I would appreciate advice regarding the following. The young lady is a British-born Sayyida whose parents immigrated here from Pakistan, the young man a Sayyid from Hyderabad, India. Sayyid identifies descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through Imam Ali (A.S). Both are practising believers – mumins – and would like to marry each other.
To assist her family in its enquiries, when he proposed, the young man presented them with a copy of his family tree. He also provided the names and addresses of character witnesses in India as well as of his cousins in England.
Initially, the girl’s family asked a Hydrabadi, returning for her son’s wedding, to investigate the young man’s family. She came back with the news that they are ‘good people’.
Regrettably, the girl’s family did not approve because he is from India. Her brother consulted a cleric who said, ‘Its better you don’t get into this. Find her someone suitable in Pakistan, at least her children will then be Pakistani.’ May Allah forgive me – Astaghfirullah – this is not the attitude our beloved Prophet (PBUH) and Imams (A.S) taught us.
When this young man asked her family for their decision, they asked to see the original of his family tree! They have treated him so very badly that, had he not been a true mumin, he would have left them a long time ago. The girl’s father died on Hajj a few years ago and her grandfather has also passed away. In Islam, neither uncles, brothers or other relatives have any rights in this matter, and she is free to proceed with her plans.
What should be done?
The first point to make is that the Pakistani family’s understanding is wrong. I agree that it is permitted for Sayyida girls to marry a non-Sayyid. Secondly, as this young man presented his family tree, it is forbidden – haram – to suspect or deny his being Sayyid. The advice given by the cleric mentioned in your letter is baseless. If the girl is happy to accept his proposal, she is free to go ahead with the marriage. However, the British family’s reservations may have
more to do with the numbers of young men who try to marry British girls simply to obtain a British passport.