Islamic marriage advice and family advice

They want me to marry within the same tribe.

There is no place for racism in Islam

Assalam O Alaikum.

My parents and the rest of my relatives want me to marry a guy of the same tribe and blood. I don't have any problem if I am going to be married to my cousin, as long as he's a good muslim and he has strong iman. But it's also better if I can can marry a guy that I like who is a good and practicing muslim. My mom once told me that if I marry a guy with a different nationality, they will disown me or kill me (but not as in kill). My parents said that it will be a big shame on our family if I married a guy from a diffent renationality or tribe. My grandmother told my mom that she wants to see me get married to my cousin before she dies.

Um, the reason why my tribe wants me to marry the same blood, same nationality, and tribe is so that the money or wealth will remain with the whole family. Is it right or wrong? I am okay with the same blood. But same nationality and tribe? Is that, like, a "must"? Even if the guy, let's say, is a good muslim? He prays 5 times a day. Has a strong iman. But just a different nationality or tribe?

What will I do? I feel that my parents needs to follow every word our relatives have to say, and I have nothing to do about it. I don't want my parents to disown me someday just because of that. I really love them and I don't know what I'll do without them. If I married a muslim guy from a different tribe, my relatives will surely kill me or like, punch the guy really hard. My parents and relatives always tells me that marrying someone from or within the same tribe is like, a tradition already. So we should follow it. I know that's wrong. But I am being forced to marry a guy from the same tribe and nationality, because of our culture or whatever.

Honestly, I haven't reached the right age to think about marriage yet. But knowing that my relatives have decided already for my "future" marriage saddens me. My parents can't do anything about it, especially when it's what my grandmother and other older relatives really want. So  if the time comes and I am about to get married, should I just listen to them and accept what they want for me? Even if I know, deep inside, that it is against my will? This tribe and culture thing saddens me so much. I have to follow it. That's all. Sorry if I didn't make any sense. 

Please help, Jazak Allah.




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5 Responses »

    That's all. Sorry if I didn't make any sense.
    All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
    The Last Sermon (Khutbah) of Prophet Muhammad (Farewell Sermon)
    I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.


  2. Salam,

    The same tribe and nationality is not a must but even in the world we live in today, there are many who hold dear to these beliefs. They have nothing to do with Islam but moreover with culture. You said are young and marriage is a while away. It does not matter what your grandmother or others want for you, it is you who will make the final decision as to whom you will marry. You never want to marry someone just because someone wants or expects you to. You want to marry them because they are a good practicing Muslim and they have qualities which you find admirable. Character is very important as well. Islamically you cannot be forced to marry someone not of your choosing. Learn about your deen and your rights as a Muslim woman and remember, knowledge is power.


  3. W/s.

    This is explicitly against Islam. To reject a suitor based on nationality is HARAAM and in fact the Prophet SAWS came specifically to abolish such ignorance from the times of jahiliyya. He said that the Arab and the Ajam are equal and in fact sometiems even arranged mixed marriages such as that of a black man (who was considered very low status at that time) with an Arab girl from a noble lineage (i.e. daughter of a cheiftan). Can you imagine that!

    You need to talk to the local imam at your masjid and tell him about this situation and have him work on your parents from now.

  4. Assalaamualaikam

    As brother Ali Yousuff has already described (JazakAllah khair, brother), in the last sermon of The Prophet (peace be upon him), he described that no person can have superiority over another except by piety and good actions. The preference for marriage within a family or a particular lineage does not have its roots in the Quran or Sunnah, and is a cultural preference rather than an Islamic one.

    When we are looking for a spouse, the most important things to ask are: "Are they a practising Muslim?" and "Are they of good character?". The colour of their skin, the town they were born in, how much they earn, what kind of car they drive... none of these really matter.

    It's also important to remember that marrying within the same bloodline does increase the risk of some genetic disorders manifesting in children, so if you do choose to marry a close relative you may wish to have a meeting with a specialist doctor who can inshaAllah advise you about screening for disorders common in your genetic group (for example, Caucasians from North Europe are more likely to carry genes for cystic fibrosis, and people with African heritage are more likely to carry genes for sickle cell - in many cases this is because carrying the gene helped protect people in some way - eg. having one copy of the gene for sickle cell has been associated with reduced vulnerability to malaria).

    Remember, sister, that as a Muslim woman, you have a clear right to choose whether or not to marry someone. Don't let your rights be ignored in favour of traditions without root in the Quran or Sunnah. If you feel you are being coerced or forced, tell a sympathetic relative what is happening, or even approach a female representative from your mosque for advice and support.

    Midnightmoon editor

  5. Wa'Alaikum Assalaam

    I am quite grieved at the situation you are facing. May Allah make all matters easy for you, protect your Iman and keep you with 'aafiyah. Remember that with every difficulty will come ease and with every difficulty, bore with patience, you will receive due rewards from Allah The All-Mighty.

    From the onset keep in mind that your parents are the ones who have nurtured you and taken care of you since were born. Rather your mother has endured much pain even before your birth. A parents love for their child is immeasurable and most parents wouldn't want to harm their children or put their children in such a state that will prevail fatal for them. They have your best wishes in mind. And do understand that no human is perfect and every human can only decide based on their limited knowledge and emotions.

    As brothers have stated before that there is no basis in Islam on the compulsion or restriction of a marriage to being in the same tribe as oneself and neither is their prohibition regarding this type of contract. Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam did marry his cousin Zainab Bint Jahsh Radiyallahu 'Anha. Her mother was the paternal aunt of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam. He also married various women because of the tribe they were in in order to strengthen his relationship with that tribe. There are many virtues and commands regarding keeping good ties with close kins and relatives. It is possible that your parents have the intent of keeping the family close by having you to marry inside the tribe.

    My dear sister, keep one thing mind though that their are no relationships outside the contract of nikah and you should stay aloof from the opposite gender, therefore there shouldn't be any fear of you falling in love with another boy. Keep your trust in Allah because He is the best decider of affairs and the best Guardian. Allah mentions in the quran:

    "Vile women are for vile men, and vile men are for vile women. And good women are for good men and good men are for good women. Those are free from what they (the accusers) say. For them there is forgiveness and a graceful provision." (24:26)

    This translation is taken from Ma'ariful Quran authored by Mufti Shafi Rahimahullah. He further elaborates that Good men have an inclination towards good women and vise versa and bad men have an inclination towards bad women and vise versa and through the will of they will unite in marriage as well. So make your self pure and chaste and seek the pleasure of Allah and Allah will make ways for you from where you will not perceive.

    Additionally Allama Suyuti mentions in Tafseer Jallalain that the person who deserves immoral things will get someone similar to it and the person who deserves pure and good will get something similar to it.

    You should talk to parents and be open with them. If you have no problem with marrying within the tribe then tell them so but in a wise and foresighted way inform them of your other criteria that your future spouse should a pious, Allah fearing and practicing Muslim and explain to them that this is the trait to look for in a spouse because Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam has mentioned:

    “If someone with whose piety and character you are satisfied with comes to you, marry to him. If you do not do so, there will be trials in the earth and a great deal of evil.” [At-Tirmidhi and others and it is hassan].

    As Midnightmoon mentioned it will be wise to speak to an elder of the community or an Imam or an influential person to talk to your parents and to tell them regarding what to look for when looking for a suitable spouse for you and that him being in the tribe shouldn't be the only criteria.

    May Allah give you a spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes and give you a pious progeny.

    Wassalaamu 'Alaiki

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