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Protesting In My Family Situation

Q:

Assalam-o-Alaikum,

Before I share the question, let me first state the context in which I need you to answer.

Ever since I was young I have seen our parents fight (more or less to the verge of divorce) most of the time. Each time I was made to choose between both parents and made to participate in every discussion. I have grown up in an environment that is so mentally stressful that we have started to face symptoms such as racing heartbeat, sleeping problems, migraines, uncontrolled anger to the point I start gritting teeth for no big reason and I have also felt that I was the most ignored/neglected child among my siblings. I am in so distress that I want to leave the house and just run away, and get peace somewhere. Now keeping this in context, let me come to the main problem.

My parents had started matrimonial searches for me and my sister, my sister was epileptic and it’s been three years we haven’t been able to find any suitable match for her. Last year we found some suitable people for her, but it turned out to be a disaster just before her marriage. This year, a family visited our house for me. It turned out to be really good in the start. We all liked the groom. I started talking to the groom on my cell phones and I found out we were compatible to each other. It’s been eight months talking to him since his family first visited us. My parents were concerned about the elder daughter all the time and they did not pay any seriousness to my case. I was suffering all the time because of my elder sister, all my friends around me have been married long ago, I was the most good looking, I deserved something good, very early, Do I have the right to protest to get me married even before her? Realizing there is no big hope in my elder sister’s case?

Secondly, the worst part of the story, my father after 8 months realized to check the groom’s credentials and his reputation from his social circle. Someone told my father that the boy is very impulsive, had fighting history with his boss, had been to jail for one night for fighting with a police constable, and has very low chances of progressing in his career. Now I don’t find these things bad for a person to reject him. He’s nice by nature, quite caring and good-looking. I don’t career about his career, we’ll do something good about it. I know I would remain happy with him, Istikhara (Sign from Allah) had been good. I have no problem with all his negatives. I know I would be able to adjust, there’s nothing wrong in him as a person. Now all my family has rejected this person and they are playing emotional games with me. It’s not easy for me to let go of him so easily. I’ve been in so much anxiety throughout my life. I cannot handle another one. My family thinks that I am a puppet who can switch persons so easily. I had extreme abusive fights with my parents and I have cursed them multiple times. I have threatened them that I’ll run away with the guy and do a court marriage.

Furthermore, I am so stressed that I hold the intentions of suiciding. I don’t want to live in this environment. Even I agree with my parents I know they won’t find anyone for me and in this way I’ll be made to suffer once again (like I was made to suffer previously, they took too long to find this match for me). Also it would be embarrassing to tell everyone that after 8 months we are not getting married. He’s the perfect guy for me.

Am I rightful to protest considering all the injustice that has been done to me? If Yes , what should I do? If No, where am I wrong?

PLEASE SHARE THE ANSWER IN THE LIGHT OF ISLAM, QURAN AND SUNNAH. WHAT SHOULD BE MY COURSE OF ACTION?

A:

Assalamun Alaykum,

We hope our mail finds you in the best of health Insha’ Allah.

We have gone through the case and below are our observations:

We really sympathize with you and feel bad for you that you had to undergo
such traumatic childhood. and it seems that the childhood trauma has
left its imprints on you.We feel that your parents shouldn’t wait for your older
sister to get married and then they start looking for a spouse for you. though
nikaah is mustahab muakkad (highly recommended act) and girls should get married
when their age is ripe.
hadith
– One of the most important duties of the father is to arrange for the
marriage of the son when he attains maturity. In case of the daughter
too the father must strive to find a good match for her. The parents
cannot restrain their daughter from matrimony. The Holy Qur’an states clearly:
“…then do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree among
themselves in a lawful manner.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:232)

so yes, you have the right to protest but the method of protesting has to be a respectful one. Islam
doesn’t allow the children to disrespect, disobey or misbehave with the
parents under any circumstances except the case where the parents force
the children to disobey God.

QURAN – A child should respect and appreciate his or her parents every day
throughout the year. Allah has asked human beings to recognize their
parents after recognition of Allah Himself. Throughout the Quran, we
notice that parents are mentioned with appreciation and with respect,
even if they are senile. In Surah Al-Isra’ (Children of Israel) there is
a very beautiful description of how parents are to be treated. Allah
says: “Your Lord had decreed, that you worship none save Him,
and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them
attain old age with you, say not say “uff” unto them nor repulse them,
but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of
submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both, as
they did care for me when I was young.”   [Quran 17:23-24]
in the commentary “uff” is said to be a slight frown on the forehead. the
ma’soom said “if there was something smaller than  this act then God
would have mentioned it”.
The recognition and respect of parents
is mentioned in the Quran eleven times; in every instance, Allah reminds
children to recognize and to appreciate the care and love they have
received from their parents. In the following verse, Allah demands that
children recognize their parents:
“We have enjoined on humankind kindness to parents.”  [Quran 29:8 and 46:15]
1.   The demand for recognizing parents is made more emphaticly when Allah says in
the Quran: “And (remember) when We made a covenant with the children of Israel,
(saying): worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents.” [Quran 2:83]

2.   In Surah Al-Nisaa’ (The Women) Allah emphasizes again that children should be
kind to their parents.
“And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) Kindness unto parents.” [Quran 4:36]

3.   The same directive is repeated again In Surah Al An’Am (The Cattle), where
Allah says: “Say:Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord has made a sacred
duty for you; that you ascribe nothing as partner unto Him and that you
do good to parents.” [Quran 6:151] 

HADITH – Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said,(REF: GREATER SINS OF AYATULLAH DASTE
GHAYB SHIRAZI)
“Allah will not accept the Salāt of the person who stares angrily at his parents.
Even though they (parents) may be unjust.
so
it was wrong of you to be abusive to your parents; thus I would advice
you to go to your parents and respectfully seek their forgiveness. being
parents we are sure they will forgive you.

as for you feeling unloved/neglected and ignored, you have not mentioned anything
about what made you reach to this conclusion that your parents are
neglecting you. one thing that we were able to gather from you is that
your parents pay more attention to your older sister because of her
condition but my dear sister, when the parents care /show more concern
for one child it DOES NOT MEAN that they don’t love/care for the others.
its just that they take things for granted and forget to show/express
their love and concern for those who are less problematic. it seems they
didn’t speak your love language and as a result your love tank is now
empty. you are very much in need for someone to show their love to you,
pay attention to you, appreciate you.  this boy that you seem to be
interested on is speaking your love language, paying attention to you
and thus you feel loved by him and you feel compatible with him. you are
looking for someone to be in your life who will fill in the gap that
was left open by your parents and this boy seems to be filing the void
very nicely to the extent that now you are ready to revolt against your
parents to be with him. you cant think of a life where there  will be no
one to show appreciation to you, pay attention to you. in fact you are
so much enjoying him filling the void in your life that you are ready to
turn a blind eye towards his shortcomings example his impulsive behavior.
but let us tell you one thing, the fact that your
father (though after 8 months) took the trouble to inquire about the boy
seems to speak for itself how much concerned he is about you and cares
for your well being. you don’t seem to appreciate this fact because the
consequence of his inquiry is against your liking. he as a father has
the far sight whereby he can foresee future problems which you as of now
are not able to see because you are “blindly in love” with the boy.
but
you must know also that marriage is not a bed of roses. one day this
“in-love” feeling is going to subside and that’s when the actual job
starts. marriage requires a lot of sacrifice, self-giving, contentment,
steadfastness, forbearance, self control etc….
marriage is not the end rather its a means to an end. you are ready to commit suicide in
your frustrations but don’t forget that we haven’t been created by God
in vain; we have a purpose to fulfill in life. our purpose in life is to
acquire perfection and die a good honorable death and that is to die
while we are in the state of submission to God. so please my dear, do
not even think about committing suicide. life is the precious gift of
God which we have to use to be able to fulfill our purpose of life.
marriage provides this opportunity whereby we can fulfill the purpose of our
lives and it becomes easy when our spouse support us in our goal. 
our advice to you would be take sometime and sit down and make a serious
evaluation of the situation you are in. ask the following questions to
yourself:
what is the criteria of my spouse selection? is it
according to islam or not. according to islam your primary criteria for
spouse selection should be iman (faith) because if he is faithful he
will fear God and he will never mistreat his wife. he will help his wife
and together they will be able to achieve their purpose in
life. beauty, money, education etc are secondary issues.

how much do I know about this boy? what is his personality type? am I really
compatible with him or is it that  because i need him so much in my
life to take me out of the tense situation in my house i “think” or “i
want to believe” that I am compatible with him. most of the times what
we know about the boy before marriage is just the tip of the iceberg and
we find the whole ice berg after the marriage. sometimes we are not
able to adjust with him then and thus the divorce takes place.from what
you have mentioned about yourself it seems you too get angry at the
slightest things without reason. so ask yourself “will I be able to
control my anger when my spouse says something impulsively or in a fit
of anger? how will I handle the situation then?if the boy is an
impulsive person will I be able to tolerate this behavior on regular
basis? or will I start getting irritated with his behavior if he ends up
losing jobs due to his impulsive behavior?can I adjust myself
financially with him?

things are easier said but when it comes to action
many a times we find we are not able to cope and financial problems
become the cause of divorce.am I ready to make any sacrifice
that is required from me to make my marriage work or no! I will throw
tantrums and threaten my husband to run away from home (just as I
threatened my parents) to get my way of doing things?why did God create me? is it in
vain or am I supposed to have a goal in my life? what is that goal? how do I fulfill
my goal?when you honestly and sincerely answer these questions with clear mind
(don’t let your past experiences influence your thinking) then you will
get a clear picture of whether you still want to marry this guy or no.
if you still feel strongly about him then I would advice you to pray 2
rakaat salaah and ask God to help you be able to convince your parents
if it is khayr for you. this is the best way of istikhara (seeking khayr
from God) ; sit down with your parents and explain to them in a very
polite respectful manner of your feelings; or you can consult some
elderly person whom you trust to explain the situation to your parents.
when they understand your plight they will allow you to take your
decision and support you in your decision. if they don’t then consider
that he was not good for you; pray to God to send someone for you whom
your parents are happy with.
quran says ” many a times you dislike somethings but they are good for you and many a
times you like somethings but they are bad for you. God knows while you
don’t know”. (2:216)
when you do tawakkul on God (i.e. you place your trust on GOD) then He is all powerful and He
will suffice you. He will help you for sure. no doubt HE is the best of all the helpers.

as far as embarrassment is concerned you shouldn’t worry about it because you can never please all
people. thus your focus should be to please God and He will make everyone pleased with you.

May Almighty Allah guide you to take the right path and make the right decisions.Ameen.

Tayyibah