I have a problem and I hope you can help me. A young man of good character who is religiously committed came to propose marriage to me, and he is financially well off too, and to be frank, I love him. But my father refused for reasons that are not convincing; he says that he does not like the people of the city that this young man comes from!
I prayed istikhaarah, asking Allaah for guidance, but I do not know what to do. Please advise me, may Allaah reward you.
Praise be to Allaah.
Do not worry, every problem may be insignificant except a problem concerning one’s religious commitment. May Allaah not cause our problems to be concerning our religious commitment.
The Muslim knows that this world is the arena of trials and tests, and that when he accepts trials and tests and faces them with patience and acceptance of the will and decree of Allaah, then they become gifts for him from the Lord of the Worlds, which cause him to rise in status and expiate his sins.
Imam Ahmad (21833) and Abu Dawood (3090) narrated from Abu Khaalid al-Sulami (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he went out to visit one of his brothers, and he heard that he was sick. He entered upon him and said: “I came as a visitor, to visit you in your sickness and bring glad tidings.”
He said: “How can you combine all of that?”
He said: “I came out, intending to visit you, then I heard that you were sick, so now I am visiting you in your sickness. And I give you the glad tidings of something that I heard from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “If Allaah decrees that a person should reach a status that his deeds cannot help him to reach, He tests him with regard to his physical health or his wealth or his child, then He causes him to be patient until he reaches that status that He has decreed for him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah (2599) on the basis of corroborating reports.
You should note that Allaah has not prescribed for a Muslim woman to arrange her own marriage, rather He has stipulated that her wali (guardian) should be the one who arranges her marriage. He has prescribed that out of mercy towards His slaves, so as protect their interests which may be lost whenever people become negligent with regard to that. You must have heard the stories of marriages based on that (love marriages) and how their lives turned into distress and regret, if the marriage even survived.
But we do not need to learn from experience in order to obey the command of our Lord or to know the benefits, both spiritual and worldly, that that brings to us. The role of the believer when faced with the command of Allaah is to say “We hear and we obey.” See questions no. 2127 and 31119 for the conditions of the wali for marriage.
What we advise you is not to insist on what you think is right and do not let emotion sway you when making decisions. Do not look at your problem alone, rather seek the help of a sincere and trustworthy family member or relative, who knows you and him, and who is liked by your father and whose opinion your father trusts.
Then pray istikhaarah to Allaah and remember, when you ask your Lord for guidance by praying istikhaarah, turning sincerely to Him and expressing your need for His help and guidance, that Allaah decrees nothing but good for His slave, whether His decree is in accordance with what you like and want or not. For the believer’s affair is all good. So be content with whatever Allaah decrees for you.
You can also seek the help of someone who can convince your father to let you marry the one you want, if his religious commitment and character are as you describe.
In order to benefit from that, you have to give your father time to think, and so not try to force your father to make a decision too soon. In other words, I do not advise you to insist too strongly on marrying this suitor from the outset. Do not try to start an argument with your father which may lead to him forbidding you and being harsh. Rather you should only deal with him in a gentle manner, and give him the impression that you accept his decision, such as saying, “You are my father and my guardian, and you know what is in my best interests, so I hope that you will think again,” and other such words that leave room for discussion. Do not seek a hasty answer from your father. The longer it takes, the more likely there will be a solution, in sha Allaah.
But before and after all that, I think that you have the best solution in sha Allaah, which is undoubtedly more beneficial than all that we have mentioned above, and I do not think that it will fail. That is turning to Allaah and making du’aa’. I do not mean only saying du’aa’, I mean turning to Him and beseeching Him, asking Him for goodness, relief and help. When Allaah sees that you are sincere in your du’aa’, He will give you want you want, by His leave. How can it be otherwise when He is the Most Kind, Most Generous?
Although you are feeling so critical of your father and regarding him as the one who is preventing you from marrying this man, we would not like you to forget that the relationship between a man and a non-mahram woman can only reach this degree of emotional attachment if there has been a great deal of neglect concerning the sacred limits set by Allaah, with regard to speaking, promising and looking.
You have to fear Allaah in secret and in the open, and beware of losing your religious commitment, which is the true calamity. A husband may come and go, wealth may be acquired and lost, but all of that is insignificant in comparison to losing your religious commitment.
If either of you has done any such thing, then hasten to repent from it. Allaah may be withholding your father’s acceptance until He sees that you are both sincere in adhering to His Commands. Doesn’t Allaah say in His Book:
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things”
And Allaah knows best.
For further advice and rulings on your problem, please refer to questions no. 6398, 10196, 23420 and 36209.