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Advice for Young, Marriage-Minded, Muslim Men

Growing up as a teenager in a small, tight-knit Muslim community in the South (of the US) there were four of us young mosque rats from the area, two converts (me included) and two born into Muslim families. The small community had its pros and cons. On the one hand, all of us young men were close and encouraged each other to do good. We really stuck together. On the other hand, when it came time to get married, opportunities were slim.

All of us ended up searching far and wide for partners. The journey to marriage varied in difficulty for each of us as did the continued journey. Here is some unsolicited advice on getting married that I gleaned from our groups’ mistakes experiences:

1. Covert Relationships

three red rose flowers on white open book
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash

There is a very good reason we are supposed to stay away from flings with members of the opposite sex. Dating sucks. It involve intense emotions, potential for offspring, and monetary loss; things that should never mix without a contract protecting all involved. I have seen religious friends become caught up obsessed with a member of the opposite sex. They created secret email accounts and shared the login and password, saving messages to each other in the drafts folder. It’s the kind of OP-SEC you expect to see in spy drama.

Don’t fool yourselves, getting emotionally involved with someone means you are walking a thin line. I have not met many people who actually ended up marrying that same person with whom they shared secret missives in the night. Keep in mind, that other person will probably end up marrying someone else. Protect your honor and her honor and just don’t.

2. Parental Road Blocks

Be patient. I have seen many parents stand in the way of their children getting married, demanding that they finish school

because 18-25 years old know everything.

first. If this is true for you, this is not because your parents are not religious and that they don’t care about whether or not you commit zina (unlawful sexual relations), as is often assumed. Give them the benefit of the doubt. They are older and wiser. They want to make sure you are able to provide for your family. Of course, the provision is from Allah but the effort is from us. That effort means preparing yourself for a career or profession.

How often do you think your wife will want to get busy if you are homeless and starving? Trust me from personal experience, marriage is hard enough without worrying about where you will get your next meal or how you will pay rent.

Now there are extreme situations, emphasis on extreme, where a parent will not let their child get married no matter what, in which case it is a different story. If you are in this situation, then seek out the counsel of your imam or another elder in your community whom you and others trust.

3. Wali Woes

Do things the right way. Make sure the father or wali (family representative) of your intended partner is on board. Back room dealings leave important people in the dark and that usually gets messy. When marriage is on the table, you are not just marrying a person,you are becoming a part of their family. If you don’t show respect to her family as well as yours, how do you think future relations will be? It is a recipe for strained Eid gatherings and Aqiqah (celebration for newborns) weirdness, among other things.

Remember that your future wife’s wali is not trying to control her life, in all likelihood he wants what is best for her (and so should you) and is looking out for her interests. You may be able to charm the girl, but the wali will be able to keep some sense about him.

4. Looking for a Looker

man holding white ceramic mug with coffee
Photo by Adeolu Eletu / Unsplash

Marry for religion and not looks. Many a brother is looking for a highly educated, super model and gourmet chef who has memorized Quran and wears full niqab (face veil). But how often does the same brother measure up to those impossible standards? Not often if ever. Yes, a man should be attracted to his wife and vice versa. But for all of us, the beauty of youth will fade. And a woman with beautiful iman (faith) will always be beautiful.

The honeymoon phase eventually ends and you want to be with someone who will fear Allah (taqwa) and be good to you even when they are not happy with you. Trust me, there have been times when my wife would have shanked me if it wasn’t for taqwa. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t want to be in a marriage that has prison rules.

Most importantly, once you do get married, forget all the crap that other young, unmarried brothers told you about marriage. She is NOT your slave and baby maker, but rather a partner and a potential best friend. Respect her, be good to her, and be gentle. Overlook her faults and mistakes and especially her bad hair days. She is trying just like you. Remember, in the end you both have the same ultimate goal … Making it to Jennah (paradise).

Source: http://islamwich.com/2014/12/06/marriage-advice-for-men/

2 months ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

Modesty in Modern Muslim Beauty

By Jennifer Dawson

Preparing for a date can end up being a stress inducing activity most of the time. Fixing up hair and makeup alone takes up nearly forty minutes of a woman's time on an average day. As new trends in fashion continue to pop up, it can seem overwhelming trying to maintain a consistent style and routine, while still being current with today’s fashion. Here are a few ways to enhance your beauty for contemporary styles, while remaining true to the fashion that makes Muslim culture one of the most beautiful.

Hijab and Fashion

Dating can be intimidating, and our own insecurities can creep up, preventing us from putting ourselves out there to meet someone special. But those fears can be overcome. We should take pride in the modesty of our culture and commitment to Allah, especially with how we wear our hijabs. It’s fine to cut loose and outfit your hijab in a way that expresses both your beauty and inner devotion. Muslim fashion continues to develop side by side with contemporary fashion, letting diverse appearance flourish within modern fashion.

Styles such as the “casual chic”, which involve letting both sides of your hijab hang loose over both shoulders, are great for pulling off an effortless look that emphasizes your natural elegance and modesty. As long as you stay true to the core principles of modesty found in the Quran, then the elegance of your fashion sense will also shine through.

Beauty in Makeup

Make-up is the most powerful way for a Muslim woman to express her beauty while staying true to her faith. Whether with or without a hijab, cosmetics offer the chance for women to emphasis the facial qualities that make them beautiful. Women like Asha Hussein are excellent examples of how beauty conventions of both contemporary culture and Muslim tradition can fuse to create a captivating and popular look. Taking the time to learn eye makeup application and trends, such as having bold colors or strong brows, can be completely complimentary to your visual appearance and upstand the Muslim code of Modesty.

Embrace Muslim Modernity

Modern culture is more than prepared for accommodating the belief that supports the styles that support and validate Muslim cultural practices. The fashion world is embracing the empowering virtue to be found in Muslim modesty. Whether through makeup or clothing, the diversity and energy put into your wardrobe should be expressed with pride and confidence. The principles found in our faith are wonderful and should be recognized as such. Claim your style as your own and embrace the beautiful principles that enchant your dress and appearance.

The world around us continues to diversify in ways that are supportive towards the beliefs and attire of our faith. There’s no need to place unnecessary restraint on your wardrobe, as long as you adhere to the principles of modesty which already come so naturally us Muslim women. Trust in your faith and your own uncompromising beauty.

9 days ago

Inspiration for Muslims Aged 50 And Above

Finding Love After Divorce

By Jennifer Dawson

‘Grey divorce’  has come to be a catchphrase of the millennium, largely because in contrast to general divorce rates (which are declining), the divorce rate among people over 50 is on the rise. Longer life expectancies mean that those who are in their 50s or even 60s can look forward to many decades ahead of a healthy and happy life and for many, this is a quest they would not like to undertake in their current situation.

As noted in a study by Z. Mohamed, Muslim divorce rates, particularly in Western countries, have been on the rise in recent years, with a dramatic increase in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia.

Divorce can be liberating but also bring fear and anxiety. If you have been through a divorce and you are fearful about what the future holds, find inspiration in the Quran and consider online dating as a way to ensure those you date have the same life values as you. When you are ready, know that you can find love once again online and begin a new path in life.

Divorce Involves Going through Many Changes

Divorce is one of the highest entries on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale. In a way, it involves saying goodbye to many things – including (in some cases) one’s home, extended family and social circle. The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross model on the different stages of loss are also applicable to divorce. You may have to go through many stages – including sadness, anger, and regret, before you are ready to move on.

Cuando quieras ponerte triste,sonrie,aunque sea con lágrimas en los ojos.
Photo by Luis Galvez / Unsplash

You will probably know you are ready when you feel that you need to be out and socialize. Positive ideas may pop in your head, such as the thought that you are young and have retired or have free time on your hands, you would love to try out a new hobby or sport, or you feel like dressing up in your finest garb and feeling appreciated as a man or woman once again. Check out what other singles are up to on muzmatch; what starts out as a friendship could develop into something very special.

Why the Internet?

Online dating has been a big boom for singles who may not have a huge social circle. Muslim men and women who do work and have a good professional network may not necessarily have a wide social one. This is especially true if most of your friends are couples that you only saw when you went out with your ex. As noted by the BBC, online dating is big, especially among Western Muslims.

In Islam, marriage is considered equal to half your religion. It holds great importance, so it is important to make the right decision. Online dating allows you to ‘test the waters’ beforehand, so to speak. For instance, if you are a Muslim woman with a firm believe in feminism, you can ensure the people you date think along the same lines. Because devout Muslims of a mature age may be reticent to go to bars and other establishments were others enjoy meeting,

online dating gives them the safety, choice, and discretion that is unique in the dating sphere.

Inspiration from Scripture

You are indeed never too old to love or be loved. Muslim scripture espouses the importance of love and marriage in many passages.

“We not see for those who love one another anything like marriage,”

says Sunan Ibn Majah 1847, while Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 1322 notes: “When you love someone, you become infatuated like a child.” These and other words may inspire you to experience the beauty of love and marriage once again.

If you are a Muslim who is aged 50+ and who has just been divorced, you certainly are not alone. So-called ‘gray divorce’ is rising in numbers the world over, but that does not mean you need to be lonely.

Internet dating is booming for Muslims, especially those who don’t want to have to seek love in clubs and other establishments that can seem more about casual encounters than long-lasting ones. If you’ve never been online, sign up on muzmatch and go into it with a view to simply meet others. In time, friendships can unexpectedly bloom and you may find the love of your life.

28 days ago

muzmatch x My Big Fat Halal Blog

Hey everyone, it’s Ayesha from My Big Fat Halal Blog (MBFHB)! MBFHB is one of the UK’s biggest halal food platforms where I share halal restaurant reviews, recipes and travel guides! You can find out more about what I do on my website or Instagram.

Today, I’m collaborating with muzmatch to share some of my top Ramadan recipes. We hope you try them out and we would love to see any of your recreations.

DATE SUHOOR SMOOTHIE BOWL:

Here’s a simple recipe for this delicious, filling smoothie bowl packed with nutritious dates… the only dates you should be having this Ramadan! ;)

Suhoor Smoothie Bowl

INGREDIENTS

1 banana, plus extra slices to garnish

5 pitted medjool dates, plus extra, chopped, to garnish

250ml semi-skimmed milk

2 tsp cocoa powder

1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp ground nuts, to decorate

METHOD

Simply put all the ingredients in a blender, and whizz until smooth. Pour into a bowl, over ice, if you like, then arrange the nuts, extra banana and dates over the top to serve.

POTATO CUTLETS:

Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Ramadan without fried treats! Below is a recipe for my spicy, moreish potato cutlets.  They’re always a hit with everyone!

Potato Cutlets

INGREDIENTS

750g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

11⁄2 tbsp garam masala

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp ground coriander

Handful of coriander, roughly chopped

2 tbsp plain flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

60g breadcrumbs

3 tbsp vegetable oil

Chutney/spicy salsa, to serve

METHOD

1.Put the potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then cook for 18-20 mins, until tender. Drain and set aside for 15-20 mins, until cool enough to handle.

2. Add the garam masala, chilli powder, ground coriander and fresh coriander to the potatoes. Season, then mash until smooth.

3. Wet your hands, then shape the mixture into 10 round patties, about 1cm thick.

4. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs onto separate plates, then dip each patty first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs to coat.

5. Heat the oil to medium-high, then fry the patties in batches for 2-3 mins on each side, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with a chutney/ spicy salsa for dipping.

UM ALI:

A feast would not be complete without dessert! Try out this delicious Egyptian bread pudding known as Um Ali. It’s made with croissants, nuts and condensed milk and it’s absolutely delicious!

Um Ali

INGREDIENTS

850ml semi-skimmed milk

1⁄2 x 397g can condensed milk

1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom

1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve

1 tsp vanilla extract

100ml double cream

1 tsp unsalted butter

4 all butter croissants, roughly torn

2 tbsp desiccated coconut

2 tbsp flaked almonds

2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, chopped

2 tbsp seedless raisins

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.

2. Stir the milk, condensed milk, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract together in a saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2mins, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and carefully bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat.

3. Using the butter, grease a round baking dish, roughly 22cm in diameter and 5cm deep, and cover the base with half the croissant pieces.

4. Sprinkle over half each of the coconut, almonds, pistachios and raisins, then pour over the milk mixture.

5. Top with the remaining croissants, nuts and raisins, plus an extra pinch of cinnamon.

6. Bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden and bubbling, then leave to stand for 10 mins before serving.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and will try them out! You can find more of my recipes at mybigfathalalblog.com.

1 month ago