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Dilemma about marrying someone older than me or continuing further education


As-Salaam Alaikum

I am a 17 year old female that lives in the U.K. Not along ago I was on a site where I came across a male that was 40 years old, who is currently residing in Riyadh. We began talking but due to my age and how society is changing I had never even considered marriage before.

My father really wants his daughters to do well at school and attain good medical degrees. Alhamdullilah we are an intelligent family and his plan for us is coming true. The only thing is that in order to ensure this he sends us to a University abroad. I know this is haraam as Allah states that daughters should not enter foreign lands alone. I have one year of college left and I too will be sent to do this 5 year degree. Once upon a time I wanted it too. With this degree a lavish lifestyle is promised. But only Allah knows how hard it is for a wealthy person to enter Jannah. And isn’t is so that a man should work?

My point is that because my parents are fixed on getting us educated, we are as a result marrying later. I feel like after talking with this individual I have fallen in love with him. His ettiquette and deen shines through and I believe there is no other male that will keep me on the straight path. Inshallah we will have a chance at being able to enter Jannah together. He was born and raised in the U.K but now lives and works in Saudi Arabia. We have talked about his previous marriage and I can see why he divorced. I feel like the youth today in the U.k has been led astray and no male has ever touched my heart they way he does.

Both our families are Pakistani and Salafi, giving us common ground. I know my parents will say no and make me continue with my studies as marrying him will mean that I go and live in Saudi Arabia. I have read that if a father rejects a potential husband without a valid reason then an Imaam can be appointed to do so, and can act as a Wali. Also, if a father fails to protect his daughter.. in that it is haraam in educating me abroad.. then this can be appointed to an Imaam too.

I know that if I accept the proposal then my family will cut off all ties with me. But I think that this is the best thing for my faith even if my family leave and the future I once wanted… I give it up.

I know the individual is older but it only makes him wiser and our religion does not discourage age gaps.

I feel like everyone around me is becoming more and more westernised and Allah is testing me. This is it.

I believe myself to be a little mature for my age and I think Inshallah this will be good for me and that this is the biggest choice I will have to make in my life. I am not particularly religious and I have a history but he is already helping me.. already teaching me.

Why should I put my religion on hold for wealth and materialistic things when I see now it will not benefit me in the afterlife. And when I say my family is serious about wealth and education I mean my dad wants us to be big business people. But I don’t think it’s right.

I think he is the one for me…. what do I do?


Waalykum salam sister
Thank you for your Question

While there is not harm in marrying someone older than yourself. But then age is not the only factor. There is a lot more involved in a marriage than just age.

Foremost will be your father or paternal fathers consent. Now I do not know what Salafis believe into, but then according to Islamic laws, a girl cannot have her Nikah recited without the consent of her father or paternal grandfather.

Also, it isn’t haram for a girl to go to foreign lands to study. Infact the Holy prophet (saww) says: “Acquire knowledge even if you have to travel to China”
And it didn’t mean just for men.

In the end I would like to bring to your kind attention that just Because someone feels like he is good to you doesn’t mean all he tells you about his past life in the UK to be absolutely correct and That his previous marriage was the fault of the opposite side.
In this regard, I must say, that you need to seek some more advice and counseling. You need to hear people with experience and not just listen to your feelings. At some point, feelings can drive us to difficult ends where return can be very difficult or impossible.

I pray all goes well.
InshaAllah we are all guided to the right path.

Remember, any decision at the cost of upsetting your parents definitely needs a reconsideration.