Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Married against my will at age 14 and dating a non-Muslim

Forced marriage poster for people in the UK

Forced marriage is not valid in Islam

hi im a muslim girl im 20 years old. when i was 14 my parents got me married to my cousin overseas (i live in australia). i never wanted this but i had no choice. He is coming out here once his paperwork is done.

ever since i got back to australia my life has changed. i've been doing things behind my parents back. i am angry with what they have done to me. i've spoken to them about getting a divorce but they won't listen.

ive been dating an aussie guy that use to work with me. it's been nearly 2 years now and we are in love. i wanna spend the rest of my life with him but don't know what to do. i've been thinking of running away from my family just so i can have my life back.

the aussie guy is not muslim but is willing to convert. please help me

- sara

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5 Responses »

  1. As-salamu alaykum sister Sara,

    There are a few different issues here:

    1. Forced marriage is invalid in Islam. If you were married without your consent, then your marriage is void and you are not actually married at all.

    2. Marriage under the age of 18 is illegal under Australian law, except in special cases when the court may approve marriage for someone as young as 16.

    So your marriage is invalid, and you must make it clear to your parents that you reject the marriage and will not accept it.

    But sister, what you are doing now is also wrong and is not a solution. If you are having sex with this Australian guy, then you are committing a big sin in front of Allah, and you are not harming your parents, you are only harming your own soul.

    On top of which, it is not allowed for you to marry him. So everything you are doing with him is misguided and will only take you down the wrong path.

    If he is willing to convert sincerely for Allah, out of faith, then that is good for him and he will benefit from it. But if he's just doing it in order to marry you then he is not sincere and it's a setup for problems later on.

    I recommend that you make it clear to your parents that you refuse the forced marriage, and at the same time say goodbye the Australian guy and get on with your life. Wait until you meet a good Muslim who you can love and marry, and have a real Islamic family with.

  2. Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

    Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

    My dear, it sounds like you are in a very bad situation, but I do not want you to think that you have to make a situation worse by acting out against Allah.

    First of all, marriage requires the consent of the woman to be married. If you did not consent to this, or you did so under duress, then the marriage is not valid. It does not exist. Also, it is likely that you are underage for legal marriage in Australia, so your parents can be putting all of you at risk by trying to force you into this.

    This is a very difficult situation, and one that you should not have to deal with at your age. You should be busy with school, with learning Islam, and with making friends and enjoying your childhood. I know young marriage and arranged marriages are very common in your culture, but it is not a REQUIREMENT that you marry at this age. You parents have made a huge mistake by living according to your culture and not Islam.

    My advice to you is this: you have two separate situations. One is the invalid marriage; the other is your behavior and your relationship with a non-Muslim. Let us deal with the second situation first.

    It is not permitted in Islam for an unrelated man and women to be alone together, to touch, to kiss, hug, or engage in anything more than that. So the relationship you have with this man is haraam, forbidden, and you two should recognize this and separate from one another. If he is truly, sincerely interested in Islam, not just for the sake of marrying you but for his own soul, then I recommend you tell him he can go to the local mosque and sit with men who can teach him about tauheed, prayer, fasting, and the other beliefs and duties of Islam. While he is in this learning period, you two should NOT see each other. Give him the space to concentrate on his relationship with Allah, and give yourself time to repent to Allah for what you have done in having this relationship and get on better ground as a Muslimah. You should pray the five daily prayers, fast in Ramadan, and give zakah on your income. If you do need to talk to one another, if you want to keep up with his progress, you must only do so with a chaperone in order to keep you both from falling back into sin. This is the ONLY chance you two have of having a permissible relationship. Running away with him now would be a disaster for all concerned.

    Now, you say you are working, so it is possible that you can move out from your parents' home and maybe get a small place for yourself. If they are stubborn about the marriage to your cousin, you may have to seek help from the Australian courts to annul the marriage, since you were underage and you did not want to marry. Yes, this can cause a major breach with your family,. but the rest of your life is more important than submitting to a sham marriage. Do what you need to do. If you fear they will try to force you to go back to Pakistan, seek refuge in the government. Yes, we don't like to resort to non-Islamic courts to get our rights, but sometimes you have to since you are living in a non-Muslim land.

    The hardest thing for you to do will be to try to be kind to your parents. They are working from within their upbringing and culture, and they do not understand that what they are doing is forbidden in Islam. You must be patient with them, kind to them, and bite your tongue on any harsh word. Tell them you do not agree and will not submit, but do so in a calm manner. Do not say or do anything that will ruin the relationship between you. If they abandon you because you don't want to submit to this marriage, then all you can do is pray that time will heal the breach.

    You will have to be wise beyond your years and be a VERY mature young lady in order to come through this situation with your faith intact. I know you have the strength to do it, because Allah does not burden a person beyond his or her ability. So, develop a plan. If you cannot stay at home, figure out a budget and if you can afford to rent a room with say, a single or widowed Muslim lady. Learn to live very modestly. Go to the mosque; learn your rights and responsibilities as a Muslim woman. Pray, fast, do charity work. Tell your boyfriend that you will marry him if he converts to Islam, but that the conversion must be an honest one and you will expect him to pray and fast. Direct him to the local Islamic center and separate from him and give both of you time to get right in the sight of Allah. Yes, it sounds hard. Yes, it would be "easier" in the short term to run off together and forget the rest of the world. But if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, you will understand that this life is short, that this life is a test, and that if you do what is pleasing to Allah He will reward you in ways you cannot even comprehend now. NOW is the time to get your life together, and inshAllah, this young man will be able to submit to Allah and then you can marry. Please see the wisdom of living according to Islam, and have the courage to do the right thing.

    Fi Aman Allah,


  3. Just curious how old is this man?! Am pretty sure u told him about ur situation, r u sure he's not tryin to use you? U b surprise wat a man can do to get a grl, and once he got her he goes his own separate way. So please b careful, for u can't trust anyone anymore. If he truly, sincerely wants to convert Inshallah he will, but make sure he is fully devoted to Allah. And also practices the religion also. Then make a step ahead in ur life. Please b careful with everything. It's a man eat man world out there. Don't become a pray. Good luck.

  4. As salamu alaykum Fiz,

    I have listened to you carefully, and If you don´t mind I would like to tell you something, you can defend your ideas without so much rage, you are shouting too loud, and people don´t listen when someone is so angry, then wait until you are able to respect yourself and the rest of the world, whoever we are,... when you get this much more people would listen to you in a proper way, insha´Allah.

    You can change the world, but choose the right way (attitude)to do it, insha´Allah.

    To be firm, straight, fare, loving, respectful, honest, humble, generous, compassionate, merciful, .....and whatever good quality you imagine, all of this goes by the hand with good character, ....have you studied how Gandhi, Marthin Luther King Jr, Mandela changed the world?

    I am not perfect, but I choose to be my best, day by day, insha´Allah. You are full of energy, to be effective, focus it in the right way, insha´Allah.

    Just to think about it.

    All my Unconditional Love and Respect,


  5. Salam sister fiz,
    MashaAllah you are an ivy league graduate Alhamdulillah and perhaps you know about life better than me.

    But sister here is my opinion to what you said.
    Your main points are:
    1- "Our interpretation of Islam should change since we are no longer living in the old ages."
    2- "In your life, you need to ask yourself what is better for you, now and in the future."

    I definitely agree to your point that interpretation of islam should be done with context. Apart from taking the context from Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) ahadith we should also think about changes in time,as many thing in our societies change. New technology comes in, new ways of medicine come in. And a religion should be able to address those changes.

    I think Alhamdulillah today's islam is a result of interpretation of Ahadith as well as incorporation of changes in the societies. But in islam you cannot change the basics as has been done in Christianity ,Hinduism and Judaism. Basics remain the same. And whatever is told to us muslims from Quran that cannot change. If the Quran clearly says that muslim woman should not marry the Christian man
    then no Aalim can change it. If Quran says don't drink than no one can change it no matter how much I like drinking.
    You have mashaAllah good education, and you know better than me that changing interpretation of lights basic principle will invalidate many things learned by medical doctors. If I simply say that Instead of light being reflected from a surface its essentially our eyes that emit the lights (which was originally believed but ibn al-Haytham changed it thus changing forever understanding of light and moving physics from philosophical field to experimental). And based on these wrong principles I try to
    build optical networks, a camera, night vision goggles or try to operate person's eyes to make them emit the light then you know what will be the result. Nothing is going to work no matter how much I try. I hope you understand that changing our interpretation of basic principles described in Quran, (which as muslims we believe that is the absolute truth from Allah) is not going to help us become better muslims.

    Realizing the truth is the only way for us to be successful in this life and hereafter. I might not need some basic principle in my life for time being, I can claim today that I will not use any principle of light from ibn al-Haythm since my interpretation says that light is emitted from the eyes. But if tomorrow I need to go to hospital to get treated for my eye sight weakness than I need to agree to the basic principles of light otherwise I will not get my eye sight back. Similarly in today's modern world specially in west where the state is so strong, some principles of islam might not look relevant to us in our particular surrounding for a short period of time but this does not mean that the universality or truthfulness of that principle is changed.
    That principle is still valid for the rest of the world and it will be valid in the hereafter where we'll have to answer Allah (s.w.t.)

    As far as your second point is concerned you are again right that in this world we need to ask for ourselves that what is better for now and future. The life of this world is really short and temporary it is the present which is for really short time. And the future i.e. life of hereafter is forever. So yes I agree we should all think about our present and future and decide what we need to do.

    As far as love and arrange marriages are concerned. Islam does not forbid you to do love marriage. But again it sets the basics to do that. It happens to all of us that when we see some particular system not working than we rebel against it. If I had seen my father/mother in difficult situations due to their arrange marriage than I'll have had gone against arrange marriages. But I have nothing against both types of marriages unless they are done according to islam. For example, in arrange marriages its NOT islamic to do it without the consent of the daughter. Its unislamic but still is done by muslims but it does not make it islam. Please do not take what some muslims practice due to their culture as islam. I would say yes please go for love marriage, if you think arrange is not going to work for you. But think about your present(this life) and future(hereafter).

    My two cents.


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