Monday, April 19, 1999
Salaam Sister Bilqis,
I would like to ask for your opinion/advice regarding choosing
a husband. I have heard that a woman should marry a man that
is at or above the same status as she is. Do you think that education
and occupation should be considered a big factor in choosing
a partner? I realize that some people are quite picky by only
considering doctor/engineer etc. The reason I am asking this
is because I have received a proposal from a man who has not
completed college, but I will be receiving my degree very soon.
The fact that I have more education than him is bothering me.
However I feel terribly guilty in declining just for this reason.
Do you feel that marrying someone with lesser education/status
than oneself (especially for woman) could cause problems later
on in the marriage? Also, is it wrong to decline a proposal for
this reason? I would really apprectiate your advice on
-your sister in Islam
As you know, marriage is truly one of
the most important decisions you will make in your life. There
are many factors to be considered for both the man and the woman:
- Marriage is the union of two souls
for love and for procreation and legalising of children.
- Marriage contributes to the many-sided
progress of a man (and woman): physical, mental, social, moral
The Holy Qur'an says: "And
out of His signs there is that He creates mates for you from
yourselves, that you may find peace of mind in them; and He put
between you love and compassion. Surely there are signs in this
for a people who reflect."
Marriage requires committment. The husband
and the wife in their complementary roles should function as
a unit with Faith (Iman), sensitivity, compassion, maturity and
responsibility toward one another. Islam, being a complete way
of life, does address the question of STATUS in choosing a spouse
and even suggests similarity in backgrounds for a happy union.
However, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was 15 years younger than
his first wife, Khadijah. She was a wealthy woman and turned
over her business to his management because of his reputation
for "trustworthiness". Education may or may not influence
the question of status. If a man is KIND, INTELLIGENT and INDUSTRIOUS,
whether he has a college education or not, he will probably provide
well for his family and be a good husband and father.
Your concerns are valid for YOU, and
you need not feel guilty. Honesty being the best policy, you
could express this concern regarding "education" to
the brother and see what he has to say about it. An open
and honest discussion of the subject should clear up any questions
or reservations you might have.
Also, whenever making an important decision
a Muslim should perform salatul-istikhaara which consist of 2
nafl rakats (see the books, "Prayers of the Prophet"
or "Prayers of Muhammad" for further details). May
Allah guide you and grant you a happy marriage.