My Sister Wants to Marry a Non-Muslim Man

29 September, 2020
Q My sister has been studying in the US for the past three years. After her studies finish, she is unable to stay there any further.

She is also interested in a non Muslim American and thinks of marrying him. She likes him but my dad and I have our reservations.

We don’t know if he will embrace Islam properly and he isn’t that educated. My sister is a dentist and is doing masters. She deserves someone better. This has caused a lot of stress to us recently.

What is your advice to a Muslim woman who is thinking of marrying a non Muslim person? He says he will accept Islam and do a proper nikkah. However he hasn’t started praying or learning Quranic verses. He only listens to the Quran occasionally online.

I need advice regarding this. What should my sister do or think of? Also what should my sister pray for to get whatever is better for her both in this world and hereafter? She has also been having difficulty regarding her career? What should she do or pray to achieve success in her professional career?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

  • Speak openly and gently with your Sister. Let her know your concerns, but also keep an open mind to listen to her concerns and feelings. 
  • Write down the questions and concerns the family has to address them during a family conversation.
  • Remember that what your Sister wants in marriage is more important than what anyone else wants for her marriage.
  • Say alhamdulillah for being part of a conversion and make dua for him to find greater iman.
  • As he states he is going to take shahadah and perform a nikkah, it is not the right of any human to question his heart.
  • Speak with your Sister to determine her socioeconomic preferences in marriage.
  • It is advisable for her to pray istikhara regarding her career decisions as well as her private life decisions.

    Assalamu alaikum warahmatuulahi wabarakatu. 

Thank you for taking the time to write in and trust us with your concerns. It is my understanding your Sister is studying for her Master’s degree and she has met a potential husband in the US. I understand your family is concerned about it.

It is completely natural to wonder if a potential spouse for a family member meets the expectations and standards of the family. I also understand you want to know what she should pray in order to find success in her professional as well as private life. Let us break those down and address them. 

Socio Economic and Religious Values

While someone’s socioeconomic status is not the number one factor in marriage, each person has to ask how important this particular variable is as for some people it is significant while others do not care about this. Achieving a graduate-level degree from an American institution is something for your Sister to be happy about, a great blessing alhamdulillah. It is important to determine how important it is for your Sister to match with someone based upon this. 

My Sister Wants to Marry a Non-Muslim Man - About Islam

Some questions to consider are what does she expect him to provide, what does SHE need from him financially to be happy. Only she can truly answer this. It is not a decision for her family to make for her. Additionally, If they married and she planned to live in the US then he would be her sponsor and provide her with a visa to the US. She must decide if she wants this or wants to live in her home country. He could also consider moving to your country. 

Religious

My dear Sister, I understand your concerns regarding his religion. You mentioned that he claimed he will take shahadah and perform an Islamic nikka. Mashallah. Please be aware, a convert has all previous sins erased and is only left with their good deeds upon saying shahadah.  A new Muslim takes time to learn and grow within their faith.

As the sahaba did, it must be about iman and belief before legislation or memorization. You may recall the earliest revelations focused on beliefs such as angels, the afterlife, and the Prophets. If he is beginning with Quran recitation, this is a beautiful way, for the word of Allah (most honored and revered) is being recited to his heart. 

Please do not rush this man to become “super Muslim” so fast. Instead, see the immense reward in helping a new Muslim find the love of Allah (swt) and grow in worship. This is an immense opportunity for your Sister and family to help someone who was once a disbeliever! Alhamdulillah.


Check out this counseling video:


May Allah (swt) reward her for the good impression of Islam she has obviously shown this man. Regardless if they marry or not, your family was blessed to have impacted a man in the US by bringing the revelation of Allah (swt) to him. 

As he states he is going to take shahadah and perform a nikkah, it is not the right of any human to question his heart. Only Allah (swt) knows that answer and no one should be questioned if their shahadah was serious enough. 

Communication

Sister, I encourage all of you to speak openly and honestly. Have a conversation with your Sister and explore what she wants to be happy and let him know gently what you are concerned about. Please also consider speaking with the potential husband in a gentle manner and ask him about your concerns and expectations.

Your parents can speak with him and your Sister in a video chat or skype call with everyone together as you determine the best steps forward. That may or may not involve this marriage happening. 

During those conversations, it is important not to speak aggressively, but to keep a calm and friendly tone. This is not an interrogation and this man has done nothing wrong to her, he is seeking her hand in marriage.

Allow your Sister time to explain her side of the story and why she feels he is a good match for her. Inshallah if all of you speak kindly and openly you can come to an agreement and most important your Sister can decide what will make her happy. 

I suggest writing down any questions and concerns your family has before the family discussion. 

What to Pray

Your Sister can make duaa however she likes for her success in this world and the next. She can do this practically anywhere at any time and speak to Allah (swt) from her heart.

It is advisable for her to pray istikhara regarding her career decisions as well as her private life decisions. If she needs assistance understanding how to read the response of istikhara, she can refer to this article on istikhara.  

She can also utilize prayers that come from Quran and sunnah. Here are a few your Sister can utilize. 

Rabbanaa fidunyaa hasanatan, wa fil aakhirati hasanatan, wa qinaa azaban naar

“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

[Quran 2:201]

“Rabbii zidni ilma”

“My Lord, increase me the knowledge”

[Quran 20:114]

“Rabbi audzi’ni an ashkuraa ni’mataka alatii an ‘amta alaya wa ‘alaa walidayya wa an a’mala saalihan tardlohu wa adhilnii birahmatika fi ibadikas saalihiin”

“My Lord, grant me the power I might grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which that will please You. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants”

[Quran 27:19]

“Rabbi innee limaa anzalta ilayya min khayrin faqeerun”

“My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever (the goodness) You would send down to me, in need.”

[Quran 28:24]

Final Thoughts

Dear Sister, here is a summary of your next steps moving forward. 

  • Speak openly and gently with your Sister. Let her know your concerns, but also keep an open mind to listen to her concerns and feelings. 
  • Write down the questions and concerns the family has to address them during a family conversation
  • Remember that what your Sister wants in marriage is more important than what anyone else wants for her marriage
  • Say alhamdulillah for being part of a conversion and make duaa for him to find greater iman
  • Speak with your Sister to determine her socioeconomic preferences in marriage
  • Your Sister can utilize istikhara, duaa in her own words and the above mentioned duaas

It is a blessing your family is so worried about her well being and marrying a good man, alhamdulillah. She is blessed to have a loving and supportive family. May Allah (swt) guide your Sister to make the best decision for this life and the next, ameen.

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.

Read more:

About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"