Should I Follow My Choice or My Parents’ Will?

30 August, 2021
Q Firstly I would like to say that you have a wonderful and very helpful site. I have a problem that I hope you can help me with.

About one year ago I converted to Islam, I am very glad of this decision because Islam has helped me so much and I always pray that Allah will forgive me for my misdeeds before I turned to Islam.

I am from an Asian family and my family is very strict when it comes to religion. Although none of my family members know about my conversion, I'm worried about what could happen when they find out.

There's this Muslim brother that I would like to marry, and he wishes the same.

My mother knows that we both want to marry, as he has asked for my hand. Since then, everything has been going wrong at home.

My mother and I are always arguing: I feel that my mother treats me really badly, calls me very mean names and sometimes even swears at me.

My mother also threatens me that if I don’t leave this guy she will tell my father. Although I'm nearly 21, I'm scared to death of my father because he can get very violent.

I experienced this about three years ago and as a result, I am still going through counseling. I know that my family will never agree to this marriage; however, the guy's family have no problem and they have accepted me as a convert.

I have also spoken to his mother and she loves me and wants me to marry her son. I don't know what to do.

I know my parents are getting marriage proposals for me and they want me to get married within a year or two.

In this situation, is it wrong to go against my parents’ wishes? I know that marriage is between a man and a woman, but the role of the family is very important.

I am very confused and I don't know what is right and what is wrong. Please guide me to make the right decision. Thank you very much for your time.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

• I would encourage you to place your faith first in this situation.

• Make du`aa’ to Allah to have them accept you and this new situation in your life.

•Try to get an Imam or a community elder to act as an agent; someone who can speak on your behalf to ensure that your rights will be protected.

• Make sure this brother is the correct person to marry.


As-salamu `alaykum sister,

We are pleased that Allah has blessed you and that you have had the benefit of Islam in your life.

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Al-hamdu lillah, when we come to Islam our past misdeeds are wiped out and the slate is cleared, so do not worry about your sins before Islam.

However, it was a practice of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) to look back at their past. They did so to remember and be thankful for the guidance of Allah.

Your faith-Your Choice 

First, is not necessary to disclose your Islam to your family initially. Especially if you think that it will negatively impact your ability to practice your faith.

This decision is a very personal one and one in which you will be the best judge of your circumstances.

If your fear is that your family will turn against you or become angry in such a way that it will hinder your ability to practice your faith, then do not disclose it yet; at least wait until such time as you will be able to be independent of them should they push you away or hurt you.

However, eventually, you will need to tell them, or they will find out. And you need to be prepared for this.

Sometimes this can be a very difficult process for converts to Islam, but be steadfast and remember Allah.

Should I Follow My Choice or My Parents' Will? - About Islam

Allah was the One who lit the path for you to His way, so place all your trust in Him that He will allow the entire situation to work out in the best possible way.

Conversion to Islam

Second, remember is that your Islam is for you and your relationship with your Lord. So regardless of what people may say, you are doing what is beneficial to strengthen that relationship.

In doing so, you will be fulfilling the purpose of your creation—worshipping your Lord.

Sometimes the choices of children are difficult for their parents to accept, especially when children come from homes where a particular faith has been emphasized and the child has chosen another path.

In this case, it is important for you to realize that your mother is, in fact, reacting to this choice.

Although it does not mean that she is right, try to understand it from her perspective; she is worried that if you marry this Muslim man she may lose you, and that you may lose the faith of your family, so she is trying to use anger and fear to intimidate you.


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Before you move forward with the idea of marriage I would encourage you to:

-Make sure that you make the Istikharah Prayer and consult Allah to see if this person is indeed the best person for you.

When you pray, you should have no bias and you must realize with all certainty that Allah is the One who will know what is good or bad for you.

-Ensure that you have found out about the character of the man from good sources.

-Try to get an Imam or a community elder to act as an agent; someone who can speak on your behalf to ensure that your rights will be protected and that your dowry is fair.

-While this process is taking place, try to be as kind to your parents as possible. Do not enter into discussion with your mother, because if she does resort to telling your father, then you could possibly be hurt.

I would in fact encourage you to act with your mother as if you are not even thinking of this issue at the moment.

In the meantime, find support from your friends and others in the community.

Finally, you are to obey your parents in all instances except if it means to disobey Allah. So if you are marrying this man for the sake of Allah and your faith, then that is what is crucial at this point.

From what you have said, it seems that your family would be angry with you. You could be in danger when they learn about your conversion and your desire to marry a Muslim.

I would encourage you to place your faith first in this situation. Continue to be kind to your parents. And make du`aa’ to Allah to have them accept you and this new situation in your life.

Conclusion

In sha’ Allah, with time and your patience and kindness, even if you were to get married, they may come to accept your decision. We pray that from your example they too will be guided to the path of Allah.

One last note, should you become certain that this brother is the correct person to marry. Then it is here that you would need the assistance of your agent.

He should be able to ensure your ability to enter and leave home safely, and help to facilitate you telling your parents about your Islam.

Please do let us know how things work out for you, and we pray that Allah facilitates this road with ease and blesses you with the sweetness of faith for your sacrifices for His sake.

Ameen

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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.

About Dr. Abdullah Abdur Rahman
Dr. Abdullah Abdur Rahman had obtained his Masters and PhD in Social Work and has worked in the US as a licensed social worker since then. His focus is on counseling Muslims in non-Muslim countries, with special emphasis on life in North America, counseling adolescents, pre-marital counseling, online counseling for married couples and da`wah (inviting people to Islam).