POINTS DISCUSSED IN THIS
SIGNIFICANCE OF NIKAH IN ISLAM
CRITERIA TO SELECT SPOUSES
OBJECTIVES OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM
MUSLIM MARRIAGE CRISIS
An epidemic: Unmarried and over 30
Delayed marriages- new trend in late “adulthood”
Immigrant families issues
Issues specific to African American Muslims
Issues related to revert Muslims
Divorced or widowed Muslim Men and Women
Shortage of resources
8 WAY TO FINDING GOOD MUSLIM SPOUSE
12 WAYS TO A HAPPY FAMILY (12 F’s)
Marriage is a law of Allah (SWT)
And of everything We have created pairs: that ye may
receive instruction. (Zariyat,51:49)
O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord Who
created you from a single person created of like nature
his mate and from them twain scattered (like seeds)
countless men and women; reverence Allah through
Whom ye demand your mutual (rights) and
(reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever
watches over you. (Nisa, 4:1)
ISLAM URGES MUSLIMS TO GET
Marry those among you who are single or
the virtuous ones among your slaves male
or female: if they are in poverty Allah will
give them means out of His grace: for
Allah encompasses all and He knows all
things. (Noor, 24:32)
Prophet (SAW) urged young people
to get married
Explanation of this Hadith
This also means, ‘Mary a man for four reasons. So sisters
also get to choose their spouses.
Many people think this hadith means to marry only one
who is religious. Everything else does not matter. This is
It means if you find a man/woman who is religious, it is
If you find a man/woman who is religious and beautiful
you have two of four good qualities
If you find one with all four qualities, you hit the jackpot
Prophet Mohammad (SAW) did not marry anyone when
he was married to Khadija (RA). She was beautiful, came
from noble family, she was wealthy and she had Deen.
She was the epitome of a perfect woman.
Objectives of Islamic Marriage
And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates
from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and
tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy
between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those
who reflect" (Quran 30:21).
Tranquility, Mawaddah, Rahmah
To achieve Ihsan by fulfilling natural sexual urges for
the purpose of procreation strictly in marriage.
Fulfilling and satisfying parenthood instinct in loving
Stronger society with high morals.
Proper distribution of tasks.
MUSLIM MARRIAGE CRISIS
Young Muslim men women who really want to get
married face a myriad of issues finding a good match.
Issues are as diverse as the American Muslim community
scattered all over the country
A major deterrent to suitable match is few meeting
venues and forums
Adherence to cultural norms and expectations
Neglect of Islamic standards
An epidemic: Unmarried and over 30
There are extra ordinary number of very
educated women in their thirties and above
who can not find a spouse
Women in their late 20’s and early 30’s, urged
to be educated all their lives, settle into their
careers or studies suddenly become less
desirable to some men.
Many educated men marry outside of their
community, race or religion
Men are not as bound by the ticking biological
Men can usually( but not always) find a wife
when they get serious about marriage
At any Muslim marriage event, there are more
female attendees than males
ISNA marriage banquet sells out for the
women’s section weeks in advance while men
stroll in at the last moment
At Rahmah Marriage Bureau in Baltimore,
there are two women for every man in the
At a local marriage brunch, many of the women
attending were born and raised in the US,
educated and articulate.
Most of the men at the brunch were first
generation immigrants, without large local
Practicing good sisters may never get married
Young Muslim girls when compare life of
Mu’min versus life of dominant culture , latter
may appear more alluring with opportunities
In another generation , we end up in a
community with large number of sisters either
not married or married outside faith
Children grow up thinking having children of
their own in two parent home is high ideal
Emerging late adulthood
5 Milestones of adulthood defined by psychologists:
1. Completing school
2. Leaving home
3. Financial independence
5. Have a child
New York Times: 1960- 77% of women and 65% of men
2000- < 50% of women and 33% of men
American society in general is seeing trend of delayed
Adults see marriage as “capstone” rather a cornerstone-
It means they do it after they have all their other objectives in
Reasons for delayed marriages amongst
Muslim Youth-(Survey by Al-maghrib)
Immigrant families issues
Parents disregard the fact that their children are raised in the
Some elements of their personality are influenced by the West
Parents believe that a spouse from their country would be
They believe their culture, ethnicity and religion will be better
Elitism, looking at the class and career
Dowry (Mahr, Sidaaq) is major issue faced. Context differs in
South Asians with daughters- expected to give hefty gift to
Arab and African- demand for large mahr deters men from
proposing and offer of too little mahr deters women from
Immigrant families issues
In South Asian Culture arranged marriages are prevalent.
Some men and women complain about too much
interference of parents
In cultures ( like Somali community) where arranged
marriages are not prevalent, young people are finding it
extremely hard to meet some suitable match
Somali community in Fairfax, VA has substantial number
of unmarried women in late thirties
An unmarried sister from this community said,” I am a
devout Muslimah and my religion tells me not ever to
date a guy. I along with many Somali females are now in
their 30’s and single. The older generation needs to
change its disgusting norm”
Waiting for older sisters to get married first. There are young
men who are well established but have older sisters in
different stages of their education and careers. Culture
dictates them to wait for their marriage
Tribalism- more than racism is prevalent. A matchmaker in
Baltimore area for more than 24 years says,” We get requests
that cand idate must be Indian and not Pakistani, Durrani not
Mazari,must be African American and not African.”
Unrealistic focus on physicality- Some people are too picky.
They want someone who looks like a model.
Muslim men pursuing women who are not practicing and
Social media has made it more difficult as there is little
accountability. It is easy to cross boundaries
Increased physical mobility is a hurdle also. If one works at
one place but has his family or friend’s circle somewhere else,
it is hard to make connections at either place
Issues specific to African American
In an African American only Facebook Forum,
questions were asked about barriers they
faced in getting married:
1.Women blame the lack of good Muslim men
2.Men blame the lack of good Muslim women.
They have idealistic notions of a good Muslim
3.Some blame media gloom and doom
portraying myths about black marriages
4.Racism is faced by a large number of people
trying to get married
Issues related to revert Muslims
Many reverts are often urged to get married as soon as they
They are still learning and get high pressure to be married
With no family or support system, many turn to the imam to act
as their wali
Majority of the time, imam does not know them
Many are influenced into decisions that are not culturally
suitable to them.
When women and men are introduced by the imam, they do not
share their legal or financial history
Lives we live as Muslims must include who we are, where we
Many have dealt with prison and abuse and need to be
Divorced or widowed men & women
They face even harder road to marriage
The stigma is so huge.
They are divorced and then divorced from the
EternalGarment.com is a new website which caters
to the previously married men and women
Salaam Nikah is a local service offered for divorced
and widowed Muslims by Islamic Center of Northern
Shortage of resources
Imams say they are overwhelmed with other duties
Others do not want to take responsibility of making a
Many religious leaders do take an active role in
arranging events and suggesting matches to their
MSA, ICNA, ISNA
On line marriage sites
Local professional match makers
Volunteer match makers (Khalas and Aunties)
8 WAYS TO FIND GOOD SPOUSES
Dream of sisters- Marry the amazing brother
Character of the Messenger of Allah
Iman of Abu Bakr (RA)
Courage of Hamza (RA)
Wealth of Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf (RA)
Dream of brothers:
Marry that Hoorul Ain who lost her way from
This is all day dreaming and one must be
My Lord, I am ever needful of any favor that You may send my way.
(O Allah, I beseech Your mercy, so do not abandon me to my own
devices even for an instant; and straighten all of my affairs for me.)
(O Allah, make me self-sufficient with what You have declared as
halal for me and make me self-sufficient with Your favor so that I
do not need to look to others for favor.)
#2- Sincere Intention
Marriage is part of faith and make intention to
marry to complete your faith.
Make intention to follow the Sunnah of the
Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Before marriage, intention should be I am
looking for someone with whom I will build an
Marriage is a commitment and relationship that
starts in this Dunya (world) and will continue
Insha Allah in Paradise together.
#3- Preparation for marriage
Some people rush into marriage
They think since they are physically ready, they should
Even Prophet (SAW) said that those who have the means
to get married should do so.
Means does not just refer to mature body or even cash.
It means mentally stable, mature and able to cope with
of married life.
Even though love is the key element in marriage, it is
not always what keeps marriage going.
Your spouse and children are your responsibility and you
will be held accountable for it
#4-Involve your parents
Most boys/girls are too shy to bring subject of marriage
up to their parents
Some are afraid parents may look at them as victims of
Others are afraid if they involve their parents, they will
feel pressured into marrying them to someone they do
Bring the subject to your parents who will consider your
If you are shy, then speak to our sister or brother who
could bring the subject to their attention.
Ask your parents to look for a suitable match.
Final decision still lies with you
#5- Be realistic
If you think that you will marry that one
complete person who has everything, you will
never marry and that is harsh truth
Sisters like to marry a super pious person, who
owns a house, has a car plus he should be real
We often forget that when you marry someone,
they still have their whole life ahead of them.
Most of the wives of major scholars married
them when they were no body.
Similarly, you teach your wife all the
knowledge you have after marriage
#6-Be at good places
Volunteer at the masjid
Attend study circles and lectures at
Be part of Islamic organizations
Be part of Islamic social service
Attend regional and national
Matrimonial meetings at Islamic
#7- Befriend good pious people
This will open the door for networking with
good people and families
These could be friends you meet at masjid or
big events like conventions.
These individuals must be practicing Muslims
who can then introduce you to others in their
Some of them may be looking for good spouses
Just do not become that one sister or brother
who always talks about marriage and the
You may get labelled as “thirsty” if not worse
#8-Avoid Facebook Spouses
We spend lot of time on social media and like to
fulfil all our needs on it
Everyone tries to seem holier than they really
are on line.
You may find about person you met on internet,
that he /she is not regular in Salah. He/she has
tons of friends of opposite gender. He/she
forgot to tell you about smoking habit etc.
If a person is really serious about marriage
proposal, drop him your wali’s number then
you will know how serious the person was.
Consider a match-making site as last step. In
terms of sites Pure Matrimony is the best one
Steps for parents and families to
The family enquires, discusses, and suggests candidates from
among the network of people that they know. They consult with
each other to narrow down potential prospects
If the young couple and their families agree, the couple meets
in a chaperoned, group environment. Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him) said, "Not one of you should meet a
woman alone unless she is accompanied by a relative (mahram)
If the couple seems compatible, the families may investigate
further - talking with friends, family, Islamic leaders, co-
workers, etc. to learn about the character of the potential
Before making a final decision, the couple prays salat-l-
istikhara (prayer for guidance) to seek Allah's help and
Islam has given this freedom of choice to both young men and
women - they cannot be forced into a marriage that they don't
Spouses must be able to forgive one another
Must not hold grudges
Must not be judgmental towards each other
Situations will arise where we say or do things
that hurt our spouses. The challenge is not to
dwell on it or lay blame but to move past it.
This can only happen if we are not too proud to
ask for forgiveness and we are not stingy to
If we hope for Allah to forgive us then we must
learn to forgive.
2-Be Willing to Forget
When we constantly remind our spouses of all the times
they have let us down or hurt us, we have not truly
Things that happened in the past must be left there and
not be used as fresh ammunition in new situations.
Couples who use this technique usually fall in a rut and
become victims of their own pettiness, unable to break
Many couples unnecessarily make themselves
miserable because they are unwilling to bend a
We should not expect our spouses to be
extensions of ourselves; they are their own
person, with their own personalities and likes
We must respect their right to be themselves
as long as it does not compromise their deen.
Being inflexible and not accommodating for
individual differences leads to a very stressful
and tense home atmosphere.
It is commanded by Allah (swt) that we be faithful to
Adultery is a crime in Islam that is punishable by death.
Maintaining friendships with the opposite sex beyond
the boundaries set by Islam is being unfaithful to
The latest trend of Internet relationships is also
contrary to Islamic adab and is causing serious
problems between couples.
Once a sense of betrayal sets in repairing that
relationship is difficult.
Betrayal of confidences. This is a trust issue and when
compromised, that eats away at the heart of a marriage.
Usually when we are angry or displeased the
tendency is to not play fair.
We try to convince ourselves that since we
have been wronged it is OK to be unjust in our
behavior and our statements.
Allah (SWT) states in the Quran, do not be
unjust under any circumstances, even to your
enemy, and here we are talking about our life
partners and the parent of our children.
To use words such as “never” and “always”
when describing the behavior of the partner is
unfair and puts the other on defensive.
A sure way to keep romance in a
marriage is to flirt with your spouse.
Many successful marriages have
maintained a youthful demeanor by
adopting special names for each other
and secret communication styles.
It is essential that your spouse always
feel special and desired.
Misunderstandings happen when
couples are not honest with each other.
Partners must feel safe to speak their
mind with due consideration to the
other’s feeling, but without
compromising their own views.
When the communication is not frank it
hinders the development of closeness
and deep understanding of each other’s
8-Be a facilitator
When choosing our life partner, we must as
the Prophet (SAW) advised look for a pious
The reason is that, their first and foremost goal
is the pleasure of Allah (SWT).
This commitment to Allah(SWT) makes them
an excellent facilitator for enhancing their
partner’s spiritual development.
In essence the couple facilitates their family’s
commitment to Allah (SWT)) and His deen.
Paying compliments and indulging in
honest flattery is a very inexpensive
way to win your spouse’s heart.
Every one likes to be appreciated and
So being miserly about compliments is
actually depriving one self of being
appreciated in retur
It often happens that our expectations
sometimes are so high that we lose sight of
the fact that we are fallible beings.
When couples start to nitpick and demand the
impossible they must remind themselves that
only Allah (SWT)) is perfect.
11-Be Aware of Feelings
Prophet Mohammad (SAW) stated that Allah(SWT) forgives all
sins if we repent but not those we have committed against
others, i.e. hurt their feelings, unless the person we have hurt
Couples are sometimes very careless when it comes to their
They take them for granted and assume that the other knows
what they mean.
It is surprising that people are more sensitive and courteous to
strangers than they are to their loved ones.
One must be ever vigilant and careful that they do not hurt the
feelings of their spouses
If they do they should apologize as soon as possible.
Since one does not know when someone they love will leave
this world, is it not better to make amends when we have the
12-Be Fond of
So many times couples fail to work on
developing fondness for each other
They ignore to see their spouses as
people through the eyes of their
Spending quality time alone doing and
sharing activities are ways in which one
can develop fondness.
And those who pray "Our Lord! grant unto us
wives and offspring who will be the comfort of
our eyes and give us (the grace) to lead the