Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Parents are getting me married to a cousin I have not met

Salaam waleikum brothers and sisters,

First of all, I'd like to thank you in advance because you are really doing and excellent job, Mashallah. Keep the work up.

I'm very concerned about my future. I am 21 and I'm studying nursing and expecting to study medicine in the future Inshallah. My parents are afraid what people can say about me, because it's not usual in my country seeing a musilim woman not married at such age (most of my muslim friends were married when they were 16 or 17).

So my parents decided to find me a spouse. The first candidate seemed to be the right person for me but after some months we knew that he wasn't that kind of person.

The second candidate is a cousine of mine. I don't know him (he lives in a little country in Africa and I am living in Europe). My parents don't know almost anything about this guy. But the only thing my parents want is that I have to get married as soon as possible. So they decided to pay the plane ticket and bring him to our country, in order to know more about the guy.

But after some weeks, my father received a phone call from his brother in Africa. My uncle was anger because he wanted to marry his daughter with that guy. My father was angry too and quickly called their brothers and friends to confirm that soon me and my cousin we were getting married.

My parents didn't asked me if I agreed to the future marriage. I have done salat al istikhara but I have not been able to interpret anything. The boy does not know me but he has accepted without hesitation.

I'm very disoriented. I'm going to marry a person that I don't know, I have not seen him, I have not spoken to him...
What I have to do? I have to resign myself to the situation? I really would have wanted to express my feelings and explain what I expect in marriage. I really would have wanted to have the right to decide. To say yes or no.

My parents want me to be happy but as I try, I can't make a sincere smile. I am very sad and every time I think about my possible future I break to mourn.

Thanks again for your attention,


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16 Responses »

  1. AishaD,

    You do have the right to accept or reject the proposal; one of the conditions of marriage is that both individuals have given their free consent (not consent under duress). While I am sure your parents care about you, it seems they may have been brought up in a society where consulting women about marriage is not important. This is prevalent in many societies and it causes problems. The parents suggest a proposal, they do not consult their daughter, the daughter remains quiet out of fear of parent's anger and the whole cycle starts.

    The best thing you can do is speak to your parents gently. Tell them that you want to see and speak to your cousin before you go further, as even the Prophet(sws) recommended this. You also do not know how your parents will react to you. You may be nicely surprised.

    You will find some good information on this link:

    SisterZ Editor

  2. Assalamu alaykum Sister,

    Consult with your parents in kindness and do not agree to marriage until you feel so from your heart by your "own" choice. You have the right to choose the person you want to marry. I do not know why parents in different countries and cultures even being Muslims fail to realize this.

    You should speak to them in kindness, you should see the person, know about him, talk all your priorities in life, agreements and disagreements on important issues related to marriage and get issues resolved before taking the step of marriage.

    You are in Europe, cultural differences may also have impact on a relation, because your parents may have married years back, may be when they were in the same country, in the same upbringing, you may have a different outlook towards life and may possibly find your own outlook more far sighted and wider in application, where as the person in proposal may not be able to think and act that way due to his upbringing and it may lead to post marital clashes.

    So best is to know the person, how he is, what is his thinking, most important, how is his "iimaan" and only then proceed further after feeling comfortable that he would be able to make a good husband for you.

    Pray to Allah to ease your way and give you a comforting partner whosoever he may be.

    Your brother.

  3. Sister, in my own opinion, i think u should give marriage a try. . . . Ur parents will always want d best 4 u . . .and as u can see, ur father is busy struggling 4 u thinking he's doing his best to make u happy. . . . I think if u reject this offer, ur parents will feel very disappointed and embarassed. It will give them so much pain. . . . . . Tell ur parents to give u time so that u guys will get to meet each other and u can easily express ur feelings and tell him ur do's and dont's. . . . .

    • I think that if she does not feel agree to marry this man that she should reject this offer. Ofcourse she should talk & get to know him, maybe she will be pleasantly surprised. She might even agree to this marriage out of her own choice, but if she does not want to marry him after meeting with him then she should not give this marriage a try. Even if they get disappointed & embarrassed, they are not going to be the one living with him & having his kids, she will. Marriage just to please the parents is not the way to go. For the marriage to be valid both the man & woman have to mutually agree without any pressure.

      • Mohd and Pepper, thank you for answering me. I know that my parents wants me to be happy but I always think about this sentence: if I am happy waht I choose, they should be happy too. What do you think?


  4. Aisha,

    You said it yourself, you and your parents know absolutely nothing about this guy...cousin or not. Just because he is coming to see you, that does not mean you have to marry him. Use your own mind and do not allow anyone to push you into this or any marriage, you will regret it for a lifetime. Take it slow and see if you feel any chemistry when you have some time together. Whatever you do, listen to your gut feelings and not those of anyone else, including your parents.

    My daughter has had three young men come to ask for her hand (she too is 21). Each of these men had excellent jobs and in my opinion, were good looking. My daughter found no chemistry with any of them thus she declined marriage. As her mother, I would love for her to accept any one of them as they all came from wonderful families. In the end, I have to respect my daughters feelings and her decision as it is she who will live with this person, not me. your cousin and do not allow anyone to pressure you. Marriage is life changing and you want to spend it with someone you want to be with, not someone you don't.

    May Allah guide you in your decision


    • Assalamu alaykum Sister Najah,

      Masha Allah, I find so much power packed words in your post at times. The expression is just with ample emphasis on the right points in answer to the post.

      Subhaan Allah.

      Your brother.

      • Salam Brother Muniib,

        Thank you for your kind words. I never realized just how many young Muslim girls are pressured into marriages that they themselves do not want. My hope is to convey to these young women that they have a choice in the matter and it is not up to anyone else to make that choice for them. I do believe that if parents listened more to their daughters with regards to what they want and what they feel, we would not have half of the unhappy marriages or miserable couples that I tend to see day after day on this website. Seriously it is mind boggling. How can a family raise their daughter with all the love they possess, yet marry her off to someone whom she is telling them she does not want?

        Take for example a dear friend of mine. She was married to her first cousin and pretty much had to be dragged to her wedding day. She told her parents over and over she did not want to marry this man even up till the dreaded day of marriage. They did not listen...instead she heard the all too famous words that many families still use today, "you'll learn to love him". Well, long story short, she didn't and it was a miserable loveless marriage that ended up in divorce. She never married again and is nearing her 50's...alone. She was a stunning young woman in her youth and never got to experience her life with a partner of her choosing or to have a family of her own. I often wonder just what her parents think of themselves and how they pushed her when she clearly told them, "I do not want this". It's a sad shame.

        I just want these young girls like sister Aisha here to understand that Islam does not force the marriage of a girl to someone she does not wish to be with. It seems many of these girls back down due to the pressures of their parents and family members. Many of these girls refer to it as "emotional blackmail".I want them to know that they need to be strong and assert their rights as Muslim women and use their voices. If the chemistry is not there, it's not there, nothing will change that. I will be praying for sister Aisha that she will assert her rights in Islam and accept her cousin if it is of her choosing. I also hope that her parents will listen to her and respect her decision should she decide that he is not the one for her.


        • Assalamu alaykum Sister Najah,

          Well, you said it right, parents need to understand, but they don't. Children too need to understand if parents have valid reasons to reject a proposal.

          But it should be a mutual decision in Islamic way where a person has a right to choose whom she/ he wants to marry.

          Girls are under so much pressure of saying yes, that they are unable to say no and given in and try to adjust themselves in order to " not to bring tears" in the eyes of the family. Allah knows for how many days would a family shed tears if their daughter married someone of her choice?

          No one knows future. We have to go by visible iimaan of a person and his realities known to us seeking Allah's guidance, and see how the marriage goes.

          If it goes well, then Alhamdulillaah. If not, divorce and when ready for a new relation, Insha Allah marry someone else. Never remain stuck and in tears and brooding over decisions life long. Islam does not ask for that at all. Allah has made living Islam easy for us.

          Please continue to make the girls aware of their rights, Insha Allah. I hope Allah will improve the state of those who will to change it, Insha Allah.

          I hope from Allah that He will marry your daughter to a man of her choice and make it a successful marriage for dunya and aakhirah. Insha Allah.

          Your brother.

    • Wonderful words Mashallah. Finally I met him (he came from a small country in Africa a week ago). We spoke a little each other I didn't find no chemistry with him. Although we have the same ethnicity, same religion, we grew up in a very different countries and backgrounds. And I've made a decision: I will tall my parents about my feeling and my thoughts about this marriage. I will speak them the truth. Althougth they think that he is the righteous person for me, I feel I will suffer if I marry him.

      Thank, thank a lot of your advice sister. May Allah reward you, Inshallah.


  5. Salamu alaykum sister aisha.
    I am very happy that you have shared this situation of your which is soo common in the middleast countries. I too have once been in ur situation. I live in california. My parents chose for me a candidate, he was not suitable for me, and I rejected him. Still they came along with another candidate. Alhamdulilah my parents asked me for my opinion. and he also is my first couson. There is nothing wrong in marriying a cousin as the prophet's (saw) daughter fatima was married to her cousin Ali. I know that's not the point here. Anyway with my second offer in marriage, I told my parents that I need some time to get to know this person. And he also lived a thousand miles away in africa. He once called to give salam to my family and I accidently answered the phone. It felt awkwarsd speaking to someone u never met in your life and in the back of ur mind ur thinking I'm speaking to my future spouse from another planet (country). There was a dead silince for a moment, for five minutes we exchanged greetings and we also took advantage of our opportunity to get to know each other by exchanging emails and phone numbers. To make long story short, we spoke to each other for a year through msn and exchanged pictures. I was at ease to know a little more about my future husband. We had so much in common that I was ready to meet him. We laid our foundation of what we expected in our marriage. We shared our Do's and donts. He even sent me an engagement ring which I recently gave it away in sadaqa. Allhamdulilah we got married last year, when I was almost 19. Now I am 20 and have a wonderful gift from Allah, a beautiful son. From my experience, my arranged marriage was expecting the unexpected. I didn't what was going to happen next even till the day I met him. And I admit my partner was all I expected out of him and more. May Allah make it easy for all the couples out there with or without arranged marriage. May Allah give us all happy healthy long life. May Allah bless the muslim ummah with obedient loyal children. Ammeen, wassalam.

    • Salam waleikum sister Shadiya,

      congratulations to your marriage and for having your beloved son. And thank you to take time and answering my questions.

      Unfortunately, I've met him and I thin I am not the righteous person for him. I think that letting the marriage process going on is the same as I am lying. So I will talk to my parents about the situation.

      Thanks a lot sister,

  6. Salam waleikum my brothers and sisters,

    I amb AishaD, the owner of the text posted months ago. I cannot remember my password so I can't enter in my profile page, so that to answer you. That's why I'm writing here.

    It's been a long time since I write this post. I waited desperetly for your answers. After waiting for weeks, I thought nobody would answered my questions. Then I started a new job, university classes started.

    Now I read all your answers. Alhumdulillah, I thank all of you for the suport you brought to me.

    My cousin arrived a week ago. I discovered what kind of feelings I have to him. Now I know that I will not be happy if I marry him. Because I didn't choose him as a partner. So instead of letting the marriage process going on, I am prepared to talk to my parents and express my feeling and my final decision. If I don't tell them the truth abou this marriage I will be lying at my cousin, my parents and my whole family.

    Again, thanks a lot for your support (IslamicAnswers editors and muslim users).



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