Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I don’t think I want to marry him….should I do it to make my parents happy?

Forced marriage hadith

Forced marriage is prohibited in Islam

I am an Indian (25/f), with a traditional religious family.

So my mom got me to talk this one guy, who I thought was okay but I didn't feel like I clicked enough with. I told my parents I wanna get married a year after college, I also said this to the guy.

Ofc, they didn't listen to my opinion and now I'm getting married to this guy I know for a month.. who lives like 3 hrs away (by plane) in another state...AND i don't like him.

I tried to share my concerns with my parents, saying I don't like him but they manipulate me into thinking I'm wrong. The last time I did, I got bruises . They treat me like I am kid. I can't look at them the same. The real reason why they won't break the marriage off is because they bought everything for the marriage and told everyone... now if they were to break the marriage, then they'd lose face in the community. They blame me for not rebelling earlier. They use religion against me and saying I am disrespecting them.

I told the guy that I feel sad that no one respected my opinion, that I wanted to get married a year later. He was sad to hear that. I hang up, and he calls my mom a second later telling her I said those things. (This is where the hitting and threats comes in). They wanted to kill me... my mom was ready to suicide, my younger siblings were crying scared that she'd kill herself. It was all too real. They told me never say not marrying him again.

So, now I'm sort of finding excuses not to stay home...I have thoughts of how I wished the guy would die or my parents would see what they are doing to me.

What hurts me the most is that I was sexually assaulted when I was little, I told my mom this, all she cared about was me being a virgin and never to tell the guy this. I told her I was scared of getting married, and she basically yelled at me.

They also expect me to consummate the marriage. I'm at a lost. I think about running away or dying. I have no money or a job..

I haven't done anything yet. I can't forgive myself if my mother had a stroke because of me, I'm more worried about my younger siblings. I tried to speak to her again, she replied that she wasn't making me marry someone bad and poor... Sigh.

In their side of the story, they did give me two chances to say no to this marriage, but it was limited. I didn't know how I felt, so I didn't answer (this was at the very start) and they would say lets get you married with another then...?

Also another bad thing is I don't have a greencard, only under this thing called DACA... so I am more limited to the rest of you on what I can do. I also do have a part time job..but it's only for eight hours per week, so that doesn't really do any good for me.

I feel like I am being brain washed. I want to run away, but I fear my mom won't live - It's holding me back. I will feel really guilty if I take away her from my younger siblings...but I don't want to ruin my life either.

Edit 2: I tried to talk to my mom again... I said it in a nice way (so she doesn't get mad and actually listens) that I feel weird about marrying him and it doesn't feel right. I also said that in our religion we shouldn't be force to get married but she won't budge. She says she understand everything but it's too late - everyone knows now. She said, she's happy I'm getting married and said why can't I be like other girls who gets arrange marriages and they are just happy afterwards?

SIGH. I'm going crazy. I feel like everything will be better if I die or if he dies. My mind is going crazy. I cry every hour, at random times because I can't take it.


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11 Responses »

  1. I think you know and your parents know that Islamically, you are allowed to say no and not marry this guy.

    You have tried to reason with your mother but she does not listen.

    Unfortunately your story is not uncommon. Muslim communities are in turmoil because culture takes on a huge role in how muslims conduct themselves.

    It is also unfortunate that your parents beat you and threaten you.

    It is very, very hard to change ingrained cultural behavioural responses. Do not expect a revolution in your family's attitude, ideology or approach. They are who they are. Do you not think that intellectually they know that beating a 25-year old woman is wrong? Of course they do, but they do it anyway.

    You have every right to say no. You just have to live with the consequences. It sounds like your parents will never forgive you if you break things off. At that point, you will be on your own, financially and emotionally. Which means that your father will not help you find another person to marry. You may one day have to support yourself financially, and if you don't get married then you will never have children.

    Are you prepared for these consequences? I know you are in between a rock and hard place right now. You just have to make a decision with your eyes wide open.

    I am not suggesting at all that you have no choice but to marry this guy. Islamically, you do have a choice. Culturally, you may experience extreme hardship in exercising that choice. Even if a family member or friend reasons with your parents, and they agree to ending the engagement, the reality in Indo-Pak communities is that honour and reputation are huge, and your parents may always hold a grudge against you for that. Are you able to pay them back for the wedding expenses they have incurred so far? What if you offered to help support them for a few years, to ease the burden on them?

  2. You didn't mention why you don't like this guy! Look at his deen, morals and respect for himself , you and others, if he's not lacking in these qualities then go a head with this marriage. In my opinion love is not mandatory before marriage.I my self got married about 3 months ago to a guy my parents choose , and I wouldn't say I loved him before marriage but his character was enough. I'm now crazy about him :))) lol

    However, if he's lacking in any of the qualities above , then explain that to your parents again highlighting his character( if it's not good ). If they're still adamant about you marrying him, then I would defenitly break it off.... No matter what the consequences are. Your mother will NOT commit suicide, it's just an act. A seen played far too often by traditional parents. In my opinion it's better to suffer a few years mending a relationship with your parents , than a life time in a miserable marriage that might end in divorce. Actually it's then that the community your mother is worried about will really start talking.

    So be strong and firm this is a decision that will really impact you in a big way for a long time.

  3. OP: What hurts me the most is that I was sexually assaulted when I was little, I told my mom this, all she cared about was me being a virgin and never to tell the guy this. I told her I was scared of getting married, and she basically yelled at me.....They also expect me to consummate the marriage. I'm at a lost. I think about running away or dying. I have no money or a job.

    Can you describe in 2 lines why you don't want to marry this guy?

  4. Assalam alaikum,

    I am not sure why people are questioning why the OP doesn't want to marry the man her parents have introduced her to--this isn't the issue. The OP has been beaten by her parents and neglected when she disclosed she was sexually assaulted. If any one of us could take 10 minutes and imagine being in the OP's shoes, instead of imagining yourself with the parents that you have, I think we could recognize how painful this is.

    To the OP, please re-read Sr. Precious Star's post. I am sorry that you have to make the decision between two very difficult situations.

    If you do not listen to your parents, you will not have any support from them based on what you have written. Also, if you marry this man, and the outcome of the marriage is rocky, you will also not have any support from your parents as per what you have written. In other words, you will need to learn how to become independent and take care of yourself both financially and emotionally. Pray Isthikhara, get help from a Muslim counsellor. May Allah swt ease your pain and help you through this difficulty, Ameen.

    • The point that she's been getting beaten and was sexually assaulted is just a fact, she can't change that, it happened.Are you suggesting that the comments need to be more sympathetic?What she went through is very unfortunate, but from a practical stand point i focused on what she can do about her current predicament (this marriage ).

      It doesn't make sense to suggest to her couseling to something that she can get through after she solves this marriage issue. It's just not practical right this second. My comment was based on what takes priority right this second. Hence my question about why she doesn't like the guy, to get her to think about her reasons for disapproving and if they're really valid from an Islamic point of view.

      Also people need to assess the situations of the OP before suggesting couseling all the time. Yes most people need it, but can they get it, what about the stigma behind it in their community,think about the country they live in. This "go to couseling" comment that people always end they're response with is simply not always practical. People need to think about that and respond based on what the OP really needs to do right this second.

      • Assalaamualaikam

        Actually, there's quite a lot of evidence that unprocessed trauma experiences can negatively affect the choices a person makes. For example, a person who has been sexually abused may be hesitant to marry because of the pain and fear associated with being intimate with someone - so, they may decline proposals and opportunities which could have benefitted them.

        The sister's post refers to states and green cards, suggesting that she lives in a Western country. If so, there is plenty of access to counselling and therapy services - all of which should be confidential. She could ask at her local sexual health clinic, who should have access to specialist counsellors for survivors of sexual trauma. Or, her family doctor or college health service (if she is at college) should also be able to refer her for therapy. Many of these services are actually free, and don't require anyone else to know about it, so there are a lot of options available.

        Midnightmoon editor

        • That's all good and amazing , I'm not against counseling . That's probably what she needs to do in the future. However just judging from her situation and the fact that her wedding is set to be in a month and the type of pressure she's experiencing from the family... Do you think that she can just say, "ah yeah let me go to counseling first and I'll make a decision".

          Frankly the decision has already been made for her, she can either try to find the good qualities in this guy and accept, or break it off. My comment is based on what I would do if I was in the same situation.

          Also, there's not a more qualified counselor than Allah to run too. Instead of going through the hassle of trying to set something up with a therapist, find a free one through her college, arrange for transportation , convince her parents that she needs it.... She has direct access to the creater of these counselors .Praying salat al Layl and making sincere Duaa during that time of the night is surly to get her out any hardship. If she needs someone to talk to, Allah will still listen. If she needs some one to answer back, she has Allah's book handy.

      • The truth is that people who do not need counselling will probably not seek help in the way that people write here on this website--so it should not be surprising that people are often suggesting counselling to those in dire situations.

        Furthermore, ignoring the fact that the sister was beaten by her parents and focusing rather on liking the man doesn't make sense at all. How can she even trust her making a rational decision when being influenced by being beaten? If I was beaten, I am sure that would affect my judgement.

        Being sexually abused has a huge impact on a person--if a person has not had to go through that or known someone to have gone through that, I am not sure how they could empathize. As Sr. Midnightmoon has written, sexual abuse/assault have unwanted lasting affect on a person's life including intimacy after marriage.

        Finally, even if the parents did not beat her and the man was perfect in every way, if the sister does not feel attraction towards him at all, she should not consider the marriage. This advice I would give to any sister or brother because attraction to one's spouse is essential.

        I hope that clarifies the point, inn shaa Allah.

        • Just looking at things from a realistic and practical point of view. Let's assume that indeed the trauma she went through is hindering her ability to make a decision in this matter. The fact of the matter is she still has to make a decision right now , whether her decision making ability is compromised or not. This situation , her parents ,and this wedding( a month away) are all factors that are not going to wait for her to come to terms with what happened( via counseling ). You and Midnightmoon are answering her question by giving her a long term solution. Which is why I feel like the " go to counsleing " comment is sometimes less helpful. Sometimes people need advice as to what to do right now!

          Whats in her hands right now is figure out if his character is virtuous or not. If he fears Allah he will treat her with respect and even if she never loves him , at least she won't be disrespected. If he's lacking in islamic morals I suggested she doesnt go through it at any cost. So essentially our point is the same, you just focused more on attraction. You assumed that she's not attracted to him, something I didn't want to do, which is why I asked what she didn't like about him.

          Again my comment is based on the fact that she's being forced , and there's absolutely no way out. If however she can buy time and had lenient , more flexible parents, then yes first thing to do would be to sort out her abuse trauma befor any kind of marriage takes place.

          In the end though we're all different , with different ideals and experiences that make our opinions different.

  5. It is not your fault if you mother dies (God forbids) from stroke or heart attack or suicide. If you still can work, try your best to get a full time even low pay. You may want to seek help in some women shelter and social services if you really keen on put your foot down. Talk to them and check if there is any way to leave and be independent.

  6. Sister ,

    Your parents should not force you for this marriage .It is wrong .They might do all those suicide dramas and all but don't get scared ..These dramas will be always there in life .Your mom don't know suicide is haraam ?? Educate her about the suicide and islamic view .Don't fight with parents . Simply tell to them that you don't want to get married ..Don't bother about future like what will happen,society blah,blah ...Take everything one at a time like at present you have this issue and you need to come out of it .Don't link this to your future .. Please don't come under pressure to get married to this man you don't like ....

    Dramas are fundamental rights of our Asian countries parents 🙁 Dramas will continue even you get married to this guy .........Do what you want in life but in Halal way ..

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