Author: Sahal Quazi
A lot of what I am about to say is coming purely from the perspective of a young brother currently studying at university. Now I won’t deny that in my ISoc (Islamic Society) or any ISoc for that matter, marriage is not a significant topic of discussion. After all, there is only so much discussion one can have about politics, sports, current affairs, or study, before somehow the topic veers towards the subject of marriage.
Sometimes it happens very subtly that you don’t notice it, other times it can come about quite suddenly when some poor stressed out brother starts claiming that all his problems would be ‘solved’ if he had a wife. Now most of the time that’s a massive exaggeration, but occasionally there is an element of truth to it. I would say that one of the biggest trials for this ummah – in particular the youth – is the attraction that both genders have for each other.
This is not helped when we live in a society where essentially ‘it’s’ all around us – from billboards to TV adverts – you can’t actually get away from it. On top of this, free mixing between the genders has become the norm; aside from our social lives where we still can choose who we wish to spend time with, interacting with the opposite gender in a work or university environment is a different ball game, where matters such as lowering your gaze or avoiding a handshake or a hug can become quite difficult.
So it’s not surprising that many Muslim brothers and sisters (especially our youth) struggle with this and are often falling into sin. So the question begs what can we do about it? As a community we can either bury our heads in the sand, pretending we don’t have a massive problem, or we admit that we do and try to deal with it insh’Allah.
To solve any problem adequately you need a multi faceted approach that’s obviously in line with the Quran and Sunnah. One of the ways to tackle this particular issue is to give Muslims a proper understanding of what marriage entails and that more importantly that in Islam it’s not meant to be hard.
A lot of people tell me nowadays that marriage has become incredibly difficult, and after looking at around me the evidence has to point in their favor. It’s said if you make the halal hard, the haram becomes easy. I would argue that today it’s easier to get a girlfriend and have an illicit relationship then to get married in a halal manner to please Allah SWT. Sad but true.
People also have many questions about the process of marriage, including when to start, where to look and, what channels should be used. The characteristic in a spouse is also an issue – do we look for, beauty or piety, status or wealth, all four or just one? Issues to do with permission, finance, culture and work-life balance contribute to this current marriage crisis as well as my personal favorite , how to get to know a girl without dating!
These are just of some the questions that I have been faced with and that I have wanted to ask myself! That’s not including the questions we have for life post marriage, the rights of a husband and wife to each other, dealing with arguments, romance (a big one) and having children. One of the biggest reasons for divorce is due to the high expectations many couples have, (I think Bollywood has to take some blame for this) but how do we approach that?
This is just the tip of the iceberg but the basic fact is that we don’t (including myself) know much about the topic that potentially will shape the rest of our lives. Unless you aim to fail, how many of us go into any exam without studying a little first? I will study for months for a 3 hour exam, but I struggle to learn about something that may last for more than 60 years!
You cannot underestimate the impact a spouse will have on you – a pious, loving wife/husband will often be the person that brings you closer to your deen and to Allah (SWT), be your right hand woman/man when raising up pious children who will not only be a joy when you are alive but also a source of sadaqah when you die, and ultimately the one person that is there for you whenever you need them, as beautifully described in Surah Baqarah verse 187:
“They are a clothing for you and you are a clothing for them.”
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