respect them and smile and behave in a good manner as much as I am able to, but the love isn’t free-flowing and doesn’t feel natural.

I am now married and have moved homes but whenever my parents try to call me over the phone I feel extremely anxious about having to talk to them. The conversation feels forced and I anticipate it ending as soon as possible. I prefer to text them instead of having to speak as even the slightest change in my tone makes them question me.

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, thank you for writing in.

A person cannot always help the way they feel about people or situations, but they must always do their best to behave and react appropriately.

Parents in particular have a special station and rights over their children, and God commands children to treat parents with forbearance, forgiveness, respect and kindness. ‘For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them [even] ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully’. [17:23]

Although your parents may have been over-protective and over-powering in your upbringing, and as difficult as it may be, try to identify where that is coming from. Perhaps it is from love, from fear, perhaps from wanting only the best for you. Emotions are very deep things and can manifest themselves in strange ways!

You mention that they tell you they love you now, in private and public, which shows they are trying in some way to connect with you and make things better. Try to remember that our parents are still individual people, with their own flaws, insecurities, and their own history, some of which we may not know. They were also children of parents and it’s important to know about their relationships with their parents. It may not help the way you feel right now, but identifying these things may help understand your parent’s motives and act as a place to start and move on from.

Having said that, when the relationship is strained, over-whelming, oppressive, or there are other deep rooted issues that cause you anxiety and stress, the obligation upon you is to ensure you do not intentionally cut ties with them and that you do not cause them hurt. Rather, you should greet them whenever you speak and enquire how they are every now and then, and if they genuinely need things then do your best to fulfill their needs or assist them.

Unless your parents are very old or in financial need, you are not obligated to serve them, see, or speak to them all the time. It is an incorrect assumption that ‘parents can say whatever they like to their children, who must ‘take it’. You are entitled to protect yourself and your family from any genuine stress or harm from anyone, including parents, while at the same time upholding respect and kindness.

Suggestions:

Perhaps try the following:

Avoid speaking about any contentious issues or anything you feel that will cause you anxiety. Keep conversations neutral. Making small talk can be hard and bland, but it’s a small price to pray for avoiding issues while fulfilling your obligation.

Have set times you call them and prepare for those conversations beforehand to avoid stress. If you really feel anxious, then write down a list of topics you feel comfortable talking about or asking, and go through them when you speak to them.

If your parents make you feel uncomfortable, whether on the phone, in private, or in front of others, remain silent and make dhikr in your head, or smile graciously and remind yourself that you’re doing this for the sake of Allah.

Lastly, do make abundant supplication for your parents. If they have wronged you, then you would want Allah to forgive them. Allah can change the state of hearts of whoever he wants and whenever He wants.

I wish you all the best and that you and your parents build a peaceful and loving relationship.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.