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Question: I have one problem; I need your guidance in light of Islamic teachings. My parents did an engagement for me to their best friends daughter. After the engagement, I started talking with her on the net and on phone. But now after two years, my parents broke the engagement because of minor things like, girls family didnt give respect to us as is expected of boys parents in our culture; that they are not willing to give more things in jahaaz (gifts for the bride while sending her away). They are now telling me not to marry the girl. The girls parents asked forgiveness for whatever mistakes they may have made, but my parents are not willing to accept their apologies. Since I started liking this girl and we have agreed to marry, am I doing anything wrong if I still go ahead with the marriage, even though my parents do not approve of it? Isnt it wrong for me to break my engagement? Please guide me?

If the girl you have been engaged to did not violate any of the Islamic rules or principles, then you are allowed to go ahead with the proposed marriage, even if your parents wish to break it, especially if their reasons for doing so are not based on grounds that are reasonable and valid according to the rules of the shari'ah. Material considerations cannot be used as an excuse for breaking an engagement. As Muslims we are bound by our words and promises. Allah describes the true believers as those "Who are ever observant of their trusts and their covenant." (Qur'an: 23: 8); and therefore, the Prophet, peace be upon him, considered breaking one's promise as one of the signs of a hypocrite, which every Muslim must be on guard. So you need not break the engagement; rather you can go ahead with it. But having said this, however, I must rush to add: That you have no right to cut off your relations with your parents on account of this action. You should rather try to exhaust all means at your disposal to make your parents understand and convince them to change their mind. You may also try to use the influence of elders or knowledgeable people that your parents respect to convince them of their mistake. If they still persist on their attitude, then you have the right to go ahead and marry her. But I must still point out that you should never spare any effort to please your parents in every other possible way, and never stop praying to Allah for their mercy and guidance.

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