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Family falling apart over my sisters boyfriend...

Here is some background: both my parents have given me and my sister so much freedom considering that we are from a traditional muslim background. We've been allowed to have boyfriends and pretty much do whatever we want (within reason ofc). Although there has never been any force put on us to marry a muslim, both my parents have always said to us both, that once we go to uni, they would like for us to find someone to marry from a muslim background, even if they are not religious themselves. There has never been any other rules - my parents could not care less about race ect. This rule is because my extended family is VERY religious and traditional so if we do not marry from a muslim background, it will break my family apart, and both of my parents will lose their relationship with their siblings and parents.

Although not ideal, I have always understood this rule as simply trying to respect my grandparents and wider family, and plan on folllowing it when I go to university next year myself. However my sister is in her first year of uni now, and has gotten herself a new boyfriend, who is from a traditional Christian background. This has caused my parents so much upset, as they said they feel like they have failed by being too liberal with us, and are constantly crying and arguing with my sister over this. I have tried to talk to my sister, and explain it from their side, as she is only a week into this relationship with this boy and I dont want her to cause herself unneccesary pain if it goes on further. However my sister refuses to listen, and what's worse, has come home with love bites from him, which has caused even more upset in my house.

I really hate having to talk to my sister like this, and I hate that my parents are ranting to me about it constantly. I also feel so much resentment towards my sister - I feel that the rule is simply in place so that our parents dont have to lose their family, and my sister is being selfish by ignoring it blatantly. I'm not trying to say that in her first year of university she needs to find her husband lol, all I'm saying is that I dont think she should get into a relationship which is never gonna work out, and is just causing my parents so much upset.

Am I wrong? I honestly dont know what to do. Nothing that anyone has said to my sister has helped. I feel like I've tried everything. Please advise :frown:

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Original post by Anonymous #1
Here is some background: both my parents have given me and my sister so much freedom considering that we are from a traditional muslim background. We've been allowed to have boyfriends and pretty much do whatever we want (within reason ofc). Although there has never been any force put on us to marry a muslim, both my parents have always said to us both, that once we go to uni, they would like for us to find someone to marry from a muslim background, even if they are not religious themselves. There has never been any other rules - my parents could not care less about race ect. This rule is because my extended family is VERY religious and traditional so if we do not marry from a muslim background, it will break my family apart, and both of my parents will lose their relationship with their siblings and parents.

Although not ideal, I have always understood this rule as simply trying to respect my grandparents and wider family, and plan on folllowing it when I go to university next year myself. However my sister is in her first year of uni now, and has gotten herself a new boyfriend, who is from a traditional Christian background. This has caused my parents so much upset, as they said they feel like they have failed by being too liberal with us, and are constantly crying and arguing with my sister over this. I have tried to talk to my sister, and explain it from their side, as she is only a week into this relationship with this boy and I dont want her to cause herself unneccesary pain if it goes on further. However my sister refuses to listen, and what's worse, has come home with love bites from him, which has caused even more upset in my house.

I really hate having to talk to my sister like this, and I hate that my parents are ranting to me about it constantly. I also feel so much resentment towards my sister - I feel that the rule is simply in place so that our parents dont have to lose their family, and my sister is being selfish by ignoring it blatantly. I'm not trying to say that in her first year of university she needs to find her husband lol, all I'm saying is that I dont think she should get into a relationship which is never gonna work out, and is just causing my parents so much upset.

Am I wrong? I honestly dont know what to do. Nothing that anyone has said to my sister has helped. I feel like I've tried everything. Please advise :frown:

What’s the consideration for the long term though for your sister particularly taking into consideration that a Muslim woman isn’t able to marry a Christian guy…?
Reply 2
Original post by User_name001
What’s the consideration for the long term though for your sister particularly taking into consideration that a Muslim woman isn’t able to marry a Christian guy…?
My sister just keeps saying about how she’s not thinking about marriage, just having fun.
Original post by Anonymous #1
My sister just keeps saying about how she’s not thinking about marriage, just having fun.

Having fun what…It ain’t a joke though. Sorry to say this sister. Your saying your sister in the first year of her university but is she prepared to give up her formal education and qualifications she needs to obtain for a degree and job for this guy when there’s no guarantee and that as a Muslim in the long term marriage wise she won’t be able to marry him unless he converts…
Reply 4
Original post by User_name001
Having fun what…It ain’t a joke though. Sorry to say this sister. Your saying your sister in the first year of her university but is she prepared to give up her formal education and qualifications she needs to obtain for a degree and job for this guy when there’s no guarantee and that as a Muslim in the long term marriage wise she won’t be able to marry him unless he converts…
I dont really understand what it is you are saying
Original post by Anonymous #1
Here is some background: both my parents have given me and my sister so much freedom considering that we are from a traditional muslim background. We've been allowed to have boyfriends and pretty much do whatever we want (within reason ofc). Although there has never been any force put on us to marry a muslim, both my parents have always said to us both, that once we go to uni, they would like for us to find someone to marry from a muslim background, even if they are not religious themselves. There has never been any other rules - my parents could not care less about race ect. This rule is because my extended family is VERY religious and traditional so if we do not marry from a muslim background, it will break my family apart, and both of my parents will lose their relationship with their siblings and parents.

Although not ideal, I have always understood this rule as simply trying to respect my grandparents and wider family, and plan on folllowing it when I go to university next year myself. However my sister is in her first year of uni now, and has gotten herself a new boyfriend, who is from a traditional Christian background. This has caused my parents so much upset, as they said they feel like they have failed by being too liberal with us, and are constantly crying and arguing with my sister over this. I have tried to talk to my sister, and explain it from their side, as she is only a week into this relationship with this boy and I dont want her to cause herself unneccesary pain if it goes on further. However my sister refuses to listen, and what's worse, has come home with love bites from him, which has caused even more upset in my house.

I really hate having to talk to my sister like this, and I hate that my parents are ranting to me about it constantly. I also feel so much resentment towards my sister - I feel that the rule is simply in place so that our parents dont have to lose their family, and my sister is being selfish by ignoring it blatantly. I'm not trying to say that in her first year of university she needs to find her husband lol, all I'm saying is that I dont think she should get into a relationship which is never gonna work out, and is just causing my parents so much upset.

Am I wrong? I honestly dont know what to do. Nothing that anyone has said to my sister has helped. I feel like I've tried everything. Please advise :frown:
Unfortunately your predicament is becoming more and more common. There was a similar thread on TSR a couple of weeks ago about the same issue - a Muslim female with a Christian male and wondering what her options were for the future.

I think ultimately she has two main choices:

1) Drops the guy. They could still be friends maybe, but the key being no romantic relationship
2) As the other person said, he could consider converting to Islam. That is, switching from a Christian to a Muslim. Which would satisfy the rule of Muslims only marrying other Muslims. However your family could still take issue with this, let's assume he does convert, he may be too much of a novice or they could accuse him of just doing it to marry your sister. Also it's possible he may have Christian family who frown on him for defecting, and then he has the same issue your sister currently has with your family and religion.

Both options probably aren't straightforward and are quite drastic measures.

BTW I wouldn't worry about the thing your parents said they were too liberal with your sister upbringing, that's common among parents when their children are not deemed 'normal' in their eyes after they go against the status quo.
why would your parents even let you have boyfriends in the first place? it's literally haram. you might as well say you're not muslim. honestly I don't blame your sister if that's how you've been raised
Reply 7
Is it not her choice what makes her happy in life? She is free to find whoever she wants to marry. Last I looked the constitution in the UK doesn't forbid her marrying a non-muslim anyway. I guess it boils down to culture/social pressure for you to appear to confom in a certain way in your social circles. Is that worth sacrificing her freedom/happiness?
Original post by Anonymous #3
why would your parents even let you have boyfriends in the first place? it's literally haram. you might as well say you're not muslim. honestly I don't blame your sister if that's how you've been raised
I do agree with you partially. However I'm not a fan of hasty marriages, or the more restricted pre-arranged marriages, it seems a bit archaic in my view in current year, for me there's no harm in getting to know someone first before wanting to commit yourself. If you're not simply not compatible on a person level then don't marry.

However I understand it depends on how word-for-word you interpret the Quran - some are more strict than others. For example I know some Muslims who would ban deodorant use in the household because some may contain a very small % of alcohol and that is haram, but know other Muslims who would use it.
If you're simply not compatible on a person level then don't marry. *

Oops, double negative
Your sister albeit in the first year of university is just giving her time up to a guy who she may not even end up with. Future wise how does she plan to obtain a career and gain money without her educational background in place all because of giving her time to a guy she may not even end up with
Reply 11
Original post by User_name001
Having fun what…It ain’t a joke though. Sorry to say this sister. Your saying your sister in the first year of her university but is she prepared to give up her formal education and qualifications she needs to obtain for a degree and job for this guy when there’s no guarantee and that as a Muslim in the long term marriage wise she won’t be able to marry him unless he converts…
Who said anything about giving up her education and qualifications ?? She is simply going against her family’s wishes in dating a non Muslim guy. The problem is when does the just having fun stop and the serious relationship start. Should her family be able to dictate her behaviour and does she want to potentially cut herself off from her family if they are unable to accept her choices. And what about the new boyfriend in all of this? Does he know that he is causing a rift in the family? Is he just out for a bit of fun as well or does he have deeper feelings?
If as you say your sister has only been dating her bf for a week I really wouldn’t worry yet. In another week it may all be over. But whatever she decides to do, a younger sister doesn’t have a word to say in this. The issue concerns the couple and to some extent their parents, but definitely not anyone else.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Anonymous #2
I do agree with you partially. However I'm not a fan of hasty marriages, or the more restricted pre-arranged marriages, it seems a bit archaic in my view in current year, for me there's no harm in getting to know someone first before wanting to commit yourself. If you're not simply not compatible on a person level then don't marry.

However I understand it depends on how word-for-word you interpret the Quran - some are more strict than others. For example I know some Muslims who would ban deodorant use in the household because some may contain a very small % of alcohol and that is haram, but know other Muslims who would use it.
well not all muslim marriages are 'hasty' i agree that most people don't want to rush into a marriage where they don't even know the other person but nowadays from what i've seen it's becoming more common for muslims to have their nikkah but not get married according to british law so they can actually get to know each other properly but if it doesn't work out they can still get divorced islamically without the hassle of british law. obvs i get this wouldnt work in your sister's case but if your parents were never particularly religious anyway and allowed your sister to date in the first place why would they be so upset now she has a boyfriend it seems confusing that they were saying one thing and expecting another. no wonder she has a boyfriend
Reply 13
Original post by User_name001
Your sister albeit in the first year of university is just giving her time up to a guy who she may not even end up with. Future wise how does she plan to obtain a career and gain money without her educational background in place all because of giving her time to a guy she may not even end up with
People have relationships during uni; the relationships don't always work out, but the rwo aren't mutually exclusive. It doesn't mean they get poor grades, throw away their studies or drop out of their course. And there's 2 people in the relationship, so why are you being sexist by saying it's the girl who is wasting her time; what about the boy being with someone where it may not work out in future?

Would you say I'm not interested in gaining money or progressing my career if I get into a relationship with a work colleague? And I did get involved with a work colleague, we're still together and it hasn't hindered either of us.
Reply 14
Original post by Anonymous #1
Here is some background: both my parents have given me and my sister so much freedom considering that we are from a traditional muslim background. We've been allowed to have boyfriends and pretty much do whatever we want (within reason ofc). Although there has never been any force put on us to marry a muslim, both my parents have always said to us both, that once we go to uni, they would like for us to find someone to marry from a muslim background, even if they are not religious themselves. There has never been any other rules - my parents could not care less about race ect. This rule is because my extended family is VERY religious and traditional so if we do not marry from a muslim background, it will break my family apart, and both of my parents will lose their relationship with their siblings and parents.

Although not ideal, I have always understood this rule as simply trying to respect my grandparents and wider family, and plan on folllowing it when I go to university next year myself. However my sister is in her first year of uni now, and has gotten herself a new boyfriend, who is from a traditional Christian background. This has caused my parents so much upset, as they said they feel like they have failed by being too liberal with us, and are constantly crying and arguing with my sister over this. I have tried to talk to my sister, and explain it from their side, as she is only a week into this relationship with this boy and I dont want her to cause herself unneccesary pain if it goes on further. However my sister refuses to listen, and what's worse, has come home with love bites from him, which has caused even more upset in my house.

I really hate having to talk to my sister like this, and I hate that my parents are ranting to me about it constantly. I also feel so much resentment towards my sister - I feel that the rule is simply in place so that our parents dont have to lose their family, and my sister is being selfish by ignoring it blatantly. I'm not trying to say that in her first year of university she needs to find her husband lol, all I'm saying is that I dont think she should get into a relationship which is never gonna work out, and is just causing my parents so much upset.

Am I wrong? I honestly dont know what to do. Nothing that anyone has said to my sister has helped. I feel like I've tried everything. Please advise :frown:
'they would like for us to find someone to marry from a muslim background'

That isn't a rule, it's a preference. And your sister is still abiding by it because who's to say she's found someone to marry? And if she did, wouldn't you rather have her be happy than various extended relatives tutting over it? Sorry for your parents and all that, but their 'religious' family aren't showing much love and forgiveness. You don't know that the same won't happen to you, so walk, mile, shoes and all that...
Original post by Surnia
People have relationships during uni; the relationships don't always work out, but the rwo aren't mutually exclusive. It doesn't mean they get poor grades, throw away their studies or drop out of their course. And there's 2 people in the relationship, so why are you being sexist by saying it's the girl who is wasting her time; what about the boy being with someone where it may not work out in future?

Would you say I'm not interested in gaining money or progressing my career if I get into a relationship with a work colleague? And I did get involved with a work colleague, we're still together and it hasn't hindered either of us.

Actually I’m not being sexist in OP reference her sister at university, there’s nothing else to know about OP boyfriend to tell whether it’s the same for him or not.
Original post by Surnia
'they would like for us to find someone to marry from a muslim background'

That isn't a rule, it's a preference. And your sister is still abiding by it because who's to say she's found someone to marry? And if she did, wouldn't you rather have her be happy than various extended relatives tutting over it? Sorry for your parents and all that, but their 'religious' family aren't showing much love and forgiveness. You don't know that the same won't happen to you, so walk, mile, shoes and all that...
Apologies this is my wording. It is a rule and not a preference.
Original post by Anonymous #3
why would your parents even let you have boyfriends in the first place? it's literally haram. you might as well say you're not muslim. honestly I don't blame your sister if that's how you've been raised
I didnt put this post on here so that you could extend your judgements. I am a muslim and I have no control over the way my parents have chosen to raise me. Allah SWT has forbade us from judging others, you do not know my relationship with religion, and honestly the fact you've chosen to judge is more of a reflection on you as a muslim. So if you arent going to offer advice, which is what I asked for, maybe you should get off this thread and engage in some self reflection :smile:
Original post by Euapp
Who said anything about giving up her education and qualifications ?? She is simply going against her family’s wishes in dating a non Muslim guy. The problem is when does the just having fun stop and the serious relationship start. Should her family be able to dictate her behaviour and does she want to potentially cut herself off from her family if they are unable to accept her choices. And what about the new boyfriend in all of this? Does he know that he is causing a rift in the family? Is he just out for a bit of fun as well or does he have deeper feelings?
If as you say your sister has only been dating her bf for a week I really wouldn’t worry yet. In another week it may all be over. But whatever she decides to do, a younger sister doesn’t have a word to say in this. The issue concerns the couple and to some extent their parents, but definitely not anyone else.
Thank you for your advice. I wish it was as easy to say it doesnt concern me, but as my parents are divorced, they both come to me asking for help and advice, so I do feel that I am involved, not really by choice.
Original post by Anonymous #2
Unfortunately your predicament is becoming more and more common. There was a similar thread on TSR a couple of weeks ago about the same issue - a Muslim female with a Christian male and wondering what her options were for the future.

I think ultimately she has two main choices:

1) Drops the guy. They could still be friends maybe, but the key being no romantic relationship
2) As the other person said, he could consider converting to Islam. That is, switching from a Christian to a Muslim. Which would satisfy the rule of Muslims only marrying other Muslims. However your family could still take issue with this, let's assume he does convert, he may be too much of a novice or they could accuse him of just doing it to marry your sister. Also it's possible he may have Christian family who frown on him for defecting, and then he has the same issue your sister currently has with your family and religion.

Both options probably aren't straightforward and are quite drastic measures.

BTW I wouldn't worry about the thing your parents said they were too liberal with your sister upbringing, that's common among parents when their children are not deemed 'normal' in their eyes after they go against the status quo.
Thank you so much, this is really helpful and super kind :smile:

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