Arab man engaged to cousin he doesn't want, wants to marry non-Arab woman
Fatwa No: 81936

Question

An Arab man has asked me to marry him, but he is engaged to his cousin. He does not wish to marry her, saying that if he does marry her it would be unfair to her as he does not want her and their relationship could never be happy as they don't even get along now. He would marry her to please his family especially his mother. He can have many wives but only have 1 set of parents and I told him he should obey their wishes. He believes they will accept me in time, but I am not comfortable with this as I respect his parents the same way as I respect my own. I am a non-Arab, born Muslim and my parents and theirs. I am south African citizen whose forefathers were Arab and Indian. I am so confused. I do not want to marry and then divorce. He is a good Muslim, and he has good intentions. If he sincerely cannot have a life with his fiancee, is it possible he could marry me? This man has sincere intentions but what should I do?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

You should make an inquiry about the person who has proposed to marry you, to verify his obedience to the rulings of Islam and his conduct. If both conditions are sufficient, you may accept his proposal and you are not responsible for his leaving the girl to whom he had proposed before. Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "If a man proposes to a girl, and you like his religion and character, you should accept his proposal (marry him to her), if you do not do so, there will be great mischief and corruption!!". [al-Tirmizi].

Allah knows best.

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