Getting Married

I just want to start out by saying that this post is not about me getting married. I know many Muslims (young and old) get excited just when hearing the word “marriage” but this is not a marriage announcement. Plus I knew the title would get my blog more hits.

Anyway, so me and my older sister are discussing stuff and we go off on a tangent as to why getting married too young is bad. When I say young, I do not mean early twenties rather, I mean the late teens though it is more acceptable for sister to get married in their late teens. I then put forward a theory that this is a reaction to the lack of sufism. Without sufism to train people to control their desires, they indulge them in some way or another.  Before I continue, I want to note that marriage is not just for controlling hormones.  It is for companionship and finding your other half.  Any marriage based solely on physical traits is not likely to last very long.  I see many people talking about marriage as though it is an outlet for the desires.  This is very dangerous.  I know many people are thinking that I am violating common Islamic canon by saying this but in some cases, it is impermissible to get married. If you think that I am wrong, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Reliance of the Traveler and read the section on marriage. Reflect upon whether or not people in their teens are financially and emotionally mature enough to handle the writes laid down in it and also reflect as to whether they can even deal with a marriage. I’m not being anti committal but marriage is a huge responsibility that many people in their late teens are not ready for. Sidi Faraz Rabbani wrote an article on this. He also mentioned at a conference once that there was in Imam in Toronto who was noticing many young people dating. He had the [sarcasm]brilliant[/sarcasm] idea of making all of these young people get married in accordance with Sharia’ law. It turned out to be a disaster. One girl ended up being married five times by the time she had turned 19. Furthermore, if one does not weaken their ego then one will run into problems later in life, including marital problems. I’m not saying this applies to everyone across the board. I have met some very mature people in their late teens and some very immature people as far as their late twenties so there are exceptions.

So what other alternative do the young unmarried youth have? Our rightly guided scholars did not leave us hanging. They gave us advice as to how to deal with this. This advice will make the struggle easier according to our scholars (give it a shot, what do you have to lose?).

General Treatment of the Nafs

This part is on general treatment on weakening the desires so I think everyone should read this part. My annotations are in parenthesis.

Imam Nawawi

  • lightening the stomach by diminishing one’s food and drink (eating less. Do not eat until you are full. Always be a little hungry. Fasting is good too.  I can go on very long about this but I think it is interesting to mention that I have lost 10 pounds since I first read this.)
  • taking refuge in Allah from the unforeseen when it befalls
  • shunning situations involving what one fears to fall victim to (leaving what is doubtful)
  • continually asking for Allah’s forgiveness and His blessings up on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) night and day with presence of mind (stare at the ground and do this while walking anywhere, not just college campuses)
  • keeping the company of [people] who guide others to Allah (He means scholars but hanging out with good people also helps)

Remember, these are not just for getting over your hormones. This is for everything (even staring at the ground because Sheikh Hamza Yusuf told me it is how the Prophet pbuh.gif used to walk because he would be able to clear his mind for thikr.)

Treatment Specifically Regarding the Above Stated Problem

Sheikh Ahmed Zarruq

  • Recite Surat al-Falaq, Surat al-Tariq, and say Subhan-al-Malik- al-Qudus. also has an answer on this which I recommend to be read.

The Other Extreme

On my campus, there is a huge bipolarity between the between the brothers and the sister because they were always taught when they were young that it is haram to talk to the other gender period. Ironically, their parents go into the business world and always speak to the other gender and then go to the mosque and condemn anyway who so much says “salams” to the other gender. This is what Imam Zaid Shakir rightly calls a schizophrenic society. Then there is the other extreme where brothers and sisters will mix without any restriction. Extremism is bad in Islam. The Quraan tells us in the second chapter something to the extent that this is a religion of the middle path. In terms of the rulings on mixing, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi gives a good answer on it (click me!). There is also the question on giving salams. The answer is “yes”. Give salams to your Muslim brothers and sister because there are valid opinions that allow it. Sidi Faraz Rabbani told us at a conference in Miami that the two things that are allowed between the genders are formalities and conversation that benefits. Imam Zaid Shakir said that it is better to in an interview on MeccaOne called “Muslim Brother Shortage?! Part II” (which you should look at once Omair posts it). Imam Zaid went on to say that they might be the only Muslim they saw all day. He even mentioned a problem that many of the Muslim sisters are being pursued by, what will be called, potential Muslim (what I will start calling non-Muslims) boys. This is where the Muslim brothers need to step up and protect our sisters. The Quraan mentions how Muslims men and Muslim women are protectors of each other. Therefore, there has to be healthy coexistence, ipso facto, within bounds of the Shari’.

Lock the doors and no one leaves single!


4 responses to “Getting Married

  1. sigh… i remember asking Imam Zaid the same question:

    me: Uh, you know what you said about saying salam to brothers and sisters? Don’t some people say it’s not allowed to say salam to members of the opposite gender?

    Imam Zaid: Well in the West it’s okay. [pause] Unless you go, “As-salamu ‘alaikum sister, how are you?” [Imam Zaid dives at me for a hug, almost knocking me over…]

    He then gave the same basic answer you wrote 🙂

    That’s why I love Imam Zaid, because he does things like that. Man, I miss the Rihla so much… alhamdulillah.

  2. My answer is just fragments of assorted Imam Zaid lectures I downloaded.

  3. I know you say that there are exceptions in every case, but I thought I’d reemphasize.. there are some people in their late teens that are mentally and spiritually able to get married. I mean, I can tell you cases of both bad early marriages and good early marriages. It’s not always a matter of controlling desires, but sometimes people really want that fulfillment in having a partner to help them in their path to Allah. But I mean, of course I agree with what you’re saying. I know girls my age that I know want to get married but DEFINITELY are not ready for it. But I do think, it is a little more lenient on the girl’s side for getting married, whereas I know a few brothers who got married at 17 and 18 and I found that to be quite remarkable. First, in general I will take that silly psychology thing about girls maturing faster than boys. I know that many boys my age are also definitely not ready for marriage and some really aren’t looking to the spiritual aspect at all. Second, how on earth are they going to support their wives? Okay, so that was a bit of a tangent and you can feel free to disagree.

    As for the issue on salams. I also know this isn’t really what you were pointing at but I know a sister at my university who was very distressed at the lack of brothers saying salam on campus. I know many brothers will look at the sisters, look down and keep walking. You have to give them the benefit of the doubt, because maybe they do fear fitna. I know of cases where really the girl DOES think something when a brother says salam. That maybe he’s being too friendly or maybe he means something else. Same thing for girls. Actually, in my experience other girls will look down upon the sister who does say salam (either initiating or responding) to a brother. It is a fault of ours, but it is perfectly valid that some do not say salam to one another. For instance, on our MSA eboard (I’m on the board hence why I’m citing this as an example.. I know these brothers because I have to work with them), the VP will see me in the hallway and say salam. The secretary will have his gaze down and we both walk past each other not uttering a word. I don’t find it awkward. I cannot find the link right now about saying salam to one of the opposite gender but insha’Allah you know what I am talking about.

    Sorry for not really saying anything of importance.


  4. Assalamu alaykum.
    As someone who was ‘married off’ quite young (err.. late teens) I found the first few years very difficult alhamdulillah. Lots of misunderstandings and adjusting to the in-laws…

    though I think it maybe due to having a quiet shy personality rather than being married young.

    It’s only as I’ve grown older that I am starting to ‘find myself’, but this I think is because Allah granted me the tawfiq to discover and meet some true sufis, such as a friend of mine who is with the shadhili tariqa…

    Your blog is a treasure mashallah. Keep it up!

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