Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I fear my parents will disown me if I tell them I am unhappy being engaged to my Pakistani cousin and I want to marry a Libyan man

Salam, a year ago I went Pakistan for my brother's wedding.

I had a wonderful time, it was a pleasant experience. Near to the end of my holiday my parents got me engaged to a relative. I only accepted for my mothers sake as she wanted me to marry this man. I tried to make myself believe that it's all for the best and that I will be happy.

When I came back to the US, I started work, I met a really nice man at work. He is Libyan and I am Pakistani but we are both Muslims. We have spoken a lot of times and we have gotten to know each other and we both really like each other. He has bought up the issue of marriage, we both want to get married but the only problem is I am engaged.

I do not know how to tell my parents that I am unhappy with my engagement as it has been a year and I haven't said anything. I fear if I tell them I would be disowned because I know they will go against the very idea especially as he is not Pakistani or a relative. I do not want to upset my family but i really want to be with this man, I understand that they are doing this as they think it's best for me but unfortunately the feeling is not mutual. But I'm so scared of the consequences if I told my parents.

I am so confused, I have no idea what to do and everyday I find it so difficult to face life. Can someone please give me some advice, as I am so confused as to what to do.

- Amina

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16 Responses »

  1. Sister Amina, As-salamu alaykum,

    There is no forced marriage in Islam. Although we are told to obey and please our parents, everyone has a right to choose his or her marriage partner. This is possibly the most important decision of your life, and you have a right to make it for yourself. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) guaranteed that right, and he nullified any marriages in which the woman was not given a choice.

    Let the Libyan man come to your family and make a marriage proposal. Tell your family that you want to break your engagement and marry the Libyan man. Stick to your guns and don't relent even if they get upset. Stay calm. Tell them that this is an important choice and you want to make it for yourself. Remind them that racism and nationalism are against Islam. Remind them also that you are not asking for anything haram, but only for a good and halal marriage as is your right.

    Your family will not disown you. Parents say such things as threats, but they do not mean it. It's only a form of emotional blackmail. And frankly, if they truly are prepared to disown you because you want to marry a Libyan Muslim instead of a Pakistani Muslim, then they don't really love you in the first place. Love and absolute control are not synonymous or congruous. Real love means wanting your child to be happy. If a parent is only seeking to dictate, or to uphold a meaningless status or "reputation" in the community, and is not concerned with the genuine welfare of the child, then that is not love in my opinion. It is selfishness.

    Furthermore, the prevalent practice in the Pakistani community of marrying relatives is unhealthy, and has led to higher than normal rates of birth defects in children. It's much better to marry outside the family, in order to have fresh blood, and also to gain new perspectives, and a better appreciation for the multicultural Muslim Ummah.

    Wael Editor

  2. You should tell them as soon as possible, this can go three ways :

    1) They accept your decision, great all good no worries. Unlikely? Very.

    2) The get upset, angry and spiteful but eventually see that it is not the end of the world. Excellent you still get what you want and make the family happy.

    3) The get very angry, emotional blackmail ensues, they totally reject the Libyan guy and try every back door emotional tactic to get you to marry of their choice.

    In all three choices you must stick to your guns and act calmly. How you and the Libyan guy handle this will determine how this ends up. Be calm, mature, listen from one ear, out the other, blah blah blah should be the drumming in your head if your family reacts to this badly. I would also make a honest, down to earth assessment of the Libyan guy and the choice of your family's dude to see the worth of the two proposals both in religious and wordly terms.

    Word of caution : If they physically force you don't be passive, fight back by moving out. You are not doing anything wrong, I hope you are financially capable of doing this, this will be a important factor even if physical force is not used.

    • "blah blah blah should be the drumming in your head if your family reacts to this badly."

      LOL, is that your tactic with your family, Glacier? Not saying you're wrong - the noise-cancelling internal soundtrack has its place at times - it's just funny.

      Wael Editor

      • Its unfortunate, my family has become totally dependent on what other people think of them and use tactics to get everyone around them to get enmeshed with their crippled way of doing things be it against Islam. They are truly misguided and they misguide others thus 'blahing' them is necessary. Pleasing people is biggest dysfunction they suffer from, pleasing Allah is only in words and empty actions, welcome to Pakistani Islam.

        I hope the poster finds a way to get what she wants without losing her family but I suspect that it will come down to this : this Libyan guy or the family, I hope she chooses but she must be in position to do so, emotional disconnect and financial stability are the keys to break away from this prehistoric mesh of hindu / pagan practices which as infected Pakistani muslims to their very core.


  4. In response to Glacier-
    Im assuming you are muslim since you specificaly mention hindu/pagan. please note that hinduism does not force anyone to marry anyone else. Arranged marriages are a cultural norm in South Asia especially India and Pakistan and parents use emotional pressure to get their children to toe the line.
    I ended a 5 year relationship with a Pakistani muslim man- my hindu parents relented and agreed to let us marry but his parents refused and in the name of Islam forced him to marry another muslim girl.
    The irony in the whole story is the fact that both he and the girl have been coerced by their respective muslim families to marry this way and they both are unhappy. The point I'm trying to make here is that whether Islam or Christianity or Hinduism , there is no concept of forcing another against their will- this is a cultural phenomenon that we South Asians in particular struggle with constantly. So dont call this a hindu or pagan tradition- that is stereotyping without basis!

    GET TO KNOW YOUR FIANCEE AND MAKE IT WORK. Don't do something stupid!
    Not only will your mother and FATHER hate you for this you'll be an outcast in the community.
    Your committing a major sin. Your engaged. Talk to your fiancee. Stop being foolish.
    Arranged marriages have a much better success rate than others.
    Trust your parents and do what they say. My parents had an arranged marriage and
    they've been married for 36 yrs. They love eachother more EVERY SINGLE DAY.
    My brother had an arranged marriage with our cousin and they have a beautiful
    relationship. Stop your foolishness. And stop talking to this libyan guy. Do it or

    • Nawid, what an extremely exaggerated and dramatised response you just gave.

      This sister only accepted the proposal to her cousin through family pressure. Why should she not be allowed to consider someone of her own choice? Why should she not be allowed to voice her opinion? Why should her parents disown her for wanting to marry a good muslim man? And why on earth should she care about what the 'community' will say? The pakistani community is one of the most interfering communities around.

      If the sister goes ahead and marries her cousin just to please her parents, then she is do a great injustice to herself, to the Libyan man who wants to marry her and to her cousin who thinks he will be marrying someone who wants him. I pray the sister finds the courage to tell and convince her parents about the Libyan guy.

      I am so sick and tired of hearing about parents emotional blackmailing their children. I wish they would stop and wake up to the destruction they are causing to their children.

      Islam has absolutely no problem with cross cultural marriages, so you and no parent has the right to create new rules to forbid such marriages. Your views do are not from Islam and do nothing but cause heartbreak and fitnah.

      May Allah grant us all with wisdom, aameen.

      SisterZ Editor

    • Salam alekom
      your a guy u wouldnt understand this since parent mostly force their daughters to marry

  6. SisterZ,

    I NEVER said she should do it for her parents. I simply said that when a person is engaged
    is it or is it not haram for them to talk to someone else? I simply suggested that
    she get to know her fiancee. Thats all. The community has NOTHING to do with it.
    But she shouldn't do such impulsive things such as this just cuz she feels
    unhappy. She should get to know her cousin and see if it goes well thats ALL
    I'm saying. If I were the libyan man I wouldn't involve myself with a girl whose ALREADY
    ENGAGED !!!!!!! thank you.

  7. How do these parents manipulate their kids to marry their cousins, and marry someone back home. And how do these kids accept it so easily. I don't get it. Especially being brought up in the western country.

  8. Nawid,

    For your information, I have gotten to know my pakistani cousin and have found he is not exactly the greatest of people. He boasts about our Deen and claims to be a religious man however he does not pray salah 5 times a day he does not attend Friday prayers very often and he claims to be a religious man. He shows off about the fact he has a degree and quite frankly is not a very nice character, however the Libyan man is the complete opposite, he may not be the richest financially but is the richest in Deen, he has good character he is humble and modest he is a very caring person.
    Thankyou everyone for your advice, InshaAllah i get to marry this man i just need your duas!


  9. Sister Amina, i know exactly what you mean and i understand your situation. Most of the responses are right where it is haram for parents to force you into marriage. I honestly think you should give it a shot. U'v got nothing to lose but something special to gain. Talk to ur family, push it as much as u can. If they dont agree then keep at it until you make them understand. Its not as easy as it looks from every1 elses advice. Asian backrounds are very strict and are more towards culture than islam. Unfortunatly that is society in this day and age.

    Brother nawid it is haram to talk to some one else when your engaged however in this day and age you cant avoid talking to the opposite sex due to several complications such as work, lifestyle. if you want to get all extreamist then you shouldnt be talking to the oppisite sex at all if your engaged or not. Can u say that uv never spoken to a female within your life and that applies to your cousins aswel, that youve never given a second gaze when an attractive female walks past cos they're all sins at the end of the day if you want to get extreamly religious. This is called double standards or selective belief. You make exceptions withing the rules of islam that fit your life style. Im not saying your Wrong because we all do it. Just dont talk as if your perfect and that when your engaged your going to stop talking to the whole of the female population.

    Sister amina this is a very big decision, and if you believe that you will not live a happy life and marriage with your cousin then explain it to your parents and seek an alternative. Yes arranged marriages do work better then love, but love marriages dont have the full blessings from both sides of the families hence why there is a greater struggle. Arranged marriages are more successful because there is compramise and understanding from the daughters and sons to stick with that marriage becauase they MUST. We've herd two successful aranged marriages but isnt it funny how no one will ever talk about the arranged marriages that didnt go too well. At the end of the day your not getting an aranged marriage its forced therefore forced to stay with them for life where divorce isnt even an option just like maryying who u want, hence why there is more "success".

    Before making any drastic desicions speak about it to someone you trust and isnt back dated and biast. Someone that knows your family well as they will have a better understanding of your family backround etc. I am from a very traditional family which is based on arranged marriages. I have both traditional and westernised understannding of your situaition so therefore i am tryin to be non biast as much as possible. I believe that every individual in this world has the right to chose a life partner in which they believe they can adapt to. Seriously give it a shot, speak to your parents and take things from there. If they dont allow you to marry the guy u want now. then accept it but tell them that you still disagree marrying ur cousin as this is not what you want. and then u may have a better future for yourself.

    I hope this article was helpful to you.

    I wish you the best of luck with your situaition.

  10. Amina,

    Salam Alaikum. First understand that I want the best for you.
    And ALLAH (swt) knows whats best for all of us.
    I just think you should RELAX and not be so impulsive and
    emotional towards someone else.
    You said you've gotten to know your cousin and say he's not religious that
    MAYBE a legitimate reason to break it off. HOWEVER know that
    ALLAH (swt) will question you about this. I would suggest for you
    to get to know your cousin a little bit more. Talk to him and explain to him
    how important Islam is to you. That he MUST pray 5 times a day.
    Give him an ALTIMATUM if he's truly serious about you.
    Because he may love you and may be looking forward to marrying you.
    Imagine if he found out about this libyan character?

    I'm sure he'd be DELIGHTED to hear that wouldn't he?
    So please before doing anything else CUT OFF ALL CONTACT
    with this libyan man. And try once again to get to know your fiancee.
    It wouldn't KILL you to do that now would it? =)
    Continously having contact with a NON-MAHRAM while your engaged
    constitutes ZINA of the eyes. Is talking to this libyan man worth GOING TO
    JAHANNAM FOREVER ???????!!!!! I didn't think so.
    I'm sorry if I'm being harsh but your being unfair to your fiancee and


    • Naweed,
      im sorry i disgaree with your point because by marrying her cousin she is not only deceiving herslef, but her husband , and the guy. Also whats is the Libyan man's fault why hurt him? why punish him for loving an engaged girl and wanting to marry her.

      PS: if by any chance Amina sister marrry her cousin then 3 lives will be ruined(her's, the husband, and the lover). it is very easy to give suggestions. i assume u never been in this type of situation thus, u may not know how it feels.


  11. Salaam sis,
    I hope you and the libyan dude managed to get married inshallah. Did it happen?

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