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What Advice Would You Give Me to Find a Spouse?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I wanna get married but not found anyone yet. I don’t have enough funds to do so and I don’t have many friends around me. What advice would you give me?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well.

There are various aspects to consider before getting married, and some of the most important aspects are financial ability and emotional and religious maturity.

Financial Ability

With the joy of marriage comes responsibility. A husband is required to provide a home for his wife and cover the general costs of food, clothing, bills etc. It would be unfair to marry someone and not be able to financially look after them.

Also a lack of financial income is likely to decrease your chances of finding a spouse, as it is a major consideration for both the prospective wife and her family, and rightly so.

My suggestion is that before you think about marriage, secure a steady full-time job which gives you a regular and decent income, and keep to it for a good period of time. When you are settled in the job, and have ideally saved a little, then return to the idea of marriage.

In the meantime, if you are struggling with natural desires, try fasting regularly, diminishing certain foods, exercise regularly, and keep busy with work, worship and some healthy socialising.

Emotional and Religious Maturity

Along with financial stability, it is important that prospective husbands or wives consider whether they are emotionally ready to share their lives with another person. Marriage has its own challenges and ups and downs, especially in the first few years, so it is important that each person comes into the marriage with as much maturity and good character as is possible, as well as with as few ‘issues’ and ‘baggage’ as possible. Ideally, these should be resolved before marriage, or at least worked on beforehand.

Marriage should ultimately be a means for a man and woman to walk an intimate path of love towards the next life. This means helping each other be better Muslims and increase in closeness to God. It is important then, that before marriage, each person should learn their religion well and be comfortable with it in practise.

Looking for a Spouse

When you have done the above, you can explore the following avenues:

· Attend local mosques and find out if they help find marriage partners
· Socialise more, and when appropriate, let friends know you are looking for a practising wife
· Attend Islamic classes and events and get to know people, and do the same as above over time. Ask teachers if they know anyone suitable.
· Ask your wider family to look for you

Please also refer to the following answers which cover the various topics we have discussed above:

Marriage Archives

I wish you all the very best, insha’Allah.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Parents Are Not Helping Me Get Married. What Can I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I’m 33, my elder brother is 36, and our parents are not very interested to get us both married. What does Islam say about the rights of children, which parents are obliged to fulfill for them?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Parents

I am sorry that your parents are not actively searching for a spouse for you and your brother. It is understandable for you to feel disappointed.

I encourage you to read the article The Rights of Children In Detail. Here is an excerpt:

1) The first and foremost right of a child is that he/she has an Islamic upbringing.

2) The parents are responsible for the religious education of the child.

3) Parents are also responsible for the moral training of the child which is to learn and put into practice the principles of morality and ethics.

4) Physical training of children is also an important parental responsibility, which ensures children remain alert and healthy.

5) Parents must ensure that they select good and pious friends for their children, and prevent them from evil and bad company.

6) Children must be shown love, affection in every possible way.

7) Finally, the father is responsible for the financial support of his children.

This article does not include ‘the right to look for your child’s spouse’. There are pros and cons to this.

In some Muslim families, parents arrange marriages for their adult children. In others, parents have no say whatsoever, and must come to accept whoever their children choose to marry. Every family dynamic is different, and it depends on that family’s unique community and cultural context and expectations.

I do not know much about your family dynamics and community expectations. It sounds like you expect your parents to find a spouse for you, but they have not been able to.

I strongly encourage you and your brother to read this book Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples.

Discussion

Have you spoken to your parents about how you feel? I encourage you to speak to them calmly and respectfully. Have you expressed to them what you are looking for in a husband? Even before that – do you and your brother have a clear idea of what you both want in a spouse?

Because of generational, cultural and many other differences, even the most loving and well-meaning parents can sometimes choose unsuitable spouses for their children.

What often happens is this – parents expend a tremendous amount of energy looking for what they think is a suitable spouse for their adult child, their adult child completely disagrees with their choice, and all parties become frustrated with each other. The key, as always, is balance. Try to reach a middle ground. How can you meet your parents halfway?

Empathy and acceptance

It can be challenging, but try to put yourself in your parents’ shoes. What do you think could be preventing them from actively searching for a spouse for your and your brother? Is it possible that they find that process a struggle too?

Often, acceptance is the solution to many problems. I encourage you to accept that your parents are doing the best they can, even if it does not seem enough to you.

Focus on being of service to them, instead of feeling resentful that they are not doing enough for you. Reflect on everything they have done for you and your brother, and be show gratitude for that through kindness to them, especially when they fall short of your expectations.

I encourage you to enrol in this course – Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents. Learn about what rights they have over you, and do your best to fulfil them. Trust that goodness to your parents will only bring about goodness in your own life, including the gift of a righteous and loving spouse.

Marriage

“And so many a moving creature carries not its own provision! Allah provides for it and for you. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.“ [Qur’an, 29:60]

I encourage you and your brother to perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to send both of you righteous and loving spouses.

Remember this Allah is your Provider – not your parents. Your parents are the means through which you have been raised and nurtured. All of your provision has already been determined by Allah, including who you marry.

Practical Steps

1) Perform the Prayer of Need, preferably in the last third of the night (before the entry of Fajr) and ask Allah to send you a righteous and loving spouse

2) The scholars of Shaam have said that this ayah from Surah al-Anbiyah [Verse 89] has been proven to work and should be recited 100 times a day with your intended purpose.

رَبِّ لا تَذَرْنِي فَرْدًا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْوَارِثِين

3) Be of service to your parents, and maintain family ties.

4) Speak to community elders and family friends about your wanting to get married. Ask them to keep a lookout for prospective spouses, for both you and your brother.

5) Move in the right circles with the intention of seeking knowledge and potentially finding a spouse e.g. Islamic classes, places where you can help those in need etc.

Patience

There is wisdom behind Allah’s timing. Even though it is natural and healthy to want to be married, please have a good opinion of Allah. When He gives, and when He withholds, it is out of love for you. Always return everything in your life to your relationship with Allah. Exercise beautiful patience, for His sake. Use this as an opportunity to develop yourself in ways which are pleasing to Him.

Reflect on the patience of Nabi Yusuf and Nabi Yaqub (upon them be blessings and peace), and remember how in the end, they were reunited with their heart’s desire. Read Surah Yusuf and reflect on its meanings as often as you can, and draw comfort from that. Only Allah can place true and lasting tranquility in your heart.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

I Am Still Not Married. I Am Losing Hope. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Even though I am making so much dua, I am in my thirties and still unmarried. I am chaste and don’t want to compromise on my deen by having coffee with men before marriage. My sisters say that I will never find a husband by being this conservative.

What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa brakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Marriage

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.” [Qur’an, 51:56]

When you are a Muslim woman, there is tremendous pressure to be married and have children by the time you are in your twenties. Because you are already in your thirties, you and your sisters are understandably worried.

Instead of being tormented by despair, know that there is another way. Submit to the Decree of Allah. Trust that He already has you in His care. Calm yourself down and take a step back. The purpose of your life is to know and worship Allah. You were not created with the sole purpose of marriage.

Please remind yourself, as often as you need to, that your worth is not attached a man. What matters most is your connection to Allah. When you remember this, then your heart will be much more at peace, and you will feel less rattled about being unmarried.

Education

I encourage you to enrol in and complete this course: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

In the meantime, please download the free lesson sets such as
Getting Married, with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and I Am Near with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Dua

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “It is necessary that you do not become hasty.” It was said: “What does being hasty mean, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “When one says: ‘I supplicated to Allah but Allah did not answer me.'” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Have faith that Allah hears your prayers, and that He will answer them in His time – not in your time. The role of creation is to submit to our Creator, especially when we are denied our deepest desires. When you look beyond yourself, let go of your self-interest, then you will find within yourself a deep well of acceptance and peace.

You have two choices: either exercise beautiful patience, surrender to Allah, and draw closer to Him. The alternative is to have a heart that grows more and more unhappy with and distant from Allah. The choice is yours.

Prayer

Please wake up before Fajr and perform the Prayer of Need as often as you can. Pour out your deepest hopes and fears to Allah.

Practical steps

1) Take all practical and permissible means to search for a husband. For example, let trusted family and friends know that you are looking to get married.

2) Perform the Prayer of Guidance every day until the day you get married

3) Perform the Prayer of Need every day for a righteous and loving husband.

4) Every day, write down and reflect upon 10 blessings you are grateful for.

5) Be of service to those in need. When you help others, then you are less likely to be consumed by your own difficulties.

6) Read this dua everyday:

An authentic Prophetic supplication for ease and facilitation:

“O Allah, nothing is easy except what You make easy.

And You make the difficult, if You wish, easy.” (excerpt from Du’a – Supplication for one whose affairs have become difficult)

Parting thoughts

I know of many incredible women in their thirties, and sometimes older, who are unmarried, or trapped in deeply unhappy marriages.

Some rushed into marriage out of fear they would not find anyone better, and regretted it. It is better for you to be single, than rush into something that could be tremendously painful for you. That being said, some of us need to learn the hard way.

When the time is right, I pray that Allah sends you a loving and pious husband. In the meantime, ask Allah for patience, contentment and gratitude.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

I Don’t Live Near Many Muslims. How Can I Get Married?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am 21 and live in small town with very few Muslims. My parents are too busy working to look for a husband for me. I feel like getting married is impossible, and I am in so much pain. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Marriage

Dear sister, you are still young. Please do not despair in the Mercy of Allah. Have high hopes in His plan for you, and trust that He will never let you down.

Please ask yourself – why do you want to get married? What can you offer a husband? What do you think a husband can offer you?

I encourage you to enrol in and complete this course: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Dua

If you make intense supplication
and the timing of the answer is delayed,
do not despair of it.
His reply to you is guaranteed;
but in the way He chooses, not the way you choose,
and at the moment He desires, not the moment you desire.

– Hikm of Ibn Ata’illah

You were created to know Allah. Your separation from Him is the metaphysical root of your longing. Even the most loving husband cannot soothe your heart the way Allah can. Get to know Him in the last third of the night, when everyone else is asleep.

Reality

The reality is that even after you get married, there is no ‘happily ever after’. Your husband and you will face common challenges – communication blocks, financial strain, in-law difficulties, child-rearing, and so on. These are all wonderful opportunities for growth, if you allow them to be, or they can be more causes of pain for you. Think of it this way: the way you handle being single now is a sign of how you cope with difficulty. Get better at coping with hardship while you are single, and you will be a much stronger, compassionate and resilient wife and mother, inshaAllah.

Practical steps

1) Make intense dua

Please perform the Prayer of Need, preferably in the last third of the night, and pour out your sorrow. Ask Allah for everything that you need, and trust that He will answer you.

2) Empower yourself

You are not a victim. You are an intelligent and capable young woman. Please sit down with your parents and come up with a plan of action.

3) Get support

If you need more guidance, then consider seeking out a Muslimah life coach. There are many online, so do your research and find one whom you can click with.

Please remember that nothing is difficult for Allah. Your responsibility is to take the means, and to leave the outcome to Allah.

I pray that Allah grants you strength, courage, and wisdom, and blesses you with marriage to a righteous man when the time is right.

Please see:

Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Photo: Craig Nagy

Is Dua Sufficient for Me to Get Married to a Particular Person?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I noticed a sister in my college who came to pray every obligatory prayer during lecture breaks. I found it attractive. Since then, I started supplicating to Allah in this way:

“Ya Allah, I am impressed by this girl and if it is beneficial to me in my future, then grant me the chance to marry her.”

I have not talked about this to this girl and she also left the college. I have kept this a secret agreement between me and Allah. Is this correct?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Relying on Allah

Anas bin Malik narrated that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie it [my camel] and rely upon Allah, or leave it loose and rely upon Allah?” He (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Tie it and rely upon Allah.” [Tirmidhi]

Although your commitment to sincere dua is praiseworthy and beloved to Allah, you must follow it up with action.

Before even considering marriage, when registration reopens, please complete this course: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. It is obligatory for you to learn this before you get married. You can save yourself so much heartache by learning what Allah expects from you and your future wife.

Prayer of Guidance

In addition to performing the Prayer of Need, please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times. Although praying her obligatory prayers on time is a beautiful quality, it is not enough for marriage to work. She could have very different values to you. Your personalities could clash.

Observe what Allah unfolds as you do your istikhara prayer. If He makes it easy to get in contact with her and she agrees to marriage talks, then this is a clear positive sign for you. If He makes it difficult for you to get in contact with her and blocks that doorway, then please move on.

Support

Please speak to your trusted friends and to your family about contacting this young woman. She could already be married, or she could be not interested. It’s important for you not to romanticise the idea of her. She is a woman who prays, alhamdulilah, but she may have other qualities which may not be as pleasing to you. I urge you to stay as objective as possible, and approach marriage with a cool head and calm heart. Trust in the Decree of Allah. If Allah has written her to be your wife, then it will happen. If He has not, then inshaAllah He has someone better in store for you.

I pray that Allah grants you the gift of a righteous wife, pious children, and success in this life and the next.

Please see:

How to Approach Getting Married
Staying Connected to Your Purpose Even When Your Marriage is Rocky
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Muhammad Rehan

“Getting Married” – Muslim Perspectives Radio Show Interviews Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Educational Director of SeekersGuidance and Michelle  Yeung, Program Manager for SeekersSeminars joined Muslim  Perspectives host Alim  Ali on Sunday, May 16th to discuss the process of getting  married in Islam, and the  upcoming seminar Getting Married:  Clear and  Practical Guidance for  Success, to be held in Toronto on Saturday May 22nd. Listen to the recording here.
 
This is the first opportunity for Toronto audiences to participate in the Getting  Married seminar, which has seen several successful offerings in the U.S., most recently  in Maryland.
 
Shaykh Faraz reminded listeners that marriage is half one’s religion, and that for  marriage to succeed couples must have a sense of the higher, spiritual purpose of  marriage.  He added that the usual challenges of marriage are compounded for  Muslims, who often contend with the demands of culture and of balancing multiple  identities.

Islam offers us solutions to these challenges through the beautiful example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), who said that “The believers who are most perfect in faith are those who are best in character. And the best of you are the best to their spouses–and I am the best of you to their spouses.”  By examining his example, and exploring how to apply it in today’s context, the Toronto seminar will offer critical guidance not only for attendees planning on getting married, but also for married couples who hope to bring greater spiritual meaning into their marriage.

 

Shaykh Faraz went on to emphasize the crucial need for the guidance offered by the seminar for today’s Muslims.  Many people are getting married without being ready for marriage, not understanding its true purpose and aim as a spiritual act or even such practical matters as how to find and choose a spouse.  Michelle encouraged attendees to bring their own questions to the seminar.  Because marriage is so individual a matter, there will be many opportunities to ask questions, including spaces for private Q and A.
 
Shaykh Faraz concluded by reminding listeners that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)  described this world as a provision, and said that the best of its provisions is a righteous spouse.  Provisions, Shaykh Faraz explained, are what one takes on a journey, and that the journey of the Believer is to Allah and one’s eternal standing in the hereafter.
 
To register for the seminar go to:

http://gettingmarriedtoronto.eventbrite.com

When: Saturday May 22nd, 11am to 5:00pm

Where: U of T Multi Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/seekersguidance?v=app_2344061033&ref=ts#!/event.php?eid=112756488760201&index=1

 

Is Marriage Haram For Some People? by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

At a recent dinner invitation, I noticed that most of those present had business relationships with each other. I feared that if there wasn’t some radical intervention, the conversation would center on things like guerrilla marketing and such—not my cup of tea. So I decided to say something radical, hoping to shift the flow of conversation to human relationships instead. I said, “You know, I think that it is haram for many people to marry.”

Heads turned very fast. Some asked me whether I’d lost my mind. Others simply asked me what I meant.

I wasn’t joking, I said. No, I was very serious.

Many people fall into sin by marrying.

Why? Because they enter marriage without understanding the serious responsibility that marriage entails. Then they fail to fulfill their duty as husband or wife, and end up wronging their spouse. Such failure is sinful, even if one’s spouse is similarly remiss.

This returns to an important principle in the Shari‘a that hurting another is worse than hurting oneself. In fact, you have the full right to hurt yourself—in effect, you have the right to go to Hell, if you so wish. However, you have absolutely no right to hurt another—whether materially, emotionally, or in any other way. In marriages, spouses do amazing things to hurt each other, both directly and indirectly—through remissness in fulfilling their rights; and through simple inability to maintain a healthy marital relationship.

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So, what can be done about it?

The answer to this returns to individuals, parents, and society at large. As individuals, we have to develop an understanding of the keys to healthy human relationships in general and healthy marriages in particular—before and after marriage. Parents have to inculcate an understanding in their children, especially in the later teen years and after, of good character, of taking the rights of others seriously, and of how to maintain strong relationships. With that, as parents we ourselves have a duty to be examples of successful marital life for our children. In society, we have a communal responsibility to raise awareness of what is needed to make marriages work—practical manner, not just through yet more lecturing on “The Importance of Early Marriage,” because early marriage without sufficient preparedness is as likely to fail as late marriage, if not more.

We need to train our community leaders, imams, and activists in marriage counseling. Seminars and programs must be held within the community for those seeking to get married and for those married. Trained counseling and suitable literature needs should be made available in accessible ways for those married, especially for those having trouble in their marriages.

There Is Help Out There

People have to be made aware of the (often many) resources available in the wider society on marriage. Often, Muslims are wary of going outside the community for counseling (and yet fail to find capable counseling within the community). We need develop lists of reliable counseling services—services that uphold the core marital values Muslims hold dear (and which they fear for when seeking outside counseling). Likewise, there is a lot of good literature on marriage that those marrying and married should seriously consider reading.

As Dr. Ibrahim Kreps and other leading Muslim counselors concur, one of the very best books on marriage is John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. This or similar books give practical guidance on improving marriage relationships in our times.

With this, as Muslims we have to look at the radiant example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself. He reminded us that, “The best of you are those best to their spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse” (Tirmidhi, on the authority of ‘A’isha, God be pleased with her)). We should look regularly and with reflection at the life and example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), as these give us beautiful examples and clear principles on how to have a successful marriage built on the Qur’anic paradigm of love and mercy, and of striving to live together with a mutual commitment to excellence in dealings.

Originally published in Islamica Magazine

 

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered in this comprehensive reader.