Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I want to marry a Korean, but everyone is against it

Korean class, Korean students.

Korean students.


I have been learning Korean for many years now and I have taught many Korean students English.

I finally met this one Korean guy and he was just an overall good person. He had manners, charm, everything you want to see in a person.

We were talking one day and he said he wanted to convert to Islam. I was shocked but he seemed sincere. I finally thought, I think he's the one for me.

He has been learning about Islam for over a year now. He has read many books and also has been reading the Quran. He has also visited the mosque and has spoken with mentors.

I finally decided to tell my parents and they are typical Pakistani parents. They were in shock and wanted to kick me out. They thought I was crazy because they think I only want to be with him because he's Korean and I love Korean things. It is not true. They do not believe me, of course. I really want to marry him but my parents are only thinking culturally and even when I explain everything to them Islamically, they still do not listen. They want a Pakistani and that is it.

It is like hell for me nowadays. I'm not allowed to go out and if I do, my parents give me a look that says "You're a horrible daughter" and it puts guilt into me and I just end up staying at home. I'm also at the age when everyone gets married. I'm 25, so they are worried that this Korean guy might ruin my life and I will end up missing my chance to get married.

I believe, if he does end up ruining my life, Allah has intended it to be so. Allah knows best and maybe it is to make me a better person so I do not fear for Allah knows all. I actually wasn't a great Muslim before - not that I went clubbing or drinking or anything. I just didn't practice that often. After meeting him, I pray all the time, I read the Quran, I try to set an example and I feel like I am becoming a better person and Muslim because of him.

I have always had a curfew which is 10 pm and I'm 25 years old! I have always listened to my parents or tried to but I have never done anything wrong, this is the biggest thing I have ever done by telling them who I want to marry.

I even emailed an Imam about isthikhara (Even though I know one should do it by themselves because it is between you and Allah only) and he said he would email me in this week and then two weeks go by and he still didn't email me. I emailed him three times and finally he responded and just said, "My suggestion is stay away." That is all the Imam said. He didn't give me guidance nor tell me what he "saw" or "felt" I emailed him back asking him all of this and he just replied, "Not a good feeling." I didn't understand. Did this Imam do it right? Did he do it for 7 days?

Everyone around me told me to ignore it because it didn't seem reliable but my mom is siding with the Imam and is making it harder for me every day. She keeps saying she will kill herself and she doesn't want to face the humiliation from her family and her social group of friends. My dad also says the same thing and actually my dad has been cheating on my mother for a long time (My mother and my whole family knows) but my mother can't divorce him and lets him do everything because she fears what other people say. She says if I marry this Korean, it will break her heart even more.

It's putting too much pressure and burden on me. I don't know what to do. If he is Muslim and I am Muslim, there is nothing wrong Islamically for us to get married, right? What if my parents still never accept him in the end even though he has reverted and is a good person? Do I leave him? I fear the afterlife that Allah will punish me for disobeying my parents for my own happiness. I am so confused. InshaAllah will help make it easier and I will keep praying that they will accept us. Please pray for me as well, inshaAllah.

edit:// MashaAllah, he has decided to convert tomorrow inshaAllah but when I asked the Imam what should we do because I am not familiar with the procedures of non-Muslims so I just asked. Maybe the Imam needs an appointment right? I go to a different mosque that is closer to me and he wants to go one that is closer to him so I emailed that Imam. He said if I was an active member I would know these things. I felt bad. How can an Imam say this to me?

He also said he has to learn salah and many things before converting. From what I know (Allah knows best) he just has to accept the religion, believe Allah is one, fear him, and know that Muhammad(Pbuh) is his last messenger. He can always learn everything afterwards and sometimes it helps motivate people more because I have one friend who has converted and he didn't know how to pray but still converted and now knows everything mashaAllah.

I told the Imam the Imam everything I said and said that the other mosque said it was also true that he just has to accept Islam. This Imam got angry and told me to go there instead. I said that wasn't true, I was only asking questions because I lack knowledge and as an Imam shouldn't he help guide me? He got even more angry and said, "young girl, don't you dare tell an Imam what to do." I said, why are you turning me away and telling me to go to another mosque? And I was merely asking a question. He said I was arguing with him and trying to twist his words. That is not true at all. I apologized and said I'm sorry if you think I am arguing with you. He said stop acting innocent and you're only trying to marriage conversion, that is your true intention.

I was so shocked and hurt. How can an Imam say this to me? I told him he shouldn't assume what I think and that I was sorry. He kept telling me to go to the other mosque. I didn't want to ruin this for my friend, he wanted to go to this mosque so I apologized over and over in about five emails for him to forgive me. He finally said just come during zhur and he will convert him but for marriage he needs to take time and become a practicing muslim.

I told him I agree, it's not about marriage but about conversion only. It is about him converting and I cannot stop him from doing so but this Imam shouldn't have assumed I was only doing it for marriage. I also wish for my friend to become a good, practicing muslim and have my parents accept him and then marry him. It might take months or years but I want what is best for my future children inshaAllah and also I do not want to get punished in the afterlife.

I am trying to think seriously but with people like this Imam and the other Imam, I feel like it's a sign? Maybe I am not supposed to get married to my friend if it is this hard? Or is it just some obstacles that will lead me to happiness? I feel utter guilt, fear and I do not know what to do again. I am so lost. Please advice me about what is right, inshaAllah.

- HenAhmed

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21 Responses »

  1. Asalamu alikum,

    so sister, I am can suggest a few things:

    1) Your parents are very very old school and they are shocked and dont know what to do with this long has it been since you have told them.?...did you give them sometime to ponder all this ( a week , a month, etc)?

    So ,maybe when they are later in a good mood- made make a deal with them. Just tell them to meet him once, and if they dont like him then they have a right to refuse him as they have judged him in person. Try this, and keep asking, and maybe one time they will give him a chance. Keep insisting and see what happens, because even if they choose anyone else, they cannot force you to marry other people- so if you feel he is the one- keep insisting for them to atleast just meet him.

    2) I would like you to consider the tolerance of your family and see if your family is healthy for him to be in. New converts need positive attention, support, and love- not hostility. IF you think your family is just tooo stuck with this marry a pakistani idea- and will make his life a living hell- then sister please dont expose him to your family. I say this because you know your family better.

    I magine when you get married you will have get togethers, and how will he fit in and will your family acomodate for him and speak english around him instead of urdu, or will they ignore him and include him? Is your family that dramatic in real life that they your mother will literally "kill herself" and your fathers "heart will break"? I dont think so, but will they make him welcome and make him part of the family is the true test- because you dont want to be isolated from your family as well.

    Also, the fact that they are "humiliated" if you marry a korean man worries me as well, they seem to be very racist toward him no matter how nice of a human being he is. Have they been exposed to other interracial marriages in the family? Ask them why they would be humiliated..and why they would care s much about what other people say? I mean have a frank conversation if can about race, and what it would mean for them and why it would be so bad if he is a muslim.

    3) Sister this is a test, we all are figuring out who to marry and who is meant for us. Keep praying istikhara everyday for yourself (not imams), and reflect about him as a marriage partner not someone you love/lust for. Keep asking your parents and inshallah one day they might open up and accept him.

    But know that this is a test. For your patients and a test for your heart. Know that whatever Allah wills, it will happen no matter what. And if he is not going to make it happen, it just will never happen. Its up to you and him now to read the signs and figure out if this man is worth presuing or not. Keep praying, keep on going, respect your parents , and trust that Allah has a plan for you.

  2. There is something very very wrong with this picture. You have found a nice, well-mannered man who wants to become a muslim and will become a muslim before he marries you.

    And your parents are shocked and treating you like you have committed a huge sin?

    and the Imam is treating you in a similar fashion?

    What has become of Islam.

    Your parents and the so-called Imam are acting unIslamically. Whether you are Pakistani or Morrocan or Norwegian or Tunisian is so irrelevant to an Islamic marriage. Clearly, the muslims in your life are unaware of this. In islam, skin colour, nationality, and culture are irrelevant. "We have created tribes amongst you so you may know each other and live toghether in peace and harmony". That is the Quranic directive.

    You are in a difficult position because you may end up alienating your family if you marry this man. However, your parents are not acting like muslims if they threaten to disown you because you wish to marry this man once he becomes a muslim. If anything, they will be causing a rift in the family, not you.

    The imam's behaviour is unacceptable. Instead of telling you what is Islamically acceptable, he is being petty and culturally biased. As muslims, we do not subscribe to a "clergy class". We rely on Allah and the Quran, and the teachings of the Prophets of Islam. Please do not treat these imams in the same way a christian treats the pope.

    Also, you are 25 years old. Pakistani girls basically do not get married after a certain age -- again, because muslims associate culture with religion -- so if you have not received any proposals that are of interest to you, then you are running out of time. And if you are living in the West, in a non-muslim country, then the cards are doubly stacked against you, as finding a "born Muslim" who is ALSO Pakistani is almost impossible. Allah does not distinguish between born Muslims and converts. On the day of judgment, Pakistani muslims are not going to be treated any differently than Korean muslims or Hawaiin Muslims or Icelandi Muslims. Your parents and the imams in your community do not realize this -- for some reason, they are deliberately making things difficult for you.

    You have a tough choice to make. But I want you to recognize that it is not YOU who is making the decision to cause a rift in your family. It is your parents who are making that decision.

  3. 1. Sister HenAhmed, As-salamu alaykum. From the very beginning your behavior in this matter has been insincere. You say that you've been learning Korean; and that when one day a Korean man said that he wants to convert to Islam, you immediately thought, "I think he's the one for me."

    What? Why? Do you not see how strange this is? A normal response to such a statement would be, "Ma-sha-Allah, that's wonderful. Let me put you in touch with a Muslim brother who can guide you in your journey to Islam."

    Instead, you inserted yourself into his search for truth, and roped it to your own personal fetish or desire. Your current relationship with this man is inappropriate. You need to remove yourself from this situation, and let him continue his spiritual journey, Insha'Allah with the help of a Muslim brother.

    2. How can you be surprised that your parents were shocked? You came to them and said that you want to marry a man who is, at this moment, a non-Muslim. Any Muslim parent would be shocked. If the man were to convert to Islam, and practice it sincerely, then it would be a different story. But that hasn't happened yet. You are planning an entire life with him based on hypotheticals.

    3. Look at it from the perspective of the Imam. He is contacted by a young Muslim woman who is involved with a non-Muslim man, and wants to basically get him converted so she can marry him. That's how it looks from the Imam's perspective, and rightly so. Of course he is wary, and advises you to stay away from the man. When you pressure him, he agrees to advise the young man on the matter of conversion to Islam only; which is exactly what he should do.

    4. Sister, of course you are doing all this only for marriage; your intentions in this matter are transparent.

    5. You have never said how this man feels about you. Does he love you? Does he wish from his own heart to marry you? Someone who is thinking about converting to Islam is in a vulnerable place emotionally. He may believe whatever you tell him about Islam; or he may think that marrying you is a necessary part of his spiritual journey. By conflating his search for Islam with your own desire for marriage, you might be confusing him. This is a phenomenon that is usually seen in reverse. It's common for women to convert to Islam, and then immediately to be "married off" to some brother in the community. These new converts are made to feel that they are committing a sin if they don't rush into marriage. Usually these marriages do not last.

    You really need to step back from this situation and ask yourself why you have been pushing for marriage to this particular man, and whether it is appropriate at this time.

    Lastly I am disappointed in the previous responses to this post. Instead of looking at the sister's situation objectively, people are filtering her situation through their own biases. They are offering advice based on frustration or hopelessness, rather than on truth. Islam has given us the proper criteria to use in choosing a spouse. Race and nationality do not matter, but faith does. In a way, choosing someone only because of their race is as shallow as rejecting them because of it.

    We need to be looking for spouses who are firmly rooted in the Islamic faith, and have shown us through their actions that they are committed to the path.

    I'm not going to lie, there have been a few times in my life when I've met non-Muslim woman who have struck me as being just right, and I've had the thought, "Maybe I could give her da'wah, bring her to Islam, then marry her." But I always reject this thought as crazy, because that's not how the world works. Da'wah is certainly a good thing, but it has to be sincere, not born of selfish desire. Furthermore, Allah is The Guide, and only He knows if someone will accept the truth. Lastly, even if someone does come to Islam, there's no guarantee that they will be good Muslims. You can't construct a life based on something that may or may not happen.

    Look for a Muslim husband who is grounded in the faith, and has a kind heart, no matter his race.

    Wael Editor

    • Great comment brother.

    • Brother Wael,
      I really like how your comments are fair, unbiased and real and not written to rile others up.
      MashaAllah, good advice

      Sara Editor

    • Masha'Allah absolutely true and concise advise. Great comment indeed. The OP has to follow brother Wael's advice only, it can't get any better.

    • Salaams,

      Wise Wael Masha' Allah! Your objective analysis is spot on.

      It was that line 'I finally met this one Korean guy...' and later re her parents 'they think I only want to be with him because he's Korean and I love Korean things'.


      • Assalaualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        Brothers and Sisters, as far as I know it is "Assalamualaikum" not salaams or salam. Lets not innovate anything here. If you agree with Wael, then give him a Jazzakallahu khairan(not "shukran") and say you agree with his advise.

        If you want to praise him, say "I think he is such and such and Allah is his assessor and I do not ascribe purity to anyone before Allah."

        • Gibran, wa alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah,

          If you want to write an article on Islamic speech etiquette, we'd consider publishing it here, Insha'Allah. Outside of that, however, let people talk the way they want. As long as their speech is essentially good, let them be. We don't want to inhibit people or make them feel embarrassed or shy to comment.


    • The funny thing is, my parents had the same reaction but with a black Muslim AND we met in a place while gaining Islamic knowledge.
      I have given up on it and left it to Allah, but only after much pain and confusion on how cultural tradition has spilled through our interpretations of Islamic tradition. Do not think brother for one minute that you can compare men to women when it comes to marriage. We Muslim women obey and honor our parents much more frequently than the men in our community do. Men are allowed to make these mistakes on their own, while women feel forced to make certain choices. Alhamdulilah, at the end of the day, I love Allah's guidance and the fact that I am protected, but do not be so harsh on these Muslim women, be gentle and kind. We are the bearers of your children, we have more mercy in our hearts because we have the gift of loving a creature that causes us 9 months of pain and a lifetime of worry.

    • Marry him

    • I was thinking the samething.She is doing what many muslim men do when they see a sister wanting to convert. Taking advantage of those interested in Islam for their own desires.

      This is the norm. If he was really into Islam and not the fashion of Muslim pop culture he would remove himself from her hr stated he wanted to attend a mosque close to him

      It seem as if she is pushing. And a man is ssuppos to lead his family and teach them Islam
      How can he lead her in Salah if he does not know who to pray.

      He must learn hus faith and if her life style is not of Islam and they get wed... it will never be.

  4. Salaam sister. It's great that this man wishes to enter Islam, but you need to be careful in your interactions with him. It's not appropriate for you to be so close with him; it would be better to point him in the direction of a brother who can help him without haraam interactions.

    The Imams are, quite reasonably, concerned - if a girl is trying to arrange for a guy to convert, the most likely reason is that it's for marriage.

    I would advise that you take a step back from this situation; your friend needs to find his own path in Islam and not feel that it is influenced by romance and marriage plans. If he then wishes to marry you he can approach you and your family in an appropriate manner.

  5. Aswak Sister,

    My intension in not to be Racist but I feel you are making your life very complicated and challenging by this idea of marrying korean brother.Allah wants ease for his believers and not difficulty.Now its up to you what you choose.

    I am just trying to tell you that make your life less complicated by marrying a guy with whom you can easily relate and understand him.It will make your life easy and you can invest your time and energy in worshipping allah and making him happy rather than ending up spending your energy fighting with the challenges you will encounter on day to day basis when you marry Korrean brother.

    Human beings tends to get attracted with what is different then themselves.May be he is very good and pious person but that does not mean there are no other guys with the same qualities in your own community.Cultural aspect plays very important role in the society and you cannot withdraw yourself from society .Please accept this fact.

    You can consider him when you don't find pious brother in your community left to marry you.

    Hope you understand where I am coming from.

    Allah Hafiz.


    • Dear MSK, i have to respectfully disagree with your above statement. I am very passionate about this topic- so I am sorry if i am too forward.

      But, just because you are from the same cultural background, does not mean you are more compatible. I know many couples from a mixed variety in my own family and friends who have dealt with differences just fine and have had very happy marriages.

      My own marriage is from vastly different culture and my family loves my husband and we are fine.I also have a family friend who married a Chinese convert as well and the family is just fine and they are getting along.

      Just because your parents belong in a cultural "category" it does not mean that you are very into your culture-for example- I am the least "Arab" middle eastern woman you will ever meet in your life.
      Dont judge a person by their outer shell.

      Yes it makes a difference and yes it challenging- but its also enriching, beautiful, and worthwhile to make your life work with the person you deeply care about no matter where they are from.

      The only concern i have for the person who sent the question is does he love you back? as Wael said above..

      and is he converting on a superficial level just to get married to you?

      Also, i would ask about his status in the country- is he a citizen, or on student visa...etc- because if he is not a permanent resident i know some people get married to get into the country and get their permanent resident status- so beware if he is not stable in the country.

  6. ...

    [Editor's note: This is not a matrimonial or match-making site. If you are looking for a spouse, please use halal channels - speak with your parents and your local mosque first.]

  7. Hi, i want to marry to a Korain female, how can i contact her. i am from Pakistan, help guide me any one?

  8. Insha'allah everything works out for her and Allah guides her in the right direction.. Is there any updates on this sister's situation? o:

  9. According to Islam, you have to marry a muslim guy. And also that everyone is equal. But I just really really don't get why people have a problem with marrying a person of another culture. I just wanna marry a good muslim guy. I never really cared about looks much. And I also have been wanting to marry a Korean guy. I really don't know how my parents would react to this but I really don't care what society thinks about me. I just wanna be a good muslim and follow Allah's path.

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