Thursday, May 21, 2009

PART 2 for Brothers and Sisters Seeking to get Married

So, everyone’s been making du’as right? See, that’s why I posted the second part so late. It gives you ample time to make du’a! Okay, okay, that’s not the reason. That’s just an excuse I thought of a few days ago when I felt guilty for not finishing it sooner, hehe. So, please forgive me and Allah Ta’ala will reward you for your patience with me! I actually finished this post a week after the last post, but it had to undergo some editing (through procrastination and whatnot). I had to put my foot down, and make sure I posted this today! Alhamdulillah I've managed.

Part 2

Make sure you continue to make du’a, whether you are ready to propose/accept a marriage proposal, planning a wedding (engaged) or even if you are already married. As Muslims, we should always and always be making du’a for everything (not only for marriage!). I thought I should just make that clear. Just in case.

Now lets start from before the stage of proposing/accepting marriage proposals. Basically, readying yourself before you start proposing or accepting marriage proposals. It’s really important that before you come to that stage, you are presentable. What I mean here is that for example, if a sister wants a good pious husband, then she should be doing proper hijab. Now that’s not the reason for doing hijab, it should only be for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, but if you’re not, then how can you expect Allah Ta’ala to give a good, pious husband to you? Remember, you want someone who can help you become closer to Allah Ta’ala but don’t expect someone to make you start wearing hijab after you get married. That’s not very easy for a man, and you’re intentions may be shaky. So do yourself a favour and start practicing like a Muslim woman should, for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. He’ll help you with the rest (meaning everything in this world and the next) inshaAllah.

It goes for the brothers too. Don’t go expecting a good Muslimah if you’re walking around with your pants falling off, girly faced (be a man and grow a beard!), and smoking (whether it be cigarettes or drugs, it’s all haram anyways!) Remember to change your condition for Allah Ta’ala, turn towards Him (do taubah) and He will help you in both worlds.

The reason why I started with your dressing is because the eyes see first. What people see on you, your ‘outward’ image, is how you will be judged by others. Let’s think of it this way; if a sister sees you dressed like a gangster or a punk, how do you think you’ll be perceived and which Muslimah would want to be your wife? Same example for the sisters, if you dress flauntingly or ‘simply’ showing your beauty to the world, how do you think you’ll be perceived and which Muslim man would want to be your husband? If you want a pious spouse who will respect you, fulfill your rights and treat you with Taqwa (fear and consciousness of Allah Ta’ala), you should be deserving of that. If you saw a sister or a brother looking like that, would you want them to be your spouse? Your spouse is for a lifetime inshaAllah. You want to make sure you’re with someone who knows your rights as a husband/wife and who will spiritually bring you closer to Allah Ta’ala making your Iman stronger. You also want a good parent for your future children and someone who will help you raise them to be the best of Muslims.

The next point is, DO NOT GET INTO ANY SORT OF RELATIONSHIPS BEFORE MARRIAGE! Unless of course you want problems later with your spouse because it will make any brother or sister hesitant or unwilling to propose/ accept a proposal. Also, no husband/wife likes hearing and knowing that their significant other had a relationship before marriage with someone else.

So there might be a lot of you out there who don’t get into a relationship before marriage. But it’s not only about that. It’s also about what can lead to it too. You might not even be in a relationship but why would you do things that may lead to it or make it appear as though you are. To make it clear, avoid things like,

· Mingling with the opposite gender
· Talking and being “friends” with the opposite gender (no such thing as being friends with a non-mahram in Islam! Just watch this, Ask Baba Ali - "We're Just Friends")
· Hanging out with the opposite gender
· Having the opposite gender on your msn, and chatting (IM) with them
· Talking or texting with the opposite gender on you cell phone

Islam is so perfect. Allah Ta’ala has already made ways for us to avoid getting into these sorts of situations. First off, Allah Ta’ala says to the believing men,

“Tell the mu’mineen men that they should lower their gazes and guard their chastity.” (24:30)

In the next verse, He gives the same order to the believing women to emphasize the importance of this issue. Allah Ta’ala says:

“And tell the believing women that they should lower their gazes and preserve their chastity.” (24:31)

Umar (Radhiallahu ‘Anho) reports that our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said, “Whenever a man and women are together in solitude, Shaitan is the third person with them.” (Tirmidhi)

See how simple it is? I mean, I know it’s tempting and seems very harmless, but do you really want to fall into those sins? These types of actions (sins) bring undesirable consequences in both worlds and if not in this world, definitely in the next. The displeasure of Allah Ta’ala brings no blessings. Just avoid these things and you won’t have to worry about getting into a relationship (even if you ‘think’ or try to make yourself ‘think’ that the person is the one!) because if it doesn’t work out, and in many, many, many cases it doesn’t work out. Then you’ll have problems proposing/accepting a proposal, because the person at the other end of it will be very hesitant indeed. If you think they won’t find out, then you’re only fooling yourself. Everything travels through the wind; well actually, it’s more like through the aunties, khalas, uncles, text messages, and things like facebook, twitter and message boards. Yeah, you know what I mean.

If you are proposing/accepting a marriage proposal then you have a right to ask people that may know that person about them in order to be able to make an informed choice and whoever you ask has to tell you the truth, especially if there was bad and the ugly things that took place in your prospects past.

It is the permissible type of backbiting as mentioned in the books of ahadeeth in the commentary of the hadith where Fatima bint Qays (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) said, "I went to the Prophet(Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam), and said, 'Abu'l-Jahm and Mu'awiya have both proposed marriage to me.' The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) said, 'Mu'awiya is poor and without property. Abu'l-Jahm does not put down the staff from his shoulder.'" [Agreed upon]

In a version of Muslim, "As for Abu'l-Jahm, he beats women," which explains the transmission, "He does not put down the staff from his shoulder." It is also said to mean he travels a lot. (Taken from Riyadus Saliheen, hadith 1533)

So it’s REALLY important not to get into these things. It’s a sin to begin with, and it can really mess life up for anyone in both worlds. Remember, it’s out of fear of Allah Ta’ala’s wrath and displeasure that we should be avoiding these things. So that is the primary reason why we shouldn’t get into them. However, I just want to make clear that in many cases this sin has very serious repercussions in this world also that will haunt a person for a great part of their life. Besides, I’m sure we’ve all heard stories where proposals never worked out, because of situations like these.

Be strong! Have Taqwa!

Now I know some of you may be asking, “What about love marriage? Is there love marriage in Islam?” SubhanAllah, I always get that question from the sisters. Maybe it’s all the romance novels, love songs and romantic movie flicks giving us the impression that we can’t get married with someone without being in love first! We all know that dating is not allowed in Islam, and if, Islamically, you can’t get into a relationship before marriage then obviously there is no “falling in love” before marriage! See, true love actually comes after nikkah,

Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) has said, "We have not seen anything that creates love between two individuals such as nikah." (Ibn Majha)

So, whatever you’re feeling now is either infatuation or love but it’s definitely not the love that Allah Ta’ala places in your hearts when you get nikkah done

As Allah Ta’ala says in Surah ar-Room, “Also among His Signs is that He has created spouses for you from yourselves so that you may find solace (peace and rest) with them and He has placed (tremendous) love and (a great deal of) mercy between you. There are certainly Signs in this for the people who contemplate.” (30:21)

This is what we learn from the Qur’an and Hadeeth. Allah Ta’ala has promised us love between the spouses after marriage while our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has informed us that there is nothing more effective in creating love then nikah. This should be enough for us. Even if we ask for a more logical explanation, we will find many reasons why the love that is born after marriage is by far superior to the infatuation that is found before marriage.

Here is something that was once explained to me: When a boy and girl are “going out”, they are in the courting phase. If we look at animals in nature, we see that when this courting phase is in effect the male will showoff whatever beauty he has while doing all types of dances to impress and attract the female. It’s exactly the same thing with humans. The only difference is that in humans it takes place in both the male and female.

So basically, what happens when a couple is dating, is that, for the most part, both of them only see the good things that the other has to offer. So, before the marriage takes place they have already seen all the good things. The only things left to see, are the bad habits and traits that will only become apparent when they start living together. When they do get married and start seeing things that they have never seen before, a person begins to question whether he/she made the right decision. This obviously has a very bad effect on the happiness in the marriage and can ultimately, in the long run, cause the marriage to break down.

On the other hand, when a boy and girl get married in the sunnah fashion, which is that the boy sees the girl and they talk a little in the presence of others so that they get to know one another a little bit. After this, if both are satisfied, they will do Istikharah where they ask Allah Ta’ala to guide them in doing what is best for their deen and dunya. If this goes well the boy will send a proposal and the girl has the choice of accepting this proposal.

When these two individuals get married, they will both see the good as well as the not so good. In this stage of the marriage, it will be easy to accept the faults of the spouse because of the intense love that Allah places in the hearts of both spouses (Especially in the beginning!). So, in this way the faults don’t have such an adverse effect on the marriage as in the case of the love marriage.

If you do get yourself into a situation where you’re “in love” (note that it’s in quotation marks), then you need to get married asap. Get the walis involved, and let them arrange it and make preparations for the nikkah in the proper manner. Don’t prolong the haram. Make it halal as soon as you can. (This obviously doesn’t mean that someone should take this course if they are not already in this sad state!)

The next thing to sort out is your expectations. You should have some expectations in what you’re looking for in a spouse. You can ask your friends and families for some tips too. However, you must refrain from setting your expectations too high, because that will only lead to failure and disappointment. Always keep in mind this golden hadith,

Rasulullah (Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) has said, "A woman is married for her wealth, her reputation, her beauty, or her religion. Choose the religious one so that you may prosper." [Bukhari].

This Hadeeth goes for both the brothers and the sisters.

So the brothers should expect things like, a hijabi sister who is modest and is practicing, who has good qualities (hayah, adab, ilm, etc.), who comes from a good family and who is good looking, etc. A sister should expect things like, a practicing brother who has a beard, goes to the Masjid often and has knowledge (ilm). Then look at whether he has a good job (Is he able to take care of your needs? doesn’t have to be a doc!), is he from a good family, good looking, etc. We know looks, money, status are definitely things to consider and they are there in the back of our minds, but that shouldn’t be the primary factor for marriage, or as some say, “the make or break factor”. Marrying someone who is religious and who has ilm, is essential because they will know how to treat you and know your rights as a spouse. If they have taqwa, they will never go against your rights even in the hard times.

A lot of times when people have high expectations with all the factors, usually the last 3, it becomes unrealistic, resulting in it being very, very hard to get married. If you’re looking for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, you’ll be looking for a very long time until you’re old and no one wants to marry you. Then you’ll just give in on anyone, or not get married at all. That’s the reality my dear sisters and brothers! This happens very often, and it’s sad and depressing for the families that have to go through with it as well. There’s a limit for everything, and you can’t always have what you want. Everyone has some kind of fault in them and no one is perfect. And if the parents are the one’s with the high expectations, you should talk to them. If they still don’t comprehend the reality, then get a person whose opinion they respect, to talk to them about it and InshaAllah that should help.

The next point I want to mention is generally for the parents. Quite often parents think it’s better for their daughter to get married from their country “back home”. In some cases, it could be, but in many cases in today’s time, it’s not better. It’s worse. The reason is that growing up or even being born here in the western countries is different then being raised in a country back home. The mindset towards life and the expectations in marriage are different. The environment and culture is definitely different and that can cause a barrier and a clash in a marriage. For many of you, it can be a language barrier as well, since some of you probably can’t speak their mother tongue so fluently and the potential spouse may not even know fluent English. For the brothers getting married to someone from back home is in some ways still ok, but for the sisters, it’s taking a huge risk. I remember all my teachers were against getting married to a brother from back home. I know all of you know what I’m talking about, so I’m not going to go in much detail about that.

Nevertheless there are still some sisters for whom the marriage has perfectly worked out well mashaAllah. You know yourself better and only you know if you can handle getting married back home or not. If you can’t, you should really let your parents know and explain to them the pros and cons. I know some parents think there aren’t any decent and pious boys here (See brothers! You need to show the mothers that you’re decent enough!), but you and some family or friends can try to point out some decent and pious brothers who are from here and are married or unmarried still. Ask some married friends of yours to ask their husbands if they know any potential bachelor brothers. So, all the brothers looking to get married, make sure to let your married friends know that you’re looking! Just remember to make du’a, and inshaAllah it will all work out.

The last point I wanted to make clear was about this whole “proposing/accepting” concept. Usually it’s the brother who sends out a proposal to a sister who would either accept it or decline it. However, many have the misunderstanding that it’s only that way and not the other way around. There is actually nothing wrong with a sister sending out a proposal to a brother. We all know how Khadijah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) proposed to Rasulullah Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam so it’s not improper for a sister to do the same.

Unfortunately, it’s a cultural way of thinking. Many think that it’s degrading for a woman to propose while many say that the man (or even his family) will later say, “well, it’s you who proposed to me, you wanted to marry me, I didn’t ask you too…” That’s just sad, but that’s why many sisters (or their families) would never take the risk. I’m sure not all men would do that though. A good, pious man would never do that. Rasulullah (Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) and Khadijah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) are the examples that we should be following.

InshaAllah on the next part of this series (which is turning out longer then I thought) I’ll go more into detail on the proposing/accepting stage. So, until then, continue to make du’a and change yourself for the sake of Allah Ta’ala to better yourself in this world and in the next.


Anonymous said...

Salaam sister,

lovedd this post!! JazakAllah!

sumaiya said...

wa alaykum salam

wa eeyakum!

I'm glad you liked it :D

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and enlightening post Sumaiya dear.

sumaiya said...

awww you commented!!!!! You just made my day! :D Oh how's the little one doing? Any pics?

Anonymous said...

salam, its me saaima just to ask can you give me some sites about sulaiman (A) (sr.shanaz was giving each person a different prophet to write about) it is a big part of my final exam mark.

sumaiya said...

wa alaykum salam

didn't I already send you a link with Sulaiman (alayhisalam)'s story?

Anonymous said...

no, on email? yeah no you didn't because there is nothing in my inbox