In this counseling answer:
“Young people, especially in matters of love and relationships can make rash decisions without thinking matters through. Therefore, you need to be the voice of reason and guidance for him, and help him to see the big picture of the situation. Help him to understand that marriage is serious and must be handled with care every step of the way.”
As salamu `alaykum,
Unfortunately, there are often no easy solutions to these situations. It is unclear from your question, but I am assuming that the girl your son is interested in has embraced Islam. That is the assumption I will work with, anyway.
In Islam, although a woman can choose to marry whomsoever she wishes, often in matters of conversion there are
many difficult considerations that have to be weighed. Prior to broaching the subject of marriage with one’s parents, the girl mentioned needs to first broach the subject of conversion to Islam. Depending on how the family accepts her conversion, will determine a lot, including how easy it will be for her to marry your son.
I am a bit concerned about the age of your son and the girl, though. The question I have to ask is whether your 20-year old son is READY to marry? Marriage is a very serious undertaking that requires preparation by both the man and woman. For men, in Islam of course it is necessary that he is able to financially provide for his future wife.
As a 20-year old, you have to decide if this is the case. If it is not the case, then it would seem to me to be premature for your son to ask this particularly girl in question to marry. It is inappropriate for a man to ask a woman’s hand in marriage at some far-off, unknown future point as well, as this is considered unfair to both parties.
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Given these considerations, the question that has been posed should probably be reconsidered. We cannot take marriage lightly today. We do not live in simpler times and all around us the institution of marriage, along with the family itself, is crumbling. Accordingly, we must approach marriage with the utmost seriousness and consideration.
We must prepare ourselves spiritually, financially and emotionally to undertake the responsibility of marriage and should not rush into it. The impact could be disastrous on not only the parties involved, but on the lives of any future children as well, who are always the innocent victims of disastrous marriages and divorce. Too many lives today are undergoing severe hardship due to this lack of concern and consideration for marriage as a lifelong, in sha`allah, commitment and sacrifice.
I think these points need to be explained to your son so that he can better understand the situation. It is difficult for me to comment on specifics of your situation for you did not provide any details, such as your son’s current status – is he studying, working, etc.?Your duty as the mother is to help your son make wise decisions and make sure he understands the potential consequences of what is doing and planning to do, and what is recommended/commanded by Allah and His Messenger (SAW).
Often, young people, especially in matters of love and relationships can make rash decisions without thinking matters through. Therefore, you need to be the voice of reason and guidance for him, and help him to see the big picture of the situation. Help him to understand that marriage is serious and must be handled with care every step of the way.
I think the most important thing at this point, however, is that your son must be patient with the girl as she is going through many changes at once between conversion, her family and possibly marriage. Urge him to be patient and not to do anything rash at this time. Wallahu ‘alam…
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