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I Married My Love to Escape from a Forced Marriage

Questioner

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Reply Date

Oct 12, 2018

Question

Salam. I have a very difficult situation and I need guidance. I was engaged to my cousin in Pakistan 2 years ago, but he started cheating on me. I knew about this but kept forgiving him while he kept continuing his acts. Then I met a Muslim man here in the UK who works and has good knowledge of Islam. I tried to talk to my parents that I do not want to get married to my cousin, but they refused to listen. I spoke to my so-called fiancé to see if he can help me. His suggestion was to marry him but continue having a relationship with the other man.

This clearly indicated that he didn’t love me and this marriage was a sham. He had his means, either getting a visa or something else, I do not know. However, in order to keep my relationship halal, I married that Muslim man under the guidance of an Imam who knew of my situation, in the presence of 2 witnesses who were mature and married themselves. I am now being forced to marry my cousin, but I am already married. There is no way I can be married to two men at the same time. If I told my parents right now that I am married, they will either kill me or take me to Pakistan. But I cannot keep this secret.

Alhamdulillah, I’m still 'untouched’, we haven’t consummated our marriage yet. However, I am feeling very depressed. I need guidance. I can only see one route which is committing suicide. All troubles would end. What should I do?

Counselor

Answer


I Married My Love to Escape from a Forced Marriage

In this counseling answer:

“If your parents are calling you do something wrong, you have to respectfully decline and make your own choice, which you did. Yes, we have to be good to our parents, but the line sometimes needs to be drawn when it becomes oppressive and/or abusive and one’s God-given rights are taken away.”


By Counselor Karim Serageldin

As-Salaam ’Alaikum sister,

Suicide is not the answer. Trust me. All problems can be solved with time, patience and application. I understand you are in a tough spot and you do not know what to do.

A few things to consider:

If you fear your parents will literally “kill you”, although I don’t think they would kill their own child and risk going to prison just because you rightfully married a man of your choice, you may want to temporarily find a (mahram) relative with whom you can stay.

If the man you married can financially support you, then if your parents kick you out of their home, you will be with your husband.

If you fear being sent to Pakistan, again, you are an adult and the maximum that will happen is that your parents will give you a hard time at home until you move out and live with your husband. In the event that your parents do kick you out and you can’t stay with your husband right away, find some friend or other relatives to give you room and board until you get things in order.


Check out this counseling video:


If your parents are calling you to something wrong, you have to respectfully decline and make your own choice, which you did. Yes, we have to be good to our parents, but the line sometimes needs to be drawn when it becomes oppressive and/or abusive and one’s God-given rights are taken away. Your parents cannot force you to marry anyone; especially a cousin that you understand has been disloyal or has ill intentions. I understand that culturally it is difficult to go against one’s parents, but this is a time when you must prioritize the guiding truths of Islam.

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion…” (4:19)

In other words, you don’t own women and can’t inherit or sell them. Forced marriages are very similar to this condition.

The Prophet (saw) said: “A guardian has no concern with a woman previously married and has no husband, and an orphan girl (i.e. virgin) must be consulted, her silence being her acceptance.”(Abu Dawud)

I know it feels like your parents will do something horrible if they find out you are already married, but trust in Allah to protect you and show them the way, especially if you are sincere and not doing anything wrong. You are an adult and already have a husband. I encourage you to get further support from the Imam that married you two. The Imam is more likely to make a strong case for your parents to accept your choice of marriage.

 

By Counselor Nasira Abdel-Aleem

Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam,

Do not commit suicide – that is never an option because Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an that the punishment for suicide is Hell. Next, do not tell your parents that you are married if they are TRULY capable of killing you (honor killing). But do tell them that you will not marry your cousin because that is your right. If you do not want to marry him, know that forced marriage is haram in Islam. You can prove that to your parents very easily because there are readily available sound proofs about that among the hadeeth.

So, first, tell your parents that you refuse to marry your cousin, using the proof in Islam that you have the right not to be forced to marry someone you do not want to marry. Respect their need and their right to hear it from the Prophet (saw)! Also, tell them of his infidelity; that should be enough proof against him to change their minds about him and to support your decision. If it is not, then your parents are making a very serious mistake that you should not agree to. We only obey our parents in what does not contradict Islam. Allah (swt) is clear about that in The Qur’an!

Next, once your cousin is no longer an option, introduce them to the idea of you marrying the man to whom you are now married. They do not have the right to refuse him if there is not sound Islamic argument against him, like he fornicates, or does not pray or drinks alcohol, etc.

My dear sister, Allah (swt) is testing you which is actually a blessing in disguise. Tests hurt so it makes us think they are bad, but they are not bad; they make us grow/mature and, more importantly, passing our tests is how we get to Jannah, in sha’ Allah! So, stop looking at this as only painful and insolvable and start looking at it as an opportunity to show Allah (swt) your devotion to Him by turning to Allah (swt) and asking Him for His Help. That is why He tests us – to see if we turn to Him or if, instead, we do something haram (suicide), thinking it is a solution to our problems, when in reality Allah (swt) is the way to the solutions to our problems. May Allah (swt) make it easy for you!

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Arranged Marriage: Out of Date or Best Option?

Forced Marriage Has Ruined My Life

How to Get Out of My Forced Marriage?




About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting

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