Saturday, August 30, 2014

Marriage? Really?




Marriage? Really?



Hmm, really did not want to talk about this subject! But ideas have been floating around and I wanted to nail them down for you. As well adding experiences of other people which are included but the names have been changed!


Many moons ago I was sat in a class of hadith with Sheikh Sa’ad Al-Attas when fireworks started going off in the background. I was quite angry and embarrassed. Angry because it was disturbing our lesson and embarrassed because it was bad manners to be disturbing so many people. He asked if it was for a wedding. Then he said, “Marriage is like that, fireworks at the beginning and then its followed by hard work.” That perfectly sums up what marriage is. Two weeks of fun followed by years of hard work!




Cousin marriages


What those in western countries have lost is a sense of family history and keeping the family name alive. Hence many people marry without paying attention to maintaining family lineage. In many other countries maintaining the family lineage is very important. Therefore most Pakistani, and other denominations, marry cousins or within the family circle. This is quite gross to many people but it’s a fact of life for those living in traditional cultures. Other traditional cultures have other criteria like certain villages or cities and so forth.


One of the unwanted results of the cousin marriages are children born with rare birth defects. This would normally not occur in their homelands. Because even thought people would marry those in the same family it would not be direct children of brothers or sisters. Those in their homelands pressurize their siblings, living in Europe, into marriages of their respective children. Thus children are born with rare diseases and couples are married unhappily ever after.

Recently I read an article in a famous local paper which was nothing but racist. A man had murdered his wife and it implied that this was somehow due to his 'Islamic' upbringing. Lets set this record straight. It was everything to do with parents marrying off their daughters to the wrong man then not allowing a failing marriage to end. Well done parents you have destroyed the lives and three people in one fell swoop! Your daughter, son in law and their children.  




Choosing a spouse


Age


In human history men have married women who are younger than them. It's just a fact of life whether you like it or not. Its very rare that men marry those older than them. But my advice would be for people to look at compatibility first rather than age; for both genders. Men who marry those who are younger than them will find them childish and will have to put up with this. Particularly if there is a large age gap and you might wish that you married the older woman! Although there are many men-children on their PS's! More mature women are not that concerned about children and some simply do not want any children.



Picky?


Please do not have a set criteria for marriage. With much regret we did this and many did not match up. The only thing that you should be concerned about is matching character and religious level. Look at those who are suggested to you and do not go through your checklist.

Those who marry but are not at the same religious level will find problems. Women are usually the worse off because the non-religious male is normally not receptive to his religious wife's practices. He can even stop her from praying and fasting. 

The main criteria men and women should be looking for is good character in a life partner.



Pictures?


Pictures can be deceiving so go and see the person face to face. You might be pleasantly surprised or not! But being face to face has many benefits that emailing or texting does not.




Fairy tales?


Fairy tales and happy endings only occur in books and movies. You are not Rapunzel waiting for her prince to rescue her from a life of celibacy! Nor is he waiting for the supermodel that he might meet by chance on the street! Rather look for a good person and do not turn someone down because you think that they are not your prince charming or does not have super model looks! Or they do not have the financial capability to maintain your standard of living. 

Hanafi’s meet someone half way and do not go overboard. A woman should not overbear her husband by making him feel guilty if he does not provide a certain standard of living. She should be happy with what he has.

The man who has not got a lot of money but has good character is better for your daughter than the rich man who has no character!




Internet sites


It works for some but not others. Also be careful in meeting strangers without family present on both sides. A lot of websites have spammers and false profiles. Bilal’s Half our deen might be worth checking out if you are inclined this way. Know that many people have not had much success in these ventures. 

Know that the people on these sites are either nasty, timewasters or not serious. Very few are genuine, others have outdated information and some are false profiles. Also some websites are fake so beware of putting in your details especially if there is no security. Some of these sites are just there to steal your details.




Marriage events


Very rarely do people marry from these events but you might be that rare breed. Most of these events are more about meeting and viewing others. Most are not serious about marriage and are more concerned about looking at what's available. Those who are more family orientated events might be worth considering rather than ‘date’ events!




Marrying abroad


This has become a problem for those on a low wage as without £18,600 in wages. There is no possibility of a man or woman taking a spouse from outside the EU. This is something that has been causing many people who are unable to find a spouse in the UK problems. For many men this is a solution because they wives are somewhat sheltered from society. But for women this is a problem because the man who comes from abroad has many difficulties adjusting to life in another country. Culture shock is something that is very common for people who move to other countries.



Polygamy


This could be a way to marry those who are already married but it depends if the male can actually take care of the other women in a correct manner. It based on being far in his money and time to both spouses. Also look at what English law says about this matter. It could be a solution but it could also cause more problems.




High maintenance?


Men do not like women who are high maintenance. What we mean is that they are always demanding or nagging or anything of that nature. Men do not like women who are demanding because they have been working all day and come home to relax. So when you are making requests and other things it makes men think their wives are high maintenance. So choose your times to make requests.




Abuse


We have spoken about abuse of women in a previous post so look them up by clicking here.



In laws?


This is just a fact of marriage so you need to be aware of this. Women are especially aware of the harm that women receive from in laws, namely the dreaded mother in laws. I can understand why many women do not want to live within laws because many have been harmed by the mother in laws. I do believe women hate other women; because they see them as threats. Anyone who feels threatened act in ways to harm their competitor which is the incoming woman. Women have to be aware of this and at the same time take each case as it comes. Husbands you have to beware that women do not like other women. So men you have to find separate housing for your wife, its wajib.




Family?


Get them involved in the process as soon as possible. Do not go and see someone about marriage without their prior knowledge. Even though it's not unlawful, because you meet in a public place, it still could lead to people backbiting or slandering you. Meet with families on both sides.


Whoever is the decision maker must be taken with you. We have heard of crazy parents who do not wish their children to marry anyone, except their own choice, and block anyone else. Parents should not think that they have the right to destroy their children's lives. Many times parents want kids to marry within the family or their own cousins. So parents if your child comes to you with a potential spouse that they want to marry and there is no reason for you to say no then accept them into your family, for the sake of Allah (the Exalted). You cannot say no unless you have a real cause for potential harm. Like the man is known to harm women or something like that. Not allowing them to marry your child for a silly reason like cast or nationality and they are not is not a valid excuse. This is a sin that the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) warned us about. The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) warned us that if people refuse the proposals without valid excuse then corruption would be widespread. Do we not see this now?




Divorce?


Divorce is a way out for people who are in a marriage that simply does not work. The children of a marriage, that it is not successful, must be the priority and not discarded. Even though the parents are no longer married they are still responsible for them before Allah (the Exalted). Do not allow the contempt that you have for each other cloud your responsibility for your child.


Try to deal with the divorce in a reasonable manner and if you can avoid the courts. Allow each other access to kids and try not to undermine each other's efforts. Heres some  humour to brighten up our moods!






Solve my problems?


Everyone has problems and thinking that by getting married will solve them is a mistake. It does not solve ones problems. Find happiness where you are in living for Allah (the Exalted) and then get married. Otherwise you are letting yourself in for a potential fall.

Find happiness and let your spouse into it. Do not think getting married will solve all your problems because they are new problems to deal with that you might have never thought of.

The married and the unmarried both have problems. The men who complain about their marriages the most are those who are very obedient to their wives inside their homes. Hence complain about them outside the homes. They are lions outside the house and cats at home! Their wives are normally the generals and they are the only soldier; so they are following orders and as well as curfews! 





Kids don’t help


Having kids, in a loveless marriage, rarely makes it work. This is also harmful for the child; to be with parents who do not like each other.


Mothers should not blame or take out the harm they receive on their kids which is very easily done. This occurs more than just marriage situations. As even though children can be testing they have to be brought up right.




Kids general


Bringing up kids in the west is extremely difficult because they are torn between western and eastern culture as well as religion.


You have to keep an eye what your kids are doing. Leaving them at the mercy of the school system is not a good idea. Sending them to the best schools is a start and ask them about what they are learning.


In terms of after school studies choose the madrasa that are concerned about their pupils progress.


Kids need you to spend time with them. Children who misbehave are those who do see their fathers often, in many cases.




Girlfriends


I have seen this predominantly in men who have one wife at home for their families and another girlfriend outside the home that their parents are unaware of. This is so wrong that I cannot put my disgust into words. If you want two wives then fine do it that way. Instead this fool has one wife at home who washes his dirty clothes and one girlfriend outside the house who spends all his time with. He really mocks marriage and has preferred the unlawful over the lawful. How can he be successful on the day of judgement when he has involved himself into such haram acts? You are truly an oppressor.





Convenience?


There are many couples who are in loveless marriages and do not sleep in the same beds or even bedrooms. There are many reasons for this. I do think parents have made them marry cousins and there is little love between them but its about family honour. It's very sad and parents should think that there is a better option than force their choice.  


Just because you were forced into an awful marriage that ruined your life does not give you the right to do the same with your children. Many peoples problems stem from failed marriages, the parents, those involved and the kids. Do not ruin your childrens lives for the sake of inflated family honour which means nothing on the day of judgment.




They do not want me


This can happen and is more common than one may think. People who want a particular spouse and but find their advances rejected, this causes much harm. How can one understand that someone feelings about the other are not reciprocated by the other? It does happen and a person cannot waste their life crying about the past and must move on. Otherwise they have not learnt the lesson, waste their present and fail to make a better future. So be hopeful, let it go and move on.





Final words


Try your best to look at each offer that you receive. Pray the istikhara prayer seven times and see what occurs. Facilitation is a good sign and the opposite is not good.


Marriage is not a party and you have a lot of hard work to do, each and every day. Your spouse has rights and you have to do your best to fulfill them. Please Sheikh Abdullah Adhami's article on Advice to Husbands click here.


We hope this has given you some food for thought and that those of you that are not married find wonderful spouses; in sha Allah.

 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

How Islam treated non-Muslims

Noble Character?

Ponder why Allah (the Exalted) praised the character of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessing upon him). Why not the prayer or hajj? Because deen is not about merely the five pillars. Most of your deen is your character. Thats where most of the work needs to be done.

Following the deen is not about forcing your opinion over others by being arrogant and condescending as these are NOT part of the Sunnah. Yet somehow you think reseaching on the internet makes you a master! Yet you are slave of misunderstanding and flawed misinterpretation.

When I meet brothers who quote hadith without understanding I realise one thing. They do not understand the religion at all. Look your character and please click here to read forty hadith about Honorable character complied Sheikh Yusuf Al-Nabahani (may Allah show him mercy).

Deen is not just belief it mostly about action and character is a major part. You can't reach everyone with your deen but you can reach everyone with your character.