The Problem with Parents

Parents and children clashing is not something new. Even if both were raised in the same country, with the same values, and the same way of life just being from two different generations causes them to view the world differently. When you add to the generation difference that a large number of Muslim parents are immigrants it makes the differences in life views all the greater. It comes at no surprise then that the topic of marriage is often a heated debate between children and parents in Muslim households.

The most common issue that arises is when parents and their children have opposing views on who a suitable spouse is. Often times the parents have a hard time letting go of their cultural preferences and view it as their right/job to choose a spouse for their offspring. Whereas, the son/daughter feels that they know who will be most compatible for them and feel that it is their choice to choose who they would like to spend the rest of their life with.

When going through these issues with parents, especially when it involves a religious son/daughter vs. a more cultural parent, is important to keep a couple of things in mind.

1) Our parents have immense amount of rights upon us. So even when we disagree with them and oppose them we must do so with good manners and respect.
2) Don’t be completely closed off to your parents input. It’s easy to drown out everything they have to say when you feel you are on opposite sides. Instead, listen to what they are saying and try to reach a middle ground.
3) Giving in to their demands is not a solution either. In Islam you have the right to choose your spouse. If your parents are not willing to listen to you then try approaching someone they respect to speak to them on your behalf.
4) Don’t forget the power of duaa. When it comes to finding your other half and getting your family to accept them, duaa can go a long way.

So, while it is true that we have a right to choose a spouse based on our personal preferences and specifications we should also respect our parents’ input as they have more experience in life than us. They also have rights upon us and deserve our respect and honor even if we disagree with them. At the end of the day, a parent just wants their child to be happy and while they may remain stubborn on their opinion and oppose yours they will eventually come around to accepting your stance on the matter.


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  1. Tasleema P

    I have found this to be the most disheartening and difficult situation I have ever faced in my life. This exact situation where my mother believed it to be her right to choose a spouse for me. I believe this is a very big matter especially for those of us from a South Asian (Indian, Pakistani) background. There are some of us who find a potential spouse, and try to engage in the mater with utmost Islamic morality (do not talk to the other party unnessecarity, do not meet them privately). And in order to keep the situation Islamically correct (halal) we try to involve our parents. Despite being extremely close with your parents, this subject matter can be one that causes much feud and anger. I have personally talked to my mom about a situation like this where I conducted myself with the most respect possible (never raising my voice, or arguing) but where my mom behaves very unreasonably. I think one reason many Muslim youth result to haraam relationships with the opposite sex (boyfriend/girlfriend) is because this subject is simply so unapproachable with some parents. Its either their way or the highway and sometimes they do not even want to attempt at reaching middle ground. They would rather sulk, act pitiful as though they have the worst children in the world.. This has been what situation is like, very discouraging. But i continue to make dua that Allah guide all parents to have open relationships with their children on ALL MATTERS! never let your children feel unloved or unwelcome for advice on anything – or else they will try to fulfil this elsewhere. May Allah open the hearts of all those who are stuck in their cultural ways, may He guide them onto the path of Allah where they try to seek Allah pleasure rather then the pleasure of society.

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