Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My mother is upset because I won’t marry my cousin

Assalam-o-Aleikum Brothers and Sisters,

I am currently going through a dilemma with my parents, mainly my mother who is pressuring me to marry a girl, my cousin from back home. I am a 27-year-old Afghan male born and raised in Canada. A few years ago, my mom went to Afghanistan and without my permission asked the hand of her brother's daughter in marriage to me. She went around everywhere telling everyone how I will marry her!

When she told me of this, I was totally in shock and not okay because this is literally about my life and I never agreed to this marriage. I have seen this girl a few times when I visited Afghanistan after 14 years away and I felt no physical or emotional attraction to her and see her nothing more than just a family member. I told my mom this and she starts throwing a fit saying, "no, don't say that."

The problem with her is that she thinks her family is perfect and better than others. She even insults my dad's family sometimes (they have a rocky relationship) and is afraid I will marry from his side.

For the record, I do not support cousin marriages because of the health issues surrounding it and the stigma of interbreeding. I was born and raised in the west and I don't want to marry my cousin. I told my mother that I will find an Afghan girl in Canada but she starts going on a tangent saying that "all girls in the west are "kharab" (bad) and thus, unfaithful to their spouses. She is stereotyping women here in a negative light, even Muslim women which is un-Islamic in the first place.

Now, she is acting like a total drama queen, not talking to me, ever since a marriage proposal came to that cousin back home and she is sad and mad at me. I know Allah says that heaven lies under the feet of our mother, but forced marriages are not allowed in Islam, and she doesn't understand that. I cannot live a happy life with someone I am not physically or emotionally attracted to.

I don't know what to do at this point so I am here asking my fellow Muslims for advice. Thank you.

- Jamal94

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11 Responses »

  1. Wasalaam,

    Heaven lies beneath the mothers feet doesn't equate to being obediant but more respectful and kind to your mother. Allah forbade forced marriages so it will still be haraam even if it's coming from your mother. I understand it is a struggle as they will use emotional blackmail on you and resort to petty things but dont let that get to you. If your mother cries because of this, know that Allah is watching and He condones bad behavior no matter who they are. Simply put, respect your mother and be kind to her. But you also have to put a foot down and explain to her you can't be forced to marry someone of her choice.

    To give you a little bit more comfort, I am Bengali and married a Bengali girl out of my own choice. Both my parents especially my dear Mother didn't want me to marry her because she was dark skinned and I was light skinned. That was her basis and didn't want to look at my wifes character. I don't like racism one bit and I fought tooth and nail for my wife. I "went against my mother" and made her cry. I went through a lot of emotional blackmail and my parents called me a crazy lover and that I will never be happy without my parents approval. But I know and Allah knows that what she was saying and doing was very wrong. I married someone for their beauty and character and not what my parents perceived as beautiful. Eventually, I married my now wife but my mother didnt come to the Nikkah. It left me broken hearted but what I did was right and we have to break any from of stigmas and injustice. To date, I am still struggling and my mother has not accepted my darling wife but I know I made the right decision. Others can see it a different way and say that I made my parents unhappy after all they sacrificed. If parents want us to be happy but dictate who we marry based on their superficial ideals, then is that really making us happy? We are human beings as well and can make our own decisions with respect. Know that we cannot combine culture and Islam and cherry pick on certain things.

    If you know how your mother is, you have to be prepared to be firm with your decisions. It's going to be tough but with Hardship comes ease. Pray also Istikhara. May Allah make it easier for you and I wish you the best of luck.

    • Brother Shorab,

      That’s really sad that your mom didn’t come to your wedding because of her dark skin. That’s very shallow. There must be more to it.

      • Wallahi I wish there was more to it but that's essentially 95% the reason why. The other 5% is because she's from a different section of Bangladesh with a different dialect. That still makes it very shallow. I wished things could have gone better and even now,
        mother still hasn't really gotten over it and not treating her like a daughter in law. Emotional blackmail is a. horrible thing especially from your parents but we all need to be stronger.

    • Asalamualaykum Brother Sohrab,

      Very relevant story MashaAllah. And great example of having courage to follow Allah's guidance alone. Thank you,


    • Salaam, thank you for your comment. Its a real shame that colourism is still a vibrant issue in South Asia even among the Muslim population, i feel like the caste system is to blame for this. Sorry what you had to go through and i agree with you that the concept of "heaven lying beneath our mothers feet" meanings being respectful to her, not agreeing to whatever she says. I feel like mothers take advantage of this and try to control our lives.

      My mother at the moment is not taking any of her diabetes pills (she is diabetic) and is risking her life because of her stubbornness. I really don't know what to do now.

      • Asalamualaykum Brother Jamal,

        What reason is your mother giving for not taking her pills?


        • I thought it was obvious at this point, she is not taking them until i agree to marry her niece. Every time i try to talk to her or comfort her she gets aggressive and says she won't ever talk to me until i agree to this marriage, i have done everything like holding my ground firm and even asking my dad for advice but he's also star struck with the whole situation. She is not talking to my dad either.

          Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Salam brother,

    What is your reasoning for not marrying her? Do you have someone else in mind? Are you not ready yet (I mean you're 27 so I'm sure you have thought of marriage at this point).

    • Salaam brother, yes i have thought of getting married at this point and even hope to by this year but of someone of my choice but i cannot marry her because i am not attracted to her. I have seen this girl numerous times and there is no attraction from my side to her. I have always seen her as a sister like figure and nothing more.

  3. What she did is wrong. Without your consent she made a fake proposal. Keep on fighting. There is no success to forced cousin marriages. Your mom is thinking about herself and is being immature by showing she will harm herself without taking prescribed medications. It’s a manipulation tactics.

  4. Jamal,

    She may not be talking to you for awhile, but personally, I don't think she will really allow such an illness as diabetes to go unchecked. She is probably just emotionally manipulating you and will take the medicines behind the scenes. I'm sorry for what you are going through brother. Definitely stay strong and do not marry your cousin. Remember that Allah is the only One we have in the end. Even your mother will not be joining you in the grave. So if she's taking an early "out," just let her do it until she grows tired of it. Walk your path alone during that time. What you are experiencing is a small moment in time. I don't know your full situation, of course, but I don't think she will begrudge you forever.



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