Question 1: What advice will you give to someone who is not inclined to marry her cousin? Also, please comment on the trend of genetic testing to secure the best marriage partner.
Yasir Qadhi: Only Allah (swt) knows the future – we can never have full certainty and confirmation of what is to come. In my humble opinion, if a person does not want to marry a close relative, first cousin let’s say, because they feel that this is not the best way in a health manner, then it is not Haram, as the Shariah does not oblige you to marry your first cousins. You have a choice. If you want to marry somebody outside of your immediate family, Alhumdullilah. However, it is not good to go to the other extreme either and demand that everybody has to get genetic testing to see their compatibility. We should not get involved in the knowledge of Divine. It is beyond the knowledge that we have been given – this is going to Takaluf (the extremes). Pray Istikharah, as that is the best genetic testing you can do. Pray Istikharah to Allah (swt), and if it is best for you, then Insha’Allah, it will be written.
Question 2: How can we put forward the idea of marriage when we are very young and our parents don’t want us to get married?
Yasir Qadhi: Yes, convincing our parents is one of the most difficult problems of our times. Our parents do not understand the pressures we experience. If we cannot find love, romance, and sexuality in a Halal manner, we will turn to Haram, as this is human nature.
I do not have an easy solution for this question. Those of you who are young and in this situation, please remember this feeling twenty or thirty years down the line when you have your own children. Please remember this. I have already told my wife that as soon as my son hits eighteen, if he wants to get married, I will pay for it, Insha’Allah, because I remember how it feels to be an 18-year-old.
I do not want my son to fall into Haram and do Haram. I will be a supportive father, as long as he is mature. Obviously, eighteen doesn’t necessarily mean that you are mature or that you should get married. I will take care of the finances, but not every father is ready to do that; if a father is not ready, the young man should realize that is his responsibility. It is not your father’s responsibility to pay for your wife – it is your own responsibility. So we should face the reality – if the young man says that he is working thirty hours a week, along with his school, and can afford a simple apartment, the father should be willing to allow marriage. Of course, when it comes to men, Islamically they are not required to get their father’s signature for marriage. In other words, men can act independently, even though I would not advise that, unless the brother thinks he is going to fall into Haram, right? Otherwise, please, convince your mother and father that you want to get married.
As for the sisters, it is a necessary condition that the Wali approves of your marriage. This is an issue that I cannot overpass – I cannot tell you otherwise. If the Wali is not approving, the pressure should be put on him in a positive manner: by the mother, the aunts, the Imam, and other people. Basically, he should be told: “Look, this is the right time and this is the right person.” Apart from this, honestly, there is really no easy solution. All you can do is use the weapon of the believer: Dua!
Transcribed for Hiba Magazine by Sana Mohsin