I have a matter concerning another Muslim brother and we are really in need of help and information and guidance from you.
My Muslim brother is getting married and upon doing istikhara on several occasions he is still having doubts of his decision and he is not satisfied that this is right for him meaning this marriage, but he feels that he has to do it because if he does not do this, his family members would be disappointed in him.
I did my duty as a muslim when he came for advise in accordance with the six rights of a muslim. He has admitted to me about two days ago that he knows what he wants and what he should be doing but he is afraid that his family members would not approve.
So I am here today asking you for your advise and guidance.
From your question, there are two possibilities:-
The first is that ‘the brother does not want to marry at this time’ and the second, is that ‘he does not want to marry the girl that has been proposed by the parents’.
If the situation is of the first possibility, then the teachings of the Prophet (S.A.) should be a guide to his decision. The Prophet (S.A) said, ‘O young men those of you who are able to marry, then marry’.
Based on this, as well as other traditions, my advise to the brother is that once he is able to look after a wife, provide for her maintenance and find a place to keep her, then he should marry. As mentioned by the Prophet (S.A), this protects the person from committing sins.
If the brother is not able to look after a wife and provide for her maintenance etc., then he should not marry at this time, since marriage at this time can bring about hardships to him as well as to his wife.
If it is the second possibility, in that he wants to marry, but not to the girl his parents have chosen for him, then in this case, we also see that the Prophet (S.A) has given sufficient guidelines with respect to ‘who’ one chooses as a wife. The gist of his teachings is that one should use the ‘religious status and disposition of a girl’ as the criterion to marry her. Hence, when this Muslim brother wishes to choose someone as his wife, he must look at the extent she is practicing Islam, and if she is conscious of the teachings of Islam. Once, he is satisfied with the ‘religious aspect’ of the life of the girl and he is also please to have her as a wife, then he must make Istikharah. If he has no indication through his Istikharah after several occasions, then he should go in the direction to that which his heart leads to.
In the case which you have mentioned, it means that the boy is not pleased to marry a certain girl. My advise on this matter is that if he does not want to marry this girl, then he should explain this to his parents, so that they may understand his feelings. However, he should not reject their proposal on account of his own ‘liking’ for another girl who may not be an upright and practicing Muslim girl. This is quite common these days where many young Muslim boys are ‘courting’ with non-Muslim girls /or Muslim girls who are not practicing Muslims, and when a proposal comes from an upright, righteous Muslim girl, they reject it.
So, if he has the right motive and reason for his decision, then Insha-Allah the parents will understand, and Allah will help him to come out from this situation with goodness.
If however, he has the wrong motive and reason for his decision, then his action will not be right and he will be accountable to Allah.
He must therefore search his mind and heart to see if he has the right reason, acceptable in the shariah for not wanting to marry the girl.
If he does what his family members want, which may not be in accordance to his Istikharah, it will not be considered as disobeying Allah.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan