“Marriage” By She

24 Feb

Asalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu 🙂

So it just hit me! I have yet to write an article on Marriage, here I go.

When it comes to the whole concept of marriage us Muslims of today don’t really seem to have a clue.  We don’t know HOW to look for a spouse, WHAT to look for in a spouse, WHY we are required to get married in the first place and the most important thing of all… making it LAST.  So here are some of my thoughts on that.

Why?

Ok so why do Muslims get married.  I was listening to a talk by the don Suhaib Webb and he said that Marriage is a PROCESS.  Not a one day function or event but a PROCESS.

proc·ess, pro·cess (Noun) – A series of actions or steps taken to achieve an end.

These “series of actions or steps” have been beautifully laid out in the Qur’an and Sunnah (keep reading).  “Well what is the end?” I hear you say.  What does following the Qur’an and Sunnah ALWAYS lead to? Allah and his pleasure which everything in this life should do as:

“I created not the Jinns and humans except that they should worship me alone”

[Surah Adh-Dhariyat v.56]

So firstly and most importantly marriage is about getting closer to Allah and gaining his pleasure. This is the “end”.  I also believe that marriage is about perfecting one’s character.  Remember that Islam is two parts, relating to Allah (swt) which is done by following his commandments with sincere intentions, and then it is also relating to his creation which is done by upholding and maintaining good character.  One of the greatest tests of character is in the way we respond to aversion or behaviours we don’t like.  Is it for the sake of Allah or for our own egos and pride?  This is where marriage comes into it; there is NO ONE on Allah’s beautiful earth that will test you like your spouse so Marriage is a test of character therefore in a sense, a test of faith.  It’s not called “Half of your deen” for nothing and if we are aware of this purpose we might view the tests of Marriage as beneficial and not be quick to throw in the towel when it all gets tense.

Lastly, I also believe that one of the fundamental purposes of marriage is procreation:

“Marry those who are loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers before the other nations”

[Al-Albaani]

Marriage in Islam is also about creating stable family units, protecting them from harm and ensuring everyone’s rights are fulfilled.  The cornerstone of any successful society or community is a stable family unit as the role of the family is to fulfil the emotional and physical needs of its members which will then mean that people will enter into the societal sphere with all their needs met and thus be able to contribute towards its betterment Insha’Allah.  It’s a big responsibility and again fits in with the idea of marriage being “Half your deen” as after your spouse who else will work your last nerve like your child??? Exactly lol

How?

There’s a number of ways Muslims can begin the process of marriage.  You can let your local Imam know that you are looking for a spouse, tell friends to keep an eye out for you and then there are our wonderful parents.  Guys please don’t sleep on the Barakah in your parents.  There’s nothing wrong with your parents being involved in the marriage process, they KNOW you and genuinely want what is best for you so LISTEN to their advice.  I know some parents overstep their boundaries but I’m sure they don’t mean to hurt you.  Make sure they know that you value their thoughts and opinions but also that the final decision rests with you.  If it’s a really big problem then speak to your local Imam or an elder that you trust who will be an advocate for you.

The bottom line is good men/women do not fall from the sky.  If you seriously want to get married you need to be preparing yourself for the responsibility that comes with it by reading about it, talking to other married couples and divorcees and taking part in any pre-marital counselling programmes that may be on offer at your local Mosque or Islamic community centre.  I know that marriage is one of those things that you learn more about as you go along and we’ll never really understand it unless we are deep in it but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.  A little background research never hurt anybody.  I see too many Muslims today trying to jump into a situation like marriage when they really aren’t ready.  Ready isn’t just reaching the age of puberty or feeling the urge to have sex but also being mature and having a certain level of wisdom.  Our beloved messenger (saw) said:

O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford it should observe fast, for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire.

[Muslim]

Don’t you dare think about taking a wife if you do not have the means to provide for her akhi.  Allah says:

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.”

[Surah Al-Nisa v.34]

Do you have a stable halal job? Do you have a place to put your new bride? Do you know basic fiqh? It’s incumbent upon the Muslim man, who is the leader of his household, to teach his wife and his children about the basics of Islam.  Will you be able to teach your family about Aqeedah, Tawhid, the pillars of Iman, the wisdom in the Qur’an, the conditions of the Salah, Zakat and Ramadan?  Can you also provide for your wife emotionally and intellectually?  My brothers if you understood the responsibilities that came with marriage I think many of you would take your time. This is serious business!

My sisters, beauty, being able to cook, clean and having a nice physique isn’t enough.  How do you spend your time lady? Watching TV, talking on the phone, shopping?  I’m not saying these are bad things but if this is all you are doing then a Brother has no use for you.  We are living in crazy time’s and if a brother is going to be able walk in this Dunya and handle his business he needs a woman beside him who sincerely believes in Allah and is striving every day to please him.  A woman who knows who she is, cultivates her mind and is down to engage in her husband’s struggles.  You have to be respectful and understand that there is so much power in Submission; don’t let these feminists fool you.

Try and be the person you would want to marry!  Anyone that’s struggling with this stage of the process try not to stress about it while still making an effort.  You trust in Allah but tie your camel.  Asking Allah for help means that you are already trying yourself so you know… TRY people.

What?

Ok so WHAT to look for in a spouse.  As I said earlier, the criterion has been given to us in the Sunnah of the beloved messenger (saw) and some of them are:

Deen – Are they trying to be a better Muslim than they were yesterday? Are they trying to always be conscious of Allah? Do they try and fulfil the rights of Allah?

Good Character – Are they fulfilling the rights of those around them? Do they respond to bad with good?

Attractiveness – Are they physically pleasing to you and are you pleasing to them?  We are living in a time where Sex is constantly being pushed into our faces.  Marrying someone who you are not physically attracted to could cause major problems for the both of you BUT don’t place too much importance on this one here because looks fade.

Of course there’s a lot more than these 3 but if these 3 are in check the rest is really up to you.  You need to list all the qualities you want in a spouse and be realistic Insha’Allah.  Once you’ve done this, highlight the qualities you are NOT willing to sacrifice and then highlight the ones you will be willing to give up.  Now try and find ways to test your potential spouse for these mandatory qualities.  You can do this by asking them certain kinds of questions or sending one of your family members/friends to observe them and let you know what they found out.  (Perception isn’t everything though so don’t take what they say as complete truth.)

When you reach the point where you have to sit down and speak with a potential spouse DO NOT be afraid to ask the nitty gritty questions.  Now is not the time for “What’s your favourite colour?” but “How long after you were married would you wait until you wanted to have children?” Marriage isn’t a game.  This meeting with your potential spouse isn’t about you sitting there staring at each other while your parents/guardians do the talking.  GET INTO IT.  You know what you want and you know what you have.  Make sure you are on similar pages when it comes to living conditions, children, working/studying, hijrah etc.  The last thing you want to do is enter into a marriage with someone who actually doesn’t want you to work sister or isn’t too keen on the idea of you both moving to the Middle East for your job bro.  And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Brothers and Sisters, KEEP IT 100 at all times.  You want to know if this is someone you could spend the rest of your life with and you won’t be able to really get the right information needed to make this decision if you’re both putting on a facade.  It’s ok if the brother/sister does something on your list that you were unwilling to compromise on and you decide to keep it moving.  Just let them know respectfully and be on your way.  There are many Muslims in the world, they will find their match by the grace of Allah (swt), don’t feel sorry for them.

Make It Last…

“And among his signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.”

[Surah Ar-Rum v.21]

Allah tells us that we are to dwell in peace and tranquillity with our spouses and I feel that in order for us to do this we need to have patience, compassion, mercy, be able to forgive and also be able to compromise.  It’s not just about having Kitchen counter sex and giving one another gifts.  There should 100% be an element of romance in your marriage but don’t make its role bigger than what it is or you will be disappointed.  If you believe it’s about you and your spouse running in the fields together you will get a real SHOCK when the struggles of life begin to test you both.  There will be times during your marriage when the romance isn’t as strong as it could be which is fine and normal.  This is the Dunya, nothing here lasts forever, what goes up must come down and what goes down will eventually go back up if you work at it.  In order to withstand the stormy seasons of a marriage we have to understand this.  As long as the good times outweigh the bad then you should both be good.

Now I know I may have made this all sound so simple and it really REALLY isn’t but I just felt like maybe us Muslims today, particularly the youth need a little sense of “direction”.

Final Note: Always remind each other of the end.  When it’s good all praise belongs to him and when it’s bad, still all praise belongs to him.  Allah is Muqallib al-Quloob (the turner of the hearts) so “Love Allah so that you can love each other” – Suhaib Webb.

Sheila N.

Here are some talks for ya:

Abdul Malik – Islam and Dating – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfjTt6713e0

Shadeed Muhammad – The Marriage Series – http://rawdah.org/2012/04/27/the-marriage-series/

Mufi Menk – Marriage – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FterpIbfTqU

Yasmin Mogahed – Love, Respect and Tranquillity in a Marriage – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkowK-OXus8

Disclaimer: I am an unmarried lady so you don’t have to take on board anything that you have just read. (This is still some damn good advice though) #TheproblemwithPsychologists lol

~ Sheila

To read more about Sheila, click here

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One Response to ““Marriage” By She”

  1. looksofislam September 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Alhamdullilah, great advice.

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