Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My father is a stubborn old man but has done what he can for the family, and I respect him for that. One of my sisters recently divorced because her husband did something terrible. They have a lovely 4-year-old girl. My sister was approached by a suitor that wanted to marry her. He has good religion and is from our culture.
However, my dad disapproves of him for no good reason. The suitor did the right thing to come straight to our home and talk to my dad, and my sister is entirely comfortable with him. However, my dad still won’t approve, and it led to a massive argument between them where he didn’t want to see her. What do I do as the only son of 5 siblings?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with the family’s frustration, and I pray that your father comes to compromise with your sister on this issue.
A woman needs her father’s or guardian’s permission to marry according to the Shafi’i school, but there is some leeway in the Hanafi school. Please see the rulings here:
The Advice of the Prophet
Most importantly, tell your father this important hadith and pray that Allah opens his heart. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care) of one of you, then marry to him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (fitnah) in the land and abundant discord (fasad).” [Tirmidhi] Perhaps this will strike a chord with your father.
I am not condoning that she marries against her father’s wishes, but you and your sister should do everything in your power to convince your father and gain his consent and blessing. Have an imam talk to him, have elders speak to him, pray istikhara, pray the Prayer of Need, supplicate to Allah before dawn, and don’t fight with him. Be kind, reason with him, and give a little in charity regularly, praying that he changes his mind. If, in the end, nothing works, I suggest that she move on. A sign of a positive istikhara is that matters are facilitated, and you must be prepared that it might not happen.
Please see these links as well:
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.