Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My eldest sister is 31 years old and single. I have an older sister and older brother who are younger than her and have married. Daughters are the responsibility of the father until they are married. Is this true? She is working and financially independent. She even gives me a monthly allowance.
No suitor has matched the expectations of my sister’s preference so far. But now, my eldest sister is contemplating one. He is a good man, financially sufficient, and caring. She still doubts him but wants to make my parents happy. What should she do? She is already praying istikhara.
Choosing a spouse can be daunting, and one may resort to a few tactics to decide.
It is excellent that she is already praying Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance. Tell her to keep praying for it for up to 21 days and not to be impatient to receive an answer. The Prophet, may Allah bless and give, said, “One of you is granted an answer (to his supplication) provided he does not say: ‘I prayed, but I was not granted an answer.’” [Abu Dawud]
She should have a clear-cut discussion with this suitor about his and her expectations in marriage. Primarily discuss the plan for children, the mother working, and how Islam will be implemented in their lives.
Jumping into marriage or its preliminaries can be intimidating without knowledge and preparation. Please see the followings links about marriage because it seems to me like she needs Islamic knowledge regarding this process:
Video: Finding a spouse, maintaining strong marriages
If I am Patient, Will I Get a ‘Good’ Spouse?
Difficulty In Finding A Spouse And Losing Hope
What Should I Look for When Marrying Someone for His “Deen”?
She can take this free course about marriage to ease her concerns, and he should too: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life.
Finally, according to our Prophet’s advice, she should choose someone for religion, and then she will prosper by the grace of Allah. Wealth, good looks, and worldly things are sure to fade, while one’s devotion to Allah and good character are the only things that remain and beautify a person from within and without.
Support of a Daughter
This article details whom one is obliged to support in Islam:
Fiqh of Financially Supporting one’s Parents and Relatives
Because your sister is financially independent, the obligation to help her is lifted off of your father. However, when your father tells his daughter to marry because he is still responsible for her, he probably really means that he worries about her spending her life alone. Every father wants to see his daughter live in her own home with her husband to grow old and have her children. Marriage completes half of one’s religion, and he knows that very well.
I pray that she can find someone who will be a garment for her and a garment for him.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.