Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I am Sunni, he is Shia, my parents don’t accept, can i make nikah without their permission?

Shia Muslims performing self-flagelation at the Karbala mosque during Ashura festivalI am Sunni, and it has been a 2 year long battle to get my parents permission to marry the Shia man I love. He came home to ask for my hand 3 times but was refused 3 times by my father and brothers.

I am 26 yrs now and Alhamdulillah have a sound knowledge of Islam. I have learnt a whole new meaning of Shia Islam which is completely different from what i was brainwashed to learn growing up in a strict sunni community. Shia are as much Muslims as are Sunni's. Of course there are deviated sects of Shia but there are also extremist Sunni muslims who claim to strive for the cause of Allah (s.w.t) but do so in a deviated manner.

The bottom line is i know  that the man i love is as much as a believer as i am. He was brought up by the Jaffari school of thought and I by the the Hanafi school of thought but our belief is in Allah(s.w.t) and His Rasool (s.a.w) is the same. I respect his ways and he respects mine. I know enough about his ways over these 2 years as we have worked together for some time too. He is a God fearing Muslim with good character and values and there is no major differences for us regarding the Sunni-Shia issue and i feel that i am ready to spend the rest of my life with him, however my family disagrees. We really wish to perform nikah for the Pleasure of Allah and not to commit any sin spending time together out of nikah but this issue of my family stands in our way.

He very much did not wish that we perform nikah without my family's permission but i dont want to lose him. I have insisted he make nikah with me without their permission and he accepted. However i am disheartened to think that such a major decision in my life be taken without my family being present, but  i also do not want to lose him as i have performed istikhara and had a positive feeling about choosing him as my husband. Will it be permissable to perform my nikah without my family's consent? Will my marriage be invalid if i am sunni and he shia as my family believes?

I have never displeased my family before in my life and now i am extremely heart broken that they do not accept my decision to marry and make a life for myself. I believe we are all Muslim and on the day of judgement we will not be in separate queues of Sunni and Shia... Why this division in society? Please advise...  Torn between love and Family...

- Miss M

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21 Responses »

  1. all i'm going to say is NEVER marry without your parents consent. you guys are 'in love' when people get married there horomones calm down then comes out the truth reality of being married. if he leaves you later which i can't gurantee that he won't then who will you fall back on? NEVER go against your parents. its NOT worth it. always make sure both parents agree on each side. its better to have as much people involved. take it from me whose been there done that. once again its NOT worth it. plus he's shia i'm sure later him or his family will make you follow there customs, what will you do then? that will cause farther problems for you. be careful. its your life.

    allah hafiz.

  2. Salaam, sister

    Will your marriage be valid without your father's consent ? I don't know how it is in your Madh'hab, I strongly advise that you ask a scholar about that. Also ask him what he thinks about your fiancé being a Shi'i and if he thinks you should marry him. Istikhara is a good thing but it's not always reliable. If the scholar has nothing against you marrying your fiancé, then maybe he can talk to your family to try and convince them.

    BUT : if your parents still don't want you to marry that man, then DON'T. Don't you choose a man over your family ! I guarantee one day you will regret it. It will be hard to get over the man you love, but eventually, you WILL get over him inshaAllah. But if you run away with him, you will NEVER get over your mother, your father and your family. And remember that the Prophet (pbuh) said that our duty is first to our mother, then to our mother, then to our mother, and then to our father. Din't go against the will of those who brought you to this world, have loved you ever since you were born and taken care of you.

    May Allah guide you to what's best for you, for him and for your family inshaAllah.

    your sister ins Islam,


  3. Salaams

    I agree with the above two responses. I also think that you should not marry this guy without your parents permission. If you do have problems later in life then who will you go to? Your parents knows better They know what's best for you. You also mentioned that this guy is a "shia". Shia's live a different lifestlye to Sunni's. Do you know that their kalima is different to Sunni's? Namaaz times and namaaz's are different. Holy nights are celebrated on different nights. Have you accepted all these differences? If you decide to have children, who would your children follow? if you planning to convert then it wouldn't be a problem but if you want to stick to your beliefs then future problems may arise. Think wisely!

  4. salaam
    sister iam too in the same condition but the difference z only iam a shia girl who wants to marry a sunni guy..i know him from past 11yrs..its very hard to forget someone whome v love but our parents are important try hard to convince your parents n stick to ur belief dont change ur religion 4 anyone..iam a shia n a proud one v r not kafirs 4 sure as many say..shias n sunnis r just two schools of thought.v have same allah n same prophet n same holy quran..

  5. well it is a big decision in fact
    and parents concsent is important
    but my dear first of all u need to know wat do u want
    poeple have thier own expreiences and thoughts
    Its u end of day
    might b repenting over ur parents or over loosing him
    and Parents on the other hand must consider what u think n wat u want
    Islam gives the right to every human being and liberty to marry whom they want to

    well wisher

  6. My sister married a shia in secret. He pretended to be Sunni but during the nikah he brought his Shia imam/scholars to over see it to give him the green light that the marriage was valid.(we were not aware of this at the time) When my parents discovered she married a Shia and then converted to shiism they flipped. In defense of her decision she became crude, rude, vulgar and abusive to my family and basically decided that being married to this man was more important then anything. She ostracized herself from the family and is barely on speaking terms with anyone. No matter how much shia claim we are the same we are NOT. Setting aside all of our difference the one difference that will divide shia's from sunnis FOREVER is the shia belief that their imams have Allah's qualities such as being able to know and see the unseen. This is shirk and shirk is the biggest sin a muslim can commit (worse than adultery and murder). You are in love and falling in love makes you retarded. You cannot see the situation you have put yourself in for what it is. Walk away from this and find some other distraction until you are over him. Without your parents approval you will never be happy in your marriage no matter how much you love this guy. My sister to this day is proof of that and is the most miserable person and couldn't find happiness in her life if she tried. Fear Allah and do your homework.

    • AJ, sorry to hear about your sister's problems. Not all Shiah at the same you know. There are many beliefs and sects among them. It's important to judge each person as an individual rather than condemn a group of millions.

      It sounds to me like your family forced your sister into a defensive position when they "flipped". Maybe if they had approached her with gentleness and compassion, the outcome would have been different.

      Back to the question at hand, to me the real problem is not the Sunni/Shiah issue, but the secrecy. Miss M, you should not get married without your family's knowledge or permission. If you are really convinced that this is the right man for you, continue trying to convince them, Insha'Allah.

      Wael Editor

  7. Dear Editor, stop glazing over the FACTS. There is a reason why her parents don't want her to marry a shia. Miss M is only focused on how much she loves this guy and not fully investigating why her family are opposed to her marrying a shia. She wants to marry him in secret because she has no other choice. You and I both know that regardless of what group of shiism it is you belong too, you ALL believe that the imams are maasoum and infallible, traits that only pertain to ALLAH. Associating Allah's traits to any human is SHIRK!

    I am not sure if you are a parent but when a child betrays you on such a level you cannot help but flip out. My sister lied and sabotaged her family and worst yet herself. Do you sympathize with my sister because you are a shia too?

    We initially approached my sister with disbelief and compassion but she took it to another level as all shia do when it became clear we would not accept her new beliefs. We can't and not possible you know that.

    To Miss M. imagine this, you marry this shia fellow and your family get over this secret marroage at some point in time and learn to accept your marriage and you slowly start to reintegrate with your family on a "normal" level again. So your family comes over for a visit and it is time to pray. What will you do when they refuse to pray behind your husband because shia don't pray the same and the call on the imams and Ali to intercede on their behalf in their duas. No knowledgeable Sunni would participate in such a dua let alone stomach it.

    Then when Ramadan rolls along, your family invites you both over for Iftar and as you and your family sit down to break their fast your husband doesn't because shia don't break their fast until the sky is black and the stars are visible? By the time that happens everyone at the table has finished eating, prayed magreb and started on to drinking their tea. How do you think that will go over?

    Then when you are blessed with the misfortune of witnessing a lecture by one of their scholars where they use vulgarities and insults to describe the sahab and the prophets (SAW) wives how will you feel then about your decision to marry against your parents wishes?

    ...something to think about.

    • Wael Is Not a shia, and he's not sympathizing with your sister, or anyone for that matter, he was merely stating the fact that 'dont judge a book by its cover', we cant just stereotype everyone, we should be judged as individuals, as thats how we are gonna be judged on the day of judgement.


      • Can't Wael reply for himself?

        I am not judging a book by its cover I am judging the individual by their actions. Where did I mention a stereo type, I noted facts. Are you planted to distract from the facts. The smells fishy.

    • AJ, As-salamu alaykum. I am not glazing over the facts, but I also do not accept your interpretation of the "facts". Stop trying to force everyone to think as you do, or to share your contempt for the Shiah who comprise a sizeable minority in the Muslim world.

      Personally, I am not Shiah, I follow the Quran and Sunnah, according to the methodology of our pious predecessors, and the great Sunni Imams and scholars. However, I am also not one of those people who condemns between 10% and 15% of the Muslim world as mushrikeen and enemies. When you do that, you end up with what we see in Iraq and Pakistan: deadly conflicts between Sunni and Shiah, terrible persecution of the Shiah and carnage of a type that should horrify any Muslim. It's not uncommon in those countries for a so-called "Sunni Muslim" to strap on a suicide belt, walk into a Shia masjid during Jumah prayer, and blow himself up along with everyone else. La hawla wa la quwwata il-la billah. This kind of madness has to stop, but as long as there are people denouncing all Shiah as kuffar and mushrikeen, it will continue.

      The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) gave us the definition of a Muslim. When Jibreel asked him about Islam, he answered,

      "Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it."

      It's not up to you or me to change that definition.

      If some individual declares the shahadah, but worships something other than Allah, or attributes the qualities of Allah to a human being, then obviously he is committing an act of shirk and he should repent, and he does not repent then we should not associate with him. If someone curses any of our beloved sahabah, or any of the noble Prophets, then that person has committed a major sin and should be advised, and if he does not stop then he should be avoided.

      There are other Shia practices that I find extremely unpleasant and even disgusting, such as mut'ah marriage, and self-mutilation on Ashura.

      But not all of the Shia hold these beliefs or perform these practices. Every person must be judged as an individual.

      And yes, I am a parent, by the way.

      Wael Editor

      • Thanks for your reply. Clearly I have struck a cord with you. But you are delusional if you think that accepting shia into mainstream islam how ever which way that would transpire would resolve what is happening in Pakistan and Iraq. Shia have done their fair share of damage. I don't have a problem with shia as long as they don't bother me and that goes not just for them but with anyyone.

        To quote you: "Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it."

        Did I dispute the above? No I didn't but last time I checked there isn't 20 different ways of praying there is only ONE WAY and that way is the way of the prophet. Do shia pray like sunni's? No they don't . So when something is not the same in your world it means for you it's not different?

        To respond to your we are all the same notion about shia and sunnis' let me quote from the quran:

        “As for those who divide their religion and break up into shias (sects), you have no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.” (Quran, 6:159)

        Shia means “sect” and all sects are forbidden in Islam based on this verse as well as many other verses: “…and be not amongst those who join gods with Allah, those who split up their Religion, and become shias (sects) - each party rejoicing in that which is with itself.” (Quran, 30:31-32)

        “Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into shias (sects) … for he was indeed a maker of mischief.” (Quran, 28:4)

        You are blowing my point out of the water again by distracting from what I am saying. Shia and Sunni marriages never work unless one or the other gives in to the others belief system. Depending on which side of the fence you sit on it can work for you or against you.


    Miss M. has gotten to know this fellow on such a level that she has fallen in love with him (mistake no.1)

    Miss M is now planing on betraying her family by marrying him in secret (mistake no.2 )

    MISTAKE no. 3 is hoping that marrying a mushrik against your parents wishes will bear something good for her in the long term. There is nothing to discuss here other than don't do it and for more than the reason that her parents disapprove but because ultimately Allah will not approve.


    • Narrated 'Uqba bin 'Amir:
      The Prophet went out and offered the funeral prayer for the martyrs of the (battle of) Uhud and then ascended the pulpit and said, "I am your predecessor and I am a witness against you. By Allah, I am now looking at my Tank-lake (Al-Kauthar) and I have been given the keys of the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth). By Allah! I am not afraid that after me you will worship others besides Allah, but I am afraid that you will start competing for (the pleasures of) this world."
      Bukhari Book 8 Volume 76 Hadith 434

      No matter how wrong one is doing, eg, drinking, taking drugs, zinaa ect, if anyone asked that person, how many gods are their ? his reply would most definitely be there is only One god Allah (swt).

      If Prophet (P.b.u.h) Were Not afraid of any of us falling into shirk, then his word (P.b.u.h) is good enough for me.


    • AJ, I'm not going to have anyone on this website referring to a Muslim that you do not even know as a "mushrik". You do not even know the man. You don't know what he believes or does not believe. This kind of slander is unacceptable.

      You keep hollering about focusing on the facts, when you don't know the facts.

      Everyone has stated their opinion, and the discussion should be ended now. We will agree to disagree on this one.

      Wael Editor

  9. Mr Aj,

    Firstly I dont understand why your taking all this personally ??
    Secondly were not here to condemn any sect, which is why we give unbiased views And Advice.
    And as for wael answering for himself, am sure he's more than capable too, however i don't see the problem in me clarifying a few facts.

    Over and out.


  10. This is personal for me. Because I have witnessed the road shia/sunni marriages takes first hand even when the parents approve. There are perfect examples of how bad it can get it on this very site. I will not glaze over the facts to make anyone feel comfortable because some things in life just aren't. If you choose to reply to someone's question you also have to take full responsibility about what you say and the advice you give. If my advice rubs you the wrong way you, you should look inward and ask yourself why? She is not asking what Abaya she should wear to the wedding she is trying to make a decision that will forever alter her life. Her decision is not just about blindly respecting her parents wishes but understanding really why they disapprove. Her problem resonates on a very person level for me so make of it as you wish. Miss M is seeking assistance on a website which says to me she is running out of people to turn to. She maybe looking for advice that suits her needs but that may not be the answer she needs. I say it like it is, my world is not seen through rose colored glasses. But one thing I have noticed is that you have much to say about my comments but I don't see any comments from you to Miss M. Whats wrong? Cat got your tongue?

    • No 'Cat' didnt get my tongue, i actually dont no much about Islam, so rather than judging people, or giving them biased views, or trying to influence people by personal experience's and them claim to be "judging the individual by their action" I have opted to keep my mouth shut 🙂

      Anyways My intentions were not to argue or put you down (which you clearly feel as your quick to strike back) i just wanted to give my point of view, am sorry if you don't like it, and your right, rather than commenting off topic we should be helping Miss M.


    • Slms

      To all who have replied so honestly and with genuine care, I am mauch thankful for all sorts of insight i have received here. I have definitely turned to this website as i didint know what else to do. To AJ, no the cat hasnt got my tongue, i havnt got a chance to reply up until now as i wasnt even aware that my question has been posted as i submitted it in early Ramadhaan and wasnt sure if it would ever get posted but im glad to see it has and that there are so many selfless people out there to share their experiences and honest opinions. Anyways i havnt taken any drastic step up until now as the man i wished to marry and i have both agreed that this is not the way to begin a married life. Allah s.w.t is not pleased with those who hurt their parents and we both feel strongly that we cannot marry without my fathers permission. My mum is fine with my decision to marry however my father is dead against it and will not give in on the similar bases about shia muslims as AJ feels so strongly about. We have had minimal contact since Ramadhaan, it was easier then as much of our time was engaged in prayer. He has even changed jobs so we dont work together and see less of ech other. We have both decided to leave this matter in Allah's hands and if He wills then we will be together no matter what. I still love him and its hard to forget your feelings for someone overnight but he has been very understanding to the situation and infact advised that we both spend more of our time engaging in zikr of Allah and concentrate on Namaaz and what is important to become better Muslims. As far as alot of ppl misunderstanding shia beliefs its not as it seems. Infact i have learnt many supplications during Ramadhaan which are recommended by shia scholars and they do not at all involve shirk but Glorify the Oneness of Allah to such an extent it brings one to tears. I have done my homework before getting involved in this relationship and i dont see anything wrong if a shia prays with his hands on his side or breaks fast 10 minutes later after sunset when the sky turns dark or that the probability of the night of Qadr is assumed to be on the 23rd as apposed to the 27th as sunni scholars believe. Shia follow the Jaffari school of thought and is but another mazhab as is hanafi, shafi, maliki and hanbali. The shia school of thought has as much proof from Quraan and Sunnah as do other schools of thought. Another point to remember is that not all fingers on one hand is equal. No one sunni can be the same as another sunni ( for e.g Taliban claim to be sunni, are all sunni's like the taliban?) and no one shia can be unfairly stereotyped by another shia's bad. I am not trying to justify my love for this man or change anyones mind or beliefs. Even though i cant marry the man i love for the sake of my parents and family's happiness i can say this relationship has made me a stronger person and even stronger Muslim. I will never again judge another persons islamic beliefs without getting to know them or think i am a better muslim than the next person. I will not think again that hanafi is superior to shafi or shia or vice versa because whose ibaadat in this world is accepted only Allah knows.

      Jazakallah for everyones responses

  11. Assalam-Alaikum,

    Brother Wael can you please tell me why my message was not posted here? Is it the

    delay or there is some other problem with it?


    • "Concerned", Wa alaykum as-salam. I remember, you're talking about a comment that you posted recently. Yes, I deleted it. As I have already stated, I think there has already been enough discussion on this post on the issue of Shia'h versus Sunni.

      In fact I have now closed this post to further comments.

      Wael Editor