In this counseling answer:
- Kindly inform them that it is actually sinful to cut ties with family members and that they need to reflect on whom they want to please first: Allah or the cultural expectations of their people around.
- Regarding your marriage, without sound Islamic reasons, they cannot insist on their opinion and should consider yours as well.
- Talk to your husband about the reasons of his divorce: it is good to hear how he thinks about his own responsibility in a conflict, about his willingness to work on problems as a couple, about his way of dealing with disagreements.
Salam alaikom, dear sister,
Thank you for turning to us.
I am sorry that your parents are threatening to stop talking to you if you get married to the person you would like to marry.
Although you describe hims as a religious and a respectful person, your parents do not want you to marry him as he is “not from your tribe, he is divorced, and he has a child.”
Sister, while I am not a scholar, the reasons you mention—he is from another tribe, divorced, and has a child—are not conditions to anul or prohibit a marriage.
Regarding His Origin:
Yes, trying to strengthen ties by marrying within the same tribe, family, or nation makes sense, but it is not an Islamic but a culturally embedded condition that is unfortunately very common.
And it is also a kind of false assumption that this guarantees protection, as there are many real-life examples where this is not the case, while there are many happy marriages with different origins.
The Prophet made it clear in the well-known hadith that religiosity should be the main priority when one is looking for a spouse.
If there are other conditions also present, for example, status and family, that is alright, but it should not be the scale of measure of a good spouse.
Furthermore, even in many Muslim families, where the marriage of two individuals also means the union of two families; the individual compatibility should not be overlooked and sacrificed for the union of the families.
Ideally, there is a healthy balance of trying to fulfill these needs through mutual consultation, especially in lands where extended families have greater influence in people’s lives.
The peace within the family is important, but first of all, the couple will closely live together, sharing privacy and intimacy together, so their compatibility and mutual understanding are highly important factors and come before the others.
To Cut Ties
The other thing the Prophet made clear is the prohibition of cutting ties within the family. It is actually sinful to cut ties with your parents or kids, and stop talking for more than 3 days:
“It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5727; Muslim, 2560).
Divorce as a Stigma
Divorce is still a social and cultural issue, sadly in families and communities, and it is not justified Islamically.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself married divorced women and did not discourage his companions from doing that.
While divorce is disliked, it is not prohibited, and in some particular cases, it can even be recommended.
So those who went through divorce are equally worthy members of the Muslim community, and they should be able to remarry if they fulfill the conditions of a marriage.
So, with this being said, sister, I would advise you to do the following:
- Approach your parents with kindness and respect and let them know that their conditions are more cultural than religious. Kindly inform them that it is actually sinful to cut ties with family members and that they need to reflect on whom they want to please first: Allah or the cultural expectations of the community around them.
- If you have a religious family member or friend who can help you with the mediation, that would be a plus. They are probably willing to listen to someone else they trust.
- You can also explain that without sound Islamic reason, they cannot insist on their opinion and should consider yours as well.
- Explain why you think you’d be a good match for him and what your future plans are. You might arrange a meeting together, as, probably, if they get to meet him, their fears will become reduced.
- You can tell them how much it bothers you that they force you to choose between him and them. Your happiness matters more than what people say around. This ultimatum, as a weapon, is quite painful, and many parents who chose it finally spend their elderhood without daughters, sons, and grandchildren.
- They have to understand that Allah won’t support a decision with His barakah if the decision is against His command:
“Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.” Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 56
- Make sure that you do keep an open and kind attitude towards them, whatever happens, and your door will always be open for reconciliation.
Regarding Your Possible Marriage:
If he is religious, that is a good start. Make sure that there is compatibilty in your main values, goals, attitudes and your can be supportive towards each other.
As I said above, there is nothing wrong with choosing someone who has gone through a divorce previously.
At the same time, you may gather enough information about the reasons for his divorce.
He has experience in marriage, both as a husband and as a father. So, it would be useful for you to know what led him to end his marriage.
Talk to him about this—there is no need to hear intimate details—but I think it is good to hear how he thinks about his own responsibility in a conflict, about his willingness to work on problems as a couple, about his way of dealing with disagreements, and so forth.
Also, how this experience affected him and what changes it brought about in him and his attitude toward being in a relationship.
I am saying this because no one arrives perfectly prepared for marriage, and of course, one can always expect some form of conflict during marital life.
And a previous relationship is a good opportunity to learn about ourselves as spouses—and even as parents—and improve by admitting possible mistakes, learning the lessons, and trying to prevent them in our new marriage.
Pray to Allah and Make Dua
Finally, turn to Allah for guidance and ask him to help you and your parents gain the ability to decide between right and wrong in this matter.
Make dua for your successful marriage and peace between you and your parents.
May He hear your duas and bless your affairs,
More from Orsolya Ilham O.:
- I Love Him; How to Make Him Fall in Love with Islam?
- Marriage Proposal: Shall I Obey My Hindu Father?
- In-Laws Choking Our Marriage with Their Culture
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