In this counseling answer:
“You might consider giving things a set time mentally to get moving and for attitudes between the families to lighten up. During this time, continue to pursue this marriage in the hope of it working out, but be prepared that if things don’t work out at this time, then it’s time to move on. This will then enable you to look elsewhere without being held back and facing further difficulties.”
As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh sister,
MashaAllah, you have found a man that you wish to marry and after having made istikhara you still feel positive about it. Unfortunately, however, it seems that your family has been far from supportive of this proposal. This has further impacted on his family’s attitude towards yours. It is unfortunate that in cases like this cultural factors interfere in a marriage that could otherwise work out but is instead judged on irrelevant factors such as skin tone and career status.
There are a number of things to consider in these circumstances relating to how you approach your parents and how you manage the situation yourself.
Approaching your parents
Regarding approaching your parents, it seems that they need educating, in a polite way of course, around the etiquette of selecting a spouse. You can present them with various quotes from the Qur’an and hadith such as the following.
“Abu Hurairah narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care) of one of you, then marry to him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and abounding discord (Fasad).” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
It is important that they understand that the most important quality in a husband is his piety.
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Qur’an, 49:13)
Why this is the single most important factor is that a God-fearing man will be of good character and will teat his wife well, according to Islamic principles. Having a good career and light skin does not guarantee a good man.
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety and good action.” (The Prophet’s last sermon)
This in no way indicates how well he will treat you how good a husband he will be. Of course, your parents want what’s best for you and they should try and understand it from this perspective. After all, what good is a light-skinned doctor to you if he doesn’t treat you well and makes you unhappy? You could try bringing this up with them directly yourself, or if you think there is someone who they will be more receptive to, then you might ask this person to bring it up with them.
Arrange further family meetings
Even though things are difficult between the two families right now, one of the ways you might try and soften their hearts for one another is to allow them to meet again and get to know each other properly that they will be more friendly to one another and more likely to be agreeable to the proposal. This may require patience on both sides due to the rocky start, but if you are serious about it might be worth pursuing especially as you know his side are seeking another woman already.
As for things to contemplate yourself, you should begin with repentance for committing sin of haram relations at the start with this man. As you know being alone with another man is not permissible, and this includes in the online space as the consequences are the same.
“…indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (Qur’an, 2:222)
Dangers of haram relations
As you know yourself contact with this man without a mahram present has enabled you to develop feelings towards him and feel positive and still want to get married.
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A woman should not travel except with a Dhu-Mahram (her husband or a man with whom that woman cannot marry at all according to the Islamic Jurisprudence), and no man may visit her except in the presence of a Dhu-Mahram.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
However, be aware of how these feelings might be affecting your istikhara. As you have had contact with him already and desire to marry him due to the feelings you have towards him, naturally, you will feel positive about the situation regardless of whether you make istikhara or not. However, that’s not to say that your feelings are not a result of the istikhara, but do be realistic about the hailstorm before istikhara and how this could potentially influence your interpretation. Ultimately, if the marriage is not meant to be then obstacles will continue to stand in the way of it ever going ahead.
Give it a set time
You might consider giving things a set time mentally to get moving and for attitudes between the families to lighten up. During this time, continue to pursue this marriage in the hope of it working out, but be prepared that if things don’t work out at this time, then it’s time to move on. This will then enable you to look elsewhere without being held back and facing further difficulties.
If it doesn’t work out
So, remember that there are also other good men out there looking for a spouse that you will be able to marry instead
Risk marrying without parental support
Another option might be a bit more extreme and that is to just go ahead and marry each other without the support of your family. This could have two primary potential consequences and, therefore, carries a huge risk. It may be that your parents realize how serious you really were and since you have married simply turn their minds to support you as there is nothing they can do anymore. Alternatively, they might be so disappointed by what you have done and remove themselves from you.
Weigh up your options and contemplate carefully
So, you have a number of options to consider at this point, all of which could have varying consequences. This is something to spend time contemplating and identifying the best possible option based on your anticipated response. Think about what will be best for you in both the immediate and long-term future, continue to pray for guidance and move forward confidently.
When a child does not have the support of their family when approaching marriage much conflict can be felt. This can be exacerbated when cultural beliefs contrast with religious beliefs as well as the desires of those involved. In this case, there is also the added factor of precious haram relations that could also be impacting on the decision-making process. One can speak to the parents to gently educate them on the correct Islamic approach to try and get their support on board. However, it is not necessary to have their support so it could also be an option just to go ahead anyway, but may come with dire consequences for all. These are options that should be considered carefully alongside prayer and repentance.
May Allah make things easy and guide you to make the best decision. May He grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes 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.