Do It Right

“Advice is like castor oil, easy to give, but dreadful to take.” Josh Billings

Dear FHWS reader, I have to be blunt but in no way do I mean to be impolite. Many times I have read or heard a non-Saudi say something along the lines of, “It is their right to marry whomever they want and the Saudi government has no right to prohibit that”. This is true and I agree with it but so far, Allah has decreed that the Saudi government put restrictions on Saudi/non-Saudi marriages. And whether we like it or not, we may not always understand the hukm behind it or have patience with it.

“Allah, the Almighty says, which means, ‘And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’ (1) In this Qur’anic verse, there are several judgments, meanings and benefits for the servant. If the servant knows that misfortune can produce a desirable thing, and that the desirable thing can produce a misfortune, he would not feel secure against the harm that can come from delight, and he would not lose hope of delight to come from harm, for he does not know the outcomes of things. Verily, it is Allah Who knows about that which the servant does not know.” (2)

One of the reasons why FHWS was set up was to provide advice to non-Saudi/Saudi couples intending to marry. It has been a repeated refrain on the blog, in public forums and in (non-profit) private consultations that the marriage permission process is wrong Islamically BUT you must obey the law or you may find yourself in unfavorable circumstances should you try to bypass this law. The laws have changed a great deal within the past ten years and the consequences for getting caught have become more severe. Unless you have a solid wasta to help you circumvent the red tape, its tough. Until Saudi Arabia makes it easy on non-Saudi/Saudi marriages, it would probably be in your best interests to play by the rules and insha’Allah you will be blessed.

In light of my own marriage permission experience which took a long time to rectify alhamdullah, I have maintained the stance that if you want to marry a Saudi, please do it right from the beginning according to the instructions of the Saudi government. This entails applying for the marriage permission at the emarah, waiting for it to be approved while making du’a and utilizing all halal resources, marrying and THEN having children. We do not know what could happen in the future so I can not in good conscious recommend anything contrary to that.

A case in point: what if a Saudi husband wants to return to live in Saudi Arabia because that is the only place he can get a good job to provide for his family? He and the child(ren) can go but the non-Saudi wife can’t. Then if he tries to apply for the marriage permission to start the process for her to come with him, he will have to admit to the government that they had a child(ren) and were married without permission. What if it gets rejected? What if he gets fined 100,000SR and punished? That is just one scenario. You can find other scenarios throughout the articles on this blog.

If you decide to exercise your right of marrying without permission from the Saudi government, be prepared for the likelihood of a broken heart or a broken home. But you can’t blame anyone but yourself because you have made your bed, now you must lie in it.

“They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason, she will rap you on the knuckles.” Benjamin Franklin

If I have offended anyone, please accept my apologies and forgive me. May Allah help and guide us all ameen.

Thank you, Tara Umm Omar


1. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:216
2. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

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