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We Want to Marry: How to Approach Her Rigid Parents?

09 July, 2020
Q Assalam Alaikum,

I need help with a situation I am going through. Basically about 3-4 years ago, I was in love with a girl and she loved me as well. We always had the intention of getting married.

As she will approach her parents and I will approach mine. She comes from a really conservative family and her parents are really strict and religious. I always approached my parents and told them about her and they told me, "that's fine, would she tell her parents about you, so we can go and meet them and ask for her hand from her father?”

Then 2 years ago, she suddenly vanished and I had no sort of contact with her etc. Now after 2 years, she comes back in my life to tell me that she got married into family and it was due to family pressure and now she is getting divorced and would want to marry me.

She did say that she never forgot me and still loves me. She also told me that her divorce would be finalized in a few months. After hearing all of this, it made me genuinely sad that I was not informed about this in due time.

That I could've gone and asked for her hand. However, I thought that this might be my only chance to go and marry her.

She told me that her dad finally said that if she likes someone she should tell him about him. How should I deal with this situation?

Should I wait for her divorce to get finalised? How can she approach her strict parents without getting in trouble as she is genuinely frightened of her strict parents?

We do want to get married to each other but, this is the situation that we are facing. Please advise me on what to do? Jazak'Allah Khair

Answer


In this counseling answer:

I would caution you on the situation of her just disappearing and not informing you. The years that she was married to someone else. That is a signal, a red flag that would need to be explored before any commitment could take place.

You may want to contemplate the possible future with her and ask yourself if this is something that may happen again in other contexts. Do you feel this was an honest and just way to treat you?

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If you decide to proceed, wait until this girl is fully divorced and approach her in a Halal way to begin a conversation about why you were not informed a few years ago when you first proposed marriage about her situation.

Brother, please do speak with your family about the situation. They seem very supportive of the things that mean a lot to you.

I kindly suggest that you have your parents speak with her parents about the proposal.

 Think about things deeply and ensure that the questions you have are receiving solid and sensible answers to your satisfaction before moving forward with a possible marriage.


As salaam alaikum brother, 

Thank you for writing to us your concerns and questions. This is a very sensitive situation indeed. Historically about three or four years ago you and a girl loved each other and you wanted to get married. You stated that she came from a very conservative, strict family. 

Asking Parents about marriage

You and the girl agreed to ask your parents about marriage. You did at the time, ask your parents about marrying her and they agreed. They stated they would wait for her parents to agree so they could go to meet them and discuss the marriage but that never happened. 

We Want to Marry: How to Approach Her Rigid Parents? - About Islam

Disappearing Girl

As it turns out the girl you wanted to marry then disappeared and you had no contact with her for two years.

As it turns out, she married a relative. Brother as you stated she comes from a very strict and conservative family. However, she could have informed you of her deciding to marry a relative prior to the marriage.

As she was interested in you for marriage three or four years ago, and the two of you were planning to marry. Rightfully she should have informed you that she was marrying someone else. However, she did not. You may want to question how one who loves you can disappear and not say one word to you. This in itself is strange.

You may want to contemplate the possible future with her and ask yourself if this is something that may happen again in other contexts. Do you feel this was an honest and just way to treat you?

Do you feel you deserve an explanation prior to her disappearance as you did ask for her hand in marriage? There may be a solid explanation (like she had no way to contact you) or it may be a sign of a deeper issue such as a pattern of irresponsibility. 


Check out this counseling video:


Recent Findings

You were left for two years wondering what happened. Only recently, you  found out that she did indeed get married to a relative and now she’s getting divorced. Why the marriage did not work out you do not know but she is indeed in the process of getting divorced.

Additionally, her parents seem more open to other marriage options. Perhaps her parents realize now that a marriage takes compatibility and a desire to marry that person. This may be evident as she told you that her dad finally said if she likes someone she could tell him about him. 

Ensuring Trust and Honesty

Brother the concern comes in whether or not the circumstances are valid for her not informing you that she was marrying another. As you cannot speak to her right now because she is still going through a divorce, I kindly suggest you talk to your family about this.

Insha’Allah your family could offer some insight into the situation. After her divorce if you so wish to pursue her, I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that you try to ensure her integrity, honesty, and seriousness about this as she did leave you once without so much as a “goodbye”.  

When the Time is Right

Brother I understand that you feel sad that you were not informed about this, and understandable so. You were the first to ask for her hand in marriage.

Therefore no one else should have asked until that matter was settled.  When the time is right (after her divorce and the three month waiting period is over), insha’Allah you will speak with the girl and get the truth of things.

For instance, you may want to ask her why she did not reach out to you and let you know that she was marrying someone else. True, family can apply great pressure in having their daughters marry a relative, but still she could have reached out and let you know because you did ask her to marry you first. 

Using Caution

I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that you use caution in this situation. Unless it was a severe situation in which there is no way she could inform you of her marrying another, I would be cautious about one who just left with no explanation or reason. That is not fair nor is it right. 

Conclusion

Brother please do wait until her divorce is finalized. Do not get involved with trying to speak with her while she is married. I am rather confused because in one part you stated her father said if she likes someone she could let him know.

Within the next sentence you asked how she can approach her strict parents without getting in trouble and that she is very frightened of her parents.

I’m not sure what the case is however I do know that as long as you are Islamically permissible to her and she is Islamically permissible to you there is no reason why you cannot marry.

Parents cannot dictate who you marry. Parents can suggest, guide, and have their opinions, but ultimately in Islam they cannot forbid or force a marriage. The two of you are free to marry after her divorce if you so choose.

However, I would caution you on the situation of her just disappearing and not informing you. The years that she was married to someone else. That is a signal, a red flag that would need to be explored before any commitment could take place.

Brother, please do speak with your family about the situation. They seem very supportive of the things that mean a lot to you.

If you are inclined, wait until this girl is fully divorced and then approach her in a Halal way. Then begin a conversation about why you were not informed a few years ago when you first proposed marriage.

The answer that she gives, if you feel, is a satisfactory one for you and your family, you may wish to consider asking for her hand in marriage.

If it proceeds this far, I kindly suggest that you have your parents speak with her parents about the proposal. In case they say no, it is still permissible that you both marry, you just will not have her parents’ blessing for the marriage.

This would be sad, but it is okay. The two of you can still marry. Please do take it slow brother.

Think about things deeply and ensure that the questions you have are receiving solid and sensible answers to your satisfaction before moving forward with a possible marriage. We wish you the best.

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:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-counselor/marital-obstacles/forced-marriage-ruined-life/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/youth-q-a/parent-child-relationship/married-love-escape-forced-marriage/

https://aboutislam.net/family-life/laying-foundations/parents-children-conflict-on-choosing-spouse/

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.