Dear Scholars My question is pertaining to marriage. To give you some background, I was previously married around 3 years ago to a Malaysian lady, who was living local to me. I had many issues with her and after consulting with family and local ulama, I decided to divorce her. Since then I have seen many girls for marriage purposes, but nothing has worked out for me so far. I am not able to remarry because it is my mother’s choice vs mine. For example, my mother would like my wife to be of a certain education and working as a doctor/pharmacist etc. I do not mind this, however my preference is that I marry someone who is simple and not wanting to pursue work, as I truly believe this is the better option. I am earning and can provide a decent standard of living. In the past I have turned down really good girls for the same reasons, purely because my mother does not like her on some unreasonable account i.e. she is from a different part of Pakistan. Which is ironic as she accepted a Malaysian lady as my wife (I had to force the situation). Since it didn’t work out, she is saying “well I told you so”. My parents are also lazy in searching for a spouse for me and so I have to do all the leg work. Usually I look online as we live in a small community and we don’t socialise that much. Other sources are futile too, consulting with imams of various masajid does not reap any real results. Most girls in the West, even if “practising” want to maintain a career and work to earn for themselves, probably stemming from the idea that a woman should be financially free from her husband. Her education is important insofar as it would facilitate a better communication and understanding etc but I do not believe it to be factor in the success or failure of a marriage. It has come to a point where I crave getting married. I also have great desires and I cannot control them even if I fast regularly and have developed a bad habit. I try to keep busy in good a’maal but I always fall into sin. Whenever this happens I always feel great regret. Unfortunately I feel as if I have given into her irrational decision making in the past and turned down women who were good for me. Similarly when she was happy with someone in the past, I turned them down based. Currently, I am speaking to an Indonesian lady, whose character and Deen I am well pleased with and who shares the same values. I believe she is right for me on so many levels. I feel she will make a righteous and obedient wife. I am mature and experienced enough to realise what is genuine. On speaking to my parents, they are naturally weary of this. I have tried to consult my mother about this and unfortunately, I do get the typical and irrational response every time. My mother does not wish to even consider speaking with her or meeting her if I was able to introduce her. The other issue is, she lives in Indonesia while I am in the UK. I am 33 years old and I can make my own decisions. I understand the importance of consulting with family and others but if they cannot give me solid reasons for turning someone down then I feel I should go ahead in my decision, as marrying for me is now an obligation to save myself from further haram. Should I marry a girl who I like and ticks my boxes to my parents’ unhappiness or disagreement, or should I marry a girl of my parents’ choice and just put my trust in their decision?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Brother in Islam,
We take note of your predicament. We make Dua Allah assist you and guide you to a most suitable spouse. Aameen.
If you feel the Indonesian woman you refer to is suitable, then you should make Istikhara. Do not rely on your maturity and experience alone. We are humans and we are prone to err despite our maturity and experiences.
If the Istikhara is positive, you may identify a person that you trust in and who could advise your mother to consider and co-operate with your choice. If you exhausted all possible avenues to solicit the co-operation of your mother and you are unsuccessful, then you may proceed with marrying the girl.
Whatever you do, always be mindful of respect to your mother. In the meanwhile, turn to Allah with Dua and Zikr and ask Allah’s help in this issue.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mohamed Ebrahim bin Ismail Abdullah
Student – Darul Iftaa
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.