Shaykh Jamir Meah answers a question about marrying a revert who has been deemed unfit by parents.
I am a 26 year-old born Muslim female who still strives to be a better Muslimah every single day and am currently interested in a revert 33 year-old brother of two-and-a-half years in Islam. We met on a Muslim dating app since we both want to get to know our half of our religion as soon as possible, because we all know that we are on the suitable age.
I am a nurse working in Saudi Arabia and he is a smelter in another region of the Middle East. We haven’t chatted much in the application since he prefers to get to know the potential spouse in personal and of course with the presence of my wali.
We set the date and place, and I had my mother, uncle from my mother’s side, and his wife at the dining table. He came alone all the way from another region to my current place to seek permission from my parents. Unfortunately, my father was in the Philippines and was not amused about meeting a revert.
However, my mom and I persuaded him that there is nothing wrong in trying to get to know the brother. At least he is meeting me with my relatives present and not alone. Mostly, my uncle and mom did the interrogation regarding how he reverted and why, and his family background, and such and such, and he honestly answered that yes, he was from a broken family and Alhamdulillah he had made his mother a Muslim.
He wanted a Muslim-born woman to marry since he wants to build a family that has a strong religious grounding. To be honest, it was also both our first time to gather folks in meeting or getting to know each other for the purpose of marriage to get away from the world’s fitnah.
At the end of the discussion or meeting, he once again thanked Allah and my parents and me for allowing him to be seen and that he wanted to state his purpose which is that he wanted me to be his wife, if permitted by my parents. And that he won’t force anything if it is against some laws of Islam.
Uncle advised us to pray istikhara first before deciding and we did. I usually don’t have signs but my heart is light when I think how inclined he is to Islam than to the Muslim-born men I have known. We were permitted to have a limited chat in messenger but never did. We call to hear each others’ voices or video call to see each other. Both our Facebook accounts are mainly all about Islamic reminders. No pictures of awrah shown too.
I wanted to pursue the marriage with him since what I have been praying for: a righteous man, disregarding the race or status as long as his love for Allah is much stronger than this dunya. The problem is, my father got angry when I told him that i wanted to do nikah with him.
The reasons both parents told me are, he is a revert. We don’t know his purpose. His family is still a Christian. Why can’t he find his own revert wife? He is from a broken family (the reason why he was 33 and never got married was because he was afraid of not being able to be responsible enough to be a father. That’s why he was lead to Islam and knew the importance of marriage). He was just a high school graduate. And my family’s ancestors only allowed revert sisters. Never a revert brother. That maybe he reverted because he wants many wives.
The brother was hurt and all he could do is feel hurt and said “It is only Allah who knows what’s in my heart, and mind and my intention in marrying your daughter is pure and clear. If I have the evil intention or you’re afraid i might go back to my own religion, then may Allah prepare the most severe punishment for me. I fear Allah for that.”
No matter how much I tried to persuade my parents and how the brother did too, never-ending sermons are received from my parents. What will people say, it’s not in our culture. You’re still young, don’t go to haste. All these are so worldly reasons. I was already prepare to get married to the brother and even had enough mahr to give in case they approved but no. My parents say never! Never a revert!
But he is whom I wanted my children to follow. Until the brother gave up and sent a long message to my parents asking for forgiveness for being only a revert and that we will be gladly to raise his hands and surrender me to my parent since he told me he don’t want the woman he wanted to marry to face having to break family-ties with my parents.
I cried but my parents only justify their cruel intentions by saying, “You see he is not for you.” I told them, he only respects you all, since it is not allowed to be judgemental and rude in Islam. We tried getting someone to persuade them but that only made it worse. How could such parents value culture and discrimination more than the teachings of Islam?
Now I don’t want to both lose my family and the righteous man I found but why does my parents told me that they only care for me? They say they don’t want my future children to be at the man’s side but the brother has already broken his ties with his non-believing families, for they are too engrossed in haram and could only send Islamic pamphlets and make dua. He was so in tears for Allah’s mercy to grant him his mother to become a Muslimah and next we want to stay connected with his father to let him embrace as well. Insha Allah.
I need advice. Can a Muslim-born woman marry a revert even if it is against the rejection of the walis? Can I still pursue the nikah when I reach the age of 40 with the righteous man I have chosen? Since I am also willing to be a second or a third wife as long as I see the religion and religious man that fears and loves Allah.
Can I choose the man to get married with instead of my family, since they say they will disown me and kill us both if we both get married secretly? I was planning to wait until 30 and if he still inquires I would still, insha Allah, like to pursue the nikah with him in a far country and would still try not to cut connections since I fear Allah. Please do give me advice on this.
I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is obviously a very sensitive and difficult one. Normally, in these situations, we would advise that you get a third party involved to see if they can intercede. Perhaps there is a local imam or respected scholar who can speak to your family?
While your parents may be being prejudiced against converts, I’m sure they are deeply concerned about your happiness and well-being. Older generations see culture differences as much more important than younger generations, and though this can sometimes be misplaced, their concerns should still be considered.
I would also say that it is important to remember that you have only known this man for a short space of time and communication is limited. I am sure he is a good person, but it is very difficult to ascertain the good character and piety of a person until one has spent more time with them (such as having more arranged meetings) or at least inquired about the person’s character from others who know him well on a personal level. Ideally one would do both.
Using religious words and speech doesn’t always translate to good character and suitable spouse material in private practice. Even when a person is practicing and comes across as having firm faith, it does not necessarily mean that they are ready to marry, to live with another person with love, compassion, and patience. This applies to men and women.
Do you feel that you know enough about him to feel he is an ideal match for you? That he will treat you with kindness and make you happy? You may well do, but do consider these matters carefully before you set your heart on only one person and waiting years to marry him.
Given that your family said that they will disown you and even kill you both, though this is incorrect and deeply concerning, it seems that not pursuing this offer of marriage is best at the moment, at least until you can talk them round.
Lastly, do not forget that everything is in Allah’s hands. Whatever is meant to be will be, and if this man is meant to be your husband, it will be. Make use of the Prayer of Guidance (istikhara) often and the Prayer of Need (haja).
Please also refer to these answers for further advice:
I wish you every happiness,