Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Mother is denying this marriage

Love and Marriage

Love and Marriage

Asalamu' Eleykum

I am a 22 yo female living in the U.S. Last year, I started a relationship with my cousin (my mother's sister's son), and we have grown into wanting to get married for the future. He is 24 years old, and lives in Saudi Arabia.  We told our family from the beginning that we are talking to one another, and eventually told them we want to get married. His parents have no problem with it. Everyone in the family is very accepting of our union, except my mother. My father has passed away a couple years ago (Allah ya rahmo).

My mother says that he is unable to take care of me financially, that cousin marriages are not good because she had a bad experience with my father who was her cousin, that he is just using me to come to America and most of all that she has dislikes his mother (her older sister). It also does not help that my mother and I have not always seen eye to eye growing up, and that she is never happy with me in anything I do in my life.

I tried to explain to her that only Allah has power over success, and that money does not guarantee a marriage will be successful, and that not every cousin marriage is going to end up in failure. I feel more than 100% that he would be a great husband to me, and a great father. We really care and love one another and want this more than anything. I do not wish to marry without my mother's approval, but I can not help but think that these reasons that she is denying my cousin are not legitimate. I would appreciate any advice that you can provide for me.

Jazakallahu Khair


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12 Responses »

  1. I won't comment on the validity of these reasons Islamically because I frankly don't know, but I have to say that she has some valid points from a logic/practicality point of view. Even if he does not want to marry you primarily to come to the US, it still must be an attractive prospect to him. Have you ever discussed where you would live after marriage? More importantly, are you comfortable marrying someone who is getting something tangible out of the marriage?

    Another thing to consider is whether he has prospects to advance and succeed in life. He is young so it's not surprising that he doesn't make a lot of money now, but what are his prospects for the future? Is he well educated? Is he likely to advance in his career? You may think now that you love him enough to live with him under any circumstances, but poverty is not romantic. When you have children and are struggling to provide for them, your love may not be enough to comfort you.

    Finally, I have to agree with your mother that family marriages are more complicated. In any marriage the family is involved. But when its a new family there's a chance to develop good relationships. When it's your pre-existing family, all the baggage and conflicts that exist in those pre-existing relationships will come into your marriage. Your moms problems with her sister, for example, will affect your relationship with your cousin.

    These are all just things for you to think about and really consider. If you still feel confident in your decision about marrying your cousin, talk to your mother again. Also, who is your wali? Speak to him as well and ask your cousin to come with a formal proposal to both him and your mother. Inshallah Allah will do what is best for you.

    • -Thank you for your response "NE":

      We have discussed where we would live after marriage, and that is here in the U.S. Although only Allah knows the true intentions of people, I believe that he is honestly not using me for the purpose of coming here to the U.S. I understand of course how it may look like from the outside looking in, but I feel very confident that that is not the case.

      Yes, he does have plans to have a better future. Insha'Allah the plan is for him to start school once he is here. I'm not sure if you are familiar with life in Saudi Arabia, but if you are not a Saudi native, they make things very difficult for you. So he has finished high school, but has not had the opportunity to start college. He also has the responsibility right now of working to take care of his mother and two younger sisters. He would like to study Information Technology and work with computers. I completely agree that love is not enough in taking care of a household. After all, love most definitely will not pay the bills. I myself, insha'Allah will be finishing nursing school this year Alhamdulilah.

      As for us being family, I believe that marriage is a gamble. When two people are getting married, in the beginning of their marriage, nobody knows if this marriage will be successful or not. No one really knows what type of spouse someone will actually turn out to be, and if you two will continue to be married for the rest of your lives. Family or not family. So yes of course, having pre-exsisting family problems can put a damper on things, but that does not mean you two will end up in divorce. I believe that trusting Allah & having a strong relationship with your spouse is the only true way of making a marriage work. Also, we were never planning on living near our family; just a far enough distance where we can visit every so often (probably a different state).

      My wali is my uncle (my father's brother). My uncle is very accepting of our union and is ready to give me away when the time comes insha'Allah. At this point, my mother is the only one who is not on board. I have had a few aunts and uncles talk to my mom about changing her mind as well, but she has not thus far. My cousin has tried to speak to her as well, but she has not replied to him.

      Jazak'Allahu Khair again.
      I look forward to hearing from you soon hopefully insha'Allah.

      • I am quite familiar with life in Saudi, and I know that even if he can't go to college there, he can attend in other countries or at least enroll in an online program, of which there are many these days. But from what you're saying, he graduated from high school nearly 7 years ago and has yet to pursue further education, but you're in a nursing program. If he has to work now to provide for his family, well that won't change when you marry him. have you discussed how much money he will take away from your household to spend on his sisters? Will they come to the US and live with you? And what kind of job prospects await him in the US anyway? Without a college degree and with no professional American references, he will be stuck in a low paying job that will barely keep food on your plates, let alone leave enough for him to send home.

        Frankly this does not look good at all. If you were my daughter, I would not want you to marry him either. He has no career prospects, is less educated than you are, and has significant financial responsibilities that will only worsen in the US. He may be of great character, but he is not in a position to marry anyone right now. He should take significant steps to secure a strong financial future before he starts thinking of starting a new household.

        • I agree with NE. The boy seems very passive at things and his success seems to be conditional on marriage with you. Maybe you should think about what he would be doing if you were not a prospect? Saudi has very successful neighbours in the GCC with a plethora of opportunities to take advantage of.

          It would be wise to step back, remove emotions, and think of this very logically.

          PS: I respect the fact that a good person to marry is pivotal, but that goes away when the going gets tough. Allah knows best.

          Good luck 🙂


      • Assuming that he studied A Levels from PISJ, it means that he graduated at the age of 19(most desi expats take O/A levels here and it's not called highschool, which shows you don't know much about life in Saudi Arabia too much either). Btw 19 is the oldest age to graduate, nowadays even in PISJ they are setting things up to let students complete A levels by the age of 18. Assuming that he didn't fail in any grade, he left school 5 years ago, and hasn't gone to any university( college is just used for medical like batterjee medical college here) nor has taken any online courses (otherwise you would've mentioned that). Now the question is do you really think a college would accept an applicant that hasn't studied for 5 years( nor has taken any online courses). It would still make sense if he wanted to study something that doesn't change with time maybe get a management degree or maybe engineering. But come on IT changes in weeks!

        it's also rather strange that your mother allowed you to talk to him but didnt approve of the marriage? So what was she expecting out of the talks?

        Btw pls don't get me wrong im definitely not saying you shouldn't marry him, just saying that your point that he will become financially well off in the future is not that strong. Frankly money destroys marriages and it's good that you choose a man of good character without noticing his financial abilities. I think a better point can be used to convince you mother, for example tell her how good of a character he is, or maybe how it will be an islamic marriage without the dowry, and just the Mahar, and how lucky she is to get you married without any problems eventhough your dad has died( assuming your desi, women with no dads find it difficult to marry).


        • Abdullah Ahmed: Yes, he graduated high school at 19. I actually did not mention it above, but he has taken 2 years of post high school classes which are equivalent to pre-requisite courses. So actually, he has been out of school for a total of 3 years. (since 2012)

          Where I live, there a lot of schools that offer courses for IT. As long as you have your high school diploma, that is all they need. If you have taken any classes after high school in college/university, then those credits would transfer most likely. So him finding a school to study at is not an issue at all in my location. There are many people from different places in the world who have studied & became successful, even if all they had was a high school diploma from back in their "home" country.

          He does not have the opportunity to study in other countries because he does not have an iqama. His family lost it due to reasons that were out of their control a couple years back. He is someone who has had many unfortunate things happen to him in life to cause him to not be able to become as successful as he wishes at this point in his life. I feel there is a big difference between someone who has every opportunity to better themselves & don't, and someone who has every ambition/drive, but is not able to for various reasons.

          And no, I am not desi.

  2. Aoa sister,
    I agree with all of the above comments and believe your mothrr is making valid points. I'm tslking from experince when I say don't marry a man who is not financially stable and will be relying on you to help him build a future. He is not your responsibility, he needs to think twice about his roles and responsibilities as a husband and father. He needs to show you that marriage or no marriage/ usa or Saudi - that he is actively pursing a good career and forming a strong foundation financially. Currently it seems his motivation is that he will come to the states, and he will possibly enrol for further education and rely on you to take care of him financially. Any money he will make will probably go back to helping his family in Saudi until he is in a position to bring them to the states, where they will most likely live with you, and so you will have their responsibility as well as your own, all of this can be a problem in itself. Also there is no guarantee he will find a good job in the states. Also, I agree with what your saying that money isn't everything when it comes to marriage, I thought the same way, but the man has a big responsibility when it comes to marriage and I personally believe your better off marrying someone who is already well settled in his career or someone who has clear future prospects and understands that he is the one taking care of his wife and providing for her rather than the other way round.

    I could be compeltly wrong, but based on my personal experience I can see lots of problems in this marriage, and I compeltly understand the dilemma your mother is facing.

    Please think logically and take your mothers concerns into account - she will only want what is best for you.

    • Jazak'Allahu Khair "Bucks":

      I completely understand where you are coming from. Your points are for someone who has had the opportunities in his life, but has not taken them due to laziness. My cousin is very motivated for the future, but due to the life that he has now, he doesn't have the chance to go to school.

      His parents and sisters are coming to Canada insha'Allah. His other sister lives there now with her husband, and is in the process of bringing them over. So once they are all here in North America, he will no longer be "responsible" to take care of them. We also have a lot of family in Canada as well that will be with them to help them settle & such. So no, they will not be living with us.

      Yes, definitely a man has a lot of responsibly when it comes to marriage. Although Allah is the best of planners, our plan is/was for me to finish school this year, marry/begin process to bring him over, and once he is here for him to start his studies/work insha'Allah. We are not in a rush to have have children at all.

      I understand that you feel he will not be able to take care of me financially right now, but I am not focusing on right now because insha'Allah it will not be forever because hard work & determination can get you far in life. I hope you understand where I am coming from insha'Allah.

      • I understand where your coming from. I guess if you have faith in him and trust him then make sure you do istikhara and try to convince your mum and reassure her. May Allah swt guide you to the right decision and bring you happiness in your marriage if you do go ahead with it, ameen.

      • I think that at a minimum, you should wait till his family are in Canada and settling before you marry him. You say you're not worried about right now because you're confident the future will be better and inshallah it will be. But right now is the only thing you know and it's the only thing you have control over. A thousand complications could come up regarding his family that would mean he would still be financially responsible for them, a thousand things could come up that would prevent him from joining you in the US. So at least you should take steps to be sure that your life with him will be as smooth as possible given the circumstances. Ideally I would recommend that you wait until he has a better job and can take full responsibility for a household before you marry him, but failing that you should at least be sure that you won't be responsible for him and his family as well.

  3. Assalam alaikum,

    I agree with others that you should be careful about marrying your cousin.

    I do find from your responses that you are emotionally involved with him and are defending him quite a bit. If you have already made up your mind because you are emotionally involved, understand that your mother also, has made up her mind. It could be that you can't change your mother's mind, just as she can't change yours. If you decide to marry him, as you may get the permission from your Wali, you may have to either live with this new relationship with your mother or she may come to understand--as you said, marriage is a gamble. There are just too many variables here to consider.

    In a nutshell, I feel that you are basing your decision on the fact that you and him have developed feelings for one another, rather than other things--and if that is the case, there really isn't much to discuss--since you have written:

    I feel more than 100% that he would be a great husband to me, and a great father. We really care and love one another and want this more than anything. I do not wish to marry without my mother's approval, but I can not help but think that these reasons that she is denying my cousin are not legitimate. I would appreciate any advice that you can provide for me.

    I do not believe that a person can know more than 100% about anyone--especially when he hasn't been a husband or hasn't been a father. Your mother denying the marriage may seem not legitimate to you, but your rationale for some of your statements isn't anymore legitimate either. If you put your emotions aside for a moment, and listen to your mother as though you haven't decided, talk to your Wali, make Isthikhara, then you may be able to reach a more sound decision, inn shaa Allah. Either way, best of luck to you and May Allah swt help you to reach the best decision, Ameen.

    • Jazak'Allahu Khair Saba,

      I appreciate all of your responses, and will definitely take into consideration everything that you all have told me. May Allah reward you all for taking the time to give advice to me. Ameen.

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