Marrying a Woman of a Different Nationality
Fatwa No: 82095

Question

I have found a woman to marry, but her culture is different. I am okay with that; I am Indian and she is from Yemen. I have talked to my parents, but my parents didn't agree on it. They think I should marry an Indian Muslim woman. I like this girl, but my parents think that it's not wise to marry a woman whose nationality is different from mine. I need some advice on what to do.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Islamic lawmaker has set the basis for choosing one's wife and has made the Islamic religion and the good morals as the most important ones. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “A woman is married for four reasons: her wealth, her family lineage, her beauty, and her religion. So choose the religious one, and you will prosper.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Therefore, in principle, one should choose the most noble-minded. Since your parents have ordered you to get married to a woman who has the same origin, customs and traditions as yourself, then we advise you to obey them for the following reasons:

1 -Their obedience is an obligation on you as long as they haven't asked you to commit a sin.

2 -You may find a woman from the same origin as yourself and who is better than the one you want to marry.

3 - The third point, which may be the most important one, is what the well-known scholer Siddeeq Hasan Khan said in his book Ar-Rawdhah An-Nadiyyah: “The customs of the people as well as their rites prevail on the person and they are like things he is naturally predisposed to do.” So, if the culture and customs of the wife and husband are different, problems are more likely to arise between them than if they were the same. Taking these differences in behavior and conduct into consideration does not contradict the advice of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to opt for the most religious person. So, one may choose a religious woman that matches him perfectly as regards the temperament and character.

Allah knows best.

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