Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I’m Muslim, His parents won’t accept me because I’m ‘not religious enough’

unhappy woman, sad and alone,

Asalam u alaykom brothers and sisters,

I am a Arab Muslim. I have been raised in England, though I have the morals of a Muslim and am a practicing one. I'll admit I have yet to wear the hijab yet, and not all the woman in my family are hijabis either. But, most dress modestly and to an Islamic attire. My family has a rich Islamic history and we follow all pillars of faith in Islam. Though I have been raised in a western country, my father would take me to the mosque everyday for Quran classes followed by praying salat al mughrib. I have been privlaged to have been taught by outstanding Islamic scholars and have won a few Quran competitions when I was young. I have to this date( I'm 21 now) recited 6 chapters of the Quran with meaning and about to complete the 7 inshallah next month. I recite Duaa daily and recite the chapters I have memorised before I sleep. I am an active member of my Islamic community and hold charity events and organise the cities sallah for eid which hosts over 10,000 Muslims. I am known by my peers as  someone to get advise or learn more about Islam from too and I do it with open arms and welcome. This is a bit about who I am. I'm also a medical student and focus heavily on success in my education and furthering my future for the better.

In university, I happened to end up meeting the man I love. It was by coincidence really. He is 2 years ahead of me in our degree. From the get go we both said no dating and that our friendship would have to be addressed to our family if we wanted to do it right! The guy did love me but his image of the ideal wife was a hijabi which I am currently not and don't plan to change just because he says so. I feel I need to wear the hijab when I know it is right for me and wear it in the right way ie. No makeup, no tight clothing and have the all rounded qualities of a Muslim as I am not only going to represent myself but the Islamic community to the world and so I need to keep a good image. The guy was kind of ok with the idea, because he knows I will end up wearing the hijab and I already don't wear really any makeup or exposed clothing so I'm on the right track.

Ive been very obedient and have never argued with him or been stubborn. If heals me to change something myself I do it immediately to not only please him but I know I'm doing it for the better of me too and to please Allah swa.

It has been 4 months since I have known him and we are deeply in love. However, when he informed his mom of his intentions she immediately let's put it in simple terms said NO. It's not clear exactly the pinpoint reason but one is because I don't have a hijab and secondly because I lived abroad she believes I am Westernised and won't be a good wife to him or I will complicate his life and won't be able to pass down our religion to our kids. I felt very upset to see a woman judge my iman just because I don't wear a hijab like her family does. And then to judge me for where I lived was worse because I had no control as to where I was going to live 20 years ago.

I know his family is very religious but so is mine... Yet his mom won't see that nor will they give me the chance to prove it or show her. The guy sees me in uni every week and knows how hard I am trying to prove I am worthy of his family's blessing and I have changed very quickly and he will admit it. But I feel like he fears his mom too much and immediately gives in to what she tells him. She's even trying to get his mind off me by talking to him about other girls which I feel is unfair. His mom has never met me in person to sit and judge my character or faith in God. And I don't see why she can't accept me? I thought it was good of a Muslim man to marry a Muslim girl and complete their iman by helping each other grow closer to God. So I really don't understand her reason for thinking I am a joke and always mocking me with his sister about how I used to dress. It's really off putting.

I have had many men ask for my hand in marriage directly to my parents and have accepted me for who I am but I have never loved any one of them and the idea of me marrying someone I have no feelings towards is heart breaking.

Our friendship ATM is silent because he hardly can talk to me but deep down his silence is aching me and we haven't done anything wrong. I just want his parents approval so we can go and live a peaceful life.

Help. Your thoughts please.


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7 Responses »

  1. Salaam aleikum sister,

    I'm glad you are working on improving your relationship with Allah swt. Hold this relationship closest to your heart, before anything else and inshAllah you will find the solutions to any test and trials you face in life.

    In short- leave this guy. I say this because the intention has been made clear. You both want marriage. He has approached his family and his mother has said no. Now it is up to him what he does with that, it is not down to you to desperately conform to what they want. If he is unable to discuss this with his mother or you feel he is easily persuaded by her then I think you may have a distorted view of things. It may be that he feels his mother has valid points and based on this he had decided not to pursue things. It may be that he respects his mother opinion and advice and this has therefore helped him make his decision. Knowing of him for such a short time does not mean you know him, his mother or their relationship to one another. Either way he hasn't approached your wali for your hand in marriage therefore there is nothing to say. What he does is down to him. Now what can you do?

    In terms of your friendship- cut it off immediately. This may seem harsh but this will actually help you. It will help you see things more clearly and realise that this friendship is of no use to you. It is a temptation to fitnah and it is better you don't end up in a worse situation than you are now. As a woman, a Muslim sister, the more you realise and learn about your self worth the better off you'll be in life. The more you put your trust in Allah swt and learn about what Allah swt Wants for you the better off you'll be and you'll find a better mate.

    As for loving him- fleeting love before marriage has no basis. I am being honesty with you. I was ' madly in love' when I met my ex husband and I thought it was the real deal. It is not. It's more like a mirage that crumbles once reality hits you. It is always best to protect your heart from this type of love that can take you near or into zina, May Allah swt Protect you from this. To protect yourself and your heart, cut this tie off. By doing this you will also see what his own decision is, and I have a feeling he won't pursue you in marriage.

    Therefore - if you are seeking marriage ask your family to help you look. Keep working on your deen. Occupy your time with beneficial activities. Do not waste your time at university but get ace grades and you'll see that your true soulmate will come soon inshAllah. From experience sis I have learnt that the moment you chase a man, negotiate what you want and try to please him though there are no rights between you- that's the moment you're already losing out. When the mother already is denying you based on her views of you, and you keep pursuing it, you're already losing out. You're losing out on a better relationship, better partner for marriage, better mother in law and a happier life.

    If you want one single effective measure that will help you resolve this once and for all and not keep you in limbo, pain or anxious then- CUT HIM OFF and make DUA to Allah swt to Lead you to that which is better for you. Silence. Nothing is better than it when things are not right. He has no rights upon you nor do you have rights upon him. If he approaches you tell him- Brother if you want to know me then approach my family for marriage. If not then please refrain from speaking to me.

    I guarantee you with my hand on my heart that you will never fail if you do this. If he leaves you'll find true happiness with someone better. If he stays, then he has taken ownership of his life and decisions and has approached your family, not you for marriage. And he would then have elevated your status immediately in the sight of his mother. It is then up to you whether you accept after learning about them carefully with your families help.

    Don't be sad sister. It really is easier than you think. In the future try to refrain from developing such feelings outside of marriage. InshAllah I pray you succeed in being the best Muslimah you can be.

    • Dear Hopefulsis

      I think cutting off relation will be counterproductive as this male lover will loose the courage of fighting for her case. Rather she should be support him and confirm that she will not accept any other partner unless he gives up entirely on her.

      "Fleeting love has no basis other than the courage and sincerity of both partners involved."

      And please sister(united1) also prepare yourself for a tearful ending but do not give up until the very end. Anyway you must avoid any sinful activity(like physical touch etc). You are driving on a dangerous mountain road.

      • I'm afraid I don't agree Feelix. Keeping her distance and cutting of communication will make him chose. He already knows she would be interested in marrying him. She doesn't have to confirm anything else or support him. She should keep away from him and maintain her dignity and emaan in Allah swt because Allah swt Blesses us with our spouse. Also this way she will keep away from Fitnah which is the bigger aim.

        If he chooses her she can then decide based on what the proposal is, meet with families etc.
        if she wishes she can decline the proposal and inshAllah Allah swt Will Bless her with the right person for her.

        Why should she not accept any other proposal or consider someone else? Of course she can. The brother has not approached her family so there is no proposal as of yet.

        I think in circumstances like these it is best to remove yourself from the situation and leave it to Allah swt to Guide you. Don't ever get so attached to a human being that you think it must be him and him only. It's never true- even when you marry your dream man you always depend on Allah swt first. Because it is Allah The Most Gracious Who Gives and Takes people away from us.

        That is why I am confident inshAllah that you will not suffer if you ask Allah swt and Maintain your status as a strong Muslimah and a fantastic potential future wife. Let him decide and you keep busy with your own life.

        • Dear Hopefulsis

          Our sister needs a balanced strategy that will not only maintain her dignity but also keeps the courage of two persons alive. She must ensure that the male guy defends her case bravely in front of her mother. Our sister should also realize that even if they get married then she still have to deal with a very strict and angry mother in law. Our sister has to get ready for a very hard struggle anyway.

          I am afraid that your proposed attitude may pin the male lover down between two harsh women and that is sure to drive him away. I am a male and i believe that if i were the person pinned between two harsh and seemingly arrogant women than i would surely kick both away and start looking for a new lover on my own.

          I suggest that she should keep sending him courageous messages and make one thing clear in a "soft tone" that she had other potential proposals too (hopefulsis idea) that are better than him but she is still waiting for him with patience. But she must not be harsh with him. That may kill the affair involved.

          I hope that you have other balanced strategy in your mind. Our sister's affair is like walking on a very tight rope that could trip by an unbalanced strategy.

          • Felixs you shouldn't encourage her to talk to a non Mehram. As said before if she cuts him off he will make a decision to either pursue her or leave her. This isn't a romantic love story this is real life situation

  2. Dear Sisters

    Okay first of all this is not a suitable relation-ship at all from the beginning. A true companionship involves the acceptance of the other person as he or she is before and after the marriage. First of all this girl should not have started the relation with a guy belonging to a stereotype family. If she succeeds to marry him somehow by miracle then she would definitely have a hard time getting along with her mother-in law.

    But she made a foolish mistake and now trapped in the love-pit. If everyone is insisting on cutting off communication then "at the least allow her to send a last text message(must not be rude)" that would somehow inspire and shock him to fight and eliminate the stereotypism present in his family

    In the end, i advise our sister to leave the love-pit with courage and sensibility. This will definitely be tearful but she has to avoid a stereotype family for her own sake.

  3. OP: However, when he informed his mom of his intentions she immediately let's put it in simple terms said . It's not clear exactly the pinpoint reason but one is because I don't have a hijab and secondly because I lived abroad she believes I am Westernized and won't be a good wife to him or I will complicate his life and won't be able to pass down our religion to our kids....I know his family is very religious but so is mine... Yet his mom won't see that nor will they give me the chance to prove it or show her.

    What does the man you love say about your future relationship/marriage with him?
    If he says he can't do any thing, just don't waste your time on him. Find a Muslim man who has western background. You don't need to prove any thing to any one. What you see as love is more like sexual/physical attraction.

    Now a days it is all the same young people try to date in almost all countries. Fear of honor killing may keep some people from doing that. Internet and cell phone makes it possible for people to meet in their own cities, foreign countries. Girls in Western countries are not much different.

    People may think Hijabi girls are more religious, but in reality they are not much different. It is hormones and mind that create desire.

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