Islamic marriage advice and family advice

White American Girl Trying to Get Approval of Boyfriend’s Muslim Mother

Hi there,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year now and are completely madly in love. He truly is my best friend and he and I are so compatible together.

He is Muslim but is not particularly religious, he believes in Allah but doesn't follow the "typical" everyday rules of Islam (please don't judge but yes, he and I have sex and we drink alcohol). His parents, however, are very strict, especially when it comes to their son's relationship. I am a white Christian girl, though I am not particularly religious either. He lives with his parents right now as they all moved to America a few years ago. My boyfriend lived in London with other members of his family for most of his life while his parents and brothers remained in Pakistan, which is partly the reason my boyfriend has different views than the rest of his family.

We have been struggling lately and having many, many emotional conversations about our future. His Mom is the main obstacle in the way of us being together. She knows about me but we have not met. According to him, on some days it does not seem to bother her as much and some days, even telling her he is going to come have lunch with me makes her angry. He describes her views of it as "bipolar". So he has to lie a lot to see me, which is obviously not the greatest feeling for either of us. I understand it can never be implied we are involved sexually (so he can never sleep over) because that is forbidden, but I don't understand why he and I can't even hang out during the day without it being an issue. He claims he lies a lot about when he is hanging out with me because he is essentially playing it safe, so when the time comes to talk about marriage, she is not already upset towards me. Is this common?

The main issue we are both dealing with is ultimately, will she allow me to marry her son? We both absolutely want to marry each other. I have done extensive research and I am fully comfortable saying that I am willing to convert to Islam. He told me though that even if I do so, it is not a guarantee his Mom will allow us to get married but he really doesn't know. I am 25 and he is 27, by the way.

I am struggling because I am trying to respect his and his family's culture and religion while at the same time trying to figure out a way to let his family know that I am not trying to take their son away from his or their religion. Choosing between me and his family is not a choice because I of course would never want to separate him from his family. Neither of us think they will actually disown him so when I ask what they will do he repeatedly says "they won't allow it". I'm not exactly sure what he means by that. They will be mad, sure, but if he doesn't think they will disown him, won't they get over it and eventually accept me?

What can I do to get her approval, if there is anything? I know a lot of people have experienced similar situations so I'd love any advice on how we can make this work or at least give me some mental peace because it drives me crazy every single day, I really truly love him so much.

Thank you so much for reading!

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6 Responses »

  1. Have you met his family yet? Are you sure he is being truthful. Maybe he is married already

    • Well.. Fiona says maybe hes already married. Being a Muslim guy hes not allowed to have sex before marriage and also when hes ready to get married the family makes sure there is CAST PURE GIRL for HIM. So maybe hes protecting you. Means he does not want his parents to know that you sleep with him already because it will make you look cheap like street woman with not self respect. I am sorry this sounds bad but in his culture WE are ALL like that, what I am saying is that for a Muslim family/culture girlfriends are not for love or for marry. A girlfriend is for ENTERTAINMENT AND THATS ALL maybe the guy could be in love..maybe but never forget that he belongs to a Muslim family and HIS FAMILY IS HIS PRIORITY NOT YOU. So please don think too much about this matter. In a Muslim family there is not such a thing as friends or bf/gf .

  2. I agree with Fiona. Are you absolutely sure that he's being completely truthful with you? In these types of situations, it's not uncommon or impossible for the one party to be stringing along the other. He knows his family's views on marriage to people outside of their culture. I say culture because it's very unlikely that it's about religion. He's already not practicing, and he also can marry a Christian woman if he really wants to do so.

    Further, based on what you wrote, you are the one who's doing all of the questioning about whether they'd accept you if you were to convert, while he's not really doing much. I'd advise you think very carefully about doing such a thing if you are not completely sure that he'll marry you. He's already told you that it's not guaranteed that his mother will not agree with your marriage if you were to convert. Statements like this one are often accurately indicative of what's to come, which is no wedding between the two of you.

    I'm sure he likes you a lot, maybe even loves you to some degree; however, he's probably biding his time right now and just enjoying life in a noncommittal relationship with you. Anything can happen, including getting what you want, but don't be surprised when one day he announces he's getting married to someone else who'll be of his same race and culture, and you'll be alone. That's usually how it happens.

    In these cases, actions speak louder than words, and he's saying more while you're doing more. Given that, you need to consider seriously whether you want to go through this trouble because it's not likely that you are going to get what you desire. Dealing with cultural and racial positions and differences is next to impossible.

  3. You shouldn't convert to Islam just so that you can marry him, you should believe that Islam's teaching are right and then accept it and convert to it.
    In Islam a person has to get permission from their parents in order to marry and they can say no, though they do need to have a reason for not allowing him to marry you.
    You should try to meet his family and maybe they agree. He might be married, we don't know.
    Though if it is that his parents don't want you to marry him, then it is unlikely that you will get married to him, unless if he chooses you over his family.

  4. His mother may or may not approve of you. There's no way to know unless you and your boyfriend are willing to advance this relationship toward marriage, which means setting a wedding date, meeting with his family, and basically getting serious. If he's not willing to do that then he's playing you and just using his mother as an excuse. Either that or he's too afraid of his mother to displease her and doesn't plan to ever actually marry you.

    Give him an ultimatum to move things forward, or else you walk away. That's the only way.

    Wael Editor

  5. Why would you want to work so hard at getting somebody's approval who is biased and basing their disapproval on everything you are. Pressumably that you are white, Christian and whatever they think that means.

    Why isn't your guy standing up to you. If he won't introduce you to his family or marry you and stand by your side not caving to his parents emotional blackmail, then you can do better. The fact that they seem blind to his own religious weaknesses and unislamic lifestyle doesn't bode well. Or maybe he is simply using his mother as an excuse and one day I fear he might just call quits on you because hid parents found a match for him who is more like them.

    I don't want to see you left stranded after having invested so much emotion and time I this. Kindly ask him to commit now and grow a backbone. I wish you the best and hope you can be with him.

    Also remember you are not obligated to convert as Islam approves of Muslim men marking women of the book, Jews and Christians. If you do get to the point of marriage, work out all these things from how and where to raise your kids, familial or parental interference in your marriage, separate accommodation, lifestyle, expectations and put everything in writing, Ave it notarized. All Google and read up on the Islamic marriage contract and the provisions it allows for women. Use all of it to protect yourself. It will be too late after you marry. It's legally binding.

    All the best.

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