Thank you so much for writing to us. We understand how happy you must be to know that you have discovered your future husband. In sha’ Allah, with the help and guidance of Allah Most High, you will be able to realize your hopes and dreams of marrying this man. Perhaps, your greatest challenge is going to be when and how you will tell your family about this man.
First, we want you to appreciate the fact that parents want what is best for their children. Of course, all stereotypes aside about the fact that this man is an American convert, we are not sure that any family would really be comfortable knowing that their daughter, or son for that matter, had met his or her future spouse on an airplane. Keep this in mind as you consider at what moment in time you want to begin your story.
In addition, remember that the anxieties your parents will have are justified, in as much as any mother or father want the best for their child. So, do not feel as if you have to prepare for a battle with them. Rather, use the approach of trying to address all or as many of their anxieties as possible.
Second, in order for your parents to accept to even consider this man’s proposal, they must feel that you have been introduced to him rather than that you both met up in the sky. You are not misleading them in any way, but rather modifying the chronology of events to increase their level of comfort with this proposal. We suggest strongly that you either involve family or friends who live in America to help you break the news to your parents. If you do not have family in America, then seek out trusted friends, preferably an elderly couple whose word your parents are more likely to trust and accept. Hopefully, your parents will be comfortable discussing their concerns in their own language, with people who are also Moroccan and presumably understand “our culture.” The people who talk to your parents should get to know this man first and be comfortable presenting him to your parents, in sha’Allah.
Third, you can also help prepare your parents for the discussion on marriage by letting them know that you are considering marriage and would like them talk to some friends who have a particular individual in mind. Let your family ask questions and make notes of those questions. You need not answer those questions yourself, but rather tell your parents that you encourage them to ask your friends those same questions. In the meantime, relay those questions to your friends and help them to prepare responses. Remember, your parents have to feel as if this match is being proposed to them for their consideration and final approval. You should do everything possible to make sure your parents are comfortable at every step in this process, in sha’ Allah.
Finally, we do want you to be prepared for the fact that your parents might meet this man and disapprove. The real question then becomes, what will you do? Will you prefer to obey your parents and work with them to seek out another candidate? Will you struggle hard with your parents and help them to see things your way? Will you go ahead and marry this man without their approval?
We cannot answer those questions for you. We can strongly suggest that no matter what happens, you should always be making the Istikharah prayer (supplication to Allah for guidance) to seek Allah’s guidance and reassurance. Be sure that you are not just taken by the idea of marrying an American, but you are putting his faith in Allah and his character as your first and foremost reason for marrying him. Ask Allah to grant you a pious husband who is a blessing for your faith, your family and your future.
And Allah (saw) knows best.
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