I want to marry a person who just recently reverted to Islam a year ago, my father does not approve of him because he is not from the same culture and his family is has not yet accepted Islam and he does not have a college education.
He is a very good Muslim, he is trying very hard to learn as much as possible about Islam, he did not revert to marry me, and he was a Muslim when I met him.
Can I marry him without my father’s approval since he does not have a valid reason not to approve?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Allah Ta’āla states in the Quran:
"هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَهُنَّ"
“they (women) are your garments and you (men) are their garments.” 2/189
In view of the very close relationship between the husband and wife, as also understood from the above mentioned verse, the Fuqahā (jurists) have discussed the issue of Kafa’at (compatibility).
It is an accepted fact that a human being conducts himself according to his upbringing and family background. For some, this may remain as pure as ever, for others, the upbringing and cultural practices may be diluted due to other factors in life.
If the spouses are of two different cultures and they are also sensitive to their family practices, then it becomes difficult to reconcile between that and the close marital relationship. The spouses are separated between two cultures, practices and upbringings, but marriage demands both to be as close as possible. If both factors (marital bond - cultural practices) are strong, then there will be greater disagreement between the spouses and this may lead to a marital breakdown as witnessed now a days. The institution of Nikāh, fulfilling one another's right is defeated.
Islam does not discriminate between race, colour and creed but on the other hand, Islam also does not ignore the nature of mankind. If we have to only consider discrimination and allow marriages across race and colour without compatibility, then the marriage will never prosper.
It is a great responsibility to ascertain compatibility before entering into a marriage. That is done by looking at the family of the spouses closely. The boy or girl must also be compatible primarily in thought and approach. This will assist in fulfilling the purpose of marriage and minimize the risk of a marital breakdown.
Your father loves you. He has your interest at heart. He wants to see you successful and prosperous in marriage. Your marital breakdown will be painful to him as to you. He wants you to be safe. Consider your father’s positive feelings for you and seek his wise counsel.
In any situation, where a person is new and is inexperienced, he will seek the guidance of his elders and people that are experienced. Similarly, in this case your father is experienced and fears the consequences of your wrong decision.
Therefore, keeping the aforementioned in mind we advise you to exercise precaution and have the approval and consent of your parents in your decision.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Zaid M Shelia,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.