Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My dad won’t let me marry an older man.

Marriage age differences in U.S. couples

Assalamu alaikum,

I am interested in marrying someone. He is a bit older, like 21 years older than me to be precise, but he is religious with good character and has the same heritage as me, and I think he is also physically attractive. I usually am not attracted to anyone to the point where it was really bothering me because I felt like I should get married but I just couldn't like anyone. This person I saw 4-5 years ago by accident in our community when I was shopping with my father. I remembered him since then and thought I would never see him again. I never forgot him and even though I wanted to get married I just couldn't like anyone else.

Often I used to pray that Allah swt marries me to him or someone like him. The way I live, I don't do haram like make eye contact with, chat, or shake hands with the opposite gender let alone meeting anyone. 4 years later, I suddenly saw him subhanAllah and he approached me but I was careful not to disobey Allah swt. I couldn't even look him in the eye. My friend got involved and he told her he is single and it all started from there. He has my phone number now and we talked a few times within Islamic bounds about marriage and learning about our families. We confirmed that he is in fact single.

I do want to marry him. My family knows about this but my dad is completely against it. He says it's either him or this man. Other times he says "do whatever you want but I am out of it and you don't have any of my support". My mom agrees,  and my older brother said that if his character and religion are good, then there shouldn't be an issue. My dad admit that he is against it because he is afraid of what people will think--that his daughter married someone a lot older. I wouldn't want to do something crazy like run away and lose my family's respect but I just want to do everything in a way that pleases Allah swt. I do want to get married and I feel this is the right opportunity. I have had many, many opportunities but I just couldn't bring myself to like anyone. This, on the other hand, is a bit different.


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19 Responses »

  1. Sister, I really think you should consider this man from other perspectives than his character and religiousness. Like...what do you really have in common with a man who's old enough to be your father? Aren't you afraid that in your marriage, the age difference will be more visible in that he might treat you more like a child than a wife?

    I don't know, it's always been my opinion that a marriage without the girl's father's consent can't turn out right. It really is so important for a girl to not enter a marriage without a father's consent. A brother or an uncle will never feel the same way about you, and as protective of you, as a father will feel. suggestion would be to try to persuade your father to accept this guy, if you really want him, but if your dad doesn't accept him with ease, I'd just let go of him. It's not like you have a profound relationship to this guy (smart decision on your part, I really applaud you!), so there's no reason to shake up the entire atmosphere and dynamics in the family.

  2. salaam sister,

    May I ask how old are you?

  3. Salam sister,

    As long as your father is against this, then I think you should just let this whole marriage thing go. Parents want nothing but the best for their children. If one of your parents isn’t happy with it, just know that Allah SWT won’t be either—if you go ahead and marry without consent of your father. You’ll cry about not being with this one man but you’ll get over it, inshaAllah. Take my word, I have experience and now I realized that my father was RIGHT and TOTALLY RIGHT when he denied a man that wanted to ask for my hand. Just be thankful that you didn’t make any mistakes/sins with this man. You can simply move on and Allah WILL send your naseeb (destiny). You’ll be a little sad (for not marrying this man) for a small period of time, but you will soon come to understanding the love/care of the parents…like I later on learned after going through the phase of heartbreak.

    “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” Albaqara 216

    Just keep in mind that Allah takes away from you anything that is harmful and bad, you might not realize it now…Allahu a3lam, maybe this man isn’t what you think he is. There is more to just character and being religious. Age really does matter!

    Everything is written for all of us before we were born, so just know that if this marriage does not work, it was not written to happen. Plus, you cannot fight against Qadar (destiny) Allah knows best.

    Also, you would not want to regret for the rest of your life for marrying without approval of your father. Regret is the WORST feeling ever. Avoid throwing yourself in the ditch of regret.

    It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr (radi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of one’s father and the anger of the Lord is in the anger of one’s father.” at-Tirmidhi

    We all want Allah’s love, pleasure, and mercy. So please take this hadith in consideration!
    Good luck sister! Take care.

  4. AOA,

    I really think you need to respect the wishes of your parents and take note of their concerns. In the future, if you had a daughter, you would not want her to carry out the same thing you intend to do.

    Assess the situation outside of yourself and look at it objectively. Why is a young woman like yourself drawn to an older man? I am no psychologist but are you looking for a father figure in a husband or do you feel insecure and assume that an older man will be easier to retain? I'm sorry but I find it rather strange.

    You do say you have stuck to boundaries within Islam but you have gone against your parents and colluded with this man with the assistance of a corrupter, I mean 'friend' and this is not sticking to boundaries is it? You may well have restrained yourself physically but what about mentally?

    Put yourself in your father's shoes. Does he want to have a son-in-law nearer to his own age? Not likely. He is understandably afraid that people might even ridicule the situation.

    At the end of the day, a creepy old guy caught your eye and you have allowed this to overtake you to the point where you are willing to risk your relationship with your parents. Your parents will always be your parents but a spouse won't necessarily be your spouse. Obviously we all aim to get married for life etc but what I mean is that you can never replace your parents whilst a spouse can be.

    • Rashida,

      I found your comment extremely judgemental and full of assumption.

      Instead of assume things, why not ask the sister to clarify her situation further? And to call the man she is interested in marrying, a 'creepy old guy' is so wrong.

      Our Prophet sws married women of all different ages and backgrounds. Do we learn nothing from his Sunnah?

      Yes, there are concerns in marrying an older man. But it is not impossible to make such a marriage work. I have considered marrying a man who is considerably older than me and there is nothing creepy about him. Infact he is a very kind, decent, humble person.

      Try to open your mind and heart to the unconventional. What society deems as 'the norm' is not necessarily 'right'.

      SisterZ Editor

    • قال الله تعالى(( ولو كنت فظا غليظ القلب لانفضو من حولك)) آل عمران

      “And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you.” [3:159]

      This is how Allah teaches the Prophet Peace be Upon Him how to speak to people. And we should also do the same!

    • Assalaamualaikam

      Firstly, we have no evidence that this sister has engaged in collusion or overstepped Islamic boundaries. In fact, she mentions on several occasions that she has tried hard to keep to Islamically appropriate actions. In the absence of any evidence to contradict a poster, we should try to give people advice based on what they have written.

      The life of our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) can be looked to for guidance. He married women of all ages, including Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her), who was some years older than him, and Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), who was much younger than him. Strength of deen and character are essential, but being the same or similar age is not - The Prophet (peace be upon him) had blessed marriages with women of all ages.

      It may be that this sister's father has valid concerns about this man as a potential husband for her, and I would advise any sister considering marriage to be guided by her wali, so long as his concerns are Islamically valid. If his refusal is based on the age difference, then it would be reasonable for her to try to discuss this with him, as he may otherwise like and respect this man; the sister has mentioned that her father has said his concerns are related to the age gap, so if she feels they are compatible, it would be a shame to not at least try to work through this issue.

      I would ask that we try to refrain from judging people, and we should try not to use phrases such as "creepy old man" to describe people whom we have never met. For all we know, this man may be of exceptional character and excellent physical health; it is not our place to judge him, or to judge a sister for seeking advice about this issue.

      Midnightmoon editor

  5. Assalamu'alaikum,

    some people say Muhammad SAW was 20yr old when he married Siti Khadijah. Some said 25yr old. And Siti Khadijah was 40yr old. But, Ibnu Kathir said that they were of the same age when they are married.

    And with Aisyah, some people said that she was 7yr old when she married our phrophet and some said when she was 18yr old, and Muhammad SAW was 53yr old.

    If people will embarrassing you because you married an older man, are they embarrassing our prophet who marry Aisyah in her young age?


    Make dua my sister, and make istikharah.
    If he is good for you and can be your and your children imam - may Allah make it easy for you both to marry in the blessing of both family.

    If it will be the other way around, may Allah send you another man that can be your imam and make you forget him.



    Islam teach us how to get closer to our mate.
    Some of them are dua, salat sunnah (dhuha and tahajjud), and sodaqoh.

    Don't worry sister, Allah provide you a mate already. (QS. Ash-Shuraa (42:11))
    And He provide a good mate for you - Insya Allah. (QS An-Nur (24:26))
    You only need to show Him your ikhtiar and your believe in Him (beside dua), the He will meeting you with your mate (Insya Allah)

  6. salam

    well the holy prophet was 25 when he married Khadijah, who was more than 40, so she was approximately 20 years old than he was.

  7. AOA,

    We as Muslims whole-heartedly respect the Prophet Muhammad SAW and study his life as a means in which to aspire to. However we cannot draw parallels in this case as he was the most noble of creation and what was applicable to him is not for all.

    The matter here is that the woman's parents are not welcoming of this intention of hers and the way she is going about it is not entirely correct. She has declined other opportunities of marriage based on the fact that she desires this man.

    Him being older you would expect to have a better understanding and keep his distance. Has this man conducted the proper procedure of approaching the woman's parents to submit his request of marriage? He has engaged in direct contact with the woman and most likely knowing that her parents are against it has not restrained him.

    This is my opinion and what I am entitled to, sometimes a difference of opinion may cause offence. However this reactionary comment to what I have said is somewhat defensive and lacks an objective understanding.

    Many times on this site, people appear to ignore fundamental aspects of what is incorrect and mask them with what points that are not entirely in context. Like offering too much comfort to fornicators. Allow them to experience their turmoil as a consequence of their actions.

    • They have spoken on the phone to try to get to know each other.
      Are you saying this is not permitted in Islam?

      • Yes. It's not permitted in Islam to have contact to non-mahrams, which a man who you're not married to indeed is.

        I totally agree with everything Rashida is saying, now that I'm thinking about it, and I don't think she is the one who gives advice out of islamic context - on the contrary.

    • Assalamulaikum Sister Rashida,
      It is not about expressing your opinion or not. This is a site to help our brothers/sisters, give "good" advice, and guide them to Allah with kind words because hard words will only pain and drive them even further away from Islam. Yes, the prophet(pbuh) was the noblest of all and we can never be able to fully be like his character. However, we can always follow his footsteps of kindness and teachings to be better muslims and that is what the editors and many of us do on this site: kind advice/criticism.

      • Wa-alaikum assalam,

        Of course people are offering advice based on their opinions. People are equipped with a varying degree of knowledge and wisdom based on what they have learned or experienced in their own lives. Does every single Muslim have exactly the same view? No. Or do you assume every commenter on here is a life long scholar? If someone here is an editor, it does not necessarily mean that they have more knowledge than any other contributor, rather that they routinely attend to the questions and filter responses.

        Thank you to Adina, I have read various comments of yours and they rather well written considering English is not your 1st language, Masha' Allah. Further to that they're direct and valid.

        Of course speak with kindness but that doesn't mean to sugar coat things. We're not made of glass. If people cannot bear to hear an opposing view that has been expressed reasonably, I cannot begin to imagine how they could deal with any real trials in life.

        Ok so what are you actually telling the sister? She has reported that her father does not agree with her marrying an older man. Did she get permission to speak with him on the telephone? Is it a conference call? Or are they talking alone? As when two people are alone whether literally next to one another, on the phone or online, they are 2 people alone and the devil is the third.

        Regarding the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW and the ages of his wives, this is not the main point here as it does not relate to this matter that she is disobeying her parents. She is having contact with the man and the he being older, doesn't possess the decency or maturity (!) to approach her parents with his intention to marry? I am astonished that most of you are ignoring these issues.

        I did not say anything harsh except describing the man as creepy. However that is my judgement based on my interpretation of the story presented by the OP. He has not -approached her parents, instead they've employed a go-between to set up communications.

    • Salam,

      I thought in islam women have the right to choose their own spouce? Or is it only the fathers right to choose the spouse for the daughter and the women can just say no or yes untill one comes along that she and her father are both happy with?

      So in your opinion women are not allowed to seek an eligible bachelor who is of good character and deen who may catch their eye? Phisical and emotional attraction is important for marriage too. So if the father says NO then thats it! You've lost a good man to marry!

      Marriage is a gamble, nobody knows whats in store unitill they have tied the not! nobody can tell the future. but you need that initial attraction to desire marriage.

      You must relize fathers these days do not think like our phrophet SWS. They turn down good brothers for unislamic reasons, such as race ,age, caste etc etc. So they do not always think about the best interests of their daughter. Many of my cousins got married to thier relatives by their fathers demand only for visas, money etc and now the girls are suffering in an unhappy marriage!

      I also had an arranged marriage where my father was persistant for me to marry my relative and none other. my ex husband did not leave any stone unturned in committing sins. So I do not think fathers always know whats best for their daughters!

      And this sister has done nothing wrong only talk to a person for marriage purposes. How else will she know if she wants to marry him or not? As you can see from this site their are many brothers and sisters who have already commited zina and then decide to marry! The sister has not even come close to this!

      I do not know islamically if after exhausting all avenues of persuation if the father still doesn't agree can the brother or imam be the wali to make the marriage valid?

    • I agree with your points. He should have contacted her wali if he is interested in marrying the sister.

  8. Sister,

    I have actually seen other women who have married older men. As nowadays they find most young men to be "jack the lad" and these men get bored easily with their wife and look at other women or desire another women younger then their wife. They may be lazy and irresponsible. (Not all young men!). Some may find older men to be more humble, responsible and affectionate and less likely to look at other women as they already have a young wife. Thier marraiges may be more successful.

    I think you should ask the man to come and formally ask your hand and speak to your father. If this all fails and your father still refuses I am not sure if you can ask your brother to be your wali or the imam.

    As islamically everyone has a right to marry of their own choice so if the wali refuses then their should be other avenues for her to marry the men of her choice.

    Hope everything goes well. Take care xxxx

  9. I agree, ask
    This man to come ask for your hand nicely and talk to your father. U never know he might say yes and insallah he does. I been there I love my husband so much before I married him my dad said no way your gonna marry someone outside of our cousins!! Then once my dad got to know him he loved him and said yes.

  10. Bismillah,

    When your dad avoid to wed you with him because of syar'i reason, such as the man has different belief/faith with you, than the married can not go on. (Your dad has right to refuse his proposal and your married is not valid in Islam rule).

    But when your dad refuse to wed you because of non syar'i reason, such as: he is too much older, poor, from different race, from lower education graduation, etc, then he (your dad) doesn't have any right to refuse the proposal and you have the right to marry him using wali hakim.

    "said Syaikh Taqiyuddin An-Nabhani, prevent a woman to get her married while she had been demanding marriage. This act is haram and the culprit (guardian) is wicked (Taqiyuddin An-Nabhani, An-Nizham Al-Ijtima’i fi Al-Islam, pg. 116)".

    "If the wali does not want to wed in this state, the right passes to the wali hakim" (Imam Asy-Syirazi, Al-Muhadzdzab, II/37; Abdurrahman Al-Jaziri, Al-Fiqh ‘ala Al-Madzahib Al-Arba’ah, IV/33).

    This is based on Rasulullah saw word: if the wali dispute/fight (doesn't want to wed her, the possessor (as-sulthan) is the wali for the woman who doesn't have wali").
    (Arabic : …fa in isytajaruu fa as-sulthaanu waliyyu man laa waliyya lahaa) (HR. Al-Arba’ah, kecuali An-Nasa`i. This hadist counted as shahih by Ibnu ‘Awanah, Ibnu Hibban, dan Al-Hakim, Subulus Salam, III/118).

    as-sulthan = wali hakim = wali from the posessor/ruler/government.


    You are right, Woman may choose to whom they will get married.

    "widowers have more right to wed herself than her wali and (to marry) the virgin's need to get her permittion, and her permittion is silence" (HR Muslim).

    "do not maried widower, except after discussing with her, and do not married a virgin except with her permittion" (HR Bukhari)

    "Aisyah said: "I asked Rasulullah SAW about a girl who wed by her family, do they need her permittion or not? Rasulullah said: "Yes, asked her permittion". Aisyah said; then I said to him "Actually, she is shy (to say it)". Then Rasulullah SAW said: "if she is quiet/silence, that is her permittion" (HR Muslim)

    Narated from Khansa´ binti khidzam Al-anshariyah ra:
    `Her father ever marry (wed) her - she was a widower at the moment - with a man whom she doesn´t like. So she came to Prophet SAW (to complain) then Prophet SAW cancel it (the marriage)´ (HR Al-Bukhari no 5138).

    Al-Bukhari gave a title for this chapter:
    ´chapter: if men wed his daughters but they are not happy(glad/pleased), then the marriage is rejected (not valid).


    women may offer her self to married (a man she wanted)

    Narrated from Anas, he said 'There's a woman who came to the Prophet and she offered herself to him'. The woman said, "O Messenger of Allah, do you need me (meaning like marrying me)?" Anas daughter commented "This woman really has no shame." Anas reply, "she's better than you, she wants to marry Prophet, then she offered herself to him. " (HR Bukhari, Muslim and Ibnu Majah)

    Narrated from Sahl ibn Sa'd he said, "There is a woman who offers herself to the Prophet, and a man said to him (to the Prophet), I will marry her." (HR Bukhari da Muslim)

    A Man To Marry

    `If someone came to you that you are applying for a religious and moral blessing, then married him. If you are not do it, there will be scandal on earth and extensive damage`[HR. Tirmidzi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim].

    For your happiness, I suggest you to marry a man with good religion quality and moral.

    Allahu´akbar - Alhamdulillah - May this answer can solve your problem 🙂

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