As the Marriage season kicks off in the UK, I will be sharing ‘gems and jewels’ from the TYLP (Train Your Life Program) Pre-Marital Course held in Markfield last weekend.
These are from my notes so excuse the brevity and a lot of things shared are from the instructor’s experience based in Nigeria. Many things can relate to the Muslims in the UK too, if they don’t relate to you or your experience is a different one, ‘don’t kill the messenger’. Feel free to share and screenshot what does inspire you In Sha Allah. JzkAllah.
I describe Marriage as “two unique individuals who come together to complement each other, who are God-conscious, God-Fearing, and guide and encourage each other to get closer to their Maker.”
Two unique individuals who help and support each other’s development emotionally and physically. Who are garments for one another? Together build a nurturing, loving, and tranquil home, with a climate and culture where each thrives and achieves their highest calling.
Marriage is a relationship of giving and taking with mutual fulfilment and satisfaction. Someone who will be a buddy, best friend, and lover? Who you want to grow old with and go on a lifelong adventure of self-discovery with. Whenever you look at them, you feel contentment in your heart because you know that you are with the one that Allah SWT created just for you. A soul mate is who you keep no secrets from and is your confidant. Who gets to know you better than anyone else. Who you can be your true self around.
Selecting someone to be your life partner requires you to observe every minute detail of them. After all, you’re going to spend the rest of your life with them, so you need to make sure they’re right for you. This decision has the potential to determine your success and prosperity OR misery and misfortune!
The first piece of advice is to get married for the right reasons. I can’t say it enough, that if you have doubts about getting married or the reasons for the marriage, it won’t work.
❌ Don’t get married due to pressure from parents.
❌ Don’t get married because others are saying ‘you’re getting to a certain age’ or that your ‘biological clock is ticking’
❌ Don’t get married because all your friends are getting married or your siblings are settled down.
One of the most important decisions you will ever make.
Expectations of a Marriage
Many of us have varying expectations and fantasies of marriage. Some refer to what they saw or experienced growing up and believe that’s how it is going to be, good or bad. This sometimes determines if they look forward to it or dread it, but shouldn’t be!
Sadly, some grew up seeing conflict and turmoil. They witnessed poor communication and abuse of various kinds. They saw their parents miserable and were raised in a dysfunctional home.
Who to Marry?
Abu Hurairah RA related that the Prophet PBUH said: “Men choose women for four reasons; for their wealth, for their lineage/rank, for their beauty and for their religious commitment, but marry one who is religious and you will succeed.” BUKHARI/MUSLIM
This, of course, applies to both genders. So, what exactly is piety?
Just acts of worship and only rituals? Keeping a beard and wearing hijab?
That is what society says, salah, beard and hijab is deen. The reality is, that piety is also about compassion and being kind to others. Respecting your spouse and being humble towards your family. Remember, Allah SWT is more impressed with the ignorant believer, who is kind and helpful to others, than the knowledgeable, strict, regular worshipper who is miserly, cruel or unkind, who has no good to offer others.
Now, as much as I “hate” controversy, but I’ll say it…what if a sister doesn’t wear hijab, but has good akhlaq and character, what do you do? A brother is clean-shaven but is humble and softly spoken, what do you do? You marry them and work on the hijab/beard. There are many bearded men who are arrogant and some are wife beaters. There are many niqabi sisters who have sharp tongues and abuse their husbands.
Don’t get me wrong taqwa is a very critical ingredient in every healthy and successful marriage. When you are conscious of your Creator, He SWT becomes your compass, your guide and your personal Qiblah. All your actions are done to seek His pleasure.
Focus on the character and personality, this is why it is critical to take your time, observe, ask and investigate the person you want to marry throughly before marriage, not afterwards (like many do). Once problems start we dig up that DBS?! I have seen many get married because he had a beard or wore shalwar kameez regularly. And I married her because ‘she wore hijab’. Let’s not forget beards and hijabs are also very fashionable nowadays.
“If there comes to you one whose religious commitment and attitude pleases you, then marry [your female relative who is under your care] to him, for if you do not do that, there will be tribulation on earth and much corruption.”(Tirmidhi)
The hadith clearly states, if a boy/girl matches your religious criteria then marry them. What the Hadith didn’t state was if they share the same nationality or race then marry them? We can go a step further for those parents who look at colour of skin… ‘they must be fair and slim’ as though people with dark skin are ugly? What would we say about black people? This is known as colourism
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve – an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”
This was stated in the Prophet’s SAW last sermon on the Ninth Day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat in Makkah. Every single person reading this, rather every Muslim will agree with the Prophet’s SAW statement verbally and theoretically. But when it comes to practicality and especially in marriage terms, not every Muslim agrees and acts upon this statement. Race is a big issue for some of us, different castes and different cultures. And even if you match all that some are so narrow minded they split hairs on different villages back home.
Here’s one I made earlier…
A fantastic article on “fair and lovely” written by one of our editors, Ma Sha Allah! 👌🏾
(Centuries ago) when the British ruled India, discrimination based on skin colour was most visible. The white British foreigners were symbols of power, authority and wealth and thus, light skin served as a signal of high status across the country.
Those individuals with a lighter skin colour enjoyed more privileges from the British, were considered to have a more affluent status and gained preference in education and employment and darker-skinned individuals were socially and economically disadvantaged, and this disease continued…
Let’s be fair, there are advantages of marrying into your own race or caste but don’t hate those that didn’t because even the Prophet PBUH didn’t marry all his wives from the Quraysh/Arabs. Safiyyah (Allah be pleased with her) was from a Jewish background and Mariyah (Allah be pleased with her) was from Egypt.
I believe some parents are soo staunch that they would rather have their daughter live in a haram relationship (commit Zina) than marry a Pakistani boy or a Surti boy… we are in the 21st century, why is this still happening in such a progressive country?
Marriage is prescribed for us, but it’s not always compulsory.
Haraam to get married: A person is not ready, mentally or physically or financially to uphold the rights of a spouse.
Wajib to get married: If a person fears falling into sin and haraam, but is able to fulfil his spouse’s rights.
Sunnah: A person wants to fulfil his deen by completing it with a partner. They are ready to fulfil each other’s rights and obligations.
Before you get married, drop your excess baggage. If you have experienced something unpleasant, some sort of abuse in the home; emotional, psychological, physical, economic, or any kind of abuse… it’s important you bring it out and address it to the best of your ability.
Be open and be honest about it. Keeping it locked up inside will only cause outbursts of frustration when your spouse doesn’t understand what you’re feeling or meltdowns. Counselling can help! Counselling is not just for psychopaths or people suffering from mental health. We can all benefit from counselling.
3 steps to know if someone is ready for marriage:
1. The person has enough self-awareness and self-love to be a healthy, stable independent person.
2. The person has healed, as much as possible, from past baggage/wounds.
3. The person has a vision/direction of where they are going, and they can see a husband/wife as part of that.
“Point number 2 – If you don’t heal what hurts you, then you’ll bleed on those who didn’t cut you.”
Solutions: Counselling or Talking Therapy Classes
It could also mean a past marriage where you were abused mentally, financially, physically or sexually. So now a person thinks “all women are manipulative, use and abuse men”… which is wrong. “All men are violent and aggressive” which is also wrong.
Let’s be frank, some parents don’t get it right. They may have been victims of domestic abuse themselves. They may simply be copying what they grew up seeing. They were not shown the right way to do things, so don’t live on your resentment. The reality is, “we cannot be what we do not see.” If you are a victim of or witnessed a toxic relationship or were drawn into the battlefield, made a lawyer, psychologist, or forced to take sides, first of all, you need to know that they are as human as you are.
A lot of people blame their parents for their bad marriages. We have already mentioned parents are human and make mistakes, they did what they thought was best and many times that doesn’t work out.
They often force the kids to marry in India and Pakistan… people can have their varying opinions on this, but British boys should marry British girls. Your daughter is a doctor earning a high salary, when Shaukat comes from Pakistan the first thing he will do is stop her from working. That’s her career gone down the drain, first problem.
Aside from the topic of women working/careers and whether it’s affecting marriages and children (that’s a long topic), my point is compatibility. Not to mention the amount of jinn/jadoo they bring along to this country🙈. Then all they worry about is funding the “bangla” back home, whilst totally depriving the wife and kids here in the UK. They suffer. I know dozens who will agree to this.
When will parents wake up?
🦜Birds of the same feather flock together
The company you keep also has a lot of influence over you and your marriage; the way you behave and think.
Ask yourself what kind of people do you surround yourself with?
What kind of discussions do you have?
If your friends don’t move you ahead in life, you are like a car stuck in the mud! You are spinning your wheels, but you are not going anywhere.
Whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, we are mirroring what we see around us.
You use the same slang words as them? Dress like them or own similar things like phones or cars? You will follow the same people on social media?
Now, let me ask would you like your children to be like the people you hang out with the most? Have you ever stopped to notice that you have the same mannerisms as the people you spend the most time with? Maybe it’s the way you use your hands or your facial expressions?
We have all heard the saying, “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.”
The older you get, you become more vigilant, convinced you could be cast aside by your friends again at any moment. As life becomes more complex, it suddenly matters who is prepared to show up for you – and who isn’t.
One of the gifts new friendships can bring is the ability to see yourself through a different lens. Where older friends might have a set idea of who you are, with newer friends the additional layers you’ve gathered through life’s constant churn can become the core of who you are in that friendship.
Your Marriage Wish List
So, now it’s time to look at what you are looking for? What do you actually want?
Some have said,
Someone a bit religious, but not too much…
Tall, fair, big, but not too chubby…
Handsome, loaded💰 but not arrogant…
(The best till last🙈)… I want to marry someone who will remind me of my mother!
So, on a serious note, think about what you want:
* Which qualities are you looking for?
* What can you definitely not live with?
* A desirables list and essentials list
* What are your non-negotiables?
A list of questions to ask your potential spouse. Pick a few important ones.
30 Shawaal 1443
Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)