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What to Do When Parents Oppose Our Marriage?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 12, 2018

Question

As-salamu `Alikum,

I want to marry a guy, we are both Muslim and practice the same thing but we are from different nationalities. I am also a year older than him.

My family met him and are happy with his morals, however, my mother said that if his parents don’t agree I can’t marry him. He and I get along perfectly and both want to get married. However his parents are against me because of my nationality, and they are judging me, however, they haven’t met me once. They said that if he wants to marry me he has to leave the house and they will cut ties with him.

We both decided to be patient until Allah changes their hearts towards the idea; however, I need some advice on what to do.

Counselor

Answer


Marriage, Parents, In-laws

In this counseling answer:

  • You have made the right choice to begin by taking this to Allah and asking Him to change their hearts.
  • Perhaps you could ask your parents, or him to organize a meeting between the 2 families to discuss the matter.
  • You might think of introducing a third party who can educate them on the issue of not discriminating based on nationality.
  • Maybe you will give it a certain amount of agreed time and then make the choice to either abandon the proposal altogether or go ahead without their blessings.

As-salamu alaikum,

It is a shame when parents don’t support their children I getting married, especially when the reasons for which they are rejecting the marriage are not from Islamically, we are no different to one another except in piety. Differences in nationality should not be any means of conflict or discrimination.

At the same time, there is a concern about them cutting ties with him should he chose to go ahead with the marriage. As his parents, it is important to respect them as they raised him as a child and there is much evidence in Islam of the grave sin of disrespecting and cutting ties with family. However, we must also realize that there is a clause in this – we should obey our parents except they force you to do something that is not part of Islam.

Discrimination between nationalities is not part of Islam, but understandably still makes it difficult to go against them.

You have made the right choice to begin by taking this to Allah and asking Him to change their hearts. Afterall, Allah is the only one who can change their hearts and therefore prayer is the best thing you can do for the situation.

There are however additional steps you can take in the meantime to perhaps ease the situation. Perhaps you could ask your parents, or him to organize a meeting between the 2 families to discuss the matter.

Let them see that you are human just like them. That you and your family are a decent family. If they get to know you and your family personally they will come to realise that you are serious about getting married and most importantly that you are no different to them and that your nationality doesn’t matter at all.

Once they get to know you, it will be a lot easier for them to agree to the marriage as it will soften their hearts to the situation and to you. Perhaps it might even be easier for them to relate to your parents as they will be similar in age and will have the same interests at stake in marrying their children. This is why it might be advisable for your parents to be in a meeting with them as well as yourself.

Don’t forget that they want the beat for their son and they want to be sure he is marrying the right person, so naturally, they will be reluctant for him to marry anyone, regardless of their nationality, so do also understand their difficulties too.

Failing organizing a meeting between the families, you might think of introducing a third party who can educate them on the issue of not discriminating based on nationality. This might be an imam who they will be more likely to take heed of due to his Islamic knowledge, or a close family member or friend who they are emoting likely to listen to this might also help to strengthen your case.

Maybe you will give it a certain amount of agreed time and then make the choice to either abandon the proposal altogether or go ahead without their blessings. There is only so long you can wait in this situation before you will have to make one choice or another.

In sha Allah their hearts will turn and you won’t even have to think about these alternatives, but just to keep it in mind just in case and set a certain time limit on this in order that you don’t fall into the traps of Shaytaan after refraining from marriage waiting for too long.

In the meantime, do continue to pray for the situation and for Allah to soften their hearts. Maintain your patience also by acting in accordance with Islam, fast if you need to and ask Allah in the depths of the night to guide you and to guide them.

May Allah turn his parents hearts and give you sabr. May He grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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