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How Should I Approach the Question of Arranged versus Love Marriage?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

How do I deal with the issue of arranged versus love marriage? In my generation, it has become more common to choose your spouse. In my society, arranged marriages are seen as marriages done out of desperation for those who are lame, not attractive, or not well-known. These stigmas make me extremely sad, but I am told that that is how the world works. I struggle with self-confidence because no one has asked for my hand in marriage, and my parents have to seek out people for me. I understand that there is already little interaction between myself and men because I try my best to adhere to the teachings of Islam. But, I beat myself up because others are being proposed to, and I am not. Please clarify!

Answer

Thank you for your honest question. I understand that you must be going through a hard time when your friends around you are getting married.

Allah, Most High, says, “And whoever relies on Allah completely – He is more than enough for him.” [Quran, 65:3]

First, I recommend that you take this on-demand course: Faith and Reliance on Allah: Ghazali’s Book of Divine Oneness and Trust Upon Allah Explained

I see, from my point of view, that everything is going perfectly for you. Why do I say this? Because:

  1. You are not emotionally attached to any one man;
  2. You have followed the rules of the Shari`a and kept your modesty and distance from men;
  3. Your parents are helping to find a spouse you; they know you the best,

Don’t be fooled by what is going on around you. Trust that Allah is in control of what happens and He knows what is best for you. Your whole life, including who and when you will marry, was written before you were born. The timing or type of match-making that you see doesn’t ensure success and happiness in married life. What matters is what you do after you are married. How have you prepared for it?

If I were in your shoes, I would not pre-occupy myself with thoughts about my destiny, but rather, prepare yourself well, refine your character and educate yourself about marriage.

Steps

  1. Make du’a’ that Allah send you a pious and kind spouse who will support you and complete half of your religion;
  2. Take a course on your personally obligatory knowledge. Be sure to know how to purify, pray, pay zakat, fast correctly, etc.;
  3. Take a course on marriage in Islam. Fully understand your responsibilities and rights;
  4. Take advantage of your free time, learn a skill, exercise, eat healthy,  memorize Qur`an, serve your parents, etc.

Break out of the mentality that your society has, and follow the mentality of the Qur`an and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace. You have worth and value as a believer, whether you marry or not. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Strange is the affair of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except the believer. If he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (Allah), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he is harmed, he endures it patiently, thus there is a good for him in it.” [Muslim]

May Allah give you success in all that you seek.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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