How do young Muslims get married in a halal way?
“What should I be looking for in a prospective spouse? Should I involve my parents and can I be alone with this individual?”
What does Islam say about getting married?
Actions are done by intentions:
Marriage is a long journey that requires effort and commitment and is a life long project that ultimately will continue in the next life Insha’Allah. Our intentions for marriage shouldn’t be limited to just fulfilling our immediate desires.
Our intentions should be to build a family with another individual in a loving environment, as well as to keep our chastity and protect our honour and dignity; ultimately to seek the pleasure of Allah through another human being. By being merciful to them, being selfless and restricting our egos.
What are you looking for in a spouse?
Really a spouse is or will end up being a reflection of you. Do you know who you are? What are your dislikes and likes and your long-term goals? This is a good starting point for you to know what you are looking for in a spouse.
It is well known that the Prophet (PBUH) said “Men choose women for four reasons: for their money, for their rank, for their beauty and for their religion, but marry one who is religious and you will succeed” (Bukhari, Muslim).
A spouse can be sought for any of the above reasons, but all besides deen are temporary; the beauty may fade as well as the money and the social status. Deen and love for Allah can only increase Insha’Allah, and the more practicing a person is the better their character should be. These are the essentials that a spouse should be chosen for, as an individual who fears Allah will Insha’Allah deliver their rights to you. Treating you with kindness and respect because they know ultimately they will be held accountable.
Although it must be mentioned there is nothing wrong with having a spouse that has all four qualities, and beauty should not be neglected as one does need a spouse who is personally attractive to help you lower your gaze and keep your chastity in an overly permissive society.
Before you are looking to get married you should have realistic expectations of what you want from your future spouse and I emphasize on the word realistic – as many brothers and sisters often have high expectations and criteria, which they themselves often don’t meet. For example if you want your spouse to be a hafiz of Quran you yourself must be one.
Human beings are not perfect and there is not a flawless brother or sister out there. From personal experience it is good to have a list of things that you believe are an absolute must from a spouse that are not negotiable and then things that are desirable but if aren’t present you can forego and be flexible f they are not present.
Can we be alone and what classifies as being alone
Islam states that when a man and women are alone there is a third person – Satan. This includes private meetings where no one can see or hear you, this is another way that Islam protects us from the biases of infatuation when making such a big decision.
Infatuation can prevent you from seeing the reality of another individual, so the basis of the marriage could be lust which you may later regret once it has worn off and the responsibilities kick in and you realise who the individual really is or isn’t.
Islam helps us from making one of the biggest decisions in a life a rational one not based on our whims and desires, but on compatibility and foresight.
Critical Questions to be asked
Many websites list up to a 100 crucial questions to be asked of your prospective spouse. Why don’t you answer them for yourself and mark the ones which are deal breakers for you? A few below are some general ones:
The financial ability of the husband to support the wife and any future offspring?
Future plans to immigrate?
Living with the family or without?
Any plans to live abroad?
What are your plans for the next five years?
Level of Islamic knowledge?
Hobbies, interests and past times?
Within the Islamic guidelines, and often after several meetings and compatibility has been established, you will find love will natural grow in the marriage, as you travel through life together seeking the same goals.
How many stories do we know of where people were purely infatuated with each other and got married and once the responsibilities settled in the problems occurred the spouses say “I didn’t know this about them” or you realise your life goals don’t align.
At this point you have invested emotionally, physically and spiritually to something that from the onset wasn’t going to work.
Insha’Allah adhering to the Islamic guidelines will fill your marriage with the blessings of Allah and tranquillity of heart.
BY ABDUL-RAHMAN LAWAL
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