Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
First of all, welcome to Islam!
It is always difficult to have a cross-cultural relationship. You are getting a taste of the problems with it even before you have married into it. This might be a blessing for you because it can help you decide ahead of time if this is what you want to go through in your marriage.
That said, I do not think that you should decide on marrying him based on your or his family’s ideas about how you feel about someone. I think people should decide for themselves who they should marry based on their own feelings about that person—with their parent’s permission, of course, and also with respect for their parents’ ideas and concerns. But our parents cannot feel what we feel when we love someone or have a connection with them. They have no way of judging that part of our world.
One of my teachers of psychology said that every relationship is a cross-cultural relationship. I found that to be a very wise statement because it points to a very important point: all people are different, so no matter who you marry, you are going to have to figure out how to deal with your differences. When the couple alone has to do that, it is enough to deal with. When the parents get in the mix, it can make everything so much worse. Much of this “getting in the mix” is cultural and not part of the teachings of Islam—which is a whole other problem.
I think you need to really ask yourself how you feel about this man. Maybe writing a list of the pros and cons of marrying him would help you make this big decision.
Do you feel that he is the only man for you? If you do, then I say, bite the bullet and go forward and deal with all these family issues. However, if you are not sure about that, figure that out first. If he is, then you will have the devotion and subsequent strength it takes to deal with all these family problems and interference. If he is not, your heart won’t be in it and your families will be able to sway you back and forth.
He too needs to figure out the answer to that question—and you need to know his answer. If he is also strong in his belief in your marriage, then together you can weather this storm, with Allah’s help. But if his devotion is mediocre, that is not going to work.
Now, if you decide to go ahead with the marriage, sorting out culture from Islam is a big problem that many Muslim faces, especially Muslims who were born into Islam and who live in Muslim-majority countries like Egypt. To new Muslims, this is usually a big shocker. So much of what people do in Muslim countries has nothing to do with Islam such as the prohibition of driving for women in Saudi Arabia or arranged/forced marriages in India, Pakistan, etc.
Beyond these cultural-family problems, you have financial problems too as you both need to finish school. But if you both feel that you have to be with each other, then I would suggest getting married so that you can talk freely with each other over the phone (in your long distance relationship) without having to worry about what you say.
However, that said, you have a lot to learn since you have entered your new religion. Maybe you should wait six months or a year to get your bearings in your new religion first and then see how you feel about him. Maybe you will discover that he is not as religious as you are, or vice versa. Or maybe it will bring you two closer together. Whichever way it goes, I would give it a chance to sort itself out before marriage, in Sha’ Allah.
May Allah (swt) make it easy for you.
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