Marriage is casting away its shackles as a serious, somber affair, as to-be-weds get younger and younger. In Malaysia alone, the average age of marriage dropped to 26, once again lower when compared to the local population. Part of the reason for this is the loosening up of wedding ceremonies; slowly, but surely, Muslims across the world are looking at what they want on the special day, rather than what their individual culture demands. After all, Islam dictates very little on what the nikah should really look like beyond seeking to please Allah.
The format of an Islamic wedding differs wildly. In Kazakhstan, it can be a simple affair, not dissimilar to the classic white-dress weddings most commonly featured in the media. Conversely, Indonesian weddings are often extravagant, with lashings of gold, silks and flora. Be adventurous, and borrow from cultures as you will; as long as you honor Allah, there isn’t an issue. If you have the resources, consider looking to marriage in one of the worlds grandest mosques; there are few better ways to honor your own commitment and Islam in the same breath.
Honor your parents and their wishes, of course, but don’t be afraid to question the status quo and branch out. A wedding is a celebration of you and your partner and your joint relationship with Allah, and some flavor of your own should be a given. Borrow from other cultures and ideas with pride.
On the same note, there’s no reason that you can’t share your home culture. Muslims are majority inhabitants of 50 countries, and there are countless cultures under the four main branches (Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Indo-Islamic).
Marriage between cultures gives you the invaluable opportunity to share cultures between yourself. There’s also the added incentive of travel; especially for the young, without responsibilities, finding out more about the world and its cultures is a great way to develop your relationship. This stays true to Allah, too; Surah Taha 20:53 speaks that:
"He it is who has made the Earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways therein.”
What about when you are married? Should day to day life continue? Use your wedding to bring more joy, both to yourself, your faith, and those less fortunate. It’s well known that Muslims individually contribute large amounts to charitable causes. According to the HuffPo (UK), that totaled over $100m in 2017 alone. Even without spending money, a couple can do that bit extra for the needy while enriching your own relationship and your bond with Allah; lifestyle website Muslimah Sameerah suggest playing board games with the elderly, for instance.
Marriage should be fun and an expression of your love for your significant other. Don’t let old-fashioned tropes drag you down; enjoy it, express yourself, and show your love for your partner and Allah through your special day. It’ll set a great tone for the rest of your life as a married couple.
Written by Jennifer Dawson for muzmatch
If you would like to write for us, email us: email@example.com
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
Trying to tame the hormone monster while Muslim? We got you.
Before you get too excited, “self-loving” is off the table. There’s no loopholes around it. Stop googling shady forums to get permission 👀
Prophet Yusuf (AS) teaches us the importance of self-control, patience and tawakkul like no other. A woman in a position of power in Egypt, the Pharoh’s assistant’s wife, attempted to seduce Prophet Yusuf by literally throwing herself at him and he rejected her like a boss.
'And they both raced to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back, and they found her husband at the door. She said, "What is the recompense of one who intended evil for your wife but that he be imprisoned or a painful punishment?' | Qur'an 12:25
After being found guilty of trying to commit zina with Prophet Yusuf, she fessed up after her efforts became futile and demanded that he be thrown in prison. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
She said, "That is the one about whom you blamed me. And I certainly sought to seduce him, but he firmly refused; and if he will not do what I order him, he will surely be imprisoned and will be of those debased." | Qur'an 12:32
How did Prophet Yusuf respond?
He said, "My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant." | Qur'an 12:33
PRISON! That’s right, he would rather be locked up than to disobey Allah (SWT) and dishonour himself. Obviously, we’re not saying you should go around trying to get arrested every time you’re being seduced, but the lesson here is that making the sincere intention to Allah to stay away from such a sin (mentally and physically) is paramount. Then lo and behold, Allah answered his prayer!
So his Lord responded to him and averted from him their plan. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing. | Qur'an 12:34
Ok, now that you’ve made the first step to be spiritually determined to stay on the path, how do you deal with the urges?
Well, temptations are everywhere, but you can’t want what you can’t see.
The hijab! Brothers and sisters, the concept of hijab applies to both of you. The principle of modesty extends beyond a piece of clothing, but a way of living. Believers are instructed to lower their gaze and protect their private parts.
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. | Qur'an 24:30
The ultimate shield, however, in addition to physical barriers, is the spiritual one. Arming yourself with taqwa is one of the most powerful protections to have when facing temptations.
O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember. | Qur'an 7:26
Ok, so you say you’ve made the intention, put up your barriers, you have developed taqwa but still struggle with sexual desires? Now what?
Well, patience is a virtue.
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. | Qur'an 2:153
Patience is the main weapon for the believer to use when faced with hardship. The principle of sabr is mentioned in the Quran countless times and what better ally can one have to help you with your problems than Allah? He’s literally guaranteeing to help you 😊
Patience doesn’t mean sitting and waiting for the problem to go away, however. Sabr is about having the strength to endure the problem and actively resisting it by all halal means necessary.
So until you’re married, keep yourself busy!!
And immerse yourself with knowledge!
By truly understanding the value of your soul, obeying Allah’s commands and realising that short-term thrills are not worth the punishment, you can and will conquer all demons!
When the 'halal dating' struggle is too real.
Have you ever felt let down by meeting the person you thought might be the one? Don’t despair, here’s our list of funny dates to help ease the pain!
Salaam! Me (Shazia) and Darrell both matched around September 2018 but never spoke to one another! We both stopped using muzmatch for a while. But, later in February (5 whole months later), he reactivated his account and I received a notification. I sent him a message and we talked for hours and then moved to text messages. We had our first FaceTime the next day. We were talking all day using all methods of communication. Then one day, he came out to visit me by mid-April. When I met him,
I knew he was the one.
After Eid al Fitr, he came to see my parents and our engagement was approved! We are now getting married this November insha'Allah. He will be moving from Michigan to Bellingham (that's over 2000 miles)!
From the beginning things were so natural and up until now things have been so smooth.
We can’t wait to start our new lives together.