I am sister, from Edmonton, writing to you regarding marriage. My family background is Indian; we were born in India and moved to London during 2005. We are Muslims from birth but my family doesn’t practice Islam fully. Some members in my family pray, go to zikar, give zakat, basically they try to do the main parts however they do not understand that you have to put religion into practise and follow the steps of the Prophets.
Before, I had no clue what religion actually meant, until I met this Muslim brother. He is black, from Ghana. I understand it is not permissible to be with a Non-mahram man for a long time. But he loves me and teaches me religion every day. We try to make the foundation of our relationship the religion. Since we met, I had to hide my relationship from my family because I knew how their reaction would be. One day, they found out and we had a big arguments and fights (it kind of went a bit physical). They didn’t like the fact he was black. No-one in my house agrees with me and since then the family hasn’t been like before. We don’t get along. The brother and I met through work. My mum knew him and she used to like him but when she found out we wanted to marry she hates him. My mum taunts me and curses him nearly every time she gets a chance. I tried to explain to my mum that in Islam we shouldn’t curse and that Allah will do justice but regardless of this she still curses. (My mum has been ill for the last few years in her life and I have tried to look after her). My dad seems calm about it but my dad is a man with pride, so it is very strange that he very calm about this situation (we believe they are planning something).
I tried to talk to my dad that Islam says do not delay marriage and if the man has good religion and personality then the marriage should not be delayed. The brother (Farouk) and I did research and tried to explain to my dad. Farouks parent (live in France) came to visit me. They love me and wish well for both of us and want the marriage to take place. Farouk and I decided it would be good if both families met and talked at least once. So my dad met with Farouks parents. Instead of talking about our future and marriage, my dad several times tries to explain that I have to finish my study and then get married. He mentioned several times that we should wait 3-4 years to get married. During the meeting my dad tries to explain that we shouldn’t be holding hands (which I understand that holding hand is wrong and we have stopped doing so) and we should only meet once a month and that we have to wait 3-4 years to get married. My dad even explains to them that I have changed since I met him and I am not like before. To be honest I am the person I was before, the reason why I feel uncomfortable around my family is because my mother said that I am disgrace to the family and that it was pointless brining me up/giving birth to me. She says that due to this marriage my dad’s reputation is going to go down. Since childhood I have been the son of the house, caring for everyone. Now my mum says I have never done anything for the family and that the family has bought me up, looked after me, fed me etc. I even try to be the person I was before (happy, talking to everyone) but eventually someone will start taunting me and I will break down again.
After the meeting few weeks later, I tried to explain to my dad that marriage doesn’t stop education. I sent him few videos of Imam preaching about marriage. I explained to him that I can get married and still live under his roof. But he still doesn’t agree and from this I believe that waiting 3-4 years is just an excuse and racism is taking place. I feel like my dad is waiting 3-4 years so that we would break up within these years. He tells me I am in stage where I am hyper and want things quickly and that I don’t know what I am doing. But I am a mature adult and I know my parents want best for me but Farouk is a very nice understanding man who wants the best for us.
There has been many times where I have been late home and my parents started arguing with me so I asked them if you do agree for us to get married why can’t you allow Farouk to come and meet me at our house, this way I will not be late and it will be done religiously because we will be at home with my family there. Even through this my dad disagrees and says he is not yet my son-in-law and I don’t want your brothers to know about this (so he isn’t allowed to come to my house to visit me). Even though my brothers know because they saw me with him they have not communicated with me. My brothers and I haven’t spoken for years (2 years), due to severe arguments, even though we live in the same house. We usually speak on few occasions. But we are not as close as we used to be before. In my family the men have the cultural though where they believe that girls are looked down upon. They don’t feel responsible for the women and to care for them but they think a man is a man and the women should obey him every time. So I am scared to talk to my brothers regarding this marriage. I tried to explain to my dad all the alternatives but my dad is still stubborn on the 3-4 years waiting period without us allowed meeting in my house. If I tell dad that, every time Farouk and I go out, we want a Mahram with us, I know even this he will not allow because no-one would have time as they work full time.
I do not mind waiting 3-4 years but they will not allow him to come in the house and be treated like a future son-in-law. But when I sit down and think how close Farouk and I are and I think religiously, that waiting 3-4 years is a long time and we are both afraid of zinna and the sins that will be upon us every time we meet, see each other, touch each other because we are not yet married. And I cannot be sinning for the next few years. I know my parent don’t even like me meeting him.
We wish to get married as soon as possible. I have thought about running away from home because even if I wait 3-4 years, I know that they will never treat Farouk like a son-in-law and they will not treat me as nice as before. So either way it’s a loss. Farouk has told me to try and talk to my brothers and talk to my dad once more because this way at least you have asked every mahram and you did your best in front of Allah.
I am very scared to talk to my brothers but I do not mind doing so. I will try my best to talk to my family members again. And if they still say no we will try to get married with the Imam being the Wali. (I do not have any other family here beside few Muslims friends).
I still live with my family and try my best to be patient and calm.
Please do advise me in what I should do. We want to make it as Halal as we can and we do not want to do anything that would hurt Allah. I know that even us two meeting is bad but we do not have any options to see each other. Please do advise me on what to do? I need help and I don’t understand how to persuade my family. And if we want to get married without the wali, can we or do we still need a wali?
Thank you taking your time to read this. Please do advise me.