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Blog Posted in avatar   Muhammad Yaqoob's Blog

What to See Before Marriage In Islam;

blog:13874:0::0
By Muhammad Yaqoob
Posted Nov 15, 2011 in Religion
WHY MARRIAGE?
A person may ask; what is the importance of Nikah? Many people consider it merely as a legitimate way of fulfilling one's desires. Is this correct? In the Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah what must one knows regarding the rights of the wife and husband. How must a husband behave towards his wife and how must she behave in return? These and other questions are seriously worth thinking about, as their answers may not be known to all.
Due to nikah, a lady who was at first prohibited to view, now not only becomes lawful for sexual relationship, for her husband but she, more importantly becomes his soul-mate to share in each other's joys and sorrows. There are numerous benefits of nikah (religious, moral, physical, psychological, etc), the most significant of which is its being the Sunnah of all the Prophets u especially emphasised by Rasulullah In a hadith the prophethas stated that nikah is his sunnah, and emphatically warned that he, who does not like or disowns his sunnah, is not of him or his followers.
MARRIAGE IS PERPETUAL IBADAH
Rasulullah has stated; ‘To fulfill your sexual desires in a Halal way, is
sadaqah.' The Sahabah (surprised) asked; ‘O Rasulullah r! How is it sadaqah, if a person is fulfilling his desires?' Rasulullah replied, 'If a human fulfils his urges in a Haram way he is sinful; accordingly, when he fulfils his urges in a lawful manner then (undoubtedly) he receives reward.' Mishkat.
To spend one's wealth upon one's family with the intention of reward is also charitable. The messenger of Allah has said; ‘When one spends upon his family, be it very little in quantity, with the intention and hope of reward, then for him it is charity.' Mishkat
From such narrated virtues it is obvious that nikah is a totally peerless
Ibadah but its perpetual nature of reaping rewards is rarely thought of.
MUTUAL CONCEALMENT
'They are Iibas (concealment) for you and you are libas for them'
Al Baqarah 187
The manner in which clothes cover and hide a person and their physical faults, and also offer privacy, is similar to the married couple
And their being a covering for each other, from the revealing of defects or deficiencies. It is also a medium of safeguarding from sins. Just as clothes grant a person protection from much harm, in the very same way, nikah provides peace and relief to the heart. Like a person is closely attached to his clothes (both physically and psychologically), similar is the bond between husband and wife.
And amongst His signs is that He created for you wives from amongst yourselves, that you may find repose in them and, He has created between you affection and mercy. Indeed, herein are signs for people who reflect.' Ar Rum 21
IS MARRIAGE NOT A CONTRACT?
Nabi has declared marriage as his Sunnah and those who dislike it as being disowned by him. Nikah is an instinctive need of man and woman, and a means for the preservation of mankind. Moreover, not
Only is nikah a desired ideal, but its lifelong fulfillment and safekeeping
Have in actual fact, been stressed upon. Nabi has described spending on one's wife, even affectionately placing a morsel into her mouth as a means for the husband acquiring the pleasure of Allah I. Similarly, obedience and service to the husband has been described as a pathway to Paradise for the wife. The rank of Nikah, in Islamic terminology, can be raised to that of being mandatory, because it can guarantee spiritual purity and protection from sin. It also gives rise to the concept of the family which is foundational for a morally inclined community. The Muslim family concept is the most successful and considerate of everyone's needs. The non-Muslim world looks with envy at the Muslim family concept because they too are not blind of its benefits and purpose. This view may seem to some, as typical of those held by religious fanatics, who cannot tolerate the flow to modernization, but one should for one's self weigh the pros and cons. In western societies, women have been brought out of their homes to leave for the office. Yes, there are some economic advantages to this, such as an increase in productivity, but it has made many compromises from which a necessary consequence has been the destruction of the family system. Because of this many psychological, moral and functional disasters which outweigh the economic benefits will have to be borne. Many of these problems have become apparent and also apparently insolvable. Dysfunctional families, juvenile delinquency, uncontrollable behavior of affected individuals, lack of parenting, casual sex, etc are only some of the problems modern society faces, because of the absence or destruction of the maternal pillar of the family. If nikah can be seen as a Sunnah of Nabi and an ibadah, instead of a 'social contract, and also acknowledge the roles of family members as equal and unique instead of equal and identical, will then the vices which plague society and its very fabric, end.
A SINGLE IS DEPENDENT UPON SOMEONE WHO ISN'T THERE
Rasulullah has mentioned about the unmarried person; Dependent and helpless is he who has no wife!' Those listening asked, 'What if he is very wealthy is he still dependent?' Nabi replied, 'Yes, though he may be extremely wealthy. And dependent and helpless is she who has no husband!' Those listening asked, What if she is very wealthy, is she still dependent?' Nabi replied, 'Yes, even though she
May be extremely wealthy.' Mishkat
For a woman there is nothing better than either the (companionship) of her husband or the grave. From everything of benefit in the world and most beneficial thing of this world is a pious lady.' Mishkat
THE ALTERNATIVES AND THEIR RULINGS
Rasulullah has said 'Who ever guarantee me the safeguarding of his tongue and his private parts, give him the guarantee of Paradise'. Bukhari
‘In view of the horrific increase of sexual diseases, medical experts encourage everyone to abstain from sex until they marry. Sexually active teenagers are also more likely to be emotionally hurt and have
An increased risk of depression and suicide. The discipline of abstinence in teenage years is a good preparation for fulfilling sex in
Later life.' Islam shows a path which not only is perfect in its ideology but it is also perfect in practicality. Islam not only differentiates between right and wrong, but it also shows the alternatives. Regarding sex or any use of the sexual organs outside of a proper heterosexual marriage, Islam squarely states its prohibition.
PROMISCUITY
Promiscuity or the practice of sex outside marriage is Haram. The reason for this is obvious. No person would like it if their mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, son or daughter were to have sex or made to have sex with a stranger. In this very same way one should understand that in the same way they would look for a partner who is a virgin, untouched by any stranger, one must also understand that they also have the right to the same. In a lengthy hadith mentioned in Bukhari it has been mentioned that those who perform this despicable act, will, in Jahannam be burnt in a massive furnace. Remembering that the fire of Hell burns more than 70 times hotter and fiercer than the fire of this world, facing eternity in such a furnace will be unbearable. A horrendous new trend, romanticized by the filth of the pornographic industry, include such lewd acts as ‘swinging', ‘orgies' ‘wife swapping' and ‘open marriages'. All these filthy acts include a sexual free for all under the guise of mutual consent. This is Haram to the extreme. The prophet of Allah narrated that on a night of spiritual ascension to the heavens; Allah also showed him the depths of Hell. A giant furnace had been prepared and filled with naked men and women who were burning inside in a fire 70 times more hot and fierce than the fire of this world. Those in this punishment will be guilty of adultery. This has been narrated in Bukhari, and the fire's temperature has been narrated in Tirmidhi.
Those who perform such acts with the ‘reason' of consent, will face a
Punishment far worse than this.
KEEPING ‘FRIENDS' OF THE OPPOSITE SEX
Keeping ‘friends' of the opposite sex is Haram. The reason for this is the above. Besides that there are people who think that having such
Friendships without sexual activities are permissible. There is no guarantee that it won't lead to sex. But besides that, the warning of the prophetic not a joke. ‘It is better for you that a metal rod be plunged into your head than that you should touch a female who is not lawful for you'.
HOMOSEXUALITY
Homosexuality is Haram in Islam. Its reason being that it destroys the very fabrics of family and society in general. Its religious ruling can be understood from the following Qur'an statement regarding the destruction of a homosexual nation:
And (remember Prophet) Lot, when he said to his people: 'Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the Alamin (mankind and jinn)? Indeed, you practice your lusts on men instead of women. Nay but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds.' And we rained down upon them a rain (of stones). Then see what was the end of the criminals and transgressors.' Al A'raf 80-81, 84
Rasulullah warned; 'Whomsoever commits an unnatural act with another, Allah will not look at them mercifully!' Merciful Hadith Thereafter, it can also be understood that this is not only the view of Islam, but also the view of all, apart from those who engage in it. Its physical harms are also noteworthy as one can clearly see the advent of many sexual diseases (including AIDS) due to this dirty habit.
MASTURBATION
Masturbation is Haram and also Harmful, for both male and female. There are many ahadith that state it's prohibition in very clear warnings. The one stated is typical of them. Once a young man attended the lecture of the great Sahabi Abdullah Ibn Abbas and thereafter stayed behind to ask a question, 'I am a young person with no wife, often masturbate with my hand, is it sinful?' Ibn Abbes, turned his face away (this was the prophet's way of showing disapproval) and advised, 'It would be better for you to marry the worst woman than commit this act!' There are numerous harms in masturbating, including that of potential impotence. If a person gets married and is unable to have sex, then it will be too late to consider masturbation a vice while the marriage blows up in smoke. In regards to celibacy, before marriage it is the only way. But it is not an alternative to marriage. The prophet expressed extreme dislike for that person who wished to remain celibate in favor of perpetual worship. The prophethas clearly stated that Nikah is his (cherished)
Sunnah.
From the above we can understand that only sex within marriage is permitted within Islam. Thus Islam has made what is permitted clear from what is not permitted. Thereafter the prophethas also given the alternative, in case of not being able to marry. ‘O youth, who ever amongst you has the means of getting married, should do so because it lowers the gaze and protects the private parts; and whosoever does not have the ability, should fast, for indeed, it is a protection for him.' Bukhari
Thus the ideal would be for a young person who experiences carnal urges to get married, with their parents' consent, as soon as possible.
This has so many benefits to society, including the obvious one's like keeping away from malaces like; prostitution and girlfriend-boyfriend relationships, as well as other vices. This is for both the young and old to understand, as this is the Islamic teaching; the order of Allah and His messenger r, which holds more importance then cultural dictates and ignorant practices.
HARMS OF ADULTERY
A common problem in the west is that life is made ‘too fast' for marriage, and instead people think it as socially acceptable for two consenting adults to engage in a ‘casual sexual relationship'. Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an:
Do not come near to adultery, indeed it is a shameful deed and an evil way.' Al Israa 32
Rasulullah commented;
‘O Muslims! Beware of adultery, for indeed; it is accompanied by six evil consequences: three in this world and three in the Hereafter. The three in this world are; loss of radiance (of Iman) from the face, reduction in life span and continuous poverty. And the three of the Hereafter are; the Wrath of Allah I. a damned reckoning and Infernal punishment.' Baihaqi, Al Kabair
It is now a proven fact that many of our Muslim youth are involved in sexual relationships prior to marriage. It is a grave worry and concern. And instead of people taking responsibility to take active steps in ending this horrid wave of destruction, people would much rather shift the blame to the other party; stating in the process that our own children despite their devilry were born angels. It's sad to actually hear many parents try to justify their children despite their wrongs out of pride, or feeling that good parentage requires them to stand up for their kids. The majority of Muslim youth grow-up in an immoral environment without correct upbringing and true sense of purpose in life. And suffering from an identity crisis; we have forgotten our true purpose in life. In this, parents especially, must take a pro-active role towards their children and not allow this to happen, that their children think of them as their worst enemies. Obviously this isn't going to happen by beating the message into them (which as it is, is un-Islamic). But by tooth and nail we must all make an effort to end this problem by prior education and firm love. (This will be explained in due course) Thereafter we must also remember that physically and even more significantly, spiritually Halal or good consumption equals good in actions and being, and Haram or bad consumption likewise breeds bad actions and being. Many of our youth consume Haram or
Ambiguous foods; as well as being prey to what they see and listen to
Through the modern mediums of today which indoctrinate them with thoughts and actions that are also Haram. The fundamental reasons, mediums and routes which lead to adultery and immorality are either accepted, overlooked or worse still, ignored by many parents and so called well wishers/guardians, whereas Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an:
'Do not come near to adultery, indeed it is a shameful deed and an evil way. Al Israa 32
And Rasulullah also outlined; 'The adultery of the eyes is evil glances. The adultery of the feet is to walk towards evil. The adultery of the tongue is lustful talk. The adultery of the heart is evil desire. But in the end the sexual organs testify to all this or deny it'. Bukhari
BEHIND NIKAH
Allah I, Who has changed Haram to Halal; and sin to obedience and ibadah, through the means of Nikah, gives two families as well as two individuals a new bond and relationship. However it is also a time when one and all are reminded of their obligations and rights towards existing relations. It must never happen that one only remembers one's wife and forgets one's mother, or in aiding the in-laws to forget one's father. With the bridegroom's acceptance, the Qur'an bears a message, 'O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear him, and speak the truth (always)...' The newly wed are being advised to ponder upon the huge responsibilities and duties of their acceptance. Their entire lives and behavior must be formulated in accordance to what the Shari'ah has stipulated, and must be transformed into an exemplary model for whom the Forgiveness and Pleasure of Allah is assured.
'..And whomsoever obeys Allah and His Messenger r, he has indeed achieved a great achievement Al Ahzab 71
LIFE'S CHORES ARE ALSO IBADAH
The beloved Prophet stated; 'from amongst you the finest is he who
Is the best for his household, and for my family I am the best.' Rasulullah's lifestyle is the best example for how we should live our lives in every aspect, especially that of the married life. His life was full of incidents which show exactly how we should be in regards to consideration, justice, and perception for the needs of women, which
Cannot be learnt from the mannerisms of other great historical figures.
The close bond with his wives; and forethought for their needs and desires; as well as mindfulness of taking part in the household chores; is beyond comparison. His amicable and warm approach was not restricted to his wives but encompassed his children, as well as children in general. When performing an act as formidable as Salaah,
He would shorten it if a child were to cry, to save its mother from worry. This is the role model for all humanity and the standard aimed for when husband and wife in Allah's name unite.
‘MODERN' SOCIETY'S BLUNDER
Life in a secular society demands that Muslims not only represent the beliefs of Islam, but also display true family-structure, and the domestic and social life as par Islam. The love, respect and trust between husband and wife in the secular world, is deteriorating. The greed for money and luxuries overtakes the minds of all in such a way that the love of wealth overtakes the love of family. It is accepted by all especially the rich that money cannot buy happiness. When the love for this money enters the heart, it kills its contentment. And solace thereafter cannot be found in anything else. Muslim couples in poorer countries who may not have cash in hand, but because of the presence of mutual love, respect and trust, their relationship is so concentrated with mutual concern that poverty, hunger and all hardships and tribulations are tolerated and overcome, and replaced with contentment and complacency.
THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A PARTNER
Rasulullah commented; ‘A lady is married for one of four reasons:
Wealth; rank; beauty; or piety. One should marry a pious lady and achieve successes. Bukhari and Muslim
Society has now become so blind and evil inclined that we have applied our own standards which have no basis in Islam. E.g. An Asian father knows (in his heart) that in marrying his daughter to a particular pious boy of poor African origins lies her religious and worldly success, albeit out of racism and generalizing as well as pride and megalomania he refuses her marriage to him. Compare this with the behavior of Amirul Mu'minin Umar Farooq. Who used to travel through Medina at night to monitor the state of the Muslims? On his usual rounds Umar t, felt very tired and rested against the wall of a house; from which he heard the voice of a mother awakening her daughter and saying, 'wake up its Far time; hurry milk the animals and pour some water into the milk; so that we may earn more money for our needs. It is still quite dark outside; quickly pour some water, nobody will see you!' The honest young maiden replied; 'Mother, do you not remember what Umar said yesterday in his lecture about deceiving people?' The mother commented; ‘Get up and pour the water, there is neither Umar nor anyone else to see what we are doing!' The young maiden replied; 'But mother, it just is not possible for me to obey Amirul Muminin when he is present and disobey him behind his back. Moreover, even if nobody is watching us, Allah is always watching us!' When Umar over heard this conversation, he was so amazed at the young lady's piety, that he immediately told his assistant to make a careful note of the house. Later that morning, Umar t, summoned his slave and asked him to find out the details of the girl who he had overheard and find out whether she was married. He returned with news that the mother and her unmarried daughter were poor members of the Bane Halal tribe. Hearing this, Umar, summoned his son Aim. And advised; ‘Son, accept my advice; know of a girl to whom shall send a marriage proposal on your behalf, for she is pious. Have hoped that Inca Allah a pious son will be born from her, who will raise the flag of Islam.' Asim accepted his father's suggestion and agreed to him to send a proposal on his behalf. Umar t, invited both mother and daughter to attend, she was indeed beautiful, both in character and appearance. Umar. Addressed her; 'I acknowledge your pious qualities. Would consider it an honor if you will accept my son's marriage proposal and become my daughter-in-law.' The girl with the consent of her mother accepted and married Asim. From this union a daughter who became the mother of the great Umar bin Abdul-Aziz (R.A.), who was known as the second Umar.
WHEN SHOULD THE KNOT BE TIED? REACHING MATURITY
According to the Shari'ah, children are classified as baligh (mature) when;
their periods (menses) commence, or when they become capable of reproduction (e.g. seminal discharge)
When they experience 'wet-dreams.' Should these signs not be present?
When they reach 15 years of age. Bough heralds the commencement of accountability. Should a baligh person fail to uphold any fara'idh or wajib (both are different categories of necessity), they will be liable for punishment on account of transgressing the divine law of Allah I, unless they repent and also offer compensation (qadha)'. This phase of their lives is very delicate. Parents should be extra precautious and protective at this stage, taking care not to be over protective or paranoid as this also has negative effects. When their children reach this stage, they must ensure that the youngsters keep appropriate company, not favorite company. Exposure to TV, pornography and intermingling of the sexes from a young age has destroyed the everyday Muslim's natural shame and modesty. Rasulullah has stated; ‘every religion has a distinguishing feature, our's is haya (modesty/shame).'
‘Whenever Allah wishes to destroy a person, He snatches haya away from him, without which he becomes disgraced and wretched'.
Humans generally possess two instinctive wants: the first being sexual desires and the second being a need for affection, love and
Companionship. With adolescence, these features become almost uncontrollably more pronounced. To make things worse, in youth, understanding is still incomplete. Thus, the amalgamated problem of
All these issues must be stemmed before establishment, as the saying goes "prevention is better than cure". The way of doing this is;
Always keep children occupied with constructive work, paying heed to the saying, 'The idle mind is the Devils workshop.'
Our children must be encouraged to keep the company of the pious and those of noble character. If their friends are Islam orientated and well-mannered our children will be safe from many vices.
Indecent material and company of all forms magnify carnal urges or "curiosities" in a very incorrect way. The only way to stop them is to be active in guidance not dictatorial.
When the child appears to have developed some understanding separate their sleeping arrangements, even between sons and even between daughters.
WHEN?
‘O youth! Whosoever is able to fulfill the responsibilities of Nikah should perform Nikah: because it lowers (saves) one's gaze and safeguards one's private organs'. Hadith
Maturity, although introduces thoughts and enthusiasm for marriage, but still early teenage sex, when the body is still physically developing, is harmful. Sperm, although dirty, is still for health purposes valued. It takes eight drops of pure healthy blood, to make just one drop of sperm. If it is wasted in youth, major organs will be deprived of vital nourishment; health weakens and growth may be stunted, as well as a probability of sexual problems later in life. On the other hand if the youth protect this period of their life and bodies from unlawful use, then when married, they will experience true contentment and fulfillment. This is why it is necessary to find a 'suitable' match for one's children when they reach a suitable age approximately 17 years for girls and for boys 19 years) so that their desires are focused towards their lawful partners. If the parents express concern that the children are too young to marry, that is exactly where the parents' help and guidance should be offered.
WHAT ALLAH SAYS?
Allah states in the Qur'an;
‘And marry those amongst you who are single and pious.
If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty.
And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing.'
An Nor 32
Rasulullah advised Ali although the advice applies to all; ‘O Ali! Do not delay in three matters: firstly, Salaah when its time arrives; secondly, (burial of the) janazah, when it is ready; thirdly, in the marriage of a single boy or girl when a (suitable) match is found.' Tirmidhi It is from these injunctions that Nikah in different situations have different rulings.
OBLIGATORY (FARDH) NIKAH
If one possesses the means, as well as a carnal urge that the probability exists of falling prey to some Haram act, then under such a dire situation dictates that to get married is obligatory. Haram also includes Haram viewing as well as masturbation. To refrain from Nikah in this instance is a sin.
NECESSARY (WAJIB) NIKAH
When with experiencing a strong carnal urge one possesses an income to support a wife then the situation warrants marriage as wajib. To refrain from Nikah in this instance is also a sin.
ADVISABLE (SUNNAH) NIKAH
If one has the means to marry but the urge is not such as to cause an inclination towards sin. Then Nikah is Sunnah. It is strongly advisable because a person urges/needs can change in an instance, and it is always advisable to take precaution.
IMPERMISSIBLE
However, if there is real fear, not just apprehension of being unable to
Fulfill the rights of one's spouse, whether it is their physical or material
Right, then undoubtedly it is wrong for such a person to wed.
MARRIAGE WITH NON-MUSLIMS
The original permissibility of marriage with non-Muslims is only in the situation of a Muslim male marrying a Jewish or Christian (Ahlul Kitab) female. Any other type of relationship is Haram, and even if marriage is performed every second of such a relationship is spent in sin, and all sexual relations are classified as adultery, and will be punished accordingly. This only applies if the spouse chooses not to accept Islam. If they accept Islam prior to Nikah, this ruling is not applicable. One must not allow the prospective spouse to accept Islam for the sake of marriage. As their Islam is not accepted, and their lives spent with their spouses is in sin. Thereafter comes the question of what is appropriate. One must bear this in mind that one's partner's beliefs and ideology will almost certainly affect one's own beliefs, but they will become one's children's beliefs. This in the long run will mean that if one is happy in marrying and loving a person who will ultimately enter Allah's wrath, it will also mean that one is happy if his children also enter Allah's wrath. ‘And incline not towards those who do wrong, lest the Fire (of Hell) touches you'
Hud 113
During the rule of Umar t, the condition of Muslims was one of extreme piety and purity; wherein the general inclination was towards Deen. Despite this, Umar t, forbade the Muslims from marrying Christian or Jewish women. He stated, ‘I am not declaring what Allah has made Halal as Haram; for undoubtedly Allah has granted permission to marry Ahlul Kitab women; nevertheless, the general welfare of the Ummah demands that Muslims be prevented from acting upon this permission (and prefer what is better).' Again it must be clearly stated that if one does intend marriage to a Christian or Jewish woman then one must ascertain that she is such, and not an atheist possessing such a name. This means that if a man did want to marry a Christian or Jewish woman then one must find one who is closest to the original scriptures as possible. (Catholic/Nasorean Christians or Orthodox Jews) but even this is not recommended, and
According to most authorities is not allowed.
MANNERISMS OF NIKAH
It is proven from the Qur'an that the purpose behind Nikah is:
Protection of dignity, chastity and children, this is the true purpose of Nikah, not merely to fulfill one's desires like animals.
Men have a natural need towards affection, friendship and warmth. Women represent the pinnacle of caring and love for a man, this quality is not found in anyone else.
It is accepted that women are generally weaker than men. This does not suggest that they are inferior to men. It means that their roles are different.
It is all too obvious that men and women need to reproduce, and
Fulfill their carnal urges. Allah has compared the married couple to a farmer and his field, and pious children to a good harvest.
Nikah breeds good habits in a married couple, including
Responsibility and premeditation.
INTENTIONS
Amongst the necessary requisites of marriage the most important is
Correct intention, as this in even conjugal and domestic activities is
Rewarded:
Nikah is performed to act upon the Sunnah of Nab who stated; 'Nikah is my Sunnah.' The prophet also stated; ‘whoever dislikes my Sunnah is not of me.'
Perform Nikah because it saves one from evil and keeps one under control. Additional benefits include; one's heart being saved from evil thoughts as too the eyes are protected from staring at Haram.
Allah bestows the husband and wife, pious children. The obedience to Allah that they portray, will also earn their parents reward.
A person with a family receives more reward for good deeds than a single person; therefore one should include this in his intention also.
More children mean an increase in the number of Muslims. Rasulullahwill take pride in this.
ETIQUETTES OF FINDING A PARTNER
Rasulullah commented: ‘Do not marry women (merely) on account of their beauty, for it is possible that this very beauty may become the cause of her destruction. Neither marries women because of their wealth, for it is possible this may be a cause for her rebellion and mischief. Rather marry women because of their piety. A lowly slave-girl graced with piety and noble character is infinitely superior to beautiful high class women of poor character.' Ibn Majah
When one reaches the age of marriage, their opinion should always be taken into account. If due to uneasiness, they do not say anything or appear lost; their wishes can be ascertained by close friends or relatives who the child feels comfortable talking to. Parents becoming aware of their child's thought patterns should consider the desired partner's mannerisms, character, piety and suitability. At this stage, it is totally morally and Islamic ally wrong and detrimental to the parent-child relationship, to act in total disregard of the child's wishes or behind their backs in arranging a suitable ‘equal by caste' match. One should always remember that it is the couple who will be living together. If this is not considered, the possibility of unhappiness and
Divorce, ending in heart-break and pain for our children is very real. One must bear in mind the wishes of the couple. Obviously in the situation that should they be so irresponsible and foolish as to refuse every good, pious choice of their parents, and insist on marrying some blatantly sinful person then coupled with gentle, loving and tact
Persuasion, resort to due's, for Allah has full control over all situations. One must never get hysterical or forceful, or even deaf to the child's talk, as this has adverse effects. One must relate the benefits of marrying a good person in a caring; concerned way explaining that they will also be the one's to affect their children. Moreover, it will ensure no hatred arises in the parents' hearts, nor the children's.
VIEWING A POSSIBLE MATCH
It is advisable for the possible match to meet each other with the consent and guidance of parents. Private meetings and communications (be it by email, phone calls or text-messaging, or by anything else that comes along) where they are alone/unsupervised is not permissible and is extremely sinful. This one meeting is encouraged by Rasulullah r. Its benefit is that, what each person has heard of the other is based on gossip or reports based on bias opinions. Inclinations and perception of people vary greatly, thus a first-hand view and questioning allows a more truthful and open decision from both parties. This will stop hidden problems from turning up in future. When considering a match, consider the following;
Preferably the boy should be a year to four years senior to the girl. Both boy and girl, being of the same marital status (which includes virginity) is a major factor of compatibility.
The prospective partner's piety, character must be considered in both boy and girl. Additionally, girls should also possess the ability to manage household chores and management. And boys should also possess piety and additional skills. Imam Has an al-Basri (RA) stated: 'Marry your daughter to some pious person; for if nothing else, at least on account of his bond with Allah he will not abuse her nor fail to fulfill her rights.'
REASONS FOR CHOOSING
Nabi has stated; ‘Women are married because of four reasons; wealth, family rank, beauty and piety. Marry a pious lady to achieve success.'
BEAUTY
Beauty whilst being a blessing and something that should be considered, as this will be a major factor of the husband loving the wife and the wife loving the husband. Beauty however is not eternal, as external factors beyond one's control can destroy it, as well as youthful beauty diminishing in a few years. Something to think about is that if only beauty is sought disregarding piety, then the beautiful person will be hard to satisfy on account of their arrogance that is born out of vanity. Also such people who are devoid of shame will also enjoy being watched and ‘appreciated' by all and sundry. This can never be a good thing. If beauty is possessed by one who is pious then for their spouse it is an additional blessing.
WEALTH
This mind corrupting reasoning should not determine one's reason for
Choosing a spouse. Wealth is even more unpredictable and inconsiderate than beauty. The phrase; ‘here today gone tomorrow' aptly describes it. A prospective husband should also reflect that although the girl's family may be rich, Nikah is made to her, not her wealth. Should she be wealthy, it should be below one's honor and
Dignity to enjoy being a parasite off one's wife's wealth. In addition, if
She is from a wealthy background, her tastes and ‘requirements' will
Also be expensive. So before considering marriage to a wealthy girl think; will she be satisfied with one's more humble income?
FAMILY RANK AND CASTE
People consider that marriage to someone of a lower social class, or
Color is something to shudder, degrading and bringing of disgrace to
The family name. White may think lowly of black, Arabs may despise non-Arabs and certain tribes of one race may think lowly of others. Some backward thinking parents refuse their daughters to get married to anyone outside of their tribe or its equivalent. This is wrong. Such thinking is draconian, and actually reminiscent of pagan customs and ideology.
PIETY
According to Shari'ah the only criteria that determines a person's real
Rank and true worth, as according to Allah I, is piety and godliness. All
Other criteria are superficial and/or made up. The most precious of traits are honor and chastity. Ali narrates, 'we were present with Rasulullah when He asked us: 'Tell me, what is treasured most by women?' The Sahabah presentt maintained silence. Ali relates; 'I returned and asked Fatima ‘what is treasured most by women?' She replied 'She should not look at any ghair-mahram (someone to whom marriage is not incestuous) male nor should any male look at her.' Ali related this reply to Rasulullah who commented; ‘Fatima is a portion of my heart (she understood)." This is what both the parents and the person marrying should very carefully consider about their prospective partners:
Aqaid (beliefs). Many secular educated Muslims suffer from distorted beliefs regarding Islam which were taught to them by non-Muslim avenues. One must be wary of the beliefs of whoever is going to be the other parent of one's child.
Ibadah. The person must be punctual on the fundamental pillars of Islam, e.g. Salaah, Sawm, Zakaah. These are major issues which must not be trivialized; as if one were to look in the long run, both husband and wife will want to be together also in the next life.
Good character. For obvious reasons one would want to get married to one who has good character, and who understands that in different situations, one's ‘humble' opinion should not supersede sense.
Transactions. No one wants to marry a thief or be called the partner
Of one.
Social conduct. Although one should not worry about what people
Say, one should also not give the opportunity to be spoken bad about because of one's own conduct. One's spouse should also be up to this standard.
Health. One must not discriminate against a person because they suffer from an illness. But one must remember that it is natural that a person has a dislike of it. This will lead to problems, if the illness is not curable or controllable.
Relationship. Often, though definitely not always, there is greater compatibility and understanding between relatives and people of the same ethnic origin.
Temperament. Ideally both the boy and girl should enjoy the same outlook; otherwise life would present more problems than solutions.
Education. Both should have received at least a foundational level
Of Deeni education and basic secular education and not be intellectually miles apart.
Housekeeping Skills. It is important that both the partners be competent in all or most aspects of domestic responsibilities, and be willing to help each other in theirs. The boy should also have a profession or skill (either Deeni or worldly) so he may maintain responsibility over his family without dependence.
Bad habits. It is also imperative to find out whether the prospective boy or girl suffers from any problems or bad habits, e.g. drugs, alcohol or TV.
DU'A
Allah promises in the Qur'an:
'Make due's to (call) me, shall accept
Rasulullah also gave the glad tidings; ‘Whoever is given the ability to make du'a, for them the doors of acceptance are opened.'
He also explained: ‘Only du'a is able to alter taqdir (fate)'.
Thereafter further elaborating: Du'a is always accepted by Allah I, provided one does not perform those actions which prevent du'a from being accepted (i.e. Consume or ask for the impermissible). But one should remember that du'a is accepted in one of three ways.
That which was specifically requested is received.
Some misfortune or calamity coming one's way is diverted.
A great reward is reserved for one in the Akhirah.

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