Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My mother ruined my potential marriage

Lonely man walking away.

Lonely man.

Assalamailkum everybody,

I need some advice from the community on how I should deal with this situation I am going through whether you agree with me or disagree with me.

I live in America and I am from a Desi background (particularly Bangladesh). My mother has never acted like a friend towards me. Whenever I tell her something, she always gave me the negative side of it and told me to stay away from it. I know that is how parents are but I never got a positive response from her. This drove me a little away from her as a son.

I met a Muslim girl six months ago during a field trip. We got to know each other pretty well. Soon, we began to fall in love with each other. However, we promised each other to keep our relationship Islamic until I was ready to marry her (which meant getting my degree and my career).

My mother soon found out about and she starting cursing in the name of Allah. She said "this girl will ruin you, girls will destroy you, my only son fell in love," and many more things which I cannot write.

I told the Muslim girl about this and she started believing that my mother will never accept her for various reasons (she was Indian, not Bengali, taking away her only son, Desi issues, and etc.) Our relationship started going down. I tried talking to my mother and speaking with her gently saying that we pray together, doing much better in college, I'm doing much better now. However, she wouldn't hear it. She kept on saying I am her only son, this is not love, I want you to marry a Bengali.

Then she started complaining about the Muslim girl to everybody in the family every day. This made me furious and drove me even further away. In addition, my father and sister were not supporting me as well.

Eventually, the Muslim girl came to the conclusion that her potential mother in law would never accept her and only trouble would stir up. So she ended the relationship. This caused a lot of pain and slowly I am getting through this by listening to nasheeds and praying as usual.

But what changed about me after the relationship was with my mother. I don't feel happy talking to her anymore. She never was on my side or even tried listening to me. My mother saw this change and she started to tell the family what is wrong with me. My sister confronted me and asked my why? I told her that I am not happy with her. I want to get away. Mom wont ever listen to me and she won't be happy unless I obey her.

My sister started calling me selfish, I only want to do what is best for me, I never cared about the family. She also said the only one son she had wouldn't even take care of her in the future. She started saying I have to compromise by making sacrifices. I started telling her what's in my mind (moving out, finding a Muslim girl of my own - particularly in a different culture because it was my preference -, planning my future, etc.) She replied by saying I have an illogical mind, and I never cared for anybody.

So here we are in state where nobody is talking to me or I'm not talking to anybody except my father and little sister. I just want some advice. What should I do? I tried talking but they won't budge. Is my thinking selfish? I am not a bad person but all these things my sister said have hurt me inside. Please brothers and sisters, I am in an emotional state due to the love I had and my parents. What shall I do?

- Deadelas1

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15 Responses »

  1. Dear brother, I can't believe how Asian parents are so selfish and extremely blackmailers. As I read your story I see no fault on you. You behaved all halal and you really had the best intentions with her. She is even from a similar improved your performance at college and it was clear you made good to each other. But oh, asian parents... If she isn't from same country, caste, etc, she is not worthy....
    I would advice you to talk to your mum from a religious point of view. She might change. But if she doesn't, go on with your life. Don't allow their blackmailing to affect you as long as you are acting as a good muslim brother.

  2. Salaams,

    The viewpoint that obedience or respect means someone should do everything anyone else asks of them, without doing anything for themselves, is incorrect. Some people who have been raised in cultures where poor boundaries are rampant have the misguided idea that others are supposed to give their lives and rights up for their parents or family or whomever, but there is nothing in Islam that says we are to go to such extremes. In fact, we find again and again in hadith that the middle course is always the most prudent one to take.

    Allah gave every human being not just duties, but rights over one another. There is no relationship that is not defined by a MUTUAL give and take. Children have duties over their parents, but they also have rights. When a family is practicing Islam the correct way, the children and parents both help each other in making sure those rights are fulfilled.

    One of the important rights all humans have is the right to find a suitable spouse to share life with. Parents have the duty to help children find a good wife or husband, so that the child will not be tempted into sin. Many, many parents from certain cultures neglect this right and re-define what their children should expect with their own wishes and desires. THAT is true selfishness.

    You are not being selfish by wanting a pious wife. As a matter of fact, it was un-Islamic of your mother to reject that young lady for the reasons she did. Having done so, you have every right to forge your own path in looking for a spouse without her interference. Yes, this will make her unhappy, and yes your family will come at you with accusations. Like the poster said above, all of it is manipulation and complications to make you give up your God-given rights and become what they want you to be. Nothing could be a clearer definition of selfishness than that.

    I suggest you take some time to study your rights in Islam. I'm sure you're already familiar with your duties as a son, but clearly you will benefit from knowing what your rights are so you can ensure they are being met and protected. Allah gave everyone rights, not just the "worthy" or the deserving. Even the sinful have rights. I don't believe Allah would set up such a perfect and just path for us to live our lives through if He really expected us to throw all that away and do whatever anyone else asked us to. After all, how many times in the Qu'ran does he talk about the severity of punishment for those who "exceed the bounds/limits"? Clearly that tells me that Allah values people maintaining the boundaries He has outlined, because it helps us function in a healthier ways both as individuals and in families and societies.

    -Amy Editor

  3. As-salamu alaykum brother. I was just reading about this the other day on The sheikh said that parents who prevent children from marriage to a qualified person are faasiq (sinners). Marriage is a right and a natural part of life. It is not normal or natural for your mother to think that you will remain single forever.

    My suggestion is that you move out of the home and get married, even if your mother does not approve. However, try to maintain the relationship with your mother to whatever degree possible.

    Insha'Allah your mother will accept your marriage in time. Sometimes the parents object for years, but when they see their grandchildren their hearts soften.

    Wael Editor

  4. Jazakhallah brother and sisters,
    I see that all of you are supporting my views. I wish to do the goals I have set up for myself in the future insha'allah however, I am bounded. My father spoke to me yesterday about why I'm not talking to my mother.

    He was explaining that she is my mother,she has no sisters/ except us and especially you, the son. We came here to America to give you a better life. Then he started crying because I wouldn't speak to my mother. This pained me inside.

    My parents are not wealthy and my father works two jobs to provide for us. Soon, he will be retiring. I cannot let them be by themselves because who is going to take care of them? I am the only son, my sisters will get married soon in the future inshallah. It is my duty and I cannot let them suffer anymore. But, I know if I do this, my dreams/desire(s) will not be fulfilled. I try to speak to my mother but I just can't anymore. Again, I don't feel happy inside. Everyday, after Esha, I cry silently for Allah to help me, give me strength. This is the only reason why I am still fighting. I am always dreaming of a family who will accept the spouse I will choose for myself in the future and be happy. But I doubt it will happen.

    • Getting married does not have to mean abandoning your parents. I'm not sure why your parents have this idea. In fact, your wife can be an added source of emotional support for your mother. You might continue to live with your parents as a married couple, or you might live nearby, so that you can see them regularly.

      Wael Editor

  5. Well said brother Wael.

  6. I'm in an almost identical situation and have been emotionally blackmailed beyond belief from my family because they don't accept the woman I want to be with for various reasons, with none of those reasons being Islamic (different culture, "she's beneath us", etc.). I feel like my life is crumbling down on me right now because I've finally met the woman of my dreams that has made my life better in every way, but my family is tearing it apart with their selfishness and need to control everything (they call me selfish, too, for wanting to marry her). My family has made it clear to me that they will torture me and her if we ever go through with our relationship. They have cursed me in every way, have made dua against me, insulted me, harassed me at my home and at my work, etc. All while claiming that what they are doing is Islamic and it is me who has abandoned my family somehow. I'm interested in knowing what has happened with your situation and sharing my thoughts with you as well.

    • Shaz, if the woman is a good Muslim woman, and you believe she would make a good wife, then I suggest you go ahead and marry her. Insha'Allah your family will accept it in time.

      Wael Editor

    • Salaam Shaz,
      It has been a while.I have been busy with my studies and everything. I'm still a little hostile towards my family after the breakup. The girl never came back and alhamdulilah,I am forgetting about her and moving on. If the sister is still with you, marry her and don't let your parents interfere with their blackmailing. The purpose of Islam is to be happy and not to "obey". I wish you the best brother.

  7. I know posting here will probably not change anything, but I posting it anyway, with the hope that it will lighten the internal struggle I am going through.

    I am 27 and there was a proposal I wanted to proceed with. This proposal came in a formal manner and there was not haram involved. I liked the sister, felt attraction towards her, and felt that we were compatible. However, my mom rejected the proposal vehemently for no valid Islamic reason. She threatened me with the following things:

    1) That she will be forever angry with me
    2) She will never ever live with me
    3) She will never take my money

    Due to her constant crying and blackmailing, I turned this proposal down, although the father of the girl was greatly interested in me.

    Like the two brothers mentioned above, my world has now crumbled.

    I have crossed 27. By the grace of Allah, I have always been a top student. I never had any relationship with girls, although both my high school and university was co-ed. However, I am pure because Allah has kept me pure, and had He tested me, may be I would have failed. So, true credit goes to Him.

    Now, as a shy boy growing up, I always waited for that moment when I would get married. I graduated, Allah blessed me with a job. Being from a desi family, that is not enough. You have to work a few years first. I did not mind. I worked four years. I spent 55% of my four years of earning for my family. Also, whatever I had earned when I was an undergraduate student, I spent 100% for my family. For the last two and half years, aside from working, I have completed my masters degree, and by the grace of Allah, I have graduated.

    I have reached a point in life, where if you ask me, I would say that it is difficult for me pass even one more second without a wife. Whenever I see children outside and a couple, you know the feeling I get. I am ashamed of admitting this obsession of mine, and sometimes feel guilty about it, but it is there.

    In last 15 years, I did not touch or kissed a fellow human being. This is desi culture where no one hugs or kisses.

    My need for human touch and human companionship have become overwhelming. I try to busy myself with religious activities but I can only do so much.

    Now that my mom has turned down this proposal, it just broke my heart. She has been looking for two years but failed. She is in her home country now to look for a bride, but none of the proposal she brought is as good as the one she rejected. Also her vacation is almost over, and then she will come back. This means she will go back again only after Ramadan to resume her bride hunt and I will have to wait for at least one more year.

    My problem, although I am suffering alone, is manifolds. I strongly resent my mom. I cannot help it. I feel guilty for it. I know I am supposed to love her, but after she rejected this proposal, it became very hard for me. I appreciate all the sacrifices she made for me. I know that I will not be able to reciprocate her sacrifices and her love for me. I but it will pain me forever that she failed to show generosity when it came to his son choosing his life partner. She has failed to let got her controlling instinct, although she says she only rejected for my future good. She has failed to understand how tough my struggle has been. I respect and speak with her and behave well with her, but inside, sometimes I feel so much anger towards her that I feel on the day of judgement, I will complain to Allah about her rejection of this proposal. Because of this rejected, she has put my faith in test, although I am surviving somehow.

    • As-salamu alaykum "depressed brother". You didn't explain why your mother rejected the girl, but if she is a decent girl then my suggestion is that you accept the girl's proposal and get married. Your mother may be angry for a while, but eventually she will get over it, especially when the children come, Insha'Allah. If you need more detailed advice please register and submit your question as a separate post and we will answer you in turn.

      Wael Editor

    • Asalamoalaikum depressed brother,
      What a wonderful man you are ,good muslim HOWEVER if the girls proposal that you like is still available then you should not back off from it.
      I assume your mother is single mom. If she is one of those single women who are great mothers but once their son gets older they become fearful and threatened by thought of him taken away by his wife then forget she will ever be able to find a spouse for you from homeland or any land.

      Bird in hand is better then 2 in bush and your mom is beating around bush by making these bride search trips back home. She will never be able to find one.
      If I were you I will respectfully take a stand for myself and share my disappointment with her and make it very clear how devastated I'm . Share sadness,depression and low feelings with her. Persuade her tactfully and get married to this girl insaAllah.

      BUT if that girl proposal is lost then donot compare other girls with her and settle for any women who u think might not be as good as First Lady but still alright. U donot have to wait for another year. Look for matches in area of residence. There are millions of muslim in every country all over the world with so many single women among them.

    • Assalam alaikum,

      Reading about what you have and are going through sounds extremely familiar. Truthfully, it will not matter whether the woman you marry is your choice or your mother's choice. If you do end up marrying a girl of your mother's choice, even if she perfect, your mother will more than likely (from the sounds of it--and taking desi culture into consideration) have control issues after as well--even seeing you happy with your wife, taking her out, giving her love and respect and choices will not go over well. Many times, these desi mothers seek a daughter-in-law as though searching for a trophy--I apologize if this sounds offensive, but it is the culture for many people (though not all).

      I suggest that if the girl you are interested in is decent, then marry her. You can't make your mother happy unless you do exactly what she wants--and this is impossible and you will be tested in this trial again and again until you realize that your job is to do your duty in the best way possible to your mother and every relationship that you have, but that doesn't guarantee everyone's happiness. Also, it is impossible for any child to repay their parent's favours upon them--even if you were perfect, you still would not be able to. Instead, focus on fulfilling your duty, but not forgoing your rights--and always make sure you to have tact and not speak harsh words to your mother. I believe it would be better for you to marry the girl that you want and be extra patient with your mother THAN to marry a girl to make your mother happy and then suffer.

      May Allah ease your pain, Ameen.

      • Salaams Saba!

        You are so right..Even if the mother chose the bride herself she would find something to complain about...

  8. Salaams,

    My advice to Depressed Brother and Deadelas1 is to fulfill your dreams while you are young enough to enjoy them. One day, the opportunity to start your family may disappear. My father passed away when I was 20. I was the eldest daughter. My younger brother was only one year younger than me and another brother was 5 years younger than me, but I was the only one who left my undergraduate education at an elite university to support the family. I had dreams to pursue my Masters and get married and have a family of my own. I had many, many proposals. When I was 22, a doctor who was 9 years older than me but finished his medical school from Pakistan wanted to marry me. He worked as an oncologist in the hospital where my father was being treated for cancer. My mother rejected it on the basis of a cultural difference ( I was born here and he was born there) and too much of an age difference.I myself never had a problem with where someone was born or which culture they came from. I just wanted to marry a good Muslim. My mother/brother are the most intolerant people I know! Then a 26 year old Pakistan- American doctor who was born, raised and educated here wanted to marry me when I had become 26. His marriage had been annulled because as soon as they did the nikaah, the bride confessed she was forced into the marriage. So they immediately annulled the marriage without living together. This was was my friend's brother. My mother rejected the proposal because she didn't believe the story and said there must be more to it. She didn't even want to meet him. Then when I was 29 my friend's brother who was a psychiatrist born in the UK, also Pakistani, educated partially in the UK, Pakistan and the US wanted to marry me. He was 32. My mother and brother ganged up on me, and would not let me speak on the phone with him on the basis that his "mouth was weird" and a psychiatrist was not a real doctor. To this day they make fun of his looks, and insult me for even considering him. She rejected the proposal to the sister blaming me saying that I was born here and should be married to someone also raised here- which was ridiculous because he was raised in the UK, lived in Pakistan for only 4 years in his entire life. She thought that was a polite reason to reject the proposal for the sister. This story didn't make sense to the sister but I didn't speak up. But my mother and my brother have both constantly taunted me that I was desperate to consider someone so ugly. For the record, every single one of my friends who saw his picture did not think he was ugly. They all thought my brother was crazy for even saying that. My brother spends a lot of time looking in the mirror so he is quick to call men "obese" when most people would think they are norma. He makes fun of men's facial features, etc. He even makes fun of my own looks saying I am always willing to settle for men who are not good looking because I myself am not good looking. Obviously I want to marry someone who wants to marry me...I cannot change the way anyone incl myself look. Then a year later I was 30 and a Canadian Pakistani who was 40 was interested in me. He wanted to bring his mother to the house to meet both of us, but my mother refused saying he was too old for me. At 35 I met an Iranian Muslim man on my own. He immediately proposed and wanted to meet my family. I accepted his proposal, my mother thought that was rude because she should have been the one to accept the proposal. She stopped speaking with me. My brother was ride with my fiancé. My fiancé would call to wish my mother Eid Mubarak and she would not even come to the phone. Instead she would tell my brother to return his call. he was a cardiologist and extremely generous- bought me a diamond engagement ring, as well as many other expensive gifts. This would enrage both my mother and brother because they thought I was marrying him because of the gifts although I respected him as a Muslim and appreciated his generosity. In fact he had a similar history to mine in that his father passed away when he was 19 and he financially supported his mother and younger sister and brother until they were done with their education. On Valentine's Day he sent a beautiful necklace- which my mother insulted as an ugly necklace.She insulted every gift he chose throughout the process. My brother interrogated him even though they had met several times already by then, and insinuated he wanted a green card. My brother argued with me saying that my finance wasn't respectful with him (brother made that up and succeeded to rile up my mother against my brother). My mother was upset that his mother would not be coming for the nikah because of visa issues although we would have had another ceremony in Iran. They said he was from a bad family- for no reason. They said he was horrible for leaving his widowed mother in Iran and if he was not a good son then he would not be a good husband or father. When I did not agree with any of these points my mother locked herself up in a room for days and my brother kept telling me he thought she had a stroke. She didn't. But what did happen was that she gave me a massive panic attack, lots of anxiety and stress. The result was that my fiancé did not like to see me so stressed out- because of him. And he said he would feel guilty if my mother did end up dropping dead as a result of our getting married. We broke up. Ten years have gone by. I finished graduate school at the age of 40 because I spent my 20s supporting my mother/brothers. My brother who is one year younger than me is rude, always taunts me for not getting married. He says I should have run off with my fiancé but I would never have thought to do so because I thought I would have to have my mother's blessing. I am in extremely poor health now, and my health is deteriorating. Even after doing everything my mother and brother wanted, they treat me terribly. There is absolutely no appreciation for my sacrifices since my father's death, and no sympathy for my health problems. They both always complain about money, (My brother does not even work and he is over 40!) IMy relationship has permanently changed with my mother and brother. I resent them but I cannot change the past. I don't even know how to change the future. My mother keeps reminding me that anyone who disobeys their mother gets cursed in the next life. the irony is that I have not disobeyed my mother, but she treats me as if I have disobeyed her. They both criticize me for not marrying men who they had approved of. Frankly I don't think they would have ever approved of anyone. But there were times when I would get proposals and I would reject the proposals for a good reason. Because I rejected the, my mother/brother say (10 years later) that those were better than the Iranian I almost married. I just pray to God for sabr, and that he at least acknowledges my sacrifices because no one in my family does.

    I hate to generalize but I don't know why it is desi parents who ruin their kids lives. My finance's mother was also a widow and she just wanted her son to be happy with a good Muslim woman. I have no sympathy for parents who manipulate their children. They made their choices for their youth. Why can't they let others live in peace? No one is ever good enough. It's not enough to be educated but it matters where one is educated from. It's not enough to be a doctor, but what kind of doctor. Not enough to be a Muslim, but has to be the exact same kind of Muslim. I have become really turned off by the desi mentality.

    I am tempted to just move somewhere and never come back. I ask God to replace my anxiety and resentment with gratitude and strength.

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