The Quest for Marriage...the Struggle is Real!
August 8, 2022
Muzz, marriage websites, rishta aunties, suggestions from friends, suggestions from family. No wonder why those searching for marriage are SO overwhelmed, getting married seems to get tougher as the years go on. Everyone knows someone who is struggling! It is now a lot more common for girls to find themselves hitting 30 and still unmarried. This is seen as awful in the asian culture, how can a girl aged 30 still be single, either she is too fussy, or there is something wrong with her. Well, no, not at all. Just because someone is taking their future seriously and not willing to marry just anyone it doesn’t mean they are abnormal. There is always more to what meets the eye, maybe she was focusing on her career, maybe she had a bad experience, maybe her family have put impossible restrictions on her. Yes we all know that there are many factors. It isn't because she is abnormal or fussy or weird.
The truth is times have changed, people have changed and have different priorities in life. So when a girl is ready to get marriage questions like ‘why did you leave it so late’ should not be thrown at her. Now i am speaking from a female perspective but i’m sure men can also relate. I will speak of my experiences as a sister, and my observations of the hurdles faced when looking for a potential spouse.
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We are living in strange times where there are some families who are so open minded Alhumdulillah, but then there are the others who place restrictions on their children which are not islamic and neither are they fair or realistic. This is where it starts getting tough, you are looking for someone to meet your criteria right? Nope, they need to meet your families criteria too, and once they have, the question arises do you even meet his families criteria?
I understand the importance of family involvement and the family’s blessing, but with so many needs to meet the task becomes even harder. Especially in asian families, we have huge families and everyone will have an opinion. This is where it gets complicated. So once you have passed the hurdle of finding someone you like, you then have another hoop to jump through. I think the prospective bride and groom’s needs and criteria need to be met first and foremost….however this isn’t always the case and it starts to become all about the family. Again i will reiterate that yes family is important, but lets not forget that it will be the couple living together and spending their lives together. So please listen to your parents views when considering a partner but don’t forget your own needs in the process- there needs to be a balance.
As times get harder in the quest for marriage ironically expectations seem to rocket. We are all guilty of this at times. And why not, we all want the best for ourselves don’t we? We deserve the best right? Yes we do….but we need to realise we can’t have EVERYTHING we want.
I’ve come across brothers who want a devout modestly dressed wife who looks like Kim Kardashian…. Sorry but HELLO how contradictory is this. If you want a pious and modestly dressed wife please take into account that it is unlikely she will be contoured to the max, plastered in foundation and wearing six inch killer heels. It just won’t happen. So men please be realistic in this department, if you say you want a pious and devout wife, look past a woman’s appearance look at what her character and heart is like. And if you are lucky, many have been, you may find a naturally beautiful sister who is devout ????
Sisters….we aren’t perfect in our expectations either. So you want a built and muscular brother? When was the last time you went to the gym or ate healthy? Or you want a 6 foot practising, hot, bearded brother who is a high earner too? Isn’t a bit much to ask for? If the man ticks a few of the boxes why are you not considering him? You cant have everything you want in life, so learn to think about what is most important to you and lower those expectations a little. First and foremost look for man who has deen, a man who is good to his mother, his sisters etc and look at his character. If you’re lucky you may get someone who ticks all your boxes, but if not don’t just eliminate those who don’t and give people a chance.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us in many hadith about the various characteristics which one looks for in a spouse and their relative importance and which ones determine success in sha Allah and Allah’s blessing on a marriage. Among those hadith:
“A woman is married for her deen, her wealth or her beauty. You must go for the one with deen, may your hands be in the dust! (if you fail to heed)” [Muslim]
We all need to take heed from this hadith! In sha Allah ( Allah willing).
Attraction: not giving people a chance
So we are suggested someone but one of us or both haven’t even given it real consideration before saying NO. You have met the person and you didn’t feel that attraction. Ok fair enough, but how can you tell from one meeting if you are attracted to someone? Sometimes it may be a person’s personality that wins hearts, can one meeting really make you the best judge? First meetings can result in many feeling nervous and not showing how they really are, so please do not write people off from just one meeting. A friend once said have three meetings, this will give you a better indication on if you can click with the person or not. I think this is great advice, it gives you good time to genuinely assess a person. The first meeting you may think ‘im not attracted’, the second meeting you may think ‘hmmm i get on with this person’ and the third (penultimate) meeting can be the decider on if you wish to progress or not. Always meet with a wali/guardian as islam prescribes. Do it the correct way.
So we just need to give people a chance, attraction and likability doesn’t always come straight away. Be a little more open minded, who knows it may lead to success and wedding bells. If someone meets a lot of your criteria don’t let looks be the decider, looks fade however character and personality will remain. Of course we all want someone we are attracted too, all i am saying is don’t just go by looks, look at the whole package when deciding. Don’t just write people off because they do not look like supermodels.
It is a struggle, it is tough, it’s a hard game. But if we all have a flexible approach and mindset things may improve. Families that are making it tough for people need to stop and reassess things, is the motive to see your child happy or is it to meet your own needs and the worry of what others think. Put your children and their happiness and future first, and children respect your parents views and advice and hopefully this will keep everyone happy. Uneccesary restrictions that are contrary to islam are not making things easier they make it harder. As if it wasnt hard enough. Brothers/ sisters who are seeking a spouse, be realistic, be open minded and give people a genuine chance. Don’t just write people off, who knows it may have been a bad picture, it may have been a bad hair day or the person may have been nervous.
By being more open minded (both families and the ones searching for a spouse) things could be a lot easier. Just because you have passed the conventional age, it doesn’t mean it’s too late, or that there is something wrong in you. Everything happens in Allahs appointed time. When Allah wills it will happen.
Lastly but not least always follow the correct islamic etiquette when looking for a spouse, there will be more barakah (blessing) in this.
“They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them” (Noble Quran 2:187)
May Allah (swt) grant us all pious spouses. Ameen ❤️