Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Why do parents give their culture, honour & community priority of their Children and Deen?


I am 28yrs old female from UK and this is my story. Before I write anything I just want to say that I am grateful to Allah for giving me all he has done in life as there are millions or even billions who are in a worse situation or living a bad way of life than me!

Me and my brother went to Pakistan, when I was 23 and he was 20, with our parents for marriage. Our parents believed that we had to get married from Pakistan within family and we had no other option. We were married to my uncle’s son and daughter – I had a bit of choice to whom I could pick (not that I wanted to pick anyone) but my brother didn’t as my dad had arranged his marriage (rishta) about 10yrs ago, obviously without my brothers knowledge! So we both had to suck it all up and get married even though we didn’t want to. You know when parents emotionally blackmail you it is very hard to say no because they have brought us into this world and provided for us for so many years, so we feel like we owe them everything. So subsequently we gave up our happiness to keep the family happy.

We have now been married for 5years and both our husband/wife are here living with us in the UK. My brother and sister in law never got on from day 1 and so they both never made an effort to make their marriage work. Now they are both living with my parents but in separate rooms and have not had any intimate relations for nearly 2yrs now. My brother has said he doesn’t want to be with her and wants to divorce her, but when he has mentioned this to our dad he has refused for him to divorce her and said he has to stay with her at any cost as it’s his brother’s daughter! With so many arguments and goings on within our family my brother was so depressed he started smoking drugs and became suicidal.

My dad did not care though and caused more and more arguments with my brother by saying he’s a bad person and he’s the devil etc  which pushed him to the breaking point and it was then my brother turned to Allah and Islam. Alhumdulillah he prays 5 times a day at the mosque and has stopped smoking drugs and is mentally more stable. It was a sheik in our mosque and my mum that have helped and supported my brother to get him to this point and this year he has even been to Allah’s house and performed Umrah, MashAllah. But the problems still lie there with marriage as he wants to divorce his wife and the only reason he has held back for the last 5yrs is because of my father, he doesn’t want to do anything that will lead to bad health of my dad as he is 65yrs old. My sister in laws family in Pakistan hate my brother and so he can’t even approach them for anything.

My brother does want to move on with his life he is 25yrs old now and is still living an unhappy life, he deserves happiness! It’s funny how kids will give up their happiness for their parents but parents are too worried about society and themselves to give that up for their children’s happiness.

While all the above was going on, I was unable to interfere/help with anything as I am married to my sister-in law’s brother, so my hands are tied as such. Me and my husband live in our own house and were quite happy for the first year, and I have really been working hard at our marriage and have had to compromise on a lot, but obviously all these problems between my brother and his sister have affected our relationship a lot. We had said before that we wouldn’t let their relationship effect ours but it has and I can’t tolerate seeing my brother’s pain and unhappiness and I suppose my husband is the same he can’t stand to see his sister unhappy.

We recently have been going through a rough patch and my husband even raised his hand to hit me twice, when he was having an argument with my brother which I didn’t have anything to do with, but took it out on me. I have to be honest and say he didn’t hit me but has just pushed me a bit hard once or twice. Since this happened I was very shocked because I didn’t think my husband was like this, his anger, temper, rage – when I saw this I got very scared and my brother was very scared for me aswell. I was even scared to sleep in the same house as him as I didn’t know what he was capable of anymore.

With this I have lost trust in my husband and now when his temporary 2yr UK visa is about to run out he wants me to give him indefinite leave to remain in the UK but I don’t want to do this. I just want to extend his temporary visa for another 2yrs as I feel I don’t even know him anymore and can’t trust him. BUT my husband has approached my dad and told him of this and my dad has said I have to give him full stay. My husband and dad have even gone behind my back and have had him do the ESOL course.

I have also found out that my dad and husband have even contacted a peer and given them my details and asked them to do istikhara and find out why I don’t want to give him stay! Instead of my father just speaking to me and asking me this question he has avoided all contact with me regarding this subject and has done all this with my husband’s help. The only person who supports me and my brother when she can is my mother and she is the one for whom I feel so sorry for as I can’t imagine what a mothers pain is – but again no matter how much she wants to help her kids she can’t as her hands her tied by my dad.

My father thinks the sun shines from my husband and my sister in law he supports them with everything and when it comes to his own kids he thinks we are the devils and couldn’t care if we live or die -  Now I’m in a horrible position because all this is causing me so much stress that I just can’t handle it anymore and it makes me want to pack my bags and run away. Surely this is isn’t what life is? Or what life is about? Surely it must be easier to move away from them all and live by myself somewhere in a little apartment and just get on with life. Sometimes I think is it me, am I the bad one, am I the one who is getting all this wrong and they are the right ones???

I don’t know how long me and my brother will be able to handle all this stress, so please remember us in your duas and any advice you can give in this matter will be most appreciated.

May Allah have mercy on us all on the day of judgement.

Allah Hafiz


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26 Responses »

  1. assalamalaikum.
    After rading the whole subject we can conclude by saying that the main person of the house your father himslef is very [ignorant] like the arabs of the pre-islamic days.

    I he would have had the real touch with Quran and Hadees he would have not done what he is doing this-

    Any one for that matter can be a good muslim only when he is On pure Tawheed and practice his life on the authentic sunnah ONLY.

    Because it will guide a human being in every aspect of life and that is the priority in life then comes relatives and and material world-

  2. Salam Sister,

    Your post makes me so sad for both you and your brother. No or woman should be in a marriage that they have been forced into. It is not only wrong on so many levels, it is haram. You and your brother have every right to be happy end of story. You need to do what it is you need to do. Don't worry about anyone's visa or the like, that isn't your problem period. You and your brother deserve a life of love and happiness so in my humble opinion, if that means you have to walk away and get a place of your be it.


  3. Your situation is a result of a number of things, first of all as you said your from a british pakistani family after which i could have guessed the story since it has become common that problems appear in these marriages.

    The problem is solely culture and tradition and nothing more, its passed down the generations and if one was to disboey the 'tradition' they would be excluded from the family tree almost and branded a 'traitor', and hence in this situation the parent forgets all else and tries to do right by cultrue and tradition.

    It was all fine back in the day when everyone lived in pakistan, when the age was right (most likely 15+) two cousins would get married/ or 2 from close family would get married. it wasnt if you liked each other or if their was any 'love' or any of that, it was simply a way of life and you had to accept that but that was how each person was bought up and so no problems would appear. The ideal model was that husband would work and wife would do housework and so no problems would arise, it was about living your life and being happy with what you have rather than questioning why you never really got a choice, and this continued through each generation.
    Then came the time when pakistani men were given a chance to labour here in the uk, and so they came and slowly decided to reside here on a permanent basis, im sure you know all this but im being clear so you understand better. at this time the next generation was born, now while the parents teach a child all their manners, respect and other key attributes they cannot remove the influence of the enviroment, and this enviroment is now the key to putting a end to these pakistani cousin/abroad marriages.

    I have dealt with alot of these marriages, in terms of being the middle-man, peace-maker or in general and you must understand that you cannot blame your parents since as i mentioned above they are simply following on from tradition and their up-bringing. Your father is the head of the house and he wants to feel that way and doesn't want to disrespect his fathers/mothers and so on traditions, in reality he is brainwashed and so he becomes blind to his childrens feelings, and thus you and your brother become pawns on a chessboard and may well have felt dejected and unloved at some stage.
    Your mother is a faint figure behind your father and is powerless in changing his mind, she simply must respect and follow the decision of her husband, but as you said yourself her love and care for you has shone through and this more than ever proves it was culture and tradition rather than a genuine marriage choice by your father.

    i will upload a story of a close friend of mine in the exaxct same situation soon(inside 3 days), he decided to make a change and it proved well, i hope you can take inspiration from his story and break free insha'Allah.

    • Please let me know once you haveuploaded the sory you have so I can read it.

      • insha'Allah by tommorow evening.

        • I lived with my 2 sisters and my parents, never really got on with my dad well none of us did he was always shouting and demanded we do things, mum was always nice but had to support dad. I was 16 and dad said were all going to Pakistan in the summer holidays, i was excited since it was my first time and thought it was a innocent visit since no one told me anything back then.
          Holidays came and we all got there, met our family and my cousins who I had never seen I was always the joker and told my sister that guy is checking you out, but my sister went off in anger I knew something was wrong but what it was made me wonder, I asked my younger sister who was 15 about whats going on and she told me that my older sister was getting married.
          In the days leading up to the wedding, my mum went with my sister and cousins to buy clothes but my sister was always vexed and everyone could see that, when I was asleep I could hear my dad shouting at my sister in fact the whole village could!, my dad was so nice and perfect infront of others but with us he was so sad and unfair.
          On the day of my sisters wedding I had ladies come up to me and say I would be perfect for their daughter, I smiled it off but hated the idea I wanted a british born wife who knew my lifestyle and who I could be happy with not a mangy. We came back to the uk and my sisters relationship got worse with my dad and he even hit her few times, she done the paperwork under force and months later my brother in law turned up to our house, my sister was sad and it hurt me that my dad would do such a thing to her, as I found out more I realised my dad had done rishta for me and my younger sister already and it was all planned a long time back.
          It got worse and my sisters life was run by my dad, her husband told my dad that she wont agree to have children and my dad forced my sister to have sex with him, she started smoking and not caring about anything it was work and home for her, she did get pregnant and wanted to run away from everything but my mum made her stay for her sake but I was older now and I knew that I was next to be in this situation.
          I started to hate my dad for what he did, my sister was so sweet and bubbly that she could make me laugh even at the worse of times but now she was just a empty shell with nothing but sadness and tears. It broke my heart and I decided for the sake of my future I was going to leave when I got the chance, and so I found a job and started earning.
          I finished studying and my dad asked me to check prices of tickets, the phone calls to Pakistan increased and my mum told me that my dad is taking me to Pakistan to get married, I spoke to my uncle on the phone and I was forced to say yes since my dad was next to me on speakerphone. That night I cried, for once in my life I had to leave my mum and dad and my sisters not for fun or by choice but because I want a life of my own, I didn’t want to marry someone I didn’t love and spend the rest of my life with them, I respect my dad but this was too far and too much for me to take and I had to go.
          The next few days I started looking for flats to rent and I found a place for myself, it was some distance away from my house but though I was scared and worried I had to do best by my future and life. I left on the Wednesday packing a bag and I moved into my new place, I had loads of missed calls from mum and dad but I didn’t answer and voicemails were full of abuse from my dad, I was called ‘fake’, ‘disgrace’ and worse of all a ‘kuffar’ I chose to change my number.
          It was the hardest thing I done but I had my job and slowly I started to rebuild my house, after 5 months I went to visit my mum while dad was at mosque, I broke in tears and swore I didn’t mean to hurt her, she understood me and I promised once I have enough money I would buy a house and she could live with me, I left my number with my sister and left.
          Im writing my story because I want people to know that its not a dead end, words cant describe how hard it was moving away but I had my friends and I had Allah. I was proud to be a Pakistani but not proud to be part of a stupid cult set out by our people, my dad hates me but one day when I am happy with my wife and I have my own house he will realise sometimes the happiness of your children is more important than that of your brothers or sisters and more than any tradition, my younger sister is now 21 and is at uni living in halls she visits me when she has a chance and she told me that because of what I done it gave her courage and energy to stand up for herself and say no to dad, because its not about him but about us.

          apologies for late posting

          • Brother,

            You are an inspiration and a beacon of light for other Muslims who find themselves in the same situation. I cannot for a moment think of how scared and alone you were when you were faced with having to leave your home and all that you knew. I commend you for doing what it is that you needed to do to enable you to lead the life it is that you wish to have. Maybe some day your father will be able to understand that you were not defying him in so much that you were asserting your right not only as a Muslim but as a human being to be free to choose the woman who will be your wife and mother of your children. May Allah almighty grant you peace and a life filled with happiness and love.


          • Perfect Brother Kelvenator... It's a light and insipiration for others. I too did stand up for myself when I saw my siblings in the same situation as you described and Allhamdullilah I'm out of it and even as you said my younger ones also don't have to go through it. It reminded me my own. It's too difficult to undergo all this but it's worth it.
            Thanks for sharing

          • Brother, thanks for posting your story. I read it last night and I was very emotional after reading it, hence why I didnt reply. I felt really sad for you, but glad that you had the courage to stand up for your right. Your story and what your sister has went through is very similar to mine & my brothers. Can I ask you a few questions if you dont mind?

            Are you happy now with your life?
            Is your older sister happy and content? or she is still facing problems?
            Has your dad's opinion/attitude changed towards you?
            Why did you not take your mother with you?

            Firstly, I apologise if my questions are too personal and you dont have to answer them if you dont want to.

            I have thoguht about leaving alot, but because It's just me and my brother and we dont have any other siblings I dont want to leave my mum behind on her own with my dad and the rest of them. I dont think my mum would just leave my dad either and I dont blame her. I have my own house where I live and a secure job - would I have to leave it all?

  4. Honestly, I'm just in shock that there is still arrange marriges out there, I'm from Kurdistan northern Iraq, here in USA and back in my country we all marry who ever we want too ask long as they both are Muslims. I feel bad for both of you to go threw this, I honestly would leave far away because your story is sad insallah Allah be with you.

  5. Thanks for your concern and comments.

    kelvenater - thanks for your wise words and I agree with what you are saying. In anger i blame my father but really deep down i can never hate him, he is as much as a victim of this so called culture/tradition as we all are. It goes to show that us muslims dont know our own deen properly, as we mistake tradition/culture as deen, but yet we are the first ones to point at the figure at other religions.

    I have decided though to just give my husband his permanent stay as I cant handle the pressure and feel like I will do something stupid in the midst of it all, and I dont want that, My intentions with my husband from day one have been to be with him and live as husband and wife - It's just the affects of my brothers marriage to his sister has had serious affects with our marriage to the point we both doubt eachother and cant see a future together. I have this fear that how ever much I try and make this marriage work it wil fall down due to the family issues.

    My brother has gone through so much in life, things I cannot really disclose on here, and I feel for him the most and just want to see him happy but do the right thing too.

    Its like 4 lifes are being ruined for the sake of one marriage - my dad wants to keep my brother and wife tied into the marriage but what is the use of that - I dont understand what he thinks will happen in the next few yrs that hasnt happened in the last 5-6yrs. Some people say its black magic and someone has done taweez and we should get them removed, but I dont anything about this or how to remove the taweez. But I just dont know how we will cope with the storm that is brewing in our family. I pray to Allah that he give us sabar.

  6. Your story is very sad, I would like to say here that you are not the first one who is in this problem, most of girls living abroad went to the same problem.
    I agree with you that your father believes in typical cultures values but 5 years have passed and he has seen the consequences of his decisions on his childrens, it's time he cares more about you than his sister or brother's kids and accept that he took some wrong decisions.

    My feeling is that ur brother should divorce his wife, not having an husband/wife relation during two years is too much, I don't know if u realize. And if your brother doeasn't take a decision today because he's only 25 maybe he will take it in 3 or 5 years when he will be in the age of facing his father.

    As far as you are concerned, u didn't mention if u have kids or not, if not then push ur brother to take the decision he wants. Just imagine the day u will have kids, what kind of stress they would have to go through, I belong to a family with a strict father & a nice mother. And i know how badly parents relation can affect kids.Alhadoulliah now my father is a change man but we all the kids fight for the rights of our mother.

    If ur husband loves u and care about you he will be on ur side, but if he doesn't care about u that's mean he will b like ur father who will always b on his parents side. Today it's question of ur rights, tomorrow it will b questions of ur kids rights.

    And last thing, u both are very courageous, I will pray for u because both of u are sacrifing for each other, few are brothers and sisters in our sociaty who do that.

    • thanks sister for ypur comments. neither of us have any kids and in a way that is good thing because if we did they would suffer too! There are alot of things that have happened and ate happening in our house and i just pray that Allah has a good outcome prepared for us as our lives cant carry on like this. if my btothets divorce happens then i have to prepare for the concequences it will have on me as thats my inlaws! whatever happens the effects are bad but i am happy to go thru them if it means my brother is happy because i love him and he is precious to me. i will always stick by my mum as Janat rests at her feet. pls pray for us & inshAllah we will pray for u.

  7. This is so sad my sister, in his heart your father most likely thinks he has done the best he can do in marrying you both off to his brothers children, Subhan'Allah anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances please don't let this happen to you forced marriage is so wrong wrong wrong.................and iam glad you let him get his visa maybe doing that will make things a bit easier in you marriage insha'Allah, making dua for you my sister in islam,

  8. Please help me. My mum has said that my grandad (my mums dad) went to my uncles home and they all treated my grandad really bad and said lots of bad things about my mum due to mine and my brothers situation. My grandad said that they all are doing a big conspiricy back in pakistan and my husband and sis in law are all part of it. My grandad says I shouldnt give my husband stay in Uk as he has no trust that he wont just leave me after stay is granted, I have to sign the papers for my husbands permanent stay in the next few days and I really dont know what I should do??? Nothing much has happened about my brother's situation either as my dad wont allow him to divorce because my brother wants to divorce his wife and not live in the same house as her. I think he wants her to go back to Pakistan due to all the problems and issues she has caused. As she is my husbands sister I feel my husband will do the same with me, just get stay and leave me. I gave my husband the option to have 2yr extension visa, which is what i want, but he wants permanent stay and putting pressure on me everyday to sign the papers. My mind feels like its going to burst, I dont know how much longer I can live like this and just want to die. I know life is precious but I will Allah would just take me away from all this to a place where there is peace and sanity................PLEASE HELP ME.

    • Assalamoalaikum Sister Simplicity,
      I have been reading your post but I don't know if I am able to give a comment. But today seeing what you wrote really made me sad. I am surely going to make Dua for you tonight InshaAllah.
      About the stay don't you think you should do an Istikhara and seek Allah(S.w.t)'s guidance and then make a decision . Go with your own instincts .
      I know it's all very sad the situation of people like us living abroad and parents giving in to traditions. But InshaAllah we are the ones who have to take steps to make a change so none of us or the coming generations suffer anymore.
      And one thing more, life is too precious . It's a chance to make a change a positive one for this world and work for the betterment of our Akhirah . You will come out of this test InshaAllah.
      May Allah(s.w.t) give you the ability to decide what is the best for you in this world and the next.

    • i want you to read the story i posted, but apart from that i would say dont give him permanent residence as of yet, because its not YOUR wish but your father and husbands, and something which your not sure of and hesistate in its best to follow your own.

      You must be strong and resist the pressure, for him his mission is for the visa on a permanent basis so its normal for him, but you must consider everything and not fold, i say again dont give permanent residence but only the extension.

    • Sister,

      At this point, you hold the cards. You are not a pawn in a game of chess, you are a human being. You are the one making the decision here, not your father. I would not grant your husband permanent stay at all. If things were different and he was a loving and thoughtful husband, you would not have any hesitation right? You are in control here, no one else. He should be beyond grateful just for the extension.


      • Salam,

        Thanks Sister, i know your right that I hold the cards, but why do i feel so depressed and helpless??!! My husband has said i can either give him permanent stay or he can go back to Pakistan, when I said do the later because all you care about is the stay he said 'im staying in uk like alot of these illegal immigrants do' - He has also started completing his settlement form and has said he wants my signature and pics on Saturday so he can send them off. This just goes to show that he doesnt and never did care about me, lik i thought he did. I cant believe I miss-judged his character so much. trust me sister I am not in control at all. I think i might call the UK border agency and see what they suggest or where I stand by law. I do fear of being left on my own and being a divorced as I never thought I would be in this situation in my life!

        • Salam again,

          You are feeling helpless and depressed because you have no control over decisions that are yours to make. You are pretty much being forced to do something that you don't want to do. Basically, your husband is telling you whether you like it or not...I am going to submit the papers for a permanent stay. If you don't sign it, he most likely will sign it himself and get pictures of you even without your knowledge.

          I believe you should contact the authorities in charge and let them know you will not be approving his permanent stay. The one thing that you must understand here is, you are doing nothing wrong. You were given no choice in you current situation but out of respect to your father, you followed through and are living a miserable existence because of it. You must ask yourself, at what point have you had enough? As Muslim states earlier in their post, it is this generation that needs to assert change so that future generations do not experience the pain, hurt and unfairness that you and your brother have. Sad to say, until you, your brother and those who are in the same situation do something about it, the practice of marrying sons and daughter off without their knowledge or permission will continue.

          Praying for you and your brother, may you both find peace and happiness.


  9. My husband tried to commit suicide lastnight! He said he couldnt live without me and took lots of tablets and medicines. Thankfully I realised in time and called an ambluance, which took him to hospital and had him checked but with Allah's help all his tests came back fine. I really dont want anyone on my conscious and have decided to give him his permanent stay and that way I will have everyone off my back. I think before I do sign the papers I will arrange for postnuptial agreement to be signed so in case he does leave me/divorce me in the future he wont have any rights over any of my assetts. I will also help my brother through his divorce proceedings and ensure the best I can that he is happy and if this means that we both move away. I am looking to buy a property not too far away for me & my brother to live in, so we get to see our mother aswell - similar outcome to what brother kelvenater mentioned earlier in his story.

    I know your all probably thinking im really weak as I have given in and decided to give my hsuband permanent stay - but I am weak and I cant let my actions have such a bad effect on the people I care about (this is a sin aswell), even if they dont hold the same thought of care for me. I will just have to suck it up and get on with it and just try and follow the path Allah has set and pray for the present and the afterlife.

    Thanks to all my brothers and sisters in Islam that have commented and thought of me in their prayers - I did find comfort in your wise words. I pray Allah gives you all the happiness you deserve in this world and the world after. Please please remember my brother in your duas and prayers as he is mostly in need of these.

    May Allah have mercy on us all on the day of judgement.

    Allah Hafiz

    • Salam sister,

      I would never see you as weak. It is always easy for anyone to offer advice for any given situation but the reality is, sometimes in life we have to do what we have to do. I am glad to know that your husband is okay and he came to no harm. It sounds as though he has suffered too from this whole mess. You sound like a very smart woman and I think you are going to do just fine. I believe a post nuptial agreement is in your best interests and protects you and your assets that were acquired prior to marriage.

      It is obvious that this whole situation has affected both families greatly, here and abroad. I can only hope that future generations of youth will stand up to their parents with respect and love and not allow this to happen to them if it is something they do not want. Everyone deserves to be happy and to choose their life partner...not to have it forced upon them. Take care of your brother, I am sure he needs you in his life right now. May all of you find peace.


    • The story i posted was of a close friend of mine, i will be honest with you and say he was and still is sad that he left his mother and sisters however he is much happier and i see this energy in him everytime we meet or see each other which wasnt their before. He is still living alone but is saving so he can buy his own house and so his mum could live with him, at this time his father is unaware of where he lives and he has asked all those who know to keep discreet its for his safety since he still fears his dad.
      His older sister now has a child and so has no choice but to stay, but i think the support from her mum has helped her and so its a question of coping for her and making most of what she has, she has applied for a council house so she can move out with her husband and live seperate since the relationship with her dad is very bad.

      It was hard for him to leave, but the support from his friends and more important his sisters helped him and so your relationship with your brother is key to both of you coming out of this situation, stick together and support each other, may Allah help and guide you both insha'Allah.

      The idea of postnuptial agreement is good and i understand you were faced with a hard emotional choice and i think you a strong because strong people have hearts and care for others and you have shown that, i hope it works out for you insha'Allah.

      I will keep you in my duas sister

  10. Sister in your case i dont see the big deal in giving him his stay papers he's your cousin and it will most likely benefit his family back home who are your family to, i mean your 2 cousins are victims in this situation to its not fair on them as well as you 2 the way things turned out, insha'Allah i just hope they find happiness to,

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