My parent and my extended family as a whole have all been searching for a perfect match for my sisters and me. I know some of my readers would scream, matchmaking in the 21st century? Yes matchmaking still happens and it is another way Muslim parents are protecting their wards from selecting bad and irresponsible spouses.
The act of marriage is an important part of the Muslim religion, and finding the right soul mate is necessary for any Muslim man or Muslim woman. Marriage is held in very high regard in the Muslim culture and it is not something to be taken lightly.
Finding the right man or woman to spend the rest of your life with is the most important thing you can do as evident in this verse “Women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity ” (Quran 24:26)
Also it is reported that the prophet said “When a man marries, he indeed perfects half of his religion. Then he should fear Allah for the remaining half.” (Hadith Bukhari)
Marriage remains a powerful institution in Islam, Those who follow the Qur’an faithfully and obey Islamic law know precisely why it is very important to select a very good spouse as a bad spouse can not only ruin a family but can ruin a generation or the society in General.
The choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions a person will make in his or her lifetime. It should not be taken lightly, nor left to chance or hormones. It should be taken as seriously as any other major decision in life – with prayer, careful investigation, and of course family involvement.
Although in our society now, men and women date first to find out if they would make a suitable couple for a long-term relationship. Many temptations arise when this method is followed, and it is an incorrect basis for forming a long-term relationship. A relationship that is formed in this way can be formed merely on hormones and physical attraction. There is a lot more to a marriage then this, and by following the Islamic matchmaking practice a suitable partner can be found based on mutual agreements and things that they have in common.
Our religion does not allow for any physical dating before an actual marriage takes place. This is to prevent any physical temptation from happening before the wedding vows are taken. Islamic matchmaking is usually done by the parents, and then agreed upon by both the Muslim woman and the Muslim man. If either one does not agree to the marriage, then more looking begins. This is done until a suitable partner is found, and the reasons for this are many. As seen in the fact that so many research conducted has revealed that the divorce rate in Muslim countries is drastically lower than in Western countries. Why? Because Islam as a religion calls for purity, cleanliness and chastity in all aspects of life. Therefore, the strict spouse choosing rules are established to help a couple think clearly about a lifelong partnership without being distracted by lust.
The beautiful religion of Islam is a complete way of life and teaches us about every step in it. This includes teachings on the relationship between a male and a female, the ‘halal’(permissible) way, which means something that is approved as religiously proper for a Muslim. Through examples of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and verses of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, there are a few points we can draw from to better understand why dating or unnecessary mixing between sexes is forbidden.
Islam directed that a man and a woman should avoid being alone with one another. The Prophet Mohammad (May peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “No man should be alone with a woman except when there is a mahram (a family member) with her” (Sahih Muslim), This is of course to avoid any sin through action or thought.
One of the main goals in avoiding relationships between members of the opposite sex is also to avoid fornication. Islam forbids all sexual relationships outside marriage. Allah (God, in English) says, “Do not come near fornication, for it is indeed lewdness and an evil life-style”, (Al-Isra’ 17- 32). Both men and women are ordered not to enter houses without permission. As the Quran says, “Enter not houses other than your own until ye have asked permission and salute those in them” (Surah Al-Noor 27). This encourages Muslims to respect each other and to protect the society from sin.
“Dating” as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims. Young Muslim men and women (or boys and girls) do not enter into one-on-one intimate relationships, spending time alone together, “getting to know each other” in a very deep way before deciding whether that’s the person they will marry. Rather, in Islam pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex is forbidden.
However, In Islam, it’s not always arranged marriage, you can actually like someone and bring that person home to meet with your parents. Before your parent can accept, a thorough research would be conducted in order to know the potential spouse. Though true love and compatibility are not to be discounted, it is faith, good behaviour, trust that draws devout single Muslims close to one another and keeps them together for the duration of their lives.
Muslim women and men who are still unmarried should be willing to try an arranged marriage. Although we can’t erase the fact that the reality of arranged marriages is different for everyone (as sometimes arranged marriages turns out badly) but we shouldn’t erase it as another medium to get a spouse.
We should not forget it is very important to garner a lot of family elders’ wisdom and guidance in this important life decision. Family involvement in the choice of a marriage partner helps assure that the choice is based not on romantic notions, but rather on a careful, objective evaluation of the compatibility of the couple. That is why these marriages often prove successful in the long-term.
Also for those who have gotten a spouse already, Before making a final decision to get married, it is very important the couple prays salat-l-istikhara (prayer for guidance) to seek Allah’s help and guidance.
In conclusion, Islam has given this freedom of choice to both young men and women – they cannot be forced into a marriage that they don’t want. If you don’t like him or her, kindly say so. After all, if you have a very big extended family like me, you can always tell them Matchmaker, Matchmaker, get me another Perfect Match!!