Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
I fell in love with a non Muslim girl. She converted to Islam. But I kept telling her that I wouldn’t be able to marry her as my parents wouldn’t agree. But I suffered from insomnia for about 4 years and eventually depression. I tried telling my family but they just don’t want to listen.
Can I marry her without my parents consent and knowledge?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
I do not think the situation you describe findingyourself in is a particularly healthy one. To believe that a secret marriage will solve these issues might simply be a fantasy.
The general rule is that while a secret marriage is valid if the basic conditions of a marriage contract are fulfilled, it would likely be sinful to engage in such a marriage behind one’s parents back for a number of reasons, which include:
(a) it entailing clear disrespect for parents, which is a major sin.
(b) such marriages being contrary to the sunna, which stresses that a marriage be known and public.
Yes, it is true that there are cases where parents can be unreasonable or base their opposition to a marriage on troubling grounds that go contrary to our religious values. Nonetheless, this does not mean that one can merely go ahead and marry in secret behind their backs. This is only permitted in exceptional cases. Otherwise, individuals need to learn to communicate with their parents in an open and clear manner, be firm if required, and with respect.
Given the nature of your question and the health issues/depression you describe, I would recommend that you also consult a reliable local scholar on this matter – someone who is more aware of your family situation.
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.