Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I want to marry someone who used to be involved in criminal activity. He has made his repentance, and is a practising Muslim now. My mother disapproves of him due to other reasons. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you clarity during this critical juncture of your life.

Mother

Your responsibility as a daughter is to treat your mother with love, respect and compassion. Please do your utmost to reassure her, and leave the outcome with Allah. Remember that He is the Turner of Hearts. Her motherly instinct is to protect you from perceived danger. I pray that you will understand her better one day, when you become a mother too, inshaAllah.

Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to soften your mother’s heart. Bring in a trusted family member or community elder to advocate for the man you wish to marry. Give your mother the opportunity to get to know him better. Ask your mother what would help her feel more at ease. She may have a clear idea of what kind of husband she would want you to have, but has not communicated that to you. Do your best to listen to her concerns.

Where is your father in this scenario? You need your father’s blessings to marry this man, as in most circumstances, your father will be your wali (legal guardian) during your marriage contract. However, if your father is no longer alive, not contactable, or estranged from you and your mother, then please consult a trustworthy local scholar for more advice on how to proceed.

Istikhara

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times to help you decide on how to move forward. Although it is extremely difficult to do so, please do your best to remain open to either outcome. Watch how events unfold – your mother softening her stance towards this young man is the clearest sign that marriage to him is good for you. Continual difficulty in wanting to marry him may be a sign that it is not good for you.

Throughout this process, please do your utmost to observe the appropriate gender limits with him.

Marriage

MashaAllah, it is heartening to hear that you are studying Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. Please encourage the young man to do the same.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like you are already attached to him. He has shared details of his past with you, you’ve met his parents and they seem to approve of you. Although intercultural marriage is a beautiful expression of the mercy inherent in Islam, it takes a lot of patience, compassion, and communication. Love is not enough. It is likely that you will encounter challenges with his family, but this is part and parcel of getting married. I encourage you to look at resources such as the Gottman Institute and the Stay Married blog.

Past sin

I commend you for not holding his past against him. I pray that Allah grants him a complete repentance. If it is good for your deen and dunya to marry him, please do your best not to bring up his past when you are upset with him. This is part of the wisdom behind concealing sin. Allah knows best.

Please see:

What to Do When My Parents Reject My Choice of Spouse Because of Cultural Reasons?
A Reader On Gender Interaction
When Love is Not Enough: Reassessing Marriage in the Muslim Community – Mental Health 4 Muslims Blog

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

Please share this with your family and friends:

"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)