In this counseling answer:
“It is recommended that you take some time to seriously consider whether you should pursue this marriage against your parents’ wishes and potentially severe ties with them, or let the idea go and maintain good ties with them. Consider the costs and benefits of both options whilst also thinking of alternatives such as searching for any other spouse with the assistance of your parents.”
Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh sister,
It sounds you found someone who could be the ideal husband. You went about pursuing things further in the right way by consulting your parents. However, their concern is that you even spoke to someone first without them knowing. They have not responded well to this at all. You now face the dilemma of either going ahead and pursuing marriage to this man without their support, but marrying a man whom you feel comfortable with, or leaving behind any potential to take it further in order to please your parents. This is a difficult choice because you do not want to lose a good man, but you also do not want to cut ties with your parents either.
In order to make this important decision, there are some logical steps you can take to make sure that you are doing the right and the most acceptable thing for your happiness.
See it from their perspective
When facing difficulties with others, a good place to start is to try viewing the issue from their perspective. Your parents are upset that you spoke to another man behind their back. Even from an Islamic perspective, it is not acceptable to talk to a non-mahram man without someone else present.
“No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.” (At-Tirmidhi)
There is much wisdom behind this. We should do our utmost to follow the example of the Qur’an and Sunnah for our own good.
You do not explicitly state whether you were alone with this man not, but another potential issue on this topic is that if you did have contact with this man without a mahram present, then this should also raise red flags for you. If he is the respectable, pious Muslim man that you speak of, then he will be well aware of the problems that can arise out of being alone with a member of the opposite sex and would not have been alone with you. This might also help you to understand your parents’ concerns. If you were alone together then they may also have concerns about the man you desire to marry on top of their concern that you might have committed zina. As your parents, they want to feel 100% sure that they are giving you away to a good man whom they can feel comfortable that he will take care of their daughter upon marriage. That is not an easy task for the parents, so understand that their concerns could likely be a result of their love for you as their child.
As your parents, naturally they will want to be fully a part of the process of finding, meeting, and marrying you off to a man. This will be the man they give you away to. If they are denied being part of this process then they might develop anxieties about who you are going to marry and what will happen once you marry and leave them. They want to feel happy that you will be well taken care of.
However, if there was someone else present, then you could use this to reassure your parents that no zina was committed. In this case, you were with this man in appropriate circumstances. This might help to convince them that, in fact, he is a decent man to marry and that you desire their full input into the marriage from here on in.
If they are still completely opposed to the idea, you could widen your perspective and consider other potential options.
Identify other options
If you choose to abandon the chance of marrying this man, then know that he is not the only good man out there. Allah (swt) will send you what is better when the time is right, in sha’ Allah.
You say his father is a respectable imam, so you could always approach him and ask him to speak to your parents about this issue. Let his side of the family approach your own family. This way, they can get to know his family and reassure your parents that you will be going to a good man from a good family. Especially his imam father may strengthen your chances of making it work as he will be able to communicate with them giving a strong Islamic perspective behind his argument.
Carefully consider all options
Write down your options; pursues marriage to this man against your parents’ wishes or forget about the man and maintain good ties with your parents. Try to consider if there might be any other options too.
List the costs and benefits of both options. Consider what your ultimate goal is and how each of these options will fulfill this. What would Allah (swt) think if you pursued each option?
Put the list away for a few days whilst you ponder your options more. Make istikhara prayer during this time.
Take the list out again and reconsider everything you have written now that you have a chance to think over your options in more depth. Add any other things you have thought of.
Pack it away again and ponder your options some more. Continue to make istikhara.
After a few days, take the list out again. Look at it again, and in sha’ Allah you should have a clear decision in mind after having spent some time seriously considering all options and their consequences. Allowing yourself this time and making lots of istikhara will help you to be confident that you have made the best decision.
In summary, it is recommended that you take some time to seriously consider whether you should pursue this marriage against your parents’ wishes and potentially severe ties with them, or let the idea go and maintain good ties with them. Consider the costs and benefits of both options whilst also thinking of alternatives such as searching for any other spouse with the assistance of your parents.
May Allah (swt) guide you to make the decision that will be best for you and most pleasing to Allah (swt). May He grant you a righteous spouse that will be the coolness of your eyes and bring you happiness in this life and the next.
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.