Written by Anonymous
Marriage, one of the most sacred and blessed cornerstones of Islam to the extent it is described as half of one’s deen, appears to have been reduced to a job specification. Applicants must fit certain physical, social, financial and academic pre-requisites on paper before they are eligible to be considered for first interview. A year too old or young. An inch too tall or short. A fist full of facial hair or clean-shaven. A fashionably accepted modest dress code with a hint of provocation or fully covered?
In an economic climate of uncertainty where striking the right balance of qualifications, experience and skills to secure a job would be perceived by most as a difficult task. We as Muslims have our own social climate of uncertainty running parallel. Choosing a spouse to complete half our deen based on clear Islamic teachings appears to have been lost in the scramble for the most academically qualified, financially successful and geographically best located individual.
Has our generation become too relationship savvy for it’s own good?
Are we so caught up in manufacturing the perfect marriage with intellect and experience by sourcing every materialistic and socially mobile quality in an individual that the concept of good character, morals, love and affection don’t even enter the equation until the date has been set and emotions are set free?
Where did we as British Muslims go wrong with the matrimonial process that generations before us did so eloquently and successfully. Marriages that were indeed arranged in many cases based on all the same criteria our generation has today yet the end result was a strong, trusting and solid nuclear unit. Demonstrated clearly by a generation of well-educated, well-integrated and successful young professional Muslims who are the bi-products of these marriages, yet somehow incapable or unwilling to marry outside of social and culturally set criterion.
Have we simply become too big for our own boots?
It is a well-known and established fact that male to female ratio of potential suitors is shockingly unbalanced, however this is a fact of life. Women will always outnumber men for various socio-economic and health reasons worldwide.
The question to ask is why do girls of similar socio-economic group, intelligence, ethnic background and equivalent educational opportunities to their male peers champ men both in terms of professional achievements and deen? Surely, where boys are disadvantaged in quantity there should be no reason for lack of quality when compared to their female peers.
Although anecdotal the imbalance is largely seen in levels of education, professional achievement and most importantly level of deen. Attend any Islamic lecture, course or seminar and two thirds of the audience almost always is female. This then begs the question should practicing professional girls be more open to compromise and accept proposals from those less practicing? Or rather should the bachelor population realise that they lack in deen to such an extent that they are falling short of their female peers? One can argue that every other worldly achievement can be compromised on when presented with good character and piety but how does one justify compromising on deen in a potential spouse?
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (pbuh) said: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Increasingly many women are accepting to compromise on deen in a spouse, not out of choice but as a last resort. However this then gives rise to a whole array of its own issues creating insecurity within the relationship where a more successful and practicing wife is felt to go against the grain of natures conjugal relationship where the man has always been the breadwinner and Amir of the household and rightly so, as intended.
On the other hand is a practicing bachelor population struggling to strike the right balance in a practicing girl that they find attractive in a prescribed Islamic dress code and fight off the subconscious desire for certain stereotypical images of women bombarded at them from every direction in every medium.
Is it time the bachelor population realised it needs to step up and out of its comfort zone and shape up both in terms of dunya and deen to match and do justice to their female counterparts as strong pious men to restore natures balance. As the alternative would be to oppress and regress female success, and how does one morally or spiritually justify such an ignorant act?
After all every man should aspire to be the man he would want his son to be, if he aspires to marry a woman that he would want his daughter to be.
We are all reflections of generations gone, let as sow what we wish to reap in future generations to come of this great Ummah.
Surely, in order to create an ongoing legacy we must learn to be legends in this world to attain the best of our akhira!