How to Tell my Parents I want to get Married Now?

13 October, 2020
Q Asslamalikum,

I am a young college student studying in the U.S. and for the past months, something has been bothering me, but whenever I bring this up with an elder I am often not taken seriously. Toward the end of my high school, I felt I was maturing and when I entered University I realized that I was growing into a man. With this came in the natural desire for me wanting to have a “partner”.

As a very strict practicing Muslim, I am often in this dilemma where on one hand I want to hang out with my friends whose parties are not at all aligned with our Islamic values. On the other hand, I want to follow what Allah has ordered me to do. I Alhamdulillah have chosen the latter one often.

I also realize that Allah has made us in pairs. And that we are meant to marry. In fact, it is a hadith where Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry…….. ” I also know the latter half of the hadith where we are asked to fast if we cannot marry. But I feel fasting is a temporary solution and that a person is supposed to marry as soon as he is able to. (that is my understanding of the text because it perfectly aligns with the beginning of the hadith)

Nonetheless, I tried fasting so many times but I often failed to get “rid” of my desires. I turned to other solutions. Like involving myself in so many activities that I would be exhausted to even think about a “partner” even that didn’t work.

I used to take part in extracurricular activities. I used to be busy from morning till late at 2 AM in the night working. Yet still, the desire to have a “partner”(or wife) was still there. I had all the friends in the world. In fact, at one point the whole year group( 1000’s of students) knew me. I was that popular. Yet I couldn’t get rid of the natural feeling.

So, I decided that rather than fighting it. Maybe this is my body and Allah’s way of letting me know that maybe I should embrace it and find a suitable partner.When I brought this topic up. My mother was quick to jump and tell me “ Who will give to a child that hasn’t finished his Uni” or “if you have a desire just fast” or “ even in the past people had this issue.

When I try to mention that most of my friends take drugs, watch porn, indulge in pre-marital sex, and date. She denies it saying I am wrong about these things. But 90% of the “Muslim” kids I grew up with do this. I am tired of fighting the desire for all these things. The one place where I want to approach by what Allah has given us permission for I am not met with support there.

But despite that, I AGREE with my parents that no good family would give their daughter (through the “halal way”) to a 20-year-old uni student. But in all honesty, I find myself much more mature than even 25-years old people. I find some just outright immature. Yet they are classified as “ready for marriage” but I am classified as “immature” because of a piece of paper(degree)?

I am a board member with social organizations. I work part-time. I live alone. I Cook perfectly on my own. I take care of my financial spending properly (I am still dependent on finance from my father), I pray all my salah on time without fail. What more do I need to do to show my maturity?What I type here is not just my story but I feel this is a story of many Young Muslim boys and girls.What do elders think? That we ‘the young people’ will go to university where interaction between young people is so open with no boundaries that we will not develop any emotional-social and in some instances sexual bonds?

I remember a very strict practicing friend told me once that another Muslim girl(who was very practicing) texted him for some work and both of them knew each other. After a couple of conversations, they both started very lightly flirting with each other. Then instantly stopped. And he was quite frank in saying he really liked her. I asked him why’d he end the convo and he told me because he was fearful of Allah. I strongly believe another youth in his place wouldn’t mind continuing the convo.

Let’s be realistic here. Dating is so common!! Nobody wants to legalize something which is Haram but it is high time we make Halal easy. I am dubbed an extreme person because I don’t want to date and choose to keep my interactions Halal !? I firmly believe that if given the chance us marrying younger will make us more mature. Now that we will have to take care of someone.

I also realize that after marriage the challenges just begin. There is a journey that will be tough but with Allah’s support and the right person, it will be worth it. I am tired … I won’t commit anything “haram” but I feel every day is like hell !!I am not praising myself or anything. but I have had many girls flirt with me. It may seem something to brag about but honestly, it’s really hard to not want to be desired by others. It’s really hard as a guy to turn down girls and live the “halal life”. I don’t want to date or have casual sex.

I will not lie. I have had to commit to masturbation quite often… but there needs to be some outlet of my desire. But I am making it clear I DO NOT watch porn !! My culture is such that we don’t even entertain any youth who is wanting to get married.

I would like your opinion on what other solution can I try? As I am at a loss for words right now. And please don’t give me the clique answer “ try making more friends”, “you must be lonely” or “try working out”. I have done all my research and I was not able to come across anything that I haven’t tried.

I end by saying. Yes, I know that in 2-3 years or so when I am done with my degree many prospects will open up for me. But the issue is I don’t know if I can go on for another 2-3 years like this. I would really like your perspective on what are some realistic ways I can talk with my parents and if that is not right. How can I deal with this realistically?

Answer


In this counseling session:

  • Alhamdulilah, you are doing all the right things and following all the advice laid out by Allah and our Prophet (SAW) in dealing with the challenges that come from combating strong desires. 
  • Given you have exhausted other options, trying to win your parents support in seeking marriage now could be your way out.
  •  As a student it is not usually possible to financially provide for a family when there is no income until studies are complete. 
  • Since they have not responded positively to your request as yet, you might consider getting the support of someone of knowledge to talk to them. 
  • You could agree to come to some kind of middle ground in the matter. 

Assalamalikum,

This is a common feeling for people of your age to go through. You are at an age where these feelings are so strong and can become so distracting. This is why Allah has permitted marriage to allow you to satisfy these feelings in a way that is pleasing to Him, but is also beneficial to society and families for so many reasons. Unfortunately, there are also many barriers that stand in the way of this and they are usually cultural. 

Student

Certainly, when people are studying it can add additional challenges such as managing time committing to studies as well as a spouse and potential children. But also financially, as a student it is not usually possible to financially provide for a family when there is no income until studies are complete.

How to Tell my Parents I want to get Married Now? - About Islam

This can make it difficult for the student to contemplate a successful marriage with too many burdens on their shoulders, but also potentially makes them undesirable to any suitors. However, these are additional burdens that might make things tough, but not impossible and therefore something to rule out entirely. 

Right route

Alhamdulilah, you are doing all the right things and following all the advice laid out by Allah and our Prophet (SAW) in dealing with the challenges that come from combating strong desires. Unfortunately, whilst this has helped to some extent, in the long run, you are still facing difficulties with it.

The ultimate solution would be to get married as you mention and certainly there could be numerous challenges to this, particularly the lack of support from your family. Especially when you are currently financially dependent on them so would struggle to facilitate a marriage without their support.

Exhausted

You have clearly said that you do not wish to be responded to with suggestions that you haven’t already tried, and I can see that you really have exhausted many suitable options, beyond those recommended in Islam, aside from actual marriage.

You do also note, that yes, in a few years time when your studies are finished you will be in more of an easy position to approach marriage both practically and with your parents support. However, 2-3 years is a very long time to be battling with such strong desires. 


Check out this counseling video:


Long time

Given you have exhausted other options, trying to win your parents support in seeking marriage now could be your way out. Yes, the fact that you are not financially dependent at this point might be off putting to potential spouses, but the fact that you are pursuing your education with the end goal of employment in a good role to support a family is certainly an appealing one. Beyond that, the most important thing for a family to observe in a potential suitor should be that the person is an Allah-fearing person.

This way they can be confident that moving forward their daughter/sister/niece… Will be comfortable in a marriage where she will be treated well according to the commands of Allah. They will be able to trust that their family member will be in good hands and that when you do graduate you will provide for her in the way you should.

Taqwa

Confidence in an Allah-fearing spouse should be the utmost priority for them over any other quality. With this in mind, you can be sure that there will be families out there that would be willing to allow a girl in their family to marry regardless of your current financial and study situation.

Perhaps there won’t be many, but good families will understand this well for the sake of Allah. These are points that you might like to raise with your parents to try and convince them to support you in seeking marriage. 

I understand that you have tried approaching them about it already but results have been fruitless as they are doubtful that anyone would marry a student such as yourself for obvious reasons and that you should do all the things that you have already been trying. This has understandably not been very helpful for you. There are a few options you might attempt to try and convince your parents otherwise and win their support in seeking marriage.

Approach parents 

Since they have not responded positively to your request as yet, you might consider getting the support of someone of knowledge to talk to them. They might be more willing to trust and listen to someone in such a position.

As your parents they feel they know what’s best for you, and to some extent, as your elders they do. But there are also things standing in the way of this that light be overcome with third party intervention from others like elders of more knowledge.

Alternatively, even someone in the family could help to convince them. Or otherwise, if you know of anyone who did get married as a student with positive consequences then they would be a good person to advocate on your behalf to the fact that marriage at this stage absolutely can work. Alternatively, if none of these are an option, you will also find lectures online that will say the same thing. 

In sha Allah this will at least soften their heart towards the prospect of you potentially getting married which along with some gentle persuasion form you might be enough to get the ball rolling so to speak. Perhaps you could agree to come to some kind of middle ground in the matter.

Let them know that you do understand their concerns and you have tried to follow their advice and struggled and that with the support/advice of the person of knowledge, relative or person of experience that you may have been able to get to speak to them you would like to request their support in seeking marriage with an agreement that if things don’t go well you will gladly step back and bear the difficulties with patience.

Conclusion

You might set some kind of time limit to these to keep it fair to all, but such that also gives you a chance to try as in sha Allah proving to your parents that it is possible. This way you are approaching it in a way that is considerate of their own thoughts in the matter whilst allowing you to at least try and approach your situation from a more favorable angle. 

May Allah reward your continued patience and grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next. May He soften your parents hearts to what is best for you and most pleasing to Him. 

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)