Child’s conflict with parents about choosing a life partner

Psychology Contributor

If someone asks me to create a key situation of conflict between parents and their young son / daughter about marriage or when we look at a child’s conflict with parents about choosing a partner, I will divide it into three categories:

(i) The son or daughter chooses someone whom his parents do not like and they do not agree to marry outside the choice of their parents.

(ii) The choice of the child and his parents is different on the basis of religious practice or attitude, clan, caste etc.

(iii) The son or daughter is already married, and in no way agrees to remarry.

These, according to my personal knowledge and life experience, are the main situations of conflict between Muslim parents and their children.

Is it necessary to have unconditional obedience to parents?

Family elders and Islamic scholars suggest that obedience to one’s parents is obligatory in all matters. And I also truly agree that disobedience to one’s parents is a major sin in Islam. However, this is not the case in all situations.

The long-term decision like marriage is very different and it cannot be classified as the same as other obligations.

Obedience to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) is paramount for all adult Muslims.

It is important to note that just as Islamic law prohibits a son or daughter from disobeying their parents. So, a Muslim parent is not allowed to force their adult son or daughter to marry against their will, or before or after seeking their advice. To arrange their marriage without their consent.

Parent’s role in child’s conflict

Many parents actually do this forbidden thing. They force their child to marry someone of their choice at a certain age and time to protect their personal purpose. Such as strengthening business, family ties or socialization, etc.

When the parents fear sociality without fear of Allah and force their children to marry against their will, then quarrels and unrest start in the family. 

I have said this very sincerely many times – parents should pay full attention to the upbringing of their children from infancy. You may feel that you should allow your child to follow his or her wishes from an early age, nurture him or her in a co-educational system. And he or she will be more inclined to accept your choice when it comes to marriage.

No, sir. That will never be the case.

In fact, you will reap what you sow.

Parents and children: Who has more Taqwa?

I really feel sorry for the son or daughter whose parents want to marry him to someone he doesn’t feel comfortable with. I can recommend such a boy or girl that they can perform Istikharah prayers and then he should go wherever he feels inclined, even if it hurts his parents.

But at the same time, I feel pain and anxiety for those sad parents who want their children to be happy. But they also think that if they allow their children to marry as they wish, they may not be able to take care of them properly in old age.

In such a bipartisan situation, I am really in a dilemma as to who is in the right path in this conflict.

I know how much a parent(especially a mother) fears for his / her adult, single child’s future well-being and prosperity. His / Her primary fear being that he or she will be left all alone to grow old without anyone there to share a home with after the parents are gone from this world.

If the parents are more righteous and have more Taqwa, then their son or daughter should force themselves to obey them about marriage. With knowing that Allah’s pleasure and barakah will be in their agreement to their parents’ decision.

The best advice is summarized below:

His opinion will prevail in this complex situation between the parents and the child who is more pious, has more fear of Allah, knowledgeable in Islamic teachings, and loyal to the Islamic obligations in practical life.

Those who are involved in haram or forbidden relationships should keep in mind that they are displeasing Allah just as they are displeasing their parents. So it is normal for them not to be blessed in worldly life.

On the other hand, if the child is pious, has more fear of Allah, knowledgeable in Islamic teachings, and adheres to Islamic obligations in practical life. Then the parents should give priority to the child’s opinion and let him choose his life partner according to his choice. Because in this situation the parents should understand that it is normal for the pleasure and blessings of Allah to be towards the choice of their child.

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