Marriage is something I have had the intention to do for a while, probably since I was about sixteen or so. I will admit that it was partly to do with seeing two of my friends get married in close proximity to each other. It was strange being seventeen and seeing that happen, especially as one friend was a year younger than me. I am actually happy that I didn’t get married as a teenager. I wasn’t immature or anything, but I do think you need some life experience in order to fully understand what you are getting yourself into. I am now almost twenty two, this is just how it has happened for me. I now feel I am more ready than ever, so I hope the right man comes along soon!
Obviously none of my proposals have worked out so far, which is why I am still unmarried. I don’t feel too bad about this because I know you have to marry the right person for you, otherwise you end up divorced somewhere along the line! It is best not to get divorced in Islam unless you absolutely have to. It is disliked by Allah. Everyone who proposed asked my father, which I feel is the right way. I don’t think as Muslims we can just go out and try to find someone, we should try and do it the halal way. Your wali, which means a guardian and a chaperone, can be any of your mahrams, provided they are old enough. That means your father, uncles, brothers, grandfathers etc, could act on your behalf when a man asking for your hand comes along.
They can do all the talking, but they must consult with you along the way. A marriage where the girl has been forced into it is not valid in Islam; a wali must always have her full consent for everything in that respect.
I had a proposal earlier this year, unfortunately I had to turn him down as further information about him could not be obtained. You have to ‘check’ a possible suitor out before considering him as a marriage partner. It seemed he didn’t have many friends where he lived, so there was nobody who could properly vouch for him. This is quite important as you could marry someone, then find out unsavoury details later on in the marriage. It is better to know details such as that at the beginning, so you can make an informed choice. Obviously nobody is perfect out there, but I am sure every decent girl wants a man who is pracitising his religion, has kept himself pure in the eyes of Allah, is educated even in the minimum (GCSE’s or A-levels), has a job to support his new wife, and maybe even a home or flat, even if it is rented.
Don’t Get Greedy!
Many girls’ families these days will not let their daughters get married unless everything is set up perfect for her. This means they want her new husband to have a car, a furnished house, a job and a big dowry for his bride! If the man is wealthy, then of course he will want the best for his new wife, and he will be able to afford it all too. But if he’s not wealthy, then these expectations are unrealistic. Nobody should get themselves into debt if they can’t do these things.
I personally do not mind marrying someone who is struggling financially. I see myself as working-class, which means everyone in my family has to work hard for their earnings. It was never handed to us on a plate. I have grown-up in rented accommodation, I don’t know anything different. Buying a house would be a huge luxury that most working classes never get to do. This is why I do not mind when it comes to my own marriage. Even if I cannot live with my new husband right away, perhaps he might need a few months to find a suitable flat or something. Because of my own background, I won’t be too fussy about that because I understand not everyone has everything instantly. Some people need to save up.
I am sure there is nothing wrong in Islam with having the nikah (actual signing of the marriage contract), without moving in together straight away. I am sure Allah understands not all of us are wealthy enough to do that. It is probably better if a man already has at least a rented flat before he marries, because it will make him look as if he wants to make an effort. If a man cannot do this, then perhaps it is better to find a girl who does not mind as much, as long you eventually get a place!
What I have just talked about is not desperation on my part, I just understand if people can’t afford things right away. I am willing to wait if that means Insha'Allah I can get a better husband out of it. Not every good husband will be the wealthy sort, although there are many out there who are wealthy Masha'Allah, so buying things you need in life will be easier. I would ask girls who want to get married to be patient. If you are patient Insha'Allah, you will get the best husband you deserve.
The waleemah is the wedding party that is performed after the signing of the marriage contract. It could even be done a few days after this, and the new bride and groom can see each other alone, as long as they have signed their marriage contract. This means they are officially married, and the waleemah is more of an announcement to let people know you are now a married couple. This is part where the bride can get dolled up in her bridal gown, the groom can wear his suit, and the guests can get all dressed up for a party.
Segregating a wedding by gender is the best thing to do, as that means ladies can get all dressed up, without fear of men seeing them uncovered. I find people relax and enjoy themselves more when they know no men will be coming into the ladies area! A lot of weddings have the groom come in at the end to take his new bride home. This is usually the first time they will be going home together, and I think that is a nice touch for the groom to collect his new bride!
Parents Should Not Stop Marriage!
Let’s face it, there are many parents out there who do place some impossible walls in the way of marriage for their offspring. Maybe they don’t want to see them leave home, or maybe some parents don’t want to see their children have their own lives? That may seem harsh, but for some parents that is very true, unfortunately. Parents should never stop their offspring from getting married if the right person comes along. Marriage completes half your religion, wouldn’t everyone want that for their children?
I would ask parents who are hesitant to think of their own lives, especially as youngsters. Their own parents must have been at least a little upset to see them leave home. It is the cycle of life, you are born, you grow into a child, then a pre-teen, a teenager, a young adult, then a fully grown adult, when getting to that point it’s only natural that you will want to get married. Everyone goes through this.
There was an amazing video posted on YouTube by Baba Ali, an Iranian Muslim convert. It was about parents stopping their children from marrying! One of the reasons was funny, Baba Ali did a little sketch of a father telling one of his children that not only does he have to marry someone from ‘back home’, but she must also be from the same village, even the same street! The fact is these things happen to real young Muslims, they have to cope with their parents being un-co-operative!
Even if parents don’t read this, I urge young Muslims to educate their parents if they are like this. Remind of them of the time they got married. Imagine if their parents had tried to stop it? They wouldn’t be living the lives they live now if it had happened.
Parents, if your kids approach you and tell you that they have the intention to marry, then listen to them. I am sure if your own kids are coming to you telling you of their wishes, then they want your support in helping them find the right spouse Insha' Allah. Help and support your children, they will never forget your kindness Insha'Allah!
I have had my own problems with my parents regarding marriage, nothing extreme, but I do wish my father would talk to me more, and in detail, when a proposal comes along. I want to know everything, and I am old enough to know everything! I am not being unkind to my parents, this is just a fact. Maybe I need to ask for help from other family members, but that will be something for me to think about. The fact is that helping your children choose a spouse is a duty on parents. We hear so much about what children have to do for their parents, and it is perfectly correct to remind children to obey their parents, but what do you do when your parents let YOU down?
Make Dua and Don’t Be Put Off
I hope everyone enjoyed my article. I wrote it from the heart, as some of it is based on my own experiences in trying to get married. I would say it is one of the hardest things to do in life. I hope Insha'Allah that it does happen for me, and I will be very grateful when it does, as I have already waited some time for the right man. I hope Insha'Allah that the right person asks my father for my hand in marriage, and that it all goes smoothly. Like I said earlier in my article, I am more ready than I have ever been, I feel very much ready for the next phase in my life. I have been making dua, and I would advise anyone else who wishes to marry to make dua also. Allah listens to everyone, so don’t be put off!