A Saudi Father Repeatedly Rejects A Non-Saudi Man’s Request For His Daughter’s Hand In Marriage

Another example of how some Saudi fathers are obstinate in their refusal to allow their daughters to marry non-Saudis. Refer back to Qenan Al-Ghamdi’s article, Hearts Of Stone, when Judge Khalifa At-Tamimi ruled in the favor of one Saudi woman to get married to a non-Saudi. A non-Saudi who unsuccessfully petitioned a Saudi father for his daughter’s hand in marriage has allowed me to publish his story provided I keep his personal details private. It is a frustrating narration of undying love.


Initially we met over the internet in an Islamic chat room I had converted and wanted to find out so many things about Islam. I didn’t know she was a female and I was astounded by her knowledge of Islam. After lots of chats, she eventually owned up and told me her name and that she was a female and we became really good friends. We kept in touch by email and eventually by phone. We were drawn together over a period of a year or so. When I decided to go to Saudi for Umraah, we decided to meet even though we both felt it was wrong. I know people say that it is possible to fall in love at first sight and believe me I did. She was so beautiful and my heart melted when she spoke. I had never felt like this in my life. I blushed so much and my speech was difficult to get out of my mouth. I just stood there and the tears flowed from my eyes. I couldn’t stop myself from hugging her even though I knew I shouldn’t have. I didn’t want to let go.

We saw each other a few times and we went on Umraah together and prayed. When my time came to leave Saudi Arabia, I didn’t want to leave. As the plane took off, I looked back at the airport and the lights were blurred because of the tears in my eyes.

I returned to [country] and couldn’t get her out my mind. We kept in touch again but this time the phone bill went into hundreds and hundreds of pounds. This went on for months and months. I eventually asked XXXXXX if she would marry me and to my joy she said yes but we would have to go through the proper channels and ask her father. I decided to go to Saudi again to do Umraah and I would also contact her father to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. It was all arranged in a few months and I couldn’t wait to go.

I arrived in Saudi and contacted her father. He was very polite to me and said he wondered who the man was who had sent his daughter flowers. He arranged to meet me at a masjid. I eventually arrived there and prayed in the mosque and then I waited outside to meet him. He collected me in his car and straight away I felt very comfortable with him. He was very polite and spoke very good English. He asked me if I had prayed and when I said yes he said he would take me to his house.

His house was very beautiful and I saw things that XXXXXX had told me about in our conversations over the phone. He invited me into his office and we sat and talked. He gave me food and drink and my admiration grew for this man I had only just met. He had a certain air about him and when he spoke it was as if I had known him for years.

Eventually he got around to the subject I had asked him about (his daughter’s hand in marriage) and politely he told me his daughter was destined to marry a Meccan as it had been ordained by his father before he passed away that this should happen. I felt my heart hit my throat. I couldn’t believe what he had just said. I am a good man and I dearly love his daughter. I could feel the tears welling in my eyes.

After what seemed like a lifetime, we talked and talked. But I had the impression he was trying to skirt around the issue of his daughter and the reason why I had come to Saudi. I eventually left his house feeling like the world had come to an end. I had read that once a father had turned down a proposer that it was unlikely he would ever allow it to happen again. I rang XXXXXX and told her it had not gone well with her father. She was so upset and we both cried. I felt as though I wanted too see her but we had both agreed when I came to Saudi it was not a good idea.

I returned to [country] with the world on my shoulders. I had never felt so unhappy. Eventually XXXXXX rang me and we decided even though we didn’t want to that we should both get on with our lives even though we wanted to spend it together. It was heart breaking and incredibly difficult not to pick up the phone and call each other but we both kept our promises for 6 months and then love pulled at our hearts again. We both knew we couldn’t stop seeing or talking to each other. After a period of time XXXXXX called me and told me she and her family were coming to [country] for a holiday. I couldn’t believe it and the day she came couldn’t come quick enough. I traveled to [city] too see her and as soon as I walked from the station, I saw her. It was like you see in the movies, we ran to each other and hugged. Neither of us wanted to let go and the hug lasted forever.

XXXXXX was in [country] for 2 months. We talked and talked about what we could do to change her father’s mind and we decided to give it another go the next time I contacted her father. Well due to family problems it never happened and the chance came again when XXXXXX came to [country] again. I contacted her father and he came down to my house with his two sons and we talked again. But again problems were brought up and different reasons given for me not fitting into Saudi life as the culture was so different and I wouldn’t be comfortable with it. If we had children I would take them away from the country, my wife and her family. I kept thinking to myself what have I got to do to be with the woman I love? I would gladly make changes, I would even sign documents. I then decided to tell her father straight up that I loved his daughter with all my heart and that I would do anything to be with her and have her as my wife.

And again he turned me down. I had so many things going through my mind. Here I was knowing I was going to lose the woman I love so much. That even if I approached him a third time and proposed again at a later date, he would still turn me down. Life really didn’t feel that important at that very moment. And yet again he sat and talked to me about life and its disappointments. He eventually said it was time for them to leave and I drove them to the station. We had a meal together and they left.

I felt that he had only agreed to meet me to satisfy his daughter that he had agreed too meet me. He had already made his mind up before he arrived at my house. Again XXXXXX was upset that it had not gone well. We talked and she cried a lot. For days she cried, even in her sleep and this broke my heart. We had prayed so many times that her father would change his mind and allow us to marry.

My life is empty without her but it goes on day to day. We talk and we chat online. Even though I am happy to hear her voice, my heart breaks because I want to be with her. I know I should let go and sort my life out but I can’t. And if I’m truthful about it, I don’t want to because she is everything to me. Its now been 7 years and we still keep in touch. I’m still single and I don’t want anyone else in my life apart from her.

I suppose a lot of people will say I’m being stupid. A lot of my friends say this too me but I feel they don’t understand that once in a lifetime you meet someone who you not only fall in love with but each time you see them you have this warm feeling inside that melts your heart and tears fill your eyes. You know you want to spend every waking moment with this person. This is how I feel. Even as I type this, tears are filling my eyes and I feel so sad. But I still feel that insha’Allah one day we will be together. Allah will make both our dreams come true and we will be husband and wife. XXXXXX has had many proposers over the years and has turned each one down and this makes me sad also. Even though I can’t have her as my wife, I feel I am holding her back from being someone else’s wife and a mother of his children.

I have not written everything that happened over the seven year period because this letter would be endless, only the parts that seem relevant to this issue.

[Name withheld for privacy]
Jazzak allah khair


Published by

Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

19 thoughts on “A Saudi Father Repeatedly Rejects A Non-Saudi Man’s Request For His Daughter’s Hand In Marriage”

  1. >how good if u had spent your tears in the way of allah.How good if u had put ur time in the way of Allah..How good if u had put hundreds of pounds in serving poor..But No Shataan has blindfolded your eyes.I also loved many and whenever i remember i feel bad…but not like u..it means u have just brought islam not accepted it with heart or u r far from islam…this is the one reason why Islam encourges marriages in little ages from 15 years for girls and 21 for boys because otherwise people get mad after eachother……… Well in brief it is clear shataan is our enemy…He really disturbs people…Many people even die for girls….instead of dying in the path of Allah……. It is father's will where ever he wants to marry her girl because after all she belongs to her..no law can order him to girl her daughter to anyone……… Also it is clear that Allah grant best than best……… Dear Tara don't post such posts..in my view these r worth for nothing..it not only saudi……… Before posting such post one should mke it clear is he/she ready to marry her daughter to anyone she will choose even if bad or from other country…definetly answer is No…WE r gone Crazy…..


  2. >Mueen- Don't you think the father should be a little more merciful considering his daughter won't marry any man but this non-Saudi? Is he going to let her waste away all of her marriageable years until she gives in to his wishes of marrying a Makkan? Now seven years have passed and the father is unbending. Its easy for you to side with the father if you are like him, not letting your daughter have a say in who she spends the rest of her life with. Just imagine someone told you that you can't marry the woman of your choice and never agree to your wishes, how would you feel?Chiara- It also indicates (to me at least) that the daughter doesn't have courage to approach another mahram or a qadi at the court to marry her to this non-Saudi man.


  3. >Dear sister Tara:I know what u r feeling and thinking about the father.But fact is that only father is the person who will put his finale decision.Also don't look into oneside only.Father has his own problems and thinking.In my view the man should marry someone else and girl should also be married by her father in such case were father is non compromising.Otherwise do u want girl to do suicide etc what is going on in such cases.Love is heart disease but marriage is some thing different …Iam not at fathers side but with practical that should happen…both the boy and girl should contact me i will explain them the truth behind all this….and give them practical way to come out of that….


  4. >This sounds like a gentleman who contacted me at my blog. I get a lot of that because I am a Westerner married to a Saudi female. The father is cold and uncaring. Not only that, I think his actions and ideas violate Islam. Nothing in Islam says you must marry within your own family, tribe city or race. The religion teaches that the only thing that seperates us is our piety. The father is not thinking about Islam, rather he is thinking about culture. He said it himself. The father really needs to make a choice as to which is more important to him, his religion or his culture. If he choose his religion he'll allow the two to marry, if he choose his culture he'll continue to put this world ahead of his deen and deny something for no valid reason. I will say Du'a for the father that he turns his face away from the culture and towards Islam. Ameen.


  5. >Chiara- The ball is in the woman's court. She must take the initiative to go to another mahram or a qadi and request he consider her case of marriage to this non-Saudi man. Alternatively, she can exit the country with a willing father or another sympathetic mahram and "escape" once she's there. Question is, does she know of her options or she knows but is too intimidated by her father (and family) to act upon them. Mueen- Suicide should not even be an issue and I trust that both wouldn't despair in such a way insha'Allah. Its not only about love, its about mercy too. When the father of a girl married her to a man she disliked, she complained to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he annulled the marriage. A woman has the right to say yes or no to an arranged marriage or to voice her opinion of whom she considers to be a more suitable spouse. Allah will have mercy on those who show mercy to others. Abu Sinan- Ameen. I couldn't have put it in a better way masha'Allah. What a true observation! Additionally, if the father really loved his daughter, he would be happy to see her happy. May Allah soften his heart and allow his daughter to marry whom she pleases ameen.


  6. >Thanks dear sister Tara for remembering me hadeeth but i ask u one question: women complained to the holy prophet and the father annulled the marriage.What if the father continued the marriage?It was that father simply acted on prophet alihisalams advice not was there any order on him nor is there any order over the father of girl in islam.Father has got the superiority and power to choose a husband for her daughter according to his choice.In case father chooses someone who is bidaati,mushrif or drunkyard etc them someone can interfere or daughter will reject otherwise father is the ultimate wali and owner of daughter in all caes and event to come. Also IK think u have either forgotten or don't know the Hadeeth of Allah's Last Messenger Muhammad bin Abdullah alihisalam:in Saheh Bukhari Aisha radiyallahuanhu says that : Non marriage of daughter on this earth will be valid in which her father choice is rejected or daghter marries according to her own choice…….Also Noone is complete muslim till he/she accepts the above hadeeth because it is saheh and will remain for all times to come…. we all know how some western people r in way to make islam a religion that fits there choice and will work as they wish.They english people have previously done same with holy bible otherwise Holy bible was same as holy Quran it contained same order but they started adding their choice and will in it..In nowadays recently i think last year it was in America that some socalled muslim men made an socalled muslim women their Imam and offered prayer after her………….. Islam has its own law and justice…Also Tell me why should the father only choose according to her daughters will.After all father has done a lot for her He has sacrificed his sleep and work for her He has remained hungry but fed her and now when only one choice is on her father.The girl says that she is interested in someone else who is against her fathers choice….Note : Please remember in presense of father noone can be sympathetic mahram and girl can "escape.it will be equal to zinah in islam.


  7. >Umm Latifa- Me too. I would even like to hear the woman's side of the story.Mueen- That hadith is not valid for this situation. The couple did not get married yet. Also what you say goes against what the great Shaykh Uthaymin ruled on…Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If the wali refused to let a woman marry a man whose religious commitment and character are good, then guardianship passes to the next closest male relative on the father’s side, then the next closest and so on. If they refuse to arrange her marriage, as usually happens, then guardianship passes to the qaadi, and the qaadi should arrange the woman’s marriage. If the matter is referred to him and he knows that her guardians have refused to arrange her marriage, then he should do that, because he is the wali in cases where there is no specific wali. [From the Shaykh’s Fataawa, 10/97]Based upon the above fatwa, it would be halal if a sympathetic mahram helps her go to another country and he oversees her marriage there. You say it would be equal to zinaa if she chooses to avail of her rights? Here are some more fatawa contrary to your opinion if you are still not convinced…Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen also said: Would that we could reach a level where a woman can dare, if her father refuses to let her marry one who is suitable in terms of religious commitment and character, to go to the qaadi and he could say, “Arrange her marriage or I will do it, or a guardian other than you will do it.” Because this is the girl’s right, if her father refuses to arrange her marriage (it is her right to complain to the qaadi). This is her right according to sharee’ah. Would that we could reach this level, but shyness keeps most girls from doing that. [Quoted from Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/148]The one who has most right to arrange a woman’s marriage is her father, then his father, (and grandfathers) no matter how far the line of ascent extends; then her son and grandson, no matter how far the line of descent extends; then her brothers through her father and her mother; then her brother through her father only; then their sons, no matter how far the line of descent extends; then her paternal uncles; then their sons, no matter how far the line of descent extends; then the father’s paternal uncles; then the ruler. [Al-Mughni, 9/355]


  8. >You're welcome Chiara. I have no way of knowing for sure. I sent the link of this post to the man but he hasn't responded yet. Insha'Allah if he follows this blog, he will participate.


  9. >Dear everyone who contributed comments to this post, I am passing on a message to you on behalf of XXXXX who has read all of your comments with interest and thanks you for them. Insha'Allah he will be asking his fiance if she would be willing to contribute her side of the story.


  10. >Heartbreaking and cruel indeed! Allah has created love in our hearts, and marriage to solemnize it. As long as the man is of good moral character, religion and faith, what the father is doing is against the deen.I pray for Allah's mercy on the two people, and for Allah to inject the girl's father with compassion and true understanding


  11. >Adnan- Ameen. I assume XXXXX is of good character and honor or else the father would have never agreed to meet him after the first time hosting him in his house. Obviously he must have made a favorable first impression except for the fact that he's non-Saudi. And I might add, the father ate in a restaurant with him before leaving XXXXX's country. Would the father have wasted his time with him otherwise?


  12. >Salam alaykum Tara It is with great sadness in my heart that i Wish to update you on this discussion .i am sad too say that we have both decided that it is not possible to continue with our relationship .xxxxx has now been back in Saudi for some 9 months and we kept in touch ,but now she has called me and asked me to move on with my life ,i am not happy to do this ,but i realise i have to ,mainly for her sake .I feel so bad but i want her to have a good life .insha allah she will find peace and a good proposer and marry and have many children ,which i know she wants.Thankyou to you and all your readers for the comments that have been written here on your blog Somehow reading your stories on here gave me some hope and i have prayed so many times that my prayers would be answered.But sadly it is not too be .Jazaak allah khair


  13. >Anonymous- My own heart breaks for you. I am so sorry to read your update. Maybe Allah wants something better for you. Please remain patient and know that we don't understand the hukm (wisdom) behind why Allah has planned things for us until much later…sometimes never. May Allah grant you both suitable spouses that make you happier than you were with each other ameen. Hard to imagine that right now but you never know what Allah has in store for you! You are still welcome to comment and contribute from personal experience to others who are in the same situation you once were in. All the best, Tara Umm Omar


  14. >salam alaykum to you and all your readers.I have been reading Sad girls comments and my heart bleeds for her ,it is very difficult to get over a relationship like this .This i know myself.Everyone tells you that time is a good healer and you will eventually move on ,but i disagree, depending on how much that person means too you and how you feel for them stays in your mind and in your heart and i dont think you ever forget them.I find the hardest part is the ever tightening knot i have in my stomach,no matter how many times i pray it does not go away .i found some of the comments written helpful ,but although these may help ,they are no medicine for a broken heart ,my own relationship with a saudi girl is evidence of this ,i can only say to sad girl i feel for you and insha allah you will be able to move on ,some people will tell you to find someone else and this will help you to forget ,but i say dont not yet.,Because as i have found if you try to move on and this person you have loved is in your thoughts still ,it is not fair on the other person in your relationship,you need to get your love out of your mind before you consider meeting someone else and forming another relationship,then and only then can you put your heart and soul into making someone else happy .The only other thing i can say too you is that as the days go by and different things happen to you in your life it does make the hurting go away slowly.keep your mind occupied and try to think good thoughts ,try not to ponder on things you used to do ,but thoughts of new things thast could happen in your life .This is what i am doing :)Insha allah you will be happy again.


  15. >Add- AmeenAnonymous- Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. Your acute sorrow is evident and I feel for you. Thank you for comforting Sad Girl. May Allah turn your sadness into happiness ameen.


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