In this counseling answer:
• Explain the moral issue that he is involving himself in, and the consequences, and why it is wrong. Maybe he will be more prone to accepting the importance of having a clean heart and controlling himself in the future.
• If your sister insists that she wants to get married to this person, your father must give in, and let the marriage proceed.
• I suggest that you sit down with her and have a sincere conversation and ask her about this Arab boy. Why did she do it? Would she want to marry him?
Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for reaching out to us and placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to a difficult case.
Importance of Reasoning
Dear sister, if you see a little boy, around 5 or 6 years old, stealing some money from your purse, what will you do? A common reflex will be to beat him, right? Sure, you can do that. But next time, the little boy will make sure that no one is around him when he steals. But he will not give up stealing. He will do it with planning because his motive will be to save himself from getting beaten up. Explain the moral issue that he is involving himself in, and the consequences, and why it is wrong. Explain it to him with love and understanding that he is human and will make mistakes. Maybe he will be more prone to accepting the importance of having a clean heart and controlling himself in the future.
Teach them why it’s wrong
Your sister is no different. Beating your sister up will, as you said, cause her to rebel and leave her family and go down a path of ruination as she will never, ever be guided rightly. I also suggest that your brother and father do not physically harm the Arab boy your sister committed a sin with. It is true that it has been practiced in the past, but what result will it bring? What will beating him or her do?
Your sister made a mistake. She was unable to control her desires, but it doesn’t mean that she is bad at heart. It can mean she never understood the reasoning behind “no talking to boys, no touching them” rule.
You must make her understand the reasons for which it was prohibited.
(ISLAM QA) Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Zina encompasses all the characteristics of evil: lack of religious commitment, loss of piety, loss of chivalry, lack of protective jealousy (gheerah). You will not find any adulterer who is pious or keeps his promises or speaks truthfully or is a good friend or has complete protective jealousy towards his family. Treachery, lying, betrayal, lack of modesty, lack of awareness that Allaah is always watching, lack of chivalry, loss of protective jealousy from the heart – these are the effects and implications of zina.
Love vs. Lust
Although your sister claims to love him, it is not true. She has not really fallen “in love” with this Arab boy. She is simply lusting after him. She is not even aware of the term love. She simply thinks she is in “love”, this is a common misunderstanding amongst many young people these days, as a result of the commercialization of physical relationships occurring between the genders. Love is not limited to physical relationships.
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Love is what changes you for the better. Love is doing the right thing for your spouse, accepting them, and together with increasing the love for Allah in each other. Yes, having a physical relationship is important, but it is not the beginning nor the end. If your sister really loved him, or if he really loved her, they would try to go down a more proper and Islamically permissible path.
Intercultural/Interracial Marriages should NOT be a problem
However, as you mentioned, it is possible that your father and brother’s domineering personalities created a form of a rebel in your sister. Sometimes too much strictness is not a blessing, but a problem and something which causes the haram to take place. There is nothing wrong with two people wanting to get married, albeit it is out of lust or love. Sometimes parents trying to “religious” are the reason their young kids are committing the wrong.
If your sister insists that she wants to get married to this person, your father must give in, and let the marriage proceed. It is downright a sin to prevent two people from getting married when they insist it takes place unless they are willing to understand that what they have done is a sin and they are not good for each other. However, in another case, it is possible that they are meant to be married to each other.
Although they are both equally responsible for the sin, it is possible that through marriage they can both repent and get back on track in a more beautiful manner which will make them better Muslims and help them get on a path towards pleasing Allah SWT together.
A saint was once a sinner
Your father, as you have mentioned, drank alcohol in the past. This is a grave sin dear sister. But because Allah SWT guided him, he left it and is now a very serious and practicing Muslim. If he had been beaten up and brutally insulted and physically hurt, he would never have returned to Islam. I am certain that along with his path to redemption, there was a kind Muslim soul who guided him and told him about the implications of his habits, both negative and positive.
Allah SWT identifies Himself as Oft-Forgiving. Then why must we dwell on an individual’s sin and make them despair of Allah SWT’s mercy?
Pray that Allah SWT changes your sister for the better
Dear sister, sometimes we are not in control of anything. You need to pray to Allah SWT because HE SWT is the controller of hearts. Let Him know that you are worried about your sister’s future and that you fear her chosen path as it may not bring about Allah SWT’s pleasure and blessing.
Since you sound like a person of wisdom, I suggest that you sit down with her and have a sincere conversation and ask her about this Arab boy. Why did she do it? Would she want to marry him? What is it about him that she admires? Although it will be hard for her to understand it, you will have to talk sense into her if your brother’s and father’s reaction will create a pitiless environment.
Sometimes people are blinded by the lust they are feeling, mistaking it for love. But I suggest that since you seem to understand the matter much better than your older sister, you need to talk to her and share with her some of your worries and reemphasize the consequences.
I also suggest that if you trust someone else, like your cousin or someone else like a friend, take advice. But only do so if they are the kind of people to be trusted.
I pray that Allah SWT guides you and your sister for the better.
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.