I'm a 25-year-old female. Yesterday a proposal came to me. The guy along with his family is settled in America. The family is good. I don't know how religious.
I’m in extreme dilemma. Honestly saying, I'm not interested in this proposal. Also, the fact that I have to leave my parents alone and come back to meet them after a year or two scares me. I want to reject it but I’m afraid that no other proposal with good family would come to me.
I’m just so confused right now. I don't know if according to Islam I’m making the right decision to reject someone because he is abroad. Please guide me.
In this counseling answer:
• You have the right in Islam to reject any marriage proposal that you are not comfortable with.
• I will kindly suggest dear sister that you not reject the marriage proposal but instead get to know him first. This can be done in a halal way along with your parents or a trusted friend.
• In a good marriage, husbands are supportive and want the best for our parents as well. They will make every effort to ensure that we are able to still visit our parents as well as take care of them.
As-salaam Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your most important concerns about marriage. Sister, it is understandable that you are afraid to settle in a new country away from your family, with a man you do not know. That is normal, sister. It is always scary going to a new place, especially when you don’t really know the people that you’re going to be living with.
Fear of Unknown
In regards to making the decision to reject someone because he is living abroad, you have that right. You have the right in Islam to reject any marriage proposal that you are not comfortable with.
I will kindly suggest dear sister that you not reject the marriage proposal but instead get to know him first. This can be done in a halal way along with your parents or a trusted friend. This can be done on the phone, through Skype or other platforms that are conducive to keeping your conversation halal and will still allow you to get to know him better. I do not advise that you marry someone that you do not know.
While he may come from a “good family”, you stated and you really don’t know how religious they are. It could be that they are a very good family who practices Islam, and are kind, loving people. It could also be that they are a dysfunctional family who treat others and each other poorly. It could be that they don’t practice Islam as you do. As you do not know this man, it could also be that he may not be a good man for you and your deen. You won’t know this, however, unless you take the time to get to know him and his family.
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As stated, I kindly suggest sister, that instead of flat out saying no, that you do invest the time to get to know him as well as his family. Your father, brother or imam may inquire among the community as to his reputation and his family’s reputation. As they are settled in the USA the Masjid that he goes to may be contacted in order for your wali to speak with the imam about the reputation and character of him and his family. This is extremely important. You do not want to leave your home and get involved with a situation that may be abusive or destructive to you or your Islam. We just don’t know who people are until we investigate and in Islam we are supposed to inquire, that is your right. That is what a Wali is for.
There are some cases where the girl does not know the man she is marrying nor does she know the family. She marries anyhow, only to be surprised that they are not very nice people. Is much harder to get out of a marriage that is not conducive to your Islam or is harmful to you, than it is to investigate and politely turn down the request if you find incompatibility or non-Islamic tendencies.
So, please do make an effort to get to know him in a Halal way. Have your father, brother or Wali do some investigating on his character as well as his family’s. You need to know about them as much as possible as you will be living with them if you married.
Moving Away from Family
In regards to leaving your family, when we marry we often do have to move away from our families. That is a hurt that sometimes doesn’t go away. However, in a good marriage, husbands are supportive and want the best for our parents as well. They will make every effort to ensure that we are able to still visit our parents as well as take care of them.
In a good marriage, a husband and wife will team up together to ensure that her parents are taken care of as well. This may also be one point that you may want to discuss with this man and his family. You may want to find out their opinions and attitudes about your family and your desire and obligations to them for their care.
Seeking signs from Allah
Make a list of your questions and concerns, sister. Talk to your (dad) wali about getting to know this man and his family better and ask this man and his family the questions you have. There is no hurry in this decision, sister. If this marriage is meant for you from Allah, it will not pass you by. With that said please do make Istikharah prayer and look to Allah swt for further signs and answers. Allah is our best guide.
This could be a good opportunity for you to have a wonderful marriage with loving in-laws. However, you don’t know yet, it is something that you must find out in order to make a good decision.
We wish you the best,
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.