Courtship in Islam rss

How to Approach a Muslim Woman for Marriage?

Lebanese Muslim couple

A Muslim couple enjoying the sunset

Islam discourages interaction between unmarried men and women, while encouraging them to marry. How does one bridge this gap?

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

In sha’ Allah, if the focus of your question is directed towards the ways of finding a wife in the West or North America, I would recommend the following:

1. Islamic gatherings – You may attend various Islamic gatherings at Islamic centers or in mosques and you may engage in business like conversation with the members of the opposite sex, without being isolated with them.

2. Personal introductions – You may also make use of brothers and sisters who may introduce you to prospective candidates and talk to them under supervision.

3. Matrimonial ads – You may do some kind of correspondence with candidates who have advertised their names in the Islamic magazines (or matrimonial services like Zawaj.comEditor).

4. Direct approach – In the time of the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions), they used to meet people sometimes in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and sometimes in other circumstances. For instance, on a number of occasions women used to come offering themselves as candidates for marriage. Accordingly, some men would accept to get married to them.

Muslim husband and wife

Muslim couple

This shows that the Sahabah were very simple and undemanding about choosing their partners so long as they had the basic religious and character requirements. In this society, generally speaking, we tend to put so many conditions and requirements that are not essentials from an Islamic perspective. In Islam, the basic thing we should consider in marriage is religion and character. All other requirements we can compromise.

The Companions also used to make other people introduce them to possible candidates. They would see each other and occasionally talk with them in order to determine their eligibility for marriage.

In conclusion, you may choose any of the methods in order to find prospective candidates.

Once you have chosen some, you may inquire about them from people who are reliable and trustworthy in order to determine their illegibility and integrity. You are allowed to ask about their past in order to find out the essential points reflecting their character. If a person has a bad past and he or she has changed and improved his or her life Islamically after having repented their sins, you are allowed to marry them. In this case you are not allowed to nag them about their past after marriage.

Source : http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/S…=1119503545518

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10 MORE Romantic Things to Do for Your Wife

Newlywed Muslim couple

Newlywed Muslim couple making a “heart” sign with their hands.

Wael Abdelgawad | Zawaj.com

My first post on this subject, 50 Romantic Things to Do for Your Wife, was very popular, so I’m doing this follow-up with ten more great things to do to make your wife happy.

1. Turn off your phone and other devices and spend uninterrupted time with your wife. Go for a picnic, go out to dinner together, or just sit down and enjoy cuddling time – regardless, turn off your phone altogether. Don’t just put it on silent or vibrate! TURN – IT – OFF. This tells your wife that she is more important than anyone else who might seek to interrupt your time together.

2. Be a gentleman. Pull out her chair for her, open the car door for her, help her put her jacket on, hold the umbrella over her head in the rain. Do these things even if your wife is an athlete and could run laps around you, ha ha. Okay, maybe a tiny minority of women will find these things sexist or archaic. But I think 99.9% will see them for what they are: little kindnesses, courtesies, and signs that you care.

Young Muslim couple and child.3. Compliment what she’s wearing in an authentic way. Be specific. You might say, “I love how the green of that dress brings out the green in your eyes.” Or, “That dress really flatters your figure. You look so svelte.” Or, “That color makes your skin glow so beautifully.”

4. When you’re out to dinner together and share a dessert, let her eat most of it, and don’t make any comments about it.

5. Take care of your body and appearance. Exercise regularly. Quit smoking. Dress well. These things will make you more attractive to your wife, which naturally leads to more romance and a happier marriage.

6. Buy her flowers regularly. I know this is a cliche’, but I have a few original suggestions: First, flowers can be expensive, so find out where the wholesale flower market is in your city. You’ll find that flowers are much cheaper there, and they often sell to the public. Second, purchase different kinds of flowers each time. Buy your girl some of the odder varieties, and ask the seller something about them so you can share something interesting. Last, consider planting them in your own garden, so they won’t cost anything at all.

7. Give her a foot rub at the end of a long day. If she’s been wearing shoes all day and her feet are smelly, start out by washing them with a hot washcloth, then rubbing in some scented lotion. Then massage her feet nicely. This tells your wife that every part of her is important and beautiful to you. Plus, it feels amazing.

8. Ride the Ferris Wheel at the fair and make out at the very top.

9. Go into one of those coin-operated photo booths and make funny faces together at the camera. This one is cliched as well, but it’s still fun!

10. Cook together. Plan a special meal together and work together from beginning to end – shop together, and cook the meal together, and clean up together. Cooking alone can be a chore, but cooking together is fun.

Do you have any more ideas? Please share in the comments. And you should definitely check out:

50 Romantic Things to Do for Your Wife.

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Will that Muslim player marry you? 10 red flags to check for

Marriage red flags

Red flags

By Ibtahal Minhaj
Reprinted from TheIdealMuslimah.com

Sarah officially started her professional career by working in a small news agency in her city. As a fresh graduate she was profoundly happy about her new job. She felt as if her four years of hard work had finally started to pay off. Throughout her time at University she looked at couples roaming around and taking care of each other. However, she had also witnessed some painful ‘break-ups’ and detachments. – the reason Sarah never believed in love before marriage.

At her office her thinking started to change a little as she genuinely began to develop feelings for her boss. She felt as if he too liked her in the sincere sense. They became good friends and occasionally went for lunch together. The boss told Sarah that he will marry her after 3 years. Over a brief period of 15 days her affiliation grew stronger.

However, something irked her and that was his demand for physical contact. After a few pecks and hugs he apologized that he can’t convince his family for the marriage. Both of them agreed on remaining friendly colleagues, but even as professional friends the boss tried to provoke her for an illegal relation by requesting Sarah to meet at a private and secure place. This was an eye-opener for her and she realized that someone truly in love with her would never provoke her for such things. She knew that she had fallen for the wrong person.

Although she used to cry a lot and the detachment has left her emotionally traumatized, but Sarah implored Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) for His mercy and forgiveness. There was no one in her life to share this pain with.

Bismillah!!
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

Dear Sisters in Islam, Sarah is not the only girl who has experienced this. Many girls have gone through even bitter experiences that have left them emotionally shattered. There are so many sisters who get trapped in this emotional abuse and regret afterwards, even while knowing that these attachments can be painful if not bound legally (i.e through Nikkah) girls still get caught up. The aim of this article is to share with you the 10 red flags which can tell you that a Muslim player won’t marry you and there is no point of indulging in activities that will lead you to nowhere in life.

1.He feels uncomfortable when you talk about marriage
Whenever you try to discuss with him the future of your marriage with him, he tries to change the topic and gets irritated. He also asks you to think about it when the time will come. He is more interested in planning out dates and enjoying secretively.

2. He doesn’t talk to your Wali
He insists on keeping the relationship as secret as possible. Claiming that he loves you with all his heart and wants the best for you in life, he still doesn’t talk to your Wali (father/guardian) about the possibility that he will take your responsibility in the future.

3. He hides your relationship with him
A Muslim man who truly loves you would never keep you like a filthy hidden part of his life that doesn’t deserved to be shown to the world. He doesn’t want to declare the relationship openly. If he hides you from his family and is afraid to confess his inclination towards you then understand that he doesn’t plan to marry you.

4. He asks for your photographs without proper hijab
Any man who would know that you will be his future wife would never asks you to stoop down to unethical levels. Every man dreams of a modest and chaste girl, how can he push his future life partner to embrace immodesty? Think about it!

Anybody, encouraging you with ‘haram’ can never be your well-wisher in life, let alone being a lover. If he is demanding under-dressed photographs then bear this in mind ‘he will never marry you’, no matter how tall his claims are. You will be a temporary temptation of his life. Every man wants his wife to act with a certain level of dignity, if you don’t belong to him, you definitely do belong to someone else, do not harm your dignity out of stupidity.

He's a player

He might be a player if…

5. He doesn’t care for your pain and worries
You are spending nights crying for him and hoping to hear just a few comforting words from him, but he is least bothered. This speaks volumes about his indifference towards you. A person who wishes to make you his spouse will own your pains and worries and have an empathetic approach.

6. Everything depends on his convenience
He talks when he wants to and ignores you for the rest of the time. This explains that you are just a leisure sport in his life. When he is too bored he decides to spend time with you.

7. With words
Genuine words aren’t hard to identify. He hasn’t even discussed the size of the wedding ring or told you about the dress he wants you to wear on Nikkah day – still you expect him to marry you – don’t get trapped!

8. Friends with Benefits
Some men use the word ‘friends’ to keep the relation going so that girls remain hooked up and they can enjoy their company. If he uses all chances to take advantage of you and even if it involves paying the bill at lunch then this is yet another red flag for you.

9. Doesn’t trust you with his secrets
If he is reluctant in discussing his past and doesn’t open up to you then believe it, you are not worthy enough. Had he been serious about including you in his life, he would’ve shared every single detail about himself. Not necessarily his past sins. But things that matter and life choices and incidences that are of importance.

10 Finally! When your ‘NO’ to his demands distance him from you
This is the final red flag and an evident one indeed. When you refuse to meet him alone or to fulfil his obscene demands, he would start distancing himself from you, just like a useless paper in his wallet.

Dear Sisters, falling in love the halal way is not wrong. Islam itself is a religion of love and compassion. You do have a right to decide who your future life partner will be, but getting involved in pre-marital physical bonding/infatuation will only lead to affliction. So maintain your chastity for the one who deserves you the most and promises to be your guardian for the rest of his life. As it is mentioned in the Holy Quran:

“Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive. And they who turn away from ill speech. And they who are observant of Zakah. And they who guard their private parts. Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors”.
{Surah Al Muminun 23 : Verses 1-7}

Moreover, it is never too late to repent and retreat, if you have gone through this make sincere ‘Taubah’ and wait for the right man to hold your hand after signing the Nikkah papers ofcourse.  

May Allah bless you all with righteous spouses who will be the means of you entering Jannatul Firdous al Alaa.

Notes by Fakiha Hassan Rizvi
Edited by Ibtahal Minhaj

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10 ways to avoid marrying the wrong person

Arab Muslim couple

Arab Muslim couple

By Dr. Nafisa Sekandari & Hosai Mojaddidi
Source: Mental Health 4 Muslims

There is a right way and a wrong way to get to know someone for marriage.

The wrong way is to get caught up in the excitement and nuance of a budding relationship and in the process completely forget to ask the critical questions that help determine compatibility.

One of the biggest mistakes that many young Muslims make is rushing into marriage without properly and thoroughly getting to know someone.

A common myth is that the duration of a courtship is an accurate enough measure of how compatible two people are.  The logic follows that the longer you speak with someone, the better you will know them. The problem with that premise is that no consideration is given to how that time is spent. Increasingly, young Muslim couples are engaging in “halal dating,” which is basically socializing with each other in the company of friends and/or family. This includes going out to dinner, watching a movie, playing some sport or other leisure activity, etc.  Depending on the family or culture, conversations are either minimal & chaperoned or worse, unrestricted and unsupervised.

When you consider these  limitations it makes one wonder when exactly, if ever at all, would the critical conversations take place?  Unfortunately, for many, the answer is never and they live to suffer the consequences.  If you or someone you know is in the “getting to know someone” phase,  the following guide offers advice on exactly what to look for and avoid:

1) Do Not Marry Potential:  Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change.  This is the wrong approach on both accounts.  Don’t assume that you can change a person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their potential.  There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the worse.

If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they are then don’t marry them.  These differences can include a number of things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits, hygiene, communication skills, etc.

2) Choose Character over Chemistry:  While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows, “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love” should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy to confuse infatuation and lust for love.  The most important character traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, & happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait:

  • Humility: The humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and comfort.  They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism.
  • Kindness: The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver, observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do for them. How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e. waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they spend their money?  How do they deal with anger; their own anger and their reaction to someone else’s anger?
  • Responsibility: A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character.  You can you rely on this person and trust what they say.
  • Happiness: A happy person is content with their portion in life. They feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t have.  They very rarely complain.

3) Do Not Neglect The  Emotional Needs of Your Partner:  Both men and women have emotional needs and in order for a partnership to be successful those needs must be mutually met.

The fundamental emotional need of a woman is to be loved. To make a woman feel loved give her the three AAAs:  Attention, Affection, & Appreciation.

The fundamental emotional need of a man is to be respected and appreciated.  To make a man feel loved give him the three RRRs:  Respect, Reassurance, & Relief.

It is the obligation of each partner to make sure the other is happy and this extends to intimacy as well. As long as each partner is fulfilled by the emotional needs of the other, the intimate relationship will thrive.  When a man takes seriously the emotional needs of his wife she will feel more encouraged to fulfill his sexual desires. Likewise, when a woman takes seriously the emotional needs of her husband he will feel more encouraged to give her the affection, love and appreciation she wants from him. Working together in this way encourages both giving and receiving.

4) Avoid Opposing Life Plans:  In marriage you can either grow together or grow apart. Sharing a common purpose in life will increase the chance that you will grow together.

  • You must know what the person is into. In other words, what are they ultimately passionate about?  Then ask yourself, “Do I respect this passion?” “Do I respect what they are into?”
  • The more specifically you define yourself, i.e., your values, your beliefs, your lifestyle, the better chance you have of finding your life partner, your soul mate, the one you are most compatible with.
  • Remember, before you decide who to take along on a trip, you should first figure out your destination.

5) Avoid Pre-Marital Sexual/Physical Activity:

  • Recognize that there is incredible wisdom in why God has ordered us to refrain from intimacy before marriage; they are to prevent great harms as well as to keep sacred what is the most blessed part of a relationship between a man and a woman.
  • Aside from the obvious spiritual consequences, when a relationship gets physical before its time, important issues like character, life philosophy, and compatibility go to the wayside. Consequently, everything is romanticized and it becomes difficult to even remember the important issues let alone talk about them.
  • Intellectual commitment must be established before emotional or sexual commitment.

6) Avoid Lack of Emotional Connection:  There are four questions that you must answer YES to:

  • Do I respect and admire this person?  What specifically do I respect and admire about this person?
  • Do I trust this person?  Can I rely on them?  Do I trust their judgment?  Do I trust their word? Can I believe what they say?
  • Do I feel Safe?  Do I feel emotionally safe with this person?  Can I be vulnerable?  Can I be myself?  Can I be open?  Can I express myself?
  • Do I feel calm and at peace with this person?

If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.” keep evaluating until you know for sure and truly understand how you feel. If you don’t feel safe now, you won’t feel safe when you are married.  If you don’t trust now, this won’t change when you are married!

7) Pay Attention to Your Own Emotional Anxiety: Choosing someone you don’t feel safe with emotionally is not a good recipe for a long-lasting and loving marriage.  Feeling emotionally safe is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage.  When you don’t feel safe, you can’t express your feelings and opinions.

Learn how to identify whether you are in an abusive relationship.  If you feel you always have to monitor what you say, if you are with someone and you feel you can’t really express yourself and are always walking on eggshells, then it’s very likely you are in an abusive relationship.  Look for the following things:

  • Controlling behavior: This includes controlling the way you act, the way you think, the way you dress, the way you wear your hair/hijab and the way you spend your time.  Know the difference between suggestions and demands.  Demands are an expression of control and if the demands are implied, than you must do it or there will be consequences. All of these are clear indications of abusive personalities.
  • Anger issues: This is someone who raises their voice on a regular basis, who is angry, gets angry at you, uses anger against you, uses put downs, and curses at you, etc.  You don’t have to put up with this type of treatment.  Many people who tolerate this behavior usually come from abusive backgrounds.  If this is the case with you or someone you know, get help right away.  Deal with those issues before getting married or before even thinking about getting married.

8) Beware of Lack of Openness In Your Partner:  Many couples make the mistake of not putting everything on the table for discussion from the onset.  Ask yourself, “What do I need to know to be absolutely certain I want to marry this person?” “What bothers me about this person or the relationship?”

It’s very important to identify what’s bothering you, things that concern you, and things you are afraid to bring up for discussion. Then you must have an honest discussion about them. This is a great way to test the strength of your relationship. Bringing up issues when there’s conflict is a great opportunity to really evaluate how well you communicate, negotiate, and work together as a team.  When people get into power struggles and blame each other, it’s an indication they don’t work well as a team.

Also important is being vulnerable around each other. Ask deep questions of each other and see how your partner responds.  How do they handle it?  Are they defensive?  Do they attack?  Do they withdraw?  Do they get annoyed?  Do they blame you?  Do they ignore it?  Do they hide or rationalize it?  Don’t just listen to what they say but watch for how they say it!

9) Beware of Avoiding Personal Responsibility: It’s very important to remember no one else is responsible for your happiness. Many people make the mistake of thinking someone else will fulfill them and make their life better and that’s their reason for getting married.  People fail to realize that if they are unhappy as a single person, they will continue to be miserable when they are married.  If you are currently not happy with yourself, don’t like yourself, don’t like the direction your life is going now, it’s important to take responsibility for that now and work on improving those areas of your life before considering marriage.  Don’t bring these issues into your marriage and hope your partner will fix them.

10) Watch Out For Lack of Emotional Health and Availability In Your Potential Partner:  Many people choose partners that are not emotionally healthy or available. One huge problem is when a partner is unable to balance the emotional ties to family members, the marriage ends up having 3 (or more) people in it rather than two. An example of this would be if a man is overly dependent on his mother and brings that relationship into the marriage; this is no doubt a recipe for disaster.  Also important to consider are the following:

  • Avoid people who are emotionally empty inside.  These include people who don’t like themselves because they lack the ability to be emotionally available. They are always preoccupied with their deficiencies, insecurities, and negative thoughts.  They are in a perpetual fight with depression, never feel good, are isolated, are critical and judgmental; tend to not have any close friends, and often distrust people or are afraid of them.  Another clear indication about them is they always feel their needs are not getting met; they have a sense of entitlement and feel angry when they feel people should take care of them and they don’t.  They feel burdened by other people’s needs and feel resentment towards them.  These people can not be emotionally available to build healthy relationships.
  • Addictions can also limit the level of availability of the partner to build a strong emotional relationship.  Never marry an addict.  Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol.  They can be about addictions and dependency on work, internet, hobbies, sports, shopping, money, power, status, materialism, etc.  When someone has an addiction, they will not and can not be emotionally available to develop an intimate relationship with you!

Additional Points to Consider:

  1. The fact is no one looks 25 forever.  Ultimately, we love the person we marry for more than their appearance.  When we get to know someone we love and admire, we’ll love them for their inner beauty and overall essence.
  2. Once we find someone, we consciously or subconsciously want so badly for it all to work that we decide not to question or see what is clearly in front of our eyes: they were rude to the waiter, speaks ill of others, is rude to you, etc.  We don’t stop to ask, “What does all of this mean about their character?”
  3. Never separate someone from their family, background, education, belief system, etc.  Asking clear questions can clarify this.  Ask questions like, “What does it mean to have a simple lifestyle?” “What are your expectations of marriage?”  “How would you help around the house?” Compare your definition with theirs.
  4. Be flexible.  Be open-minded!
  5. Giving in a happy marriage should not be confused with martyrdom.  It should be about taking pleasure and seeing the other person as happy because of your connection with them.
  6. Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health.  The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship.  If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you? The ideal partner is someone who considers giving a gain and not causing a loss.  Having a mutual and shared spiritual relationship will foster a successful marriage.  Furthermore, a successful marriage is one that keeps the laws of family purity which require a certain degree of self-control and self-discipline, as well as the belief that the physical side of the relationship includes the spiritual and emotional side as well.  Finding commonality and balance between the spiritual and emotional aspects of a relationship is a strong key to a healthy and thriving marriage.
The above article was [in part] inspired by and adapted from a presentation by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.
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