My parents suggested a girl to me for marriage who happens to be my second cousin whom I haven’t been in contact since childhood, so I practically know nothing about her.
They want me to agree to the marriage without meeting/seeing her, which to me seems impractical. I do not want to blindly say yes either.
How do I convince them to let me talk to her first? If they are not convinced, can I outright dismiss the idea?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. May Allah reward you for desiring to do striving to please your parents as best as you can.
Marriage is a major decision in life, and one must ensure that they are not rushed or pressured into it. Despite parent’s and family’s best wishes in arranging marriages, ultimately it is the couple who have to live together for the rest of their lives, not the family, so the willingness of both prospective spouses, and their compatibility and agreement that is essential.
Looking at one’s Prospective Partner
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said, ‘If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so’, [Abu Dawud], and, when learning that a Sahabi had not looked at his future spouse, he ﷺ said, ‘Look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.’ [al Daraqutni]
The encouragement to look at a prospective spouse is so that one can be confident in their decision to marry the person, and so that neither spouse will have regrets after marriage.
Obedience to parents and sin and dismissing
Allah has order ‘that ye be kind to parents’ [17:23], which means to honour them and treat them with respect, gentleness and kindness. However, the relationship is not unconditional, and one is not obliged to follow everything they command.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the marriage set-up or the prospective spouse, then you are in your right to either request that you see the girl, or to just end the talks completely. There will be no blame or wrong doing on your behalf.