My sister is around 27 and my parents have been looking for marriage proposals for one and a half year. We live in a small town in India. The place where we live people have high expectations. They demand lots of dowry and gold which my parents can’t give.
My sister has always wanted to marry a religious guy which is difficult to find here. She rejected most of the proposals during the initial phase. Then we somehow convinced her to marry a good Muslim guy instead of a religious person. She agreed to it and started meeting the potential grooms and their parents.
Some of them rejected my sister because of dowry and other reasons. Meanwhile my sister fell in love with a non- Muslim guy. But that guy rejected my sister’s proposal as he is not in love with her. She was rejected by most of the grooms’ parents and the non-Muslim guy whom she fell in love with.
She is getting depressed thinking of all these rejections. Now she says that she doesn't want to get married and she hates men. She is hurting herself whenever my mom and dad talk to her regarding marriage proposals. She also told me that she is having suicidal thoughts and anxiety whenever she thinks about marriage.
During her graduation, she failed in her exams. But she crossed all those hurdles and she is a good dentist now. She always compares her professional life with personal life. She always tells that she has failed in both personal and professional life. I tell her that’s how life is.
I even told her to consult a therapist to come out this depression. But she says she doesn't want to consult a therapist. She is very stubborn. My parents are worried about her. Can you please advise me how to handle this situation?
In this counseling answer:
- In Islam, the dowry is one of the rights of the wife.
- If your sister was rejected by the proposals because of the lack of dowry and gold, then they were not good people to start with.
- What I would suggest in this case is to be there for her and speak to her about her feelings and thoughts.
As Salaam ‘Aleikom,
Thank you for your question. I will try to advise you the best I can, In sha’ Allah.
I am sorry to hear about your sisters’ situation. She has been rejected so many times now that she thinks all men are the same.
The problem with some cultures is that they set up their own rules and requirements for marriage such as dowry and gold given by the wife. This is completely wrong. In Islam, the dowry is one of the rights of the wife which is hers to take in total. It is mentioned in the Qur’an,
“And give to the women (whom you marry) their mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart…” (4:4)
However, some people, unfortunately, practice culture and traditions more than Islam and it can be difficult to find people who don’t do that in some areas in India. Have you tried looking for men for her in some other areas than your own? I am sure there must be some families who don’t follow this completely unIslamic practice.
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If your sister was rejected by the proposals because of the lack of dowry and gold, then they were not good people to start with. It is good that she didn’t marry any of them as they only seem to put value into materialistic things more than the girl herself.
Becoming a dentist by profession is not an easy education to achieve. You should tell your sister that she has completed a degree that required a lot of hard work and that she has not failed in her profession at all.
It is normal to feel useless and not worthy when you go through anxiety. It sounds like your sister is going through anxiety and depression. But do not force her to talk to a counselor or psychologist if she does not want to. This will not help her. She needs to feel confident about herself again.
Many Asian girls feel a lack of confident and self-worth when they get rejected. They need a lot of encouragement to feel good about themselves again. What I would suggest in this case is to be there for her and speak to her about her feelings and thoughts. Try to not leave her alone as loneliness and tension are bad combinations. She will need to be with someone who can give her positive energy.
Show her how beautiful the life is and how many things she is blessed with, so she does not have suicidal thoughts again.
Do not talk about marriage with her for a while until she feels better. She has been rejected and it takes time to get over it. All you need to do is to support her and do things with her that she enjoys doing, so she can take her mind off about marriage for some time.
Try praying together or listen to Islamic lectures so she feels a stronger bond to Islam and forgets about her worries. Praying is a good “medicine”; it gives peace to the soul.
Before your parents look for a partner for her, they should focus on her mental health first. What you are describing here doesn’t sound good. She needs to be in the right state of mind to function properly. To help her do that you all need to stop talking about marriage and proposals for a while until she feels ok.
May Allah (swt) make it easy for your sister and make your family happy.
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