Marriage Is A Blessing but It Isn't Everything?

In a society obsessing with marriage and filled with few who understand its virtue and value, is marriage really everything? By Romanna Bint Abubaker

I don’t need to tell you about the flurry of articles everywhere about marriage this year. We are almost certainly affected by the celebrity culture and the current baby and marriage boom. Articles are appearing in their droves on why women can’t get married or why we ought to want to get married.

Let me clarify that I’m no feminist, and far from it, as many who know me will tell you. I’m a simple traditionalist who takes my role and status from that which my faith, Islam, prescribes for me. This may be shocking to some, but that status is that my husband is the closest I should ever get to bowing in respect (something which Muslims do daily in their prayer to their Lord). For a Muslim woman, the status of her husband in her life is so high that it was said IF there were anyone other than God who a woman would have been obliged to show such a level of respect to – it would have been her husband. Many of you may suddenly think, ‘oh how typically oppressive’, and ‘unsurprisingly backwards’. Let me elaborate. I emphasise the if because the key tenet of Islam is that there is no one other than God to whom such respect is due, not even the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). A man does, however, have a great burden of responsibility to his wife and because of human psychology it is only natural that if someone willingly does everything for you, we naturally  want to offer great respect and love to this individual. Isn’t that what love is?

As the famous 12th Century scholar Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gilani described, a husband ‘must not eat, unless his wife has already eaten’. In relation to his dependents, he must be like a trusted agent and a servant, and like a slave with his master. When it comes to eating, he must adjust his diet to suit their tastes and not oblige them to follow his own appetite’.

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Photo by Simon Hattinga Verschure / Unsplash

Given that I am a big traditionalist and love romance, chivalry, and a gentlemanly character I almost certainly would choose marriage over being single . However, I’m not willing to be married to someone who won’t treat me as the above- for the sake of ‘being married alone’. Many people across international cultures argue regularly that we will never find our perfect man and we have to compromise. I have to admit I have wondered if I should also make such a compromise, because surely I have to get married.

The argument from many women today is that there just aren’t enough good, suitable men. So the question is, what makes a suitable man? For many of these women, and particularly Pakistani and Gulf women I’ve seen, there is an expectation that the man has to be someone who comes from the exact same cultural background and, to some extent, even the same ‘caste’. Recently, I was in conversation with a 36-year-old Pakistani friend who said that her parents had not only expected her to marry another doctor, but deemed her suggested candidate unsuitable because he was from a different village many centuries ago!

Now let’s just say we are open to all cultures and there simply isn’t anyone suitable: then what? What does Islam say about this? If you’ve read my first article on marriage I expound on the idea that marriage and bearing children is valued as one of the highest acts, and is a fundamental purpose of the creation of man and woman in their compatible forms.  However, as I investigated further with several Islamic scholars, what I discovered was enlightening and quite frankly something I think more women need to know, especially those from cultures who consider marriage as the ‘be all and end all’.

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Photo by Deddy Yoga Pratama / Unsplash

Nowadays men and women are not quite what they used to be. People don’t appreciate the blessings, value and position of marriage. Men don’t realise the nature of the responsibility and position they have, and women don’t seem to realise the station of marriage. We also have the issue of women succeeding in higher education and entering skilled professions in much higher numbers, which is causing a mismatch. Some contemporary Islamic scholars now argue that in modern times the act of marriage may actually lead one to move further away from one’s faith. As many married couples will tell you marriage isn’t easy. Attending to another person and satisfying their desires while fulfilling your own duties and responsibilities can be difficult. Some argue then that these overwhelming responsibilities end up  moving your attention and focus away from the pleasure of God, which is our ultimate duty. One of my Islamic Studies teachers said to me, ‘even though my husband has always provided the best for us there are times when he does something, which really upsets me. That moment I think that it is a blessing from God, a way for me to remember Him and not preoccupy myself with my husband all the time. It reminds me that he is not infallible, and only God is worthy of that unconditional love.’

So let’s not fixate on marriage as the sole purpose of our existence. Yes, it has great virtues, great pleasure, great reward and benefit, but if it doesn’t happen now we ought to redirect that attention in pursuit of greater goals like continuing learning, which is an obligation upon us. Perhaps we should look at how we can develop our relationship and intimacy with our Lord because that’s our ultimate purpose. We might just earn a partner of paradise and really live happily ever after.

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26 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

South African Match! #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.

He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.

We did our Nikah last month (March 9th 2019).

About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.

I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.

My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.

It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,

I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".

I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.

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I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.

We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.

We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.

Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.

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We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.

Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.

His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.

Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.

The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.

We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.

Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).

I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.

Halima & Arshad

7 days ago

Egyptian Romance #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.

The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.  

We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.  

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I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.

I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside.  He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!

I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.

After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.

I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.  

Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.

It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.

I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.  

8 days ago

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Close Call #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.  

We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!    

I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.

The next day he replied to me and the is history.  Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  

Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.  

One last thing to everyone using the  muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!  

8 days ago

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