Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Parents forcing me to marry cousin.

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Forced marriage

Assalamu alaikum.

I am 23 year old girl. I was engaged in childhood to a cousin of mine. I told my dad twice about it, but he said that the guy is religious and with a good character. However, I am not willing to accept him as my husband because I dont feel compatible with him and our thinking doesn't match. I don't even like the atmosphere of his house, even though that's my grandparents house.

Now as the time is coming close for my marriage, I am all the more feeling nervous and petrified from within, neither I am getting any good feeling about it. One of the reasons for not marrying him is because his cousin (who is also supposed to be my cousin) molested me when was a kid. Though I have forgiven him and he thinks I don't remember anything,  I haven't forgotten anything. And I just don't want to marry in that house. I can't explain, but the slightest thought of marrying there scares me and out of fear my heart beat goes up.

Now I met my friend's friend with whom I usually discuss Islamic related topics, we have known each other  for 3-4 years now but never spoke much, and he knows all the situation that happened with me. He recently asked me for marriage and I chose him for his deen, alhumdulilah. His family knows about me. Alhumdulilah, we are not in any haram relationship because both of us want things to be carried out in a halal way.

So I did istekhara, and I swear I asked Allah that if this cousin is better for me,  to give me sabr and strength to accept him. Ahumdulilah after istekhara, I got these strong vibes that I shouldn't go ahead with my cousin for marriage.  Also I don't know what should I interpret about the dream that I got after doing istekhara: I saw the other guy in my dream and then I saw a marriage taking place. And by the grace of Allaah I confessed about all this (except the dream part) to my parents.

Now the problem is they want me to marry my cousin, whereas I don't intend to marry him at all- and not because of this new guy; I never wished to marry him since childhood. My parents are telling me to marry him as he is a nice guy, he prays 5 times etc. but the guy whom I want to marry is also religious, alhumdulilah, probably more than my cousin. And now my parents tell me that if I don't listen to them I am denying their rights as parents.  If I go for the marriage, my heart cries and I feel like running away from the world. The fact that none of the girls in my family married someone outside our caste, my parents are too skeptical in getting me married outside our caste. This is affecting my health now, as my parents don't talk to me properly. I feel frustrated and trapped.

I told my parents according to shariah, a women has the right to marry who she wants to, so my parents are telling me "does shariah tells what rights parents have over children?" I really love my parents, and I understand their point too, but I just cant stand their family and I don't want to see him as my husband.  Our personalities are quite different and I can't gel well with him.

I really don't know what to do, my heart is not ready to accept my cousin as my husband and probably I will be spoiling his life because I won't be happy with this marriage. I would rather say single all my life than marry this cousin. I am just so frustrated with all this. Nobody at home talks to me properly and all I do whole day is just cry. What should I do?? Please help!!

Jazakallah khair.


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19 Responses »

  1. Walaikum salam sister Nadiakhan999,
    Sister, forced marriages are unfortunately so common in our community that on this forum alone we receive 1 or 2 posts every other day and comments here and there from sisters either being forced to marry someone of their parent's choice or stay married to someone who their parents got them married to, despite the fact that they have nothing in common.

    Khansa' bint Khizam al-Ansāriyyah said “My father married me to his nephew, and I did not like this match, so I complained to the Messenger of Allāh. He said to me “accept what your father has arranged.” I said “I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.” He said “then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.” (Fathul Bāri, Sharah Al Bukhāri 9/194, Ibn Mājah Kitabun Nikah 1/602). In another version, she went to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) and he annulled the marriage. Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 4845.

    I would say that speak up because this is your life and you have every right to marry the person you like given that he is religious and of good character, capable of supporting a family etc etc. Remember this is the right time, it won't come back once you are married and have kids. Involve other family members such as uncles, aunts or grand parents; if possible get the imam of the local mosque to speak to your parents. At the same time keep trying to convince them. Be respectful but be persistent. Our parents generation was different who mostly followed the culture and still do and these practices are deeply embed.

    You have to convince your parents that there is no shame in marrying outside of one's culture, family or caste instead it is advised and certainly no shame in choosing one's partner as long as correct Islamic guidelines are followed. Know this yourself that you are not disrespecting your parents and if they curse you for choosing your life partner than it will not be accepted by Almighty (the All Just). If they blackmail you saying that they brought you up, fed you, clothed and taught you and provided shelter for you etc etc than tell them that it was what all parents are supposed to do, and list can go on and on forever.


  2. salaam,

    if you dont want to marry this cousin of yours , then you have to speak loudly about it. first to your parents and then to this guy and his elders.

    if you dont raise this issue loudly and quickly then you are placing yourself in a much more difficult situation then you are now.

  3. Yes!!! You need to speak up this is your life you will spent rest of your life with this guy not your parents. Even though they want what is best for us always.

  4. assalam mualaikum if u are forced to marry your cousin you will be uncomfortable for the rest of your life which is wrong you should be able to marry who u want to you should talk to an imam and the imam should be able to talk to your parents thats one way.

  5. Assalam Walikoum Sister,

    I can feel your pain. Astaghfirullah I don't know what has come upon all these parents that put their childrens happiness aside to please tradition and culture instead of looking at what Allah ordered upon them. All I can tell you is , please PLEASE do not enter into a marriage you are not happy with. This will cause so much damage to all of you in the future, especially if you have kids and you're unhappy. Marriage is difficult, it's not a mere image of sticking two people in a house and expecting things to run smoothly. It takes time, effort and determination, not to mention love to keep it lasting through all the obstacles. Parents don't seem to get it's a new generation, divorce is on it's all time high and now most men and women won't accept to just live a life without feeling a sense of happiness, or else they will look for it elsewhere. This is why Allah has put such importance on marriage and emphasising that the man and woman are compatible. As the previous comments have said, it is YOUR right to choose your spouse because when your parents are no longer with you once you move out, it is your husband that will be there for you.

    Take a stand for what is right; not only religiously but for your own sanity. It's going to be hard, you'll have many months and possibly years of heartache and a sense of guilt but when you do, make wudu and pray to Allah , the all Seeing and Knowing. only He can comfort you and guide you when no one else can. I am going through almost the same issue, but my parents are forcing me to DIVORCE my loving husband because he comes from a different culture. So sister, stay strong and keep close to Allah. Do not give in to the temptation of pleasing your parents in this matter because this is a very serious issue; they will be mad, sad and will do anything in their power to make you feel you're wrong but know that you are not and there will come a time Allah will arrange all of this.

    As for this man you do want to marry, I would suggest you speak to an Immam if your parents still will not accept and if their reasoning is culture and not regarding Deen and what YOU want , your father loses his power to become your Wali and it would pass on to the next family member. If none want to, an Imam can be your Wali and marry you off. Do the less of the two sins and marry instead of speaking or communicating with this man who is a Non-Mahram to you. Follow the Sunnah and the path of our simple and beautiful religion, you will be the winner in the Akhira even if you may face difficulties along the road.

    Please make Istikhara before doing anything forward and Allah will guide you in ways you could not imagine were possible. I will make Dua for you and for every other Muslim brother or sister going through this battle. It is a shame that culture overrides our religion, it is up to our generation to change it.

    Assalam and please keep us updated

  6. Salam sister,

    I am the mother of three amazing daughters. I love each and every one of them to the moon and back. I have raised them to the best of my ability and Inshallah there will be some amazing brothers who will come to ask for their hands in marriage. Just because I have raised them and sacrificed a lot for them does not give me any right whatsoever to force upon them a brother (cousin or not) that they do not wish to marry. The choice of marriage is theirs and theirs alone. My oldest daughter has had three brothers come to ask for her hand. She politely declined all three. As much as I would have loved her to accept one particular brother whom I felt was an exceptional brother with a good family background, stable job and loving family...she simply did not feel a connection. Who am I to push her to marry any one of them simply because I think it will be good for her? I am not the one who will live with the man...she will. As such, it is she who must make the decision for which she finds best for her.

    Your parents claim that you are denying them their rights however, they are denying you your God given right to choose whom you marry. They have absolutely no right to push you into a marriage that you yourself know is not the right fit for you. Islam forbids forced marriage, end of story.

    If I were in your shoes...I would simply tell my parents, "I am not marrying this guy". Stand your ground and be firm. Do not participate in preparation for the wedding in any way. Nothing...nada. Do not purchase a dress or partake in anything that will bring you closer to your wedding day.

    Muslim parents the world over need to learn to listen to their daughters. In many situations, it is they... the parents who are responsible for their daughters sadness and miserable life. Why? Because they don't listen when their daughters are telling them that the person they want is not compatible with them.

    My husbands niece was pretty much pushed into marrying her first cousin. She told them she did not want to marry him at all. Did they care? No. Everyone said, "you will grow to love him". Well...she didn't and on top of that, he abused her. Today she is 51 years old...her youth gone. Her marriage didn't even make it to one year. She divorced and never married again. I wonder how her parents feel now? She was only 21 years old and extremely beautiful and had her whole life in front of her. Her parents actions made a mess out of her life and that is just something you cannot fix.

    Stand your ground and listen to your gut instincts (which are usually right). I pray that you will get through this and your parents will stop turning a deaf ear to you. This is your life...I pray that you can take control of it and stop things from moving forward. You have a right to be happy and quite simply, your parents have no right to force you into a marriage not of your choosing. You are not being disrespectful, you are taking your God given rights per Islam.


  7. Dear sister - when your parents asked you, "does Islam tell you what the rights of parents over their children are?" - you should not have hesitated, but said, "yes, mom and dad, as a matter of fact, I do. Islam says I need your blessing, which I of course want more than anything in the world - but Islam does NOT give you the right to choose my husband for me - that's not your parental right. If you force me in to this marriage, it will be against my will - I will never be happy, I will never like your decision, and I will never forgive you for forcing me to marry someone I don't like. And did you know that if I live in a marriage that I have not accepted, it's like I'm committing zina, because in Islam a marriage is not valid if the bride and groom both don't accept each other".

    I know it's hard to correct parents - but sometimes, parents don't know what's right and wrong, and as their adult children we have the privilege to be able to talk to them in an adult manner and guide the,. respectfully. I can't emphasize enough how important it is that you REALLY vocalize and act upon your disapproval to marry your cousin. Don't give in to what your parents want just to please them - this is your life we're talking about here, you do not want to become one of those unhappy, bruised women who marry for their parents sake and end up miserably regretting it a few months down the line - when it's way too late to object. Please do it now when you have the opportunity to do so.

  8. Masha'allah I completely agree with najah; you sound like my mother. Whenever I talk about how I am doing in school, my mom always tells me to not forget about myself and not to decline a potential husband if he is religious and has good character. May Allah admit her to janatul firdausa along with all the moms of the muslim ummah ameen. Sis nadi, make dua to Allah to make your parentsfollow the way of our beloved prophet peace and blessings be upon him, and do whatever it takes to take control of your life. Marriage is a big responsibility and when the celebration is over, everyone who attended it will go their on way and carry on with their lives but its only you who will go home with the groom and wake up next to him every morning for the rest of your life. You don't want to wake up feeling miserable every morning. You want to be able to wake up smiling and thanking Allah for all the blessings he bestowed on you before you carry on with your day to please your lord by pleasing the wonderful husband you chose for yourself after you've put your trust in Allah. Remember " tawakal allalah and tie your camel". You don't want to wake up every morning crying and saying I hate my life while dragging yourself out of bed. May Allah give you strength to stand up for yourself. Ameen.

  9. Sister be brave and speak up don't stay quiet make everyone khow even your cousin side that you don't want to marry him, tell your parents you done istihara and it tells you not to marry him please sister don't ruin your life by been silent, anyway what cast are you. in Islam no cast

  10. Assalam alaikum,

    I can only re-iterate the advice already given. Yes we should not disobey parents however in the case of forced marriage, there is an exception. Further to that the caste issue is just wrong.

    I think it is better to keep a distance from the preferred suitor and limit contact at present. Do not be alone with one another and he will respect that based on what you have said of him.

    A forced marriage is just the worst thing. Any reservations of the slightest should be heeded. Although sometimes people can be hasty in making judgements it seems you have given plenty of clear thought to the matter. You do not want to be in close proximity to that vile abuser from your childhood either.

    All the best, just don't cave in.

  11. Sorry but theres no way one can be forced to marry. YOu have to live with this person and not ur parents. Im not saying disobey ur parents but u need to talk to a female perhaps ur mother and tell her wut this creep cousin did. Im sorry to hear wut happ. to u but if u dnt speak now u may regret later.

    Unforunately this forced marriage thing in culture is quite ridiculous. I highly suggest you to speak your voice, and no grl deserves to be emotionally hurt, molested, or reminded of that. Please sister dont do this.

    May Allah bring the truth in front and do wuts rite for u and maek it easy Ameen

  12. I went through the same thing sister, but I ended up giving in and marrying my cousin. We have been married for 3.5 years now alhamdolillah. The first year was extremely tough, we argued a lot.. But when I started giving him the respect he deserves and treating him like a husband, it got easier. We still have the occasional little arguments but most couples do. Parents usually try to do their best for their kids, no parent would want their daughter to be unhappy. Because in the end if the daughter is unhappy, the parents are unhappy. Now I'm not saying that I agree with forced marriages, they are wrong. But maybe you need to forget about this other guy and try to give your cousin a chance. You can get to know him with a 3rd person there. If you still feel strongly about not marrying him then I suppose you need to sit down and tell your parents you don't like him and can't bring yourself to marry him. I just wanted to point out, don't judge a book by its cover. Even if there is something we initially don't want, once we have it we can grow to accept it. And yes, my husband and I do love each other alhamdolillah.

  13. Asak,

    Sister, you have the full right to assert your voice in a loud and clear manner so that you are saved from going into a problematic relationship. I wish and pray that Allah make you strong enough towards conveying the same to your parents and May Allah give your parents enough guidance that they equally understand your concern as well. Inshallah

  14. My parents also forced me to marry with cousin whom i dont like i refused and my family dont talk to me properly...I told all of them that in Islam no one can force to be married but they dont listen to me.. i am so tenced and worried...

    • It's not clear from your comment whether you have already been married, or they are still trying to force you to marry. In any case all you have to do is refuse. I know that's not easy, and you will come under some pressure from your family, but make it clear to them that you will not marry your cousin.

      Wael Editor

      • Dear brother and sisters as I know a little bit about Islam and istkhara if u do istkhara and negative signs shown Allah Talah change the situation according to Allahs will and is acceptable for every one, Allah says in Quran he change the situation to those hearts who is willing to change, from sisters comments I am sure she has done her own will and there is 90℅ chance she is not happy with a boy which he chosed, Allah says don't say uff to ur parents except if they push you for shirq

        Dear brother and sisters pls don't use Islam for your own wishs and do not reference old and inauthentic hadise reference which u shared is wrong,

        Brothers and sisters can I ask u how manay of u read all 5 namaz regularly are u really full fill ur parents rights Islama says u can meet your future spouse before marriage with her walli how manay of u full fill islamas requirements sorry to say we just use Islam only for our rights Allah will ask other rights if ur parents are not agrey with you then I think u should go with there decision Allah will make easy for u

  15. Marry the one who u feel like- eventually your parents will have to accept your choice . It's your life

  16. This is the time when you have to be bold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I suggest you to make your parents aware of the following facts in the boldest way you could, without getting confiscated physically ( worst case, without getting house arrest )
    What will they do after your marriage if they force you to tie up with a stranger against your will? They only will visit you for some special occasions, make them realize that they are doing wrong by forcing you. How? You can tell them, that stranger may find out that he is not the correct person for you immediately or later. Then the aftermath would be the horrible thing to imagine. It will get so complicated that your parents will definitely loose their pride. Frighten them with what will happen if you let all of them down and show what their correct values are in the present generation. Of course they may be correct according to their generation then why are they forcing you to be a scape goat of their pride for some nonsense society where there are less of values than fake pride?
    Convey the same message to all of your relatives and friends, again you have to do it in the boldest way. Mostly relatives and friends will spread the news more faster than our present technology. So you also have to be attentive and convey the real story by yourself because either way they will know that, better if it's in your words.
    If they are forcing you then there is a way you can show your evilness emotionally blackmailing them like what will happen if you will tell your love story to that stranger whom you are forcefully tied up to? What if you tell them that you will get mentally imbalanced if they force you to get married to any other guy other than your love?
    Tell them honestly and be nice if they understand, don't take advantage if they sought to understand you. If not then, Tell them what all can happen if you will be forced, like while watching T.V., show them series like crime patrol series, educate them with the present generation.

    Hope these all extreme ideas shall not be required to you to implement and you would be able to convince your parents, the nicest way.

    Just realize one thing...
    What's the Worse that could Happen if u do what u wanna do?
    YOU Know what You want ! So just do what u want...
    And whatever WORSE happens after that is also going handled !
    Just try going towards the which Keeps u happy without regrets Mam ... that's all

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