Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Still unmarried at 28 and my parents are not helping

Frustrated man



I am a young Muslim man, almost 28 years old and I really feel like I should be married by now or at least looking to get married. I feel mentally very unsettled and remaining single is affecting every aspect of my life.

I am quite happy with the idea of an arranged marriage, but frustrated that my parents are not taking it seriously enough and are not actively helping me out. Finding a wife by myself is an option but I am worried that my parents will disapprove as it is custom to initiate marriages through the family.

Another issue I face is that although I really want to get married, I am slightly hesitant because my wife will be expected to live with my family and I can only foresee problems. Currently my brother's wife lives with us and she is really lovely.

However my mother's mood is temperamental and I feel that she occassionally treats her daughter-in-law in an unreasonable manner which sours the mood of the entire family. This has made me critical of the whole idea of living with the parents once married however my parents will not approve of me moving out as they have been brought up under the culture of one big extended family and expect this to apply to me as well.

However the dilemma is that my parents are getting older and obviously I need to be there to help and support them.  What is the best way to approach these issues? Any advice is most welcome.

- umar

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6 Responses »

  1. Assalamualikum Brother:

    I truly understand your situation.

    It is very unfortunate that your parents not taking your marriage seriously. I do not know if you are from Indian sub-continent, but let me tell you this: majority of the Indian sub-continental parents have the tendency to consider their sons as babies even when their sons have reached their adulthood. The main reason behind this is the constant fear of a mother that she will lose the control over her son as soon as he marries a young girl, because the mother cannot compete with the wife of his son in terms of beauty and thus feels jealous about it. Similarly, a wife also feels jealous about her mother in law, because she feels that her mother in law has the full control over her husband whereas she is helpless despite being his wife. Now, jealousy is something that Allah has instilled in the heart of women, and it is therefore natural. However, how a mom or a wife controls and manifests this jealousy makes all the difference. Considering the present scale of the fitnah (temptation) of woman that her son has to withstand to truly remain steadfast in the path of deen, it is imperative on a righteous mom to make arrangement of marriage of her son as soon as the son is capable of earning livelihood and support a family. Also if she has given her son a proper Islamic education, she should not fear of losing his son to his wife. A righteous son knows that his way to Jannah is mom and he therefore remains dutiful to his mom till his death. Lastly she should remember this saying, it cannot happen that you give up something yet you do not give up. If the mentality is like I give up something, yet I do not give up, it will only cause mental agony. I am not telling that a mom should totally give up her son, I am just telling them to remember that it is inevitable that the wife would receive a share of her son's time, love, compassion, and everything else and this is wife's right and there should be no resentment about it in.

    That being said, the wife and the son will also have to remember something. The wife should remember that the way to Jannah for her husband is his obedience to his mom. Jannah lies under the feet of mom. The mom has the greatest right over his son after Allah. When the Messenger of Allah was asked by a companion about whom has the most priority to be served first, he mentioned 'your mom' three times. No one in this world withstands as much as hurdles and make as much as sacrifices as mom does to raise a child. Both the wife and the son should thus remember all these hurdles and scarifies the mom endured and thus should think about the happiness of the mom before they think about their own happiness. It is very easy to become a selfish but it not easy to become a selfless. The Messenger of Allah ordered us to serve the mom even if she is unjust. If the mom is unjust, Allah will judge her. But we should keep serving her without making even a sound like 'uff'.

    Now, Islam is very clear about rights. It is your right to get married if you are financially capable. Go straight to your parent's and say, "Dear mom and dad, see I am 28 and I have the need to get married. Unfortunately I am not your baby boy any more. See I neither want to commit sins and fall into the trial of women nor I want to marry without your blessings, so please arrange my marriage ASAP". See what action they take. If they yet take no action, you can marry yourself to protect your chastity and deen, and you will not be disobedient towards your parents.

    Regarding living with your parents, especially with your mom, I would say, you will have to be a diplomat here. I do not like to live a married life with my parents either, but at the same time, I do not want to disappoint them by living separate. I know that a wife has the right to live separate and if she demands to live separate, it is wajeeb upon you to make separate living arrangements for her. However, as for me, I would prefer not disappointing my mom, and thus would live my married life with her. I would say, try to become a good diplomat, a good son, and a good husband. Have good communication both with your wife and your mom. When you are with your wife, reassure her every time of your love for her. If your mom treats her unjustly or verbally abuses her, tell her to remain silent and you also remain silent before your mom, but reassure your support and love for her when you are alone with her. Also if your wife understands you well, she will also be a good diplomat and will help you to be a good son.

    Now, the question may arise that if parental love is conditional. A fair answer cannot come from me because I have never been a parent. Plus my opinion is insignificant here because if you look at the commandments of Allah and His Messenger, and if you look at how earlier generations of Islam have served their parents, you will find they were almost slaves to their parents and they always tried to make their parents happy.

    Now here is the personal opinion of this novice: I have sometimes felt that (sub-continental) parental love is conditional. They demand certain things from us, which I may not like. However, I am too afraid to sell my akhirah by being disobedient or rude or selfish towards them. Try to understand that most of them led a married life that was emotionally void and thus they seek compassion and solace from their children's life. They may seek this solace by trying controlling their children's life or from their children's money. Whatever way they seek it, try to please them as much as you can. However, I also feel that his cultural chain must be broken. So you serve your parents, but you try to be a parent better than your mom and dad. You try to understand your child more that your parents understood you. Unlike your parents, do not interfere your children's life unless religion requires you so. Have good communication with them.

    If you again think that what will happen with your life, take solace from the fact that you are pleasing your parents, you are doing your best for your wife and children and you are striving along to remain to steadfast in the path of Allah and His Messenger. This life is about for 60-70 years, so be selfless and Allah will bless you with eternal delight in the next world.

    May Allah make things easy for you.

    • One more thing: I am very serious about maintaining hihab. The Messenger has seriously warned about it. If you live with in-laws, be extremely serious about maintaining hijab and proper veiling. You mentioned that your brother's wife is lovely, but you are not supposed to look at her or talk with her. If I live my married life with my parents, I will strictly make sure that my brothers do not live with me. Prophet has compared in-laws with death, especially brother in laws. And personally my gayrah (a jealousy to protect your spouse from any sort of defamation) is so strong that there would be veiling between my own father and my wife, although there is no need.

    • Thanks Stranger for answering this question, it was posted several days ago and waiting for an answer.

      Wael Editor

  2. Funny, my aunt is the same age and is looking to get married too 🙂

  3. Assalam O Alaikum brother Umer! (Peace be upon all the Muslim)

    I really feel sorry for what you are going through. No one knows this situation better than the one's who have been there and I am also in the same situation. 28 male unmarried and I have no idea when that time will come. See! we are in a difficult situation here if we go against our parents will/wishes by getting married without letting them know or not involving them into whole marriage process (as in traditional Muslim Countries/societies), we commit sin. And if we wait as we are doing know, then we will miss out on age and right time to get married (whereas in Islam parents are required to get their children married as soon as they become adult).
    I mean I don't know what to say brother but just be strong and connect with Allah Almighty at more spiritual level.
    May Allah help us to always remain on the right path and always do what pleases him (Almighty). Amin

  4. I am 26 and feel the same as you...

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