Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Rejecting marriage proposal due to lineage

Gossip and backbiting

Assalam-o-aleikum!

I want to know if it is permitted in Islam to reject a marriage proposal from someone due to her lineage or family background.

My family received a proposal of a woman through her family's relatives. We know this family well. Even though the woman seems good, but we know that in her family ancestry, especially on her father's side, that is her aunts and uncles, there were/are people who are, to put it politely, of disagreeable sort. They have been known to create mischief many times, especially that of breaking ties of kinship, and of mishandling property and finances to deceive others, and using amulets from spiritual quacks to get "advantage".

Her father (who is deceased now) was not well-educated and hence never had a consistent job. He used to borrow money from others from time to time and her mother also had to work so that she can support the family. And this does not stop at her father or uncles and aunts only. Her mother also has a relative too who is of questionable character, being involved in drug addiction and a wife beater. And this question on her lineage goes back to her grandfather too who was also known to cause trouble in family matters.

My question is, based on these facts, can we reject her relatives' marriage proposal given her bad family history and lineage? Will it be considered acceptable in Islam to do so, because she herself does not bear the burden of their sins, but can we reject her for the sake of our future generations to avoid inheriting bad traits and characteristics from her genes? Can such a rejection displease Allah, since being Muslims we are not supposed to judge another person? Your advice on this matter will immensely guide us.

Jazak Allahu Khairan!

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6 Responses »

  1. Wallaykum-Asalam Sister Khadija,

    In reading your post, it seems like you do know the right answer here, but are equally operating out of fear. I understand this, as a marriage proposal is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. I would like to draw your attention to a few things, as you are seeking to do the right thing per Allah and in the light of Islam.

    First off, what "facts" of her family lineage are you referring to? Are you that close to the family of this girl that you can say, without a doubt, that all these things are true? Remember that every time a story gets relayed to the next person through gossip and backbiting, it loses some of its truth and authenticity, and contracts some additional details and interpretation depending on who is relaying it, their intentions, and their life experiences.

    Lets put ourselves in the girls shoes. If your family had an embarrassing or less-than-stellar past, would you want this to limit your own possibilities for the future, given that these circumstances were out of your control and that you were born into them? The girl may not even support her family's past (if true), and is maintaining ties with them nevertheless because they are her family, which is no small achievement and quite honorable in fact.

    Remember, the more the girl had to deal with in her life, the closer to Allah she probably is, as she will have needed support during those tough times. Don't count her out just yet.

    Finally, are you 100% certain that you are questioning this proposal not based on the reality of the girl, but based upon your fear of what people and your community will say and think? Fear that you will be "inheriting" the same ridicule imposed on her family?

    I know that there is science and genetics involved, as everything is connected in this life, but a lot of the things you are describing are behavioral issues in the family that could have emanated from the environment.

    Remember too, that we are all broken to an extent. We all need healing. Sometimes, we do inherit family problems, illnesses, pain, and hurt, and one of our tasks in life is to heal those broken parts of ourselves. One of the things that can heal, aside from the love of Allah and self-love and compassion, is love from another human being. Don't for a second think that you, yourself, are coming from a place of perfection when judging someone else. You too, need healing. We all do.

    Inshallah you will make the right decision, which will lead to barakah in the family, both present and future. 🙂

    Best,

    Nor

    • Salaam,

      Couldn't have said this any better. This superstition about the girl being "bad" cause her family is "bad" is pure ridiculousness. It is quite hypocritical for one to say "Allah only judges the person based on herself/himself and not others" but yet we are the biggest judges towards each other.

      When is this cultural backwardness going to stop? Why does society play such a role when prospecting for a spouse? Sometimes in life we make mistakes just to please others at the expense of your happiness. It isn't haram to be happy and make your own choices. Allah won't get mad just because you go against unIslamic opinions.

      I suggest the brother to really think about this. If he has these doubts and this will continue on towards marriage, then in my opinion he shouldnt marry this sister. As you said Nor, no one is perfect and we all build towards a better life and future.

  2. OP:We know this family well. Even though the woman seems good, but we know that in her family ancestry, especially on her father's side, that is her aunts and uncles, there were/are people who are, to put it politely, of disagreeable sort. They have been known to create mischief many times, especially that of breaking ties of kinship, and of mishandling property and finances to deceive others, and using amulets from spiritual quacks to get "advantage"......., but can we reject her for the sake of our future generations to avoid inheriting bad traits and characteristics from her genes?

    What about your extended family like your grandparents and their siblings, your uncles and aunts, your cousins? Is every one perfect on your side of the family?

    If you go that deep in your investigation you may never find a good woman.

  3. You can reject a proposal for whatever small or big reason. You don't need to justify your choice to anybody. The important thing is that you choose a spouse you'll be happy with.

  4. Salam,

    It's up to you and how much you can handle. The girl may be great but you are also marrying the family. You can't just have the girl and then say her relatives can't visit you. If you can handle drug addict relatives coming over, playing with your kids and are still happy then go ahead. In Islam it's up to you who you pick as long as they meet the conditions set by Allah. You shouldn't marry her thinking that you normally wouldn't have but couldn't find a good reason to reject her under Islam so you did. You should want to marry her, you should want it to the point that you are willing to put up with the rest of her family. If you don't have that then move aside and give the chance to someone else. Don't marry her with resentment. Salam.

  5. M,

    Well-put Masha Allah 🙂

    Nor

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