HELP ME - PLEASE
Between Faith & Family
Email from a believer, caught in a common problem - family traditions and culture . . . or commitment to Allah and His Way, and what it offers.
Here's the email to us:
"Salam alaykum sheikh,
I have a big problem and don't know what to do. I'm caught between my honor to my family and faithfulness to God"
You see, they are telling me to do something that is from our culture back home (in the old country).
But it is not in Islam.
My mom insists that I have to do it for the "honor" of our family name and if I don't then there's going to be a big problem for everyone and someone might even get hurt physically.
It's about marriage to my cousin in Pakistan who I don't even know, and she doesn't even follow Islam. Her whole family treat Islam like a social thing. I just can't think about this."
"I don't want to do anything haram or hurt my parents feelings. And I don't want to make my cousin and her family mad at us either. They have their hearts set on her marrying me, coming to this country and then their whole family comes along for the ride. If you know what I mean.
Can you help me, please?"
Bismillah Al Hamdulillah, was salat was sallam ala Rasoolullah.
Let's begin keeping in mind a few points we need for Allah's Help:
We have to refer to the Quran and sunnah (teachings) of Muhammad, peace be upon him. This is a very unique part of Islam, not available in any other ancient religions.
Next, sometimes questions don't give us enough information to give an answer that will really solve the problem.
We have to qualify what is the real problem by asking some questions and finding out more of the nature of the problem.
Sometimes "questions" contain misinformation. We have to qualify what someone is saying along with what they are implying.
Remember, the most important subject is the worship of Almighty God, without any partners or associates or "gods" besides Almighty God.
There is a clear teaching in Islam - "There is no obedience to creation if it is disobedience to the Creator."
I'm sure that you understand the meaning of this. However, at the same time, Allah demands that we keep up good relations with kiss and kin, especially our parents.
Now take a few minutes to read what Allah has mentioned on this subject in His Book in surah Luqman (chapter called 'Lukeman')"
12. And indeed We bestowed upon Luqmân AlHikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.) saying: "Give thanks to Allâh," and whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allâh is AllRich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.
13. And (remember) when Luqmân said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allâh. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allâh is a great Zûlm (wrong) indeed.
14. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.
15. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.
Prophet, peace be upon him, told us the one who has the most rights on our time is our mother (mother, mother, mother and then your father). This was to show us how important both of them are in our lives and how we must treat them with excellent care.
But now comes the answer, inshallah:
"But if they (either one or both of them) try to make you do something that is "shirk" or "haram" - then you simply can't do it.
There is no choice in any matter, if it involves oppressing someone (even yourself). So, if you know you don't want to marry someone, especially someone you don't even know, then it is better to explain to them your situation and ask Allah to help you and your family to find a better way.
Advise: Be good to your parents as much as you can. Give service and be dedicated to them for the sake of Allah. But do your best to always put Allah first. After all, He is the One who Created them and He is the One to whom we will all be returned.
Be steadfast, patient and hang in there. Do your best and let Allah do the rest. You are only human and you have limitations. Allah has no limitations beyond what He has willed Himself.
Pray constantly for yourself, your family and for your parents.
If you are really close to Allah and really cry to Him, He might just accept your petition and guide them to Islam as well.
After all, who is the Only real Guide?
May Allah make it easy for you and guide your family, ameen.