Marriage: Lack of Faith or Lack of Focus?
By Hwaa Irfan
With this in mind, many Islamic countries have adopted the hosting of mass weddings. As one of many gifts given during the month of Ramadan, Egypt hosts mass weddings for low-income and physically handicapped couples. The decorated tables and entertainment provided for the couples and their guests are a blessing.
Earlier this month, Iran's Interior Ministry married 700 couples in one day and 850 couples on the next. They expect to marry 14,000 couples. The general director of the project, Ahmad Bahraini, said to Associated Press writer Ali Akbar Dareini that the purpose is to "...encourage marriage among our young people, and invite the public to hold modest celebrations in order to save money."
Many young Iranian men do not get married before they are 30 because it is too difficult for them to save enough money to cover the expenses of marrying. Yet maintaining modesty in the expenses of marriage is what the Prophet of Islam (SAW) recommended, and the example he set when he married his daughter, Fatima Zahra, to the fourth Caliph, 'Ali ibn Talib.
Bride Zahra Nowruzi said, "I'm spending the happiest days of my life."
Her groom, Rostam Bahadori, 27, a Geography graduate is looking for work, but he expressed that he's not really worried. "If I can't find a job, I can work on a piece of land for my father."
This choice is not always available to Muslims living in westernized societies, but many other choices can have implications that delay the decision to marry. Among the socialites in Cairo, Egypt, there can be an average of three weddings a week that are laboriously planned for the public's attendance. Yet, there are many divorces.
Muhammed Hefzy is of the opinion that, "...We suffer from a distinct lack of romanticism surrounding our lives."
Bachelors from these communities argue that:
Across communities and social classes, one finds Muslim women who have limited experience dealing with people outside of their immediate families. It is a trend for them to marry because of their belief that they will gain independence by doing so. Then, within a year or so, their commitment towards their husbands changes once they realize that the dreams they had pictured in their minds (that songs and films have inspired) are different from the reality of their lives. Imaginary icons are then either broken, or they are imposed on husbands (sometimes on wives).
Without their realizing it, a mutual distrust develops that begins to form the direction in which each spouse relates to their marital partner. Couples either adjust and accept the disparity between expectations and reality, or a crisis occurs that gives them a second chance in their marriage, or they drift apart within the marriage, or ultimately they separate or divorce.
We go "off-course" when we lose touch with our inner beings, or if, in fact, we haven't yet developed that inner understanding of ourselves. Distracted by the daily demands of life in the form of school, employment, and eventually marriage, we might not have ascertained what we really want. This can set up a pattern for choosing a wrong partner.
Rasul'ullah (SAW) said, "...A person who will marry for the sake of wealth and beauty will ultimately be deprived of both, and he who will marry for the sake of piety and faith will be blessed with wealth and beauty from Allah."
The right choice in marriages involves a person that we can bring out the best in, and vice versa, in order to form a family that can provide security and peace of mind and heart. We need to look for mates who can satisfy our needs and goals.
If a couple with a healthy, functional marriage is blessed with children, the family environment will provide a sound foundation for them in choosing the best marital partner and making the right decisions in their lives.
To wives, Rasul'ullah (SAW) said, "Invite your husbands to do good before they persuade you to do wrong deeds."
To husbands, Rasul'ullah (SAW) said, "You men must make yourselves tidy and be prepared for your wives, as you would like them (your women) to be prepared for you."
Hendawi, Hamza. "Arabic Talk Show Stirs Controversy," Associated Press, February 2001.
Dareini, Ali Akbar. "Mass Weddings Encouraged In Iran," Associated Press, February 2001.
Amina, Hujjatul-Islam Ibrahim. Principles of Marriage Family Ethics, Islamic Propagation Organization
Hefzy, Muhammed. Much Ado About Marriage, Engima, February 2001.
Reprinted from Islam Online