The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ask an Alim

If someone rejects marriage because of race and culture is it a valid enough reason?


A brother told his father that he wants to marry me but his father said no because of my race, the brother is Indian and I am coloured meaning mixed. His father blatantly told him no because of my race and that him and I would face many difficulties in our future because of cultural differences. Is this a fair reason? Because I feel it is very unfair to me, I would have understood if they met me first and then decided I’m not good enough but without even meeting me he said no because of my race. I feel racism is taking place here.


Alaikum salam sister.

Islam does not differentiate between people based on their nationalities, skin color or cultural background as the only scale for virtue among people is by piety. Therefore people should not be subjected to discrimination in treatment based on their ethnic origin, skin colour or even culture for that matter.
Its unfortunate that the boy’s father hasn’t realized this concept in Islam and he needs to be educated on that.
You could arrange that an elder or noble community member to get the word through if both you and the boy are interested to get married.
If you cannot do anything about it, all you need to do is to pray to Allah for their guidance.
If the boy intends to marry you, he will do all he can to convince his family.
However, you should bear in mind that since marriage is a sacred union based on love and mercy, there requires a mutual understanding and compatibility between two people from two different backgrounds. It is for this reason the families of one or the two parties usually act conservatively and hesitantly out of fear of potential problems resulting from these cultural and ethnic differences.
If nothings works out, you will certainly get the fruit of your prayers. This would probably be for your own goodness and inshAllah you will get a better proposal in future.

Salma Alavi