Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I want to marry an American convert, but my parents don’t agree



I am 20 years old, and I fell in love with a guy really bad. I never wanted to do this, but it just happened and I did not know. My father is really strict and I know that, but still I was not able to control myself. It's just not love- it's beyond love.  I've know him for the past 2 years, and in the first 6 months we wanted to get married. But at that time, I was too young. I talked to my parents, but they did not agree.  My father even hit me. 

I feel lonely and helpless without him. It's like I am obsessed. The problem is that he converted to islam like 5 years ago. His family is still christian, but he spends his life as I said in our islam. He changed himself: stopped drinking, no haram relationships, fasts the whole Ramadan, and reads quran. He knows quran with translation, and tries to do things according to islam. I am sure he has converted as he loves to hear hadith and believes in one God and His Prophet(P.B.U.H).

I am really in love with him. This love is killing me. Tell me a solution how to get my parents to agree on this. He wants to spend life as muslims- he doesn't like his culture (he lives in America, and lives independently) and he prefers pakistani culture. He is becoming a doctor and is 2 years older than me. My parents want me to leave him; I am trying but it kills me. I forget to smile, it's just pain.  Weird thoughts come into my mind- like thoughts of suicide or running away. Please help me, I just stop myself because I love my mum a lot. Help me.


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31 Responses »

  1. Have your parents promised some relative to marry you to their son (like cousin marriage? Your parents should not object as the guy is a MUSLIM. As he is a new Muslim he may be practising better Islam then many others born as Muslims. I don't think your parents will agree to this. Do your parents let you go outside the home alone? I don't think suicide is the answer to your problem. As long as you are US you are safe. Don't go to Pakistan with your prents.

    • My parents are good dad a bit strict i live in europe but they do let me go alone no cousin mariage they forgave me and want me to be big in life with a big name because my father he is a strong man he wants us to be the same and he wont get me married until i will be independent this is i am sure but its not easy for me to live with out him my father has big respect in society he would never agree on this marriage i knew that from day one but still i dont know why i can not stop myself even now they think i dont talk to him but truth is i do all the time i am happy my parents think is because of them but they are wrong i am really worried

  2. Assalam Walikoum Sister,

    Let me tell you, I've gone through the EXACT same story you did. I also met an American convert who I wanted to marry, at 20 years old however my parents didn't agree because he was not Arab and didn't believe he could be a 'true' Muslims. I prayed, made Istikhara over and over, had countless conversations with my parents, talked to Imams and family members yet they were opposed. Only for me it was mostly my mother. 2 years later, they agreed and I am now getting married Inshallah. It wasn't easy though, the hardest thing I've EVER had to go through and it is the toughest thing any woman or man would have to deal with: choosing your life partner or pleasing your parents. I've been very emotional, got depressed and truly couldn't smile anymore.

    The only thing that will keep you going is the faith in Allah, reading the Quran and praying. ALWAYS make Duaa, it will do wonders... He is the only one able to change your situation, trust me sister. I've had to continually pray, make Duaa and leave it to Him. My parents weren't even able to say his name now they can talk to him, invite him for dinner etc. It is possible sister, it will just take time and if this man is meant for you, no one will change that.

    One thing I need to tell you, please sister don't get into any Haram relationship if you want the blessing and help of Allah. Firstly, tell this man that in the Deen seeing him or even talking to him is haram. Make Istikhara, you and him both for 1 week, all without talking to eachother and always make Duaa. After that week, speak ONE last time to your parents and explain to them their reasoning is cultural and frowned upon in Islam. Tell them this man would like to come talk to them. However, try to bring an Imam that can settle things within your family and explain to them the Islamic reasoning. If this works , Alhamdoulilah if not and you still truly believe this man is worth it after Istikhara then technically ( ask an Imam first) you are allowed to get married to him as the Imam for your Wali. Your father will no longer be qualified because of his denial over unislamic reasons.

    It will be hard, it will take you a couple years after marriage to get them on board. However, if you do this with the right intentions, to keep Allah happy and fufill your Deen then don't worry, He will come to your help. I know how it feels sister, trust me. Be patient and anything you need or advice you let me know, I went through the SAME thing.

    May Allah be with you and bless you.

  3. 1. The answer depends on whether you have had sex with him or not? If you have then there is little to be said as to maintain your purity you can marry him. If you have not yet had sex with him, you can read below and then decide

    2. At 20 love seems so important. A lot of changes can be made for so called love. In reality however, most of it is driven by physical attraction. You are obviously very much physically attracted to such a man and most likely think of him as a catch (trophy for your girlfriends) and though it might not be obvious now, if you do some honest soul searching you might agree

    3. And marriage is a very easy thing. A lot of effort however goes into a relationship, especially one outside the culture and race.

    4. Look at the facts. Most interracial marriages, and inter faith (you have a double whammy here) end up in divorce. Spend some time on this fact too - you might have second thoughts. Also ask why? because people get together for physical reasons and then when the sex drive is reduced, they cannot stand each other.

    5. The best thing to do here is nothing. In other words, give this some time because there is no better way to learn than take some time and look at things at a distance. This help both you and your parents. Do not push your parents (most girls do and in future regret it because parents also hold this to some extent against you).

    PS i have had several relationships with many types (different race) women and call tell you from my experience is that if you want a long sustainable relationship, stay within your culture and people. do not let an infatuation become the most expensive mistake you make

    • I agree with you on giving this time and in the end letting Allah decide. However at the same time the girl should not give in to her parents ignorance of culture. The Prophet (PBUH) warned the Ummah about the separation of cultures and tribalism, thinking one culture is better than the other. This is from the time of the Jahiliyah and should be abolished. All Muslims should be united not separated. Marriage alone is hard yes, however with the right approach and blessing from Allah any two people can stay happily married and live their lives according to the Deen, regardless of race of culture. This has become such a widespread problem among the Muslim society that people will not look nor speak to anyone outside of their 'prestigious culture'. It is up to the younger generation to stop this and let all of us be united again.

      Saying that, I don't agree with you telling her to stay within her culture. Divorce is one of the most hated things in Islam however nowhere in the rules of marriage does it say to only marry from your own culture, how will Islam ever spread and become the biggest religion if each one stays to their own. That would mean converts would not have the opportunity to learn more about the Deen and complete it, nor would they be able to raise children in a 100% Islamic home. I for one am married to an American convert and Alhamdoulilah after praying for Allah to help me with my parents I have achieved peace at home and in my heart. I can now guide myself and my husband towards the path of Islam and help his family as well erase the judgment of Muslims.

      Don't forget, the day of judgement Allah will not separate the people based on their color or culture. We will ALL be judged equally and we have been ordered by the Merciful Allah to treat people equally and not to separate each other. So please, don't encourage people to stay 'within' their race or culture as this is against Allah's wishes and the basis of our beautiful religion.

      I pray that Allah eases the hardships of every Muslim sister or brother trying to fight for what is right in the religion and may He increase the love and support between each one of us. Ameen.

      • To clarify, i mean stay within race and religion when it comes to marriage as its lesser of a challenge. Yes divorce is an ugly and cruel act, across all cultures.

        And actually if you want me to say the full truth, so be it. Westerners are very selfish in their outlook. This extremely selfish nature cannot be changed. It is very difficult for any relationship to succeed because of the selfish nature. Also because of the selfish nature the relationship is based mainly on sex. Once the sex drive for that one person comes off the boil, they move onto the next person.

        If we are prepared to bury our heads in sand so be it but the reality cannot be denied.

        They cannot be changed. I am not only saying this from my experience or the experience of my western friends but also from statistics: what is the divorce rate in West, say UK, it is over 50%

        I am an indian and for all our shortcomings we are much more human and tolerant than westerners. And I know that the fabric of a person (the earth that a person comes from) cannot be changed and its permanent - do not be fooled by words but instead look at the actions/proof.

        • Dear Muslimah403

          I like the points that you raise and would like to discuss these further with you.

          To simplify I think there are 3 main points:

          1. Spread Islam and the faith

          This is the easiest point. Islam means to surrender. And this is the same for all religions. Surrender is the key edifice and in that sense all religions are the same.

          Secondly, it is true that Islam will be the biggest religion across the world. I am a non muslim, Hindu to be precise, and we know that in coming times Islam will be the biggest religion. What is hatred today, will change into sympathy and eventually into acceptance. Muslims will rule the world.

          2. Conversion and acceptance

          There are 2 types of acceptance. One is natural by birth and second is by acceptance with one's mind and intelligence. The second is never as strong or complete as the first. This is the reality. So a conversion cannot have the same effect as being born in the religion. Whatever is done on the basis of intelligence or logic is after all subject to that same logic and rationality. This is the reason why there is no conversion to hinduism. It is only by birth.

          Gradually there will be enough by birth that it will be the biggest religion on earth.
          and yes then muslims will rule the world.

          The nature of an arab muslim is different than that of a pakistani muslim and that of a kenyan muslim - we might desire to deny the difference but it will always be there.

          3. All men are equal.

          That is not true. Each person is unique and individual. Each person has strengths and weaknesses and so much is involved in the fabric of a person, that no two people can be the same and by that be equal.

          Some have a higher calling and will be judged by that. Actually, there are also some people who are above judgement too.

          • Your first point is clear, thank you that is what I believe. However from there on out you have a big misunderstanding.

            2 - it is true that born Muslims have an advantage of being brought up into the religion from a young age, however, this does not in any way qualify them for being devout Muslims. We see most young adults brought up as Muslims do not follow the religion, they smoke, drink, party, don't pray etc. The biggest battle with being born Muslim is following the religion vs culture. Especially Arab and Indian/Pakistani culture dominate the household and use their tradition over what Allah ordained us to follow. This is why when you claim Arab, African, Indian Muslims are different, this isn't because of the religion itself, it is because of certain traditions each follow. There is only ONE book, ONE Sunnah which was spread throughout the world, not one to accommodate each culture. I being raised in an Arab household know what it means to have culture thrown at your face instead of religion. Not until I married my husband and starting looking into my Deen more did I realize that Islam is the true way to follow, culture often contradicts Islam ( example marriage to a certain tribe/race, over indulgent dowry, speaking before marriage, extravagant wedding traditions).

            3 - As for judgment, EVERY individual will be judged by Allah equally. No matter what culture, age, race he is. This is a fact in the Quran: 'No Arab is superior than a Non-Arab and vice versa except in piety' . This is what we believe. Yes, everyone has weakness and strength however Allah gives every individual the chance to be led to the straight path and will test each and every one of us. No one in our religion is above judgment, not even animals. We will ALL be judged.

            Hope this made it a bit clear, I understand you aren't a Muslim so this is why your answers don't coincide with Islam. Anything else you want clarified I will do my best to let you know.

          • @ben: I would like to share with you and others my perception and an authentic hadith for your point #1.

            The thought is very noble of you and every Muslim would definitely support the vision of the spread, expansion and love for Islam. We do not necessarily want to rule the world, but simply establish the truth and what is right. But there is also a prophecy Muslims believe that is quite contrary to what we envision. You can find this prophecy in Sahih Muslim, Hadith #145, Abu Huraira reported "the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), said 'Islam began as a something strange and it will return to being strange, so blessed are the strangers'".

            Basically, what this hadith is trying to say is that, there was a time when Islam was not known to millions of people as it is today, Alhamdulillah! Islam was known to only but few hundreds or thousands. This hadith, which is also a prophecy tells of a time when Islam will not be known to many, there will only be a few, and such people would be considered as strange.

            It has also been prophecized that, the only thing that will be left of Islam is the Shahada (testimony of the acceptance of One God, Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) is Allah's Last Messenger) and people will not even know its meaning. When people who say the Shahada will be asked of the meaning of Shahada, they would say that, they do not know its meaning but are only reciting from what they saw their forefathers reciting.

            The prophecy can also be thought to be actually happening now, as I and many other Muslims have had people call/seeing us as being strange and weird in our action.

          • Well thank you Ben. Being on this website is to help others who need some Islamic guidance in regards of their situation. As I read your comments I just wanted to see why you had this one sided opinion of cross cultural marriages and Westerners. So of course I wanted to clarify what Islam says about this as it is my duty to ensure that the message of Islam is understood correctly, not culturally. I would never tell you your opinion is WRONG, I'd instead hold a conversation and try to give a clearer image of the situation. At the end of the day we are all human, we all go through struggles and situations that may taint our views on life. However, the most important thing and the thing I find is most comforting is knowing that there is the Quran and God to help guide us.

        • Ben,

          I'm sorry but you generalizing that all Westerners can never change is quite shallow and ignorant of you. There are many converts who embrace Islam and follow if better than born Muslims, this is a fact you can look up. The reason being they learn the TRUE Islam, not by what their parents practice or their culture but what the Book says. They then receive guidance from other Muslim brothers and sisters and this is where sometimes it goes downward, because a lot of Muslims today do not practice what is Sunnah and Islam, they practice their culture. Culture should NEVER be put in front of the religion, the Prophet (SAW) warned us of that. He warned us of the difference in culture and tribes, the dangers that come with dividing the Muslim Ummah, which we see today is the many reasons of wars and death in Muslim countries. And I apologize for saying this but to say Indians are more tolerant is a joke...the honor killings, the inequality in gender and the hatred towards other races/tribes/cultures in India is far worse than Westerners from what I see and hear and many others can agree. I am not here to bash any culture, that is why I don't appreciate you saying Westerns are difficult, can't be changed, aren't tolerant because this is far from the truth.

          This girl needs help on how to convince her parents on marrying someone from a different culture, not us telling her what Westerns are or aren't etc. We all know the truth, we all know that the QURAN says about this and so I make my judgment based on the Book, not what anyone else says.

          On a side note I am married to a Westerner and I will tell you that he practices Islam better than most young men, he is tolerant, has changed and although his family is non Islam they are more tolerant of our beliefs than most people. I'm not sure where you have this judgment towards other cultures but I suggest you start looking at things from a different perspective. We are all human, we will ALL be judged equally sorry to say.

          • Dear Muslimah

            Firstly I am very happy to meet a good person who is tolerant and able to have a conversation with a person who you disagree with and help. This is inspiring.

            Yes you are right generalization is not a good thing and can often be incorrect.

            Like a pedigree horse has a better chance of winning than a non pedigree horse, humans are the same. What we learn and get at home is huge. There is no substitute for the mothers breast - so to speak. Same logic applies to religion and culture. And the two are combined.

            Actually the more accurate statement should be that we all cannot change (although we want to believe we can) and not just that westerners cannot change. This is something that can only be learnt by soul searching and after experience. Sure, we can agree to disagree here.

            I do not believe that any person should try to convince another about their spouse. That is not the basis for any relationship. Relationships need to be accepted and not be sold on logic. The mere fact that she is asking here and needs convincing is proof of the doubts that exist in the relationship and such doubts are the first signs of a failure. It might sound extreme but also remember to notice the signs early is important.

            On a side note I would say that I have a cousin sister and several friend with inter race and inter religion marriages. max lasted 7 years! Honestly. And they all ended rather nasty. Yes I am influenced by the experience but I will say that I have also learnt about this topic in more detail (especially as I too had such relationships - NB I am over 40) and will not start with detailed references but just state the outcome in short.

            We are judged each day and each action. And each day one person distinguishes himself from another with the choices we each make. As we make different choices and not all choices are correct, there will naturally be some who will be judged differently from others.

            The question to ask here is also why we make different choices? We make choices based on our knowledge and this is why we are not equal, because our knowledge is not equal. Again, it seems we will agree to disagree here.

            I can understand your natural defense and find it very good and reasonable. It also demonstrates your strong deen and iman. I wish you the best in your relationship and really pray that it works well. No one gains in a failed relationship.

            All the best

          • You know i tried to talked to my mother and she just told me your brother he is a guy and you are girl he has never been involved in girls and look at you things which men do you are doing but she is taking every thing wrong he is the first guy i have ever been close to i am trying but they dont want to listen i am thinking of running away is that a good option

        • Assalaamualaikam

          On behalf of my fellow Westerners, "Hey!".

          It isn't possible to define an entire population by one characteristic, without doing a huge injustice to a large proportion - if Westerners are all selfish, how do you explain the large numbers of people doing voluntary work, caring for their relatives/neighbours, etc.


          • You are right. Making generalizations is wrong thing.

            Also I will ask a question: if a person is doing charity work to get some reward e.g. recognition, is still considered charity?

          • I am a little taken aback being a westerner myself. So,

            @ben: 'midnightmoon' no where implied that "generalizations" are wrong. Generalizations are based on statistics and depending on the type of context/study, generalizations can be a good basis for evidence. Also, a person should understand the research from which the generalizations have been derived, do not assume knowledge, it is very dangerous. FYI, you "stereotyped" westerner based on a statistic/experience that is highly questionable rather than a "generalization". They are both completely different.

            As for your question, no person on earth is in a position to truly know the intention behind another persons action. So, for argument sake, if a person engaged in an activity with the intention to gain recognition whether it be charitable or not, his action would be for his personal recognition and not charity even if it is done through a charity organization. In Islam, we believe from an authentic hadith that "Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have only that which he intended. Thus he whose migration (Hijrah to Madeenah from Makkah) was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated." ~ cf. Sahih Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1).

            I hope this answers your question 'ben'. 🙂

    • Ben: "i have had several relationships with many types (different race) women and call tell you from my experience is that if you want a long sustainable relationship, stay within your culture and people."

      One can't generalize success in relationships. I don't think race or religion plays an important role in breakup. In my experince I have observed most interacial or interreligious marriages are more succesful compared to within race or within religion marriages. You had many unsuccesful relationships that does not mean all people do have the same experience

      • True but also true is that its easier to succeed when you share much in common that when you are different, specially if you are different in your fabric - the nature of a person by birth cannot be changed.

    • O never had physical relation with him we have a long dostance relation i dont have a single doubt that he is wrong for me and when it comes to culture and all he hates his own spanish culture he loves mine pakistani wants our kids to have pakistani culture he knows everything about my culture he is becoming one speaks my language why because he loves it and me. But my parents they are just not ready to meet him once

      • i am glad to hear that you have not jumped the gun for the physical relationship.

        not because i am prune or something like that but because its a bigger commitment than just flesh with flesh - while most people downplay the effect of sex on a persons mind and outlook, the truth is that sex is a big step and should not be taken lightly.

        when sexual attraction happens, one can sacrifice a lot and take huge challenges. Sexual attraction is a very powerful attraction - actually the driving force of life on earth.

        Sexual attraction is more powerful the sex itself. Sex is actually an anti climax. Once you have had sex with the person you were attracted to it only goes downhill from there - proof that sexual attraction or conquest was the main force.

        Thus, there is no reason to believe he likes your culture more than his, actually that is exactly what he is expected to say (for that matter what most men, including myself would say to get a girl into bed!)

        Foolish people learn from experience; wise learn from other people's experience.

        Now for the important part. Do not take a decision for your parents sake. Very few people have the strength and conviction to sacrifice so much for another person, even a parent.

        If you are strongly physically attracted to him, it is almost impossible to use logic and reason here.

        Men can very convincing in this case, and women get cheated (women have soft hearts because they must be soft to become mother) and men take advantage of this fact.

        There are 2 options here. First is that you go ahead and have a relationship with him and hope and pray for the best. For my part I will bet against it working, i believe the odds are stacked against you and given empirical evidence I would put money on it.

        The second option is to give it some time and you see how you feel as time goes ahead (more importantly he needs time too because when the sexual attraction is strong, it takes time to wear off and you will see an instant change in his behavior towards you)

        To decide between the two is simple. If you have any doubt about option 1 - trust me, it is not one to go for - you gotta be 100% if you want to go for option 1 - judging from the fact that you have posted this question, it is clear you are not 100%

        So it has to be option 2 for you. 🙂 Take care, wish you all the best

        • Assalaamualaikam

          Regarding your suggestion to go ahead and have a relationship, pre-marital relationships don't have a place in Islam. As this is an Islamic website, it's important that the advice given is in accordance with Islamic values.


        • One thing i m sure of him that i want him as my life partner i do know what i want but the real problem is my parents are not ready to convince not ready to meet him and my father who is a muslim but he dont pray recite or fast never once in his life and on top of every thing he is a business man you are 40 right so you must know what mostly business man thinks that my daughter will marry a business man rich guy and blah blah blah of the same community cast culture and everything

          • my dear if you are so sure, why the questions here? please ask yourself this question and reflect deeply before deciding on anything.

    • ben, I appreciate your comments, however as Muslims our "people" are other Muslims, regardless of their nationality or tribe. There's nothing wrong with an Egyptian marrying a Pakistani, or an Indonesian marrying an American Muslim, or any other cross-cultural marriage.

      Secondly, a convert is considered equal to any other "born" Muslim. Consider that the first generation of Muslims, who all Muslims admire and respect - the companions of the Prophet Muhammad - were, by definition, converts.

      Wael Editor

  4. I never had physical relation we have a long distance relationship he lives in america i live in europe my father he would never agree because he believes that we are pakistani than his son in law will be pakistani too my mum literally hates me they dont understand whenever i try to they are like this topic is over get over it they are not ready they say should be pakistani that is it because they dont want people to talk the society they dont want to hear them you know he is hard working love me a lot and going to be a doc we both try to pray follow islam is getting hard for us to live without each other distance is killing us and my father he dont believe in immam he beieves in money power and facts my father dont pray or recite or fast he drinks sometimes smokes but sincere with my mum and he is a business man so you can imagine how hard is to explain things

  5. How did you meet him? Did you meet him online? Marrying a Pakistani can't guarantee anything. It is just about sex. A Pakistan man won't like to see a Spanish American. convert marrying his daughter. Many Paistanis will even brag if their son was dating.a gori

  6. Sister,

    You mentioned running away and from my own experience PLEASE don't go through with this. This is the whispers of the Shaytan and trust me you will never live happily. You live with the constant guilt of what you have done not only to your family but yourself and Allah SWT. Running away is only a temporary solution. I would suggest you speak once more to your parents with an Imam to point out their reasoning is completely unIslamic. Once you do that you will have known that you have exhausted all efforts to convince your parents and that you are doing it Islamically correct .If your parents still deny your right to marry this convert then the Imam will act as your Wali. Whatever you do keep your parents in the loop, tell them why you are going ahead so they know you aren't doing this out of spite but out of logic. Marrying a convert isn't wrong, shouldn't be frowned upon nor turned away however with the cultural traditions of our parents it's very hard to convince them.

    I can suggest one thing, KEEP PRAYING ! Every salat make Duaa, constantly ask Allah to help you, to soften their hearts and guide you towards Him. It took me almost 3 years to gain the approval of my parents and anyone can tell you it was because of Allah's mercy.

    Don't give up hope, don't give up living your life as long as it's according to Islam.

    I've been through what you've gone through and can relate to you so confide in me and I will Inshallah help you and make sure you don't do anything you will regret later in life.

    Salam Sister and may Allah help you.

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