So I’ve logged onto this site every single day and really tried to write this blog post. It’s been something I’ve wanted to talk about, but it’s also something I don’t know how to put into words. I also don’t want to seem like a desperate girl (
even though I am). Here goes nothing.
As always, we need some background. There has to be a reason why I’m talking about this and why it’s bothering me, right? Of course, there is. Everyone around me is getting engaged or married. It’s ridiculous. Literally, every time I log onto Facebook, I see a picture of a wedding or an engagement announcement. (But there’s a catch, though, which my silly self doesn’t want to mention because then I’ll really seem desperate. They’re all much older than me by at least 4 years.) But then I went to this wedding reception recently, and I swear I saw this girl who goes to my uni, and she’s a year younger than me and MARRIED :O. I mean it’s pretty common in Pakistani and other Desi cultures for girls to get married at a young age. And this my friends will lead us into our discussion (well more like me typing and ranting and you reading) of the day: marriage. Well more specifically, I’m going to talk about how exactly marriage, culture, and Islam intermingle.
Islam decrees that men and women should get married at a young age. There is a reason behind that. Obviously (and I’m gonna try and keep it as halal rated as possible here), there are desires that grow stronger the more you age. These desires can grow stronger because as Muslims, we are taught to be abstinent until marriage. But as the desire grows stronger, people begin to drift farther away from their deen and move closer to committing zina and other haram acts (look up these words, too little time, too much to write). According to this one website, girls should marry at a younger age because they have a much more stronger desire for the *ahem ahem*. (And here I was thinking Desi parents just don’t want to bear the burden of having to take care of their daughter anymore. Although, I am sure that it is still the case; more to be discussed later on)
Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not against the idea of a “love marriage.” Boys, if you love someone, be a man and go to her father to ask for her hand in marriage. (Try to throw in a totally romantic proposal in there to the girl as well. Here’s a semi-halal, semi-haram example. She’s the other half of your deen.) Girls, do not do anything wrong with the boy. If you like him approach him with appropriate intentions, and have him come talk to your father.
Also, yes, even though Islam tells us to lower our gaze. During the time when one is seeking out a spouse, you can sort of open up a bit more (KEEP IT HALAL). Obviously, you’re going to need to see the person’s face; he/she’ll be your future spouse, so there needs to be some physical attraction. You obviously can talk to him/her, and if you’re more conservative, then you’ll do so in the presence of a mahram.
And now let’s talk about culture. I’m going to specifically talk about Pakistani/Indian culture because that’s the aspect I am more familiar with. First of all though, I really need to rant. For some reason, Desis emphasize the importance of getting married at a young age, but only when it comes to girls. Two of my female cousins were married at 23 and 18 years old. My male cousins are now close to their 30s, and only one of them so far is engaged. Like do we not see the ridiculousness of this. (let’s get personal: got a rishta a few months ago, said no to it, guy was in his last year of residency which means he is a good 8-9 years older than me, lol bye, no; I do not want to marry someone that old. In my opinion. yes age is just a number, but I would never be able to connect with a bhaiyya who is more than 5 years older than me. Because once you pass that 5 year mark, you’re pretty much an older brother to me. Personally, 4 years is the oldest I’ll go, but if I’m really attracted to the person then yolo). The logic behind letting guys roam single for the longest time consists of them graduating, finding a job, and being able to start a family that way (immediately. I’m not even kidding, those families start so quickly and they’re never ending). (also, my thoughts on this will be inserted later)
Another thing that irks me about the Desi concept of marriage is that mothers try to find girls who are much younger, prettier, and fairer (ugh fuuuuuu, fair and lovely, but it smells so good) than their sons. At least try to find someone on the same level as your son in all aspects (including education and career). Also, I hate how guys get the say in what kind of girl they can seek out as a potential partner, but girls just have to sit and wait until someone comes to them. Why not give girls the power also? Why must a guy make ridiculous demands like skinny, pretty, fair, and tall? But girls can’t make demands like educated, hot doctor, hard-working, and funny? And why are we basing our future spouses off of the physical attraction? Why not get to know their personality a bit more? UGH.
And now finally, my own thoughts on this topic: Our generation has this odd fascination with the idea of being in love and finding the perfect someone, and I must admit I am on that ship as well. I want to find love and all that jazz, but I’m trying my best to be patient. I’m obviously in no hurry to get married because I simply have not found the right person yet, AND FOR GOD’S SAKE I AM ONLY 20. Although, honestly to me age does not matter, you can be 20 or 30 when you get married, but if you feel ready for it, then you are ready for it. We can’t be dictated by society’s norms of marriage between 25-32 years old.
Although I want to find love, I want everything to happen in an Islamic way. I have disconnected from my faith and have now just start reconnecting with it again. I would obviously want a Muslim spouse. As I mentioned before, age is a number, but still 4-5 years older max and 1-2 years younger max. (LOL THIS IS LIKE A FREAKING SHAADI.COM PROFILE. WHAT IS MY LIFE? WHY AM I WRITING THIS?) There are many qualities I hope my future spouse has, but that’s not for this post. Maybe some day, I’ll write a post on that (probably not tho, I already sound desperate. #thethirstisreal #jk #srslyjk #keepinithalal).
Unlike most Desi parents, I believe that we should desire a person for marriage rather than the idea of marriage itself. My own personal beliefs are a mixture of both cultural and religious. Although I am not the best person, I agree more with the religious aspects of marriage. Why only focus on superficial characteristics of the person we have to spend the rest of our lives with? So rather than writing another essay summarizing my own beliefs on this topic, I’ll use the TL;DR approach.
TL;DR- Marriage is fascinating, but what’s more fascinating is the person you’re getting married to. In this day and age, it’s difficult to avoid temptations, but you must stay strong. Never rush yourself into the decision. Always pray istikhara if unsure. Keep making dua and most importantly, have faith in Allah. He has written someone for you; you will find that someone.