Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Did I make the right choice in rejecting a proposal?

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Salam!

I've been living in England for most of my life and have only been back to my country once since moving here. I recently planned for a trip back to visit my family. After we bought our tickets, there was a proposal for me back home.

I'm strongly against an arranged marriage with someone who has spent their whole life in my country b/c they do not share the same values. I would rather find someone here in England. When my parents told me about this, I didn't say No but I also didn't say Yes. I was trying to keep an open mind.

I found out a week later, my parents had assumed that I wanted to get married to this guy. So they called them and said "Yes, she will marry your son." They were already making arrangements for an engagement. I was furious when I found out b/c I was under the impression that I would be able to meet him before I made my decision. But my parents started talking to me about how shameful it would be if I said No to this proposal. I also started to realize that if I'm back there, all of my family will try to convince me into this and keep talking about shame on my family and me.

I felt as if I might be guilted into something that I may later regret. These feelings were very strong. B/c of all of this chaos, I did an istakhara on whether I should even go back. I don't know if I did it right but I did have a dream about bright red blood in urine. I was also asking for signs and I just kept getting the most sickening feeling when I thought about this whole scenario. I didn't want to waste my vacation time and be depressed back home with all of my family members telling me what to do. I also realized that a meeting with the guy for 10 minutes will not help me make my decision b/c that was all the time I would be allowed to agree to marry someone whom I've never meet and my family has never meet.

So I decided to tell my parents that I'm calling the whole trip off. If they keep talking about shame and me rejecting this proposal, then it's better that it ends now. My parents freaked out when I told them and said some really hurtful things. They even went as far as to say that I am no longer their daughter. I feel as if I did nothing wrong yet I feel so bad. They think I betrayed them yet I've never even had a boyfriend or even thought about it.  My dad won't even talk to me and I think they both hate me.

I don't know if I'm making the right choices b/c now, when all is said and done, I feel guilty and so sad. But at the same time, if I go through with this proposal, I will feel so depressed.

Am I a bad person for going against my parent's wishes? Am I going to be punished for the rest of my life? Will I ever find love or ever find the right guy b/c my father told me that I would never do any better than this guy?

I'm so confused and all of this is tearing me apart.  What if I made a really big mistake? If this was meant to be, could things still work out in someway? Will my parents ever forgive me? Will God forgive me? Please provide some guidance. Thanks!

- Honey433


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12 Responses »

  1. Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah sister

    Good for you for standing up for what is your Islamic RIGHT. There is no such thing as forcing people to get married, it is upto you father/brother(s)/uncle to suggest good, righteous brothers to you. But it is in your discretion to reject or accept. This is why the woman has to give her acceptance for the nikkah to be valid.

    You are obviously speaking from an indo-pak background, let me tell you something my dear sis. Indo-Pak families are notorious for "emtional black mail" ! I think there's a hand book somewhere? :) Culture dictates many peoples lives, don't worry eventually they'd get over it, InshaAllah. Be strong, don't take their words to heart, their "this is shaming us" ...blah blah. Just let it wash over you like a warm summer breeze, and let it whisper how much they love you. Sometimes a parents love and knowledge of what they think is best can be burdening. But ahh..they'll get over it. To reject the proposal does not make you a bad daughter. It's smart actually, sometimes the children see things more clearly than parents.

    I must add though, you sould seriously ask yourself what you are looking for in a spouse and when things cool down try and convey those desires to your parents. Ideally those ideas should include someone that practices their deen (Allahu Alim what is in the heart). Don't go rejecting brothers for materialistic reasons because you'll find yourself in more chaos then ever, wa Allahu Alim.

    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If there comes to you one with whose character and religious commitment you are pleased, then marry (your female relative under your guardianship) to him, for if you do not do so, there will be tribulation and great mischief on earth.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1084) from Abu Hurayrah; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/87833/refusing%20proposal

    Divorce is unfortunately on the rise, it would be more shameful for them to have pressured you into a marriage, then deal with your unhappiness which eventually leads to divorce....which apparently brings shame too. So, don't stress, they will get over it Insha'Allah.

    Remember to be good to your parents as you have a duty towards them.Try not to take their words/anger to heart (easier said then done.. I know...sorry :( ). But try your hardest. Listen to the rants, and smile inside because alhamdulilah it's your right. YOU have to spend the rest of your life with the guy, marriage is hard enough these days. Not to say it can't work, but if your mind isn't right... it's very hard. This isn't much aggrevation to go through compared to what may (wa Allahu Alim) if you just agree and then end up regretting it.

    May Allah swt make it easy for you, grand you peace and a righteous spouse that will be a comfort for you and your family...Ameen

    Take care sis!

    • Sister shireen,
      I understand that in Islam father/mother/brother cannot force the daughter/sister to get married. But I think its also the responsibility of the parents to get their daughter married. So, if we fast forward 5 to 10 years and the sister does not get marry and commits any sin because of not getting married. Whose responsibility will that sin be...Parents? I think not.

      Sister Questioner:
      I can understand your point of meeting someone from your own culture....and then falling in love head over heals as shown in hollywood chick flicks.
      But I think over the period of time our conception of love has been so changed because of television and movies etc. that we think that one has to fall in love before marriage and then one should get married. But the generation of your parents perhaps believes that love happens after marriage. And call me old fashioned love should happen after the marriage. I think your parents were quite right in allowing you to meet your potential spouse for some time....Although ten minutes exactly is small but if meeting is in presence of Wali then I think it can be as long as everybody wants.
      You are an adult and i think its your choice that if you want to 'date' your potential spouse before the marriage, because only then you can really know him and then perhaps you can fall in love with him...right? Or perhaps meeting someone at the work place.... and talking to them and blah blah blah.... whatever things are shown in movies and then happily getting married. But my question is...is it really islamic. If your answer is no then I don't have anything else to say and I think you are on the right path. But if your answer is no...then will you allow your future husband to do the same thing for his 2nd and 3rd wife?

      In short, I think you shouold stand for what you think is a right match for you but if your idea of finding the right love is based on 'really knowing' the person before marriage then I don't have any remedy based on islam.

      regards,

      • Concerned:

        I believe a parents responsibility is to make sincere efforts in trying to get their child married off to a righteous spouse. I don't believe it will be their "fault" for what they cannot control. It's their fault if they pressure( basically force) their child to marry someone they do not want to. Zayd (ra) and Zainab (ra) were both righteous companions, however they were not compatible with each other and were unable to find comfort from each other so they divorced. Marriage is described as a cover, 'suhn' I believe is the word (plz correct me if I'm wrong, because there's a good chance I am..). The point is people don't necessarily divorce because they married a "bad person" but it's someone they've struggled to deal with. Priorities in life differ...one may love spending time with family ,the other may love spending time with their friends. If they do not have a similar understanding of life, upbringing/goals for their children, and more importantly are not BOTH determined to make scarifices.........you have problems.
        Parents are not responsible for their children's happiness, or vice versa. Parents are to teach children right from wrong, when they are older advise them according to our deen,always encourage the good Islam gives allowing them the freedom to benefit from their Islamic rights. A child is entrusted to a parent....nothing else. WE parents often mistaken our duty and take our love for our child to a next level. Forgetting that too much love (or hate) can make us stray in our religion. In the end we are accountable for our intentions and actions not for outcomes we have no right to enforce upon others. And Allah subhanhu wa tala knows best!

  2. Concerned,

    The sister has not said or suggested anywhere that she wants to meet some and fall head over heels inlove and then marry. She did not even suggest that she has a problem being introduced to anyone for marriage. She merely said does not feel comfortable basing her choice of marriage on a ten minute conversation; and I completely agree with her. Yes, it is her family's responsibility to find her potential partners, but they have no right to force her into marriage.

    Honey433: I am glad you were able to stand up for yourself. I agree with Shireen's advice. I would like to add to it alittle. I have seen this situation many times before: parents introduce someone, they allow only a ten minute conversation with the prospective, then the pressures comes on full force that you cannot reject this proposal. The girl rejects it due to pressure and then develops a fear of being introduced anyone in the arranged way again. So the prospective could actually have been a really good match, but you'll never find out now because of the method used by the parents. The parents are at fault here.

    However there is a way forward and I do not want you to fall to this vicious cycle of fear. Otherwise you will find this situation occuring time and time again, you will lose opportunities and your age. So the solution is this: you need to train your mind to think and believe that every proposal that comes your way is an opportunity. You want to get to know him in a halaal manner but you need your parents support for that. So now is a good time make a few things clear to your parents, say to them:

    'I want you to find proposals for me, but I cannot and will not marry anyone based on a ten minute conversation. Mum/Dad, I need you to work with. If I feel pressure from you I will end up rejecting every proposal and lose out. Let me meet the proposals and have proper conversations with without putting a number on the number of meetings I can have. I want to feel free to reject or accept without worrying that you will be upset with me. Whoever I choose now will affect my whole life, so I need to be sure, please understand me.'

    This will allow you to feel alittle more in control of the situation. I am not saying it will be all rosy straightaway as pak/indo parents can be extremely stubborn in such matters. But if you take a deep breath and remind yourself that in fact nobody can physically force you to marry anyone and you will give the final answer when you are satisfied and have performed istikhara, your parents will eventually loosen up and come to your way of doing things. Sis, I know its so difficult, but try to find a way to stand your ground and at the same time see the proposals and find the courage not to fall for your parents pressure.

    SisterZ
    IslamicAnswers.com Senior Editor

  3. Dear Sis I hope this will be usefull and good to you and other ssters,
    I understand from your story that you are in no emostional relation with any man wich is very good, if this is the case: please obey your parent please and you will not regret it inshaa Allah,
    Yuor father is a good father, he care for ur future and life please, please do obey, and tell them,
    At the end we are human beings we can not know what happens to us in the future, but we think, decide and do the things,
    Many married people think they are happy with marital life, still it was their own free choice, what we think is that whenevr your daughter or sister in her own house and at least have the minimum habbyness is far more better that being single or unmarried,
    Please make life easy and also it's ur role to make your hasband understand you and accept your ideas in life, you are the master of his life from the very beging, just make things go for Allah, you will not regret it,
    Thank you,

    • Jabeldin, there is no need to write "notavailable" in the URL line when you submit your comment, as it creates a broken link. Every time you do that, I have to manually remove it.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com

  4. Assalam O Aalikum sister Honey433,

    I feel sorry to see you going through all this. Ironically, this is what's going on in our so-called indo/pak culture, forced marriages; where parents choose someone for their daughters without her knowledge or without her consent, not realising that this is a once in a life time decision which needs more consideration and should be given more thought and both the guy and girl should be allowed in halal way so that they can see whether they are compatible or not. That is one of the reason, we see a lot of divorces, separations in our Muslim society. There is no doubt that, our parents think the best of the best for us but still it doesn't mean that they shouldn't allow their children to have a prior meeting(s) to find out whether they are compatible with each other. I don't know how they match their children without matching their personalities, likes, dislikes, mutual understanding, future goals, career choice in their spouse (if it matters to their son/daughter) etc etc.
    I totally agree with sisterZ and Sister Shireen that you should stand up against anyone for your right as a Muslim woman given by Islam. I am not saying that one should be disobey their parents but in a nice way as SisterZ explained already, you should convey your message. Someone has to stop this practice where girls think that it is wrong to say anything in front of their parents particularly when it comes to marriage. It's not disobedience but you are saving yourself from a lot of sufferings and pain in the later life as a married woman.
    What is gone is gone sister, don’t worry about the guy who you didn’t meet, Insha Allah Allah swt will send a better one for you.
    Here is a solution to the situation that you faced. I think you should have done some give and take and would have told your parents that ok!
    “If you want me to meet this brother then I will meet him however, I cannot give you a green signal after one meeting. I will need some more time to think and get to know each other better in more detail in a halal way. Then, if I found him compatible or if he is what I am looking for in a spouse then we will continue Insha Allah. You could give them a time frame.”
    Sorry, this is just what I think and I don’t know your situation or how is your relationship with your parents. (Wala alam). ALSO SISTER, USE OTHER SOURCES AS WELL, THERE IS NO HARM IN GETTING TO KNOW MORE THAN ONE PERSON FOR HALAL REASONS OF MARRIAGE WITHIN BOUNDRIES SET BY ISLAM. I hope you understand what I am trying to say Insha Allah.
    Most importantly sister, MOVE ON AND DON’T LOOK BACK AND KEEP THINKING ABOUT WHAT WASN’T IN YOUR CONTROL. Believe me it matters a lot and like sisterZ said, rub all those negative thoughts and don’t rush into any kind of relationship without getting to know someone properly just because your parents are pressurising you. Remember! No doubt they want the best for us but you are the one living the life with the guy in your house not them.
    I would like to share this with you; a friend of mine txt me the other day.

    “The hardest part about moving forward in life is not looking back. Sometime you have to smile, pretend everything is okay, hold back the tears, believe in yourself and move on without forgetting to pray for His mercy at all time”

    May Allah help us find the spouses who will help strengthen our Iman and knowledge of our religion which in turn will ease our way to Jannah by fighting off these worldly traps of Satin. (Amin)

    Wasalam, MKS1982:)-

  5. My Dear Sister...Assalamualikkum !!!!
    I can very well understand your situation. I would never say u go against your parents at the same time i would also say be in your track. Plz take time with ur parents to discuss abt your ideas abt your future husband and take into consideration their advices too...... But make sure those values which we keep as the criteria and as long as noone would point it as wrong , we should never move away frm it. Here in your case in a way your parents may b right ,this guy mite give u a better life. but it mite also happen the other way which may make ur life unhappy.But it truly lies with Almighty. But for us to b contented of at our future this is a way i would like to suggest tht those conditions u keep for ur future life and those frm your parents ....u make a co ordinated thought and decide accourding to ur mind as what it says. Our parents will never b wrong ,we should belive it but at the very same time they cant b alwys right too.Thts all in our destiny.We cannot make any deep operation of any proposal as to knw the future, even if we knw the person before hand or after the marriage.Thats wht todays world teaches us. we have to leave our life for experimenting...those who are lucky they will get a wonderful future of happiness and vice versa. So to sum up what am saying is tht plz consider both ur dreams as well ur parents wishes and come to a decision tht will not b negative to your mind.Always give priority to your wishes which must b halaal, as u have to live with the person chosen.
    May Allah Almighty give you a life partner u wish for......

  6. I fully agree with Shireen and SisterZ. Your parents made a big mistake by accepting the proposal without even telling you about it. They have absolutely no right to make this decision for you without consulting you. This is exactly one of the practices that Islam came to abolish. In the pre-Islamic era women had few rights. They would often be married off without any say in the matter. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ended this practice and in fact he dissolved forced marriages.

    Honey443, you have nothing to feel guilty about. You have not committed any sin by standing up for your rights that Allah has given you. And I feel that you totally made the right choice by not going back to your home country, because you are 100% right, you would have been relentlessly pressured into the marriage whether you liked it or not.

    Your parents are wrong to emotionally blackmail you and to say you are not their daughter, etc. It's disappointing that they are responding in this way, but be patient with them and be mature, and be steadfast in your choice, and Insha'Allah they will come around and get over it.

    There are certain things in life that you have to stand up for, and your right to say "yes" or "no" to a potential marriage partner is one of them.

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  7. salaam dear sis just wanted to say well done alhumdulilah for standing for whats right. This is your future and you have a right to have a say in it. Forced marriages are NOT from Islam - some families need to realise this. Dont let your family pressure/emotionally blackmial you into marrying someone they will Insha' Allah let it pass eventually. Be patient.

    I just want to reassure you that you have done nothing wrong in this situation. We are not obliged to obey our parents on matters like this. I will not reiterate as the writers have said in the previous post. What I wanted to say is try not to get frustrated by their behaviour. You are however, required to be good to your parents whatever they do, so continue being respectful. I pray that Allah swt rewards you, makes you patient and gives you the best spouse for you. Ameen

  8. Assalamualikkum everyone!

    Thanks a lot for your responses. I definitely feel better about my choice now hearing your advice. Unfortunately, my parents are still unable to accept this choice and it has been about 3 months now. My relationship with my parents was good prior to this but now it's not so good. My dad didn't talk to me for weeks but I took the first steps by greeting him and eventually he started talking to me.

    There have been more proposals after this one but they keep saying No because they are so in love with the first proposal. They're still making me feel as if I made the wrong choice and I don't know if it's brainwashing or not..but I'm starting to feel that maybe he could have been the right one. But these feelings could be the result of everyone saying that I will never find anyone better and me believing these negative remarks. Who knows? They could be right.

    I guess this a learning experience for my parents and I. For my parents not to be so quick to give me away and for me not to be so angered by their actions and to think about it more. I guess if it's meant to be, then we will end up together and I'm not against that at all. I just pray to Allah swt that everything will turn out okay and that my parents will be happy with me. Thank you again for all of your advice!

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