Marriage with a saudi woman


I am a Dutch man of 22 years old, in love with a Saudi (Riyadh) woman of almost 19 years old. Her parents do not know of me yet (that isn't entirely accurate, but it is true for the purpose of this post). That is, of course, exceedingly complicated.

If all goes well, I will attain my Master's degree next year. I can then find a job, preferably at a company with an office in Riyadh, so that I might transfer to there, one day (Ernst & Young, for example, has both an office in Rotterdam and in Riyadh, and it fits with my studies - in fact, a former classmate of mine works there at the moment). I'm not sure how normal it is for housing to be provided for me, in such a case - because that would be quite the expense, for the company - so I am not banking on that. Nor is it simply a matter of saying 'I want to transfer' within a month of being hired. But it is at least a possible path.

I also do not know if I can stand the climate of Riyadh, for I sunburn extremely easily and I don't do well at all in the heat that the Netherlands sees - and that would be approximately 30 degrees Celsius at the maximum. Imagine a Saudi summer... The key difference is humidity, and I do know that I do far better in non-humid - dry - heat, but even so; could I function properly in that, would it be unhealthy, would I sunburn so terribly? I don't know.

Still, this seems, to me, the be the clearest path to offer us - my loved one and I - a chance at being together. An infinitesimal chance.

I am not rich. I do not have the sources of money other people have - large families, Christmas, et cetera - nor do I have parents who (can) pay for my study or such things. A house, in the Netherlands, is completely unaffordable; the entire housing market is ridiculously expensive. That might be better in Riyadh, especially factoring in the conversion rate of Euros to Riyals. I don't have a driving license nor a car for the same reason, but that is a necessity I could get, I believe.

Of course, the Arabian culture is wholly different. Here, two people would live with their respective parents, meeting up, doing things together, eventually perhaps moving into a small room of a small apartment, and so, they would grow and live together. But there... I would have one or two conversations with her parents, marry her, and take her away.

That is all kinds of problematic. For one, how could her parents ever approve of me? I, as the husband, would be 'taking her away', so her parents would need to see that I am a fitting man for her, capable of caring for her and all. In essence, they are handing over 'custody' or 'guardianship' to me. I would have a suitable job and a suitable degree (the highest possible at this age, for a PhD isn't really possible now), but I would need a suitable house. That is an impossibility as far as the Netherlands is concerned, unless we wait at least a decade.

Speaking of money, there is no way at all I could afford a dowry nor a typical Saudi wedding (with extravagant feasts and all). Or even a wedding at all, perhaps. She doesn't mind that, and the dowry would in the end be up to her, I believe, but her mother has always wanted the fanciest of fancy things for her. And to her father, this would just be more indicative of how unsuitable I am to marry her. Which is true, looking at it from the perspective of Arabian culture. And I want her parents to like me, to approve of me, to be friendly and to share a nice time together, as family does.

Those are only the statistics of a bank account and of degrees, however. Added to that is that I am a white foreigner; I am not a Saudi. What a massive scandal that would be. A foreigner, not even paying properly, in essence kidnapping the eldest daughter of this respected family (for they are a respected family, so to say, with a name to uphold).

I don't want to kidnap her though. She loves her family. I would wish to live in Riyadh - provided I can, given the climate... - and interact often with her family. I would wish to smile and laugh with them. To be a part of them, except not in name. I may not be a rich foreigner, but I would have a very good degree and a very good job (those wouldn't be exaggerations). They would see my character, my heart; humour, intelligence, love, caring... They might well approve of me. In character, I believe I am not very dissimilar to her father. But this isn't done, in Arabian culture, and this whole process can only start after having wed her, to my knowledge, and that is the whole problem; how can I possibly wed her?

I want to interact with them, on Snapchat and Instagram and Skype, and eventually, come over to Riyadh, to be picked up from the airport by them, to be welcomed, with them happy to finally meet me. But that is how it might go between 'western' countries - that isn't how it goes in the KSA. There is the slight advantage that her father obtained his degree in Australia, which is where my loved one has grown up, but they are all still living within the confines of Arabian culture. And it isn't that this culture is so much worse - but it is different, and the differences mean that I do not see how I can be with her in a few years.

What are your thoughts on all this? Do you wish to know any additional information that might be relevant?

That's depend on one thing,,
Which is (your religion)…
If you are Muslim you cross 80% of your aim 👍

bro what's your religion
I think it's easy to adjust your cultures

Thank you for your responses! :)

But me being a Muslim wouldn't change all the above points, would it? It is not so much culture as it is time and money that are the problems. We do not wish to wait five years, or what have you.

Depends on her family too, if they liberal and open minded they wouldn't mind welcoming you to the family. Some Saudi families for the happiness of their daughter will even go about in finding the right job for you.

It's a hit and miss bro...good luck

I agree with you. but I said adjusting your cultures is possible.
are you christian now?

She grew up in Australia, and her family doesn't really agree with Arabian culture, so to say, but they still live in it and are confined by it. There is also somewhat of a blind spot, regarding things such as marrying off your daughter. But her father is also open to logic, and stayed silent, in thought, when certain things were pointed out. Her father treasures her deeply and cares ever so much for her.

I have no problems with - and indeed, look forward to - living an Islamic life with her, raising our children, inshallah, and so on. I don't think that part of 'culture' is a problem. She wouldn't be with me if she thought it would be anyway; she is a true and beautiful Muslimah.

Why was the topic title changed? Could it at least be 'Saudi woman', instead of 'saudi Woman'? :P

Then you have a good chance of them accepting to them straight up

Everyone seems to say so, yes. Her sister, her cousin, you... But we just don't see it. Look at all the points raised in the first post. How could her father ever accept such a foreigner? And the waiting, with the uncertainty, that might last years, until he opens up the subject, is just utterly killing.

Go for it. Hopefully they won't reject you but if they did you at least tried.
I wish you will post about your successful marriage one day.
all the best.

Thank you kindly. I deeply hope so too. We will try, and try, and try again, because there is nothing else to do. Quitting is something that does not even enter our mind.

my advice is
don't be selfish , don't just choose an easy way to marry her
think of how much she needs her family , and 100 % you can't marry her without their permission
do the right thing only

Very soon upon meeting her, I recognised her happiness came from two places; from Allah, and from her family. I promised her to never stand between her and her happiness, to never stand between her and Allah, nor between her and her family.

I want to be happy with them, to be accepted by them, and we need their permission for a proper marriage anyway, as you say. So yes. :)

perfect ! , so if we both agree on that part , then you should know that what you are trying to do is the real islam , the traditions in Saudi society ( about marry to non Saudi )  must be respected  , however it's not how islam guided us, so you should know the right is in your side .
wish one day you will come and say we are married !

I know of the difference between Saudi culture and Islam, even if they are very tightly interwoven. Islam is of intent and of mercy. Inshallah, we can be together. Inshallah, such a day will dawn. :)

First of all a Muslim woman cannot marry a non Muslim.
You don't know her parents at all? They probably won't marry their daughter to a non Muslim.
You shouldn't even be chatting with her.
If you love her, stop talking to her. You are ruining her religion because what you're doing is impermissible in Islam.

It might sound harsh but it's only the truth.

I know that. But no, that is your interpretation of Islam; their - and mine, and most non-Saudi Muslims, I suppose - differs. That doesn't mean I am right and you are wrong, or the reverse. We all have our own ways. :)

It is not MY interpretation. It is the way Islam IS!

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: What is the ruling on correspondence between young men and women, if this correspondence is free from immorality and love?

He replied:

It is not permissible for any man to correspond with a woman who is not his mahram, because of the fitnah (temptation) involved in that. A person may think that there is no fitnah, but the Shaytaan will keep trying until he tempts him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded those who heard of the Dajjaal to keep away from him, and said that a man may approach him as a believer, but the Dajjaal will keep trying until he leads him astray.

Correspondence between young men and women involves a great deal of fitnah and danger, so we must avoid it, even though the questioner says that this correspondence is free from immorality and love.

From Fataawa al-Mar’ah, compiled by Muhammad al-Musnad, p. 96.

That's for you talking to her privately. Ibn Jibreen was one of the most senior scholars of Islam of our time. Do you know about Islam than him?

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim from any other religion, whether from among the Jews or Christians, or any other kaafir religion. It is not permissible for her to marry a Jew, a Christian, a Magian, a communist, an idol-worshipper, etc.

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), EVEN THOUGH HE PLEASES YOU. Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember”

[al-Baqarah 2:221]

Imam al-Tabari said:

What is said concerning the interpretation of the words “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you” is that what Allaah meant by that is that Allaah has forbidden the believing women from marrying to a mushrik, no matter what kind of shirk he believes in. So, O believers, do not give your daughters in marriage to them, for that is forbidden to you. For you to give them in marriage to a believing slave who believes in Allaah and His Messenger and that which he brought from Allaah is better for you than to give them in marriage to a free mushrik even if he is of noble descent and honourable origins, even if you like his descent and background…

It was narrated that Qutaadah and al-Zuhri said, concerning the phrase “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon”, It is not permissible for you to give them in marriage to a Jew or a Christian or a mushrik who is not a follower of your religion. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 2/379).

What you both are doing goes against what Allah has decreed! Is this verse not clear enough for you?

So Yes, you are destroying her religion. So if you truly respect her, then stop this.

Welcome to 2017

... An era where people forget about what Allah has decreed and what his Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم lived by and they simply follow their desires saying "stop being so religious".

If you don't want to live according to the Islamic teachings, fine. But don't drag practicing Muslims into your foolishness.

Thanks for enlightening

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