Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making the Right Choice in Marriage

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= written by Amr Khaled =

Making the Right Choice in Marriage

Making the right choice in marriage is a difficult decision. Some rely on Allah and others don't. The large age difference between spouses is becoming a custom even between the well educated and the illiterate. What are the mistakes of the past told or untold, and the opinion of Islam in light of society now and then?
All of this discussed in an interview with Mr. Amr Khaled by Mr. Esam Ghazi for (Kul al-Nass Magazine) on Wednesday 8/10/2003,
This is how it went:
The large age difference between spouses is becoming a fashion these days. A young girl looks for a man as old as her father, while a young man will not refuse a bride many years older than him. Mr. Amr Khaled speaks of the opinion of Islam on this regard. He assures that the first case opposes with the equivalence between spouses that Islam asks for in marriage, while the second case only becomes applicable if two conditions are available. Even the case of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) marriage to Khadijah is an exception not to be followed.
This custom brings up the topic of making the right choice when choosing the partner in marriage. It is a problem that can be dealt with using the practical procedures that guarantee making the right decision, as well as the dependence on Allah and asking his advice in the Istikhara prayer (Istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or deed).
The Istikhara prayer:
I asked Brother Amr Khaled about Istikhara; some people believe that it's a blessing. But the truth is that the Prophet (PBUH) taught us to rely on Allah for making the right choice for us, and remove ourselves from that decision. We should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer): -- 'Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as'alaka min fadlika al-'azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta'lamu Wala a'lamu, Wa anta 'allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta'lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or 'ajili amri wa'ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or fi'ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.' (O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job (e.g. my marriage to ...... ) is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter (or say: If it is better for my present and later needs).  Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job (e.g. my marriage to ...... ) is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter (or say: If it is worse for my present and later needs).  Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it).
To rely on Allah and also do your part:
The next move is to seek information about the bride or groom and interviewing him/her throughout all this. You have to be assured that if the marriage succeeds that it is a result of the Istikhara and if it doesn't, it's also a result of the Istikhara. The Prophet (PBUH) says, “Be sure that the outcome of this marriage will be good."
Some believe that the outcome of Istikhara will appear as a dream in sleep?
Who said that? Islam teaches us Twakkol (to depend on Allah for guidance, WHILE doing your part of the job). We ask Allah for guidance in Istikhara (Twakkol) then we go about our practical steps. We don't wait for dreams. If you see a ru'ya (vision that comes in sleep that can be interpreted) then this is fine but it is not enough on its own. We have to seek information regarding the other partner.
Seeking information about the groom to protect your daughter:
Could you please tell us the correct manners when seeking information about the future husband at work or in his neighborhood?
I am surprised these days that parents will only realize after the betrothal ceremonies that the groom lied about his profession or that he has a serious drawback that could've been easily found out. We ask them if they attempted to find out about his origins and they reply that they were not thorough or that they wanted to hurry the marriage.
I'm surprised that the father or brother didn't do his part in assuring that his daughter/sister will be wed to the right person. I remember Omar Ibnul-Khattab when asking a witness, "Do you know this man?"
The man said, "Yes"
"Have you traveled with him?"
"Perhaps you have seen him pray or read the Qur'an?"
"That is not enough for you to know this man."
Our daughters are a huge responsibility. We have to take all the means necessary for their protection.
So how do we ask about the bride/groom? What are the questions that have to be asked?
There are basic topics like morals, profession, family and income but the most important issue that no one seems to care about is the source of that income? Will I feed my daughter from Halal? Everyone asks how much but no one asks where did the money come from? Will my daughter be fed from money obtained by ways approved by Allah or not? The Prophet (PBUH) says that a body bred from sinful money deserves hellfire.
There are lots of ways that this information can be obtained without asking embarrassing direct questions.
And regarding the bride?
It's the same, only it is of higher importance because the future wife will become his responsibility. It is also important because she will be the mother of his children. The Prophet (PBUH) says, "Choose (your wives) wisely for your offspring, for traits run in a family." He meant to seek the family with highest values, because they raised the bride and that will be her nature. Present day psychiatrists have proved this Prophetic wisdom. Observing the mother of the bride will greatly reveal the nature of the future wife.
The Prophet (PBUH) also warned his companions against marrying women who are proud of their beauty but come from a family of bad reputation. He warns us from being dazzled by this situation.
Don't ask about the past:
But you have mentioned in a past lecture that a woman must not be taken by the sins of her family?
Yes that's true, if the woman is of perfect morals and religion she is not to be asked about her family's wrongdoings. But the Prophet (PBUH) was speaking of the woman who was arrogant because of her beauty. This is a different case and I repeat that if a woman is of perfect morals and religious then she must not be judged by her family's sins.
What if the fiancé asks his bride of her past mistakes, and if she had had a relation before.
How would she react?
He has no right what so ever in asking her about past relations. If you are satisfied with her morals and religion then why ask about the past?
In the time of ruling of Omar Ibnul-Khattab, a girl of grave mistakes had repented to Allah seeking for his forgiveness. A suitor came to her asking for her hand in marriage and her brother, out of honesty, went to the young lad to tell him of his sister's mistakes before her repentance. When Omar heard this he was very angry and said to him, "Allah conceals your sister's mistakes while you disgrace her? Don't you know that repentance erases any sins before it?"  This was the Fiqh (interpretation of Islamic verses Qur'an and Sunnah) of Omar. So you see he has no right to ask and she has a right not to answer, depending on her present state of morals and religion.
The age difference dilemma:
We return to the topic of the non-equivalence of age between both spouses. What is your opinion on this?
There are two cases regarding age difference. The first when the bride is much older than the groom and the second is when the groom greatly exceeds his bride in age.
In the first case there are those who relate to the Prophet's (PBUH) marriage from Khadija when she was older by fifteen years. He married her when he was 25 and at the time she was 40 years old. My opinion is that this is an exception not to be followed.
Modern medicine tells us that when men and women are of the same age, the woman is more mature till the age of 22. She is physiologically and psychologically more mature than the man.
There are two conditions for marrying an older woman. The first is that the man is clearly more mature than the woman and second is that the woman is wise enough not to have love of control due to her age. These conditions were present in the Prophet's (PBUH) marriage to Khadija, and as I said it was an exception.  If the woman is one or two years older and the past two conditions are present, then I see no problem in their being wed.  The families of the couple should not refuse such a marriage unless they are sure that those conditions aren't present.
What about a woman marrying someone twenty years older?
This age difference opposes with the equivalence between spouses that Islam asks for in marriage. The Prophet (PBUH) refused to marry his daughter Fatima to Abu Bakr, Omar or Othman for that reason, marrying her instead to Ali Ibn Abi Talib who was only five years older than she was. I have noticed lately that some girls would rather marry men they used to call "uncle". That may sadly be due to the lack of responsibility between young men these days. This led women to thinking about marrying older aged men that are more mature. But that is not a cause for such action. The large generation gap and alternate ways of thinking, as well as diverse emotional and sexual abilities will lead to the failure of this marriage.

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1 comment:

ஏம்.ஷமீனா said...

Assalamu Aleykum,
dear Grandpa,
Jazakallah for this usefull articles !!!
In the most of articles about salaat al-istikhara : its says that the result come into the dream, but alhamdullilah you say the truth :"that it doesn't come into the dream".

Then the right choice to choose a groom or a bride (by my view) it's to see if :
- he/she knows ISLAM
- he/she prays her 5 PRAYERS per day
- he/she follows the SUNNAH
- he/she wants to have a marital life in the manners of ISLAM.
*** The age isn't important ***
The most important it's to see the iman... We can be old(not married) with a good iman(masha'allah)...

When, Amr Khaled said that:"Observing the mother of the bride will greatly reveal the nature of the future wife", we can't trust it !!!
Because nowadays, in the western we can see a bad mother(astarghfirullah) who has a gir, who's really religious(masha'allah)...



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