Salams, I am a sister.
Around couple of years ago a female best friend of mine introduced me to her uni male friend (we didn’t meet/talk)- she simple told him that I could be a potential for him. He asked her direct questions about me and then asked my best friend to ask me if I would be interested if he came to ask my parents.
Initially, i was very skeptic and said no as I was 19 at the time. Fast forward two years, I asked questions here there that what his lifestyle is like etc , my female friend mediated between us (which does not make it halal I understand and have repented for this).
Then round August of this year I did istikhara before I agreed on allowing him to come ask my parents. Keep in mind at this point i still hadn’t directly spoke to him or met him, all I knew was that he comes from a pious family, he himself is a man of good character and I can definitely see myself with him.
So I did istikhara and dreamt of my grandma who I was very close to and was looking after since I was a little girl, we shared a bedroom together so you can imagine how close we were . She passed away in March this year.
So in this dream I see my grandma coming to our house and at the same time I’m supposed to be having a meeting with a potential spouse. My grandma hugs me and says ‘make sure you marry him you will be a happy person’.
I tried not to let the dream overpower how I felt but I couldn’t help but grow feelings in my heart after this. But I didn’t act on the feelings.
Two months later , this boy actually had his uncle ring my dad and ask etc. I’d informed my parents beforehand to expect this and immediately they shut the idea of him down because he is of lower caste. We are both Indian , Gujarati. Live a town away from each other (10 minute drive). Yet this caste issue overpowered my parents judgement entirely.
I told them please just give him a chance you might like him and see that he can keep me happy. My parents said ‘why do you want to purposely go into another caste when youre only 21 and this lower caste lot are so different to us’.
I told them islamically you can’t look at caste! Caste is racially abusive, how can this be such a big hindernace. My parents aren’t even open to the idea, we are both Gujarati Indian- it’s just that he is of a different lower caste.
My mum also said ‘if you date him then you go to another caste , no one purposely or get arranged marriage and go to another caste, you hadn’t even met him so what’s the point of furthering and purposely going to another caste’.
I dont know what to do, I have kept my parents respect as highest as possible and refused to meet him (he never asked to meet but it was my own thing that I wouldn’t ever meet until my parents would allow him to come to my house with his parents). Throughout that time where he wanted to marry him and I wanted to marry him, we didn’t meet or talk directly. I just continued to receive information from my friend.
My parents ended up saying no about a month ago. He was distraught and did not understand why caste is the reason why he wasn’t being given a chance to meet me and I wasn’t alllwed to consider him.
I feel awful that this has come down to this. But my question is, a week after my parents said no I prayed two rakat nafl for help from Allah and went to sleep. This time I dreamt of my grandma again and I ask her ‘ma ma, should I marry him still?’ And my grandma says ‘yes ofcourse’ so I say ‘but ma he is a different caste’
My grandma says ‘so what if he is a different caste, marry him’.
Now I’m left in a massive dilemma where , number one I don’t want to upset my parents but at the same time I can’t move on knowing I did not give this man a chance because of ‘caste’. My parents may have grown up with that mindset but I can’t move on knowing I gave into THAT mindset.
The dreams Felt like they were guiding me but now I’m so confused. My grandma in my dream is saying this which is emotionally overwhelming but my parents are saying no because of caste.
Please shed some light on the situation I’m in. I need help:(
We apologize for the much belated response and also take note of the contents of your email.
We understand your predicament and emotions, especially after the two dreams. We make dua’a that Allah Ta’ala remove your difficulties. Aameen.
Islamically, superiority is based on a persons Taqwa (the consciousness and fear of Allah; piety). Islam does not consider one to be better than another because of his skin color, lineage, intelligence, appearance or wealth.
Furthermore, in terms of lineage for compatibility of marriage, all non Arabs are equal.
Thus, if the boy really has outstanding character and piety, then his proposal shpuld not be ignored, just on the basis of him of another caste. Yes, if he is presently of lower social status, then that should be considered. It could difficult fo downgrade ones life, if he is poorer for example, and that could affect your marriage later.
Having said that, irrespective of their viewpoints and ideologies, your parents have much authority over you. The huge step of marriage should definitely not be taken without their guidance, blessings and prayers.
If your parents and other family members fail to understand that this boy is perfect for you, then firstly you need to make Dua to Allah. Allah controls the hearts and minds of all His creatures, and He can guide your parents and make them agree. On that note, Istikharah is also a Dua; where you are asking Allah to destine for you what is best and avert from you what may not be in your best interest. In Istikharah, you are imploring Allah to avert from you what is harmful for your Deen (religion) and Dunya (worldly life), for verily at times we may not know the reality. Thus, continue imploring Allah to assist you and trust Him to decree for you what will be in your best interest.
Thereafter, discuss the issue with some responsible person in the family, perhaps an elderly reputable or influential person or speak to the local ‘Ulama (scholars) of your area, and see if they can convince your parents to look beyond caste and and culture.
Do not lose hope and continue respecting your parents as you have been doing. Insha Allah, Allah will bless you with what is best at the ideal and perfect time.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
الفصل السادس: في الكفاءة
الكفاءة معتبرة في باب النكاح، والأصل فيه قوله عليه السلام فيما رواه جابر عنه: «لا تنكح النساء إلا من الأكفاء» وقال عليه السلام: «ألا لا يُزوجُ النساءَ إلا الأولياءُ ولا يزوجن إلا من الأكفاء» والحكمة في اشتراطها: تحقيق ما هو المقصود من النكاح وهو السكنى والازدواج، إذ المرأة تتعير باستفراش من لا يكافئها، ………..ثم اعتبارها من وجوه: أحدها: النسب، الثاني: المال، والثالث: الحرية، والرابع: إسلام الأب في الموالي، والخامس: التقوى والحسب، والسادس: الكفاءة في الحرف، والسابع: الكفاءة في العقل (المحيط البرهاني – 3/ 92)
( قوله وهذا في العرب ) أي اعتبار النسب إنما يكون في العرب…..
……( قوله وأما في العجم ) المراد بهم من لم ينتسب إلى إحدى قبائل العرب ، ويسمون الموالي والعتقاء كما مر وعامة أهل الأمصار والقرى في زماننا منهم ، سواء تكلموا بالعربية أو غيرها إلا من كان له منهم نسب معروف كالمنتسبين إلى أحد الخلفاء الأربعة أو إلى الأنصار ونحوهم ( رد المحتار – 4 / 198)
قال في تنوير الأبصار: الكفاءة معتبرة من جانبه لا من جانبها ؛ وقال في الدر المختار: ( من جانبه ) أي الرجل لأن الشريفة تأبى أن تكون فراشا للدنيء ولذا ( لا ) تعتبر ( من جانبها ) لأن الزوج مستفرش فلا تغيظه دناءة الفراش وهذا عند الكل في الصحيح ؛ وقال ابن عابدين في حاشيته: أي يعتبر أن يكون الرجل مكافئا لها في الأوصاف الآتية بأن لا يكون دونها فيها ، ولا تعتبر من جانبها بأن تكون مكافئة له فيها بل يجوز أن تكون دونه فيها ( قوله ولذا لا تعتبر ) تعليل للمفهوم ، وهو أن الشريف لا يأبى أن يكون مستفرشا للدنيئة كالأمة والكتابية لأن ذلك لا يعد عارا في حقه بل في حقها لأن النكاح رق للمرأة والزوج مالك ( رد المحتار: ج 4 ص 194)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .