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Honesty towards Parents and Future Wife

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives advice on being honest to one’s loved ones.

Question:

Should I tell my parents and friends how I met my wife? Let’s say it was through a mutual friend. Do they need to know?

Does my future wife needs to know if have broken my legs three times, or lets say I had three bouts of depression but I’m fully functional and working full time? Does she need to know?

Answer:

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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

Parents’ Concern about Future Wife

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Avoid suspicion for suspicion is the most lying form of talk. Do not be inquisitive about one another, or spy on one another.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Dear questioner, I recommend that you reassure your parents’ and friends by saying that you were introduced to your wife by mutual friends. Any parent would be concerned, because they would like to know the background about the person their child wants to marry.

If you do not tell them the truth, then they may jump to incorrect conclusions that would cast your future wife in a bad light. I encourage you to cut off any suspicion by being honest. You have done nothing wrong by meeting your future wife through mutual friends.

I do not know your background, but are you concerned because your family prefers marriages arranged with cousins? If they do, then prepare yourself for that and stay calm, firm and respectful.

Speaking about the Past

Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah has appointed an angel in the womb, and the angel says, ‘O Lord! A drop of discharge [i.e. of semen], O Lord! a clot, O Lord! a piece of flesh.’ And then, if Allah wishes to complete the child’s creation, the angel will say. “O Lord! A male or a female? O Lord! wretched or blessed [in religion]? What will his livelihood be? What will his age be?’ The angel writes all this while the child is in the womb of its mother.” (Bukhari)

I invite you to reflect upon the question you have asked me. What would you like if your future wife were in your position?

I invite you to reflect upon the question you have asked me. What would you like if your future wife were in your position? I do encourage you to be honest with your future wife, and tell her that you have had depression in the past. Mental illness is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a tendency many of us have, because of past trauma and the complexities of our childhood in today’s fragmented world.

Marriage and then parenthood bring about stressors that may cause you to become depressed again. It is better for your future wife to know this, so you can work together as a team through that possibility. It is better for you to be vulnerable with your future wife, instead of pretending that everything is okay. 

If you do not tell her, marry her, and you become depressed again, then she will most likely feel betrayed. Trust that Allah will reward you for your honesty with her.

What are you afraid of? If you fear that she will not marry you because you have been honest about your past depression, then please know that she is not the right woman for you. The right spouse for you will accept and cherish you for all of your scars, because it is our scars that help to bring us closer to Allah. Trust that Allah has already destined the right wife for you, and your responsibility is to uphold excellent character. 

I pray that Allah grants you the courage, wisdom, and the gift of a loving marriage.

Please see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Clarification Regarding the Relationship Between the Validity of a Marriage Contract and the Religious Practice of the Spouses-to-Be

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I have a question regarding a statement in one of your previous answers titled “Does the Quran Prohibit the Marriage of a Fornicator and a Non-Fornicator? “In the article it states “As for the marriage of one who fails to repent, it is valid since the contract’s validity is unrelated to the religious practice of the person getting married.”  I’m confused about this statement because by the same logic it could imply that if you marry more than 4 wives, or marry two sisters at the same time, etc., then such marriage contracts would be valid because they are unrelated to the religious practice of the person involved. But we know that such marriages are invalid. So how is it in the case of fornication the contract is legally valid when Allah has prohibited it in Quran 24:3 just like he prohibited the previous mentioned marriages? Does the prohibited in Quran 24:3 have any legal implications when it comes to marriage?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

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

The answer in question is the following:

Does the Qur’an Prohibit the Marriage of a Fornicator and a Non-Fornicator?

As the answer states, the prohibition of the verse was understood by the majority of scholars to be a “prohibition of counsel”, not a legal prohibition entailing sin or affecting validity of the marriage contract.

The statement you ask about means that the contract’s validity is unrelated to the personal religious practice of the spouses-to-be, i.e., whether either spouse commits major or minor sins, or whether either one is extremely pious. One spouse could be a saint and the other a fornicator, yet the contract itself would still be valid. The verse is just strongly emphasizing that such a marriage would not be a very successful one.

Please also note the emphasis on repentance and piety in the answer, both of which are key ingredients in all of one’s affairs, particularly marriage. Repentance from any sin, especially an enormity like fornication, is obligatory in and of itself.

In terms of the other examples you mention, such as marrying a 5th wife or marrying 2 sisters at once, these are indeed invalid marriages. These examples have nothing to do with personal religious practice, and so the statement made in the answer holds true.

I hope this helps.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved  by Faraz Rabbani