I am seeking a fatwa concerning marriage

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Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011




I am seeking a fatwa concerning marriage


I am seeking a fatwa concerning marriage. I am a 22 years old lebanese girl and i have met a 25 years old bengali guy about 8 months ago online and we were

just normal contacts, we communicate in english and he does know a bit of arabic cus he reads Quran and he was brought up in Jeddah. When we found that we

have everything we look for in a partner, and we have fallen in love (May Allah Forgive us our sins) we got serious and wanted to get married after he prayed

istikhara. We are both practicing muslims, have religious awareness and of good morals.. although we both committed sinful acts (not adultery though cus we

both know  that it is a major sin) but we repented and asked Allah for forgiveness. The guy wants to propose to me and i want to marry him but i have tried

speaking to my parents and they refused because of his nationality, for racist reasons mainly. I know in islam, Racism is prohibited. My parents didnt even

want to discuss it with me, and they refused even meeting the guy and his family and they threatened that if i ever say that i want to marry him then they

would lock me up at home, and they actually did forbid me to go to work for a week until i promised them that i would forget about marrying him. But he and i

have prayed istikhara over and over again, and we are praying Tahajjud and making dua at all times and we believe that we are the best for each other. We

have read fatawas that a girl can marry without her father’s consent as a wali if he was refusing based on invalid reasons (other than religious reasons)

because i know that the guy’s family and my family are Kufu’ in social status (in terms of wealth, professions, education, etc.) however my family considers

the nationality to be a matter of status and that they would be ashamed to tell people that their daughter married a bengali (even if he was the president of

Bangladesh, according to what my dad said). I know that parents are supposed to have more life experience but i have more of religious awareness and i find

their reasons to be illogical and greatly unfair to the guy and me. The other reasons they gave me for fear of my future and cultural differences are of no

great importance to me cus i depend on Allah first and foremost and i know if Allah wants harm to be done to me then i will be harmed no matter what. So my

questions are:

1. based on our istikhara, everything between us was going smooth, we saw no dreams but to my understanding the istikhara doesnt have to be followed by a

dream or a certain feelings but only signs. We did not consider my parents’ disaproval as a negative sign because as i explained they refused for non islamic

reasons, and with my understanding of Islam, their non-islamic disaproval is their own choice and not a Fate (as in destined by Allah, cus Allah would never

want a muslim to disobey or ignore islamic teachings). And then we read that i can get married without my father’s consent, and we took that as a positive

sign, since it is islamically correct. Are we right in our understanding of the signs?

2. is it true that we can get married without the consent of my father? be it at the presence of 2 male adult witnesses and an Imam or a Sheikh as my wali to

register the marriage. We are both Hanafis but we live in KSA where they follow Hanbali but if marriage is possible and valid then we plan to get married in


3. we talk to each other online so we can see if we can get married without my father’s consent. And we are being careful but we want to stay away from all

sinful acts so we are thinking about having a marriage done according to shari’a, not legally though. As i read in fatawas, that is possible if we provide

the minimum requirements for a marriage (Proposal (with Mahr), Acceptance, and 2 male witnesses) and we do plan to make the marriage public once it is

possible for us to live together (that will be in few months InshAllah). is that correct?

4.if we got the secret marriage (which i know is not desirable in Islam), what procedures should we follow to make a 2nd legal marriage and have it

registered in islamic court?

Please understand that i dread disobeying my parents and i do not wish to hurt them in anyway but i fear ending up hurt while they ar careless about my

feelings, i also do not wish to do anything that Allah forbids. If i find out that my marriage is not possible without my parents consent then i shall cease

contact with the guy and pray for Allah to guide me right. We do not plan to get married right away but we just want to make sure that it is possible for us

to get married if my parents did not concede after we keep praying that Allah changes their heart to Iman. and i have been advised to keep talking to my

parents and brining them Hadiths about marriage, but as i said my parents threatened me of harsh punishment if i show any sign of wanting to marry that guy,

and they did not care about any Hadiths that i mentioned. I am not saying that my parents are non-religious, but they are not as religiously aware as I am.

They mainly said, and repeated, that they do not like having relationships with a bengali family. As if his entire family is marrying my entire family. My

parents should care about my well being at first, and they should at least listen to me but they did not even give me a chance to speak and explain myself. I

find that very unfair.

To sum up, our plan is to wait and pray until marriage is islamically possible and valid (whether with or without my dad’s consent) then go ahead and get

married  with consideration to to the benefits and harms of our marriage to all parties involved (the guy and his family, and me and my family).

i know this has been long but i would like to mention other factors that i think are relevant to the situation:

1. i got engaged before, and in few days when i tried to call it off due to psychological and emotional problems, my dad angrily objected and treated me

unfairly. So i continued with the engagement and even got a marriage contract (nikah but without consummation) with the ex-fiancee to please my parents

although i was really tormented on the inside (but the ex fiancee was good, we just weren’t compatible, and after divorce he turned out to be a low life),

psychologically and emotionally thinking that my marriage with him is destined and that my father would not let me call off the engagement or marriage ever

(he said that to me). But i prayed and made dua until finally after a year and a half i was able to get out of that relationship with great hardship. I even

faced indifference from my dad when i was getting the divorce where he refused to support me, morally or financially (i had to pay the ex-fiancee so he would

grant me divorce legally). This calls in for a question here, legally i am a divorcee but according to Shari’ah am i considered a Free woman (Thayeb)

considering that i did spend time alone (khelwah) with my ex-fiancee but i am still a virgin? and If i am islamically considered a Thayeb, doesnt that mean

that i can get married without my dad’s consent?
I still have a lot of issues with my father but i do not hate him and i respect him above all. I just fear i would fall in the same problem again because i

have a lot of psychological problems and i do not easily form a bond with people, but with the guy i want to marry it was as if it was destined. We are great

friends (although i know islamically it is not correct), and we have an open and honest communication about everything in our past, and present and future.

That is why i believe it is in my best interest to marry this guy where we can form a tight and close family, but my parents failed to understand the

importance of that. I do not want to risk getting married again to a stranger to please my parents then end up with marital problems and possible divorce.

2. I am a sane adult so i have thought about the future, its not like i am just blindly in love with the guy and trying to make it happen. It is his wish

that he marries an Arab so that the kids can speak arabic mainly so they can understand the Quran and Islam better. As for cultural differences, both the guy

and i do not follow any cultural traditions that are made up by people, we mainly only follow islamic teachings cus both our countries are known to have

cultures and that contradicts islamic teachings.

Please advise me and correct me in anything i am wrong about, my aim is not to please anyone but Allah. This has been really tormenting for both of us for we

do not want to lose something that is good (creating a muslim family with a very compatible husband and wife) for something that is bad (my parents’ denying

us marriage and subjecting us to sins for non-islamic reasons). I also want to make clear that i love my family, and it really hurts me that they do not understand me or feel my pain and i know that they want the best for me but how can they know what is the best for me when they do not even make an effort to know me?! and when i try letting them know me better, they shut me down, ignore me or punish me if they do not like what i have (although i have always respected them and honored them).


Muhtaram / Muhtaramah

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.


Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

There are three key issues in your enquiry that need to be addressed:

1) Contact with any non-mahram (a person whom you can marry)

2) Importance in the advice of parents

3) Secret marriage without the consent of parents

1) According to Shari’ah, it is haraam (strictly prohibited) for one to be in any contact with a non-mehram, including online chat etc. This practice should be stopped immediately and repentance must be made.

2) Marriage is an extremely large and important step in life. The decision one has to make on who her partner for life should be is very critical since it will affect her and her family for the rest of her life. This means that not only she should be involved in this great decision, but her parents should also be part of the decision.

Parents are the ones who desire the best for their children. It is important to listen to their advice since they are the ones who know their child in and out. They will be the people that know who would be the appropriate partner for their child to marry in terms of compatibility between them. It is only natural with the love they have for their children to advise them and help in choosing their future spouse. Besides all of this, parents are the ones who have the knowledge and wisdom because they have seen many different situations involving marriages of other people in their lives. They are the best of help and advisers to their children.

3) The step of marriage should be taken in a proper manner. In this way, the blessings and barakah of Allah Ta’ala will be bestowed upon the marriage. It is important to announce the nikah, as Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) ordered the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) to do so.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أعلنوا هذا النكاح واجعلوه في المساجد واضربوا عليه بالدفوف

(Jami’ Al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, P. 207, HM Saeed)

There is hikmah (wisdom) behind not having a secret nikah. For example, if the couple ends up having intercourse and a child is born later on, then the public would regard the child as illegitimate and they would accuse the couple of having pre-marital relations. It would be difficult to convince them that nikah had already taken place. Such accusations would surely affect the couple emotionally. Another reason why secret nikah is discouraged is because when the parents find out about the nikah, it will cause great displeasure in them which may cause a severing of relations between the child and the parents. This would result in major sin as Islam emphasizes the obedience and pleasing of parents. It may also affect the outcome of your marriage if the parents show their displeasure and it will wear you down emotionally as well.

At the same time, it is incorrect for parents to force their children to marry a person of their choice. It is the Shari’ right of the child to decide on who his or her partner should be as long it is within the boundaries of Shari’ah. It would be advisable for the boy’s parents to contact your parents since he feels the same way as you. Perhaps your parents may agree after they would get to know each other. If the boy is a practicing Muslim and a good person overall, then parents should not have a problem with that. If they try to force you to marry someone of their choice, kindly tell them with respect that it is your right to choose someone you would be compatible with and that you will be happy, especially since your last nikah ended up in a divorce since you were not compatible with your ex-husband. Let your parents know that you would not want to go through such emotional distress once again. Marriage with the consent of your parents will be a cause for their happiness with you. The day of your marriage is a day your parents should want to live to see and a day where they should feel joyous. One should never leave his or her parents in a state of displeasure. Since your Istikhaara came out positive, keep making dua to Allah Ta’ala for the best thing to happen. He knows what is best for you. Be patient, and don’t give up hope.

And Allah knows best
Darul Iftaa

Madrasah Inaa’miyyah



· The Sharée ruling herein given is specifically based on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.

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