My Cousin Loves Me, but I Can’t Marry Him

15 July, 2019
Q Assalamu alaikum,

I am engaged to my cousin, which I initially accepted for my elders. My other cousin loves me so much and asked for my hand through his mother but was not accepted due to their financial status. However, he has all the good qualities of a good Muslim.

I also liked him, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I always pray for my parents and fiancé and my cousin whom I like. The problem is that he loved so deeply that he can’t forget me.

He doesn’t tell anyone because he doesn’t want to cause trouble for anyone, but whenever I see his posts I feel heartbroken as sometimes they are so sad, but no one can understand them except for me.

We are not in any type of contact. I am not married yet. My question is that, can I just give him some advice for Allah’s sake? Can I just console him through an Islamically ethical manner? I pray for him, but I feel hurt in my heart. Kindly advise me.


In this counseling answer:

• It is important that you marry someone you would like to marry. In shaa’ Allah, please consider calling off the marriage and speak with your parents about these facts in a respectful way.

• Speak with your parents, set your intentions, and make duaa’ to Allah for direction and guidance.

• If your family does not agree, you must take that big step in deciding what to do. You could go forth with a marriage you may not want.

As salamu Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to our live session, sister. I am sorry to hear about your situation. In reading your question, what caught my attention was that you stated you accepted your current engagement for your elders.

As you did not expand on that, I’m not really sure what you mean, however, I hope you are not marrying your cousin only to please your family.

Marriage Is an Important Step

Marriage is a very important step in life. It is pertinent that when considering marriage, you choose somebody whom you like. It is important that you have things in common and are compatible. Sister, from what it sounds like, you still have feelings for your other cousin whom you are writing about.

You stated he has all the qualities of a good Muslim and that you like him, but you couldn’t do anything. I take this to mean that you are pressured to marry your current fiancé to please your parents and family.

As you are not yet married, I would kindly advise you in shaa’ Allah to think about this situation. Going into a marriage just to please parents and family is not always a good idea, especially if you do not like the person, you do not know the person, or you feel you are incompatible.

In your case, you already like your other cousin and think about him all the time. Perhaps this cousin is the one that you should marry. You stated that he did ask for your hand in marriage however it was not accepted due to their status. This is not an Islamic reason to turn down a marriage.

Speak with your Parents

Sister, if possible, I kindly ask you to speak to your parents about your feelings. Please use the Qur’an and hadiths to illustrate who is permissible for marriage and what qualities they should have. While status is one quality that may be sought, piety in a Muslim always comes first.

One may have a high status yet not be a practicing Muslim. While one may have high status, there may be compatibility or other issues. Ask your parents to reconsider their position regarding your other cousin.

Engaged with Feelings for Another

Going into a marriage and having feelings for someone else is not recommended. You may wish to call off the engagement so that you and your family can work this out. On the other hand, as you are 26 years old and are not a minor, you are able to make your own decision regarding who you will marry.

Pleasing Parents vs Future Marriage

Pleasing parents is paramount in Islam as you know, however it is your right to marry who you want as long as they are Islamically permissible to you. You do not need your parents’ permission, although that would be nice.

What is extremely important here, is your future, your happiness and of course your religion. It is also not fair to your other cousin, whom you are engaged to. Your heart does not appear to be with this engagement.

In consideration of these things, it is important that you marry someone you would like to marry. In shaa’ Allah, please consider calling off the marriage and speak with your parents about these facts in a respectful way.

Heartbroken Posts

I understand your concern right now about seeing your cousin’s posts and how heartbroken he feels, as well as how you feel. In this time, however, please do not contact him as it is haram because you are engaged. You need to take care of this current engagement situation first if you choose to.

Speak with your parents, set your intentions, and make duaa’ to Allah for direction and guidance.


If you decide to call off the marriage and speak with your parents and they are agreeable after you have provided Islamic proofs for your right to marry whomever you want, you may wish to have a family member contact his family.

In shaa’ Allah, he will still be available for marriage. If your family does not agree, you must take that big step in deciding what to do. You could go forth with a marriage you may not want, which could hurt you in the future, or you could choose to marry the cousin that you do like and wish to marry. In either case, sister, there will be sacrifices and tests.


Please make duaa’ to Allah and choose the marriage path that will produce the most successful marriage, and the one that would be the best for your Islam.

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.

Read more: 

Can Muslims Marry Their Cousins?

Does Islam Allow Marrying Cousins?

Unhappily Married to My Cousin: Stay or Leave?


About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.