If a youth has reached the age of puberty and maturity he or she can make their own choices in regards to their marriage and future life and this issue can also be traced in the teachings of Islam.
I’m a Muslim male and try to follow my “Deen” correctly. I’ve decided to choose my marriage partner without my mother’s consent since she rejected the last person I introduced her to. I’ve been a friend with an American female who is catholic. I’ve spoke to her regarding marriage, lifestyle and religion and she is willing to convert but she is afraid of my mother. My mother is not accepting her because she is afraid that her relatives will gossip about it. I know in Islam family is important but I cannot lose her, I truly deserve her. Please offer me some advice on this crisis?
The holy religion of Islam has emphasized the importance of marriage for many reasons, and the most significant of them is the perseverance of the values of individuals and the society and to prevent any form of corruption or moral perversion. Another considerable aspect regarding the stressing of marriage in Islam is to draw attention to the importance of family and the strengthening of the family structure. If a youth has reached the age of puberty and maturity he or she can make their own choices in regards to their marriage and future life and this issue can also be traced in the teachings of Islam. However, there are some points that must be highlighted here:
- The first thing Islam emphasized on in the issue of marriage is the importance of compatibility (kuf`) of the husband and wife. This means that if a young man and woman wanted to get married and share their life together with understand and far from problems then they must at least have the same or close to the same shared religious, cultural, moral and other beliefs and thoughts with each other. The reason for this is if they are not on a same or similar level then, God forbid, many misunderstandings and disputes will occur and they will not have a stable spousal relationship and have problems with the upbringing of their children.
This is something that youth must pay attention to at the time of choosing a partner for marriage. They must think with rationality and be far from emotions, trying to evaluate all aspects of the matter they are going to involve themselves in and then make their decision.
- According to all Islamic schools of thought it is impermissible for a Muslim man to marry a woman who is not from the People of the Book (Ahlul-Kitab, like Christians or Jews). As for a Muslim man marrying a woman who is from Ahlul-Kitab, according to the Sunni school of thought this is permissible, but according to the Shi’ah (followers of Ahlul-Bayt) school of thought there are different views between the Jurists. Some scholars believe it is prohibited to marry a woman from Ahlul-Kitab in temporary (mut’ah) or permanent marriage, some permit it in both kinds of marriages and some permit it in temporary and not in permanent. Of course, all the contemporary scholars of Fiqh believe that it is permissible for a man to have temporary marriage with a woman from Ahlul-Kitab and some do not prohibit permanent marriage with them.
- Having a close relationship with a non-mahram of the opposite sex before performing a marriage contract (‘aqd) is prohibited in Islam. Of course, to meet a female and getting to know her with the intention of wanting to marry her is permissible, and this is in order to have the chance of knowing whether one is appropriate for the other in all aspects and mutual understandings. However, any further than this is not permitted and is haram.
- The acquirement of the permission of the parents for the marriage of a Muslim male with a female of his choice is not a condition of marriage and therefore does not invalidate it. The condition that is mentioned is the consent of the female’s father and if her father does not approve then the marriage is invalid. Of course, even though your mother’s permission for the validity of your marriage is not a condition, however, if this will necessitate your parent becoming upset and discontent then your action will be haram but it still does not invalidate the marriage.
As you are a religious Muslim and obedient to the teachings of Islam and its laws, a suggestion to you is that after you gain the permission of the girl’s family, you could agree with her that you perform a temporary marriage agreement with her for a certain period of time. During this time you can teach her the beliefs of Islam and you can also try to gain the acceptance of your own family and especially your mother, and then marry this girl of your choice.
 Muhammad Jawad Mughniya, al-Fiqh ala al-Madhahib al-Khamsah, p. 47-49
 Tawdhih al-Masa`il Maraji’ vol. 2, p. 397, issue # 2397